For the Isma‘ili philosophers, the Crucifixion of Christ as a public event witnessed by a multitude holds a great symbolic and eschatological significance. As previously noted, Isma‘ili philosophy holds that God has sent six great Messengers, called Natiqs, to the world since the time of Adam. Each Natiq inaugurated a great ‘Cycle of Religion’ which lasted about one thousand years in which the Scripture and the religious law (shari’ah) consisting of the exoteric (zahir) rituals and commandments prescribed by the Natiq had authority over the people. The coming of a new Natiq ended one cycle and began a new one, abrogating the religious law of the previous Natiq. For example, the religious law prescribed by Noah was known as the Noachide laws, the law delivered by Moses was called the Torah or the Mosaic Law, and the law revealed by Muhammad is what Muslims refer to as Shari’ah in the formal sense.
All of the religious laws contain hidden, esoteric (batin) meanings pertaining to the eternal truths or realities (haqa‘iq) of spirituality which are common to all faiths and all human beings. The processing of disclosing the esoteric meaning of the religious law and unveiling the spiritual truths from its symbols and parables is called ta’wil. Each of the six Natiqs was accompanied by a dignitary called the Asas who was responsible for the ta’wil (esoteric interpretation) of the religious law. The Asas accompanying the first six Natiqs were Seth, Shem, Ishmael, Aaron, Simon Peter, and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. The Asas succeeded the Natiq and was himself succeeded by a series of Imams who continued both the functions of ta’wil and the interpretation of the religious law until the coming of the next Natiq.
After the six Cycles of the six Natiqs, the sixth being the Prophet Muhammad, still to come is the Seventh Natiq who is called the “Lord of the Resurrection” (Qa’im al- Qiyamah). He begins the Seventh Cycle which is the culmination of the previous six. Unlike the first six Natiqs, each of whom delivered a religious law, the function of the Lord of Resurrection or Qa’im is to reveal the esoteric (batin) and spiritual realities (haqa‘iq) hidden and symbolized by the religious laws. While the first six Natiqs were all lawgivers, the Lord of Resurrection is responsible for spiritual unveiling (kashf) and his Cycle is called the Cycle of Unveiling (dawr al-kashf) or the Cycle of Resurrection (dawr al-qiyamah). The first six cycles of the lawgiving Natiqs are compared to the first six days of the week while the Seventh Cycle of the Resurrection is likened to the Sabbath Day of rest and retribution."
Khalil Andani, “They Killed Him Not”: The Crucifixion in Shi‘a Isma‘ili Islam. (via fireofashk)