Tuesday, August 21, 2007

244)Selected quotes from Mowlana Hazar Imam, Aga Khan IV's current East African visit, Aug 12-23 2007, that are relevant to the title of my blogsite.

1)Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Madrasa Programme, Mombasa – 14 August 2007:

".......A deep concern for Knowledge - and the best ways of sharing Knowledge - goes back to the very roots of the Islamic tradition. When we think of our proud educational traditions, however, we often think first about the great Universities and Libraries which became centers of Islamic culture down through the centuries - including in our time the Aga Khan University which now has teaching centres in eight different countries. Or we think of schools which prepare students for university life - as our Aga Khan Academy programme is designed to do.

But we sometimes give too little attention to the schools which prepare young children for life itself - in all of its holistic dimensions. And yet the evidence accumulates steadily showing that an investment made in the earliest, pre-school years can bring enormous dividends as a child proceeds from one level of education to another.

We have particularly strong evidence that this has been the case for the Madrasa programme in this community - and in the other communities and the other countries to which these concepts now have spread. From the seed that was planted here in the Coastal Region some 25 years ago - when Bi-Swafiya Said received her grant from the Aga Khan Foundation - the East African Madrasa Programme has grown to include 203 pre-schools, with nearly 800 teachers, reaching some 30,000 households and serving more than 54,000 children. This is truly an inspiring story.

It is also important to note some additional distinctions concerning this program. One is the Programme’s pluralistic, inclusive approach - embracing Muslim and non-Muslim children alike – and helping all of them to learn important lessons about diversity. Indeed, it is good to see that parents of different faiths are represented on the School Management Committees.

It is striking that modern neuro-sciences have demonstrated that long before the age of 6, children are aware of the different cultural backgrounds amongst each other in their classes. It is thus before that age that pluralism can be instilled as a life value........"


2)Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Aga Khan University,Nairobi, Kenya – 13 August 2007:

".........A golden jubilee is a valuable opportunity for putting the present into historical perspective. In that spirit, I would begin today by emphasizing how my concern for education grows intimately out of my family history. It was just a century ago that my late Grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, began to build a network of educational institutions which would eventually include some 300 schools, many of them in East Africa.

My late Grandfather, who was also the founding figure of Aligarh University in India, was renewing a tradition which stretches back over 1000 years, to our forefathers, the Fatimid Imam-Caliphs of Egypt, who founded Al-Azhar University and the Academy of Knowledge in Cairo. And going back even further, I would cite the words of the first hereditary Imam of the Shia Muslims, Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who emphasized in his teachings that “No honour is like knowledge.”.........":


The quote from Hazrat Ali comes from a speech given by Mowlana Hazar Imam at the Tutzing Evangelical Academy in Germany, upon receiving the Tolerance Award, May 20th 2006:

I cite Hazrat Ali's words....: "No belief is like modesty and patience, no attainment is like humility, no honour is like knowledge, no power is like forbearance, and no support is more reliable than consultation". Hazrat Ali's regard for knowledge reinforces the compatibility of faith and knowledge. And his respect for consultation is, in my view, a commitment to tolerant and open-hearted democratic processes(Aga Khan IV)


I wrote a piece on the uninterrupted thread of the search for knowledge in Shia Ismaili Islam here:

3)Other quotes and speech excerpts that fall into the same category of knowledge, science, creation, intellect and religion:







Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4(2006)
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3(1952)
Our interpretation of Islam places enormous value on knowledge. Knowledge is the reflection of faith if it is used properly. Seek out that knowledge and use it properly:Aga Khan 4(2005)
All human beings, by their nature, desire to know(Aristotle, The Metaphysics, a few hundred years BC)