Mohammad bin Ali bin Hasan Al-Sowari’s Philosophical and Theological Ideas in al-Qasida al-Sowariah and Comparing Them with Corresponding Themes in the Works of Naser Khosrow

Document Type : Original Article


PhD in Persian Language and Literature, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran


Mohammad bin Ali bin Hasan Al-Sowari is a missioner and preacher of the fifth century AH, contemporary with Naser Khosrow Qabadiani Balkhi, who rose from Shaam (old Syria) and similar to Naser Khosrow traveled to Egypt. After returning to Shaam, he started to promote Isma’ilism. Sowari followed in the footsteps of some Isma’ili thinkers and teachers and gave an account of his philosophical and theological beliefs in a long 933-versed Qasida (ode) titled al-Qasida al-Sowariah. In the present article, his theological and philosophical beliefs, which include topics and subjects such as monotheism, command and innovation, universal intellect, universal soul, Alavi limitations, planets, the four elements, inanimate objects, plants, animals, humans, and the place of prophets and imams in Isma’ilism, have been inferred from the stated ode and then compared with the views of his well-known contemporary Isma’ili thinker, Naser Khosrow, which are described in his numerous works. Although each of these two thinkers has expressed the principles of Isma’ilism in various forms and interpretations and with different degrees of elaboration and according to their specific environment and audience, the many similarities and small differences between the philosophical ideas in Sowari's ode and the works of Naser Khosrow indicate that the general framework and main lines of thinking of the Isma’ili preachers in the fifth century AH originated from the Egyptian Fatimid system.