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The Isma'ilis
Their History and Doctrines

2nd Edition


  • Date Published: September 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521616362

£ 27.99

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About the Authors
  • The Isma'ilis represent the second largest Shii Muslim community after the Twelvers, and are today scattered throughout more than twenty-five countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. This 2007 second edition of this authoritative book 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. All the major phases of Isma'ili history are covered, including the pre-Fatimid period, the Fatimid 'golden age', the Tayyibi-Mustali period and the history of the Nizari Isma'ilis of Persia and Syria before the Mongol invasions. The final part traces the history of the modern Isma'ilis, particularly the socio-economic progress of the Nizari communities. The new edition is a thorough revision and incorporates new material, an expanded bibliography and new illustrations. It will be invaluable reading for students of Islamic and Middle Eastern history.

    • Second edition of the only comprehensive survey of Isma'ili history
    • New material has been incorporated throughout the text, as well as an expanded bibliography, new illustrations and an additional map
    • Will appeal to students of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… magisterial and readable … an impressive survey … there are, in addition, valuable genealogical tables and lists, and a glossary … a standard text for all students and scholars'. The Times Literary Supplement

    '… this book … breaks new ground in a most gratifying synthesis … every library of Islamic Studies will want to have this book … Daftary's work is as clear and comprehensible in style as a book on this subject could be and makes very agreeable reading, with nuggets of valuable information in every chapter … a major and fascinating study.' Middle East Journal

    '… a massively documented reference for all phases of the long, complex history of the Isma'ilis … an impressively thorough account and a major contribution to Isma'ili studies … it will be the standard reference on this subject as a whole.' Journal of the American Oriental Society

    'Vast in scope as well as in size, using a wide range of sources and dealing with an exceedingly complex topic in a scholarly fashion, Dr Daftary's study of the Isma'ilis will be much consulted in the future as an invaluable source of reference.' Robert Irwin, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

    'Daftary's book is a landmark on Isma'ili historical studies; it will be the principal source of reference on the subject for years to come.' David O. Morgan, History

    '[Daftary] provides a massively documented reference for all phases of the long, complex history of the Isma'ilis.' Paul E. Walker, Journal of the American Oriental Society

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: September 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521616362
    • length: 800 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 175 x 45 mm
    • weight: 1.566kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: progress in the study of the Ismåílís
    2. Origins and early development of Shíism
    3. Early Ismåílism
    4. The Fåñimid period until 487/1094: dawla and dawa
    5. The Later Fåñimids and Mustalian Ismåílism
    6 Nizårí Ismåílí history during the Alamút period
    7. The post-Alamút centuries and modern developments in Nizårí Ismåílí history
    Select bibliography.

  • Author

    Farhad Daftary
    Farhad Daftary is Associate Director and Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications at the Institute of Ismaili Studies. An authority on Ismaili history, he has written and edited numerous books, including Mediaeval Isma'ili History and Thought (1996), Ismaili Literature: A Bibliography of Sources and Studies (2004) and Ismailis in Medieval Muslim Societies (2005).

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