Khayrkhah Harati, Muhammad Reza b. Sultan Husayn Ghuriani, Nizari Ismaili da‘i, author, and poet. He was born into a prominent Nizari Ismaili family in Ghurian near Harat, in present day western Afghanistan, in the final decades of the 15th century CE and died not long after 960 AH/1553 CE, the latest date cited in his writings.
Khayrkhah thus lived during the first century of the so-called Anjudan revival in Nizari Ismaili da‘wa activities after the collapse of the Nizari centres of power in Persia in 654 AH/1256 CE. By the middle of the 15th century CE, the Nizari Imams had established themselves in the village of Anjudan, near Mahallat, initiating the Anjudan revival in Nizari Ismailism that lasted for about two centuries. During this period, the Nizari Imams and their followers continued to disguise themselves under the mantle of Sufism.
But, with the adoption of Twelver Shi‘ism as the official religion of the Safavid realm, the Nizaris and other Shi‘i communities in Persia could now reduce the extent of their taqiyya (precautionary dissimulation of one’s faith) practices.
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.