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The ghulāt (Arabic: غلاة, 'exaggerators', 'extremists', 'transgressors', singular ghālin)[a] were a branch of early Shi'i Muslims thus named by other Shi'i and Sunni Muslims for their purportedly 'exaggerated' veneration of the prophet Muhammad (c. 570–632) and his family, most notably Ali ibn Abi Talib (c. 600–661) and his descendants, the Shi'i Imams.[1]

The term mainly refers to a wide variety of now extinct Shi'i sects who were active in 8th/9th-century Kufa (southern Iraq), and who despite their sometimes significant differences shared a number of common ideas.[2] These common ideas included the attribution of a divine nature to the Imams, the belief that souls can migrate between different human and non-human bodies (tanāsukh or metempsychosis), a particular creation myth involving pre-existent 'shadows' (aẓilla) whose fall from grace produced the material world, and an emphasis on secrecy and dissociation from outsiders.[3]

The ideas of the ghulāt have at times been compared to those of the late antique gnostics,[4] but the extent of this similarity has also been questioned.[5] Some ghulāt ideas, such as the notion of the occultation (ghayba) and return (rajʿa) of the Imam, have been influential in the development of Twelver Shi'ism.[6] Later Isma'ili authors such as Ja'far ibn Mansur al-Yaman (died c. 957) and Abu Ya'qub al-Sijistani (died after 971) also adapted ghulāt ideas to reformulate their own doctrines.[7] The only ghulāt sect still in existence today are the Alawites, historically known as 'Nusayris' after their founder Ibn Nusayr (died after 868).[8]

A relatively large number of ghulāt writings have survived to this day. Previously, only some works that were preserved in the Isma'ili tradition were available to scholars, such the Mother of the Book (Umm al-kitāb, 8th–11th centuries), the Book of the Seven and the Shadows (Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla, 8th–11th centuries), and the Book of the Path (Kitāb al-Ṣirāṭ, c. 874–941). However, between 2006 and 2013 numerous ghulāt texts that have been preserved in the Nusayri-Alawi tradition were published in the Alawite Heritage Series.[9]


Origins (680–700)[edit]

Like Shi'i Islam itself, the origins of the ghulāt lie in the pro-Alid movements of the late 7th century, who fought against the Umayyads (r. 661–750) in order to bring one of Ali ibn Abi Talib's descendants to power. The earliest attested use of the term ghulāt is found in a number of reports about the followers of al-Mukhtar, the leader of a revolt against the Umayyads on behalf of Ali's son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya (part of the Second Fitna, 680–692). According to these reports, some of al-Mukhtar's followers organized regular meetings in the houses of various Kufan women in order to listen to soothsayers prophesying about future events.[10] The followers who attended these meetings were denounced as ghulāt by other followers of al-Mukhtar.[11] The Arabic verb ghalā, 'to exaggerate', 'to transgress the proper bounds', was in broader use at the time to denounce perceived 'un-Islamic' activities,[12] which may include soothsaying (kahāna). But the use of the term here could hardly have been in reference this, since al-Mukhtar himself often practiced soothsaying, and was respected for this by all of his followers.[13] Rather, the reason for the use of the term ghulāt for this subgroup of al-Mukhtar's followers may be more specifically related to the Quranic use of the word ghalā.[14] It occurs in the Quran twice, in 4:171 and in 5:77, as follows (occurrence of the word ghalā underlined):

4:171. O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion, nor utter anything concerning God save the truth. Verily the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of God, and His Word, which He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His mes­sengers, and say not “Three.” Refrain! It is better for you. God is only one God; Glory be to Him that He should have a child. Unto Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth, and God suffices as a Guardian.[15]

