Definition of Ismaili in US English:



  • A member of a branch of Shiite Muslims that seceded from the main group in the 8th century because of their belief that Ismail, the son of the sixth Shiite imam, should have become the seventh imam.

    • ‘Most are Ismaili, that most liberal sect of Islam headed by the Aga Khan, so even women were out and about wearing distinctive pillbox hats.’
    • ‘A group of Shi'ites believed that there were no Imams after the seventh Imam and these are called the Ismailis or ‘Seveners.’’
    • ‘The family began as leaders of a heretical Shiite Islamic sect, the Ismailis in Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula.’
    • ‘Nizari Ismailis follow Aga Khan as their leader and celebrate his birthday as a holy day rather than the Muharram, which most of the Shiites celebrate.’
    • ‘Premji is an Ismaili, perhaps Islam's most liberal branch, and he is keenly aware of the role he can play as an ambassador for a moderate, tolerant brand of Islam.’