The Ismā‘īlīs introduced Neoplatonism into their doctrine between the tenth and eleventh centuries. This resulted in a serious conflict between rational philosophy and revealed religion. The main objective of this study is to examine the conflict between these two positions from the theory of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī (d. after 1020), who served Fāṭimid Imām al-Ḥākim (d. 1021), by studying the prophetology in his Rāḥa al-‘aql. Al-Kirmānī adopted al-Fārābī’s theory on the active intellect (‘aql fa‘‘āl) and his prophetic doctrine explicated by the active intellect regards the nāṭiq as the top of the sublunar world in his philosophical cosmology and thus, justifies the authority of the nāṭiq. Like Fārābī’s philosopher-king, al-Kirmānī’s nāṭiq has conjunction (ittiṣāl) with the active intellect and accepts the illumination from it in the imaginative stage of his soul. However, al-Kirmānī rejected the acceptance of the illumination in the stage of the acquired intellect (‘aql mustafād), the highest level of the human intellect, while al-Fārābī believed that the philosopher-king attained the stage of the acquired intellect before accepting the illumination in his imaginative stage. If al-Kirmānī had allowed human beings other than the nāṭiq to attain the stage of the acquired intellect, an ordinary man could have had the same capacity as the nāṭiq. Therefore, he rejected al-Fārābī’s acquired intellect and the possibility of a philosopher reaching the nāṭiq’s level by himself. However, he used philosophy to justify Ismā‘īlī prophetology. Al-Kirmānī thought that only the nāṭiq reached the transcendental position. Thus, he considered the nāṭiq’s guidance and Ismā‘īlī da‘wa as absolute, and explained his doctrine using rational philosophy.
The fourth/tenth (A.H./C.E.) century is one of the most crucial time to the development of Ismā‘īlī Shī‘ism not only because the Fāṭimids’ claim for the sole leadership (Imāmah) conflicts with its original belief in the advent of the messianic figure called the Qā’im, but because some thinkers adopted Greek thought, especially Neoplatonism. This article aims at contributing to elucidation of how the Ismā‘īlī thinkers made consistent their doctrine on the Qā’im with newly adopted Neoplatonism in this important century, with special reference to Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī’s (d. ca 322/933-4) Kitāb al-Iṣlāḥ, one of the oldest extant Neoplatonist-influenced texts.
The text of al-Iṣlāḥ suggests that the Qā’im will resume the full contact, which Adam had enjoyed, with the two highest hypostases of Neoplatonist cosmology, that is, the Universal Intellect and the Universal Soul. Also in his text al-Rāzī implies that the advent of the Qā’im will mark or bring the full actualization of the “spiritual forms” (al-ṣuwar al-rūḥānīyah) and “simple form” (al-ṣurah al-basīṭah) of the human soul. This is also the result of the influence of the “highest simple world,” the realm of the two highest hypostases. Thus, with the background of Greek thought, especially Neoplatonism, al-Rāzī de-politicized the role and mission of the Qā’im. This idea is shared by al-Sijistani (d. after 361/971), Neoplatonist Ismā‘īlī thinker who is nearly one generation younger than al-Rāzī. Did this shared idea of the de-politicized and “spiritualized” Qā’im function as precursor for Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī’s (d. after 411/1020) own vision of the Qā’im and the postponing of his advent and the ultimate eschaton? This will be an issue of our future research.
The Zaydīs came to Yemen at the end of the ninth century, and thereafter the influence of the Zaydī Imāms spread throughout Yemen. A concept that merits attention when examining the spread of the influence of the Zaydī in Yemen is hijra. This study elucidates changes in the significations of the term hijra as used in Zaydī sources from the ninth through to the eleventh century. The views advanced by previous scholars, notably W. Madelung, will be questioned, and an understanding more congruous with the general situations surrounding the Zaydīs will be proposed.
From the late ninth century to the second half of the eleventh century, hijra signified migration to the Imāms of the Zaydīs in Yemen for the purpose of providing military support and acquiring new land. But when fears began to be entertained for the survival of the Zaydī Imāms as a result of sudden changes in the political and social situation in Yemen from the first to the second half of the eleventh century, the meaning of hijra changed to signify specific sites of political and religious authority of the Zaydī and these sites took on the function of maintaining the spiritual and physical well-being of the Zaydī.
Following the triumph of the over the Akhbārīs in the eighteenth century, the political and social status of the Shi‘i ‘ulama was reinforced by the Uṣūlī theory. According to the theory, the mujtahids who can exercise ijtihād guide the mujtahids or the non-mujtahid believers, who must emulate (taqlīd) them (i.e. the mujtahids). Although the theory has been well studied and well-known, the direct impact of the Uṣūlīs’ triumph on the Shi‘i community has never been fully examined in the field of social history. The biggest questions are who was a mutjahid in the community, and how one became a mujtahid. In this paper, I will examine the Shi‘i licensing (ijāza) system that prevailed during the nineteenth century, analyze the relations between ijāzas and the status of mujtahid, and attempt to demonstrate the direct impact of the Uṣūlī doctrine on the Shi‘i community.
