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A Short History of the IsmailisTraditions of a Muslim Community$
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Farhad Daftary

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780748609048

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748609048.001.0001

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Origins and Early History: Shī῾īs, Ismailis and Qarmaṭīs

Origins and Early History: Shī῾īs, Ismailis and Qarmaṭīs

(p.21) 2 Origins and Early History: Shī῾īs, Ismailis and Qarmaṭīs
A Short History of the Ismailis

Farhad Daftary

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter aims to situate the early Ismailis and the initiation of their movement or da'wa within the broader context of the formative period of Shī'ī Islam. In the event, it sheds light on the Imāmiyya heritage of the Ismailis, who separated from the rest of the Imāmī Shī'īs on the death of Imam al-Ṣādiq in 148/765. It then focuses on the opening phase of Ismaili history and the spread of the da'wa which culminated in the establishment of the Fatimid caliphate. The chapter also investigates an important schism in the Ismaili da'wa which separated the loyal Ismailis from the dissident Qarmaṭīs. The doctrines elaborated by the early Ismailis, including their cyclical conception of history and their cosmological doctrine, are also covered here.

Keywords:   Da'wa, Imams, Qarmaṭīs, Cyclical history, Imāmī Shī'īs

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