In the Court of the Jinn: Animals vs. Humans | Magazine – DAWN.COM

In the Court of the Jinn: Animals vs. Humans | Magazine - DAWN.COMExcerpt: But back to the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity. Who are these Brethren? What exactly are their dates? Given the clear but widely inconsistent Shia leanings of the corpus, what is the precise nature of the authors’ ideological commitment? Are they Isma‘ili, as many people continue to believe? Or do they belong to some other Shia subsect? Or, else, are they just eclectic, espousing both Imami and Sufi ideas? Alas, none of these questions can be answered definitively — these questions have exercised many generations of scholars and continue to remain a matter for investigation, consultation, debate, and disagreement.

The authors of the Epistles, as I have already indicated, never reveal their identity; they constitute a secretive coterie, perhaps for good reasons. Regarding their time, all we can say with some degree of confidence is that their corpus was written by several generations of sages roughly between the first half of the ninth to the second half of the 10th century of our Common Era; and that they were centred in the city of Basra.

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Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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