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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Despite being of the key Shi'i Muslim communities, the Ismailis have generally been studied primarily on the basis of the accounts of their enemies, such as Sunni polemicists and the Crusader chroniclers.
This introduction to Ismaili history takes account of recently recovered Ismaili texts. It covers the main developments in the major phases of Ismaili history, from the e Despite being of the key Shi'i Muslim communities, the Ismailis have generally been studied primarily on the basis of the accounts of their enemies, such as Sunni polemicists and the Crusader chroniclers.
It covers the main developments in the major phases of Ismaili history, from the early formative period, through the Fatimid golden age and the Alamut and post-Alamut periods, to more recent history, and gives a critical analysis of the available source materials. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.
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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of A Short History of the Ismalis. Jul 12, Bruce McLaren rated it it was amazing. In the mind-bogglingly complicated world of Islam there is perhaps no more difficult group to understand than the Ismailis.
Yet Daftary has made a good fist of doing so here and gets top marks for his efforts. Make no mistake, this is an extremely dense book with a wealth of academic detail. It would be easy to lose the reader with a subject such as this, but Daftary has that rarest of skills - he writes extremely well and has great style, even though this is most definitely a scholarly work. Th In the mind-bogglingly complicated world of Islam there is perhaps no more difficult group to understand than the Ismailis.
That combination alone is a rare thing indeed The Ismailis are one of many Shiite groups and one of the smaller and less understood Shiite groups at that. The majority of Shiites today are to be found in Iran, where the so-called "Twelver" system prevails.
What this means is that most Shiites believe that there were twelve Imams, the first being Ali, the twelfth being the Mahdi, who is currently in a state of occultation and will return on the day of judgement. By contrast, the Ismailis are known as "Seveners", after a schism within the Shiite sphere following a disagreement about who should be the seventh Imam.
The "Seveners" proclaimed Ismail to be the rightful Imam, hence their name. Another major group within the Shiite world are the "Fivers", who also disputed the succession of Imams and followed Zayd - hence their being known as the Zaydis. The Zaydis are still commonly found today in Morrocco and Yemen, but up until the time of the Safavids, some years ago, they were the largest Shiite group.
Of these major Shiite denominations the "Ismaili Seveners" have the most colorful history. The epicenter of Ismailism migrated around the countryside in the most unusual way, first to Syria and then Tunis, before conquering Egypt and establishing Cairo as their capital. From Cairo the "Ismaili Fatimids" ruled as the most powerful dynasty in Islam, the only time that a Shiite dynasty has been the foremost power in the Islamic World. From this peak the Ismaili movement suffered a series of setbacks, including a major schism once again over who should be the Imam - Nizar or Mustaali.
The Nizaris established themselves in the mountains northen Iran and Syria, and it is from them that we get the Assassin legends. The Egyptian Fatimids broke down into ever smaller groups, and now exist mainly in northen India as the Bohras. There is no doubt that this is a great book but the funniest part of it is found in the title "Short History" for it is anything but that.
In fact, I would only recommend this book for readers who already have a fairly fundamental grasp of Islamic history. To dive into this book without it might just leave you shaking your head. Explanations of Ismaili belief systems, such as Neo-Platonic cosmology can be difficult to understand at the best of times.
Background reading required first. That being said, I loved reading this book. View 1 comment. Sep 10, Mohammad Reza rated it really liked it Shelves: history.
Dec 29, Drbaqer rated it it was amazing. A wonderful book that is essential for anyone who wishes to embark on an expedition to the vast mystical world of the Ismalites. Amjad Ali rated it did not like it Sep 29, Rainer Weirauch rated it liked it Jan 19, Naahid rated it really liked it Jul 02, Anmol Panjwani rated it it was amazing Jan 12, Karim Alwani rated it really liked it May 19, Emin Bayram rated it it was amazing Apr 08, Zinatalibhanji rated it it was amazing Oct 15, Sameer rated it really liked it Jun 22, Rozina rated it really liked it Oct 25, Muhtadi Mansour rated it really liked it Jan 23, Shazia Rahimtoola rated it liked it May 03, Faheem Merchant rated it really liked it Jul 03, Akbar Ali rated it it was amazing Aug 15, Alexander rated it it was amazing Jul 22, Adnan Karim rated it it was amazing Oct 18, Noorullah Sultani rated it it was amazing May 12, Haroon rated it it was amazing Aug 20, Shamir Mamadamon rated it liked it Dec 09, Akbar Ali rated it really liked it Aug 15, Mansoor Karim rated it it was amazing Feb 11, Karim Virani rated it it was amazing Jan 08, Maqsood Ali rated it it was amazing Jul 11, Ali Ramai rated it it was amazing Aug 18, Alisha Lakhani rated it really liked it Jun 22, Kanwal Shahzadi rated it it was amazing Sep 25, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. About Farhad Daftary. Farhad Daftary. Daftary received his Ph. He is a consulting editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica, co-editor with W. Books by Farhad Daftary. Fall in Love with These June Romances. Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love.
A Short History of the Ismalis
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? The Ismailis are a geographically, linguistically and ethnically diverse Shi'a Muslim community - the second largest in the world. In four chapters, this book traces their history within the wider context of Islamic history and the world in general, over the better part of years. Each chapter is fully illustrated and accompanied by relevant maps and diagrams such as genealogical charts.
Jump to navigation. Despite their long and eventful history dating back to the formative period of Islam, the Ismailis were studied until recently primarily on the basis of the accounts of their opponents and detractors, including Sunni polemicists, European travellers and Crusader chroniclers. As a result a host of legends and misconceptions were disseminated on the teachings and practices of the Ismailis. The character and place of Ismailism in general Islamic history was further obscured by the community's traditional practice of concealing their own writings as a precautionary measure against religious and political persecution to which they were often subjected. However, from the s the study of Ismailism began to be radically revised with the discovery of a large number of Ismaili texts preserved in private collections.