New publication: A Modern History of the Ismailis – Continuity and Change in a Muslim Community, Edited by Dr. Farhad Daftary — Institute of Ismaili Studies, UK

The second largest Shi‘i Muslim community after the Ithna‘ashari or Twelvers, the Ismailis have had a long and complex history dating back to the formative period of Islam. Subsequently, they became subdivided into a number of major branches and minor groups. However, since the beginning of the 12th century CE, the Ismailis have existed in…

Ismaili History: The Marco Polo Myth of the Assassins|Photos, Graphics and video

Simerg com: Ismaili History – The Marco Polo Myth of the Assassins (…) PULLING BACK THE SILK CURTAIN “The Nizari [Ismailis] excelled in the fields of theology, philosophy, architecture and science, but their opponents demonized them as bloodthirsty extremist religious murderers…The returning Crusaders brought back the legend of the pothead assassins, partly because they loved…

Book: The Assassin Legends: Myths of the Isma’ilis, By Farhad Daftary

ISBN-13: 978-1850439509 ISBN-10: 1850439508 For hundreds of years Westerners have been fascinated by stories of the Assassins, their mysterious leader and their remote mountain stronghold at Alamut in Northern Iran. The legends first emerged in the 12th and 13th centuries, when Crusaders in Syria came into contact with the Nazari Isma’ilis, one of the communities…

Muslims, Martyrs and Misconceptions — By Farhad Daftary on Fair Observer com

Legends based on polemic and fantasy distorted the image of medieval Nizari Ismaili Muslims, turning them into drug-crazed “assassins.” Legends of the Assassins first appeared in medieval times and circulated widely in both the Middle East and Europe. Arising from the mysterious practices of the Nizari Ismailis and their unwavering devotion to their chief—the so-called…

Triumphal Moments in Ismaili History: Jawhar’s Conquest of Egypt and Imam al-Muizz’s Resplendent Darbar in Cairo — by Mansoor Ladha

“I WISH I’D BEEN THERE”   1970: Mansoor Ladha, veteran award winning journalist, writer and author, interviewing His Highness the Aga Khan for Tanzania’s daily, The Standard (now Daily News). Photo: Mansoor Ladha Collection. Copyright. BY MANSOOR LADHA As a journalist, a writer and an author, what better time to be than reporting milestones and…

Video: Harvard Lecture – The Shia Ismaili Muslims by Khalil Andani

Ismailism Published on 24 Apr 2015 On February 21, 2014, Khalil Andani (Doctor of Philosophy of Candidate in Islamic Studies, Harvard University) delivered a lecture called “Shi’i Isma’ili Muslims: An Esoteric Tradition in Islam” as part of the Harvard Divinity School Muslim Council Speaker Series called “Diversity in Islam: Communities of Interpretation.” The lecture took…