a dynamic and essentially LIBERAL SECTARIAN ISLAMIC movement developing from the SHI'A which teaches that the QUR'N has an internal as well as external meaning. They claim to derive their teachings from a hidden source which must receive absolute obedience. There are various grades of members and associates who received teaching only according to their capacity. The lowest grades receive external instruction in keeping with normal Islamic practice, other grades develop to more ESOTERIC teaching. Their leader claims descent from MUHAMMAD and is known as the AGA KHAN. In recent times the movement has proved to be highly adaptable MODERNIZING its ancient beliefs and adapting to modern society.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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