5:72. They certainly disbelieve, those who say, “Truly God is the Messiah, son of Mary.” But the Messiah said, “O Children of Israel! Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” Surely whosoever ascribes partners unto God, God has forbidden him the Garden, and his refuge shall be the Fire. And the wrongdoers shall have no helpers. 73. They certainly disbelieve, those who say, “Truly God is the third of three,” while there is no god save the one God. If they refrain not from what they say, a painful punishment will befall those among them who disbelieved. [...] 5:75. The Messiah, son of Mary, was naught but a messenger—messengers have passed away before him. And his mother was truthful. Both of them ate food. Behold how We make the signs clear unto them; yet behold how they are perverted! 76. Say, “Do you worship, apart from God, that which has no power to benefit or harm you, when it is God Who is the Hearing, the Know­ing?” 77. Say, “O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion be­yond the truth, and follow not the caprices of a people who went astray before, and led many astray, and strayed from the right way.”[16]

The 'People of the Book' here refers to the Christians, who are castigated for ascribing a divine status to their prophet Jesus Christ. He was not a "child" of God, but "only a messenger" who like all normal human beings "ate food".[17] The Christian claim that "God is the Messiah, son of Mary" is characterized in 5:72 and in other verses as 'disbelief', as is the claim that "God is the third of three" (a reference to the Trinity, in which Jesus is believed to be consubstantial with the Godhead).[18] The Quranic concept of 'exaggeration' in both cases refers to 'exaggerating' the status of a prophet as being more-than-human.[19]

It seems probable that the followers of al-Mukhtar who gathered in the Kufan houses were likewise denounced by their colleagues for having exaggerated the status, not of Jesus, but of Ali.[20] There had been an earlier movement in Kufa called the Sabāʾiyya, named after the South Arabian Jewish convert Abd Allah ibn Saba', who according to some reports had insisted that Ali was not dead, and that he would return (rajʿa) so seek revenge upon those that opposed him.[21] Since remnants of the Sabāʾiyya still existed in the time of al-Mukhtar, and since one of the Kufan women at whose house the group denounced as ghulāt gathered belonged to the Sabāʾiyya, it may well be that this group also belonged to that sect.[22] After al-Mukhtar's death in 687, his own movement sometimes came to be referred to as the Sabāʾiyya, and when Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya (the Alid Imam whom al-Mukhtar's movement had supported) also died in 700, his followers (called the Kaysāniyya) claimed that Ibn al-Hanafiyya had gone into hiding (ghayba), and that he would return before the Day of Judgment as the Mahdi to establish a state of righteousness and justice.[23]

It thus appears that in its earliest usage, the term ghulāt referred to those Shi'is who taught the dual doctrine of the occultation (ghayba) and return (rajʿa) of the Imam.[24] Later sources would also attribute to these earliest ghulāt some of the ideas for which the later ghulāt would become known, most notably the outright divinization of Ali, but there is no good evidence that this was the case.[25] Rather, the need to attribute these ideas to the earliest ghulāt probably arose from the fact that, while it was no longer possible to deny that groups like the Sabāʾiyya were indeed ghulāt, their actual core ideas of occultation and return had become standard tenets of Imami (Twelver) Shi'ism, as well as of Isma'ili Shi'ism.[26] Nevertheless, the later ghulāt did probably originate from these early groups,[27] and some glimpses of later ideas may sometimes be found, as for example the belief in the transmigration of souls which was attributed to early ghulāt leaders such as Hind bint al-Mutakallifa or Layla bint Qumama al-Muzaniyya. One important difference with the later groups is the prominent role played by women, who organized the early ghulāt meetings in their houses and who often acted as teachers, upholding a circle of disciples.[28] This stands in stark contrast to the ideas of the later ghulāt, who ranked women between the status of animals and men in their spiritual hierarchy.[29]

Uprisings and development of doctrine (700–750)[edit]

Bayan ibn Sam'an al-Tamimi[edit]

Bayan ibn Sam'an (died 737) was the leader of a ghulāt sect called the Bayāniyya.[30]

al-Mughira ibn Sa'id[edit]

