A Modern History of the Ismailis: Continuity and Change in a by Farhad Daftary

By Farhad Daftary

The Ismailis have loved an extended, eventful and complicated historical past courting again to the 8eigth century CE and originating within the Shi'i culture of Islam. through the medieval interval, Ismailis of other regions--especially in relevant Asia, south Asia, Iran and Syria--developed and elaborated  their very own targeted literary and highbrow traditions, that have made a very good contribution to the tradition of Islam as an entire. whilst, the Ismailis within the center a long time cut up into major teams who diverse non secular leaders. The Nizari Ismailis got here to have a line of imams now represented by way of the Agha Khans, whereas the Tayyibi Ismailis – identified in South Asia because the Bohras – got here to be led via da'is (vicegerents of the hid imams).

This assortment is the 1st scholarly try to survey the trendy historical past of either Ismaili groupings because the center of the nineteenth century. It covers quite a few topical matters and subject matters, resembling the modernizing guidelines of the Aga Khans, and in addition contains unique stories of nearby advancements in Ismaili groups around the world. The members concentration too on how the Ismailis as a non secular group have spoke back to the dual demanding situations of modernity and emigration to the West.

A sleek historical past of the Ismailis can be welcomed because the so much whole evaluation but released of the hot trajectory of this attention-grabbing and influential Shi'i community.

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British interventions for the Imam’s return to his Persian ancestral homeland, as was the Imam’s personal desire, failed, and, after an interim stay in Calcutta, the Aga Khan settled permanently in Bombay in 1848. With Aga Khan I’s settlement in Bombay there began the modern period in the history of the Nizari Ismailis. The Nizari Imamate was now established in India, with Bombay serving as the seat of the Nizari Imams. Hasan ʿAli Shah, Aga Khan I, was the first Nizari Imam to set foot in India and his presence there was greatly welcomed by the Ismaili Khojas who gathered enthusiastically to pay their homage to him and receive his blessings.

Some died in prison, including Shaykh Ahmad al-Muhammad al-Hajj. 21 Ismaili Migrations The Ottoman actions against the followers of the Aga Khan should be analysed in terms of the local political context of Salamiyya, a rapidly developing rural area on the fringes of the Syrian steppes. Most of the Aga Khan’s followers were to be found in the Khawabi area, the traditional Hajjawi area, and in the recently settled area of Salamiyya southeast of the town of Hama. Migration to the fertile inland plain of Salamiyya began around the mid-19th century and gained momentum in the closing decades of that century.

Further penetration of the Asian Ismaili settlers into the interior of East Africa occurred after the establishment of British and German colonial rule in the region. By the early decades of the 20th century, the emigration of the Ismaili Khojas and Bohras to East Africa had practically ended. Aqa ʿAli Shah was succeeded in the Imamate by his sole surviving son Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III, who led the Nizari Ismailis as their 48th Imam for 72 years, longer than any of his predecessors. 17 Aga Khan III spent his early years under the close tutelage of his Qajar mother, Shams al-Muluk (d.

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