The Ismailis are a community of Shi‘a Muslims who have settled around the world. Throughout their history, the Ismailis have been guided by hereditary leaders, Imams, who trace their genealogy back to Prophet Muhammad through his daughter, Fatima, and his son-in-law and cousin, Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib.
Today, the Ismailis are a pluralistic community led by their present Imam, Shah Karim al-Hussaini, Aga Khan IV. The Ismailis: An Illustrated History contains some 400 images of manuscripts, artefacts and monuments, community documents as well as important historical and contemporary photographs. Based on the results of modern scholarship in the field, this book offers a comprehensive and accessible account of Ismaili history and intellectual achievements, and sets them in the wider contexts of Islamic and world history.