Table of Contents

Ismaili Imams

A brief look at the Ismaili Imams:

This section focuses on the Ismaili Imams starting from Ismail. I will briefly narrate their lives and examine the issues arising, especially from the point of view of their being qualified for being appointed as Leaders of the Divine Religion of Islam

Following is the genealogical table of the Fatimid Ismaili Caliph Imams:

1. Ismail Ibn Jafar (d 136 AH/754 AD) (6th Ismaili Imam)

2. Muhammad al-Maktum ibn Ismail (not much info available) (7th Ismaili Imam)

3. Abd Allah ibn Muhammad (no dates available) (8th Ismaili Imam)

4. Ahmad ibn Abd Allah (no dates available) (9th Ismaili Imam)

5. Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad (d 268 AH/ 881 AD) (10th Ismaili Imam)

6. Abu Muhammed ‘Ubayd Allah (Abd Allah) al-Mahdi Billah (d 322 AH/934 AD) (1st Fatimid Caliph) (11th Ismaili Imam)

7. Abul Qasim Muhammed al-Qaim bi Amr Allah (d 334 AH/946 AD) (2nd Fatimid Caliph) (12th Ismaili Imam)

8. Abu Tahir Ismail al-Mansur Billah (d 341 AH/953 AD) (3rd Fatimid Caliph) (13th Ismaili Imam)

9. Abu Tamim Ma’add al-Muizz li din Allah (d 365 AH/ 975 AD) (4th Fatimid Caliph)(14th Ismaili Imam)

10. Abu Mansur Nizar al-Aziz Billah (d 386 AH/996 AD) (5th Fatimid Caliph) (15th Ismaili Imam)

11. Abu Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim bi Amr Allah (d 411 AH/1021 AD) (6th Fatimid Caliph) (16th Ismaili Imam)

12. Abul Hasan Ali al-Zahir li I’zaz din Allah (d 427 AH/1036 AD) (7th Fatimid Caliph) (17th Ismaili Imam)

13. Abu Tamim Ma’add al-Mustansir Billah (d 487 AH/1094 AD)1 (8th Fatimid Caliph) (18th Ismaili Imam)

14. Al-Mustali Billah (d 495 AH/1101 AD) 9th Fatimid Caliph) (19th Taiyyebi/Mustali Imam)

15. Al-Amir bi Ahkam Allah (d 524 AH/1130 AD)2 (10th Fatimid Caliph)(20th Taiyyebi/Mustali Imam)

16. Al-Tayyib went into hiding (21st Taiyyebi/Mustali Imam)

Ismail Ibn Jafar (6th Ismaili Imam) Start of the Split

Ismail was the oldest son of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as). Some of the Shias used to think that Ismail would be the next Imam after Imam al-Sadiq (as), since he was the oldest and Imam al-Sadiq (as) loved him very much. However, Ismail died while Imam al-Sadiq (as) was still alive. It is reported that when the funeral of Ismail was being taken to the Baqi cemetery in Medina, Imam al-Sadiq (as) uncovered the face of his deceased son Ismail a few times to show that he was dead. His intention in doing that was to establish the fact of Ismail’s death to those who had thought that he was to succeed after al-Sadiq (as) and to remove any doubt regarding him still being alive.3 Many Ismaili and non-Ismaili sources report the story of how, before and during Ismail’s funeral procession, Imam al-Sadiq made deliberate attempts to show the face of his dead son to witnesses.4

Ismailis believe that Ismail was the 6th Imam and is highly revered by them. Unfortunately, Ismaili sources such as the ‘Uyun al-Akhbar’ contain little historical information of any value concerning him. 5

According to some Ismaili authors, Ismail survived Imam al-Sadiq (as). However, the majority of sources report that he predeceased his father in Medina, and was buried in Baqi cemetery. Hasan b. Nuh al-Bharuchi, an Indian Ismaili author, relates visiting Ismail’s grave in Medina in 904 H/1498 AD.6

Ismail was popular among the radical Shias and was closely associated with them. Imam al-Sadiq (as) did not approve of these radical Shias who were leading his son astray.7

According to another report, Ismail was evidently involved in a militant anti-regime plot in collaboration with several others, including Bassam b. Abd Allah al-Sayrafi, another extremist Shia. This is one of the occasions reported by the Imami sources, during which al-Sadiq expressed his strong disapproval of Ismail’s activities.8

Ismailis believe that Ismail {the oldest son of Imam al-Sadiq (as)} was the Imam who succeeded Imam al-Sadiq (as). However, it is a known fact in history that Ismail died in the year 136 AH/754 AD9, whereas Imam al-Sadiq (as) died in the year 148 AH/765 AD.10 Moreover, one source actually places the death of Ismail in the year 133 AH/751 AD.11 How can an Imam be a successor if he is already dead? It does not make sense!

Some of the Ismailis claim that Ismail had not died, but rather gone into Ghaibat (occultation) – this belief cannot be true because this is a known fact in history that Imam al-Sadiq (as) led the funeral prayers of Ismail when he died. However, some of the Ismailis accepted his death, and therefore claim that his eldest son, Muhammed Ibn Ismail, was the Imam after Ismail. This also does not make sense because if Ismail had died during the lifetime of Imam al-Sadiq (as), and hence was not an Imam, then how can his son Muhammed Ibn Ismail become an Imam?

Some questions to raise & ponder about

 Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) never appointed Ismail as his successor. Even the Ismaili books have no mention that Ismail was appointed by Imam al-Sadiq (as) as his successor. The Ismaili books, like ‘Imam e Ismail’ written by Mulla Hussain Ali Saheb Sarangpoori’ written in Urdu,12 claim that Ismail was appointed successor by Imam al-Sadiq (as), but unfortunately, provided no reference to prove his claim.

 Let us suppose that Ismail was appointed as a successor of Imam al-Sadiq (as). However, Ismail ibn Jafar died while Imam al-Sadiq (as) was still alive and al-Sadiq (as) was the Imam of the time. This means that Ismail was not an Imam when he died. Then why do the Ismailis take him as an Imam? Why do the Ismailis automatically assume that Muhammad ibn Ismail was the successor of Imam al-Sadiq (as)?

