Encyclopaedia Islamica

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(2,776 words)

Bāṭiniyya, a designation applied to certain groups of Muslims, especially to Ismailis, who make a distinction between the exoteric (ẓāhir) and the esoteric (bāṭin), and hold that the esoteric aspects of the Qurʾān and religious law are of much greater significance than their outward aspects (Daftary, 130–131).

The word derives from the Arabic root letters bāʾ, ṭāʾ and nūn, and means ‘inward,’ ‘hidden’ ‘concealed’ and ‘esoteric’ (Lane, 1/221). It refers to …

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Daadbeh, Asghar and Translated by Rahim Gholami, “Bāṭiniyya”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 01 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_COM_000000100>
First published online: 2015

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