Al-Mughira ibn Sa'id (died 737), leader of a ghulāt sect called the Mughīriyya, was an adept of the fifth Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (677–732).[31]

Abu Mansur al-Ijli[edit]

Abu Mansur al-Ijli (died c. 738–744) was the leader of a ghulāt sect called the Manṣūriyya who was killed by the Umayyad governor Yusuf ibn Umar al-Thaqafi.[32]

Abd Allah ibn Harb[edit]

Abd Allah ibn Harb (died 748–9) was the leader of a ghulāt sect called the Janāḥiyya who was killed by the Abbasid activist Abu Muslim al-Khurasani.[33]

Political quietism and diffusion of sects (750–)[edit]

Abu al-Khattab[edit]

Abu al-Khattab al-Asadi (died 755) was the leader of a ghulāt sect called the Khaṭṭābiyya who was killed by the Abbasid governor Isa ibn Musa. For a time, he was the designated spokesman of the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (c. 700–765), but Ja'far repudiated him in c. 748.[34]

al-Mufaddal ibn Umar al-Ju'fi[edit]

Al-Mufaddal ibn Umar al-Ju'fi (died before 799) was a close confidant of Ja'far al-Sadiq and his son Musa al-Kazim (died 799) who for some time was a follower of Abu al-Khattab. Imami heresiographers regarded him as the leader of a ghulāt sect called the Mufaḍḍaliyya, but it not certain whether this sect ever existed. A number of important ghulāt writings were attributed to him by later authors (see below).[35]

Ishaq al-Ahmar al-Nakha'i[edit]

Ishaq al-Ahmar al-Nakha'i (died 899) was the leader of a ghulāt sect called the Isḥāqiyya. Some writings were also attributed to him.[36]

Ibn Nusayr and al-Khasibi[edit]

Ibn Nusayr (died after 868) and al-Khasibi (died 969) were the two most important figures in the founding of Nusayrism (called Alawism in the contemporary context), the only ghulāt sect that still exists today.[37]

Ghulāt writings[edit]

Mother of the Book (Umm al-kitāb)[edit]

The Umm al-kitāb (Arabic: أمّ الکتاب, lit.'Mother of the Book') is a syncretic Shi'i work originating in the ghulāt milieus of 8th-century Kufa. It was later transplanted to Syria by the 10th-century Nusayris, whose final redaction of the work was preserved in a Persian translation produced by the Nizari Isma'ilis of Central Asia.[38] The work only survives in Persian.[39] It contains no notable elements of Isma'ili doctrine,[40] but given the fact that Isma'ili authors starting from the 10th century were influenced by early ghulāt ideas such as those found in the Umm al-kitāb,[41] and especially given the influence of these ideas on later Tayyibi Isma'ilism,[42] some Isma'ilis do regard the work as one of the most important works in their tradition.[38]

The work presents itself as a revelation of secret knowledge by the Shi'i Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (677–732) to his disciple Jabir ibn Yazid al-Ju'fi (died c. 745–750).[43] Its doctrinal contents correspond to a large degree to what 9th/10th-century heresiographers ascribed to various ghulāt sects,[43] with a particular resemblance to the ideas of the Mukhammisa.[38][b] It contains a lengthy exposition of the typical ghulāt myth of the pre-existent shadows (Arabic: aẓilla) who created the world by their fall from grace, as is also found in the Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla attributed to al-Mufaddal ibn Umar al-Ju'fi (died before 799).[43]

Book of the Seven and the Shadows (Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla)[edit]

The last paragraph of the Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla, from a manuscript of unknown provenance:[44]
"Thus is finished the concealed book called the Book of the Seven, which was a gift of grace from our lord Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be upon us from him. It is called the Noble Book of the Seven because it reports about the beginning of creation and its origin, about its ending and conclusion, and about the translocation of souls from state to state in accordance with divine guidance and limitation. Peace, the end."

The Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla ('Book of the Seven and the Shadows'), also known as Kitāb al-Haft al-sharīf ('Book of the Noble Seven'/'Noble Book of the Seven) or simply as Kitāb al-Haft (Book of the Seven'),[c] 8th–11th century, is an important ghulāt text that was falsely attributed to al-Mufaddal ibn Umar al-Ju'fi (died before 799). It sets out in great detail the ghulāt myth of pre-existent 'shadows' (Arabic: aẓilla) who created the world by their fall from grace, and who were imprisoned in material human bodies as punishment for their hubris.[43] This theme of pre-existent shadows,[d] which also appears in other important ghulāt works such as the Umm al-kitāb, seems to have been typical of the early Kufan ghulāt.[43]

Great emphasis is placed upon the need to keep the knowledge received from Ja'far al-Sadiq, who is referred to in the work as mawlānā ('our lord'), from falling into the wrong hands. This secret knowledge is entrusted by Ja'far to al-Mufaddal, but is reserved only for true believers (muʾminūn).[45] It involves such notions as the transmigration of souls (tanāsukh or metempsychosis) and the idea that seven Adams exist in the seven heavens, each one of them presiding over one of the seven historical world cycles (adwār).[46] This latter idea may reflect an influence from Isma'ilism,[45] where the appearance of each new prophet (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Muhammad ibn Isma'il) is likewise thought to initiate a new world cycle.[47]

The work consists of at least eleven different textual layers which were added over time, each of them containing slightly different versions of ghulāt concepts and ideas.[48] The earliest layers were written in 8th/9th-century Kufa, perhaps partly by al-Mufaddal himself, or by his close associates Yunus ibn Zabyan and Muhammad ibn Sinan (died 835).[49] A possible indication for this is the fact that Muhammad ibn Sinan also wrote two works dealing with the theme of pre-existent, world-creating 'shadows': the Kitāb al-Aẓilla ('Book of the Shadows') and the Kitāb al-Anwār wa-ḥujub ('Book of the Lights and the Veils').[50] Biographical sources also list several other 8th/9th-century Kufan authors who wrote a Kitāb al-Aẓilla or 'Book of the Shadows'.[51] In total, at least three works closely related to al-Mufaddal's Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla are extant, all likely dating to the 8th or 9th century:[52]

  1. Muhammad ibn Sinan's Kitāb al-Anwār wa-ḥujub
  2. an anonymous work called the Kitāb al-Ashbāh wa-l-aẓilla ('Book of the Apparitions and the Shadows')[e]
  3. another anonymous work also called the Kitāb al-Aẓilla ('Book of the Shadows').[f]

Though originating in the milieus of the early Kufan ghulāt, the Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla was considerably expanded by members of a later ghulāt sect called the Nusayris, who were active in 10th-century Syria.[53] The Nusayris were probably also responsible for the work's final 11th-century form.[54] Unlike most other ghulāt works, however, the Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla was not preserved by the Nusayris, but by the Syrian Nizari Isma'ilis.[54] Like the Umm al-kitāb, which was transmitted by the Nizari Isma'ilis of Central Asia, it contains ideas that are largely unrelated to Isma'ili doctrine,[55] but that did nevertheless influence various later Isma'ili authors starting from the 10th century.[56]

Book of the Path (Kitāb al-Ṣirāṭ)[edit]

The Kitāb al-Ṣirāṭ ('Book of the Path') is another purported dialogue between al-Mufaddal ibn Umar al-Ju'fi and Ja'far al-Sadiq, likely composed in the period between the Minor and the Major Occultation (874–941).[54][g] This work deals with the concept of an initiatory 'path' (Arabic: ṣirāṭ) leading the adept on a heavenly ascent towards God, with each of the seven heavens corresponding to one of seven degrees of spiritual perfection. It also contains references to such typically ghulāt ideas as tajallin (the manifestation of God in human form), tanāsukh (metempsychosis or transmigration of the soul), maskh/raskh (metamorphosis or reincarnation into non-human forms), and the concept of creation through the fall of pre-existent beings (as in the Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla, see above).[54]

