The approximately 15 million Ismailis are a Shiite community and this faith community is recognized by the importance it gives to using the intellect in practicing the teachings of the Quran. As a result, the Ismailis view knowledge as a divine gift. Even the women have a distinct position here.— Veronika Hofer, Journalist & Documentary Director of “Karim Aga Khan and his life`s work”
Following His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s Golden Jubilee, journalist and filmmaker Veronika Hofer followed His Highness across the world for 2 years covering a multitude of AKDN projects such as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in Doha, Qatar (2010-11-24), the opening of the Heart and Cancer Centre of the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya (2011-07-25) and various other projects including the one in Kabul, Afghanistan and Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, Egypt. The documentary, “Karim Aga Khan and his life`s work” had it’s broadcast premiere on the occasion of His Highness’ 75th birthday on ARTE – the Franco-German TV station and its affiliated worldwide network in 2011. While the video documentary is no longer available on ARTE, a radio program of the documentary continues to be available.
Bayerischer Rundfunk – Bayern 2 Radio Wissen: Die Ismailiten – Erlösung durch Wissen
Bavarian Radio – Bayern 2 Radio Wissen: The Ismailis – Salvation through knowledge
Listen to Radio Baveria presentation at Bayern 2 | Radio Wissen | Ismailiten
Story, translation from German, and courtesy: Paderborner ‘SJ’ Blog
The audio starts with the famous saying of Hazrat Ali
“There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.”
Hazrat Ali was the 1st Imam of the Shias 650 years after the death of Jesus Christ.
2006-06-15: His Highness the Aga Khan’s address on receiving honorary degree from the American University in Cairo (Image via SJPaderborn)
The audio continues with the explanation on the guidance of the present Imam His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan in which he advice his followers to live unitedly, improving their quality of life by learning from the past, following the present correctly, and by wisely looking to future opportunities.
Today there are about 15 million Ismailis living in Asia, Africa, Central Asia, China, Syria and Europe as well as Canada. Within the Muslim world, they are considered very progressive because they have the living Imam who is their spiritual and worldly guide. Their living Imam (spiritual leader) is what differentiate them from the other Muslims. The Imam advises his followers to obtain education and knowledge to its fullest, consequently they are very successful and progressive.
To understand Ismailism one need to understand the history of Islam.
The audio explains the story of Prophet Mohamad (pbuh), his marriage with Kadijah, visit of Angel Gabriel in the cave with God’s messages. He tried very hard to bring Arabs to follow one God instead of many gods. When he died in year 628, Islam was being practiced far and wide. After he passed away there was dispute regarding the appointment of his successor.
The audio then explains in detail the emergence of Sunni and Shia communities and their different interpretations. The audio continues by explaining the founding of the Fatimid’s dynasty in North Africa and Egypt, and later on the Imams move to Iran and how they lived discretely due to the constant threat of persecution.
October 24, 2010: Veronika Hofer meets His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan in Doha, Qatar during the presentation of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, as Farrokh Derakhshani, Director of the Award looks on. (image credit: Veronika Hofer / ARTE)
You can learn more about Veronika Hofer’s work at http://www.prospera.at/
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