As Canadians, we are fortunate to be living in one of the best countries in the world. We have access to great healthcare and education programs, and our government is responsive to our needs. Unfortunately, many people in other countries do not have access to the same benefits as we do. To show gratitude for what we have as Canadians, we should extend our helping hands to others who are not as fortunate as ourselves.
We have much to offer the world. Not just in terms of our ability to give financial assistance, but also in terms of our ability to give our time and knowledge to promote International Development across the globe. Every single day, the world grows increasingly interconnected; in our day and age, we are truly living in a global village. We Canadians have a great potential to impact positive change across the globe through International Development initiatives.
via Why should Canadians care about International Development? | Vancity Buzz | Vancouver Blog.
Hasan and Husayn in the Prophet’s household
According to most reports Husayn b. ‘Ali was born on 5 Sha‘ban 4/10 January 626 CE; another report mentions the middle of Jomada al-awwal 6/beginning of October 627 CE as his date of birth. Jointly with his brother, he was at first brought up in the household of Muhammad. Many of the accounts about Prophet Muhammad’s treatment of his grandsons and his great love for them deal with them together and at times confuse them. As the elder grandson, Hasan seems to have attracted more attention, and he later remembered more of his grandfather. Husayn is described as looking like Muhammad, but less so than Hasan did.
Click here to read The Institute of Ismaili Studies.
Search for Wilferd Madelung at Ismailimail
The much talked about restoration plan for the Qutb Shahi tombs seems to hang in balance. Hopes of the domed structures getting a new lease of life look remote, with the A.P. Wakf Tribunal staying the repair work. After years of dilly-dallying, the government signed an MoU on January 9 with the Agha Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), the world’s leading conservation body, for restoring the pristine glory of the royal necropolis.
But within days of the inking of the agreement in the presence of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, the whole plan has come unstuck. The AKTC, which is investing Rs. 100 crore to restore the tomb complex, is shocked at the stay on the repair work. “We have never faced such a situation anywhere in the world,” said Ritesh Nanda of the AKTC.
When the structures are crumbling, staying the repair work is illogical, conservationists feel. The AKTC wants the State Government to take initiative to sort out the legal tangle at the earliest so that work could begin.
via DOOMED DOMES – The Hindu.
When Ratish Nanda, projects director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, India, threw open the doors of the newly restored 16th century tomb of Isa Khan on World Heritage Day, visitors and guests took turns to marvel at the ornate ceiling and to applaud Nanda and his team for having restored it beautifully. Everyone except a lady in salwar kameez who seemed to have found the moment too overwhelming and started to cry quietly.
After having strewn rose petals on the six graves in the tomb, she stepped out. Faryal Khan Niazi, it turned out, was a direct descendant of Isa Khan, an important noble in the court of Sher Shah Suri, and part of the dynasty that ruled Delhi for 18 years, between two Mughal rules. Niazi, a Pakistani citizen now responsible for Unesco’s education programmes in West Asia and Yemen, says she used to visit “Dada Isa Khan’s” tomb with her father, and had last come in 2001. “Now the tomb has been beautifully and, importantly, correctly restored,” says Niazi, who managed to fly in for the re-opening of the tomb.
Photographs: Re-OPENING OF ISA KHAN’S TOMB GARDEN
April 18 was World Heritage Day. It was an appropriate moment to unveil the restoration of a major Mughal monument in New Delhi, India, the tomb of Isa Khan, within the larger World Heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb. The beautiful octagonal structure is now the centerpiece of a newly restored landscape park. Once dwarfed by the majestic Humayun’s Tomb, which it predates by 20 years, it stands on its own as a new discovery and significant addition to the great monumental heritage of the city.
via Bonnie Burnham: Heritage Is an Educational Legacy.
After the death of the Prophet, Muhammad, the religion of Islam split over whom his successor will be and what type of leader he should be. The two major groups are the Sunnis and the Shi’is, the latter of which contains a subgroup called the Isma’ilis. The history of the Isma’ilis is far from being simple. In the beginning of Isma’ilism, they were a small sect, but they would eventually rise to become a major player in Islam during the Fatimid period. The Isma’ilis would have an internal conflict over the succession of an imam and would split into two groups. One movement was the Musta’lian Isma’ilis following al-Musta’li, the other followed Nizar. The group backing Nizar, would become infamous. The Nizari Isma’ili movement was on the extreme side. This particular group became known as ‘the assassins’. Of course, every story has two sides, and the Isma’ilis are no exception. It is important to understand the perspective of both sides, before coming to a conclusion about them. The book, The Ismal’ilis: their history and doctrines, by Farhad Daftary, looks at the Isma’ilis from a broad, outside- looking- in view, while the book, The Order of Assassins; the struggle of the early Nizari Isma’ilis against the Islamic world, by Marshall G. S. Hodgson, focuses on the assassin group and really tries to look at the situation from their perspective when possible.
via The Middle East and Islam: Isma’ilis.
