Glossary: Ismaili Shia Islam

A subsect of Shia Islam that takes its name from Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail, the Seventh Imam. Ismaili Shia doctrine closely resembled Twelver Shia Islam with regard to observance of the sharia but also included a system of philosophy and science coordinated with religion that proved the divine origin of the Imamate and the rights of the Fatimids to it. Ubaid Allah, al Mahdi, the founder of the Fatimid Dynasty, came to North Africa in the early tenth century and actively promoted the Ismaili faith. See also Shia.

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