 If Ismail was an Imam, then why don’t the Ismailis have much information regarding him? The Ismaili books, such as ‘Uyun al- Akhbar’, contain little information regarding him.

 Ismail was popular among the radical Shias and was closely associated with them. Imam al-Sadiq (as) did not approve of these radical Shias who were leading his son astray. A person who is meant to be an Imam should have impeccable qualities. Ismail was closely associated with the radical shias, who were not approved by Imam al-Sadiq (as), why?

 Ismail was evidently involved in a militant anti-regime plot in collaboration with several others, including Bassam b. Abd Allah al-Sayrafi, another extremist Shia. Imam al-Sadiq (as) expressed his strong disapproval of Ismail’s activities. How can it be possible that Imam al-Sadiq (as) would appoint such a son as his successor?

 A successor is one who succeeds, but Ismail died before his father and did not succeed Imam al-Sadiq (as). How can he be a successor then?

 There are no thought provoking sayings of Ismail ibn Jafar found in the scrolls of history, why?

Muhammed Ibn Ismail, Abd Allah ibn Muhammad & Ahmad ibn Abd Allah

Muhammed Ibn Ismail, Abd Allah ibn Muhammad & Ahmad ibn Abd Allah (7th, 8th and 9th Ismaili Imams respectively)

Muhammad was the eldest son of Ismail ibn Jafar. As per the Ismaili sources, he was 26 years old when Imam al-Sadiq (as) was martyred and was 8 years older than his uncle, Imam Musa ibn Jafar (as). On the basis of these details, Muhammad ibn Ismail must have been born around 120 AH/738 AD. However, as per Dastur al-Munajjimin, he was born in 121 AH/November 739 AD.13 Muhammad was 14 years old when his father Ismail died, and since Ismail predeceased his father Imam al-Sadiq (as) by some 12 years, around 136 AH. Hence, he was around 26 years old when Imam al-Sadiq (as) was martyred.14

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.15

Dr. Zahid Ali quotes Idris Imad al-Din, the 19th Dai of Tayyibis, “Imam Musa al-Kadhim’s mother was a slave, and an Imam cannot be born to a slave girl; whereas the mother of Muhammad Ibn Ismail was not a slave girl.”16

It is strange that there is not much information regarding Muhammad ibn Ismail in the books of Ismailis, even though he was one of the most important Imams of the Ismailis. However, they do say that after most of the Shias accepted Musa Ibn Jafar as the successor of Imam al-Sadiq (as), Muhammad ibn Ismail left Madina and went to the east and lived secretly. This is why he acquired the epithet al-Maktum, the Hidden.17 It is also said that he first went to southern Iraq and then to Persia, spending the latter part of his life in Khuzistan, in southwestern Persia.18

It is also said that after the martyrdom of Imam al-Sadiq (as), Muhammad ibn Ismail did not oppose his uncle, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as), as long as he was in Madina. Instead, he respected him. Additionally, he also consulted with Musa ibn Jafar on important matters. It is narrated from Ali ibn Jafar that Muhammad ibn Ismail, before going to Iraq, asked the permission of his uncle, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as). At this point, Imam Musa told Muhammad to refrain from shedding his (Imam Musa’s) blood. Muhammad ibn Ismail replied by saying, ‘curse be upon the person who takes part in shedding your blood’. Musa Ibn Jafar (as) gave him ample money for his travel. Unfortunately, when Muhammad ibn Ismail reached Iraq, he went to Harun al Rashid, the Abbasid king, and said something to instigate Harun against Musa ibn Jafar. This led to the martyrdom of Musa ibn Jafar. Harun rewarded Muhammad ibn Ismail with 100,000 dirhams but when Muhammad ibn Ismail reached home with this wealth, he suffered severe pain in his throat and died the very night. He could never enjoy that wealth he received by false accusations against his uncle Musa ibn Jafar.19

The exact date of Muhammad’s death remains unknown. But it is almost certain that he died during the caliphate of Harun al-Rashid, perhaps soon after 179 Hijri/795-796 AD, the year in which al-Rashid, continuing the anti-Alid policy of his predecessors, arrested Musa ibn Jafar (as) in Medina and banished him to Iraq as a prisoner.20

There is almost no information regarding the followers of Muhammad ibn Ismail and the history of Ismailis is quiet and dubious for about almost one century after the death of Muhammad Ibn Ismail.21

Some questions to raise & ponder about

 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. My question is, are there any traditions of Imam al-Sadiq (as) clarifying that he appointed Musa al-Kadhim (as) as his successor to protect Muhammad Ibn Ismail? Another question – are they accusing Imam al-Sadiq (as) of not telling the truth? Imam, as a Ma’soom (infallible), cannot lie! The history tells us that Imam Musa al-Kadhim was appointed, but is there anywhere in history we find that Muhammad Ibn Ismail was appointed? There are traditions from authentic sources that Imam al-Sadiq (as) appointed Musa al-Kadhim (as), not only in the books of Ithna Ashari Shia but also found in the Ismaili books too, like Dai Idris Imad al-Din, who talks about it in the book ‘Zahr al Maani’.

 Dr. Zahid Ali quotes Idris Imad al-Din the 19th Dai of Tayyibis, “Imam Musa al-Kadhim’s mother was a slave and an Imam cannot be born to a slave girl, whereas the mother of Muhammad Ibn Ismail was not a slave girl.” The Dai Idris gives the reason why the Ismailis do not accept Musa al-Kadhim as their Imam, just because he was born to a slave girl. This means that if Musa al-Kadhim (as) would have been born to a wife of Imam al-Sadiq (as), then the Ismailis would have accepted Musa al-Kadhim as their Imam. Then, what about Muhammad ibn Ismail? Then, what about their claim that Imam al-Sadiq (as) appointed Musa al-Kadhim just to protect Muhammad Ibn Ismail? Furthermore, what is wrong if Imam al-Kadhim (as) was born to a slave girl? The Ismailis do not accept him as an Imam because he was born to a slave girl! Nabi Ibrahim’s son Nabi Ismail (as) was the son of Hajara (sa), who was also a slave girl of Nabi Ibrahim! Our Holy Prophet (sawa) was from the progeny of Nabi Ismail (as), which means the great grandmother of the Holy Prophet (sawa) was a slave girl! In fact, one of the main reasons why the Jews and Christians did not accept the Holy Prophet (sawa) was because he (sawa) was from the progeny of Nabi Ismail, who was born to a slave girl! The Jews and Christians saw the signs of Prophethood in the Holy Prophet (sawa), but still rejected him just because he was from the progeny of Nabi Ismail, who was born to a slave girl. Does this mean that the Ismailis, even though they saw the signs of an Imam in Musa al-Kadhim, rejected him only because he was born to a slave girl of Imam al-Sadiq (as)? This is something to seriously ponder about!

