The Life of an ʿAlim

Sayyid NiʿMatuʾLlah al-JazaʾIri

in The Most Learned of the Shiʿa

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137996
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849055 | DOI:
The Life of an ʿAlim

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This chapter presents a reprint of the a biographical narrative of Niʿmatuʼllah, taken from Qisasuʼl-Ulama, translated by orientalist E. G. Browne in his Literary History of the Persians. As Browne himself wrote, this is an “unusually vivid picture of the privations and hardships experienced by a poor student of Divinity.” Browne compares the life portrayed here with that of the medieval European student: a life of arduous work, extreme physical hardship, isolation from family, and submersion in “formalism and fanaticism.” Relief would come only to the few who had attracted the notice of a great divine.

Keywords: Niʿmatuʼllah; biography; translation; E. G. Browne; formalism; fanaticism

Chapter.  2196 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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