- Message from the publisher
- Help your Jamat learn about the NanoWisdoms Archive
- Why the name “NanoWisdoms”?
- Why are many previously published speeches by the Aga Khan not publicly available in the Archive?
- Acknowledgements and Sources
- Private Initiative, Copyright and Permitted Use
Message from the publisher
Launched in 2011, the NanoWisdoms Archive is a unique website dedicated solely to the Ismaili Imamat’s speeches, interviews and writings and was granted the distinct honour and privilege of special permission to reproduce Mawlana Hazar Imam’s — as the current Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan IV, is known to his followers — speeches and writings.
The Archive brings together material from all official Ismaili institutional Web sites — including akdn.org, iis.ac.uk, theismaili.org, aku.org, archnet.org, pluralism.ca — institutional publications, printed materials, media Web sites, transcriptions of video recordings, and other sources. With over 600 readings, the Archive is the most comprehensive, publicly available collection of Imamat speeches, interviews and writings today. And, as a dedicated repository, it enables focused yet comprehensive searches that return results only with Hazar Imam’s remarks since the Archive contains no other content, content which often makes searching for his remarks frustrating due to the vast amounts of other material returned.
For abridged overviews of Hazar Imam’s wisdom, also available are a number of NanoWisdoms’ own summary documents. For example, the thematic charts provide selected quotes from several speeches for easy-to-digest, one page synopses of some his key insights and advices related to particular themes. Their attractive format makes them ideal teaching aids, seminar handouts, general references or as informative posters on jamatkhana notice boards.
NanoWisdoms’ Quote and Reading Service, broadcasts short and extended quotes via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook several times a week. With over 1,000 quotes already published, we now have the largest collection of Ismaili Imamat quotes publicly available.
Mawlana Hazar Imam once said: “The spirit of Islam is to share knowledge …” The NanoWisdoms Archive — a non-commercial, public service — was conceived in this spirit and we hope it becomes a valued resource in the space of Ismaili reference collections not only for the Ismaili community and its institutions, but also for statesmen, development professionals, journalists, scholars studying Hazar Imam’s advice.
Editor and Publisher
Help your Jamat learn about the NanoWisdoms Archive
As mentioned above, NanoWisdoms has been granted special permission to reproduce Mawlana Hazar Imam’s speeches and we are seeking assistance from our Ismaili visitors to help increase awareness and understanding of Hazar Imam’s wisdom as well as the Archive in your Jamats.
The narrator [of our traditions] who makes an impact on the people is better than a thousand devotees. (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq)
And continue to remind, for surely the reminder profits the believers. (Qur’an 51:55)
To help you spread the word about the Archive among your Jamat, please download and share with your Mukhisahibs and Institutional Leadership our information package, at right, to help them better understand the Archive and introduce it to your Jamat.
NanoWisdoms publications, such as our attractive thematic charts or printer ready, PDF formatted short and extended quotes, provide concise overviews of Hazar Imam’s perspectives and are ideal for display on jamatkhana or library notice boards where they can be read while waiting for family members after prayer ceremonies.
Other outlets you can use to help spread the word about the Archive among your Jamat include local:
- print or electronic weekly news bulletins such as al-Akhbar or Khabar (website listing, quotes),
- ITREB resources (al-waez, RE & BUI teachers/students, youth programmes, etc.),
- jamatkhana libraries (printed copies of suggested readings, thematic charts, summary documents),
- book clubs (announcements, discussions about specific themes, etc.), and
- national/regional magazines such as Ismaili Africa (article, thematic charts, quotes, website listing).
In addition, we also offer webinars to jamati gatherings, BUI classes, book clubs, ITREB and institutional staff, private gatherings, etc. Please click here for more information.
We thank you for your support in this effort and please feel free to contact us for any assistance you may need or suggestions you can offer. .
Why the name “NanoWisdoms”?
Despite their diminutive size, nano-scale technologies, like computer hardware, are not just small but powerful and influential, revolutionary and transformative. While nanoscale biology, i.e. molecular biology like the DNA, lies at the very heart of and is the foundation of life itself. Similarly the genius with which our Imams elegantly and succinctly articulate profound knowledge. was at the forefront of my mind when I started the NanoWisdoms Twitter broadcasts, which publishes a few words of wisdom from them, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) or the Qur’an several times a week. This notion is best expressed by Hazrat Ali in one of my favourite quotations:
When wisdom reaches the climax, words become fewer.
Hence the name NanoWisdoms: a reminder that inspired wisdom is succinct and concise, influential and transformative — foundational (not small or insignificant).
This Web site, the NanoWisdoms Archive, is a companion resource to NanoWisdoms’ Facebook microblog and thematic charts, with their extended excerpts, as well as NanoWisdoms’ Twitter broadcasts, and contains the source texts of the speeches, interviews, and other sources from which the quotations derive. Its format offers the next step up in detail for those wishing to learn more, either by skimming highlighted passages or by reading full texts.
