subset]]wa brought on by the future al-Mahdi's announcement in 286/899 of his intent to proclaim his imamate publicly, and of the subsequent splintering of the Ismailis into opposi ng groups, Qarmatians
Called by some the "Bolsheviks of Islam," the Qarmatians
advocated community of wives and property, and organized workers and artisans into guilds.
The observer described the Black Stone of the Ka bah, which the Qarmatians
removed in 317/929, providing a terminus ante quem for the visit (Shaft, 422).
Most disturbing about its reappearance in this form is not the highly improbable attribution to Abdan and the early Qarmatians
- after all, there are indications that a number of Abdan's followers wrote books in a period subsequent to his murder in 286 and ascribed them to his authorship.