Oral traditions have long served as vehicles of education in Muslim societies, tracing their origins back to the revelation of Quran itself.
Over time and geography, the purpose, form, and style of these traditions have found diverse expressions
accommodating local customs and contexts. At times these expressions have taken melodic forms leveraging
the power of poetry and music to bring faith, knowledge, devotion and worship into ecstatic harmony. An exemplar of such melodic expressions is the devotional literature of
ginans of the Ismaili Muslim community.
The purpose of GIST is to make primary sources of ginans available to researchers and community in order to facilitate much-needed bibliographic and scholarly attention to this hidden corpus of ethnocultural knowledge. Most of the ginans were initially recorded using the Khojki script which is now at the brink of extinction as well. Visit Ginan Central for more resources on ginans.
GIST is part of a research study being led by Karim Tharani, a librarian and tenured faculty at the University of Saskatchewan, in consultation with Dr. Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University. For more information or questions, please contact