Praise of H. H. the Aga Khan - 1982-07-01
What we admire in you above all is the fact that you have been able to integrate a modern outlook with religion so that religion has been allowed its true role which is not merely to provide an all-embracing explanation of the universe but also to furnish the fundamental solutions of the problems which life poses us.'
'I know that Islam, a universal religion which preaches brotherhood and equality over-riding distinctions of race, caste and class has helped you here. But you also asked the members of your Faith wherever they were to be found and this again was long before Independence - to join us, to be 'Africans with Africans'. And at one we had recovered our liberty, you recommended them to become active citizens of the countries which had given them hospitality. You have done more. Everywhere you have helped works of charity to flourish. You have done further. Whenever you could, you have favoured those productive investments which alone make a modern state.'
President Lepold Senghor of Dakar. March 20th, 1968
The young Aga Khan is a man of serious purposes, truly dedicated to the ideals of Islamic culture and civilization. He is daily striving to the best of his ability to see that Muslims all over the world come into their own and play their part, nobly and heroically, in the coming struggle. He continually invites not merely the members of the Ismailia community but the Muslims all the world over to participate effectively in the enterprise of modern history and so to shape it a transparent medium for the Divine Light to pass through - thereby illuminating the dark corridors of false philosophies in which, alas, modern man happens to have lost his way.
The Aga Khan is a triumphant missionary in the cause of Islam and in listening to him we are listening to the voice of our age and the call of our destiny.
A.K. Brohi. 24th August, 1965; Extract from an Introduction to 'The Guiding Lines' (1964) a Collection of Speeches of Mowlana Hazar Imam.
'The opportunity to receive Their Highness The Aga Khan and Begum in Jordan is a great pleasure for us all. The guidance which His Highness is giving to the aesthetic and practical aspects of Islamic architecture is in every way worthy of the widespread support and interest it is receiving, and the understanding it deserves.
'I have closely followed the work of the Aga Khan Award, as it was relayed to me by my brother the Crown Prince. In this first year of the fifteenth century of the Hijra I feel that the impact of this Award is of special significance.
'...With these opening remarks let me wish the seminar success. The able chairmanship of His Highness the Aga Khan and the very fact of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture truly embodies a respect for art, for tradition and for the task of preserving and creating beauty in our lives.'
His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan. In his Opening Remarks to Seminar Five, The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Aman, May 4-7, 1980.
'A man who had the vision to extend his own search for a contemporary architecture into an unparalleled international programme of study and competition, for the benefit of us all, a man, who in his own way, is in the forefront of thinkers and practitioners in the struggle for a new international order; And a man, who I have the privilege of calling my friend.' Mr. Bardford Morse, Administrator, U.N.D.P.
In his welcome Address to Mowlana Hazar Imam at United Nations on Dec. 11, 1980.
'Permit me to thank Your Highness for your kind words of welcome and for your splendid hospitality. I transmit to you the warm greetings of the Director General of UNESCO, Mr. Amadour Mahtar M'Bow he extends his best wishes for a fruitful and successful meeting whose objectives coincide fully with UNESCO's own ideals.
'...May I once again express UNESCO's deep appreciation to your Highness for the timely inception of the Award. This noble endeavour to encourage imaginative projects related to the cultural and social environment will contribute greatly to the rehabilitation of the Islamic architectural heritage. For this UNESCO is sincerely grateful, as are, I am sure, all those present today.'
Mr. Said Zulfikar of UNESCO, in his Opening Remarks to Seminar Two on 'Conservation as Cultural Survival' held in Istanbul, Turkey from September 26-28, 1978.
'...When I was initially informed about this seminar, two things intrigued me: the name of the Award and its famous benefactor, and the title of the seminar. To many of us in Southeast Asia, the prominent name of His Highness The Aga Khan has been associated primarily with the man who is the most distinguished leader of the Ismaili community. Now, with great admiration and appreciation, we may also think of him as an industrious parton of world culture. The establishment of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is a noble and righteous venture. It is part of a Foundation that aims to encourage the best possible designs in architecture and building, in the broadest sense. May Allah return such noble gesture with His rahamat and hidayat to His Highness and his family.'
Dr. Purnomosidi Hadjisaroso, Minister of Public Works, Republic of Indonesia in his Opening Remarks to Seminar Three held in Jakarta (March 26-29, 1979).
Source: Hidayat Imamat Day