Ja'far Ibn Mansur al-YamanThis volume includes a fully annotated translation and Arabic critical edition of one of the earliest surviving Ismaili Shi'i writings, by the famous 10th century Yemeni author Ja'far Ibn Mansur al-Yaman. In addition to being a key source for pre-Fatimid Ismaili history, The Master and the Disciple is uniquely important as the most elaborate example of the narrated dramatic dialogue form in Arabic literature. The work also vividly illustrates the processes by which early esoteric Shi'i ideas and institutions eventually contributed to the evolution of more familiar forms of Sufism in the Islamic West. Finally, Ja'far's reputation as a master of ta'wil (esoteric understanding of the Qu'ran) is reflected in the complex integration and existential elaboration of Qur'anic themes illustrated throughout this dialogue - a distinctive feature which makes this book of wider interest to students of Islamic Studies and comparative religions.
Master and the Disciple
An Early Islamic Spiritual Dialogue