20. Amir Ismail bin Muhammad - page 66
Soon after the Fatimid Khilafat in 1171, Saladin (d. 1193), the Ayyubid ruler massacred the Nizari Ismailis in and around Egypt. Most of the Ismailis migrated to Syria and settled in the surroundings of Khwabi and Kadmos. With them came the grandfathers of Amir Ismail bin Muhammad, who made Tanitah, a village near Kadmos as their abode.
Amir Ismail bin Muhammad was born in Salamia, Syria in 1828. He came from a family, who was noted for their selfless services to the Imam and the jamat. He took his early education in Damascus. He inherited some fertile tracts around Salamia. He was a dedicated and social worker among the Syrian jamats.
He knitted the scattered Ismailis in Salamia. He raised funds to grant loans to the Ismaili farmers and also distributed parcels of land to them with complete equality. Within few years, the number of the Ismailis in Salamia multiplied, and they formed a self-sustaining community.
He was the first Estate Agent of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah in Syria since 1890. He was a prominent figure in Salamia and the Ottoman authorities appointed him the director of the Municipality. The Imam bestowed upon him the honorific title of Saif ad-Dawla in 1890. In 1895, Himadi Umar, the chief of the Momin Shahis and the bitter enemy of the Ismailis made a false report to the Ottoman authorities to take actions against the Ismailis, who were working against the government. Amir Ismaili tried to persuade the authorities in Hamma to rescind their decision to conscript them from Salamia, but he failed. He traveled for Istanbul to procure better result, where he again failed. Finally, he set out for Bombay to seek Imam's directions, but died on the way to India in 1896. He is well remembered among the Syrian jamats for his meritorious services.