The philosophical background of the work is given by the late antique concept of a great chain of being linking all things together in one great cosmic hierarchy. This hierarchical system extends from the upper world of spirit and light (populated by angels and other pure souls) to the lower of world of matter and darkness (populated by humans, and below them animals, plants and minerals). Humanity is perceived as taking a middle position in this hierarchy, being located at the top of the world of darkness and at the bottom of the world of light.[57] Those human beings who lack the proper religious knowledge and belief are reborn into other human bodies, which are likened to 'shirts' (qumṣān, sing. qamīṣ) that a soul can put on and off again. This is called tanāsukh or naskh. But grave sinners are reborn instead into animal bodies (maskh), and the worst offenders are reborn into the bodies of plants or minerals (raskh).[58][h] On the other hand, those believers who perform good works and advance in knowledge also travel upwards on the ladder, putting on ever more pure and luminous 'shirts' or bodies, ultimately reaching the realm of the divine.[59] This upwards path is represented as consisting of seven stages above that of humanity, each located in one of the seven heavens:[60]

  1. al-Mumtaḥā: the Tested, first heaven
  2. al-Mukhliṣ: the Devout, second heaven
  3. al-Mukhtaṣṣ: the Elect, third heaven
  4. al-Najīb: the Noble, fourth heaven
  5. al-Naqīb: the Chief, fifth heaven
  6. al-Yatīm: the Unique, sixth heaven
  7. al-Bāb: the Gate, seventh heaven

At every degree the initiate receives the chance to gain a new level of 'hidden' or 'occult' (bāṭin) knowledge. If the initiate succeeds at internalizing this knowledge, they may ascend to the next degree. If, however, they lose interest or start to doubt the knowledge already acquired, they may lose their pure and luminous 'shirt', receiving instead a heavier and darker one, and descend down the scale of being again. Those who reach the seventh degree (that of Bāb or 'Gate')[i] are granted wondrous powers such as making themselves invisible, or seeing and hearing all things –including a beatific vision of God– without having to look or listen. Most notably, they are able to manifest themselves to ordinary beings in the world of matter, by taking on the form of a human and appearing to anyone at will.[61] This ability to manifest in human form the 'Gates' in the seventh heaven share with God.[57]

The theme of a heavenly ascent through seven degrees of spiritual perfection is also explored in other ghulāt works, including the anonymous Kitāb al-Marātib wa-l-daraj ('Book of Degrees and Stages'), as well as various works attributed to Muhammad ibn Sinan (died 835), Ibn Nusayr (died after 868), and others.[62]


  1. ^ Although the singular of the Arabic word is ghālin (غالٍ), often the term ghālī is used instead (Anthony 2018; Asatryan 2017, p. 2).
  2. ^ On the Mukhammisa, see Asatryan 2000–2013.
  3. ^ Edition of the Arabic text in Tāmir & Khalifé 1960, Ghālib 1964, and Tāmir 2007; critical edition of chapter 59 in Asatryan 2020, pp. 296–298; discussion of the various editions in Asatryan 2017, pp. 18–19. On this text, see also Halm 1978; Halm 1981 (continuation of Halm 1978); Capezzone 1999; Asatryan 2017, 13–42 et passim. According to Madelung 1963, p. 181, followed by Halm 1978, p. 220 and Asatryan 2012, p. 145, the word haft is a Persian loanword meaning 'seven' (Madelung refers to the use of al-haft and al-haftiyya to designate sevenfold things like the seven Adams or the seven heavens, in Tāmir & Khalifé 1960, pp. 125, 128, 130; cf. Ghālib 1964, pp. 163, 167, 171; Tāmir 2007, pp. 173, 176, 179).
  4. ^ On this theme in general, see also Capezzone 2017.
  5. ^ On the anonymous Kitāb al-Ashbāh wa-l-aẓilla, see Asatryan 2015.
  6. ^ On the anonymous Kitāb al-Aẓilla (found in another work called the Kitāb al-Kursī), see Asatryan 2016, pp. 131–135.
  7. ^ Edition of the Arabic text in Capezzone 1995 and Ibn ʿAbd al-Jalīl 2005. On this text, see also Capezzone 1993. It is not to be confused with the similarly named Kitāb al-Ṣirāṭ by the 9th-century ghulāt author Ishaq al-Ahmar al-Nakha'i (died 899, see Asatryan 2000–2012a; Asatryan 2017, p. 200, s.v. Isḥāq Aḥmar al-Nakhaʿī).
  8. ^ This is also a common theme in other ghulāt texts. The Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla goes a little bit further than the Kitāb al-Ṣirāṭ, also describing other forms of hierarchy within one class: among humans, female bodies rank below male ones, and among animals inedible species rank below edible ones; see Asatryan 2017, pp. 152–153.
  9. ^ On the concept of Bāb in Shi'ism, see MacEoin 1988–2011.


