Middle East where Islam was born. On the other hand, the roots of the majority of theAgakhani Ismailis, who are the Shia Imami Khojah Ismailis, are in the Indo-Pakistansubcontinent, and their conversion from Hinduism has gone through various phases of proselytization. During the past one and half centuries, the religion of these converts hasundergone such drastic changes that the present generation of Agakhani Ismailis is almosttotally ignorant of the practices of their forbears only two, three, and four generations agoin the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent and Africa. The Agakhani Ismailis have madesignificant progress in the fields of education, commerce, and industry. Spiritually,however, the propagation of esotericism has left the community virtually bereft of thefundamental precepts and concepts of Islam.Today, only a few elderly Khojahs (Ismaili, Ithna'ashri, and Sunni Khojahs) who haveread the literature published during the nineteenth century, such as Ibrat-afza (anautobiography of Aga Khan I in Persian) or its Gujrati translation published in 1861, orthose who have heard from their elders the accounts of the second and third proselytizing,can trace back the trails and rediscover the lost heritage.A study of primary as well as secondary documents, some of them rare and othersthat have been withdrawn from circulation or that were written for internal circulation inthe ancient form of Sindhi script called Khojki, reveals that the process of proselytizinghas gone through three distinct stages. The last two are only a century and a half old.A few Agakhani Ismaili scholars who have compiled a bibliography of Ismaili literature,and others who have access to these documents, are well aware of the fact that theconversion of Hindus to the Ismaili faith has not been firsthand and has gone throughmore than one phase. But these scholars are also cognizant of the fact that under Article14 of the Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims (1986), any Ismaili who prints,publishes, or circulates any material or makes any statement or convenes a meeting orassembly purporting to be on behalf of, or in the name of, or relating to, the Imam, theIsmaili Tariqah, the Jama`at (a congregation or community), and any Ismaili Council orInstitution without the written permission of the National Council within whose jurisdiction he or she resides shall be liable to disciplinary action, and the offender can beexpelled from the community. It is high time that these kinds of stipulations andrestrictions are lifted and that Ismaili scholars have the encouragement and support of community leaders in publishing their findings.In 1947-48, a couple of Ismaili students and I met the Russian professor VladimirAlekseevich Ivanov (1886-1970), popularly known as W. Ivanow, and Vice-ChancellorAsaf Ali Asghar Fyzee (1899-1981), a Sulaymani Ismaili, who were the foundingmembers of the Ismaili Society in Bombay, to obtain their permission to translate one of their publications into Gujrati.In 1946, the Ismaili Society was founded with the aim of promoting independent andcritical study of all matters connected with Ismaili faith, which included their literature,history, and philosophy. The Ismaili Society functioned with the financial support andpatronage of the late Aga Khan III.