Keywords: Dawr al-satr, Fatimid, Mubarakiyya, Mahdi, Taqiyya, Qarmati, Da'i, Zahir, Batin, Hafizi Ismaili, Tayyibi Ismaili, Nizari Ismaili, Hasan-i Sabbah, Alamut, Aga Khan


The second most important Shi'i community, after the Ithna 'Asharis or Twelvers, the Ismailis have had an eventful history. The Ismailis subdivided into a number of major branches and minor groups in the course of their long and complex history dating back to the middle of the second AH/eighth century CE. Most of these divisions pertained to disputes over succession to leadership following the demise of the previous imam. Despite these divisions and their persecution by powerful dynasties, Ismaili communities have survived in many parts of the Muslim world and beyond, and have made significant contributions to Muslim thought and culture.


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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