The Institute of Ismaili Studies

The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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Through the Gallery on this website, the Library seeks to periodically display virtual exhibitions of selected individual manuscripts and other items, as well as presentations on particular themes. These exhibitions not only comprise images and descriptions, but also provide a textual commentary that places the exhibits within a broader historical framework and context. The virtual exhibitions are designed and written for a general audience, and do not assume any significant prior knowledge.
The following exhibitions are currently displayed:

Music & Melodies of the Persian Ismaili qasideh
A new multimedia gallery... More

The Safar-nama of Nasir Khusraw

Travelogue of an 11th CE century Persian philosopher and poet ... More

The Diversity of Mosque Architectures

The architectural forms of the emblematic mosque are manifold. More

Ginans: A Tradition of Religious Poetry:
A vast corpus consisting of hymns or religious lyrics... More

Muslim Spaces of Worship and Gathering

There are a range of spaces used by both Shi‘a and Sunni communities for their worship and gathering... More

Music and Poetry from the Pamir Mountains
The Pamiris are divided into different ethnic groups according to their origin and language. More

Delicacy and Harmony in Persian Book Covers

A gallery on the art of binding and the contribution made by Persian craftsmen.  More

Manuscripts of Ahmad al-Naysaburi
An important Shi‘i Ismaili scholar and writer of the early AH 5th/11th CE century, Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Naysaburi flourished during the reigns of Fatimid imam-caliphs al-‘Aziz and al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. His works reveal that he was a versatile scholar writing on history, theology, eschatology as well as literature. The fact that several of his works have survived portrays the appeal and significance of his thought, allowing us also to understand the beliefs of his own time. More

The Sayyidi Muhammad ‘Ali Hamdani Collection
The Sayyidi Muhammad ‘Ali Hamdani Collection came to The Institute of Ismaili Studies in 2006, thanks to the generosity of Professor and Mrs. Abbas Hamdani. The Collection is extremely important, not only because of the rare and precious manuscripts it contains but because it was formed over generations by scholars in a single distinguished family. More

Calligraphic Tradition in Islam

Adapted from a presentation given by Dr Duncan HaldaneMore

Coinage of the Fatimids

Fine, elegant epigraphy and open design characterise Fatimid coinage.... More

Illuminating Beauty, Illustrating Harmony: A Gallery celebrating the 25th Anniversary of The Institute of Ismaili Studies
Drawing on examples from the collection at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, this gallery invites the viewer to the large and complex subject of the artistic and intellectual heritage of Islam. The artefacts reflect the great diversity and range of a distinctive visual culture with its own unique artistic language. More

From Ibn Sina to Tusi: The Scientific Tradition in Medieval Islam

From the ninth century onwards, scholars in Muslim lands... More

An Ancient Centre of Learning
Al-Azhar was constructed in 969 CE as the central grand-mosque of Cairo More

Khojki Manuscripts

Originating in the province of Sindh, Khojki belongs to the category of Landa...  More

Nizari Ismaili Castles of Iran and Syria

Based on Peter Willey’s field research over 40 years. More

The Amirali Mamdani Collection: Preserving Ismaili History Through Visual Media
A large collection of original slides, photographs and films belonging to and shot exclusively by Mr Amirali G Mamdani was presented to The Institute in autumn, 2001. A small selection of images taken by Mr Mamdani during his visits to Iran, the Indian subcontinent and Syria are available for viewing on the website. More

The Institute of Ismaili Studies: Reflections on the first 25 Years
From its modest beginnings in the late 1970s, The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) has developed into a vibrant centre of learning, addressing not only the needs of the international Ismaili community, but also contributing to and participating in the contemporary debates of the Muslim world at large. More

Wellsprings of Wisdom: Persian Contributions to Ismaili Thought
An exhibition from the Library’s collections - many displayed for the first time - that reflect the textual contributions of Persian scholars to various strands of Ismaili thought from the 8th to the 18th centuries. More

Rahat al-‘aql of Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani
The Rahat al-‘aql of Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani: An Arabic Manuscript from the Zahid Ali Collection. Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani was a major Muslim scholar and writer who flourished during the time of the Fatimid Imam al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (who reigned from 996 to 1021 CE). More

From the Manuscript Tradition to the Printed Text: The Transmission of the Rasa’il of the Ikhwan al-Safa’ in the East and West
The Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity) is a pseudonym assumed by a group of Muslim thinkers... More

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