Encounters with the Hidden Imam in Early and Pre-Modern Twelver Shīʿī Islam


The history of what has come to be known as Twelver Shīʿī Islam is a history of attempts to ‎deal with the ‎abrupt loss of the Imam. In Encounters with the Hidden Imam in Early and Pre-‎Modern Twelver Shīʿī Islam, ‎Omid Ghaemmaghami demonstrates that in the early years of the so-called Greater Occultation, Shīʿī ‎authorities maintained that all contact with the Imam had been sundered, forcing him to remain incommunicado ‎until his (re)appearance‎. This position, however, proved ‎untenable to maintain. Almost a ‎century after the start of the Greater Occultation, prominent scholars ‎began to concede the ‎possibility that some Shīʿa can meet the Hidden Imam. Accounts of alleged ‎encounters with the ‎Imam soon began to appear, grow in number and become increasingly embellished.‎

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Biographical Note
Omid Ghaemmaghami, Ph.D. (2013), University of Toronto, is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Near Eastern Studies at the State University of New York (SUNY), Binghamton.
All interested in early Islamic intellectual history, Shīʿī Islam (especially in its formative period), messianism, authority, and the history of ideas.
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