Why are many previously published speeches by the Aga Khan not publicly available in the Archive?
As mentioned below, we have been provided permission to republish the Aga Khan’s speeches currently available on akdn.org, theismaili.org, and other official Ismaili or related institutional websites. As we receive permission to republish other, previously published speeches, already loaded into the Archive, we shall make them available. Note: All interviews (save one) are publicly available. Click here for further details on the Archive’s collection.
Acknowledgements and Sources
NanoWisdoms would like to acknowledge our gratitude to the many individuals who provided valuable feedback during the Archive’s development, and to organisations which have made contributions to the Archive.
All sources are identified in the Sources section at the end of each document and also, when an Internet source for the introductory quote is available, in the Sources links under the title. Speeches and written works use primary sources. Other material use primary sources where possible, otherwise reliable secondary sources are used and identified in the Sources section with the prefix “Text (secondary source):”. Often these secondary sources provide their primary sources and they have been re-listed for reference. As we have the opportunity to verify texts against primary sources, we will do so and indicate the primary source used.
Although no edits are made to the texts, spelling is being standardised to British English to facilitate searching. In addition, minor punctuation errors are being corrected, and paragraphs that have been split into several, often sentence by sentence, are being reconstituted.
While every effort is being made to avoid errors, some are inevitable in an archive of this size, and we apologise for any inconvenience they may cause.
Private Initiative, Copyright and Permitted Use
This project is a personal endeavour, and is neither associated with, nor operates on behalf of, His Highness the Aga Khan, the Ismaili community, or any of their official institutions.
This Web site and its contents are subject to copyright restrictions. No content may be reproduced without the copyright holder’s express written permission. Commercial use or publication of any material on this Web site, without prior authorisation, is strictly prohibited.
All speeches have been reproduced, with permission. Copyright © His Highness the Aga Khan.
Appeal to the medias’ and other copyright holders’ sense of social conscience and goodwill
His Highness the Aga Khan is a unique personality of global import who has been awarded many of society’s highest honours by governments and pre-eminent institutions from around the world.
As explained above, NanoWisdoms is a unique archive dedicated to the Aga Khan’s knowledge, insight, foresight, perspectives and experience about humanity, society and world affairs. His wisdom is sought out and valued by statesmen, professionals and the public, the world over. It is indeed a blessing for humanity to have such a friend and leader who unstintingly and freely shares his time, resources, and knowledge. With regard to the latter, he has said:
[The Sura of Light from the Qur'an] tells us that the oil of the blessed olive tree lights the lamp of understanding, a light that belongs neither to the East nor West. We are to give this light to all. In that spirit, all that we learn will belong to the world — and that too is part of the vision I share with you. (Asia Society, New York, 1979)
Or, as he said more succinctly in his 2008 Gulf News interview:
The spirit of Islam is to share knowledge …
The NanoWisdoms Archive — a non-commercial, public service — was conceived in this spirit.
And it is in this same spirit we hope that media organisations and other copyright holders, notwithstanding fair-use provisions of copyright laws, will welcome the opportunity to reciprocate the Aga Khan’s dedication of his life to the betterment of humanity with a small gesture of their own to humanity — perhaps as a facet of their corporate social responsibility programmes — and allow the NanoWisdoms Archive to share with the world the knowledge and wisdom the Aga Khan selflessly shared, without charge, with them in his interviews and written works — most of which are now generally unavailable to the public. In this respect, the Aga Khan has said:
We live in a world in which there is increasingly more information that people can employ. The question is, how we access it and how we employ it…. Sharing time and knowledge is saying that I will make available the knowledge that I have to those people who, otherwise, would not have access to it … in such a form that this knowledge could be employed in building capacities for the future … (Paroquias de Portugal interview, 2008)
[G]iving can take many forms — funds, time, ideas, and professional skills. Everyone can and should be a donor, not just the wealthy, and all forms of giving should be encouraged and recognised. (Conference on Indigenous Philanthropy, Pakistan, 2000)
However, if a copyright holder objects to making this token donation to humanity generally, or alternatively to this effort specifically, we urge them to peruse the NanoWisdoms Archive, and reconsider in the above spirit of public goodwill. We hope, also, that the kind example of other supportive organisations prevails, for we can not know where the seeds of the Aga Khan’s wisdom may take root and inspire good works or other positive impacts. Nevertheless, if they still wish to enforce their copyright, we will remove their interviews or written works quoting the Aga Khan, and in their place post a small note advising our visitors, curious as to why the items are missing, that the respective individual or organisation declined to support this effort or requested monetary payment to share the knowledge the Aga Khan freely shared with them, often years or decades ago.
We hope that all who support us, as well as those who choose not to, find the NanoWisdoms Archive a rich resource they can draw upon when preparing for future interviews with, or articles, documentaries or books about, the Aga Khan.