 Wasn’t Hajara (sa), the Prophet Abraham’s wife, a bondwoman? Did she not bear Ismail (Ishmael) (as), of whom the Prophet Muhammad (sawa) is a direct descendant? If it is acceptable for the Prophet Muhammad (sawa), the Seal of Prophethood, to be a descendant of Ismail (as) who was born to a bondwoman, then why should it be shameful for Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as)?

 Why are there no thought provoking sayings of Muhammad ibn Ismail found in the scrolls of history?

 If Muhammad ibn Ismail was hidden, as is indicated by his title ‘al-Maktum (The hidden)’, then why are there no traditions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) or Imams [Imam Ali to Imam al-Sadiq (as)] speaking about him? Our Holy Prophet (sawa) and the Imams [Imam Ali to Imam al-Sadiq (as)] have all talked about Imam Mahdi (as) and the fact that he would go into occultation. There are a lot of traditions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) talking about Imam Mahdi, the 12th Imam of the Ithna Ashari Shias, both in the books of Ahle Sunna22 and the books of Ithna Asharis. Our Holy Prophet (sawa) spoke in detail about his successors, as documented in the books of Ahle Sunna and Ithna Ashari Shias. Then why is there nothing mentioned about Muhammad ibn Ismail and that he would be hidden?

 It is strange that there is not much information regarding Muhammad ibn Ismail in the books of Ismailis, even though he was one of the most important Imams of the Ismailis. Why?

 Are there any traditions of Imam al-Sadiq (as) that he appointed Muhammad ibn Ismail as his successor? Are there any traditions in the Ismaili books regarding it? Why not?

 There a lot of clear traditions about Musa al-Kadhim (as) that he was appointed by Imam al-Sadiq (as).23 Why not Muhammad ibn Ismail?

 There is not much known about the three Ismaili Imams, Muhammed Ibn Ismail, Abdallah ibn Muhammed and Ahmad ibn Abdallah, three Ismaili Imams after Ismail ibn Jafar. The history does not even tell us when they died. Suppose the argument is posed that they were hidden imams and this is why there is nothing known about them. Well, if they were hidden, then why is there no tradition from the Holy Prophet (sawa) or the Imams (as)? There is not a single tradition regarding these three hidden imams?

 It is true that the Ithna Ashari Shias believe in occultation, but the one they believe in is the occultation of Imam Mahdi (atfs) because there are numerous traditions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and the rightful Imams regarding Imam Mahdi (atfs) that give the reason of his occultation and also speak about the signs of his reappearance. On the contrary, there are no traditions regarding the three Ismaili Imams if they would be Mastoor or hidden. Something to ponder about…

Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah (The first Fatimid Caliph) (11th Ismaili Imam)

Husayn ibn Ahmed (10th Ismaili Imam) succeeded Ahmed ibn Abdallah, and died in 268 AH/881 AD.24 There is not much information about Husayn ibn Ahmad. Then after 28 years, Abu Muhammad ‘Ubayd Allah (Abdallah) al-Mahdi Billah emerged and founded the Fatimid kingdom in 297 AH/909 AD.

It is necessary to point out at this juncture that the issue of the genealogy of the Fatimid caliphs has been the center of numerous controversies. The ancestors of the Fatimid, according to the later official doctrine, were the Ismaili imams who descended from Muhammad ibn Ismail. However, the Ismaili sources are very reluctant to mention the names of these so-called ‘hidden imams’ who are the links between ‘Ubayd Allah and Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Jafar. Their names are in fact not even found in the earliest Ismaili sources which have so far come to light.25

The Fatimid caliphs refused to publish their official genealogy. Ubayd Allah, the only one among them who did make such an attempt, simply added to the confusion. Ubayd Allah claimed that he was the son of Al Husayn ibn Ahmed ibn Abd Allah ibn Abd Allah ibn Jafar, strangely enough instead of tracing his descent to Ismail ibn Jafar and his son Muhammad ibn Ismail, he names the other son, Abd Allah ibn Jafar as his progenitor.26 There is also debate on whether the successor of Ubayd Allah was his son or not.

Ubaydallah and his forefathers were ‘Dais’ and representatives of the hidden Ismaili Imam and were not from the progeny of Ali Ibn abi Talib (as) Their claim that they were from the progeny of Imam Ali (as) Fatema (sa) is null and void.27

Ubaydallah, before he established the Fatimid kingdom, was considered as the ‘Dai’ and representative of the Hidden Imam - this is why Abu Abdullah Shi’i helped him establish the kingdom. But after establishing the Fatimid kingdom, Ubaydallah announced that he was the Imam himself.28 Maybe this is why Ubaydallah killed Abdullah Shi’i? As Abdullah Shi’i was under the impression that Ubaydallah was the Dai of the hidden Imam, and when he sat on the throne claiming that he was the Imam, maybe Abdullah Shi’i objected to this claim and was killed. It is also said that Abdullah Shi’i was very powerful and had a lot of following and was the main person behind the success of Ubaydallah.

