Esotericism in the Ismāʿīlī Tradition Part IV: “Taʾwīl” in the Qur’ān

Inside Ismailism

In the last of our series of episodes on esotericism, we will analyze the mentions of the word taʾwīl in the Qur’ān and explore the exegesis and tafsīr of these verses, and look at how bāṭenists have been promoting their false interpretations.

The word taʾwīl means: to return, or to revert. The allusion is those who seek to give a twist to difficult passages and expressions in the Qur’ān to support their particular views, such as the Christian apologists’ twisting the expression, “a word from God” and “a spirit from Him” for attributing divinity to ‘Isa (pbuh). The right course always to understand the difficult passage in the light of the clear and specific statements, such as: “There is no God except Allāh” and that “He creates any way He wills.”  (Reference: Interpretation of Qur’ān by Muhammad Mohar Ali, page 156).

Ismāʿīlī missionaries have been promoting false bāṭeni interpretations of…

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Esotericism in the Ismāʿīlī Tradition Part III: The Antagonism between Islam and Ismāʿīlīsm

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Esoterism in the Ismaili Tradition Part III Cover

Esoterism in the Ismāʿīlī Tradition Part III: The Antagonism between Islam and Ismāʿīlīsm

Continuing from the works cited from al-Sijistani’s works, we continue by quoting from another source on Ismāʿīlī bāṭenism or esotericism. Following are refereces from Dr. Marakem in his book Philosiphical Significance of the Imām in Ismāʿīlīsm.

“Knowing the imām is the perfection of īmān (Reference: M.K. Husayn (ed.) Al-Majalis al-Mustansiriyya, Cairo. p. 25). Thus, the Mu’min is to the Ismāʿīlīs he who believes and obeys the Imām. It follows that the belief in the Imām is the axis around which revolves the whole of the Ismāʿīlī creed. The author of Al-Majalis al-Mustansiriyya says that knowing the imām is the perfection of īmān. Thus, the mu’min is to the Ismāʿīlīs he who believes and obeys the Imām. It follows that the belief in the imām is the axis around which revolves the whole of the Ismāʿīlī…

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Esotericism in the Ismāʿīli Tradition Part II: Tawil of Allah and the system of four roots

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Esoterism in the Ismaili Tradition Part II Cover

Continuing our research into the deception of esotericism, let us go back to theological sources and find the definitions for both esotericism (the hidden reality) and exoterism (the external or the apparent).

Finding the Definition of Esotericism and Exotericism from Theological Sources

The definitions of exotericism (ẓâhir) and esoteric (bāṭen or taʾwīl) vary, the concepts are full of contradictions and many theologians have tried to explain this concept without using much reason and logic. The following important questions occur for while explaining the concept of taʾwīl :

1. What is taʾwīl or bāṭeni interpretation?
2. Who is entitled to provide taʾwīl or bāṭeni interpretations and what is the source of his authority?
3. To whom the taʾwīl or bāṭeni interpretation is provided?
4. What are the consequences of the answers to the above three questions?

Is Taʾwīl exclusive to Ismāʿīlīsm?

Every major world religion is tainted by…

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Esotericism in the Ismāʿīlī Tradition, Part I: Fragile Foundations

Inside Ismailism

Esoterism in the Ismaili Tradition Part 1

After my previous article Takmil-e-Deen, a question was haunting my mind: If there is no place of the doctrine of Imamat in Islam, then what can be the origin of the prevailing doctrine of the Imamat?

Here I was caught in the wilderness of a novel doctrine: exoteric and esoteric concept. Here I quote Ivanow to show how difficult is this field:

In addition to these shortcomings of a purely individual nature, the text, in common with all works on haqaiq, presents much difficulty for understanding and interpretation because of the manner in which the argument suddenly leaps from philosophical matters into the field of theology, only to jump again into the sphere of mythology, Kabbalistic and other superstitious speculations, and so forth.

Source: Ivanov, English Translation of Shish Fasal by Nasir Khuraw

In my understanding the subject of taʾwīl, I had to toil much but Allāh…

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Institute of Ismaili Studies shames their own Imam in “Advent of the Fatimids”

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Every Ismāʿīlī child is made to believe that Fatimid period was a glorious one when sciences, arts, social justice and tolerance reached their peak and after the decline in Fatimid rule, ʾIslām has been on the decline and never recovered its glorious past. In this article, we discuss publication by the Institute of Ismāʿīlī Studies of the book The Advent of the Fatimids, which is a direct English translation of Ibn al-Haytham’s Kitab al-Munazarat (‘The Book of Discussions’). This book is enough to debunk the lies which are taught to Ismāʿīlī children in their Religious Education Centers (REC) by Ismāʿīlī teachers by producing evidence of how (Sunni) Muslims were tortured and prosecuted in the Fatimid era and how was the freedom to practice their religion was taken away from (Sunni) Muslims by the Fatimid Ismailis.

This article has the following sections:

  1. Background of the Publication
  2. Evidence of Torture and Persecution of Sunni…

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