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The 'Alids are the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, the elite family of Islam. The respect and veneration they are accorded is unparalleled in Islamic society, regardless of political or religious affiliation. They have played a major role in Islamic history: famous early rebels and founders of major Islamic sects, and many rulers - such as the 10th-century Fatimids in Egypt, the current kings of Jordan and Morocco, Ayatollah Khomeini and the Aga Khan - all claimed 'Alid descent.
This first in-depth study of the 'Alids focuses on the crucial formative period from the Abbasid Revolution to the Saljuq period, 750-1100. Exploring the rise of the 'Alids as a social phenomenon, the author asks how this family attained and extended its status over the centuries.
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