Kitab Tanbih al-Hadi wa’l-Muhtadi

Hamid al-Dininfo-icon al-Kirmani: Kitab Tanbih al-Hadi wa’l-Muhtadi (“The Book of Exhortation to the Rightful Guide and the Rightly Guided”).

 

Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani: Kitab Tanbih al-Hadi wa’l-Muhtadi (“The Book of Exhortation to the Rightful Guide and the Rightly Guided”).



Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani was a leading 11th-century da‘iinfo-icon, a native of Kirmaninfo-icon, and one of the greatest theologians in the Ismaili tradition. His masterpiece is the celebrated Rahat al-‘aqlinfo-icon (“Tranquillity of Mind”), one of the most profound works of early Ismaili thought, which he wrote in the year 1020 CE. Al-Kirmani’s life is obscure; we know that he served as a da‘i of Imaminfo-icon al-Hakim in Iraq and in that capacity, travelled frequently back and forth between Baghdad and Basra. He was summoned to Cairo during the crisis surrounding the emergence of the Druzeinfo-icon and defended the Imamateinfo-icon against Druze claims. The present work exhorts obedience to the law as well as to the Imam and offers specific guidance on a wide range of legal and ethical issues.

Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani: Kitab Tanbih al-Hadi wa’l-Muhtadi (“The Book of Exhortation to the Rightful Guide and the Rightly Guided”).



The Hamdani manuscript was copied in the year 1202 AH, or around 1785 CE, in a graceful calligraphic hand, with full vocalisation of the Arabic text for the sake of clarity. Above the Hamdani seal of ownership on the title-page is written the exclamation “Ya Kabikaj!” or “O Kabikaj!” This is a standard formula often written on manuscripts. “Kabikaj,” once thought to be a kind of genie who protects books, has been shown by Adam Gacek, formerly librarian at the IIS, to refer to a plant, a member of the mallow family, which was believed to have preservative powers.