  1. ^ On the ghulāt in general, see Halm 2001–2012; Hodgson 1960–2007; Anthony 2018. On their cosmology and theology, see Asatryan 2017, pp. 137–161.
  2. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 11.
  3. ^ Halm 2001–2012. On secrecy and dissociation, see Asatryan 2017, pp. 163–178.
  4. ^ See, e.g., Tijdens 1977; Halm 1982.
  5. ^ See, e.g., Bayhom-Daou 2003; Asatryan & Burns 2016.
  6. ^ Turner 2006.
  7. ^ De Smet 2020, pp. 303–304, 307–308. The ghulāt influences on Ja'far ibn Mansur al-Yaman's Kitāb al-Kashf are discussed by Asatryan 2020. The influence of these ideas was pervasive in Tayyibi Isma'ilism (see De Smet 2020, pp. 320–321).
  8. ^ On Ibn Nusayr, see Friedman 2000–2010; Steigerwald 2010. On Alawism-Nusayrism in general, see Bar-Asher 2003; Bar-Asher & Kofsky 2002; Friedman 2010.
  9. ^ Anthony 2018. For the texts, see Abū Mūsā & al-Shaykh Mūsā 2006–2013. The first major study to take the newly available texts into account is Asatryan 2017.
  10. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, pp. 295–297; Anthony 2018.
  11. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, p. 297.
  12. ^ Anthony 2018.
  13. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, p. 297.
  14. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, pp. 297–299.
  15. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein; Dagli, Caner K.; Dakake, Maria Massi; Lumbard, Joseph E. B.; Rustom, Mohammed, eds. (2015). The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary. New York: HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-112586-7. Pp. 266–268 (verse 4:171).
  16. ^ Nasr et al. 2015, pp. 315–318 (verses 5:72–77).
  17. ^ Nasr et al. 2015, pp. 266–267, 317 (commentaries on 4:171 and 5:75).
  18. ^ Nasr et al. 2015, p. 315 (commentary on 5:72).
  19. ^ Nasr et al. 2015, p. 317 (commentary on 5:77).
  20. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, pp. 298–299.
  21. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, p. 300; Anthony 2018. On Abd Allah ibn Saba', see the dedicated study by Anthony 2012.
  22. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, p. 300; Anthony 2018.
  23. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, pp. 300–301.
  24. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, pp. 305, 315.
  25. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, p. 300. Anthony 2012, p. 316 describes the earliest ghulāt's (the Sabāʾiyya's) view of Ali as a type of messianism that was certainly tendentious from a religious point of view, but that stopped short of regarding him as divine.
  26. ^ al-Qāḍī 1976, pp. 305–306, 315–316.
  27. ^ Anthony 2018.
  28. ^ Anthony 2018.
  29. ^ Anthony 2018. E.g., Asatryan 2017, p. 26–27.
  30. ^ See Halm 2001–2012; Hodgson 1960–2007a; Walker 2011. See further Tucker, William F. "Bayān ibn Sam‵ān and the Bayāniyya" in Tucker 2008, pp. 34–51.
  31. ^ See Halm 2001–2012; Madelung 1960–2007; Wasserstrom 1985. See further Tucker, William F. "al-Mughīra ibn Sa‵īd and the Mughīriyya" in Tucker 2008, pp. 52–70.
  32. ^ Anthony 2018. See further Tucker, William F. "Abū Mansūr al-‵Ijlī and the Mansūriyya" in Tucker 2008, pp. 71–87.
  33. ^ Halm 2001–2012. See further Tucker, William F. "‵Abd Allāh ibn Mu‵āwiya and the Janāhiyya" in Tucker 2008, pp. 88–108.
  34. ^ Halm 2001–2012; Sachedina 1983–2012; Amir-Moezzi 2013.
