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a member of the Shi'ite Muslim sect known as the Isma'ilites. The Qarmatians flourished in Iraq, Yemen, and especially Bahrain during the 9th to 11th centuries, taking their name from Hamdan Qarmat, who led the sect in southern Iraq in the second half of the 9th century. The Qarmatians became notorious for an insurrection in Syria and Iraq in 903-906 and for the exploits of two Bahraini leaders, Abu Sa'id al-Jannabi and his son and successor, Abu Tahir Sulayman, who invaded Iraq several times and in 930 sacked Mecca and carried off the Black Stone of the Ka'bah. See also Isma'ilite.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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