Primus Books (exclusive Ratna Sagar)
|Number of Pages
The Satpanth Ismaili Muslims of South Asia have a beautiful tradition of religious poetry called Ginans which they have sung for many centuries in daily rituals. This small Shi'a community has spread from India to other continents, but it has held fast to the practice of singing Ginans.
Composed in Indian languages and idiom, the Ginans illustrate how Muslims were influenced by the surrounding cultures and philosophies, and created new ways of expressing their beliefs and values. Although this living tradition of religious songs is central to Ismaili practice, only a handful of studies have dealt with the subject.
This collection of essays on the Ginans by academic scholars and community enthusiasts is written in honour of Zawahir Moir, one of the earliest scholars of the Ginans. She has dedicated her life to their study and spent many years preparing a catalogue of Ginan manuscripts housed at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London.
About the Author
Professor Tazim R. Kassam is a historian specializing in religions particularly Islamic cultures. She chairs the Department of Religion at Syracuse University and is Director of its Muslim Cultures programme in London. Her book Songs of Wisdom and Circles of Dance offers the most extensive translation of Ginans of Pir Shams.
Professor Francoise Mallison, Directeur d'Etudes Emeritus at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, specializes in the medieval religious cultures of northern India and Gujarat. An expert in devotional literatures in Gujarati, she has published translations of Narasimha Maheta and Svaminarayan lyrics, and articles on the Indian acculturation of Ismaili vernacular poetry.