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What are ginans? Ginan Collections Tools & Resources

What are ginans?

The word "ginan" is a derivative of the Sanskrit term jnan which means knowledge, wisdom or gnosis. In the context of the Ismaili Muslim community, the term is used for the community’s collection of oral tradition of gnostic and devotional hymns. There are about one thousand known ginans that are attributed to various composers (referred to as Pirs/Sayyids) and vary considerably in length, language, and composition.

Watch Hymns of Wisdom: The Ismaili Ginans of South Asia, a lecture delivered at Claremont McKenna College by Dr. Ali Asani, professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University [October 23, 2017; 69 minutes].