Muḥammad Abu ʼl-Faḍl Muḥammad’s (fl. ca. 800/1400) Persian Qāmūs al-baḥrayn was written in 814/1411. About the author’s life and times nothing is known other than that his nickname ‘Ḥamīd Muftī’ points at a certain level of expertise in the legal profession. Being a theological summa, the Qāmūs al-baḥrayn stands in a long tradition. The author used numerous theological and philosophical sources, referring explicitly to such authorities as Avicenna (d. 428/1037), Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191), Fakhr al-Dīn Rāzī (d. 606/1210), and Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274). The work contains so many obvious borrowings from Rāzī that the Qāmūs al-baḥrayn is factually an exposition of his thought. In the edition, a special effort was made to point this out in each case where a concrete reference could be given. There are few theological summae in Persian; readers of Persian will therefore be delighted to discover this comprehensive work and its mellifluous style of composition.
Muḥammad ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib
Edited by ʿAlī Uwjabī, Naṣīr Bāqirī Bīdhandī, Iskandar Isfandyārī and ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn Mahdavī
Born into a wealthy intellectual family in Isfahan, Muḥammad ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, better known as Ḥazīn Lāhijī (d. 1180/1766), was a particularly gifted child. Greatly stimulated by his father, he received a varied education: from literature and the traditional Islamic sciences to mysticism, logic, philosophy and more. Until the siege of Isfahan by the Afghans in 1135/1722, Ḥazīn lived mostly in that city. He then fled the capital, leading a wandering existence in Persia, Arabia and Iraq. Ten years later and seeing no future for Persia, he left the country for good to settle in India, dying in Benares, aged 74. Ḥazīn is mostly famous as a poet and intellectual who left his imprint on India’s Persian-speaking, ruling élites. His attractive prose-pieces on a wide variety of subjects, from Qurʾān interpretation and knowledge of the soul to pearl-diving and the lifting of weights, are much less known. The present volume aims to fill this gap.