  35. ^ Asatryan 2000–2012b.
  36. ^ Asatryan 2000–2012a; Asatryan 2017, p. 200, s.v. Isḥāq Aḥmar al-Nakhaʿī.
  37. ^ On Ibn Nusayr, see Friedman 2000–2010; Steigerwald 2010. On al-Khasibi, see Friedman 2008–2012; Friedman 2016. On Nusayrism in general, see Bar-Asher 2003; Bar-Asher & Kofsky 2002; Friedman 2010.
  38. ^ a b c Daftary 2015.
  39. ^ Persian text edited by Ivanow 1936. Full Italian translation by Filippani-Ronconi 1966. Partial German translation by Tijdens 1977. German translation of some parts of the text in Halm 1981, pp. 36 ff. and Halm 1982, pp. 113 ff.
  40. ^ Daftary 2015; De Smet 2020, p. 303.
  41. ^ Early Isma'ili authors who adapted ghulāt ideas include Ja'far ibn Mansur al-Yaman (died c. 957; see De Smet 2020, pp. 303, 308) and Abu Ya'qub al-Sijistani (died after 971; see De Smet 2020, pp. 304, 307–308).
  42. ^ De Smet 2020, pp. 320–321 et passim.
  43. ^ a b c d e Halm 2001–2012.
  44. ^ Photographic reproduction by Ghālib 1964, p. 202 (edited text on p. 198).
  45. ^ a b Gleave 2008–2012.
  46. ^ Gleave 2008–2012. On tanāsukh, see further Asatryan 2017, pp. 150–154. On the seven Adams, see Asatryan 2017, pp. 38, 140–143, et passim. On world cycles, see Daftary 1994–2011.
  47. ^ Gleave 2008–2012. In the Isma'ili version of the doctrine of world cycles, Muhammad is the initiator of the current, penultimate cycle, while Ja'far al-Sadiq's grandson Muhammad ibn Isma'il the concealed and awaited initiator of the last cycle; see Daftary 1994–2011.
  48. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 16. Each layer is analyzed in detail by Asatryan 2017, pp. 17–42. Asatryan 2000–2012b still only counted seven layers.
  49. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 61. Muhammad ibn Sinan's date is given by Halm 2001–2012.
  50. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 63. Halm 1981, p. 67 proposed Muhammad ibn Sinan, who was a disciple of al-Mufaddal, as the author of the entire Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla (repeated in Halm 2001–2012), but this was rejected by Asatryan 2017, pp. 64–65.
  51. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 64.
  52. ^ Asatryan 2017, pp. 63–65. These three works are compared on pp. 65–71 and tentatively dated to the 8th or 9th century on pp. 72–78.
  53. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 123.
  54. ^ a b c d Asatryan 2000–2012b.
  55. ^ Halm 2001–2012. On the fact that the Umm al-kitāb originally also was unrelated to Isma'ilism, see De Smet 2020, p. 303.
  56. ^ Early Isma'ili authors who adapted ghulāt ideas include Ja'far ibn Mansur al-Yaman (died c. 957; see De Smet 2020, pp. 303, 308; the ghulāt influences on Ja'far ibn Mansur al-Yaman's Kitāb al-Kashf are discussed by Asatryan 2020) and Abu Ya'qub al-Sijistani (died after 971; see De Smet 2020, pp. 304, 307–308). The influence of these ideas was pervasive in Tayyibi Isma'ilism (see De Smet 2020, pp. 320–321 et passim).
  57. ^ a b Asatryan 2017, p. 145.
  58. ^ Asatryan 2017, pp. 150–151. Some other forms, like waskh and faskh, are described in the context of Nusayri works by Friedman 2010, p. 106.
  59. ^ Asatryan 2017, pp. 145–147.
  60. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 146.
  61. ^ Asatryan 2017, p. 147.
  62. ^ Asatryan 2017, pp. 145–149. On Ibn Nusayr, see Friedman 2000–2010; Steigerwald 2010.


