Don Mills Photo Blog: The Aga Khan Museum and The Toronto Ismaili Centre

Don Mills Photo Blog: The Aga Khan Museum and The Toronto Ismaili Centre

Don Mills Photo Blog: The Aga Khan Museum and The Toronto Ismaili Centre

Both nearing completion into what will undoubtedly become a significant Canadian architectural landmark … here on Wynford Drive.

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Visiting the old Jamatkhana in Kaliro, Uganda

Visiting the old Jamatkhana in Kaliro, Uganda

Visiting the old Jamatkhana in Kaliro, UgandaWe arrived in Kaliro far sooner than we had expected, and I immediately got chills. My dad’s family was from here, and although I had heard stories and seen a few pictures, it was hard to believe that I was actually there. Kaliro is a small town, with a fairly small central street running through it. The old Jamat Khane has now been converted into a mosque, but it was still pretty magnificent.

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Paul Levy: Extremist Buddhists? Impossible!

Paul Levy: Extremist Buddhists? Impossible!

I’ve seen this now a few times, watching friends titter (with some embarrassment, because they know it’s inappropriate) when they hear or read news reports about “extremist Buddhists” in Myanmar.  Why do they laugh?  Because the image of radical Buddhists engaged in genocidal-like behavior is inconsistent with my friends’ stereotype of Buddhists as calm and meditative, focusing on the nature of the mind, on clarity and awareness.

This disconnect between our stereotype of how people of a certain religion should be viewed and how some of them behave can be disconcerting.  It happens when the aggressive or hostile political acts of a subset of people of a religion conflict with the underlying premises of the faith, as practiced by the majority.

Our perceptions sometimes then rebound in a dangerous way.  We extrapolate the bad behavior of a religion’s extremest members to all members of that faith.

The Aga Khan made this point with regard to Muslims in his recent address to the Canadian Parliament:

“What is highly abnormal in the Islamic world gets mistaken for what is normal.” Continue reading “Paul Levy: Extremist Buddhists? Impossible!”

Religion and Faith | WonderCafe

Religion and Faith | WonderCafe

Late last week, our son’s best friend lost his grandmother, who lived at home with them. We’ve know the family for 9 years due to the kids’ friendship so Mrs. M and I attended the funeral. Thing is, they are Ismaili Muslims, so this was a Muslim funeral. Very, very different from Christian or secular funeral/memorial. Much of the service is just chanting of prayers … Continue reading Religion and Faith | WonderCafe

A Day In The Life...: Why I want to find a cure for Mitochondrial Disease!

A Day In The Life…: Why I want to find a cure for Mitochondrial Disease!

My story for this blog began about 20 years ago.  I was fulfilling my life long dream of teaching medicine at a postgraduate level in the country of my birth, Pakistan. I was teaching as a Fulbright Scholar at the Aga Khan University in Karachi.   I set up postgraduate medical training for physicians in Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine with the vision of changing … Continue reading A Day In The Life…: Why I want to find a cure for Mitochondrial Disease!

Celebrating Respectful Diversity

Celebrating Respectful Diversity

“The Islamic ethic is that if God has given you the capacity or good fortune to be a privileged individual in society, you have a moral responsibility to society.” – Aga Khan, head, Islamic Ismailis worldwide Canada has welcomed a community of between 45,000 to 70,000 Ismaili Muslims as proud Canadian citizens. And this community has integrated itself well into Canadian society at all levels, … Continue reading Celebrating Respectful Diversity

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Nazli Siddiqui: Civil societies should look inwards when searching for solutions to conflicts

An overview of our polarized world today presents a scene strewn with strife, which is a becoming matter of widespread concern. However, discovering new avenues leading to the neutralization of this polarity, as explored by diversified groups and institutions, is an equally great source of consolation. One set of such solutions was presented at the Brown University earlier this month by the Aga Khan, the … Continue reading Nazli Siddiqui: Civil societies should look inwards when searching for solutions to conflicts

The Aga Khan’s Packard Eight Limousine | Look what we found!