Qadhi Abdul Jabbar in his book ‘Tathbeet Dalail al Nabuvvat’ said, that ‘Abu Abdullah said that Ubaydallah is not al-Mahdi nor is he an Imam rather he is a very ill natured individual.’ And this was said in front of Ubaydallah and the people.29 Ubaydallah realized the danger and ordered the execution of Abu Abdullah Shi’i and his brother Abul Abbas and they were both killed in the month of Jamadi ul Thani of year 298 AH. Ubaydallah did not stop there; he also ordered the supporters of Abu Abdullah be killed too. This is how Ubaydallah established his power on the blood of the ones who brought him to power.30

Some questions to raise & ponder about

 As per our discussion above, it is clear that there are definite doubts whether the Fatimid caliphs really were the descendants of Fatima (sa) and Imam Ali (as). Can we accept imams if they are not from the chain of Ahlul Bayt (as)?

 Why did the Fatimid refuse to publish their official genealogy? Something to ponder about.

 Ubaydallah confused the issue of his lineage; he traced his lineage to Abd Allah ibn Jafar instead of Muhammad ibn Ismail. Why? Did he not know?

 Why did Ubaydallah use the title al Mahdi? Maybe because there are several ahadith of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and the rightful Imams about Imam Mahdi that he will appear and establish peace and justice in the world. Could it be because when the eleventh Imam of the Ithna Ashari Shias was martyred in 260 H, and the twelfth Imam went into minor occultation, Ubayd Allah took advantage of the timing and declared himself as Imam al- Mahdi? Maybe, Ubaydallah used this title to tell the people that he is the one that the Holy Prophet (sawa) talked about. Ubaydallah, who claimed to be al-Mahdi, was supposed to establish peace and justice in the world, but he did not. Ubaydallah al-Mahdi died in the year 322 AH/934 AD.

 A person, who was popularly known as Shaikh ul-Mashaikh, asked Ubaydallah al-Mahdi, ‘If you really are the Mahdi, then show us a sign.’ Ubaydallah killed him.31 Why? If he was the true Mahdi then he should have proven it?

 The next Ismaili Imam who succeeded Ubaydallah was Abul Qasim Muhammad al-Qaim bi-Amr Allah (12th Ismaili Imam). Why was al-Qaim used as his title? The title al-Qaim is also one of the titles of Imam Mahdi, the awaited savior of mankind. There are a number of traditions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and the Holy Imams (as) that say al-Qaim/ al-Mahdi is the one from the Ahlul Bayt who will bring justice and peace to the world. Did Ubaydallah use this title to get into power? Did his successor use the title to remain in power? Something to ponder about!

 If Ubaydallah or his successor would have brought peace and justice in the world, then I would have believed in them. But they did not! The Hadith of the Prophet (sawa) says that the world will be filled with peace and justice when al-Mahdi returns. That did not happen at all. We are still suffering!

Other Fatimid Caliphs after the death of Ubaydallah

For the sake of brevity, some of the Ismaili Imams like the 3rd and the 4th Fatimid Caliphs are not being discussed in detail.

Abu Mansur Nizar al-Aziz Billah (Died 386 AH/996 AD) (5th Fatimid Caliph)(15th Ismaili Imam)

The unusual policy of assigning numerous high administrative posts to Christians and Jews in a Shia Muslim state was basically in line with the religious toleration practiced by the Fatimids. But al-Aziz went further than his predecessors and set remarkable precedents in this area, probably being encouraged by his Christian wife, perhaps the mother of his only surviving son and successor. In fact, through the recommendations of al-Aziz that his two brothers-in-law, Orestes and Arsenius became respectively, the Melkite patriarch of Jerusalem and the metropolitan of Cairo in 375 AH/986 AD. Moreover, the caliph behaved favorably, despite Muslim opposition, towards the Coptic patriarch Ephraim, allowing him to rebuild the church of St Mercurius near Fustat (Old Cairo). The Christians, in particular, enjoyed a large degree of religious freedom and participation in government under al- Aziz.32

Some questions to raise & ponder about

 It was not just al-Aziz, rather, it was the practice of the Fatimid to give high posts to Christians and the Jews. Why? Was it for power? Was it for diplomatic reasons? The true appointed imams are not diplomatic; they are kind and humble, but when it comes to duty, they are not diplomatic. Best example was when Imam Ali (as) was Khalifa. He was not diplomatic, as was in the case of Muwiya; when Imam Ali (as) became the Khalifa, Muawiya was the governor of Damascus. Imam Ali (as) wanted to send a letter to Muawiya asking him to step down as he was corrupt. Ibn Abbas advised Imam Ali (as) not to do this, and to be diplomatic for the time being, as things were very unstable at the time. But, Imam Ali (as) did not listen to Ibn Abbas’s suggestion and sent the letter to Muawiya anyway, ordering him to step down. He (as) was not flexible; that is why the worldly people did not like him (as) because he (as) did everything in the way of Allah and did not mind the people nor was he (as) concerned about caliphate.

Regarding al-Aziz’s wife: The history does not say that she converted to Islam. She remained Christian and never converted to Islam.33 If so, can we expect a divinely appointed Imam to do such a thing? I would understand if she would have converted, but as per history, she did not. We really need to have some clear thinking on this matter…were these divinely appointed Imams?

Abu Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim bi Amr Allah (d 411 AH/1021 AD) (6th Fatimid Caliph) (16th Ismaili Imam)

Al-Aziz Billah died in October 996 AD and was succeeded by Abu Ali al- Mansur al-Hakim bi Amr Allah who was then about eleven years of age. Barjawan was the tutor and guardian of al-Hakim, since before the latter’s accession. Al-Hakim had developed a deep hatred for Barjawan, who had been a severe disciplinarian with the caliph, limiting his authority and restricting him to the palace. Al-Hakim had Barjawan killed in 390 AH/1000 AD with the encouragement and collaboration of another eunuch slave, Raydan. Henceforth, al-Hakim became the real ruler of the Fatimid state.34

Question to raise & ponder about

 Barjawan was the tutor and the guardian of al-Hakim! I would understand maybe Barjawan might have gone overboard, so al- Hakim had him killed? I would understand that if it was the sole decision of al-Hakim…but it was not his sole decision! He was encouraged by a slave Raydan. An Imam being told what to do by a slave! Was al-Hakim afraid that Barjawan would take his throne so he got rid of him and sat on the throne? We really need to see the kind of lives they led, clearly think this matter out…were these people divinely appointed Imams?

