© 2018

Knowledge and Power in the Philosophies of Ḥamīd al-Dīn Kirmānī and Mullā Ṣadrā Shīrāzī


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Sayeh Meisami
    Pages 1-23
  3. Sayeh Meisami
    Pages 125-183
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 217-227

About this book


This book is a comparative study of two major Shīʿī thinkers Ḥamīd al-Dīn Kirmānī from the Fatimid Egypt and Mullā Ṣadrā from the Safavid Iran, demonstrating the mutual empowerment of discourses on knowledge formation and religio-political authority in certain Ismaʿili and Twelver contexts. The book investigates concepts, narratives, and arguments that have contributed to the generation and development of the discourse on the absolute authority of the imam and his representatives. To demonstrate this, key passages from primary texts in Arabic and Persian are translated and closely analyzed to highlight the synthesis of philosophical, Sufi, theological, and scriptural discourses. The book also discusses the discursive influence of Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī as a key to the transmission of Ismaʿili narratives of knowledge and authority to later Shīʿī philosophy and its continuation to modern and contemporary times particularly in the narrative of the guardianship of the jurist in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Shiʿism imam authority Neoplatonic Sufi theology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of DaytonDayton, OHUSA

About the authors

Sayeh Meisami is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Dayton in Ohio, USA. She has also taught at the University of Toronto and Queen’s University in Canada. She published Mulla Sadra in 2013 and has several journal articles in the area of Islamic philosophy and religion.  

Bibliographic information


“Sayeh Meisami’s remarkable study brings two major Shīʿī thinkers into conversation with one another, highlighting their points of convergence and divergence on the central problem of the nature of knowledge and authority. There is no doubt that this book will propel the study of Islamic thought to new and unforeseen heights, demanding of the intellectual historian a vision which straddles the worlds of pre-modern and contemporary philosophy and politics.” (Mohammed Rustom, associate professor at Carleton University,Canada, and author of The Triumph of Mercy: Philosophy and Scripture in Mullā Ṣadrā) “Knowledge and Power in the Philosophies of Ḥamīd al-Dīn Kirmānī and Mullā Ṣadrā is a significant addition to the study of the discursive bond between philosophy and Shiʿism. The book probes with distinct ability into the relation between the narratives of Islamic epistemology/psychology and that of Shiʿi authority as displayed in the works of al-Kirmānī and Mullā Ṣadrā. Besides detailing other works on similar subjects with rigour, the author articulates her arguments with relevance, offering a welcomed and valuable volume.” (Maria De Cillis, Research Associate and Managing Editor for the Shii Heritage Series at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, UK)