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TARIQAH AND CONSTITUTION. A presentation by Kamaluddin Ali Muhammad National Council Hall, Karachi 15-11-2008. AKNOWLEDGEMENT. I thank my following colleagues for their most valuable help in preparing this presentation: Alwaiz madad Ali Karami, Itreb for Sindh, Hyderabad

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TARIQAH AND CONSTITUTION

A presentation by

Kamaluddin Ali Muhammad

National Council Hall, Karachi

15-11-2008


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AKNOWLEDGEMENT

I thank my following colleagues for their most valuable help in preparing this presentation:

  • Alwaiz madad Ali Karami, Itreb for Sindh, Hyderabad

  • Alwaiz Zulfiqar Jessani, Itreb for Pakistan

  • Alwaiz Akbar Abdul Majeed, Itreb for Karachi and Balochistan


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UNDERSTANDING

OUR

TARIQAH


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SOME BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF ISLAM-1

  • Freedom of interpretation

  • No compulsion in religion 2:256

  • Concept of ease in practice 2:185, 22:78

  • Create easiness and not difficulty (Hadith)

  • Use of intellect

  • No responsibility to convince others


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SOME BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF ISLAM-2

  • Concept of majority and minority in religion

  • A natural religion

  • Different dimensions of Islam

  • Relationship between Imam and Qur’an

  • Understanding the context in which questions are asked.

  • True nature of Islam; Hazar Imam’s speech


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HAZAR IMAM’S MESSAGE ON ESSENCE OF ISLAM

“This message is still potent in the Muslim world today, although it is sometimes clouded, distorted and deformed by political interests and by struggles for power over the minds and hearts of people. There are attempts at transforming what are meant to be fluid, progressive, open-ended, intellectually informed, and spiritually inspired traditions of thought, into hardened, monolithic, absolutist and obscurantist positions .” (London 19-10-03)


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Fluid

Progressive

Open-ended

Intellectually informed

Spiritually inspired

Hardened

Monolithic

Absolutist

Obscurantist

TRUE NATURE OF ISLAM(London, October 19, 2003)

Yes

No


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UNDERSTANDING

OUR

CONSTITUTION


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DEFINITION OF CONSTITUTION

“A body of fundamental laws and principles according to which a state / organization is governed. A constitution determines the organization of a government, the function and power of the government in general, its subdivisions and officers and how these functions and powers are to be exercised.”


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ISMAILI CONSTITUTIONS-1

  • 1905, first constitution was given by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah (s.a.) which was later revised in 1926.

  • 1962, Mawlana Hazar Imam gave constitution to the Jamats of Africa

  • 12 August 1962, constitution was given to Pakistan Jamat.


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ISMAILI CONSTITUTIONS-2

  • 1967, constitution was given to the Jamat of India.

  • 13 December 1986, new constitution given by Mawlana Hazar Imam to Jamat worldwide .

  • 11 July 1998, current constitution was revised by Mawlana Hazar Imam.


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TALIQA MUBARAK-1

“On the 13th of December, I will ordain a new Ismaili Constitution, which will be known as “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”. The Ismaili constitution will be applicable throughout the world, linking all members of My Jamat wherever to the Imamat.”

(December 10, 1986)


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TALIQA MUBARAK-2

“I have also taken account of recent significant developments such as the increasingly international dimension of the Jamat’s settlement, and specially my aspiration for the Jamat to play an even more active part than in the past in the mainstream of life in the societies in which it lives.” (December 10, 1986)


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TALIQA MUBARAK-3

“It is my belief that the Ismaili Constitution will provide a strong institutional and organizational framework through which My Jamat will be able to contribute to the harmonious development of the Ummah and of the societies in which the Jamat lives.”

(December 10, 1986)


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TALIQA MUBARAK-4

“I hope that the Ismaili Constitution will become an enabling document for all my spiritual children for an active role in institution building, for creative application of their abilities, for personal development and for intellectual and spiritual satisfaction.”

(December 10, 1986)


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TALIQA MUBARAK-5

“The Ismaili Constitution recognizes and addresses many of the Jamat’s present and future needs, but it is to be expected that some adjustment will need to be made in the practical application of the Constitution to meet local circumstances. These adjustments will be made on a case by case basis, in the Rules and Regulations, which will be provided in respect of each country.”

(December 10, 1986)


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TALIQA MUBARAK-6

“ I am confident that the Ismaili Constitution will give stronger integrated identity to My Jamat worldwide, and that in abiding by it in letter and spirit, the Jamat will achieve greater peace, unity, happiness, security and wellbeing.”

(December 10, 1986)


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ACCESS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Announcement made at the time of promulgating the constitution in 1986

“After the Rules and Regulations have been sanctioned and all parts of the constitution have come into force, copies of the constitution, incorporating the relevant Rules and Regulations for each country will be freely available to members of the Jamat.”


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PREAMBLE - 1

(A) “The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims affirm the shahādah lā ilāha illa-llāh, Muhammadur rasulu-llāh, the Tawhid therein and that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) is the last and final Prophet of Allah. Islam, as revealed in the Holy Quran, is the final message of Allah to mankind, and is universal and eternal. The Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) through the divine revelation from Allah prescribed rules governing spiritual and temporal matters.”