Al-Hakim issued an endless series of the most extraordinary decrees, which were often abolished or reversed at later dates. His changing moods and eccentricities have given rise to many different descriptions of his character, even causing some to regard al-Hakim as a person of unbalanced character.35

Some things to ponder about

 The divinely appointed Imams are supposed to be flawless, al- Hakim was known for his changing moods and eccentricities and also known as a person of unbalanced character! Can such person be considered an Imam?

 None of the decrees of a true Imam would need to be abolished or reversed!

Dr. Zahid Ali, quotes Syedna Hamiduddin when he visited Egypt and he saw the politics and the government of al-Hakim he said, ‘Some of the deeds of Moulana Hakim were dark and mind boggling and they were a calamity for the ones who are propagating (the Ismaili religion) and his deeds were a great test, we should ignore these deeds, we should not even consider them as bad deeds even though apparently we do not see any wisdom in them’. Dr. Zahid Ali then says, ‘Syedna has described a horrifying picture of the era of al-Hakim.’36

Some things to ponder about

 I wonder what did Syedna Hamiduddin see?

 Usually the deeds that are shameful are considered as dark. What did Syedna Hamiduddin see that made him say that these deeds are going to hinder the propagation?

 The deeds of the true divine Imams can never be dark (shameful). Can al-Hakim be considered as a divine Imam?

 Some of the deeds of al-Hakim were so dark and shameful that Syedna Hamiduddin decided to ignore them and said that we should not consider them as bad deeds. What does this say about al-Hakim? And what does this say about Syedna Hamiduddin?

 This extract is taken from Dr. Zahid Ali a famous Bohra scholar.

 True divinely appointed Imams are supposed to be impeccable in character, was al-Hakim divine?

Dr. Zahid Ali says, that the fact that al-Hakim held his court at night for three years is not reported in ‘Uyun al-Akhbar’ and all the facts that make al-Hakim’s character look bad has been omitted from Uyun al- Akhbar. Then Dr. Zahid Ali questions, ‘why the author of Uyun al-Akhbar did not say anything about these facts?’ Dr Zahid Ali further questions, ‘Uyun al-Akhbar was meant to be a book for guidance then why does it have a lot of poems in it, which have no historical significance?’37

Something to ponder about

 Al-Hakim held his court at night and that too for three years! This means that he was going against nature; night is meant for resting and one is supposed to work in the day. Can a true divine Imam order his subjects to work at night?

 What were the other things regarding al-Hakim that Uyun al- Akhbar omitted?

 Why did Uyun al-Akhbar omit some of the historical facts?

One of al-Hakim’s most important acts was the foundation of the Dar al-Hikma (House of Wisdom), in a section of the Fatimid palace in Cairo. Al-Hakim often attended the lectures at the Dar al-Hikma. Some Sunni Jurists too were permitted to teach at the Dar al-Hikma. In 400 AH, al-Hakim apparently founded a separate Sunni institute of learning at Fustat under two Maliki scholars.38

Something to ponder about

 If al-Hakim was an Imam and was in power, then why did he allow Sunni Jurists to speak in Dar ul-Hikma in the Fatimid palace? I would understand if he would let them speak in their own Masajid. Could it be that he wanted to please the Sunnis to stay in power? Could it be that he felt that the Ismailis could gain something from the Jurisprudence of Ahle Sunna? If he was the true divinely appointed Imam then he should himself have known all the Jurisprudence. Why did he encourage the Sunni Madhab by opening a separate institute of learning? Was it to please them? Imam al-Sadiq (as) had 4000 students but he did not allow the other school of thoughts to teach them, even though he was not in power. The other school of thoughts would come and debate with him or his students but never did they come to teach.

A long list of viziers, commanders and other dignitaries lost their lives at his (al-Hakim’s) order, starting with Barjawan and including Fahd Ibn Ibrahim, in addition to a number of concubines and numerous ordinary prisoners. Of the five persons who held the post of chief Dai under al- Hakim, al Husayn b. Ali, al-Numan, his cousin ‘Abd al-Aziz b. Muhammed b. al-Numan and Malik b. Sa’id, all three prominent personalities who simultaneously held the prestigious office of Chief Qadi were executed.39 Husayn b. Ali Numan and Abd al-Aziz b. Muhammed b al-Numan were from the family of Qadi al-Numan who held a very high position among the Ismailis. Al-Hakim had them killed.40

Something to ponder about

 Why were the chief Dais executed? Why were the concubines executed? Divinely appointed Imams are supposed to be perfectly just so were these people executed for just reasons?

There occurred several disturbances and open revolts during al- Hakim’s caliphate. The most serious of these revolts, which lasted about two years, was that of Abu Rakwa Walid b. Hisham, who claimed to be related to the Umayyads of Spain…. Abu Rakwa was executed in Cairo in 397 AH/1007 AD. It was during this revolt that al-Hakim decided to adopt more liberal policies, also revising his anti-Sunni measures. 41

In the year 395 AH, al-Hakim ordered the cursing of the first three caliphs of the Khulafa Rashideen42 in the Mosques and the Bazaars. After the revolt of Abu Rakwa in 397 AH, al Hakim ordered the cursing of the first three caliphs to stop. In the year 399 AH, al-Hakim prohibited the Sunnis from praying ‘Taraveeh’ in the Holy month of Ramadan and also executed one of the Imams who was leading the Taraveeh prayers. Then in the year 408H, he allowed the Sunnis to pray the Taraveeh prayers in the month of Ramadan.43

Something to ponder about

 Why was al-Hakim strict with Sunnis in the first place? He should have let them practice their Madhab. Then when they revolted, he adopted liberal policies and revised his anti-Sunni measures. Why was al-Hakim strict and then later adopted liberal policies? Was he afraid that he would lose his throne? Would a truly and divinely appointed Imam do such a thing? We need to think this out clearly.

Al-Hakim forced the Christians to accept Islam and threatened to kill them if they did not accept Islam. He demolished some famous churches too.44

Something to ponder about

 The teachings of Islam say that there is no compulsion in religion! Islam does not allow the demolition of churches. Then how come al-Hakim ordered this? Can a divinely appointed Imam ever do this kind of act?

