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Quran's vision is inclusive, says Aga Khan - 2003-10-22

Wednesday, 2003, October 22

The Aga Khan, Imam of the Ismaili Muslims, told distinguished audiences of students, international scholars, diplomats and civic dignitaries that 'freedom of interpretation is a generosity which the Holy Quran confers upon all believers'. He also spoke of what was needed to assure 'the growth of future generations of our intelligentsia, so that we strengthen our own capacity to determine our destiny'.In a keynote address at an international colloquium entitled 'Word of God, art of man: The Quran and its creative expressions', the Aga Khan underlined the holy book's concern for salvation of the soul, but commensurately also with the ethical imperatives which sustain an equitable social order. 'The Holy Quran's is an inclusive vision of society that gives primacy to nobility of conduct,' he reminded his audience.
Citing an example of scholarship inspired by the Quranic message, the Aga Khan recalled the thought of the 11th century poet-philosopher, Nasir Khusraw, for whom 'true jihad is the war that must be waged against the perpetrators of bigotry, through spreading of knowledge that dispels the darkness of ignorance and nourishes the seed of peace that is innately embedded in the human soul'.

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