Fatimid period – The Golden Age of Ismailism

The Fatimid period was in a sense the ‘golden age’ of Ismaılism, when the Ismaılı imam ruled over a vast empire and Ismaılı thought and literature attained their apogee. It was during the Fatimid period that the Ismaılı da’ıs, who were at the same time the scholars and authors of their community, produced what were to become the classic texts of Ismaılı literature dealing with a multitude of exoteric and esoteric subjects. Ismaılı law,which had not existed during the pre-Fatimid secret phase of Ismaılısm,was also codified during the early Fatimid period. It was indeed during the Fatimid period that Ismaılıs made their important contributions to Islamic theology and philosophy in general and to Shı’ı thought in particular.

Modern recovery of their literature clearly attests to the richness and diversity of the literary and intellectual traditions of the Ismaılıs of the Fatimid times.

Farhad Daftary – The Ismailis – Their History and Doctrines


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