Salvation and destiny in Islam
De Cillis, Maria
Medieval Islamic philosophers were occupied with questions of cosmology, predestination and salvation and human responsibility for actions. For Ismailis, the related notions of religious leadership, n
amely the imamate, and the eschatological role of the prophets and imams were equally central. These were also a matter of doctrinal controversy within the so-called Iranian school of Ismaili philosophical theology. Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani (d. after 411/1020) was one of the most important theologians in the Fatimid period, who rose to prominence during the reign of the imam-caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (r. 386/996–411/1021). He is renowned for blending the Neoplatonic philosophical heritage with Ismaili religious tradition. This book provides an analysis of al-Kirmani's thought and sheds new light on the many layers of allusion which characterise his writings. Through a translation and analytical commentary of the eighth chapter of al-Kirmani's Kitab al-Riyad (Book of Meadows), which is devoted to the subject of divine preordination and human redemption, Maria De Cillis shows readers first-hand his theologically distinctive interpretation of qada and qadar (divine decree and destiny). Here, al-Kirmani attempts to harmonise the views of earlier renowned Ismaili missionaries, Abu Hatim Ahmad b. Hamdan al-Razi (d. 322/934), Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Nasafi (d. 331/942) and Abu Ya'qub Ishaq b. Ahmad al-Sijistani (d. c. 361/971). De Cillis skilfully guides the reader through al-Kirmani's metaphysical and esoteric correspondences, offering new insights into Shi'i/Ismaili philosophical thought which will be of great interest to those in the field of Shi'i studies and, more broadly, to scholars of medieval philosophy.