Muhammad Hasan al-Husayni (1804–1881), also known as Hasan Ali Shah, was the 46th Imam of the Nizari Ismailis and the first Ismaili Imam to bear the title of Aga Khan, bestowed on him by the contemporary Qajar monarch of Persia. This book is the first English translation of his memoirs, the Ibrat-afza, ‘A Book of Exhortation, or Example’, and includes a new edition of the Persian text and a detailed introduction to the work and its context.
The eventful career of this Imam coincided with the final decades of the Nizari Ismaili Imamate in Persia. The Aga Khan’s permanent departure from Persia in 1257/1841, marked the transference of the Seat of the Nizari Ismaili Imamate after more than seven centuries from Persia to India.
The Ibrat-afza sheds invaluable light on the events leading to this watershed in Ismaili history, which can be much better appreciated in the light of the Imam’s own faithfully recounted testimony.
The First Aga Khan: Memoirs of the 46th Ismaili Imam was published as part of the IIS’s Diamond Jubilee publications in honour of His Highness the Aga Khan IV.
Daniel Beben is Assistant Professor of History at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan. He received his PhD from Indiana University Bloomington with a dissertation entitled The Legendary Biographies of Nasir-i Khusraw: Memory and Textualization in Early Modern Persian Ismailism. His research focuses on the history of Ismaili and Sufi communities in pre-modern Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. His current projects include a monograph on the history of Ismailism in Central Asia and a co-authored work on genealogical traditions in the Badakhshan region.
Dr Daryoush Mohammad Poor is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Academic Research and Publications at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, and also lectures on the Institute’s educational programmes.