Keywords: AKDN mandate, din, dunya, ethical ideals

Abstract: Aga Khan Development Network is a contemporary endeavour of the Ismaili Imamat to realise the social conscience of Islam through institutional action. It brings together, under one coherent aegis, institutions and programmes whose combined mandate is to help relieve society of ignorance, disease and deprivation without regard to the faiths or national origins of people whom they serve.

In societies where Muslims have a significant presence, its mandate extends to efforts to revitalise and broaden the understanding of cultural heritage in the full richness of its diversity, as the quality of life in its fullest sense extends beyond physical well-being. The primary areas of concern are the poorest regions of Asia and Africa.

The institutions of the Network derive their impetus from the ethics of Islam which bridge the two realms of the faith, dinand dunya, the spiritual and the material. The central emphasis of Islam's ethical ideal is enablement of each person to live up to his exalted status as vicegerent of God on earth, in whom God has breathed His own spirit and to whom He has made whatever is in the heavens and the earth, an object of trust and quest.