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

Quotes

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Being responsible as the Imam for this Ismaili community of some 15 million people, I have necessarily become a student of social problems of all kinds. Islam, I should like to underline, is an all-encompassing faith. It gives direction to man's life, urging the individual to achieve a balance between material progress and spiritual well-being.

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Islam therefore guides man not only in his spiritual relationship with God, it also guides man in his relationship with his fellow men and his relationship with the material world around him. It encourages enterprise, but warns that enterprise, without a social conscience, is not acceptable. It is in this respect, where Islam's message applies to all aspects of man's life, that he will be judged not just on what he does but the manner in which he does it.

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The armies which set out from Saudi Arabia to conquer the various provinces such as Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Persia, North Africa and so forth took with them both the original political biases of Mecca and Medina and in many cases their own favourite leaders. It was difficult for the Khalifs to control the provinces which had been conquered by such armies as these tended to settle down most often in places with older cultures and better chances of agriculture, and the soldiers respected their own generals rather than the central authority.

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As the central authority declined, people turned to discussing the nature of Christ, the relationship that existed between the Emperor and Pope, and also the many problems relating to the Trinity. One heresy succeeded another at an extraordinary pace and, although the Church called numerous ecumenical councils, the difficulties remained unsolved. Here were born the Monophysites, the Duophysites, the Nestorians, the Albigentsians, the iconoclasts and many other such heresies.

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Your incessant and drenching downpours in Tanganyika which you so happily call 'short rains' will no doubt give you similar worries. I only wish they did not strike everywhere I go. Life gets soggy. I have nicknamed my own private cloud, 'deluge'.

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Over-expansion means the inclusion of remote peoples into the framework of a society whose ways of living and ideals are born, guided and sometimes dictated from a focal point, the capital. A concrete example of this is that during the life of the Khalifate, the poor agriculture and the lack of natural resources useable in those times of the focal point, Saudi Arabia, clashed with that which the Muslims found in the more fertile countries such as Persia and Spain.

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But as an individual one can make a difference. Might we try to stop using plastic completely? Buy glass instead. Insist on reusable straws and more. Might you try to recycle everything you can. Plant more, plant everywhere. Become an Olympian planter. Have a plant in your kitchen. Buy local as much as you can.

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I would want you to know that out of two schools of hammerheads and hundreds of individual sharks I have seen, I have only been frightened by three and that out of 350 species of shark, one could only consider a handful dangerous; and that we kill a hundred to two hundred million sharks a year while they only kill six to eight of us. I would show you that they are disinterested in us 99% of the time and say that they are so elegant and streamlined that its hard to be afraid.

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I was brought up in the Muslim religion," says the publicity-shy prince, who was 65 yesterday. "My
father insisted that I learnt the Koran and encouraged me to understand the basic traditions and beliefs
of Islam but without imposing any particular views. He was an overwhelming personality but
open-minded and liberal."

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"This is Paradise before the Fall, where man and beast were living in harmony and nature was
respected," he says, looking at his prized possession, a water-colour entitled The Court of
Gayumars. From the famous 16th-century Shahnama or Book of Kings created for Shah Tahmasp

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Muslim scholars reached pinnacles of achievement in astronomy, geography, physics, philosophy, mathematics and especially, in medicine. The great British scientist Isaac Newton remarked that if he was able to see further than his predecessors, it was because he stood on the shoulders of giants. Among those giants who made possible the scientific revolution in Europe were Ibn Sina, whose 'Canon of Medicine' was a standard text for five hundred years; a

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At the height of this civilization, academies of higher learning reached from Spain to India, from North Africa to Afghanistan. One of the first and greatest research centres, the Bayt al-Hikmah established in Baghdad in 830, led Islam in translating philosophical and scientific works from Greek, Roman, Persian and Indian classics

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At a time when the search for mutual understanding remains essential to assuring peace and stability, the creation of spaces that will enable that search becomes a greater imperative than ever.

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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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