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The Seveners and the Nizaris: the difference?

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Salam Alaykum,



What is the difference between the Seveners and the Nizaris? Or are they the same? I must apologize for the low-quality of sources, but I've read some rather conflicting information. For example, the Wikipedia article Isma'ilism lists the Nizaris and the Seveners under separate subsections . Moreover, the latter is categorized under the Extinct branches section. The article goes as follows: 


However, most scholars believe this group is either extremely small or non-existent today.

I'd advice caution, since the insertion doesn't have any references. Moreover, Garcia (2006) has came out with the following chart where Seveners and Nizaris are listed separately. The reliability of the source can be questioned, though:



However, there are sources that imply otherwise.For example, both Erde & Steinbach (2010) and Hendricks (2005) imply that the Seveners still do exist in the modern world. Well, these two are quality sources, but just not to let you too easy — my brothers — the Wikipedia article on the Seveners states: 


Sometimes "sevener" is used to refer to Ismā'īlīs overall, though several branches, such as the Nizari Ismailis, have far more than seven imams

Again, just like with the Wikipedia article on Isma'ilism, I'd advise to caution: this insertion doesn't have any references either, but it manages to cast a doubt — if it's true — on Erde & Steinbach (2010) and Hendricks (2005); were they talking about the Nizaris or whom?


I hope you endure through the confusion with me, brothers :-) Thanks!






  1. Ende W. & Steinbach, U. (2010). Islam in the World Today: A Handbook of Politics, Religion, Culture, and Society, p. 260: "Afganistan is home to both Twelver Shi'a (the majority) and Sevener Ismailis (a minority), together making up over 20 percent of the country population."
  2. Garcia, L. (2016). The Assassins — the Legacy of Medieval Terrorist-Murderers. History Sifter 26.02.2016.
  3. Hendricks, S. (2005). Tasawwuf (Sufism): Its Role and Impact on the Culture of Cape Islam, pp. 112-113: "Pockets of various Shi'ite sects however - particularly the Isma'ilis, or Seveners - do exist in all the major centres along the East African coast (Trimingham, 1962:104-8)."
Edited by Musu

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