PANDIYĀT-E JAVĀNMARDI, title of a Nezāri Ismaʿili book originally written in Persian and containing the sermons of Mostanṣer Be’llāh (d. 885/1480), the thirty-second imam of the (Qāsemšāhi) Nezāri Ismaʿilis.  These sermons or religious admonitions (pandiyāt) to the true believers (moʾmens) seeking exemplary standards of ethical behavior and spiritual chivalry (javānmardi) were evidently compiled and written down by an anonymous Nezāri author during the imamate of Mostanṣer Be’llāh’s son and successor, ʿAbd-al-Salām Šāh (Pandiyāt, text pp. 47, 56) or perhaps even later, during the imamate of the latter’s successor, Ḡarib Mirzā (d. 904/1498; see Virani, pp. 121-26, arguing that the Pandiyāt may actually contain the sermons of Ḡarib Mirzā, who also carried the honorific title of Mostanṣer Be’llāh). 

The Nezāri Ismaʿilis of South Asia, known locally as Ḵojās, have preserved shorter Sendhi, Gojarāti, and Hendustāni (see URDU) versions of this work, often written in the Ḵojki script developed within the Ḵojā community of South Asia.  The Nezāri Ḵojās maintain that the Pandiyāt was sent by the imam of the time to the Indian subcontinent for their religious guidance.  It is also possible that this book was later sent to other Nezāri communities, especially to Central Asia, in order to reinforce their allegiance to the Qāsemšāhi line of the Nezāri Ismaʿili imams as distinct from the Moḥammadšāhi (or Moʾmeni) line.  Manuscript copies of the Persian text of the Pandiyāt, edited and published for the first time in 1953 by Wladimir Ivanow in the Ismaili Society’s series of publications, are still preserved in the private collections of the Nezāri Ismaʿilis of Badaḵšān (now divided between Tajikistan and Afghanistan) and of adjoining regions, Hunza and other northern parts of Pakistan, as well as the Sinkiang (Xinjiang) region of western China (Bertels and Bakoev, pp. 36-37). 

The Pandiyāt-e javānmardi represents one of the first doctrinal works produced during the early Anjodān period in post-Alamut Nezāri history, when the Persian Nezāris developed close relations with Sufism without adhering to any of the Sufi orders (ṭariqa) then developing in Persia and Central Asia.  In fact, as a form of taqiya or precautionary dissimulation, the Nezāri imams and their followers adopted the guise of Sufism.  Thus, Imam Mostanṣer Be’llāh adopted the Sufi name of Šāh Qalandar, and the ordinary Nezāris appeared as his morids, as in the case of the disciples of a Sufi master.  The Pandiyāt, indeed, preserves important details on the contemporary Nezāri-Sufi relations.  In this work, the Nezāris are referred to by Sufi expressions such as the people of the truth (ahl-e ḥaqiqat; Pandiyāt, pp. 31, 57, 87, 90, 91, 99, 101), while the imam himself is designated as pir, qoṭb, and moršed (Pandiyāt, pp. 26, 27, 32, 39, 65, 86). 

Permeated with Sufi ideas and expressions, the Nezāri Imam’s admonitions in the Pandiyāt start with the šariʿat-ṭariqat-ḥaqiqat categorizations of the Sufis, portraying ḥaqiqat as the hidden spiritual dimension (bāṭen) of šariʿat, which could be attained by the faithful through the guidance of the Nezāri imam along the spiritual path (ṭariqat).  In line with the earlier Nezāri teachings of the Alamut period, after the proclamation of the qiāmat or spiritual resurrection in 559/1164 (Daftary, 2007, pp. 358-67), the Pandiyāt further explains that ḥaqiqat consists essentially of recognizing the true spiritual reality of the imam of the time (Pandiyāt, pp. 2-3).  Indeed the Pandiyāt continuously stresses the central duty of the faithful to recognize and obey the current imam (pp. 3, 11, 13, 14, 16, 21, 27, 32, 36, 41, 46-47, 53, 57-58, 87, 93, 100-102), adding that no sacrifice is too great for the sake of making the didār journey to Persia to see the imam (pp. 34-36, 54-55). 


Andreǐ E. Bertel’s and Mamadvafo Bokoev, Alfavitnyǐ katalog rukopiseĭ obnaruzennych v Gorno-Badachsanskoĭ avtonomnoĭ oblasti ekspeditsieĭ 1959-1963 gg./Alphabetic Catalogue of the Manuscripts Found by 1959–1963 Expedition in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, ed. B. G. Gafurov and A. M. Mirzoev, Moscow, 1967.  

M. Boivin, “A Persian Treatise for the Ismāʿīlī Shīʿīs of India: Introduction to the Pandiyāt-i Jawānmardī (end of XVth C.),” in Muzaffar Alam et al., ed., The Evolution of Medieval Indian Culture: The Indo-Persian Context, New Delhi, 2000, pp. 117-28.  

Farhad Daftary, The Ismāʿīlīs: Their History and Doctrines, 2nd ed., Cambridge, 2007; tr. Faridun Badraʾi, as Tārik wa sonnathā-ye Esmāʿiliya, Tehran, 2014. 

Vladimir Ivanow, Ismaili Literature: A Bibliographical Survey, Tehran, 1963. 

Mostanṣer Be’llāh, Pandiyāt-e Javānmardi, or “Advice of Manliness,” ed. and tr. Wladimir Ivanow, Leiden, 1953.  

Azim Nanji, The Nizārī Ismāʿīlī Tradition in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent, New York, 1978.  

Ismail K. Poonawala, Biobibliography of Ismāʿīlī Literature, Malibu, Calif., 1977.

Shafique Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation, Oxford, 2007.

(Farhad Daftary)

Originally Published: November 26, 2014

Last Updated: November 26, 2014

Cite this entry:

Farhad Daftary, "PANDIYĀT-E JAVĀNMARDI," Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2014, available at (accessed on 26 November 2014).