The First Aga Khan

Memoirs of the 46th Ismaili Imam, A Persian Edition and English Translation of Muhammad Hasan al-Husaynī's 'Ibrat-afzā

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Daniel Beben, Daryoush Mohammad Poor
Ismali Text and Translations
  • London, England: 
    I. B. Tauris
    , October
     272 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


This book offers a new Persian edition and the first English translation of the Ibrat-afza, the memoirs of Hasan Ali Shah, the 46th Imam of the Nizari Ismailis and the first Ismaili Imam to bear the title of Aga Khan. The Ibrat-afza was composed in the year 1851, following the Imam’s departure from Persia and his permanent settlement in India.

The text recounts the Aga Khan’s early life and political career as the governor of the province of Kirman in Iran, and narrates the dramatic events of his conflict with the Qajar establishment in Iran and his subsequent travels and exploits in Afghanistan and British India. The Ibrat-afza provides a rare example of an autobiographical account from an Ismaili Imam and a first-hand account giving a window into the history of the Ismailis of Iran, India and Central Asia at the dawn of the modern era of their history. Consequently, the book will be of great interest to both researchers and general readers interested in Ismaili history and in the history of the Islamic world in the nineteenth century.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Daniel Beben is Assistant Professor of History at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

Daryoush Mohammad Poor is Senior Research Associate in the Department of Academic Research and Publications at the Institute of Ismaili Studies. He is also Lecturer for the Department of Graduate Studies and his teaching areas include Ismaili Intellectual History and Philosophy, intellectual Traditions and Contemporary Muslim Thought.


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