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quote 532

The chahar-bagh was more than a pleasure garden. In the discipline and order of its landscaped geometry, its octagonal or rectangular pools, its selection of favourite plants and trees, it was an attempt to create transcendent perfection - a glimpse of paradise on earth.

quote 232

In all interpretations of Islam, Imams, whether they are Shia or Sunni, are required not only to lead in the interpretation of the faith, but equally to contribute to improving the quality of life of the people who refer to them. This dual obligation is often difficult to appreciate from the viewpoint of Christian interpretations of the role which Church leaders are expected to perform.

Our 46th Holy Imam Hazrat Mowlana Imam Aqa Shah Hassan Ali Shah

Our 46th Imam Aqa Shah Hassan Ali Shah "Mahelatti" was born in Mahelat, Iran in 1219 A.H. He ascended to the Masnad of Imamat in 1233 A.H. and adopted the title of Aga Khan and was also known as Hussein al-Husseni. He ruled in the district of Kerman, Iran as Hakim. In 1237 A.H. or 1826 A.D. a certain person Habib Ibrahim formed a group which opposed the giving of Dasond to the Holy Imam. Imam Hasan Ali Shah sent his mother Pir Bibi Sarkar Mata Salamat Maryam Khatoon to Bombay with Mirza Abul Kassim.

quote 429

One other point we learned to appreciate and to share is the remarkable diversity which exists within the world of Muslim music! It comes in many styles, forms and classical repertoires. It includes simple folk melodies, contemplative mystical music and driving dance rhythms; and it reflects the immense diversity of different Muslim cultures themselves, including musical traditions that have been carefully cultivated over the centuries within the Ismaili community.

quote 428

Listening to music, practicing music, sharing music, performing music - have long been an intimate part of life for Muslim communities across the world, as has been the chanting of devotional and historical or epic texts.

Our 45th Holy Imam Hazrat Mowlana Imam Khalilullah Ali II

Mowlana Khalilullah Ali II was born in Kerman in Iran in 1153 A.H. At the age of two, he went with his father Imam Abul Hassanali to reside in 'Mahellat'. In 1157 A.H. his uncle Hazrat Pir Mirza Muhammad Baqir - our 43rd Holy Pir - had a daughter named Pir Bibi Sarkar Mata Salamat. She became later our 44th Holy Pir and the mother of our 46th Holy Imam Aga Hassanali Shah. Imam Khalilullah ascended to the Masnad of Imamat in 1194 A.H. and reigned until 1233 A.H.

quote 545

It is my conviction that one of the key conditions for peace in our world today is a greater respect for pluralism,” explained Mawlana Hazar Imam. “In a world challenged by globalisation, social fragmentation and conflict between peoples, pluralism and a well-anchored civil society are essential for human peace and progress. This is why the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is delighted to be a partner of the Paris Peace Forum 2018-11-12

quote 544

Perhaps the most common of these ingredients has been the failure of those involved to recognise the fact that human society is essentially pluralist, and that peace and development require that we seek, by every means possible, to invest in and enhance, that pluralism. Those groups that seek to standardise, homogenise, or if you will allow me, to normatise all that and those around them must be actively resisted through countervailing activities.

quote 542

No, we do not proselytise. We could, but we don't feel the need. There are certain religions where proselytising is recommended. We however, take the attitude that everyone should do whatever they want. If they want to become a Shia, they can become a Shia, if they want to become a Shia Ismaili, they can become a Shia Ismaili

quote 541

When you look at the Third World, where the Ismaili community is particularly present, we have to ask ourselves about governments. And I have always taken the view that civil society must play a fundamental role in the future of all populations. So, we have to consolidate and strengthen it. And that means taking the most important institutions of civil society and giving them support and encouragement

quote 522

The gem cutter, the person who prepares the jewel, cuts it and cuts it and polishes it and cuts it and polishes it until he has fashioned the gem stone in to a stone of absolute purity with no clouding, absolute purity. And the gem cutter has to do his work very carefully with a lot of time, because if he makes a mistake, he cannot bring back the part of the stone that he cut away by mistake

quote 816

The Serena concept - if I may use that word - implies the highest respect for local cultural, social and artistic tradition and, in particular, the local architectural vocabulary, our intentions that clients in Serena Hotels should live a genuinely local experience, through details of architecture, through interior decor and landscaping, through forms and colours, through artifacts and handicrafts, through the food they eat and the sounds they hear, so that their stay with us, enabling them to live in the most immediate manner a local life-style, becomes something of a cultural experience too.

quote 815

In the Shia Ismaili Muslim tradition, voluntary service to others is viewed as an integral and positive part of daily life, and never as a burdensome obligation or an elective activity. Service is a means for each individual to actualise Islam’s ethics of inclusiveness, of compassion, of sharing, of the respect for life, and of personal responsibility for sustaining a healthy physical, social, and cultural environment

quote 814

All beings are affected positively or negatively by their surroundings but for Muslims it is a particularly critical matter. Islam does not deal in dichotomies but in all encompassing Unity. Spirit and body are one, man and nature are one. What is more, man is answerable to God for what man has created.

quote 813

It is a well known fact that when Pakistan was first created, the basic industrial infrastructure of the sub-continent was almost entirely left in India. It was also evident that in those regions which became Pakistan, there would be a major influx of population, and therefore a considerable unemployment problem

quote 812

By a quirk of nature, although I was born right-handed, I had the good fortune to come into this world left-footed. Soccer players who could kick with their left foot were very rare in the United States in those days. This meant that I was able to make the Freshman Soccer team as the left wing. We were a distinguished group; we turned in an undefeated season,

quote 811

The School of Nursing was the first academic programme offered by the Aga Khan University for a combination of reasons, some universal in nature, and others particular to countries like Pakistan. It is generally accepted that high quality health care, both in institutional as well as community settings, cannot be provided effectively without capable nurses to support physicians and other health professionals

quote 809

When they can be creative, people are far and away the Third World's largest resource. Obviously individuals cannot realise their potential unless governments provide an environment which enables them to do so.

quote 808

I think that in the Islamic world today, those who live within it and those who care about it, Muslims or otherwise, must be careful not to seek to live within the terminology of the absolute. Muslims do not believe in the absolute other than in God Himself.

quote 808

You have talked, Your Excellency, about the crisis of the human spirit and the difficulties of reconciling the old ethical consciousness with the competitive and the aggressive approach which many of us have today.......In fact, I believe that with human mind we can go only so far and that thereafter we must leave the rest to time and the blessings of the Almighty.


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