Contents of the ‘Other type’ category in chronological order.

Letter to architect Fumihiko Maki setting out notions of Light as the design theme for the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (Aiglemont) ·· incomplete

For the Aga Khan Museum, I thought that ‘light’ might be a concept around which you could design an outstanding museum….

I hope that the building and the spaces around it will be seen as the celebration of Light, and the mysteries of Light, that nature and the human soul illustrate to us at every moment in our lives. I have explained at the beginning of this letter why I think Light would be an appropriate design direction for the new museum and this concept is of course particularly validated in Islamic texts and sciences: apart from the innumerable references in the Qur’an to Light in all its forms, in nature and in the human soul, the light of the skies, their sources and their meaning have for centuries been an area of intellectual inquiry and more specifically in the field of astronomy. Thus the architecture of the building would seek to express these multiple notions of Light, both natural and man-made, through the most purposeful selection of internal and external construction materials, facets of elevations playing with each other through the reflectivity of natural or electric light, and to create light gain or light retention from external natural sources or man-made internal and external sources.

Read more »

Letter to architect Fumihiko Maki setting out crystal as the design inspiration for the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, Ottawa (Aiglemont) ·· incomplete

The goal is to create a building which causes the viewer to wonder how different elements and different planes relate to each other, how they work together to tickle the eye (the Aga Khan said, proposing that Mr. Maki take inspiration from rock crystal, the mineral quartz in its clear and colourless form).

In a rock crystal the cuts and angles permit both transparency as well as translucency. It pleases and confuses the eye by its internal planes running at different angles, creating a sense of visual mystery. The … building in a sense should be somewhat mysterious and visually nearly esoteric. It should not be blatant but ethereal, not obvious but difficult to captivate.

Read more »

‘Message to the World of Islam’: Collection of speeches, messages and writings ·· incomplete

INCOMPLETE: We regret that all of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah’s, Aga Khan III, speeches and articles published in “Message to the World of Islam” (listed below) are not available in the archive. We would be very grateful if any of our readers who may have a copy would kindly share it with us. Please click here for information on making submissions to NanoWisdoms; we thank you for your assistance.

Read more »

Will of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III

EVER since the time of my ancestor ALI, the first IMAM, that is to say over a period of thirteen hundred years, it has always been the tradition of our family that each Imam chooses his successor at his absolute and unfettered discretion from amongst any of his descendants whether they be sons or remoter male issue …

Read more »

Letter to H.E. Dr. Zahid Husain, President of Arabiyyah Jamiyyat, ‘What have we forgotten in Islam?’ (Karachi, Pakistan)

Islam is fundamentally in its very nature a natural religion. Throughout the Qur’an God’s signs (Ayats) are referred to as the natural phenomenon, the law and order of the universe, the exactitudes and consequences of the relations between natural phenomenon in cause and effect. Over and over, the stars, sun, moon, earthquakes, fruits of the earth and trees are mentioned as the signs of Divine power, Divine law and Divine order. Even in the Ayah of Nur, [the] Divine is referred to as the natural phenomenon of light and even references are made to the fruit of the earth. During the great period of Islam, Muslims did not forget these principles of their religion.

Read more »