Al-Muʾayyad al-Shīrāzī was a medieval Arabic-Islamic scholar and poet committed to the Fatimid religio-political ideology. Chief missionary for their Caliph-Imams, he founded the dynamic tradition of "Fatimid daʿwa (religious mission) poetry” that flourished after him for a thousand years through the succeeding Ṭayyibī daʿwa and continues to thrive today.
This study examines the manner in which al-Muʾayyad's mission informed the aesthetic rules, motifs, structures, genres, motives, addressees, and aspirations of his poetry. It analyzes the characteristics of al-Muʾayyad's verse that render it distinctive, above all, its use of a unique form of esoteric tāwīl-based religious symbolism—metaphor, in fact, as manifestation, where what appears to be metaphor is the theological reality of the Imam. This book features a large number of original translations.