There were two types of ijāzas: an ijāza of ijtihād and an ijāza of riwāya. Modern researchers maintain that an ijāza of ijtihād permitted the holder to exercise ijtihād, and that attaining the was a prerequisite to being a mujtahid. Further, they suppose that an ijāza of riwāya permitted the holder to transmit traditions in teachers’ name, and was the less prestigious than an ijāza of ijtihād. However, my detailed analysis of the texts pertaining to the ijāzas, and their backgrounds demonstrates that the grounds for these assumptions are weak. First, an of did not permit the holder to exercise but rather certified that the holder had achieved the stage of Therefore, it was possible that ‘ulama would exercise without having an ijāzas of ijtihād when he had the ability. Second, there is no proof that ijāzas of ijtihād were systematically issued, or that every mujtahid had acquired an of before becoming a mujtahid. I will propose a new concept of ijtihād and mujtahid that reflects the actual practices of the nineteenth century and attempt to show what the real prerequisites for becoming a mujtahid was in the nineteenth century.
Much has been written about Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi-Khomeini’s (1902-1989) doctrine of wilāyat al-faqīh, or the mandate of the jurisprudent. In this article, I will focus on the following two questions: how consistent was he in espousing the doctrine, and what was his major addition to the doctrine? After reviewing his educational and scholarly background, I will first reconstruct constituent components of the doctrine and revisit his relevant writings and statements to determine how consistent his views were over his long academic and political career. Drawing on the existing studies on the divergent doctrines of wilāyat al-faqīh, I will also identify one possible innovation Ayatollah Khomeini likely added to the doctrine. My examination of his 1944 tract, Kashf al-asrār, shows that Khomeini as a young seminary teacher had already believed in wilāyat al-faqīh al-siyāsīyah, or the divine mandate of the juiisprudent to rule. This suggests that his views on wilāyat al-faqīh most likely had solidified much earlier than the existing Western studies surmised and that they remained rather consistent throughout his scholarly and political career. The results will help better discuss various implications of the doctrine as political theory and also in the context of actual political developments in Iran over the last fifty some years.
In this paper, I analyze the role of qiṣaṣ (narrative stories) materials, which are often incorporated into the Twelver Shī‘ite theological discussions, by focusing mainly on the stories of the al-Khiḍr (or al-Khaḍir) legend in the tenth and the eleventh century ghaybah discussions. The goal is to demonstrate the essential function that the narrative elements have performed in argumentations of the Twelver Shī‘ite theory of Imam.
The importance of qiṣaṣ materials in promulgating the doctrine of in the Twelver Shi‘ism tended to be underestimated in the previous studies because of the mythical and legendary representations of qiṣaṣ materials.
My analysis makes clear that qiṣaṣ materials do not only illustrate events in the sacred history, but also open possibilities for the miraculous affairs to happen in the actual world. In this sense, qiṣaṣ materials have been utilized as a useful element for the doctrinal argumentations in the Twelver Shi‘ism.
The concept of transmigration of soul (tanāsukh) is denied generally in Islam and particularly in Ithnā‘asharī Shī‘ism as well. The present paper examines the attitudes toward the concept in the two thinkers in Ithnā‘asharī Shī‘ism, a theologian Shaykh al-Mufīd (d. 413/1022) and a mystic philosopher Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1050/1640).
Shaykh never accepts the concept of tanāsukh, and he negates the eternity of soul, which may work as the basis of its transmigration, while his teacher Ibn accepts it. In order to deny tanāsukh, Mufīd refuses any kinds of interpretation to the texts of the Qur’ān and the Traditions, which may support the eternity of soul and then, possibly its transmigration. Mullā Ṣadrā does not accept tanāsukh in a usual sense, but accepts a certain type of tanāsukh, which takes place in the world of soul as a form of resurrection in his philosophical system of the tripartite worldview.
The difference of attitude between the two thinkers may come firstly from their different historical positions concerning the establishment of the Ithnā‘asharī orthodoxy, and secondly from their different materials which they constructed their own system of thought.
Notwithstanding the fact that Mari (Tell Harīrī) flourished throughout the Early Dynastic period, the number of Mari’s administrative documents is extremely meagre. This is surprising because more than fifteen thousand tablets and fragments from the Early Dynastic period have been unearthed at Ebla (Tell Mardīkh), which shared a close political relationship with Mari. To date, we know of only forty-two of Mari’s administrative tablets, made available through the publications of D. Charpin. These tablets may be dated to the reign of King Ip-LUL-Il.
The eight clay tablets (Nos. 1–8) that I publish in this paper will partly compensate for the lack of evidence surrounding the administrative and economic aspects of Early Dynastic Mari. This is because these texts clearly show a close relationship with the Mari documents in three respects. Firstly, identical calendar systems, system of dates, and capacity measurements have been found in both sets of documents. Secondly, the terminology and cuneiform signs for ‘donkeys’ used in the Mari documents are almost identical to those adopted in Nos. 3 and 4 presented here. Thirdly, both No. 3 and one of the Mari documents chronicle the existence of a workers’ group with highly similar composition. Thus, it is highly probable that people of both groups worked for the same public institution.
The museum of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan (MECCJ) possesses two unique vessels which are broadly dated to Roman period. Both vessels were purchased in Paris by Mr. Kojiro Ishiguro, and joined the Ishiguro Collection in MECCJ.
These vessels are thought to have been made in Egypt, but their appearances are so unique that they do not show any resemblance in the dynastic Egyptian art style. In fact, their overall shapes together with surface relief decorations show strong similarities to Greek and Roman art styles.
The author would like to discuss shapes and decorative motifs of these vessels and discuss the influence of eastern Mediterranean art style upon the Egyptian art around the 1st millennium BC.