The Ginans are religious lyrics which have long been a central part of the religious life of the Indian Mizari Ismaili community (known as Khojas), and continue to form their living poetic tradition. Aziz Esmail's translation is suggestive of the depth of religious thought, feeling and imagination out of which this poetry was born, and the lyrical beauty of the form in which this experience found a voice. The poetry of the Ginans illustrates an historically and culturally specific conception of the world, and of the norms peculiar to that culture, as well as a religious perception that forms a significant part of the religious experience of mankind. This volume will appeal both to specialists and more general readers, including Indologists, scholars of Islam in the Subcontinent, students of Comparative Religion, Comparative Literature, and those with an interest in mystical or devotional poetry.
Aziz Esmail, whose educational background and interest spans across literature, philosophy, religion and psychology, has taught and conducted research at various universities and institutions, including the University of Nairobi, the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and the Centre for the Study of World Religions at Harvard. Interest in language and literature remains one of his several primary interests. He now lives in London, where at present he is one of the Governors of The Institute of Ismaili Studies.