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Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī

(526 words)

Author(s): Mir-Kasimov, Orkhan
BiographyFaḍl Allāh Astarābādī was born in Astarābād, an Iranian town on the south-eastern corner of the Caspian Sea, in 1340-1. His father, a local judge, died when Faḍl Allāh was still a child and the boy’s education was supervised by his father’s friends and colleagues. It is likely that Faḍl Allāh studied central Islamic disciplines including the Qur’an and its commentaries, Hadith, theology and jurisprudence, in preparation for following in his father’s footsteps. His works also evidence a …

Ḥurūfiyya

(2,822 words)

Author(s): Mir-Kasimov, Orkhan
Ḥurūfiyya (lit., letterists, from Arabic ḥarf, pl. ḥurūf, letter) is the name given to the followers of Faḍlallāh Astarābādī (d. 796/1394) in external sources, for example, the Inbāʾ al-ghumr bi-abnāʾ al-ʿumr (“Information for the ignorant about the men of the time”) by Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1448) (vol. 5, 1972, wafayāt sanat 804, 46–7), reproduced by Shams al-Dīn Sakhāwī (d. 902/1497) in his al-Ḍawʾ al-lāmiʿ li-ahl al-qarn al-tāsiʿ (“Shining light for the people of the ninth century,” 6:173, entry 583). This particular mystical messianic movement, wit…
Date: 2020-09-16

Astarābādī, Faḍlallāh

(4,746 words)

Author(s): Mir-Kasimov, Orkhan
Faḍlallāh Astarābādī (b. 740/1339–40, d. 796/1394; the other date of death mentioned in some sources, 804/1401–2, is less plausible) was an original thinker and the founder of a mystical and messianic movement. Other names attributed to Faḍlallāh in various sources include ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Shihāb al-Dīn, Jalāl al-Dīn, Ibn Sayyid Bahāʾ al-Dīn, Ibn Abī Muḥammad Tabrīzī, Abū l-Faḍl, al-ʿAjamī, al-Mashhadī, al-Ḥurūfī, Naʿīmī, and Ḥalāl-khūr. The use of the “science of letters” (ʿilm al-ḥurūf), a sort of Islamic Kabbalah, is one of the most obvious, although arguably not…
Date: 2020-09-16