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The Ismailis in the Middle AgesA History of Survival, a Search for Salvation$
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Shafique N. Virani

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311730

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311730.001.0001

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 The Way of the Seeker

 The Way of the Seeker

(p.133) SEVEN The Way of the Seeker
The Ismailis in the Middle Ages

Shafique N. Virani (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The celebrated Iranian poet, philosopher, and traveler Nasir-i Khusraw was moved by a dream to abandon his carefree ways and search for truth. His quest led him to swear his allegiance to al-Mustansir bi'llah, the Ismaili Imam and sovereign of a mighty empire. Centuries later, a Muslim scholar by the name of Bu Ishaq Quhistani had a similar crisis of faith, which led him to pledge his fealty to the Ismaili Imam of his time, coincidentally also named Mustansir bi'llah, who, however, was in concealment. This chapter follows the spiritual pilgrimage of Bu Ishaq, explores the conduct of the da'wa in this period, and explores the concept and context of taqiyya in greater depth. It also reassesses the relationship between Sufism and Ismailism in the wake of the Mongol invasions.

Keywords:   bay'at, Nasir-i Khusraw, da'wa, Sabbath, Bu Ishaq Quhistani, taqlid, mullah, Sufism, ta'lim, qiyas, ra'y, taqiyya

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