see KarmathiansKarmathians
or Carmathians
, a Muslim sect of the 9th and 10th cent., similar to the Assassin sect. They were part of a movement for social reform that spread widely through Islam from the 9th to the 12th cent.
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Hence a brief summary of what has been achieved in relation to these data is provided here--focusing upon how the recovery of the subtleties of identity is potentially achievable in Islamic archaeology in relation to a particular movement, the Carmathians.
Within the confines of this paper, obviously, selectivity has had to be employed (but see Insoll in press), and therefore the discussion is largely related to material indicative of the presence of the Carmathians within Bilad al-Qadim.
The Carmathians were an Ismaili Shi'ah movement which controlled Bahrain from the mid-tenth to the late eleventh centuries ('Bahrain' then encompassing a large part of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia as well).
The Fatimids were an Ismaili Shi'ah dynasty, but much more powerful than the Carmathians, with whom they had a 'more or less constant, although often secret' (Kervran 1982: 62) alliance until the Carmathians were defeated by the Abd al-Qays in 1076.
For within Bahrain it is possible, using the dietary evidence, to again suggest a possible link with the Carmathians.