(2,789 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 re…

Cite this page
Daadbeh, Asghar and Gholami, Rahim, “Bāṭiniyya”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Wilferd Madelung and, Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 19 June 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_COM_000000100>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004246911, 20131209

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