The Ismâ`îlîs - Their History and Doctrines by Farhad Daftary 2nd edn (2007).pdf

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Their History and Doctrines
The Isma
The Isma ılıs represent the second largest Shı ıMuslim community after the Twelvers
(Ithna asharıs), 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 ılıs 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 ılıs 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 ılıstudies and draws on numerous primary sources and secondary studies on
the subject, particularly on the Isma ılı manuscripts which have only recently become
All the major phases of Isma ılı history are covered. Beginning at the pre-Fa . imid
period, Dr Daftary conducts a detailed investigation, moving through the Fa . imid
‘golden age’ and the troubled . ayyibı–Musta l¯ıperiod through the glorious age of
Nizar¯ıIsma ılism in Iran and Syria to the Mongol onslaught. The final part of the
book traces the modern development of the Isma ıl¯ıcommunity, explaining the
revivalofNizar¯ıIsma ılism, particularly in Iran, Central and South Asia, and the
socio-economic progress of the Nizar¯ıcommunities 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 ılıs: Their History and Doctrines will continue to serve as the most
definitive account of the history of the Isma ılıs and their teachings.
FARHAD DAFTARY is Associate Director and Head of the Department of Aca-
demic Research and Publications at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. He
is a consulting editor of Encyclopaedia Iranica as well as the general editor of the
Ismaili Heritage Series and the Ismaili Texts and Translations Series. An authority
on Isma ılı history, Dr Daftary’s publications include The Assassin Legends: Myths
of the Isma ilis (1994), AShort History of the Ismailis (1998), Ismaili Literature: A
Bibliography of Sources and Studies (2004) and Ismailis in Medieval Muslim Societies
(2005). Dr Daftary’s books have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu
and numerous European languages.
The Isma
Their History and Doctrines
Second Edition
Institute of Ismaili Studies
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