Maitham Al Bahrani

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Kamal al-Deen Maitham bin Ali bin Maitham al-Bahrani (Arabic: الشيخ ميثم البحراني‎, 1238 – 1299), commonly known as Sheikh Maitham Al Bahrani (also spelt Maytham al-Bahrani) was a leading 13th Century Twelver Eastern Arabian theologian, author and philosopher. Al Bahrani wrote on Twelver doctrine, affirmed free will, the infallibility of prophets and imams, the appointed imamate of `Ali, and the occultation of the Twelfth Imam.[1] Along with Kamal al-Din Ibn Sa’adah al Bahrani, Jamal al-Din ‘Ali ibn Sulayman al-Bahrani, Maytham Al Bahrani was part of a 13th-century Bahrain school of theology that emphasised rationalism.[2]

At the same time, Maytham Al Bahrani was profoundly influenced by the disciplines of philosophy and mysticism.[3] He wrote widely on such theology related philosophical issues as epistimology and ontology.

Al Bahrani's scholarship took in both Imami and Sunni sources; according to University of Bahrain academic, Ali Al Oraibi:

Maytham expresses admiration for certain Sunni theologians and quotes Sunni traditions, to the extent that it is said in Shi’i circles that while the Sunni ibn Abi al Hadid can be mistaken for an Imami, the Imami Maytham can be mistaken for a Sunni.[4]

In the 13th Century, Twelvers - particularly mystics.[5] - were a growing influence in Bahrain, which had previously been dominated by the Ismaili Qarmatian sect.

The Bahrain school of thought's integration of philosophy and mysticism into Imami Shi'ism had an enduring legacy, influencing fourteenth century theologians such as Ibn Abi Jumhur al-Ahsai'i. Politically, the intellectual vitality of al-Bahrani and his contemporaries is credited with converting the Ilkhanid monarch, Mohammed Khudabandeh, to convert to Shi'ism and announce a Shia state.[6]

He is buried in Mahooz, Bahrain, where a shrine and mosque have been constructed.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Juan Cole, Sacred Space and Holy War, IB Tauris, 2007 p33
  2. ^ Ali Al Oraibi, Rationalism in the school of Bahrain: a historical perspective, in Shīʻite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions By Lynda Clarke, Global Academic Publishing 2001 p331
  3. ^ Ali Al Oraibi, Rationalism in the school of Bahrain: a historical perspective, in Shīʻite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions By Lynda Clarke, Global Academic Publishing 2001 p332
  4. ^ Ali Al Oraibi, Rationalism in the school of Bahrain: a historical perspective, in Shīʻite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions By Lynda Clarke, Global Academic Publishing 2001 p332
  5. ^ Ali Al Oraibi, Rationalism in the school of Bahrain: a historical perspective, in Shīʻite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions By Lynda Clarke, Global Academic Publishing 2001 p333
  6. ^ Ali Al Oraibi, Rationalism in the school of Bahrain: a historical perspective, in Shīʻite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions By Lynda Clarke, Global Academic Publishing 2001 p336

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