This week’s selection is His Highness the Aga Khan’s 1967 Peshawar University Convocation Address.

In this thought provoking speech, soon after nations across Asia and Africa had gained independence, the Aga Khan contrasts the social context of the developed West with that of the East, noting that “some of the contrasts I have observed have convinced me that by no means do all the advantages and hopes for the future lie with the wealthier developed nations of the world…. Western Europe and North America possess much that can be envied. They also face social and moral conflicts which are far more daunting than known in Asia or Africa.”

In reflecting on these conflicts the Aga Khan notes that both Europeans and North Americans are asking themselves “Where is this all prosperity leading us? Are we any happier? Do we get as much satisfaction out of living as did our fathers and forefathers?” and offers his insights on how Islamic society, as it moves forward, should “avoid following blindly the course of Western society without taking the trouble to raise guards against the latter’s weaknesses and deficiencies.”

Click for this NanoWisdoms’ Suggested Reading:
Peshawar University Convocation Address (Peshawar, Pakistan)

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