‘Ubaydullāh and Maymūn: Founders of the Ismā’īlī Religion

Mukhtār Ath-Thaqafī was a notorious figure in history, especially noted for the calls he made in Kufa in the name of Sayyidunā ‘Alī radiyallāhu ‘anhu and his son Sayyidunā Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahullāh.

Mukhtār Ath-Thaqafī had established his rule over a number of areas and claimed that Sayyidunā Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahullāh was actually claiming Imāmat. He would present false letters in the name of Sayyidunā Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahullāh to the people for his own dirty causes, whereas Sayyidunā Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahullāh was living in Madinah Munawwarah – totally distanced from the claims of Mukhtār Ath-Thaqafī. In fact, Sayyidunā Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahullāh had denied the claims being made in his name. Despite this, Mukhtār Ath-Thaqafī was highly successful in spreading his call and making his claims, based on, that’s correct, propaganda.

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During the time of Sayyidunā Ismā’īl Ibn Ja’far rahimahullāh and his son Muhammad Al-Maktūm, the connivers hard at work were Maymūn and ‘Ubaydullāh. The Ismā’īlī history speaks very glowingly of these two figures. Although the information in the book Nūr Mubīn is highly questionable, just as the contents of Al-Kāfī of Kulaynī are, we can gain some insight into what the Ismā’īlīs feel of these two chaps.

[‘Ubaydullāh Ibn Maymūn was an ardent caller and inviter. He was from the progeny of Salmān Al-Fārsī and was an able scholar. ‘Ubaydullāh Ibn Maymūn and his father had great love for Imām Ja’far As-Sādiq. They spent their lives in servitude to him. As a result, they reached the rank of ‘Dā’ī Akbar’ and they had also reached the ‘Bāb’ position in the Ismā’īlī religion.][1]

In reality, this father and son were the founders of the Ismā’īlī religion. Sayyidunā Ismā’īl Ibn Ja’far rahimahullāh had passed away during the lifetime of his father and had no connection with these two dark figures. He did not teach the Ismā’īlī belief system.

Just as Mukhtār Ath-Thaqafī would fabricate and lie about Sayyidunā Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahullāh during his lifetime, in the same way, ‘Ubaydullāh and Maymūn would spread lies in the name of Sayyidunā Ismā’īl Ibn Ja’far As-Sādiq rahimahullāh.

Throughout history, there have been many false claimants who would fabricate things in the name of the Ahl-ul-Bayt. Under the guise of love for the family of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they had successfully manipulated the emotions of the public, mainly to collect funds and acquire political control. Hence, every caller in the name of the Ahl-ul-Bayt must be studied in the light of the Noble Qur’an and Blessed Ahādīth.


Maymūn hailed from Ahwaz, Iran, and had knowledge of the different religions. In support of his heresy, he wrote a book called Kitāb Al-Mīzān. The study of this work leads a person into atheism. He did not believe in the hereafter.

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‘Ubaydullāh would treat people affected by illnesses associated with the eyes, hence the name ‘Al-Qaddāh’. He set up a system of nine levels in Ismā’ilism, where, upon progression, a person would finally become ‘Ibāhī’, i.e., everything is permitted for him and he or she abandons all the practices of the sharī’ah.

From this we can grasp and understand why it is so important and absolutely essential to hold firmly onto the laws of the sharī’ah. We are faced with a gradual process, where after a person is drawn slowly into full blown disbelief. It is a slow process. As he or she commits a sin, then another and then another, the honour and respect for the laws of Allāh Ta’ālā slowly evaporate until he or she commits even blasphemy. We seek the protection of Allāh Ta’ālā from this.

Follow Mufti Abdullah on Twitter: @MuftiAMoolla


Source: Āgakhānī Kāfir he, Qārī Faydullāh Chatrālī, Sawād-e-A’dham Ahl-e-Sunnat, Pakistan pp.14-17

  1. Nūr Mubīn p.128
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