World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Glimpses on the Iranian Ismailiyya: the Dustur al-Munajjimin and its World (376) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: THU 22, 5.00-7.00 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: University of Bonn (Germany)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Eva Orthmann

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: The Dustūr al-Munajjimīn is one of the few authentic documents of the Iranian Isma’iliyya which have been preserved at the Mongol conquest of the Nizari stronghold of Alamūt . The book consists of two major parts: the first dealing with astronomy and astrology, and the second with history. The Dustūr al-Munajjimīn is a unique historical source of the Ismā’īliyya not only because of this unusual combination, but also because its historical parts provide an insight into the ideological alienation between the Ismā’īlis from Alamūt and the Fātimids in Egypt.
The six lectures in our panel approach the Ismā’īli community of Alamūt and its main document from different perspectives:

Chair: Eva Orthmann (University of Bonn)

Paper presenter: Eva Orthmann (University of Bonn) “The Dustur al-Munajjimin and its World”
Will provide a general introduction into the text of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn and the circumstances of its production. It will further give insight into its composition and its sources, and specify its importance for the research on the Iranian Ismā’īliyya. The lecture will also provide information about comparable sources and ask to what extent the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn has been inspired by earlier texts, and to what extent it has been used as a model for later treatises.

Paper presenter: Petra Schmidl (University of Bonn) “The astronomical contents of the Dustur al-Munajjimin”
Will focus on the astronomical contents of the Dustūr al-munajjimīn. is mainly a, an with tables. But in contrast to other astronomical handbooks (zīj), the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn comprises however more astrological and more historical information. With regard to the history of astronomy there is another difference that distinguishes the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn from other zījes. The Dustūr al-Munajjimīn borrows complete sections from other sources, some of them preserved (e . g., al-Battānī's al-Zīj al-Sābi?, al-Bīrūnī's al-Qānūn al-Mas’ūdī), some of them lost (e . g., the zīj of Sanad b. ‘Alī). Apart from supplementing known and being the hunting ground for unknown sources the arrangement of the astronomical parts of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn themselves arise questions concerning the selection and the composition of the data that was available to the author, and let us get a glimpse of his possible motives.

Paper presenter: Mohammad Karimi (University of Bonn) “The Dustur al-Munajjimin and the doctrine of ta'lim in the age of Hasan-e Sabbah”
Reviews the Ismā’īli understanding of ta’līm and resurrection (rijā') in the age of Hasan-i Sabbāh. Until now, based on the remaining parts of Hasan-i Sabbāh’s works and later writers such as ash-Shahristānī, Fahkhr ad-Dīn ar Rāzī and Nasīr al-Dīn Tūsī, most scholars indicate that the Nizārīs new Da’wat was not more than a refinement and new adjustment of the Ismā’īlī theory of ta’līm. Based on the tenth chapter of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn and in the light of a notice from Nasīr al-Dīn Tūsī in his Rauzat al-Taslīm, the lecture sheds new light on this theory.

Paper presenter: Malihe Karbassian (Teheran) “The Dustur al-Munajjimin and its approach to the ancient history of Iran”
Focuses on information about the ancient history of Iran contained in the historical parts of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn. Interestingly, the author/compiler of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn compares this history with the Judaic tradition. The lecture will explain the given information and analyze the ideological background of this rapprochement. Eventually, the lecture targets the relationship between Nizārī ideology and the specific historical understanding of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn.

Paper presenter: Osamu Otsuka (University of Tokyo) “The influence of the Dustur al-Munajjimin on the Ta'rikh-i Jahangushay”
Will compare the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn with the Tārīkh-ī Jahāngushāy of the Ilkhanid historian ‘Atā-Malik Juwaynī (d. 1286). After the Mongol invasion upon Alamūt (1256), Juwaynī was ordered to investigate its library and to take out some precious and scientific books which were preserved in the Mongol empire, while the other books were burned. The manuscript of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn is supposed to have been one of the books which were preserved from burning. When Juwaynī wrote the parts related to Ismā’īli history in his Tārīkh-ī Jahāngushāy, he therefore certainly referred to the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn. A comparison of the two works will clarify the influences of the Dustūr al-Munajjimīn upon the Tārīkh-ī Jahāngushāy and will show which parts were copied and which were changed. By that comparison, Juwaynī’s bias against the Ismā’īli sect and his way of historical writing will also be elucidated.