Keywords: da ‘i, da ‘wa, al-da ‘wa al-hadiya, Al-da ‘wa al Jadida, Al-da ‘wa al Qadima, Nizari, Mustalis Qiyama, Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Nasafi, Al-Sijistani, Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani, Fatimids, Nasir-i Khusraw, Hasan-i Sabbah, Alamut, Khurasan, Transoxania, Qaramita, Samanids, Buyids, Seljuqs, al-Mu’ayyad fi’l-Din al-Shirazi, Badakhshan, Rudbar, Quhistan, Anjudan, Hasan ‘aladhikrihi’l-salam, Qiyama

Abstract: This article chronicles the main events and personalities associated with the Ismaili dawa in Persian speaking lands. Beginning with the nascent and divergent Ismaili groups and communities that were established following the death of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq in 148/765, the article presents an historical survey of the process by which the dawa was spread throughout the region.

The founding of the Fatimid state in 297/909; the rivalry between the Fatimids and the Qaramita; the consolidation and unification of the dawa; the establishment of the Nizari Alamut state by Hasan-i Sabbah in 483/1090 - these and other factors are considered in relation to their impact on the extent and influence - political, cultural and intellectual - of the Persian Ismaili communities.

Attention is brought to bear also on the manner in which the Alamut state both expressed and in turn strengthened the re-affirmation of Persian language and culture.

This is an edited version of an article that appeared in Studies in Honour of Clifford Edmund Bosworth Vol.II The Sultan's Turret: Studies in Persian and Turkish Culture pp. 43-81 published by Brill: Leiden, Boston, Koln in 2000.

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.


Read more