The Ismaili Da ø Wa Essay
1112 Words Sep 30th, 2016 5 Pages
In the study of Ismaili history in Khurasan, the name of Yaʿqūb ibn Layth Ṣaffār (hereafter, Yaʿqūb, r. 247-66/861-79) is closely connected with the Ismaili daʿwa. Before analysing Yaʿqūb’s connection with the Ismaili daʿwa network, it is important to briefly describe the political milieu of Sīstān in which Yaʿqūb emerged to power, particularly at a time when the Khārijites were in rebellion against the local governors and the ʿAbbāsid caliphs. Yaʿqūb established his authority all over Sīstān in 251/865 and, after defeating the Ṭāhirids (206-259/821-873), established the second independent dynasty in Khurasan (Kennedy, 1986:77; Morgan, 1988:19-20). He defeated the Khārijites’ army and progressed with his conquest of the seat of the Ṭāhirid dynasty in Hirāt, from where he then extended his territory eastward to Bāmyān, Ghaznī, and then to Kabul in 256/870 (Kennedy, 1986:177). Although on this expedition he defeated the Turkish king of Kabul (the capital of modern-day Afghanistan), and he is credited for establishing Islam for the first time in a district hitherto under the influence of Buddhism (Skrine & Ross, 2005:67), the people’s conversion to Islam was a slow and long process. However, as Islam was on the rise, Buddhism and other non-Islamic practices were gradually declining in Khurasan. Equally, Shīʿa and Sunni doctrines had not crystallized yet. Therefore, the region was very fertile for the Ismaili daʿwa.