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Shia Ismaili Leadership: Past and Present by Dr. Karim H Karim

EDITORS’ NOTE: We commend this important, academic review of three books that discuss Ismaili leadership to all. Included among the three is Daryoush Mohammad Poor’s recent book Authority without Territory. We recently featured, here, Mohammad Poor’s recent presentation, Ismaili Imamat: … Continue reading Shia Ismaili Leadership: Past and Present by Dr. Karim H Karim

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Video: Ismaili Engagements with the Qur’an: The Ismaili Khojas of South Asia by Dr. Ali Asani

Held in March 2016, The Communities of the Qur’an conference brought together eminent scholars and practitioners of various Islamic traditions to discuss and deliberate each traditions’ respective interpretations of Qur’anic verses. The conference — the first of its kind — … Continue reading Video: Ismaili Engagements with the Qur’an: The Ismaili Khojas of South Asia by Dr. Ali Asani

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Video: Mohamed Keshavjee – The Impact of Apartheid on an Indian Family’s Diasporic History

On April 19, 2016, Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee, a member of the Board of Governors of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, delivered a heart-warming presentation at the University of California, Berkeley, on his family’s perilous journey in South Africa during apartheid … Continue reading Video: Mohamed Keshavjee – The Impact of Apartheid on an Indian Family’s Diasporic History

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Video: 60 Ismailis attend 2015 Ismaili Gnosis Retreat to learn about Imamat

At the end of August 2015, 60 Ismaili students, young adults, parents and seniors from across North America descended on Chicago to attend a unique 3-day event: the inaugural Ismaili Gnosis Retreat. The theme of the retreat — Recognition (ma’rifah) … Continue reading Video: 60 Ismailis attend 2015 Ismaili Gnosis Retreat to learn about Imamat

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Ismaili Imamat: Institutions and Ethical Underpinnings by Daryoush Mohammad Poor

EDITORS’ NOTE: While we agree with most of the views expressed in this presentation, there are a few key points we disagree with. However, notwithstanding these, the talk is excellent. On March 11, 2016, Daryoush Mohammad Poor, author of Authority … Continue reading Ismaili Imamat: Institutions and Ethical Underpinnings by Daryoush Mohammad Poor

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Video: Jesus in Esoteric Islam — Ismaili Interpretations of Christ

Applying esoteric interpretations (ta’wil), characteristic to Ismaili Muslim theology, Fatimid Ismaili thinkers developed truly creative and ecumenical perspectives on the theological status and spiritual role of Jesus, while staying true to the shared Abrahamic heritage of Christianity and Islam. Khalil … Continue reading Video: Jesus in Esoteric Islam — Ismaili Interpretations of Christ

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Video: The Aga Khan’s Vision of Pluralism – From Divine Diversity to the Single Soul by Khalil Andani

On Saturday, November 14, 2015, Khalil Andani (PhD Candidate — Islamic Studies, Harvard University) presented his research paper, From Divine Diversity to the Single Soul: The Aga Khan’s Vision of Pluralism, at Boston University’s Conference on Religious Diversity. Khalil’s presentation … Continue reading Video: The Aga Khan’s Vision of Pluralism – From Divine Diversity to the Single Soul by Khalil Andani

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Book Review: There is a God: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

EDITORS’ NOTE: When the preeminent atheist of the past 100 years reverses his position and says “there is a God,” it is, of course, an important event and one worthy of everyone’s time to study his reasons. However, as Ismailis, … Continue reading Book Review: There is a God: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

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Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah on the spiritual enlightenment resting with the Imamat

[A]s I have explained in my Memoirs for the whole world to understand there are two worlds — the world of material intelligence and the world of spiritual enlightenment. The world of spiritual enlightenment is fundamentally different from the world … Continue reading Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah on the spiritual enlightenment resting with the Imamat

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Book Synopsis: Memoirs of Mission: The Ismaili Statesman and Poet al-Mu’ayyad fi’l- Din al-Shirazi ~ IIS

Introduction Even though you’re the last in our da’wa,You have surpassed the compass of the earlier (da’is). The like of you cannot be found among those who have gone,From all the people, nor those that remain (p.90). These are the … Continue reading Book Synopsis: Memoirs of Mission: The Ismaili Statesman and Poet al-Mu’ayyad fi’l- Din al-Shirazi ~ IIS

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Q & A: What Does Mawlana Hazar Imam Do with the Religious Dues given by the Community? ~ Ismaili Gnosis, NanoWisdoms

The Question What does Mawlana Hazar Imam do with all the religious dues and offerings — such as dasond and mehmani — made by the community? Shouldn’t there be financial transparency or disclosure over these funds? The Answer We consider … Continue reading Q & A: What Does Mawlana Hazar Imam Do with the Religious Dues given by the Community? ~ Ismaili Gnosis, NanoWisdoms

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The Word in Muslim Tradition ~ Prince Amyn Aga Khan

Of all the Muslim art forms, calligraphy holds pride of place as the foremost and perhaps most characteristic of the modes of visual expression in Islam. From China to Canada and from Russia to South Africa, the widespread use of calligraphy still unites Muslims and visibly differentiates them from the adepts of other religions.

