Batiniyya (Arabic: باطنية‎, translit. Bāṭiniyyah) refers to groups that distinguish between an outer, exoteric (zāhir) and an inner, esoteric (bāṭin) meaning in Islamic scriptures.[1] The term has been used in particular for an allegoristic type of scriptural interpretation developed among some Shia groups, stressing the bāṭin meaning of texts.[2] It has been retained by all branches of Isma'ilism and its Druze offshoots, [2] as well by the Bektashis and the Alevis, Alawites and Yarsanism.[2] Sunni writers have subsequently used the term polemically in reference to rejection of the evident meaning of scripture in favor of its bāṭin meaning.[2] Al-Ghazali, a medieval Sunni theologian, used the term batiniyya pejoratively for the adherents of Isma'ilism.[2][3] Some Shia writers have also used the term polemically.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Halm, H. "BĀṬENĪYA". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hodgson, M.G.S. "Bāṭiniyya". Encyclopaedia of Islam. 1 (2nd ed.). Brill. pp. 1098–1099. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_1284.
  3. ^ Mitha, Farouk (2001). Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam. I.B.Tauris. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-86064-792-5.