Impact & Relevance: Legacy of Alamut

Eagle's Nest - Ismaili Castles in Iran and Syria  by Peter Willey

“In contrast to the malevolent view of the Ismailis held by their opponenets, we can now positively assert that they were a people of exceptional intelligence and determination with a sophisticated knowledge of military architecture, administration and logistics, as well as being highly successful agriculturalists and water engineers in a mostly arid and mountainous terrain.

The spiritual, intellectual and cultural side of the Ismailis was the mortar that bound them together in a cohesive and energetic community with pride in their own achievements.

The picture that finally emerges is the very opposite of the ‘assassins’ and ‘terrorists’ of popular imagination.”

– From the Preface of Peter Willey, Eagle’s Nest: Ismaili Castles in Iran and Syria ( I. B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2005, pp.xxiv).

Alamut - Ismaili Castles in Iran and Syria

“In fact, the network of these castles numbering well over 250 strongholds – some large and imposing citadels, others smaller fortifications and outposts – played a vital role in protecting the Ismailis from their religious and political opponents.

They also provided refuge to people of surrounding villages in times of attack, as well as willing assistance to scholars of different creeds to pursue their studies under Ismaili patronage.”

– From the Preface of Peter Willey, Eagle’s Nest: Ismaili Castles in Iran and Syria ( I. B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2005, pp.xxiv).

li Castles in Iran and Syria. Image  via IIS

As a result of this work, I hope that a more accurate picture of the Ismailis will emerge, free of the burden of the Assassin legends, as well as a proper understanding of their achievements, intellectual and cultural as well as in the field of military strategy and architecture, which are remarkable by any standard.”

– From the Preface of Peter Willey, Eagle’s Nest: Ismaili Castles in Iran and Syria ( I. B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2005, pp.xxv).

Context: Preamble of the Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims

(E) From the time of the Imamat of Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s), the Imams of the Ismaili Muslims have ruled over territories and peoples in various areas of the world at different periods of history and, in accordance with the needs of the time, have given rules of conduct and constitution in conformity with the Islamic concepts of unity, brotherhood, justice, tolerance and goodwill.

Earlier from the Ismailimail Archives:

Iran plans to offer Alamut Fortress to UNESCO | PressTV
Fortress of Alamut
The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: EngineersGreater Saru – Castles of Saru

Alamut by Muslim and Nevin Harji

Click here for more on Alamut

Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali

All related in this series.

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