Ismāʿīlī Manuscripts from Yemen
How did the Ismāʿīlī works,1 written by their duʿāt (pl. of dāʿī, i.e. missionaries) in different countries, at distinct times, under diverse circumstances, come to be preserved in Yemen having completely disappeared from their country of origin?2 The answer to this intriguing question can be found in Ismāʿīlī history. The Ismāʿīlīs are historically associated with Yemen, as expounded by the Ismāʿīlī Yemenī dāʿī Idrīs ʿImād al-Dīn, a historian of the daʿwa3 and a prolific author, who died in 872/1468 in Shibām (Kawkabān).4 The following account is culled from his two major historical works.