A one day seminar entitled, ‘Moses Maimonides: Bridging the Divide,’ was held at University College London on June 19th to commemorate the 800th year anniversary of the death of the Jewish religious thinker Maimonides and to celebrate his legacy to the Jewish and Muslim world. Dr Alnoor Dhanani , Head of Graduate Studies , presented a paper at this seminar on ‘Revisiting Maimonides’ Critique of kalam’ to a multi-faith audience.
Modern Muslim Intellectuals and the Qur’an , edited by Dr Suha Taji-Farouki was launched on May 27 2004 at the Ismaili Centre, London. The volume examines the writings of Muslim authors from throughout the Muslim world and the West, who employ contemporary critical methods to understand the Qur’an.
Two students from the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities presented at the second international Women as Global Leaders Conference hosted by Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE from March 12-14. Sehreen Noor Ali and Farrah Musani presented a paper entitled “Ismaili Muslim Women as Public Leaders in Canadian Government and Politics” as part of a panel on women and political participation.
Paradise of Submission: A Medieval Treatise on Ismaili Thought, edited and translated by S.J. Badakhchani is the fifth among the Institute’s Ismaili Texts and Translations Series. It is a new Persian edition and English translation of Rawda-yi taslim, the only doctrinal work of the early Nizari Ismailis to have survived the Mongol invasions of Iran in the mid-7th AH /13th century CE.
Now in its 4th year, the Institute’s annual programme was held at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge from 13-21 August 2005. The 39 participants, selected from a large number of applicants, represented 15 countries and came from diverse academic backgrounds ranging from medicine to finance and engineering.
Ismailis in Medieval Muslim Societies is a collection of previously published essays by Dr Farhad Daftary that examine various aspects of Ismaili history and thought in medieval times. It also includes a previously unpublished essay on “The Ismailis and Ismaili Studies”. The relatively brief and eminently accessible articles are intended to make this research available to readers who are not specialists in this field of study.
Over 120 guests, including faculty, staff and students of the Institute as well as its key supporters, commemorated the graduation of the Class of 2005 at a ceremony held at London’s Royal Geographic Society on November 27th, 2004. The students, who commenced the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities in September 2002, are now pursuing Masters Degrees at various UK universities.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies organised a series of events to commemorate the 1,000th birth anniversary of the poet, philosopher and traveller, Nasir Khusraw, in early September 2003. In addition to hosting a three-day international conference on Nasir Khusraw in Khorog, Tajikistan, the Institute also collaborated in the production of a play and concert, the hosting of an awards ceremony and the release of several publications in Tajik-Cyrillic.
A ‘Historical Atlas of Islam’ was published by Harvard University Press in May 2004. In this beautifully illustrated work, Dr. Malise Ruthven, in collaboration with the Institute’s Director, Professor Azim Nanji, has consolidated an eminently accessible account of various facets of Islam and Muslim societies.
The largest ever meeting of the Middle Eastern Studies Association of North America (MESA) took place in Washington, DC from November 23-26, 2002. This year's conference attracted over 2,200 participants and provided a forum to share recent scholarship as well as showcase new art and cinema focusing on the Middle East and the Muslim world. "Identity and Community in Ismaili Societies" was the theme of the Institute's panel.
Muslim Ethics: Emerging Vistas by Amyn B. Sajoo is the third monograph in the Institute’s category of publications that explore specific aspects of Muslim faith and culture. The present work explores Muslim ethics in the contemporary context, investigating a wide range of themes.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Divinity Department of Eton College in Windsor, UK has invited an IIS scholar to address issues of Islam and the contemporary world. This year, Dr Nader El-Bizri spoke to 250 Lower Sixth Form (17-year-old) boys on the nature of Islam and the political world order.
The fourth in a series of collection catalogues published by the Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Arabic Ismaili Manuscripts: The Zahid ‘Ali Collection by Delia Cortese, completes the cataloguing of the Library’s Arabic Ismaili corpus of 738 manuscripts acquired up to 1998. The latest catalogue is entirely devoted to the body of manuscripts which formerly belonged to the Musta‘li Ismaili scholar, the late Dr Zahid ‘Ali(1888-1958), and was donated to the IIS by the ‘Ali family in 1997.
The Institute’s latest publication, Culture and Memory in Medieval Islam, edited by Farhad Daftary and Josef W. Meri, is a festschrift honouring the contributions of Wilferd Madelung, Laudian Professor of Arabic (Emeritus) at the University of Oxford and Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. The collection of articles, written by 19 of Professor Madelung’s colleagues, friends and students has been published to coincide with Professor Madelung’s 75th birthday.