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Recommended General Readings


Ruthven, Malise with Azim Nanji. Historical Atlas of Islam. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Daftary, Farhad. A Short History of the Ismailis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998.

Daftary, Farhad and Hirji, Zulfikar. The Ismailis: An Illustrated History. London: Islamic Publications Limited, 2008.

Day 1 – Sunday 19 July 2009:

History, Identity and Community – Dr Nadia Eboo-Jamal


1) Esmail, Aziz. “Why History?” Africa Ismaili (1970), p.20–27. Available at:

2) Nanji, Azim and Esmail, Aziz. “Ismailis in History” in Ismaili Contributions to Islamic Culture. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Ed.). Tehran: 1977, pp. 227-265. Available at:


Pluralism and Rooted Identities – Dr Amyn Sajoo



1) Amir Hussain, ‘Muslims, Pluralism and Interfaith Dialogue’, Chapter 10, in Progressive Muslims, ed. Omid Safi, 2003.

2) Amartya Sen‘Religious Affiliations and Muslim History’, Chapter 4, in his Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, 2006.


3) K.A. Appiah, ‘Rooted Cosmopolitanism’, Chapter 6, in Ethics of Identity, 2005. (Please review this prior to the session if you have the opportunity)

4) Bryan S. Turner, ‘Revivalism and the Enclave Society’, Chapter 7; Eva Schubert, ‘Modern Citizenship, Multiple Identities,’ Chapter 8; and Amyn B. Sajoo, ‘Reimagining the Civil: Pluralism and Its Discontents’, Chapter 10, in Muslim Modernities: Expressions of the Civil Imagination, 2008, ed. A.B. Sajoo.


1) Souleymane Diagne, ‘Religion and the Challenge of Spirituality in the 21st Century’, pp. 98-102, in The Future of Values (UNESCO, 2004), ed J. Bindé.

2) Dale Eickelman, ‘Islam and Ethical Pluralism’, Chapter 6, in Islamic Political Ethics, 2002, ed. Sohail Hashmi.

3) Roxanne Euben, ‘Cosmopolitanisms Past and Present’, Chapter 6, in Journeys to the Other Shore: Muslim and Western Travelers in Search of Knowledge, 2006.

4) Edward Said, ‘Impossible Histories: Why the Many Islams Cannot be Simplified’, Harpers, July 2002:

5) Amyn B. Sajoo, ‘Pluralist Governance’, Chapter 4, in Muslim Ethics, 2004.

6) Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury), ‘Civil and Religious Law in England: a religious perspective’, Lecture to Royal Courts of Justice, London, February 7, 2008:

Day 2 – Monday July 2009:


Introduction to the Holy Qur’an - Dr Alnoor Dhanani


1) Michael Sells, Approaching the Qur’an, 44-47, 78-81, 100-104, 114-115, 124-125, 170-171

2) “The Qur’anic View of Woman in the World” and “Rights and Role of Woman: Some Controversies” in Amina Wadud, Quran and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 29-43, 62-93.

3) Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, “The Second Message of Islam” in Charles Kurtzmann (ed.), Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980, 270-283.


The Prophet and the Prophetic Tradition – Dr Tariq Jaffer


1) A Mu‘tazilite Creed of Az-Zamakhshari (D. 538/1144), edited and translated by S. Schmidtke, Stuttgart,1997, pp. 7-11 and 42-44.

2) T. Fahd, “Nubuwwa,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Brill,second edition

3) Avicenna [d. 1037], Healing: Metaphysics X, trans.M.E. Marmura, The Metaphysics of The Healing, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 2005, pp. 358-78


Day 3 – Tuesday 21 July 2009:


Articulating Imamat: An Ismaili Perspective – Mr Shiraz Kabani


1) Preamble, Ismaili Constitution 13 December 1986/12 Rabi ath-Thani 1407

2) “The Shi‘a Ismailli Imamat” in The Ismaili Canada, 2007 Golden Jubilee Edition. Toronto: Insha Canada Inc, 2007

3) Daftary, Farhad and Nanji, Azim "What is Shi‘a Islam" in Voices of Islam (Vol. 1). Vincent J. Cornell (Ed.). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2007, p.217-244.

4) Aslan, Reza ‘The Rightly Guided Ones’, Chapter 5, in No God but God, Arrow Books, 2006, p. 107-139.


Knowledge Societies: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Contexts – Dr. Shainool Jiwa


1) UNESCO World Report. “Introduction,” in Towards Knowledge Societies. France, 2005, p. 17-23. Available at:

2) Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan. “The Peterson Lecture” delivered to the Annual Meeting of International Baccalaureate, Atlanta, Georgia, 18th April 2008. Available at:

3) Reinhart, Kevin A. "Intellectual Life in Islam" in The Muslim Almanac. Azim Nanji (Ed.). New York: Gale Research Inc., 1996, p. 177–186.

4) Address at the 25th Anniversary Graduation Ceremony of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, His Highness the Aga Khan Le Meridien Grosvenor House Hotel, October 19, 2003

Day 4 – Wednesday 22 July 2009:

Shaping the Discourse on Women’s Status in Islam – Dr Karen Bauer


1) Kecia Ali, Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist reflections on Qurʾan, Hadith, and Jurisprudence. Introduction. Oneworld, 2006.


Law and its Muslim Contexts – Dr Mohamed Keshavjee and Mr Arif Jamal



1) Yavari, Neguin, The Evolving Nature of ShariaThe Ismaili UK, March 1999.

2) Masud, Khalid. Islamic Law, The Muslim Almanac, Gale Research Inc., pp. 269-274.



1) Dr Mohamed Keshavjee, Extract from PhD thesis

Day 5 – Thursday 23 July 2009:


Esoteric Traditions in Islam – Professor Ali Asani


1) Sells, Michael. Early Islamic Mysticism. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1996, p. 29-56 and p. 75-89.


A Search for Meaning in the Architecture of Muslim Societies – Mr Shiraz Alibhai


1) Islamic Architecture: A Debate in Seven Parts by Shiraz Alibhai

Institutional Dinner/ After-dinner Address by Mr Salim Bhatia, Director, Aga Khan Academies


1) Daftary, Farhad. A Short History of the Ismailis. Edinburgh University Press, 1998, p. 96-97.

2) Learning and Education This is an edited version of an article that was originally published in the Muslim Almanac, ed. A. Nanji,Gale Research Inc, Detroit, MI: 1996, p.409-419.

3) Heinz Halm’s The Fatimids and Their Traditions of Learning, London: I.B. Tauris Publishers in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 1997. Preface, the Introduction, and pp. 44-46

4) Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN): An Ethical Framework, prepared for the Aga Khan Development Network by The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2000.

5) Presidential Address at the First Anniversary of Mindanao University, November 24, 1963, Manila, Philippines

6) Speech at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, December 20, 2003


Day 6 – Friday 24 July 2009:


Globalisation and Muslim identity: Contemporary discourse and approaches – Dr Al-Karim Datoo


1) Sen, A, Identity and violence: The illusion of destiny. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006, pp. 1-17.


Key Moments and Critical Junctures of Ismaili History – Dr Farhad Daftary


1) Daftary, Farhad. “Ismaili History and Historiography: Phases, Sources and Studies” in A Short History of the Ismailis: Traditions of a Muslim Community. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998, p. 1-20.

2) Daftary, Farhad “Ismaili Studies: Medieval Antecedents and Modern Developments”, in Ismaili Literature. London: I. B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2004, pp. 84-103