In the year 398 AH, al-Hakim ordered the demolition of all the churches that were in his kingdom and asked the Christians and the Jews to accept Islam. If they refused, then they had to get out of his kingdom and migrate to Rome, some of them migrated, and others that could not do so, accepted Islam, but not with their hearts and souls. In the year 404 AH, al-Hakim changed his mind and allowed the Christians to practice their religion in his kingdom. Therefore, the ones who accepted Islam forcibly returned back to their religion.45

Something to ponder about

 Can a divinely appointed Imam do these kinds of cruel acts? As per Islam, there is no compulsion in religion; would a divinely appointed Imam compel non-Muslims?

One of the most distinguishing features of al-Hakim’s reign was the adoption of persecutory measures against Christians and Jews. His anti–dhimmi46 policy, which took definite shape in the year 395 AH/1004 AD, was undoubtly partially motivated by the caliph’s desire to enhance his popularity amongst the Muslims of Egypt, who had become increasingly antagonistic towards the dhimmi’s, under al-Aziz. Furthermore, by directing his anti – Christian measures mainly against the Melkites, he may have wished to win the support of the Copts, who comprised the Christian majority in Egypt. At any event, al-Hakim imposed numerous restrictions on Christians and Jews, who were obliged to observe Islamic law.

A large number of churches and monasteries were demolished; others were converted to mosques, while their properties and revenues were confiscated. Only the monastery of Mt. Sinai was spared. In 400 AH/1009 AD, al-Hakim even ordered the destruction of the church of the Holy Sepulcher at Jerusalem, an act which greatly anguished the Christians throughout the world and brought to an end the Fatimid-Byzantine truce. In 404 AH/1013 AD, al-Hakim allowed those Christians and Jews who had been obliged to embrace Islam to revert to their original faiths, or to migrate to Byzantine territories. Still later, he restored some of the churches and adopted a more tolerant attitude towards the Christians and their religious practices. In the meantime, al-Hakim had maintained his anti-Sunni measures, although at times he intensified them and then had them temporarily revoked. For instance, his order for the denouncement of Abu Bakr, his two successors and others amongst the Sahaba, issued in 395 AH and according to which the relevant maledictions were inscribed on the walls of the mosques, was repealed after two years, only to be reintroduced in 403 AH/1013 AD.47

Something to ponder about

 Islam says: There is no compulsion in religion. Then why did al-Hakim force the Christians and Jews to embrace Islam? Can a person like this be an Imam? Divinely appointed Imams should be impeccable in character and flawless. An Imam should be balanced in character and should not be moody. As per the contents above, al-Hakim seems to be totally unbalanced in character and very moody.

Al-Hakim had developed a strong inclination towards asceticism. In 403 AH/1012-1013 AD, al-Hakim forbade his subjects from prostrating before him; he also dressed simply and rode on a donkey.48

Some things to ponder about

 This means that al-Hakim had them prostrating to him for about 16 years, as he was the Caliph since 996 AD! Does this also mean that the Fatimid Imams (rulers) before al-Hakim had their subjects prostrate to them too? The history says al-Hakim forbade his subjects from prostrating in the year 1012-1013 AD? Can we expect the truly and divinely appointed Imams ever allow their subjects to prostrate to them? We really need to clearly think about this matter and see if we are following and believing in the right Imams.

 Also, history says that al-Hakim developed a strong inclination towards asceticism! This means that he was extravagant and led a life of luxury. Later, after sixteen years of his caliphate, he started inclining towards asceticism. If al-Hakim was an ordinary king, then I would understand, but he is believed by the Ismailis as an Imam.

 Al-Hakim was 11 years old when he became an Imam. The Ismailis accept him as an Imam when he was 11 yrs and had not yet reached puberty, but they object to the Imamate of Imam Muhammad Jawad (as), the ninth Imam of the Ithna Ashari Shias, because he was about 9 years old when he became an Imam.

Al-Hakim’s death and ascension of Abul Hasan Ali al-Zahir li I’zaz din Allah (d 427 AH/1036 AD) (7th Fatimid Caliph) (17th Ismaili Imam)

In 404 AH/1013 AD, al-Hakim made yet another unprecedented decision in appointing Abd al-Rahman b. Ilyas b. Ahmed, a great grandson of Ubaydallah al-Mahdi, as his ‘Wali al Ahd’49 to the exclusion of his own son Ali. Thereupon, al-Hakim delegated all the affairs of state, at least for some time, to his heir apparent, who attended the official ceremonies and later also became the governor of Damascus.50 After the death of al-Hakim, according to one plausible version, he (Hakim) was assassinated by his scheming sister Sitta al-Mulk, because her own life was threatened by the caliph. Sitta al-Mulk had al-Hakim’s only son Abul Hasan Ali, then only sixteen years old, proclaimed as Imam and Caliph with the title of al-Zahir li I’zaz Din Allah.51 The shrewd Sitta al-Mulk became regent. It may be added that henceforth, the Fatimid throne always fell to children or youths; while regents, viziers or generals held the actual reign of power for extended periods.52

Some questions to raise & ponder about

 Who gave the right to Sitta al-Mulk to proclaim al-Zahir as Imam? Al-Hakim had already appointed Abd al-Rahman as his successor and it is recorded in history, even though Abd al-Rahman was not his son! But after his death, al-Zahir was placed on the throne! If al-Hakim, the Fatimid Imam, wanted Abd al-Rahman to succeed him, then why was al-Zahir placed on the throne and called an Imam? The Ismailis follow al-Zahir as an Imam, even though al- Hakim, their own Imam, appointed Abd al-Rahman as his successor! Why? The Ismailis should have obeyed their imam.

 History says that al-Hakim had delegated all of the affairs of the state to Abd al-Rahman, at least for some time. Abd al-Rahman used to attend the official ceremonies too. This means the matter was not a secret, then why did the people take al-Zahir as the next Imam? There is something wrong here!

 All of the Fatimid caliphs Imams, starting from al- Zahir were little children or youth. Hence, the reign of power was in the hands of regents and viziers or generals, why? A divinely appointed Imam should be able to handle these things, if he is divinely appointed, even if he is a child! We need to clearly think this matter out. Are the Ismailis following the right Imams? Were they really divinely appointed?

