INAUGURATION OF THE INSTITUTE OF ISMAILI STUDIES - 1977-12-12
My dear President and Members,
On the occasion of the celebration of My birthday, December 10, 1977, I give My most affectionate paternal maternal loving blessings to all My beloved spiritual children of Western Canada Jamat.
It gives Me great happiness to inform My Jamat of the formal inauguration in London of the Institute of Ismaili Studies. As My spiritual children are aware not since the Fatimid period has there been in existence a Research Centre for Ismaili Studies, manned essentially by outstanding Ismaili men and women scholars. This is therefore a significant step in making it possible for My Jamat to secure the fruits of Ismaili scholarship in the history, philosophy, theology and literature of Ismailism and Islam by virtue of an academic institution created by our own efforts and resources.
Over the past decades I have given much thought to this project and have also discussed it with a number of My spiritual children, as well as others whose experience I considered relevant to the creation of an institution of this nature. My Jamat is also aware that the formal plans for the establishment of the Institute of Ismaili Studies were finalised during the Ismailia Association Conference in Paris in April 1975 when a number of Ismaili leaders and scholars met to review with Me an international programme of Ismailia Association endeavour. Since that time work on the many diverse aspects of establishing a recognised academic institution has continued, and I am happy to announce today to My Jamat that the Institute of Ismaili Studies is now in operation.
At the request of the leaders of the Jamat, I have accepted for the time being the position of the Chairman of the Board of Governors which will be responsible for the Institute's management. Being its Chairman gives Me the opportunity to supervise personally its overall policy and functioning.
My primary concern in this role is to ensure that the work of the Institute is of direct relevance and benefit to My Jamat. In time to come, it is My wish that this institution should assume its correct position in matters such as religious education in the Jamat, through the preparation of material and manpower of a superior level. I have, therefore, directed that the Institute as part of its initial work programme embark on compiling a History of Ismailis and undertake an international training programme for creating Waezeen and religion teachers capable of imparting knowledge and understanding of our faith to our young generation. In the years ahead Inshallah, we shall create at the Institute a well stocked library as well as archives for manuscripts, books, artifacts and other material of interest and relevance to Islam and Ismailism and other faiths.
It is My sincerest wish that in the future the Institute of Ismailis Studies will become one of the major institutions of My Jamat. It is My hope that from its modest beginnings the Institute will grow into an internationally recognised academic centre, and that this day will be recalled with pride by Ismailis for many years from now.
I extend My warm congratulations and give My most affectionate, paternal, maternal, loving blessings to all those beloved spiritual children who over the years have worked on the creation of the Institute of Ismaili Studies. To those who are attached to the Institute now, in either an honourary or professional capacity, I give My best loving blessings for success in their work.
I send My most affectionate, paternal, maternal, loving blessings to all My beloved spiritual children of Western Canada Jamat on this happy occasion.