Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
An Apocalyptic History of the Early Fatimid Empire$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jamel A. Velji

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748690886

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690886.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 March 2021

From ẓāhir to bāṭin: An Introduction to Fatimid Hermeneutics

From ẓāhir to bāṭin: An Introduction to Fatimid Hermeneutics

(p.14) 1 From ẓāhir to bāṭin: An Introduction to Fatimid Hermeneutics
An Apocalyptic History of the Early Fatimid Empire

Jamel A. Velji

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the details of the early Fatimid interpretive process. It emphasizes how the process of taʾwīl or esoteric interpretation was related to Fatimid conceptions of sacred history and allegiance to the imams. This taʾwīl was an interpretive modality that envisioned the Quran as having a multiplicity of hidden meanings whose true nature can be derived only by the imam of the time and his authorized agents. The true nature of this interpretation was hidden; it is bāṭin, and is distinct from what is outwardly apparent, the ẓahir; thus the true meaning of things could be known only by the elect. This interpretive modality was fused to Fatimid conceptions of sacred history, a history punctuated primarily by seven law-giving prophets. The sixth law-giving prophet was Muḥammad, who entrusted the esoteric elements of divine revelation to ʿAlī, the first imam. The last speaker-prophet was the mahdi whom organizers of the Fatimid movement claimed would reappear soon.

Keywords:   taʾwīl, ẓahir, bāṭin, walāya

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.