The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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International Training Programme


15 November 2015 to 5 December 2015

Dubai, UAE

The Department of Community Relations (DCR) at The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) announces the launch of a new cycle of the International Training Programme (ITP) for developing waezeen. The programme is guided by the needs indicated by ITREBs in the field. This episodic training programme, in partnership with the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED), follows a blended learning model consisting of distance learning, fieldwork, research, and residential components consisting of two episodes of 21 days each to be held in Dubai, UAE, in November-December 2015 (ITP Residential Episode-I) and November-December 2016 (ITP Residential Episode-II).

The International Training Programme for Waezeen aims to:

1. Develop a group of competent waezeen with a strong knowledge-base and the ability to communicate their knowledge through inspiring waezes and other means as well as the capacity to apply their knowledge to help members of the Jamat address issues of contemporary life;

2. Sensitise waezeen to the diverse needs and issues of their respective Jamats by providing curricular content appropriate to varying contexts and cultures in which the waezeen would need to function;.

3. Cultivate intellectual and imaginative potential of the learners;

4. Engender awareness of the issues and challenges facing the contemporary Muslim world, and of ways in which they relate to Ismaili communities across the world;

5. Develop generic and specific skills of effective communication, waez organisation as well as pastoral care, empathetic listening and referral skills.

6. Develop capacity amongst learners to articulate Ismaili belief and practices appropriate to the present day context.


The Programme is aimed at developing high calibre waezeen through a hybrid model of traditional lecture format with an integrated multidisciplinary approach to learning using relevant case-studies. The proposed content areas and intellectual perspectives to be taught in the ITP are as follows:

1. Situating devotional, ritual, literary, and intellectual traditions in their own cultural context and rooting them in the principles (including Imamat as a principle and the murid-murshid relationship; inseparability between din and dunya; affirming the values of pluralism and common humanity; role of intellect in faith; personal search for enlightenment; zahir and batin, khidmat) of the Shi‘a Ismaili tariqah shared by Jamats across the globe.

2. Knowledge and perspectives that enable the learners to articulate and dialogue with confidence on principles of the Shi‘a Ismaili tariqah to other Muslim communities, affirming common beliefs (e.g., tawhid and nubuwwah) scriptural sources (e.g., the Qur’an) and ethical ideals shared by all Muslims, and which cut across and unite different communities of interpretation in the Ummah.

3. Principles of common humanity and shared spiritual heritage enabling the learners to respect, dialogue and engage with people of diverse religious and secular traditions for the purpose of drawing inspiration and creating better mutual understanding.

4. The centrality of the Imam’s authority and of the bond between each murid and Hazar Imam for guiding personal, intellectual, spiritual search and wellbeing of the Jamat and informing the ethos and practices of the Ismaili tariqah in relation to other interpretations of Islam.

5. The contemporary institutional work of the Imamat which is dedicated to realising the social conscience of Islam through institutional action for addressing challenges confronting Muslim societies and humanity at large, such as (a) sustainable economic development; creating enabling environments; (b) effective political governance; strengthening civil society institutions.

6. Understanding socio-cultural, political and economic factors that enhance or inhibit sense of communal solidarity and the responsibility of each murid’s contribution to the wellbeing of members of the community.

7. Developing an appreciation for the diversity of intellectual, political and artistic expressions that reflected and shaped Muslim cultures and civilisations, the ways in which they have influenced the course of world history and the significance of this heritage for contemporary societies.

8. Interdisciplinary exploration of the challenges of contemporary life: erosion of values, materialism, consumerism, breakdown of the traditional family, self-centeredness, homogenisation of culture, ethical dilemmas of new technologies, environmental degradation, dominance of technology (alienating effects) , crisis of political governance, religious extremism, and widening socio-economic disparities.

The above thematic frames will enable the curriculum to cover foundational content not only as separate subject areas but as representing interconnected traditions, concerns, questions and challenges in the history of Muslim civilisations and in the life of Muslim communities. Furthermore, the ITP curriculum will incorporate a range of critical inquiry and problem-solving strategies.

In addition to this, specific training will be organised for components of adult learning and mentoring for the participants to be able to effectively assist ITREBs in its mandate of providing broader religious education to the youth and the Jamat through waezs.


· The programme is open for candidates interested in serving ITREBs as waezeen to address Jamati religious education needs;

· All applicants must have proficiency in English language;

· All candidates must have a first degree (e.g. B.A, BSc, B.Com, etc. or equivalent);

· Commitment to serve ITREBs for a minimum of 3 years;

· Participants will be selected on the basis of their personal statements, response to the assignment questions, academic and professional background, Jamati and wider community activities as well as their command of the English Language;

· Face to face/personal and telephone interviews may be conducted by a joint ITREB and IIS team with shortlisted candidates;

· The deadline for submission of the completed application form is Sunday, 26th April, 2015 (2400 GMT).


· The cost of implementing the programme is quite substantive. Participants are encouraged to make the maximum contribution they are able to make towards the cost of the residential episodes. Please contact your ITREB for further details.

· The selection of participants will be need-blind. For any further details regarding beneficiary contribution, please contact your local ITREB.

Application Form:

The following steps will guide you to submit your application form:

· Send an email giving your full name and country of residence to requesting the form. (the forms are available till Thursday, 23rd April, 2015)

· You can also receive a form by contacting your local ITREB.

· Complete the form, providing all the requested information.

· Please email the completed form and all relevant documents to

· The deadline for submission of the completed application form by email is Sunday, 26th April, 2015 (2400 GMT).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please click here for responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the programme.

For further information or related queries, please contact

The Institute of Ismaili Studies - International Training Programme
Last updated: 23/03/2015 12:17