Ismaili Portal UK

An open site about Ismaili Community

Ismaili History


Ismali is the branch of Shia Muslims who are let by their Imam His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan. The name Ismāili comes from the first Imam of Ismalis Imam Ismāīl ibn Jaafar as the appointed spiritual successor (Imām) to Jaafar Saādiq.

Tracing its earliest theology to the lifetime of Muhammad, Ismāīlism rose at one point to become the largest branch of Shī?ism, climaxing as a political power with the Fatimid Empire in the tenth through twelfth centuries.

 Ismailis believe in the oneness of God, as well as the closing of divine revelation with Muhammad, whom they see as "the final Prophet and Messenger of God to all humanity". The Ismāʿīlī and the Twelvers both accept the same initial A'immah from the descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima Zahra and therefore share much of their early history. Both Shī?ite groups see the family of Muḥammad (Ahl al-Bayt) as divinely chosen, infallible (ismah), and guided by God to lead the Islamic community (Ummah), a belief that distinguishes them from the majority Sunni branch of Islam.

After the death of Muhammad ibn Ismail in the 8th century AD, the teachings of Ismailism further transformed into the belief system as it is known today, with an explicit concentration on the deeper, esoteric meaning (batin) of the Islamic religion. With the eventual development of Twelverism into the more literalistic (zahir) oriented Akhbari and later Usooli schools of thought, Shi'ism developed into two separate directions: the metaphorical Ismāʿīlī group focusing on the mystical path and nature of Allah, with the "Imām of the Time" representing the manifestation of truth and reality, with the more literalistic Twelver group focusing on divine law (sharia) and the deeds and sayings (sunnah) of Muhammad and the Twelve Imams who were guides and a light to God.[2]

The Qur'ān
The Ginans
Reincarnation ? Panentheism
Imām ? Pir ? Dā?ī l-Muṭlaq
?Aql ? Numerology ? Taqiyya
Żāhir ? Bāṭin
Seven Pillars
Guardianship ? Prayer ? Charity
Fasting ? Pilgrimage ? Struggle
Purity ? Profession of Faith
Shoaib ? Nabi Shu'ayb
Seveners ? Qarmatians
Fatimids ? Baghdad Manifesto
Hafizi ? Taiyabi
Hassan-i Sabbah ? Alamut
Sinan ? Assassins
Pir Sadardin ? Satpanth
Aga Khan ? Jama'at Khana
Huraat-ul-Malika ? B?z?m?y
Early Imams
Ali ? Ḥassan ? Ḥusain
as-Sajjad ? al-Baqir ? aṣ-Ṣādiq
Ismā?īl ? Muḥammad
Abdullah /Wafi
Ahmed / at-Taqī
Husain/ az-Zakī/Rabi ? al-Mahdī
al-Qā'im ? al-Manṣūr
al-Mu?izz ? al-?Azīz ? al-Ḥākim
az-Zāhir ? al-Mustansir ? Nizār
al-Musta′lī ? al-Amīr ? al-Qāṣim
Groups and Present leaders
Nizārī ? Aga Khan IV
Dawūdī ? Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin
Sulaimanī ? Al-Fakhri Abdullah
Alavī ? Ṭayyib Ziyā'u d-Dīn
v t e
Part of a series on
Shīa Islam
Beliefs and practices
Holy Books
Succession to Muhammad
Imamate of the Family
Judgement Day
Mourning of Muharram
Intercession ? Ismah
The Occultation ? Clergy
The Qur'an ? Sahaba
Holy days
Ashura ? Arba'een ? Mawlid
Eid ul-Fitr ? Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Ghadeer
Eid al-Mubahila
Two things
? Ismāʿīlī ? Zaidi
The verse of purification
Mubahala ? Two things
Khumm ? Fatimah's house
First Fitna ? Second Fitna
The Battle of Karbala
Ahl al-Kisa
Muhammad ? Ali ? Fatimah
Hasan ? Hussein
List of Shia companions
Holy ladies
Fatimah ? Khadijah ? Zaynab bint Ali ? Fatimah bint al-Hasan ? Sukayna bint Husayn ? Rubab ? Shahrbanu ? Nijmah ? Fātimah bint Mūsā ? Hakimah Khātūn ? Narjis ? Fatimah bint Asad ? Farwah bint al-Qasim ?
v t e

Tree of the Shia Islam.

Though there are several paths (tariqah) within the Ismailis, the term in today's vernacular generally refers to the Nizari path, which recognizes the Aga Khan IV as the 49th hereditary Imam and is the largest group among the Ismailis. While some of the branches have extremely differing exterior practices, Ismailis will say that much of their spiritual theology has remained the same since the days of the faith's early Imāms. In recent centuries Ismailis have largely been a Pakistani and Indian community, but Ismaili minorities are also found in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, East Africa, Lebanon, and South Africa, and have in recent years emigrated to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Trinidad and Tobago.

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