The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines



Cambridge University Press | 2nd edition (2007) | English | ISBN: 0521616360 | 798 pages | PDF | 7.32 MB

The Isma'ilis represent the second largest Shi'i Muslim community after the Twelvers (Ithna'asharis), and are today dispersed as religious minorities throughout more than twenty-five countries of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. The bulk of the Isma'ilis recognize the Aga Khan as their imam or spiritual leader. The second edition of this authoritative book, the product of more than twenty years' research, traces the history and doctrinal development of the Isma'ilis from their origins in the formative period of Islam to the present day, a period of more than twelve centuries. It is the first comprehensive synthesis of the results of modern scholarship in Isma'ili studies and draws on numerous primary sources an secondary studies on the subject, particularly on the Isma'ili manuscripts which have only recently become available.

All the major phases of Isma'ili history are covered. Beginning at the pre-Fatimid period, Dr Daftary conducts a detailed investigation, moving through the Fatimid 'golden age' and the troubled Tayyibi–Musta'li period through the glorious age of Nizari Isma'ilism in Iran and Syria to the Mongol onslaught. The final part of the book traces the modern development of the Isma'ili community, explaining the revival of Nizari Isma'ilism, particularly in Iran, Central and South Asia, and the socio-economic progress of the Nizari communities in modern times. The new edition has been thoroughly revised and incorporates an expanded bibliography and new illustrations. For all students of Islamic and Middle Eastern history, The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines will continue to serve as the most definitive account of the history of the Isma'ilis and their teachings.

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