A chronology of an author’s works is necessary for understanding his or her intellectual evolution. Al-Qāḍī l-Nuʿmān wrote numerous books on diverse disciplines, such as jurisprudence, history, traditions of the Messenger of God and the Ismāʿīlī imams, biographies of the Fāṭimid caliph-imams, refutations of the Sunnī schools of law, and allegorical interpretation of the Qurʾān and the šarīʿa. The chronology of al-Qāḍī l-Nuʿmān’s corpus, which consists of more than fifty titles, is based primarily on pieces of evidence in his extant works. The sequence of al-Qāḍī l-Nuʿmān’s legal works suggests that The Pillars of Islam (Daʿāʾim al-islām), compiled under the directions of al-Muʿizz around 349/960, was his crowning achievement after serving the first four Fāṭimid caliph-imams since 313/925. In fact, al-Qāḍī l-Nuʿmān began and completed his first work Kitāb al-Īḍāḥ, a massive collection of legal traditions transmitted on the authority of the family of the Prophet, while he was still serving al-Mahdī (r. 297/909-322/934). The chronology further reveals that after composing The Pillars of Islam, al-Qāḍī l-Nuʿmān devoted his energies to the explication of the major Ismāʿīlī theological doctrine, namely the theory of taʾwīl (hermeneutics). In his Asās al-taʾwīl, he justifies the twin concepts of taʾwīl and bāṭin (the inner, hidden, esoteric meaning behind the literal wording of sacred texts)—from a jurist’s viewpoint—and argues that these concepts are firmly grounded in the foundational texts of Islam, viz., the Qurʾān and the Hadiths of the Prophet.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 585 178 21
Full Text Views 325 18 0
PDF Views & Downloads 63 22 0