Keywords: Alamut, al-Ghazali, Assassin legends, community, Crusaders, da‘is, da‘wa, Fatimids, hashishiyya, heresiography, historiography, history, Islamic Studies, Ismaili, Ismailis, Ismailism, Ismaili studies, Marco Polo, Nizaris, Orientalism, scholarship.


A major Shi‘i Muslim community, the Ismailis are currently scattered in more than twenty-five countries of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Ismaili historiography and the perceptions of the Ismailis by others, in both Muslim and Christian milieus, as well as stages in Ismaili studies have had their own fascinating evolution, of which we shall present a brief survey here; but first, a few facts about the Ismailis and their history.

Dr Farhad Daftary

Co-Director and Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications

An authority in Shi'i studies, with special reference to its Ismaili tradition, Dr. Daftary has published and lectured widely in these fields of Islamic studies. In 2011 a Festschrift entitled Fortresses of the Intellect was produced to honour Dr. Daftary by a number of his colleagues and peers.


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