Impact & Relevance: Spiritual Leadership implies responsibility in world affairs

“Leadership in the spiritual realm — for all Imams, whether they are Sunni or Shia — implies responsibility in worldly affairs; a calling to improve the quality of human life.

And that is why so much of my energy over these years has been devoted to the work of the Aga Khan Development Network.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims in direct descent from Prophet Muhammad.
The Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA – November 12th, 2015
AKDN | Press Release and Video

“Indeed, the revelation of Islam – my faith – looks upon freedom from hunger, provision of appropriate shelter and clothing, security against fear for one’s safety, good health, learning and wisdom, and generation of wealth as a blessing to strive for, and to share in the creation of an equitable order of peace and harmony.

This explains my own role, as the hereditary Imam – the spiritual leader – of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, in development activities through the agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network, or the AKDN.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims in direct descent from Prophet Muhammad.
Royal Toledo Foundation Award Ceremony
Toledo, Spain – March 2nd, 2006
AKDN | Press Release

“To the Imamat, the meaning of “quality of life” extends to the entire ethical and social context in which people live, and not only to their material well-being measured over generation after generation.

Consequently, the Imamat’s is a holistic vision of development, as is prescribed by the faith of Islam.

It is about investing in people, in their pluralism, in their intellectual pursuit, and search for new and useful knowledge, just as much as in material resources. But it is also about investing with a social conscience inspired by the ethics of Islam. It is work that benefits all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality or background.

Does the Holy Qur’an not say in one of the most inspiring references to mankind, that Allah has created all mankind from one soul?

Today, this vision is implemented by institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims in direct descent from Prophet Muhammad.
Address at inauguration of the Alltex EPZ Limited plant
Athi River, Kenya – December 19th, 2003
AKDN | Press Release and Video

Impact & Relevance - AKDN

“The ethics of Islam enjoin all believers, individually or through institutions such as the Ismaili Imamat, to assist the poor, the isolated, and the marginalised to improve their current circumstances and future prospects.

Through the Imamat, I have tried to respond to this responsibility by creating a group of private, non-denominational agencies the Aga Khan Development Network – to respond to the needs and potential of people living in some of the poorest parts of the world, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, or religion.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims in direct descent from Prophet Muhammad.
Address a the World Mountain Forum UNESCO
Paris, France- June 5th, 2000

Discover, Explore and Learn more on the framework that guides the projects undertaken by the Aga Khan Development Network via the AKDN Ethical Framework

Earlier & Related

Impact and Relevance

Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali

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