The Aga Khan’s Packard Eight Limousine

In 1928 Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah the Aga Khan III visited the Aimila Automobile Company in Bombay, India. There he purchased a Packard Eight Limousine from Packard salesman H.C. Mitha. – Edras Rodriguez-Torres, Wayne State University Graduate Student More images and details here http://detroithistorical.wordpress.com | Look what we found!. Continue reading The Aga Khan’s Packard Eight Limousine

A Tribute to Dr. Roshan Thomas: From Hurt Comes Inspiration | Taslim Jaffer

A Tribute to Dr. Roshan Thomas: From Hurt Comes Inspiration | Taslim Jaffer

It’s 6:47 am and I have been up since the baby’s 5 am feed. As the early morning light pushes through the fog, finally, the tears are flowing. I have crept downstairs wrapped in a sweater and heartache, and am honouring the people who lost their lives in the Serena Hotel in Kabul on Navroz. I knew Dr. Roshan Thomas and her family as a … Continue reading A Tribute to Dr. Roshan Thomas: From Hurt Comes Inspiration | Taslim Jaffer

Anshuman Pandey: Gujarati Orthography for the Transliteration of Arabic

Anshuman Pandey: Gujarati Orthography for the Transliteration of Arabic

Khoja communities such as the Ithnashari (“Twelver Shia”) and Agakhani use a convention for transliterating Arabic into the Gujarati script. It consists of adding diacritics to Gujarati letters which most closely approximate the Arabic sound being represented. Some of these diacritics are shown in the below excerpt of a printed version of the Quran in the Gujarati script: via Anshuman Pandey: Gujarati Orthography for the … Continue reading Anshuman Pandey: Gujarati Orthography for the Transliteration of Arabic

Amaana’s 20th Anniversary Gift to Imam-e Zamaan

Amaana’s 20th Anniversary Gift to Imam-e Zamaan

Ismaili Web Amaana Celebrates 20th year on the Internet. Nowruz 2014 Marks the 20th Anniversary of Amaana.org As you can read in the About section, I started the Ismaili Web in November 1993 and established the domain Amaana.org in March 1994. Since then I have been writing about the work of Mowlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan and twenty years later, here is … Continue reading Amaana’s 20th Anniversary Gift to Imam-e Zamaan

Feeling Proud | Asif Premji

Feeling Proud | Asif Premji

There are certain times where you’re immensely filled with happiness, love & honor. Where the sense of pride and comfort fills your heart and mind. Where you have a sense of belonging to something greater than you can imagine. Today is one of those days to say I’m proud to be an Shia Ismaili Muslim. Today, all Ismailis across Canada; Members of Parliament, the Government … Continue reading Feeling Proud | Asif Premji

Sana Dadani: A Quick Glance at Some Islamic Architecture | I-Youth Online

Sana Dadani is a high school senior People dream about traveling to beautiful resorts and beaches, such as Tonga or the Caribbean, and historical cities full of culture, such as Athens, or Rome. Something that is uncommon for some people though, is visiting cities where Muslim architecture is prolific. Some of the third graders in the religious education class I teach were content with just … Continue reading Sana Dadani: A Quick Glance at Some Islamic Architecture | I-Youth Online

To whom should they stretch out their hand? | Nooru’s Blog

In the poems, Nasir Khusraw asks, if those who pledged their allegiance to Muhammad are assured a place in heaven, what is the justice for those who live at a later time, to whom should they stretch out their hand? He asks, have you not heard to whom Prophet entrusted his dominion of the sermon by the ditch? The one before whose courage the boldness … Continue reading To whom should they stretch out their hand? | Nooru’s Blog

Pam-’ere’s another blog entry | The Fantastic Expedition of Masha and Frank

Excerpt: When we asked our hosts about the Aga Khan they spoke of him with quiet devotion and gratitude. Ismaili Muslims don’t have mosques, they pray at home. We witnessed several times that while the rest of the family continued with their daily business or chatted to us, one member of the family would quietly go to one side to pray. Pamiri houses are themselves … Continue reading Pam-’ere’s another blog entry | The Fantastic Expedition of Masha and Frank