Ismā’īlī movement in Sindh, Multan and Gujrat

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Book Review

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Studies on the history of Satpanth (literally. true path) tradition of Ismā’īlīsm are extremely rare. The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), London, which is globally renowned as the publication hub of Ismā’īlī studies, has failed to compile even a single petite volume on this subject. The matter becomes crystal clear when a glance is thrown at efforts by individual scholars like Dr. G. A. Allana, who have tirelessly worked to compile whatsoever knowledge they could afford in the form of various books. Published in 2010 by Mehran Publishers, Karachi, the book Ismā’īlī Movement in Sindh, Multan and Gujrat is one of the masterpieces inscribed by Dr. G. A. Allana. Available at economical rates, this book is a fascinating read for all those who wish to extend their knowledge about the origin, evolution and historical development of the Ismā’īlī tradition across South Asian regions.

The book is divided into eight chapters and each of them is closely allied with the other ones. In the beginning chapter, Allana briefly explores the history of Sindh from the time of Indus Valley Civilization upto the Soomra dynasty. He also sheds light on the origin of the Ismā’īlī Da’wa (literally. invitation) and its subsequent spread to various regions of South Asia. In doing so, he makes a brief mention of different Ismā’īlī pīrs and dā’īs who operated in a diverse number of South Asian regions to propagate the Ismā’īlī message. The author, particularly in this chapter, has rightly remained highly critical of Dr. Farhad Daftary for not including substantial material on the Satpanth Ismā’īlī tradition in any of his Ismā’īlī history books published by the IIS.