Genealogical chart by Daftary a follower of 12 Imams, shows Musa Kazim as the next Imam

Last Updated and Revised on June 19, 2000


1. There can be only one True Imam at any given period of time.

2.  This person leads as True Imam as long as he lives on this earth.

3. This Living Imam has the Sole Authority to designate his successor.

4. Under normal circumstances, this successor should be from one of his sons (usually the eldest son). However, in the most recent instance the late 48th Imam did appoint his eldest grandson as the next 49th Imam.

5. The person designated as the next Imam can only be enthroned to the seat of Imamat, after the death of the previous Imam.

6. Here are the historical records to substantiate the above:

In 1817, Khalilullah Ali – the 45th Imam of the Ismailis and the father of the Aga Khan the First, was murdered in Iran.
And only thereafter, his son Hasan Ali became the 46th Imam.

Hasan Ali died on 12th April 1881 in Bombay, India.
And only thereafter, his son Ali Shah became Aga Khan the Second and the 47th Imam of the Ismailis.

Ali Shah died on 17th August 1885 in Poona, India.
And only thereafter, his son Sultan Muhammad became Aga Khan the Third and the 48th Imam of the Ismailis.

Sultan Muhammad died on 11th July 1957 in Geneva, Switzerland. And only thereafter, his grandson Karim became Aga Khan the Forth and the 49th Imam of the Ismailis. The official appointment was done  when the Last Will of the deceased Imam was read by his solicitor.

The present Imam Karim has not as yet designated anyone as his successor. His Last Will document when read, may disclose that name.


Please see below the Genealogical tables and lists of the early Ismaili Imams. This important flow chart appears on page 551 of
Dr. Farhad Daftary’s much acclaimed book THE ISMAILIS: their history and doctrines. published by Cambridge University Press in 1990. The Persian translation of this book has been awarded the
“Best Book of the Year Award” in Iran in 1996.  Dr. Daftary is a world-renowned authority on Ismaili Studies. He is the Head of the Department of Academic Research & Publications at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, England. Dr. Daftary’s above publication is available in most of the major public libraries of the world and is sold in the major Ismaili Jamaat Khanas (Prayer Houses), all over the world.

Dr. Daftary has spent several decades in completing this classical work of Ismaili history. Professor Wilferd Madelung of the University of Oxford has read the typescript of this book. In his Forward, the professor writes; “Dr. F. Daftary offers a first comprehensive and detailed synthesis of the complex history of Ismailism.”

One can notice in the Genealogical flow chart, reproduced below, that the 5th Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq died in 148 Hijri/765 A.D. His son Ismail al-Mubarak had died in around 136 Hijri/754 A.D., that is to say nearly 11 years BEFORE the death of his father. To assert, after having known these dates, that Ismail who had died earlier than his father succeeded Ja’far al-Sadiq would be a folly of the highest degree.

I have received mails from the Agakhani Ismailis informing me that the year shown for the death of Imam Ismail, by Dr. Daftary in his Genealogical Chart, is the year in which a mock funeral procession of Ismail was taken out in Medina by his father. That was a mere rush.
In reality Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq had sent his son Ismail away to an unknown location because there was a threat to his life from enemies.

It is noteworthy that the Flow Chart published in a later date publication of Dr. Daftary entitled; ‘A Short History Of The Ismailis’ (1998), the dates have NOT been amended and the fact that Ismail died eleven years before his father is repeated. Furthermore, so as to reconfirm the fact that it was a legitimate funeral of his dead son, on page 34 of this book it is mentioned that during Ismail’s funeral procession in Medina the face of Ismail was shown to the witnesses by his father al-Sadiq. Little later, it is mentioned that an Indian Ismaili author Al-Bharuchi relates visiting Ismail’s tomb in the Baqi cemetery in Medina in 1498 and his grave still existed there in 1885, but it was later destroyed by the Wahhabis along with the graves of his father and other imams located in that cemetery. The bibliographical notes to the above reads: Hasan b. Nuh al-Bharuchi, Kitab al-azhar, in ‘Adil al-’Awwa (ed.), Muntakhabat Isma’iliyya (Damascus, 1958), pp. 234-5, etc, etc.

UNTIL AND UNLESS, Dr. Farhad Daftary admits there are errors in his chart and circulates the REVISED DATES, the possibilities for which are highly unlikely, Musa Al-Kazim’s legitimate claim to the Imamat, who died in 183 Hijri/799 A.D., appear to be well founded and genuinely compelling. In the meanwhile, my sincere advice to the Ismaili readers is that their time and efforts will be better served by writing letters to Dr. Daftary at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, than to me saying that the published Genealogical Flow Chart is FLAWED

It is a matter of no surprise that nearly 85% of the Shiah population has chosen to accept son Musa Al-Kazim as the only rightful claimant. For the information of the readers I am neither a follower of Imam Musa Al-Kazim nor of Imam Ismail. I am a Sunni Muslim.