Continue reading “The Word in Muslim Tradition ~ Prince Amyn Aga Khan”

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How the Ismaili Imam teaches the Esoteric Interpretation (ta’wil) of the Holy Qur’an ~ Ismaili Gnosis

You see, my mission is situated on three levels. Firstly, religious: it concerns a symbolic exegesis of the Qur’an: interpreting the Divine Word, the adapting the needs of each community to the time; refashioning the law, constantly and relentlessly. Wherever … Continue reading How the Ismaili Imam teaches the Esoteric Interpretation (ta’wil) of the Holy Qur’an ~ Ismaili Gnosis

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Book Synopsis: Early Shi’i Thought: The Teachings of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ~ IIS

Muslim society is, and always has been, pluralistic. Within a few decades after the death of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s), the Muslim world became a mosaic of cultures. The cultural plurality was matched by a plurality of ideas and doctrines. Immediately … Continue reading Book Synopsis: Early Shi’i Thought: The Teachings of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ~ IIS

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Q & A: Why Does Joining a Majlis Require a Monetary Offering? ~ Ismaili Gnosis

The Question Why do certain majlises cost certain amounts in “entrance fees”? How does this relate to the notion of “equality” and “equal opportunity” in our faith? Isn’t this practice discriminatory against those Isma’ilies who cannot afford to join majlises? … Continue reading Q & A: Why Does Joining a Majlis Require a Monetary Offering? ~ Ismaili Gnosis

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Beyond Relativism: The Aga Khan on Personal Search, Universal Ethics and Pluralism ~ Ismaili Gnosis

How can we inspire people to reach beyond rampant materialism, self-indulgent individualism, and unprincipled relativism? Mawlana Hazar ImamSchool of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, (New York, USA), May 15, 2006 Relativism — the worldview that suggests there are no … Continue reading Beyond Relativism: The Aga Khan on Personal Search, Universal Ethics and Pluralism ~ Ismaili Gnosis

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Mawlana Hazar Imam on the Imam’s authority and discretion in interpreting the Qur’an

The Imam must direct Ismailis on the practice of their religion and constantly interpret the Qur’an for them according to our theology. On the spiritual plane, the Imam’s authority is absolute. Ismailis believe therefore that what the Imam says is … Continue reading Mawlana Hazar Imam on the Imam’s authority and discretion in interpreting the Qur’an

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Nizar Hussien Ghulamhusain Harji of Nairobi, Kenya: A Story of Courage, Patience and Faith

In a world preoccupied with the ephemeral, it is easy to forget that within our soul there is a place where the timeless ideals of steadfastness, strength, sacrifice, honour and loyalty resonate and move us. Who can fail to feel … Continue reading Nizar Hussien Ghulamhusain Harji of Nairobi, Kenya: A Story of Courage, Patience and Faith

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Mawlana Hazar Imam on Portugal, the new global seat of the Ismaili Imamat: “A very important country”

Portugal is a very important country … I have been to several other places. But Portugal has very important factors: in the Portuguese society, pluralism is a social construction which functions and that is relevant in any society, whether it … Continue reading Mawlana Hazar Imam on Portugal, the new global seat of the Ismaili Imamat: “A very important country”

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Authority without Territory’s author, Daryoush Mohammad Poor, speaks candidly ~ Ismailimail

Interviewer: You very bravely raise questions around pluralism within the community in suggesting “it is not clear whether and to what extent this pluralism can be reflected in the institutions of the Community” p. 152. You mention that the dominant … Continue reading Authority without Territory’s author, Daryoush Mohammad Poor, speaks candidly ~ Ismailimail

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Spiritual Status of Prophet Muhammad in the Holy Qur’an ~ Ismaili Gnosis

Modern discussions about the Prophet Muhammad tend to portray him as merely the deliverer of the Qur’an, akin to a “scriptural fax machine.” This limited viewpoint is grossly incorrect. According to the Qur’an itself, the Prophet of Islam is not … Continue reading Spiritual Status of Prophet Muhammad in the Holy Qur’an ~ Ismaili Gnosis