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Alamūt, Ismailism and Khwāja Qāsim Tushtarī’s Recognizing God

Drawing extensively on the testimony of the Persian historians of the seventh-eighth hijri centuries (corresponding to the thirteen-fourteenth centuries of the Christian era), this article sketches a detailed picture of several personalities involved in founding the nascent Ismaili state centred at Alamūt in the fifth/eleventh century. This background sets the stage for analyzing a new manuscript source documenting Ismaili history and thought of this period, Khwāja Qāsim Tushtarī’s Recognizing God
(Maʿrifat-i Khudāy taʿālā). After outlining and amending previous scholarship on this author and surveying the text’s extant manuscript and lithographic sources, the article analyzes the historical references, focusing on the figure of Sharaf al-Dīn Muḥammad, and examining the evolution of the Ismaili leadership structure. It argues for a likely date of composition between 525/1131 and 533/1139, making Tushtarī’s Recognizing God one of the oldest Ismaili texts from Alamūt still in existence.

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