Contents

Message from the publisher

Launched several years ago, 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 His Highness the Aga Khan IV’s speeches and writings.

The Archive brings together material from all official Ismaili institutional Web sites — including akdn.org, iis.ac.uk, theismaili.org, aku.edu, 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 the Aga Khan’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 the Aga Khan’s wisdom, also available are a number of NanoWisdoms’ own summary documents. NanoWisdoms’ Quote and Reading Service, broadcasts short and extended quotes via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook several times a week. With thousands of quotes published, we now have the largest, publicly available collection of Ismaili Imamat quotes.

The Aga Khan once said: “The spirit of Islam is to share knowledge …” The NanoWisdoms Archive — a voluntary, 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 the Aga Khan’s advice.

Mohib Ebrahim
Editor and Publisher

NOTE: Click here to read Amaana.org’s interview with NanoWisdoms’ founder.

Help your family and friends learn about the NanoWisdoms Archive

Our research polls show that word-of-mouth is the most effective way the Jamat [the community of Ismailis] comes to know of the NanoWisdoms Archive of Imamat Speeches, Interviews and Writings — which has special permission to reproduce Mawlana Hazar Imam’s speeches — and so we seek your assistance (via social media — Facebook and Twitter, e-mail and in person) to help increase awareness of the Archive among your family, friends and Jamat and thereby also increase awareness and understanding of Hazar Imam’s wisdom.

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)

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. .

Promotional Video

Please share our short promotional video with your family, friends and Jamats.

The short video is in 1080p HD making it deal to show at Jamati presentations or seminars that you deliver, BUI/RE classes or camps you teach, book-club meetings, Ismaili Student Association and business association meetings, or private gatherings. Feel free to play it at these or other venues and events so all those members of the Jamat can also learn of, and benefit from, the Archive too.

Click on the image at right to view it on YouTube. If YouTube is unavailable, view it on Faceook here (even if you don’t use Facebook). Or, click here and then on the blue download button at the top of the page to download and play the video off line or upload to your YouTube channel.

Information Flyer

In addition, you may wish to also print our information flyer, at right, and share it with your Mukhisahibs and Institutional Leadership to help them understand the Archive and post on your jamatkhana notice boards.

Business Card

To help you spread the word about the Archive in person, click on the top image at right to download artwork for a business card you can print and share with your family, friends and jamat.

If you’re located in Europe or North America, vistaprint.com often have 250 cards on sale for $10. The artwork is ready for upload direct to their site.

Click on the bottom image to download additional artwork for the back of the business card.

NanoWisdoms Publications

Also, in addition to our flyer, NanoWisdoms readings and publications — such as our calendar, thematic charts or short and extended quotes (which provide concise overviews of Hazar Imam’s perspectives) — are all printer ready, in attractive PDF format, ideal for posting on jamatkhana notice boards where they can be read after prayer ceremonies while waiting for family members.

Other outlets you can use to help spread the word about the Archive among your Jamat include local:

  • jamatkhana notice boards and libraries (flyer, quotes, suggested readings, thematic charts),
  • literature counters, al-waez, RE & BUI classes and other ITREB programmes (flyer, quotes),
  • print or electronic weekly news bulletins such as al-Akhbar or Khabar (website listing, quotes),
  • book clubs (flyer, announcements, extended quotes, etc.),
  • computer classes (flyer, announcements), and
  • national/regional magazines such as Ismaili Africa (article, thematic charts, quotes, website listing).
Webinars

We also offer webinars to jamati gatherings, BUI, RE or computer classes, book clubs, ITREB and institutional staff, private gatherings, etc. Please click here for more information.

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’ short and extended quote service, which broadcasts via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. The Archive contains the source texts of the speeches, interviews, and other sources from which the quotations derive and 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 with permission to republish the Aga Khan’s speeches. However, we have been asked to only republish those speeches currently available on akdn.org, theismaili.org, and other official Ismaili or related institutional websites. Other speeches — previously published in various other official sources — will be published as we are given permission by the copyright owner. Note: All interviews (save four) are publicly available. Click here for further details about the Archive’s collection.

Sources

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. His Highness the Aga Khan’s speeches and written works use primary sources. Other material use primary sources when available, 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. We welcome contributions from our visitors, and if you have copies of primary sources, we would be grateful if you would kindly forward them to us. Please see here for more details on making contributions.

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, Acknowledgements, 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.

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. We would also like to mention with gratitude the contributions made by journals of record by publishing speeches, interviews and articles of His Highness the Aga Khan and his predecessors.

All speeches have been reproduced, with permission. Copyright © His Highness the Aga Khan.

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.

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 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 voluntary, 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 good will to humanity and the Ismaili community — 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)

And so, 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, then we take our lead from the example set by the Internet Archive, a similar non-profit, public service initiative which, besides scanning and uploading entire books, archives the entire Internet — that is, they copy entire websites, including the media’s, and not just a page or two. They state on their copyright page, here, in respect of the material copyright by others:

The Internet Archive respects the intellectual property rights and other proprietary rights of others…. If you believe that your copyright has been violated by material available through the Internet Archive, please provide the Internet Archive Copyright Agent with the following information …

Similarly, we will also remove those interviews or written works quoting the Aga Khan we are requested to remove by the copyright holders, 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.