News story

IIS Publishes Proceedings of the Nasir Khusraw Millenary Conference

8th January 2005

Professor Mamadsho Ilolov, President of the Tajik Academy of Sciences
Mr. Hakim Feerasta, Resident Representative, AKDN

Dr. Sarfaroz Niyozov, Coordinator, Central Asian Studies, IIS

Professor Muso Dinorshoev, Director Institute of Philosophy and Law, Tajikistan Academy of Sciences
Professor Kamol Aini, a prominent local scholar
Professor Jurabek Nazriev, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Tajik Academy of Sciences

In his welcome address, Professor Mamadsho Ilolov, President of the Tajik Academy of Sciences, acknowledged the book as “an important milestone in new post-Soviet rethinking of Nasir Khusraw and his legacy,” suggesting that such collaborative endeavours must continue between the Ismaili Imamatinfo-icon institutions and the Tajik Academy of Sciences.

Mr. Hakim Feerasta, Resident Representative of the Aga Khaninfo-icon Development Network, congratulated the Tajik Academy of Sciences and the IIS for a valuable collaboration and stated that “the publication of such a volume indicates that the works of the Aga Khan Development Network in Tajikistan are not only confined to economic activities, but also entail academic and educational dimensions which, in turn, embody a more holistic and fulfilling notion of development.”

Dr Sarfaroz Niyozov, Coordinator of the Institute’s Central Asian Studies Unit, spoke of the challenging yet rewarding process leading to the publication of this volume, after two years of collaborative work. He emphasised the intellectual dimension of the millenary celebrations and the ensuing publication of the proceedings. He stated that collaborations between the IIS and the Tajik Academy of Sciences, Khorog State University, and other Academic Centres in Tajikistan and Russia have been ongoing and have produced a number of publications, of which this is one. Dr. Niyozov concluded his talk citing verses from Nasir Khusraw which emphasize ‘aqlinfo-icon and ‘ilminfo-icon as cornerstones of Islam and its Ismaili tariqainfo-icon.

A number of local academics, such as Professor Muso Dinorshoev, Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Law, Professor Kamol Aini and Professor Jurabek Nazriev, Director of the Institute of Oriental and Manuscript Studies at the Tajik Academy of Sciences, spoke highly of the 2003 conferences in Khorog and Dushanbe and have invited further collaboration on concrete projects between the AKDN, IIS and local research centres.

This comprehensive 675 page volume, with articles written in four languages, contains eighty entries that embody considerable cultural and intellectual diversity. The papers are divided into six sections according to themes regarded as important in exploring, understanding and representing Nasir Khusraw, his context, legacy, and the living traditions informed by his writings. Each section’s papers are preceded by brief summaries in Tajik and English.

The title of the volume, Nasir Khusraw: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, reflects the continuing impact and influence of the universal themes, values and aspirations that Nasir Khusraw and other medieval Muslim scholars of Central Asia articulated. In so doing, the volume speaks richly about the way cultures and civilisations have learnt from their interactions and how they reflect the common past, present and future of humanity. The volume will be of educational and intellectual value to a wide range of scholars and students studying the heritage of Central Asian Muslims.