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[IHTLS] The Exoteric Tradition of the Fatimids: Sources, Reception, and Interpretation
The Fāṭimid period (297–567/909–1171) is duly characterised as the golden age of Ismāʿīli thought and literature. A new genre of Shīʿī literature emerged soon after the Fāṭimids established their hegemony over North Africa. Al-Qāḍī al-Nuʿmān (d. 363/974), the most prolific Fāṭimid jurist who is responsible for orchestrating its almost entire textual tradition, was tasked with the responsibility of compiling literature that would serve as an authoritative point of reference for jurists, judges and bureaucrats in the burgeoning Ismāʿīli state. It is evident that he had to have recourse to earlier hadith collections (my main point of focus in the lecture) that he cites consistently in his writings and incorporates them into his works. These early Medinese and Kufan hadith collections, most of which no longer exist, are believed to have equipped al-Nuʿmān with the raw material from which he formulated and systematised various aspects of Ismāʿīli belief and practice. How can the historicity of these sources be determined? How did this early Shiʿi material end up in North Africa? Which factors dictated the selection, interpretation and appropriation of the material available in these sources for Ismāʿīli law and belief system? This talk will focus mainly on addressing these and similar questions.

Speaker: Dr Kumail Rajani (University of Exeter).
Discussant: Dr Fârès Gillon (IIS), Dr Hasan al-Khoee (IIS)

Hosted by the Institute of Ismaili Studies (London) and convened by Dr Fârès Gillon, the Islamic History and Thought Lecture Series is designed to invite scholars of various international academic institutions, specialising in intellectual, social and political aspects of medieval and early modern Islamic societies, to present and discuss their research.

Please note that the lecture will be recorded and uploaded on the IIS website.

Sep 29, 2022 02:00 PM in London

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