Muhammad ibn Isma'il

Muhammad ibn Isma'il
Born122 AH
740 AD
Died197 AH
813 AD
Years active158 AH till 197 AH
Known forSeventh Ismāʿīlī Imām, Imam and great scholar of All Islamic schools.
TitleAsh Shakir, al-Maktūm
  • Wafi Ahmad (successor)
  • Jafar
  • Ismail
  • Ali
  • Hussain
  • Abdullah
  • Yahya
RelativesAli ibn Ismail (Brother)

Muhammad ibn Ismāʿīl[1][2] alias Maymūn Al-Qaddāḥ[3] was the son of Isma'il ibn Jafar; he was an Ismāʿīlī Imam. The majority of Ismāʿīlī follow his descendants through his son Wafi Ahmad (Abdullah ibn Mohammad). His descendants further founded the Fatimid Empire, also called the Nizari and Mustaali.[4][1]


Muhammad was born on 12th Rabi' al-Awwal 128 AH/740 AD. His early childhood was spent under the protection of his grandfather Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq in Medina. Throughout his time in Medina he wore a disguise to protect his identity, with only selected missionaries and loyal members knowing about his true identity.

As per the 4th volume of Uyun'l-Akhbar (comp. 842/1438), Mohammad resided in Medina to spread Ismailism and to search for place of hiding himself. The Abbasid caliph of the time, Harun al-Rashid, was investigating Muhammad's whereabouts and had forces deployed throughout Medina in search for him. On search of his place by Harun al Rashid, he concealed himself in underground passage constructed in his house and then left his place keeping his whereabouts a secret. Due to Harun al-Rashid's wife, Rabaida, and her loyalty to Muhammad ibn Ismāʿīl, Muhammad was able to evade enemy forces and migrate to Kufa.[5][6]

He remained in Kufa for an extended period of time and completed his Imamate, which lasted 45 years. He died on 11 th Shawwal 193 AH/27 July 809 AD in the region of Farghana. A letter written in 354/965 by the Fatimid Imam al-Muizz (d. 365/975) states that, "The da'is used their own names as nick-names for the Imams in order to protect them from persecution; some people were misled by this to such a degree that they said that the Imam, descendant of Muhammad bin Ismail was Abdullah bin Maymun al-Qaddah." According to Arif Tamir in al-Qaramita (p. 87), "When Muhammad bin Ismail fled from the east and established in Palmyra in Syria, the centers of his activities; he called himself Maymun al-Qaddah."[5]

His father Imam Ismāʿīl died during the lifetime of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq. Idris Imad al-Din, the 19th Dai of Tayyibis (d 872 AH), in the book, ‘Zahr al Ma’ani’, says that Imam al-Sadiq (as) appointed Musa al-Kadhim as his successor, but his goal in doing so was to protect the Imamate of Muhammad Ibn Ismail.[7] Mohammad was succeeded by his son Abdullah ibn Mohammad (Wafi Ahmad), who became the 8th Ismāʿīlī Imam. The 8th, 9th and 10th Ismāʿīlī Imams are believed to have gone into seclusion because of the constant threat of death from the Abbasid dynasty.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Öztürk, Yaşar Nuri, En-el Hak İsyanı (The Anal Haq Rebellion) – Hallâc-ı Mansûr (Darağacında Miraç - Miraç on Gallows), Vol 1, page 61, Yeni Boyut, İstanbul, 2011. (in Turkish) (Chapter on Qarmatians says that Muhammad ibn Ismāʿīl disguised his true identity under the name of "Maymūn’āl-Qaddāḥ".)
  2. ^ Balcıoğlu, Tahir Harimî (1940). Hilmi Ziya Ülken (ed.). Türk tarihinde mezhep cereyanları (in Turkish). İstanbul: Kanaat Yayınları, Ahmed Sait tab'ı.
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Iranica, ʿAbdallāh bin Maymūn Al-Qaddāḥ
  4. ^ Öz, Mustafa, Mezhepler Tarihi ve Terimleri Sözlüğü (The History of madh'habs and its terminology dictionary), Ensar Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2011. (in Turkish) (Muhammed ibn Ismā‘īl ibn Jā’far disguised himself under the name of Maymūn’āl-Qaddāh or later used his trainer name. He had established the principles of the Batiniyya Madh'hab, later.)
  5. ^ a b [1]; MOHAMMAD BIN ISMAIL (158-197/775-813), 7TH IMAM; Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin
  6. ^ The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines, By Farhad Daftary, p.95
  7. ^ [2], Ismaili Imams A brief look at the Ismaili Imams

External links[edit]

Muhammad ibn Isma'il
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Clan of the Quraish
Born: 122 AH 740 AD Died: 197 AH 813 AD
Shia Islam titles
Preceded by
Ismail ibn Jafar
7th Imam of Ismailism
740 - 775
Succeeded by
Wafi Ahmad