Life – An Exalted Destiny – Aga Khan III
Beyond Polemics and Pluralism: The Universal Message of the Qur’an
— Reza Shah-Kazemi
Editor’s Note: It was a delight to hear Dr. Shah-Kazemi’s lecture on the subject in person yesterday. Please view my picture with him below! Yay! My sincere thanks to Dr. Shah-Kazemi for providing this article and I am honored to present it on the Ismaili Web. Alhamduli’Llah! Please also view video of this presentation made in June 2014 at the end of this article and I just added his presentation at FIU on March 31, 2015. Thank you!
And they say: None entereth Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if ye are truthful.
Nay, but whosoever submitteth his purpose to God, and he is… Continue reading
This is an edited version of extracts from speeches delivered by Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi at Milad al-Nabi Celebrations held in Atlanta and San Francisco, USA, in 2007. It first appeared in The Ismaili, USA, 2008.
In the 9th year after the Hijra (631 CE), a prominent Christian delegation from Najran, an important centre of Christianity in the Yemen, came to engage Prophet Muhammad in theological debate in Medina. The main point of contention was the nature of Christ: was he one of the messengers of God or the unique Son of God? What is of importance for our purposes is not the disagreements voiced, nor the fact that the debate was cut short by a revelation instructing the Prophet to challenge the Christians to a mutual imprecation, the mubahala; rather,… Continue reading
They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of God in the watches of the night, falling prostrate.
They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency, and vie with one another in good works. These are of the righteous.
And whatever good they do, they will not be denied it; and God knows the pious. (Quran 3: 113-114)
Thou wilt find the nearest of them [the People of the Scripture] in affection to those who believe to be those who say: Verily, we are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and they are not proud. (5: 82)
I believe in whatever scripture God hath… Continue reading
Defining Without Confining:
Reflections on a prophetic usage of sacred space.
In this article I intend to show that, in traditional Islamic consciousness, to define the space of the sacred (the mosque, the qibla, etc.) does not confine the sacred (wherever ye turn there is the face of God), and thus that the space of the sacred cannot be subject to what we might call ‘religious nationalism’. The sacred is both transcendent and immanent, combining both poles of tanzīh (incomparability), and tashbīh (similarity). At the heart of the sacred lies the paradox that its divine essence is absolutely unknowable; but there is nothing that does not, in its own way, manifest the sacred.
In the first part, I will… Continue reading
|Amir Khusraw coaching students Nasir Khusraw Collection|
Abu Mo’in Hamid al-Din Nasir ibn Khusraw is an important figure in the development of Ismaili philosophy. Much of his biography and philosophical ideology has been obtained through fragmented texts, both in poetry and prose. Born into a politically connected family, Khusraw was well-educated in the sciences and humanities. Having spent most of his life occupying prestigious positions within the Saljuq court, Khusraw converted to the Ismaili faith at the age of forty after careful study. He spent the rest of his life writing and advocating for the Ismaili faith, and eventually was forced into exile by Sunni authorities.
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