• The Ismaili Imams: A Biographical History

    This highly illustrated book presents for the first time the biographies of all the Ismaili imams, in a series of concise narratives recounting their lives and actions, and through them the Ismaili community’s history and heritage.

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  • The Ismailis are a major Shi‘i Muslim community in the world today, settled in over 25 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. They are the only Muslims to have a living hereditary spiritual guide, the Nizari Ismaili Imaminfo-icon. This book is the first collection of biographies of all the Ismaili Imams, from those living during the formative period of Islam, through to the hidden Imams of the first ‘period of concealment’ when their public identities remained guarded, to the Imam-caliphs of the illustrious Fatimid dynasty, and those of the Alamutinfo-icon period, up to the Aga Khans of modern times. 

    The Ismaili Imams brings together the scattered results of modern scholarship in the field of Ismaili studies, providing a simple and clear resource for both the Ismailis themselves and for general readers, as well as being a useful work of reference for scholars. This extensively illustrated book presents a series of concise narratives recounting the lives, actions and legacies of all 49 Ismaili Imams, and through them, of the Ismaili community’s history and heritage.

  • List of maps and tables

    I: The Ismaili Imamateinfo-icon in History

    II: The Early Imams
    'Ali b. Abi Talibinfo-icon
    Husayn b. 'Ali
    'Ali b. Husayn Zayn al-'Abidin
    Muhammad al-Baqir
    Jafar al-Sadiq
    Isma'il b. Ja'far al-Sadiq
    Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Maymun

    III: The Concealed Imams
    'Abd Allah b. Muhammad, also known as Wafi Ahmad
    Ahmad b. 'Abd Allah, also known as Taqi Muhammad
    Husayn b. Ahmad, also known as Radi al-Dininfo-icon Abd Allah

    IV: The Early Fatimid Imaminfo-icon-caliphs

    V: The Imams at Alamutinfo-icon
    Concealed Imams: al-Hadi, al-Muhtadi, al-Qahir
    Hasan ala dhikrihi'l-salaminfo-icon
    Nurinfo-icon al-Din Muhammad, also known as A?la Muhammad
    Jalal al-Din Hasan
    'Ala al-Din Muhammad
    Rukn al-Din Khurshah

    VI: The Early Imams after Alamut
    Shams al-Din Muhammad
    Qasim Shah
    Islam Shah
    Muhammad b. Islam Shah

    VII: The Imams of the Anjudan Period
    Mustansir bi'llah
    'Abd al-Salam Shah
    Gharib Mirza, also known as Mustansir bi'llah
    Abu Dharr 'Ali
    Murad Mirza
    Dhu'l-Faqar 'Ali
    Nur al-Din (al-Dahr) 'Ali
    Khalil Allah 'Ali

    VIII: The Imams in the Eighteenth Century
    Shah Nizar
    Sayyidinfo-icon 'Ali
    Hasan 'Ali
    Qasim 'Ali
    Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali
    Shah Khalil Allah

    IX: The Imams in the Modern Age
    Hasan 'Ali Shah, Aga Khaninfo-icon I
    Agha 'Ali Shah, Aga Khan II
    Sultan Muhammad Shahinfo-icon, Aga Khan III
    Shah Karim al-Husayniinfo-icon, Aga Khan IV

    Select Bibliography
    Picture credits

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  • Dr. Farhad Daftary

    Farhad Daftary completed his early and secondary education in Tehran, Rome, and London, before going to Washington, D.C., in 1958. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the American University there, and then continued his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, leading to a Ph.D. degree in 1971. Subsequently, Dr. Daftary held different teaching posts, and, since 1988, he has been affiliated with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, where he is currently Co-Director and Head (since 1992) of the Department of Academic Research and Publications. An authority in Shi...Read more