The Ismailis represent the second largest Shi‘i Muslim community, after the Twelver (or Ithna‘ashari) Shi‘is and today they are scattered as religious minorities throughout more than thirty countries of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.
The books in our Ismaili collection shed light on a thousand-year long history of the Ismailis and their traditions; they cover the three main phases of Ismaili history: the Fatimid period (909–1090), the Alamut period (1090–1256) and the post-Alamut period (1256–) including the present time. Covering many languages and scripts, these books comprise modern monographs, critical editions of manuscripts, Safarnamah (or book of travels), religious sermons as well as devotional literature.
Some of the highlights of the collection include critical editions and translations of the works by the famous Fatimid Jurist, Qadi al-Nu’man (d. 974), the renowned Persian poet and traveller, Nasir-i Khusraw (d. 1088), and the medieval philosopher and astronomer, Nasir al-Din Tusi (d. 1274) to name a few. Also included in the collection are large holdings of devotional hymns known as ginans attributed to Ismaili Pirs in the Indian sub-continent. The collection also includes the Ismaili works of the famous Russian scholar and pioneer of modern Ismaili studies, Vladimir Ivanow (1886–1970) as well as works authored by European orientalists.
With more titles to follow, this batch of digitised materials serves as a taster for one of the core collections in the Aga Khan Library.
The full list of titles in the Ismaili Printed Materials Collection is available in our