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An Apocalyptic History of the Early Fatimid Empire$
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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

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Taʾwīl of an Apocalyptic Transcript I: The Book of Unveiling

Taʾwīl of an Apocalyptic Transcript I: The Book of Unveiling

(p.42) 3 Taʾwīl of an Apocalyptic Transcript I: The Book of Unveiling
An Apocalyptic History of the Early Fatimid Empire

Jamel A. Velji

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the apocalyptic symbolism of one of the first works of taʾwīl attributed to the Fatimids, the Kitāb al-kashf, or Book of Unveiling. After a brief introduction to the apocalyptic elements of the Quran, the chapter shows how the author of the Kitāb al-kashf interpreted the text to argue that the Quran’s descriptions of the end of time in actuality referred to the coming of the awaited eschatological figure, the mahdi. The chapter argues that the Kitāb al-kashf’s taʾwīl of the Quran’s eschatological and apocalyptic imagery created a new transcript whose soteriological structure was centred around belief in and support for the mahdi and his cause.

Keywords:   Kitāb al-kashf, Salvation, Taʾwīl, Mahdi, Jaʿfar b. Manṣūr al-Yaman

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