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.

Dr Alnoor Dhanani, Head of Graduate Studies, welcomed the graduates and guests to the celebration in their honor. He reflected on the achievements of the students in the past two years in the Institute’s Graduate Program, and remarked that “the grads will take with them the spirit of inquiry, scholarship and social engagement to all their future endeavors.” Commenting on the importance of rites of passage, Dr Dhanani further observed that this graduation “reflects the transformation of students as learners, to graduates who utilize and even produce knowledge.”

In his commencement address, Dr Aziz Esmail, Governor of the IIS, shared his hope that the “students who graduated will find moments in their life where they are able to bring together the moments in their personal development with the needs of the greater society around them.” Dr Esmail pointed out that the graduate program is “a program in the best tradition of Islam and [more specifically] Ismailism …it is a program to which the issues that lie at the heart of the great religions of the world [including] Islam are not just peripheral but central.”
Dr Farhad Daftary, Associate Director and Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications at the Institute, awarded the certificates to the 18 new graduates.

Jamil Kassam, from Canada, gave the valedictory address in which he shared his impressions of the graduates’ time and experience at the Institute. He applauded the Institute for creating “the environment in which we are able to harness the differences in people and work towards coming up with creative solutions to the challenges we face today” and for providing the graduates with “tools to assist the Muslim world.”