ḤASANB. NUḤ B. YUSOF B. ĀDAM BHARUČI HENDI, a Mostaʿli Ṭayyebi Ismaʿili savant and the author of Ketāb al-azhār, a chrestomathy of Ismaʿili literature (d. in Yemen, 11 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 939/4 June 1533). According to Bharuči’s own statement, he was born and brought up in Khambhāt (Cambay), a port city in western India, and received his early education there. Urged on by a thirst for more knowledge after having exhausted all the avenues available in India, he renounced his family and friends, left his native town, and sailed to Yemen. There he settled in Masār and became a devout student of Ḥasan b. Edris, the twentieth Ismaʿili dāʿi (q.v.). After the latter’s death in 918/1512, he moved with Ḥosayn b. Edris, the twenty-first dāʿi, to Šebām. He fully recounted in the introduction to his Ketāb al-azhār the books on various branches of the ʿolum al-daʿwa that he studied with the two dāʿis. Unfortunately, he recorded neither the date of his birth nor the date of his departure from India. However, at one place, he states that in 904/1498-99 he visited the tombs of the early imams, namely Ḥasan b. ʿAli, ʿAli Zayn al-ʿĀbedin, Moḥammad al-Bāqer, Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq, and Esmāʿil, in the Baqiʿ cemetery of Medina (I, p. 234). One might surmise that the aforementioned visit took place most probably after he had made the pilgrimage to Mecca and before his settlement in Yemen, where he became known as al-Hendi. It is not known when and by whom the surname Bharuči (from Bharuč, a city in Gujarat, India), used by Esmāʿil Majduʿ (p. 77), was given to him. He was the mentor of Yusof b. Solaymān when the latter came from India to Yemen for his education and later became the twenty-fourth dāʿi.
Bharuči’s claim to fame is rightly based on his voluminous Ketāb al-azhār. It is a collection of choice passages from Ismaʿili literature in seven volumes, wherein many earlier works, otherwise lost, are preserved either in full or in part. It also contains numerous excerpts from Sunni and Zaydi works dealing with the life of Imam ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb (q.v.). Only volume one is edited from a manuscript that is incomplete at the end (cf. Majduʿ, pp. 78-79). Contents of the remaining volumes and the location of their manuscripts are fully described by Ismail K. Poonawala (pp. 179-83).
The main source for a few biographical facts is the author’s own work Ketāb al-azhār wa-majmaʿ a-anwār al-malquṭa men basātin al-asrār . . . I, in Montaḵabāt Esmāʿiliya, ed. ʿĀdel ʿAwwā, Moqawwemāt al-falsafa al-Bāṭeniya 1, Damascus, 1958, pp. 186 ff.
See also Ismāʿili Badri-Presswala, ed. Aḵbār al-doʿāt al-akramin (in Gujarati), Rajkot, 1937, p. 87.
Farhad Daftary, The Ismāʿilis: Their History and Doctrines, Cambridge, 1990, pp. 97, 302, 646.
Esmāʿil b. ʿAbd-al-Rasul Majduʿ, Fehrest al-Kotob wa’l-ra-sāʾel . . . , ed. ʿAli-Naqi Monzawi, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965.
I. K. Poonawala, Bibliography of Ismāʿili literature, Malibu, Calif. 1977.
(Ismail K. Poonawala)
Originally Published: December 15, 2003
Last Updated: March 20, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 1, p. 29