Islamic History and Thought Lecture Series, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

Fârès Gillon's picture
March 17, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Islamic History / Studies, Law and Legal History, Middle East History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, Social History / Studies

Hosted by the Institute of Ismaili Studies (London), the Islamic History and Thought Lecture Series is designed to invite scholars of various international academic institutions, specialising in intellectual, social and political aspects of medieval and early modern Islamic societies, to present and discuss their research.

Please find below the information on the second lecture of the series, which will be delivered online by Dr Wissam H. Halawi, and will be followed by a discussion with Dr Fârès Gillon (IIS, London) and Dr Christian Sahner (University of Oxford). 

The Druzes, from Ismaili Esotericism to the Formation of a Doctrinal School of Law

The Druze dogma was developed in the 5th / 11th century in Cairo during the reign of the sixth Fatimid caliph al-Ḥākim. The founders of this dogma, notably Ḥamza, were Ismaili missionaries who, in their writings known as al-Ḥikma or the Rasāʾil al-Ḥikma, established a new Ismaili Shi'ite doctrine, which parted from the mainstream Fatimid doctrine. Accused of extremism and exaggeration (ghuluww), the Druze movement was then banned from Cairo under the caliphate of al-Ẓāhir, so it only developed in the Syrian mountains. Rural clan leaders in Syria had indeed converted to Druzism during the daʿwa (1017-1043) and continued to pass on their doctrine secretly until the 9th / 15th century. In this talk, Dr Halawi will show how Druzism was in line with Ismaili doctrine at that time, while developing a substantive law influenced by Sunni fiqh and customary law.

Wednesday 17 March November 2021

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm GMT

To attend the online lecture, please register here.

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