Tertiary sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

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Primary sources[edit]

Alawite Heritage Series

  • Abū Mūsā; al-Shaykh Mūsā, eds. (2006–2013). Silsilat al-turath al-ʿalawī. Diyār ʿAql (Lebanon): Dār li-Ajl al-Maʿrifa. OCLC 652937966. (12 vols., collection of early ghulāt texts and texts from the medieval Nusayri-Alawi tradition)

al-Mufaddal, Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-aẓilla

  • Asatryan, Mushegh (2020). "Early Ismailis and Other Muslims: Polemics and Borrowing in Kitāb al-Kashf". In Mir-Kasimov, Orkhan (ed.). Intellectual Interactions in the Islamic World: The Ismaili Thread. London: I.B. Tauris. pp. 273–298. ISBN 978-1-83860-485-1. (pp. 196–198 contain a critical edition of chapter 59)
  • Ghālib, Muṣṭafā (1964). al-Haft al-Sharīf. Beirut: Dār al-Andalus. OCLC 977409505.
  • Tāmir, ʿĀrif; Khalifé, Ignace Abdo (1960). Kitāb al-Haft wa-l-'Aẓillat, attribué à al-Mufaḍḍal ibn ʻUmar al-Ǧaʻfī, rapportant les paroles de l'Imām Ǧaʻfar ibn M. aṣ-Ṣādiq. Beirut: Impr. Catholique. OCLC 459827793.
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al-Mufaddal, Kitāb al-Ṣirāṭ

Anonymous, Kitāb al-Ashbāh wa-l-aẓilla

Umm al-kitāb

  • Filippani-Ronconi, Pio (1966). Ummu'l-kitab: Introduzione, traduzione e note di Pio Filippani-Ronconi. Napoli: Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli. ISBN 978-88-97278-43-6. OCLC 635942972. (Italian translation)
  • Halm, Heinz (1981). "Das „Buch der Schatten". Die Mufaḍḍal-Tradition der Ġulāt und die Ursprünge des Nuṣairiertums. II. Die Stoffe". Der Islam. 58 (1): 15–86. doi:10.1515/islm.1981.58.1.15. (German translations of parts of the text on pp. 36 ff.)
  • Halm, Heinz (1982). Die islamische Gnosis: Die Schia und die ʿAlawiten. Zürich and München: Artemis Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7608-4530-2. (German translations of parts of the text on pp. 113 ff.)
  • Ivanow, Wladimir (1936). "Ummu᾽l-kitāb". Der Islam. 23 (1–2): 1–132. doi:10.1515/islm.1936.23.1-2.1. (edition of the Persian text)
  • Tijdens, E. F. (1977). "Der mythologisch-gnostische Hintergrund des Umm al-kitâb". Acta Iranica. VII: 241–526. OCLC 470066089. (partial German translation)


Further reading[edit]