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The Ismaili Shi‘i Muslims of Central Asia have had a long and eventful history. This book presents a brief survey of their history and heritage and discusses how they have been understood in Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet academic literature.

First, Dagiev examines the history of the Ismaili daʿwa in Central Asia from the 3rd/9th century until modern times and, in articular, the instrumental role of the prominent Ismaili daʿi and poet Nāṣir-i Khusraw (d. after 462/1070). He then discusses the interest in Ismaili studies engendered by the Russian takeover of the region and how this field of research was affected by 70 years of Communist rule, as well as by the demise of Communism. Dagiev also presents an annotated bibliography of material in Russian and Tajik on the Ismailis of Central Asia, covering their history society, thought and traditions, most of which has not previously been readily accessible to Western scholarship.

This is an important publication not only for Ismaili studies and Central Asian history, but also for the study of Russian and Soviet scholarship on Islam.