Jalaladdin Davani

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Jalaluddin Muhammad bin As'ad Kazeruni Siddiqi (1426–1502 in Kazerun), often referred to as Jalaluddin Davani or Allamah Davani, was a leading philosopher, theologian, jurist and poet of 15th Century Iran.[1] He spent most of his life in Kazerun and he had strong connections with the local Qara Qoyunlu, Aq Qoyunlu, Timurid and Ottoman rulers, accepting a number of important government positions from them. He wrote a number of works on theology, philosophy and law. He died shortly after the founding of the Safavid dynasty, but before Shah Isma'il I captured the province of Fars.

Life[edit]

Davani began his studies with his father, who was a student of Mir Gorgani (d.1413), but moved to Shiraz while he was still young to study theology, philosophy, logic, fiqh and usul ul-fiqh under notable scholars such as Homām-al-Dīn Golbārī, Safiuddin Iji, Muhiyudin Muhammad Kushkenari Ansari (Himself a student of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, who was also a student of Gorgani). Davani was often in disagreement with his contemporary and fellow philosopher-theologian, Sadruddin Dashtaki, who frequently criticized the former's views and writings.

Davani was associated with the royal courts of his time. During his youth, Yusuf, the son of the Qara Qoyunlu Sultan Jahanshah, appointed him to the post of Sadr (religious supervisor). However, he quickly resigned and began teaching at Madrasah-e Begum. He wrote his Akhlaq-e Jalali (lit. 'majestic manners'), an ethical manual modeled on Nasiruddin Tusi's Akhlaq e-Nasiri, for the Aq Qoyunlu Ozun Hasan. His Arz Nameh was written for the latter's son, Khalil. Davani later accepted the position of chief judge for the province of Fars from Sultan Ya'qub. He wrote a discussion on Ali bin Muhammad Qoushchi's commentary on the famous Tajrid ul-Kalam by Nasiruddin Tusi for both the sons of Ozun Hasan. He did oppose Sultan Ya'qub's centralization policies towards the end of the latter's life, but remained on good terms with Sultan Rostam. As well as his strong connection to Shiraz's Turkmen rulers, he was also associated with the Timurid court of Abu Sa'id, dedicated a number of books on Ishraqi philosophy to Sultan Mahmud I of Gujurat and another text to the Ottoman Sultan, Beyazid II.

Religious affiliation[edit]

Davani's school of thought is a matter of dispute. Later authors portray Davani as a Twelver Shi'a practicing Taqiyyah during a time of political turmoil, citing a vision he had of the Twelver Imam Reza while visiting Najaf and a book of poetry praising the Twelve Imams and condemning Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman as evidence of this. This was likely written when the Safavid Shah Isma'il I was advancing on Fars, following his capture of Tabriz and declaration of Twelver Shi'ism as the state religion of his dynasty. However, he rejected the Shah's messianic claims and died before the latter put to death the Sunni scholars of the city for refusing to convert to the official creed. Furthermore, in his earlier works he clearly refers to the temporal Sunni rulers as the "leader of the age" (while stating that the Twelver Shi'a believe this is Muhammad bin Hasan who is in occultation) and wrote openly anti-Twelver commentaries from an Ash'arite perspective.

Works[edit]

  • Aḵlāq-e jalālī
  • Anmūḏaj al-ʿolūm
  • ʿArż-nāma
  • Resālat al-zawrāʾ
  • Šawākel al-ḥūr fī šarḥ Hayākel al-nūr
  • Šarḥ al-aqāʾed al-ʿażodīya

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew J. Newman, "DAVĀNĪ, JALĀL-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD " in Encyclopaedia Iranica [1]

Sources[edit]

  • DAVĀNĪ, JALĀL-AL-DĪN. Newman, A. J. Encyclopædia Iranica: www.Iranica.com (accessed 02.10.2009)
  • AḴLĀQ-E JALĀLĪ. Wickens, G. M. Encyclopædia Iranica: www.Iranica.com (accessed 02.10.2009)