Publication

  • The recovery of Ismaili manuscript sources in modern times has revealed the diversity of this rich literary heritage, ranging from legal and other exoteric texts to treatises on ta’wilinfo-icon or esoteric exegesis, the hallmark of Ismaili thought, and a variety of theological and philosophical subjects. However, modern progress in Ismaili studies has also shown that the Ismaili da‘iinfo-icons, who were at the same time the scholars and authors of their community, were not particularly interested in historiography. Among the few historical works found in Ismaili literature, the writings of Idris ‘Imad al–Dininfo-icon b. al–Hasan, who led the Musta‘li Tayyibi Ismailis of Yemen as their nineteenth da‘i mutlaq for four decades until his death in 872/1468, occupy a central position. This learned da‘i, who had access to numerous Ismaili sources, in fact, produced several histories including the Uyuninfo-icon al–akhbar, the only comprehensive history of the Ismaili Imams, from the earliest times until the late Fatimid period when Ismailism had already split into its major Nizari and Musta‘li factions.
     

    The seventh and final volume of Idris’ ‘Uyun al–akhbar is published here for the first time in a critical edition prepared by Professor Ayman Fu’ad Sayyidinfo-icon accompanied with a summary English translation. This volume carries the narrative from the time of the Fatimid Caliphinfo-iconImaminfo-icon al–Mustansir bi’llah (427–487/1036–1094), and the revival of the Ismaili da‘wainfo-icon in Yemen under the Sulayhidsinfo-icon, to the reigns of al–Mustansir’s next two successors on the Fatimid throne, al–Musta‘li and al–Amirinfo-icon, and the origins of the Tayyibi da‘wa in Yemen under the patronage of the Sulayhid queen al–Malika al–Sayyida (d. 532/1138). This is, indeed, the most important Ismaili source on the early history of the Musta‘li–Tayyibi da‘wa in Yemen reflecting that community’s indigenous tradition. As such, Idris’ account of the origins of Tayyibi Ismailism are in conflict with the version propounded by the Hafizisinfo-icon, the other Musta‘li Ismaili community who recognised as their imams the later Fatimid caliphs, after al–Amir (d. 524/1130), but did not long survive the collapse of the Fatimid dynasty in 567/1171. Similarly, the author’s account of the Nizari–Musta7‘li succession dispute reflects the official view of the Tayyibisinfo-icon, the only surviving Musta‘li community in Yemen and elsewhere — a view that is rejected by the Nizari Ismaili tradition. The Nizarisinfo-icon uphold the rights of Nizar (d. 489/1095), al–Mustansir’s eldest son and original heir–designate who was set aside forcefully in favour of his younger half–brother al–Musta‘li (d. 495/1101) by the all–powerful Fatimid vizierinfo-icon al–Afdal.
     

    The wide range of research projects undertaken, or encouraged, by The Institute of Ismaili Studies serve to reflect pluralism in Islam as well as a diversity of interpretations within Shi‘isminfo-icon, including not only Ismailism of different branches but Twelver (Ithna‘ashari) and Zaydi Shi‘ism as well. It is in this academic spirit, and in order to further progress in Ismaili studies, that the present important text is offered here in the Ismaili Texts and Translations Series.
     

     

  • Foreword by Farhad Daftary

    Introduction

    Uyuninfo-icon al–akhbar, vol. 7 (English Summary of the Arabic Text)

    Bibliography

    Index to the English Text

    ‘Uyun al–akhbar, vol. 7 (Arabic Text, Bibliography and Indices)

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  • Mr. Ayman Fu’ad Sayyid

    English
    Ayman Fu'ad Sayyid studied at Cairo University and obtained his doctorate from the University of Paris. For over a decade he was academically affiliated to the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ALESCO). Later he served as director of the Egyptian National Library and taught Islamic history and Arabic codicology at universities in Cairo, Paris and Tokyo. One of the foremost authorities on the history of medieval Egypt and Yemen, he has edited and published numerous Arabic texts. His most recent books include La capitale de l'Égypte jusqu'à l'époque Fatimide, al-...Read more