This panel addresses the shifting apocalyptic frameworks of Islamic messianism in 10-20th-century Shīʿism, with particular attention given to eschatological expectations of the Endtime, the mystification of historical characters and configurations of ethnic groups in the communal setting of the Nizārī state, and mystical experience and hidden knowledge in relation to the hidden imam qua the messianic figures of the Qā’im and the Mahdi. The proposed papers take up a set of leading questions to examine in depth the qiyāmah in Fāṭimid and Nizārī Ismāʿīlī texts and in Sufi and Ithnā ʿAsharī settings; that is, how messianic expectations frame the sources and resources of authority and circumscribe hidden knowledge. Considering the appearance and abrogation of religious law, religio-political sovereignty, configurations of identity in communal settings, and mystical experience works to uncover and reveal the eschatological registers as well as the re-ordering of the significations of the manifest and the hidden in relation to the Endtime and the figure of the Qā’im across the millennium.
The papers are as follows. Andani’s paper examines several works of Nāṣir-i Khusraw, arguing that Nāṣir’s eschatological thought depoliticizes and spiritualizes the role of the Qā’im in contrast to earlier Ismāʿīlī messianic doctrines. Mohammad Poor discusses a new shift in the fourth period of the Nizārī qiyāmah, This new shift, a second qiyāmat, was gradually developed and consolidated during the reign of Muḥammad III. Also focusing on the Nizārī period of Ismāʿīlī thought and history, Sarkozy examines the different representations- both historical and mystical- of different ethnic groups in the little studied collection of poetry, the Dīwān-i Qā’imiyyāt. In a Sufi context, Alexandrin’s paper presents Saʿd al-Dīn Ḥamūye’s views on messianism and the Endtime, which rely extensively on post-Fāṭimid Ismāʿīlī eschatological registers of how prophetic types and their opponents together culminate in the seal of God’s friends and the manifestation of the Mahdi. Cancian analyzes how the eschatological doctrines of Ithnā ʿAsharī Shīʿīsm are exposed in the Niʿmatollāhī Sufi Sulṭān ʿAlī Shāh’s tafsīr, Bayān al-saʿādah fī maqāmāt al-ʿibādah, through his relying on the recurrent pattern of the correspondence between the macro and the microcosmic dimensions of reality.