Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.

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It is one of the paradoxes of history that the West, and the Islamic world which have so many beliefs and values in common, should have lived in antagonism for centuries. When we consider the great contribution of the Islamic peoples to modern Western civilization, particularly in the realm of scientific enquiry, philosophic thought and mysticism, wherein the religious spirit is lifted to the sublime, the paradox of conflict becomes all the more striking

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A firm believer in the necessity of education and its role in human society, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah did not think of education as merely a medium of instruction and training but rather as a force that could uplift the human condition

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‘I hope that we will be able to create new opportunities for Canadian Institutions that need global knowledge to work with us to strengthen their ability to perform at home and internationally

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And fundamental to all of this, of course, is a basic philosophical commitment which is expressed by another important word and that word is “pluralism”. This is a frame of mind which regards diversity, multiplicity, and indeed difference itself - not as a burden nor a threat but as a gift - a Gift of the divine - an opportunity to learn rather than a danger to be avoided.

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The notion of “catalyzing multiplier effects” reflects a similar dynamic to what I refer to as “trampoline” projects for development. These projects are best-practice examples of balanced partnerships between governments, private entities and civil society, threaded together by innovative thinking, intelligent structures, and clear lines of communication. Well-defined goals and responsibilities are essential, as is the buy-in of the target constituency.

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Whatever its vernacular forms, the language of art, more so when it is spiritually inspired, can be a positive barrier-transcending medium of discourse, manifesting the depths of the human spirit.

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Ours is a time when knowledge and information are expanding at an accelerating and, perhaps, unsettling pace. There exists, therefore, an unprecedented capacity for improving the human condition. And yet, ills such as abject poverty and ignorance, and the conflicts these breed, continue to afflict the world.

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Arabic is the language of Islam. The Qur'an is in Arabic. The Prophet's hadith are in Arabic. The highest form of Islamic culture in Spain was in Arabic. Your children must learn Arabic to a certain extent always. The same is true of your West whether Sind, Baluchistan or the North. From the practical and worldly point of view, Arabic will give you, as a national language, immediate contact not only with the 40 million Arabic-speaking people of independent nations on your West, but the other 60 million more or less Arabic-speaking people who are not independent but who exist in Africa.

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The language of a nation is not only the expression of its own voice but the mode of interpretation with all other human societies. Before it is too late, I, an old man, implore my brothers in Islam here not to finally decide for Urdu as the national language of Pakistan but to choose Arabic. Please hear my arguments.

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The language of a nation is not only the expression of its own voice but the mode of interpretation with all other human societies. Before it is too late, I, an old man, implore my brothers in Islam here not to finally decide for Urdu as the national language of Pakistan but to choose Arabic.

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Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) told mankind first that the infinite sustainer and container of all existence had justice, mercy and love as well; Secondly, that man through these qualities and through gentleness and kindness, prayer, awe or wonder could get in howsoever infinitesimal proportion - direct communion with the All-embracing power in which he lived and moved and had his being.

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First of all you must win the right to prayers, then win your right to equality in production industrial service and in office work…
…Oh my sisters, agitate! Leave no peace to the men till they give you religious freedom by opening mosques for prayers, not side by side with men, but in reserved quarters attached to all the mosques, to that the habit of praying public and self respect and self-confidence becomes general amongst women.

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Ladies believe me, if Pakistan does not rise to modern idea of the equal position of women, you will find not only Europe but all the other countries of Asia going ahead of you. I am heart broken when I see how little many of our men realise what it is, and how little the women contribute, compared to what they could contribute to moral and material happiness and prosperity of the country.

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The spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan is the forty-ninth in a hereditary line extending back to the Prophet Muhammad. I don’t believe there many of us in this room who could trace, in any direction, anything like that kind of heritage.

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The Aga Khan Deve­lopment Net­work is proud to be a Founding Partner of the Earthshot Prize. It is our collective responsibility to be good stewards of the planet. At this critical moment, we must all nurture and invest in solutions that can repair our planet before it is too late

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I am strongly in favour of the "people-centred" approach for two reasons. Firstly, the tradition of self-help has strong cultural roots in much of the Third World where the voluntary movement is becoming increasingly vibrant. Secondly, and more importantly, the approach - in my experience - works!

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It's a challenge for the Jamat in the U.S. to organize yourselves, to make sure that you communicate the same language, same attitudes, but it's also a challenge for the leadership which the Jamat in other parts of the world will be seeking. For I am absolutely certain, not just sure, I am certain that in the years ahead, young spiritual children will leave this country having been educated here to return to their homelands

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Therefore the ostrich policy is not for us and I would like to feel therefore, that in dealing with the issues that lie ahead of us, we will look at them straight in the face, we will ask the hard questions. If we cannot find immediate answers, we will go on asking the same questions until Inshallah, we are inspired to find the answers, but we will not give up

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The Qur’an is not a body of law, and that, I think, is a statement that every Muslim will make. What is referred to today as Islamic law is a compilation of views expressed by law makers who lived well after the revelation of the Qur’an, well after the time of the Prophet. The interesting thing is that in the Qu’ran, for example, a lot of the things which I would refer to as punishment, are punishment as deterrent. The punishment itself is not the issue at stake

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If the industrialised world does not do this in the relatively near future, but builds barriers to protect itself against any recurrence of economic crisis, then the world recession will do even more damage than it has already to Third World economies. The pragmatists will be overtaken by failure of performance and their countries will return, through sheer frustration, to the strident conflicts of the past


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