In Islam, while the word tasbih refers to a form of supererogatory prayer it is also a name given to a number of beads strung together in the form of a circle. There is a loop at one point of this circular object and the two ends are passed through a bigger, decorative bead where they are tied or woven into a knot. This is the starting point of a tasbih (rosary).
Almost all the religions in the world today possess some form of this object which differ a little in size, number and arrangement of beads. Calling it by different names, they make use of it for the purpose of reciting the Name of Allah or for recalling the name of the deity in whom they believe.
More SIMERG – Insights from Around the World.
For centuries, historians had relied for their understanding of restrictions on Jewish life on Islamic legal documents mandating that Jews carry bells and wear badges and distinguishing clothing. But the contents of the Cairo Genizah show that Jews were allowed a far more vibrant lifestyle, and treated much more tolerantly, than had been assumed. The Fatimid Caliphate, a dynasty that ruled from 909-1171, “embraced the organs of Jewish government even to the point of financially supporting the ancient Academy of Jerusalem, promoting self-governance by the Jewish community and assisting the progress of pilgrims to the holy sites,” Outhwaite said. Jewish merchants partnered with Christians and Muslims; they ran perfume shops and silk weaveries together. Hundreds of letters buried in the genizah show that Jewish merchant princes set sail from Egypt or Yemen to India and returned along the Red Sea and Malabar Coast if they didn’t marry Indian women and settle there. Marriage contracts in the collection show that divorce was common. While very few Jews married Christians and Muslims, there is ample evidence of close relationships with interfaith neighbors, like letters seeking rabbinical advice about husbands who kept apartments for their Muslim concubines. Instances of day-to-day anti-Semitism were less common than imagined.
via Treasures in the Wall: The Riches of the Cairo Genizah : The New Yorker.
It has been noted by several authors that classical Greek philosophers operated under the fundamental assumption that the universe consisted of only two realms – the intelligible and the sensible. Many of their philosophical speculations moreover were ultimately based on an attempt to define the relationship between the two. This, it may be argued, was the limit of their concern for the problem of creation.
To the Platonists (including of course the Neoplatonists) the realm of the intelligible contained all that was eternal, permanent and fixed. In it things existed in a simple state, or using what seems to me to be a more modern term, in a pure state. The sensible world, by contrast, was thought to be unreal because it consisted of composite or impure mixtures. Since these were dissolvable, they were consequently finite and temporary.
via The Institute of Ismaili Studies – The Ismaili Vocabulary of Creation.
The association of body and soul constitutes human physical life. The body is visible, since by its nature it cannot be invisible. On the other hand, the soul manifests itself through the body, because by itself, it cannot be visible due to its non-physical nature. The soul, therefore, can be known without experiencing it through sense-perception. The soul cannot be apparent to our senses because it belongs to a different level of existence which is not material. On the other hand, the physical body cannot exist without being visible because it belongs to the physical realm. However both body and soul “exist”.
Click here to read SIMERG – Insights from Around the World.
Let me quote a research by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Mind you, the Punjab government’s Lahore Walled City Project, now a dead leaderless organisation because of powerful political and trader pressure, remains quiet about. In 1947 less than 15 per cent of houses in the ‘walled’ city were commercial. In 2012 they have crossed the 72 per cent mark. The evil has spread far and wide and even Mohallah Maulian, purely a residential area for centuries, is being, slowly, eradicated.
via The Walled City no longer has any walls DAWN.COM.
Article by Noori Mamdani
History: a live broadcast of the past, a joy of the present, and a treasure for the future. History has significant past knowledge, culture, and memories of ancestors wrapped in its womb. The historical monuments, art, music, culture, language, food, and traditional clothes educate people about who they are, where they are, and where they belong in the particular era.
Furthermore, the deep roots of history help individuals to see the fruitful stems of growth. The growth in the field of economics, science, architecture, education, and the quality of life of people in this period of modernization. Therefore, destroying history from the lives of the people would be the same as cutting the roots of a tree. No matter how healthy species a tree may be from, it won’t be able to survive without its roots.
Thus, history builds a path that leads toward the future. Therefore, without the presence of history, the growth of the future would be unknown. Hence, the proactive Ismaili Imam, the Aga Khan, is actively taking every possible step to preserve history by preserving the historical monuments and improving the quality of life of people within the ambit. One of the best examples of the Aga Khan’s work is in Syria, a country known for its Islamic history.
Syria and Islamic civilization go a long way back in history.
Click here to read the article: Proactive Ismaili Imam – Part 2 – By Noori Mamdani
Related: Article on Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Project, by Noori Mamdani
A self-proclaimed “regular teenager,” Aroosa Ajani spends her time outside of school as a Girl Scout helping special needs children, and chatting with friends on Facebook — something she considers commonplace. When the 16-year-old was asked to help prepare for her cousin’s wedding, her use of this technology was far from inconsequential: it allowed the father of the bride to be part of the festivities.
via The Ismaili: Digital citizenship offers new opportunities but is not without risk.
