Life – An Exalted Destiny – Aga Khan III

Life - An Exalted Destiny - Aga Khan III Life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can, but a lofty and exalted destiny.

We can eliminate forever today’s dangerous clash of ignorance – Aga Khan

His Highness the Aga Khan Interview

“It would be wrong to see this as the future of the Ummah. There are many today across the Muslim world who know their history and deeply value their heritage, but who are also keenly sensitive to the radically altered conditions of the modern world. They realise, too, how erroneous and unreasonable it is to believe that there is an unbridgeable divide between their heritage and the modern world.


There is clearly a need to mitigate not what is a “clash of civilisations” but a “clash of ignorance” where peoples of different faiths or cultural traditions, are so ignorant of each others that they are unable to find a common language with which to communicate. Those with an educated and enlightened approach — amongst whom I can count our graduates — are of the firm and sincere conviction that their societies can benefit from modernity while remaining true to tradition. But they will bring to our world more than that: they will be the bridge which can eliminate forever today’s dangerous clash of ignorance.”

Muslim universities, however, have a unique responsibility: to engender in their societies a new confidence. It must be a confidence based on intellectual excellence…

“It is especially at times when ignorance, conflict and apprehension, are so rife, that universities, in both the Muslim world and in the West, have a greater obligation to promote intellectual openness and tolerance, and to create increased cultural understanding. Muslim universities, however, have a unique responsibility: to engender in their societies a new confidence. It must be a confidence based on intellectual excellence, but also on a refreshed and enlightened appreciation of the scientific, linguistic, artistic and religious traditions that underpin and give such global value to our own Muslim civilisations — even though it may be ignored or not understood by parts of the Ummah itself.”

– Aga Khan – Aga Khan University Convocation Ceremony, Karachi December 6, 2003


Full speech at Nanowisdoms:


His Highness the Aga Khan – Mowlana Hazar Imam


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Quran, 13:28

ألا بِذِكْرِ اللهِ تَطمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Verily! In the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment.” - Quran, 13:28

Prophet Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad:

‘Ali is ‘as my own soul’ (ka-nafsi).

He said to ‘Ali, ‘You are from me and I am from you (anta minni wa ana minka).’

‘Truly, ‘Ali is from me and I am from him (inna ‘Ali minni wa ana minhu), and he is the wali (patron/spiritual master) of every believer after me.’

Hazrat Ali

12. When some blessings come to you, do not drive them away through thanklessness.

13. He who is deserted by friends and relatives will often find help and sympathy from strangers.

Imam Ali Sayings

Imam Jaffer Sadiq

لاَ يَكُونُ شَيْءٌ فِي اْلاَرْضِ وَلا فِي السَّمَاءِ إِلاَّ بِهذِهِ الْخِصَالِ السَّبْعِ: بِمَشيئَةٍ وَ إِرادَةٍ وَقَدَرٍ وَقَضَاءٍ وَ إِذْنٍ وَكِتابٍ وَأَجَلٍ. فَمَنْ زَعَمَ أَنَّهُ يَقْدِرُ عَلى نَقْضٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، فَقَدْ كَفَرَ.

“Nothing occurs in this earth and in the heaven except with the following seven stages: Will, intention, destiny, decree, permission, book and implementation. Then whoever thinks that he can reduce any of these stages, then indeed he has disbelieved.”

- Imam Jaffer Sadiq, Usul al Kafi, vol. 1, p. 149

Rumi on Ramadan

The month of fasting has come, the emperor’s banner has arrived; withhold your hand from food, the spirit’s table has arrived. The soul has escaped from separation and bound nature’s hands; the heart of error is defeated, the army of faith has arrived. Fasting is our sacrifice, it is the life of our soul; let us sacrifice all our body, since the soul has arrived as guest. Fortitude is as a sweet cloud, wisdom rains from it, because it was in such a month of fortitude that the Koran arrived. …Wash your hands and your mouth, neither eat nor speak; seek that speech and that morsel which has come to the silent ones.


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99 Beautiful Names

Asma-ul Husna


Aga Khan jokes

Aga Khan Speech Brown University May 1996:

"Looking around this colorful gathering, I recall helping in the choice of the Aga Khan University's regalia. Our research into Islamic traditions of academic dress revealed that an academic's rank determined the height of his hat. The higher the rank, the taller the hat. The senior most professors therefore appeared taller than their students even when sitting down. I have just learnt that my friend Neil Rudenstein, the President of Harvard has given instructions that all Harvard hats are to be heightened by at least a foot. This has caused havoc in the Ivy League which is now debating resolution MAHH96, standing for Maximum Allowable Hat Height. My academic standing and that of President Gregorian, should be evident from the hats that we are presently wearing!"

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