This week’s selection is His Highness the Aga Khan’s 1963 Presidential Address at the First Anniversary of Mindanao University, Manilla, Philippines.

In this seminal speech, the Aga Khan reflects on the critical role education played in sustaining the Caliphates during Islam’s golden age, contrasting the state of education in the Ummah then to today. He notes that “during the two Caliphates, the Muslim Universities were producing the best scholars, doctors, astronomers and philosophers. Today where are we? Have we institutions of learning which can compare with the Sorbonne, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, Oxford, M.I.T.?” To remedy this deficiency, he urges that the Ummah leaves no stone unturned even if it means “we turn to institutions steeped in foreign cultures so long as it is for our own improvement and in the process we do not lose our own identity. Not so long ago, after all, these cultures were turning to us.”

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His Highness the Aga Khan’s 1963 Presidential Address at the First Anniversary of Mindanao University (Manilla, Philippines)

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