A Nizari Ismaili poet of the late Anjundan period, Khakhi Khurasani (d. after 1646 CE) was born in Dizbad, a village in Persia, which at the time was the largest dwelling place of the
Isma‘ilis of northern Khurasan (a northeastern province of Iran, which included parts of today’s Central Asia and Afghanistan, extending to the Indus valley).
Little is known about his life and education but, from his poems, he was a talented
poet and well-versed in Islamic religious sciences. It appears that a visit to Dizbad by the
thirty-sixth Isma‘ili Imam, Murad Mirza (d.1574), left a lasting impression on the
youthful Khaki, prompting him to devote his entire life to the preaching of the Isma‘ili faith.
Local narratives of his encounter with the Isma‘ili Imam soon turned into legend and
caused the inauguration of a new milestone in the cultural history of his native place that had survived up to modern times. On the last Friday of the month of Mordad in the Persian calendar (middle of August), people of Dizbad of all religious persuasions gathered, in an area called Nowhasar, to pay homage to the place where Khaki was blessed and granted spiritual insight by the Imam. (Badakchani)
Khakhi was a contemporary to Isma‘ili imams Murad Mirza, Dhu’l-fiqar ‘Ali (d. 1634),
and Nur al-Din (d. 1671).
A relatively propsperous village in central Persia (modern-day Iran), Anjundan is chiefly associated with the revival of Nizari Ismaili activities in the post Alamut period. The Nizari Imams, who had been living discreetly for many centuries after the collapse of the state of Alamut (1090-1256), emerged in Anjundan in the second half of the fifteenth century, disguised as Sufi pirs. Subsequently, for about two centuries, from Anjundan they re-invigorated the da’wa activities, especially in Persia, Central Asia, and India. This period is generally designated as the Anjunundan period in Nizari Ismaili history. In the seventeenth century, the Nizari Imams moved their residence to the neighbouring village of Kahak. (Daftary)
1 Sayyad Jalal Badakhchani, Khaki Khurasani, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
Farhad Daftary, Historical Dictionary of the Ismailis, The Scarecrow Press, Maryland, 2012
Compiled by Nimira Dewji