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Additional info for Early Philosophical Shiism: The Ismaʿili Neoplatonism of Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī

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Taking a basic clue from the Quranic phrase "ulu al-razm" which means "those capable of decision or resolution" in religious affairs, they found a pattern in religious history. Although the importance this title accords to those prophets who are mentioned as having it in the Quran is not clear, the prophets in question are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. By adding Adam to this list (although he did not possess " fazm"),12 the Ismaili commentators found evidence in the sacred text that exactly six great prophets were responsible for the elaboration of revelation, religion, and its laws - the shara'V.

43 "His da'wa" presumably means al-NasafTs. The nickname Bandana (panba-dana) is otherwise unattested, although another version of the name is present in the accounts of Rashld al-Dln,44 KashanT,45 and al-Bustl. In all cases the word can be read Khayshafuj, although the copyists of the various manuscripts were certainly confused about this. "48 AlBaghdadl therefore knew it in its common Persian form. This odd bit of information becomes even stranger by its appearance in these two forms, even if they mean the same thing.

In the revised doctrine Muhammad b. Ismail is the Messiah (al-Qaim al-mahdi) in ghayba (occultation). The era of Muhammad requires a second set of seven imams called khulafa' prior to Muhammad b. Ismail's return. Al-SijistanI explicitly recognized such a doctrine in Sullam al-najat, al-Iftikhar, Ithbat al-nubuwa, al-YanabV and al-Maqalid,14 and the correspondence of his declaration on this matter in all five works - namely that the Messiah is Muhammad b. Ismail, who has gone into occultation at present but whose da(wa is being spread and propagated by his deputies {khulafa) of which there will be exactly seven (no more)75 - supports the conclusion that all were published within a relatively short time span.

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