Is Ismailism Crypto-Judaism?

Early Sunni religious authorities widely refer to Shi’ism as founded by Jews and even today in Saudi Arabia is Shi’ism consensually considered to be Crypto-Jewish by Wahhabi religious authorities and in the educational system of Saudi Arabia. There are three surviving branches of Shi’ism, one of which, the Yemeni Zaydism is historically and in the present viciously Anti-Semitic in historically and up to contemporary times has been persecuting the Jews of Yemen and therefore does not appear to be Crypto-Jewish. Twelver Shia Islam has since the Islamist revolution of 1979 become dominated by equally vicious Anti-Semites who also do not appear to be Crypto-Jews.

The third branch is Ismailism, the liberal stream of Islam whose Fatimid Caliphate (909-1171 CE) is referred to by Alevis as “the Alevi state”. The liberal Ismailis do not refer to their religious doctrines and practices as sharia and are mostly not recognized as Muslims by Sunni Muslims. Nizari Ismailis (followers of Aga Khan) are feminists and highly liberal and modern in their view of Islam. The apparent heterodoxy of Ismailis and the apparent historical Jewish origin of Shi’ism raises the question of whether top religious leaders of Ismailism are secretly initiated into Esoteric Judaism and are believers in core Median Judaism and therefore Ismailism is a form of Crypto-Judaism waiting for the Messianic era for the top religious leaders to reveal the Batiniyya (inner) teaching of their form of religion to the people?

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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