Poetry, often of great beauty and subtlety, has always been central to the spiritual life of Islam, particularly among Sufis and other esoteric branches of the faith. Through the ages it has been composed in both learned and popular forms, in classical languages as well as local dialects, to express love and devotion to God, the Prophet Muhammad and his family.

Although a large body of the great poetry of the Islamic world has been translated into English, the poetry of the Ismailis, except for a small portion, is still only accessible in the original.

This anthology will enable lovers of devotional and mystical poetry to sample for the first time the great range and depth of Ismaili poetry. The selection spans a thousand years of Ismaili history, from the times of the Fatimid caliphate to the present day. It includes both sophisticated and popular verses from the Ismaili poets of North Africa, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Pakistan composed in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.