 Also, why did al-Hakim appoint Abd al-Rahman? Abd al-Rahman was not his son, so why did he appoint him when he should have appointed his son?

Sitta al-Mulk, who is given various other names by the chroniclers, ruled efficiently for more than three years until her death in 415 AH/1024 AD.53

Something to ponder about

 Why did Sitta rule? Was al-Zahir, the Imam, not competent? An Imam should be competent enough, and that too at the age of 16. He should have been able to handle the kingdom. He was at the mercy of Sitta al-Mulk! Why?

At the beginning of her (Sitta al-Mulk) regency, she managed to have ‘Abd al-Rahman, al-Hakim’s heir designate, who had meanwhile revolted in Damascus, arrested and brought to Cairo, where he was imprisoned and murdered shortly before Sitta al-Mulk’s own death.54

Something to ponder about

 Abd al-Rahman, al-Hakim’s heir designate was killed! He was supposed to be the next Imam because al-Hakim, the Fatimid Imam, appointed him! What happened? Why do not the Ismailis believe in Abd al-Rahman as their Imam? Why did they go for the ruler al- Zahir?

Abu Tamim Ma’add al-Mustansir Billah (d 487 AH/1094 AD)lxix (8th Fatimid Caliph) (18th Ismaili Imam)

Al-Zahir died of plague in his early thirties in Sha’ban 427 AH/June 1036 AD, after ruling for fifteen years. Al-Zahir was succeeded by his seven-year-old son, Abu Tamim Ma’add, who adopted the title of al-Mustansir Billah. He had been designated as the crown prince at the age of eight months, in 421 AH/1030 AD.55

Al-Mustansir’s caliphate lasting almost sixty lunar years (427-487 AH/1036-1094 AD), was the longest of his dynasty. During the first nine years of al-Mustansir’s reign, real political authority remained in the hands of al-Jarjarai, who had retained the vizierate, while al- Mustansir’s mother, a Sudani, had started her regency and continually intrigued behind the scenes. On al-Jarjarai’s death in 436H/1044 all power was seized and maintained for a long time by the queen mother, who had kept close relations with Abu Sa’d al-Tustari, a Jewish merchant who had originally brought her to Egypt. Under the influence of Abu Sa’d, she now appointed a renegade Jew, Sadaqa b. Yusuf, to the vizierate.56

Something to ponder about

 A divinely appointed Imam does not need any regent; Why, during the first nine years of al-Mustansir’s caliphate, did he not have any say in the kingdom? Can we expect this from a divinely appointed Imam?

Starting with al-Hakim, however, the Fatimid sovereign was usually a minor at the time of his accession to the throne, and therefore, often a regent or a vizier held the real reins of power in the state. From 466 AH/1074 AD, when Badr al-Jamali arrived in Egypt and became the all-powerful vizier, the authority of the caliph-imam was reduced drastically, and the Fatimid rulers became, in effect, mere figureheads and puppets in the hands of their viziers, henceforth, the real masters of the Fatimid state.57

Something to ponder about

 How can an Imam be a puppet in the hands of a vizier? An Imam should be a servant of Allah (swt) and obey Allah (swt) and no one else. An Imam should take orders and be under the command of only Allah (swt).

From Badr al-Jamali onwards, the Fatimid vizier obtained full powers from his sovereign and was called wazir al-tawfid, or vizier with delegated powers. As this latter type of vizier, acting independently, was normally of military status, he was called ‘Vizier of the Pen and of the Sword’, or simply ‘Vizier of the Sword’ (wazir al-sayf). He was not only the commander of the armies (amir al-Juyush) and the effective head of the civil bureaucracy, but often also the head of the religious hierarchy. A distinguished feature of the Fatimid vizierate, whose occupants were changed frequently, is that several viziers were Christians, serving sovereigns who regarded themselves as the rightful leaders of the Muslims throughout the world. In later Fatimid times, this position came to be held by yet other Christians, notably the Armenian general Bahram (d. 535 AH/1140 AD), who was ‘Vizier of the Sword’ during 529-531 AH/1135-1137 AD, and also bore the title of Sayf al Islam.58

Somethings to ponder about

 How can non-Muslims be the head of the religious hierarchy?

 Honestly, were these Imams divinely appointed or were they after power?

 How can a Christian Armenian General be given a title of ‘Sayf al-Islam’?

Al-Mustansir’s death marked the end of the ‘classical’ Fatimid period. After al-Mustansir, there was a dispute over his succession, which was the greatest internal crisis of the Fatimid dynasty and revolved around the claims of al-Mustansir’s sons Nizar and al-Mustali, causing a major split in Fatimid Ismailism. This schism, as a result of which the Fatimid Ismailis became divided into two rival wings, the Mustaliyya (Mustalians) and the Nizariyya, proved to have a drastic and lasting consequence for the future course of the Ismaili movement.59

Following the death of the Fatimid Caliph, al-Mustansir Billah in 487 AH (1094), the older son Nizar, and the younger son Mustali fought for the empire. Nizar was defeated and was jailed, but his son escaped. A group of people started believing him to be the Imam, and the Imamate of the Nizaris continues to the present Imam Aga Khan IV. The term Ismailis is referred to the Nizari community, who is followers of the Aga Khan, and is the largest group among the Ismailis.

The Agha Khanis, or the Nizaris, consider Imam Ali (as) as the first Imam and Imam Husayn (as) as the second Imam - they do not consider Imam Hasan (as) as an Imam.

Al-Mustali was the younger son of al-Mustansir Billah. He succeeded in defeating Nizar. The followers of Mustali line are also known as Taiyyebis, named after the 21st Imam, Imam al-Taiyyeb, who went into hiding. The Taiyyebi’s further split into different sects, like Dawoodi Bohras, Sulaymani Bohras, Alavi Bohras and Hebtiah Bohras etc...

The Bohras consider Imam Ali (as) as the Wasi of the Prophet (sawa), hence Imam Hasan (as) is the first Imam for the Bohras.

