A Reflection on Art and Architecture
“A work of art is an expressive and communicative medium of feelings and thought.” Pierre Francastel, 1950.[1] What is the role of art and architecture in society? How can one learn more about history through art and architecture? These apparently simple questions encapsulate a series of...
Combating Religious Intolerance: A Perspective from Muslim Contexts
The lecture draws upon both British and Muslim history to explore the consequences of religious and cultural intolerance in societies and looks at ways in which such intolerance can be overcome. Through examples from architecture, literature and history, Professor Nanji brings out the...
The Shi‘a Ismaili Muslims: An Historical Context
In this article Professor Azim Nanji provides a brief overview of the history of Islam, tracing the origins of the Shi‘a and the Sunni perspectives. Within this context, we learn of the emergence of Shi‘a Ismaili Muslims and their history, from the foundation of the Ismaili Fatimid caliphate...
Islam: Monolith or Mosaic?
This article seeks to provide a broad perspective from which to approach Islam. Through contemporary examples, it demonstrates that far from being a homogenous, monolithic edifice, the Muslim world has always been and remains a kaleidoscopic pattern of diverse geographic, cultural, religious...
The Ismaili Alternative Dispute Resolution Training Programmes and the Potential for New Directions in Mediation
Referring to the inspiration behind the dispute resolution system in the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community, the author discusses the inspiration drawn from the Holy Quran, the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad, the teachings of Hazrat Ali and other Shi‘i Imams, including Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and...
Kalila wa Dimna
There once lived a lion who terrorized the animals of the jungle by hunting them,until one day they agreed to supply him daily with an animal as long as he stopped his cruelty. The animals continued to cast their lots every day until one day it was the hare’s turn. The crafty hare arrived late...
Timurids
The Timurids were a dynasty of Central Asian nomadic origin that dominated the Middle East and Central Asia in the 8th AH (14th CE) and 9th AH (15th CE) centuries. The founder, Timur Leng, was a Chagatai Turk of the Barlas tribe in the region of Kish, Western Turkestan. The significant period...
Ethics and Aesthetics in Islamic Arts
The arts rise above the limitations of language and texts to offer a window onto other cultures. Artistic beauty and aesthetics can travel across time and place, and transcend cultural and ethnic boundaries. But at the same time, the arts can reflect values and ideals of a particular culture...
Muslim Spaces of Piety and Worship
Differentiating space and attributing it with special meaning is a universal feature of human cultures and societies, Spaces of gathering and worship play an important role in the social, cultural, intellectual and spiritual life of the members of a community or tradition. This is particularly...
Reflective Learnings From The Training Programmes Of The Ismaili Muslim Conciliation And Arbitration Boards, Globally
In this paper, the authors highlight the reflective learnings gained from cross-cultural training programmes in mediation conducted in 10 countries of the world. The training programmes, held under the aegis of the National Conciliation and Arbitration Boards (NCABs) of the various Ismaili...