Co-authored by Dr Farhad Daftary and Professor Zulfikar Hirji, The Illustrated History contains over 400 illustrations, including images of manuscripts, artefacts and monuments, community documents as well as important historical and contemporary photographs. Based on modern scholarship in Ismaili Studies and the broader field of Islamic Studies, the book offers a comprehensive and accessible account of Ismaili history and intellectual achievements, set in the wider contexts of Islamic and world history.
The Illustrated History contains four main chapters that take the reader from the advent of Islam and the formation of the Shi‘a through to the historical developments that lead to the formation of the Ismailis and their history up until the present-day. Each chapter contains a synopsis, maps and chronology of key events, as well as special sections devoted to important figures, themes and events in Muslim history, with a particular focus on Shi‘i and, more specifically, Ismaili history. Many of the manuscripts and objects, depicted through beautiful images in the book, are found in private and public collections, and are here published for the first time. The book also narrates the history of the Ismailis using contemporary and historical photographs of places and landscapes. A number of the manuscripts, objects and photographs from the IIS library collection were also displayed in an exhibition held in London that accompanied the book launch.