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SALIENT POINTS

  • Tawhid-unity of Allah, Suratul ikhlās

  • He is beyond all attributes, and is Incomprehensible

  • Finality of Prophethood-khātamun-nabiyyin

  • Qur’an, final message of Allah to mankind, universal and eternal.

  • The Prophet prescribed rules for spiritual and temporal matters (Sharī‘ah)


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PREAMBLE - 2

(B) “In accordance with Shia doctrine, tradition, and interpretation of history, the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) designated and appointed his cousin and son-in-law Hazrat Mawlana Ali Amiru-l-Mu’minin (a.s), to be the first Imam to continue the Ta’wīl and Ta‘līm of Allah’s final message and to guide the murids, and proclaimed that the Imamat should continue by heredity through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s) and his daughter Hazrat Bibi Fatimat-az-Zahra, Khātun-i-Jannat (a.s).”


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SALIENT POINTS

  • Prophet appointed Ali (a.s.) as successor

  • To continue Ta’wīl and Ta‘līm

  • To guide the murids

  • Imamat to continue by heredity in his progeny

  • Spiritual and temporal authority of the Prophet. The spiritual continued with the Imamat.


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PREAMBLE - 3

(C) “Succession of Imamat is by way of Nass, it being the absolute prerogative of the Imam of the time to appoint his successor from amongst any of his male descendents whether they be sons or remoter issue.”


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SALIENT POINTS

  • Appointment of Imam

  • Meaning of Nass

  • (Verb: to lay down, fix, stipulate, appoint, provide, determine etc.

  • Noun: text, wording, version, expression, provision etc.

  • Direct male descendent


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PREAMBLE - 4

(D) “The authority of the Imam in the Ismaili Tariqah is testified by Bay‘ah by the murid to the Imam which is the act of acceptance by the murid of the permanent spiritual bond between the Imam and the murid. This allegiance unites all Ismaili Muslims worldwide in their loyalty, devotion and obedience to the Imam within the Islamic concept of universal brotherhood. It is distinct from the allegiance of the individual murid to his land of abode.”


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SALIENT POINTS

  • Meaning of Bay‘ah (contract, buying and selling, giving allegiance)

  • An old tradition in Islam, based in the Qur’an

  • Acceptance of the authority of Imam

  • Meaning of murid (eager, hopeful, follower, disciple, devotee, obedient)


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PREAMBLE - 5

(E) “From the time of the Imamat of Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s), the Imams of the Ismaili Muslims have ruled over territories and peoples in various areas of the world at different periods of history and, in accordance with the needs of the time, have given rules of conduct and constitution in conformity with the Islamic concepts of unity, brotherhood, justice, tolerance and goodwill.”


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PREAMBLE - 6

(F) “Historically and in accordance with Ismaili tradition, the Imam of the time is concerned with spiritual advancement as well as improvement of the quality of life of his murids. The imam’s ta‘lim lights the murid’s path to spiritual enlightenment and vision. In temporal matters, the Imam guides the murids, and motivates them to develop their potential.”


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SALIENT POINTS

  • Worldly and spiritual development of murids

  • Imam’s ta‘lim lights the path to spiritual enlightenment

  • Guidance in temporal matters and motivate to improve their potential.


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PREAMBLE - 7

(G) Mawlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Hussaini, His Highness Prince Aga Khan, in direct lineal descent from the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s.) and Hazrat Bibi Fatima (a.s), is the Forty-Ninth Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.”


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PREAMBLE - 8

(H) “By virtue of his office and in accordance with the faith and belief of the Ismaili Muslims, the Imam enjoys full authority of governance over and in respect of all religious and Jamati matters of the Ismaili Muslims.”


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PREAMBLE - 9

(I) “It is the desire and Hidāyat of Mawlana Hazar Imam that the constitutions presently applicable to the Ismaili Muslims in different countries be superseded and that the Ismaili Muslims worldwide be given this constitution in order better to secure their peace and unity,


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PREAMBLE – 9 CONTINUE

religious and social welfare, to foster fruitful collaboration between different peoples, to optimise the use of resources, and to enable the Ismaili Muslims to make a valid and meaningful contribution to the improvement of the quality of life of the Ummah and the societies in which they live.”


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ARTICLE-1

1.1 Power and authority of Mawlana Hazar Imam.

Mawlana Hazar Imam has inherent right and absolute and unfettered power and authority over and in respect of all religious and Jamati matters of the Ismailis


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ARTICLE-1

1.2 Mawlana Hazar Imam has the sole authority to:

a. Determine all questions that may arise as regards the meaning and interpretation of any religious or Jamati tradition or custom of the Ismailis and amend or discontinue it at any time;

b. Confer a constitution on the Jamat and amend or discontinue any such constitution or any provision thereof;


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ARTICLE-1

c. Determine all questions that may arise as regards the meaning and interpretation of any such constitution and grant dispensation therefrom;

d. Constitute or discontinue any body or organisation under any such constitution and define or change its composition, functions, jurisdiction or powers;


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ARTICLE-1

e. Constitute or discontinue offices under any such constitution, make appointments to any such office and terminate such appointments which shall all be held at Mawlana Hazar Imam’s pleasure; and

f. Prescribe the rules and regulations to be made under this constitution.


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