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Nasir Khusraw was born in 1004 in Qobadiyan in the district of Marv, in the eastern Iranian province of Khurasan. He rose to prominence in the courts of the various local rulers. He began to question his surroundings and search for a truth that would transcend life’s outward form. After experiencing a spiritual crisis, which he relates in his Safarnama (Travelogue), he adopted Ismaili Shi‘ism and set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca that was to last seven years. He spent three of those years in Cairo, then under the rule of the Fatimid Caliph–Imams, where he was appointed head of the Ismaili da‘wa (mission) to Khurasan. Upon his return to Khurasan, Nasir Khusraw encountered severe persecution from anti–Ismaili religious scholars, which compelled him to seek refuge in a remote part of the Pamir Mountains of Badakhshan (covering areas of present–day Tajikistan and Afghanistan), where he composed most of the works that we have today.
In May 2011 the Aga Khan Trust for Culture commenced conservation works on the historic shrine of Nasir Khusraw. Upon the completion of project activities in 2013, the Shrine was returned to the custodianship of the local community and a permanent plaque, documenting the site as a registered historic monument was installed in coordination with local authorities and the Department of Historic Monuments.
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