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Seveners. Ismāʿīlī sect (or sects; from Arab., sabʿīya) which holds that the legitimate line of Imāms ended with the seventh (hence the name). The sixth Imām was Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq: his eldest son, Ismāʿīl, died before his father, leading to a complex contest of claims to legitimate succession. The Seveners held that Ismāʿīl was the true (and perhaps, because of the significance of the number ‘seven’, the final) successor. Two of the many sects became prominent, the Fāṭimids, whose rulers were Imāms of the sect, and the Qarmatians. All groups placed emphasis on esoteric teaching, and were therefore known as Batinis (bāṭinī).

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