It is a harsh, unforgiving existence for the 1,200 Kyrgyz people who live at the end of the remote and inhospitable Wakhan corridor in Afghanistan, a 140-mile-long strip of land surrounded by China, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Less than half of the children there live to see their fifth birthday. And it is commonplace for women to die during childbirth.
via Matthieu Paley’s Photographs of the Kyrgyz of the Wakhan in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com.
By Uri Marantz
Development is a big word. It denotes theories, concepts, experiences and case studies, and it connotes much more all at once. Internationally, development refers to improving the material conditions and quality of life of the most marginalized communities living under some of the poorest and least capable governments. Naturally, it is the economically more prosperous countries of the “developed” world seeking to bring about these improvements in the “developing” countries with direct cash transfers, debt relief, export subsidies, food aid, medical and humanitarian assistance, multipurpose grants, and other methods. To achieve all this, these countries set aside percentages of their gross national income (GNI) for official development assistance (ODA), which they then disburse to what they consider the neediest countries with the most desperate populations.
Click here to read more Canada, Development, and the Aga Khan | FreedomWritersCA.
Ever since researchers in 1998 discovered that stem cells extracted from embryonic tissue could regenerate to become any type of cell, there has been a deep divide on the morality of such research. When stem cells are taken from an embryo, the embryo loses its viability: it cannot become implanted into a womb or develop into a fetus. To knowingly damage an embryo in order to remove stem cells is, for some, equal to destroying human life. For others, who see great promise in what stem cells might do to cure illnesses it is immoral not to move forward with such research. What is Islam’s position on this ethical question? Zain Syed explains how Iran, a Shia Muslim country, has responded to this debate.
Read at SIMERG – Insights from Around the World.
I awoke, excited at the prospect of the day ahead. Yesterday a proclamation was made after the Namaz that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) would be leaving for his farewell pilgrimage today, Saturday 25th Zilkada 10 A.H. ( 13th February, 632 A.C).
I was to support the volunteers from families of Ansars (Khajraj and Aws tribes) and our friends from Muhajiruns to facilitate the caravan of the pilgrims. We were to ensure the supply of all the favourite foods of Rasul-illah ( grains, dry fruits, fresh fruits, honey etc.) and water supply for all pilgrims. We were also to help in putting up the tents, give first aid and any other needs of the pilgrims, particularly the old, infirm and women..
Click here to read at the source: Volunteering at the Dawn of the Age of Imamat « SIMERG – Insights from Around the World.
In the present time, many people have sought to reduce the entire meaning of Islam to the practice of the so-called ‘Five Pillars of Islam’. In doing so, they flatten and hollow out the theological and intellectual depth of the faith. As Islam has developed historically, the Pillars have never constituted the entirety of religion. The Pillars belong to a grander and more comprehensive religious framework which includes both theological truths and ritual practices. This framework traditionally consists of the Roots of Religion (Uṣūl al-Dīn) and the Branches of Religion (Furū‘ al-Dīn) and is articulated using the Qur’ānic metaphor of a tree…
Click here to read at: ismailignosis.com – Ismā‘īlī Gnosis.
The clash of ignorance thesis presents a critique of the clash of civilizations theory. It challenges the assumptions that civilizations are monolithic entities that do not interact and that the Self and the Other are always opposed to each other. Despite some significantly different values and clashes between Western and Muslim civilizations, they overlap with each other in many ways and have historically demonstrated the capacity for fruitful engagement.
The clash of ignorance thesis makes a significant contribution to the understanding of intercultural and international communication as well as to the study of inter-group relations in various other areas of scholarship. It does this by bringing forward for examination the key impediments to mutually beneficial interaction between groups.
The thesis directly addresses the particular problem of ignorance that other epistemological approaches have not raised in a substantial manner. Whereas the critique of Orientalism deals with the hegemonic construction of knowledge, the clash of ignorance paradigm broadens the inquiry to include various actors whose respective distortions of knowledge symbiotically promote conflict with each other. It also augments the power-knowledge model to provide conceptual and analytical tools for understanding the exploitation of ignorance for the purposes of enhancing particular groups’ or individuals’ power.
Whereas academics, policymakers, think tanks, and religious leaders have referred to the clash of ignorance concept, this essay contributes to its development as a theory that is able to provide a valid basis to explain the empirical evidence drawn from relevant cases.
Click here to read: http://www.gmj.uottawa.ca/1201/v5i1_karim%20and%20eid_e.html
Karim H. Karim is a Professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, where he was formerly the Director (2006-2009). He has also served as Co-Director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, UK and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2004. Before joining academia, he worked as Senior Researcher and as Senior Policy Analyst in the Department of Canadian Heritage.
During the weeks leading up to my birthday this year, I fervently searched for the true meaning of a birthday. I wanted to know what it is that I am supposed to be celebrating and I assumed that once I knew that, it would be easy to figure out how I am supposed to be spending that day. After consulting many friends and books on the subject, I resolved to look within my own soul. What follows is the fruit of my meditation on September 14, 2012…
In the beginning, the Oneness of God gives rise to the first originated beings…
Click here to read more: sabrinalakhani.com | Sojourn.