By Farhad Daftary
The Ismailis have loved an extended, eventful and complicated background relationship again to the 8eigth century CE and originating within the Shi'i culture of Islam. through the medieval interval, Ismailis of alternative regions--especially in relevant Asia, south Asia, Iran and Syria--developed and elaborated their very own specified literary and highbrow traditions, that have made a superb contribution to the tradition of Islam as a complete. even as, the Ismailis within the center a long time break up into major teams who various religious leaders. The Nizari Ismailis got here to have a line of imams now represented by means of the Agha Khans, whereas the Tayyibi Ismailis – recognized in South Asia because the Bohras – got here to be led through da'is (vicegerents of the hid imams).
This assortment is the 1st scholarly try and survey the fashionable heritage of either Ismaili groupings because the heart of the nineteenth century. It covers numerous topical matters and subject matters, comparable to the modernizing guidelines of the Aga Khans, and in addition comprises unique stories of local advancements in Ismaili groups around the globe. The participants concentration too on how the Ismailis as a non secular group have answered to the dual demanding situations of modernity and emigration to the West.
A sleek background of the Ismailis can be welcomed because the so much entire evaluation but released of the new trajectory of this attention-grabbing and influential Shi'i community.
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Additional resources for A Modern History of the Ismailis: Continuity and Change in a Muslim Community
Given the limited resources of the coastal mountains, life was difficult and competition for these resources fierce. Only its southern hills – the Safita and Wadi al-Nasara areas – and a small area in the hills near Latakiya were integrated in the regional market dominated by the production of silk and tobacco. Throughout the region, and particularly in the higher central and northern areas, banditry was common. 4 According to both Alawi and Ismaili traditions, relations between the two communities were at times strained.
Abi Talib. Sayings and texts attributed to some of the other early Imams, in particular Jaʿfar al-Sadiq (d. 765), were also copied by the shaykhs, but clear references to later Imams seem to be absent. Most texts are attributed to Ismaili authors, including the famous Ikhwan al-Safaʾ, or Brethren of Purity, and the Fatimid jurist al-Qadi al-Nuʿman (d. 974), but some religious handbooks also included mystical texts that are not specifically Ismaili. The mystic Ibn Arabi (al-Shaykh al-Akbar) and his teachings on the wahdat al-wujud (oneness of being) also figured prominently in the Syrian Ismaili tradition with its strong mystical undercurrents.
Soon afterwards a new delegation of shaykhs left for Basra where they took a boat to Karachi and then journeyed overland to Bombay to meet the very young Imam of the Qasim-Shahi Nizari Ismailis, Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III. Back in Syria, the news that contact had been established with the Imam spread rapidly, causing great excitement in the community. However, the shaykhs were hesitant to acknowledge Sultan Muhammad Shah as their Imam because of his Qasim-Shahi ancestry, a line of Imams which had The Nizari Ismailis of Syria 27 adherents in various Nizari Ismaili communities in Iran and India, but perhaps not many in Syria.