As per the Ismaili Taiyebi sect (Bohra Madhab), it is believed by them that al-Tayyib went into hiding. However, not a single hadith is found from the Holy Prophet (sawa) or the rightful Imams saying anything regarding al-Taiyyeb. On the other hand, several ahadith are found regarding al-Mahdi, the twelfth Imam of the Shias who is in occultation, not only in Shia books but also in the books of the brothers of Ahle Sunna.

  • 1. There was a split among the Ismailis after the death of al-Mustansir, some believed that al-Mustali was the rightful successor and some believed that Nizar was the rightful successor. The ones who believed in Nizar are known as the Agha Khanis today. (The Ismailis, their History and Doctrines, p. 552)
  • 2. Another split occurred after the death of Al Amr bi Ahkam Allah, some believed in Al Tayyib as their Imam and some believed in Abdal Majid al-Hafiz ibn Abul Qasim Muhammad ibn al-Mustansir Billah as their Imam. The ones who believed in Al Taiyyib as their Imam are Tayyibis and the Bohras today.
  • 3. Al-Mufid, Shaykh, Kitab al Irshad, translated by I.K.A. Howard, p. 431
  • 4. Daftary,Farhad, The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 97
  • 5. Ibid., p. 97
  • 6. Ibid., p. 97
  • 7. The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 98; Note this is not the exact text rather gist of what was written.
  • 8. ibid., pp. 98 & 99; Note: Some extracts are used and not the whole paragraph.
  • 9. ibid, p. 551
  • 10. ibid, p. 551
  • 11. Ali, Dr. Zahid, Tarikh-i- Fatimiyyin-i-Misr, vol. 1, pp. 41, 43 & 63 (2nd edition, Karachi 1963)
  • 12. Khan, Sa’adat Hussain, Bohra Madhab Dar Haqeeqat Ke Ainey Me’, p. 33
  • 13. Bahmanpour, Muhammad Saeed, Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 21; The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 102
  • 14. The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 601, quoting from Asrar al Nutaqa written by Idris Imad al-din. Note: The gist of what is written in the notes.
  • 15. Ali, Dr Zahid, Hamarey Ismaili Madhab Ki Haqeeqat Aur Uska Nizam, p. 156 & 157; Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 22
  • 16. Bohra Madhab Haqeeqat ke Ainey me, p. 10
  • 17. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 21; The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 102; Note this is not the exact text rather gist of what was written.
  • 18. The Ismailis their history and doctrines, pp. 102 & 103; Note this is not the exact text rather gist of what was written
  • 19. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, pp. 23 & 24
  • 20. The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 103
  • 21. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 26 quoting from Madelong’s Dairatul Maaref Adyan, p. 248
  • 22. The traditions regarding Imam al-Mahdi are going to be discussed later in this book.
  • 23. The traditions regarding Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) will be discussed later.
  • 24. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 551
  • 25. Ibid, p. 108; Note this is not the exact text rather gist of what was written.
  • 26. Ibid, p. 108; Note this is not the exact text rather gist of what was written.
  • 27. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 28; quoted from ‘Tareekh Jahangusha’ by Juvaini, p. 431; And in ‘al Kamil’ by Ibn al Atheer, vol. 9, p. 236
  • 28. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 27
  • 29. Farmaniyan, Mahdi, Ismailiye dar Tarikh wa Aqaaed, p. 72, Quoted from Tathbeet Dalail Al Nabuvvat vol. 1, pp. 389-390
  • 30. Ismailiye dar Tarikh wa Aqaaed, p. 72 quoted from Iftitah al Daawat
  • 31. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 77; quoted from ‘al Kamil’ by ibn al Atheer pp. 51-52
  • 32. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 185; Note extract was taken from the paragraph.
  • 33. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 86; quoted from the book ‘al Kamil’ by ibn al Atheer vol. 9, p. 116.
  • 34. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, pp. 186, 187 & 188; Note: This is not the exact text rather gist of what was written.
  • 35. Ibid., p. 188
  • 36. Hamarey Ismaili Madhab Ki Haqeeqat Aur Uska Nizam, p. 232
  • 37. Hamarey Ismaili Madhab Ki Haqeeqat Aur Uska Nizam, p. 234
  • 38. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 189; Note: Extracts from the paragraph were brought for brevity.
  • 39. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 190; Note: Extracts from the text were brought for brevity.
  • 40. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 85
  • 41. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 190; Note this is not the exact text rather gist of what was written.
  • 42. The first four Khalifas after the Holy Prophet’s (sawa) demise are known as Khulafa Rashideen by the Ahle Sunna.
  • 43. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 85; quoted from the book ‘al Kamil’ by ibn al Atheer, vol. 9, p. 316.
  • 44. Ismailiye az Guzashte ta hala, p. 86; quoted from the book ‘Fatimid Dynasty’ by Abbas Hamadani, p. 190
  • 45. Ibid, pp. 86 & 87; quoted from the book ‘al-Kamil’ by ibn al Atheer, vol. 9, p. 116
  • 46. The non-Muslims living in a Muslim state need to pay tax and they are exempt from participating in wars and battles and they are secure in the Muslim state.
  • 47. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 189; Note: Only some extracts were used and not the whole Paragraph.
  • 48. ibid, p. 195
  • 49. Successor, Crown Prince
  • 50. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 195
  • 51. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 200; Zahid Ali, Tarikh vol. 1, pp. 262-272. Note: Gist of the text was used for brevity.
  • 52. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 200
  • 53. Ibid., p. 201
  • 54. The Ismailis Their history and doctrines, p. 201
  • 55. The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 202; on the reign of Mustansir see ‘al Kamil’ by ibn al Atheer vol. 9, pp. 154-155 and ‘Tarikh’ by Zahid Ali vol. 1, pp. 273-323
  • 56. The Ismailis their history and doctrines, p. 202; Note: Extracts were taken and not the whole text for brevity
  • 57. The Ismailis their history and doctrines, pp. 222 & 223
  • 58. Ibid, pp. 222 & 223; quoted from Canard, ‘Notes sur les Armeniens en Egypt a l’epoque Fatimite’, AIEO, 13 (1955), p. 143-157. Note: Some extracts were written for brevity
  • 59. Ibid, p. 222