Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.

B. Forward

Efforts put forth by the Prince Aly Khan Religious Night School, Karachi, deserve our high appreciations for producing this Journal which is full of biographical sketches of lsmaili writers, scientists, preachers, scholars, poets, Pirs and religious leaders. From as old as Rodaki to as modern as Kara Ruda many have been included. Lives of these men show how sincerely they worked for the lmam of the Time and made sacrifices to keep the flag flying. In collecting this material, the committee has searched scholars all over the world. Indeed their efforts have been crowned with success for some articles have been contributed by scholars of renown and some by those who bid fair to do well in lsmaili research.

Some scholars who have obtained their doctorates recently have also responded to the call and contributed articles of high research value. Some of the writers, are those who are on the threshold of wearing doctorial gowns.

The late Prof. W. lvanow a Russian Scholar of lsmailism had been the foremost scholar of modern times to draw world attention of orientalists to the field of lsmaili research. Professor A. A. A. Fyzee, Dr. Henry Corbin, Dr. Bernard Lewis the late Professor Hodgson, the late Professor Kamil Hussain, Dr. Abbas Hamdani and Dr. Mrs. Hanna Papanek have done research in lsmailism and tried to bring out facts of lsmaili history and philosophy. In 1948 our beloved previous lmam Hazrat Sultan Mohammed Shah Aga Khan Ill in a conference in East Africa paid tributes to the research work of Prof. W. lvanow and Prof. A. A. A. Fyzee and remarked that these non-Ismailis knew more about lsmailism than missionaries.

So much dust had collected over lsmaili documents and so much misunderstanding had covered the lsmaili studies that the research of these famous scholars who have tried to sift error and give world the true facts has been most fruitful. Their efforts have been most laudable. It is heartening to note that the orientalists continue to bring out true facts of lsmaili history and philosophy which had suffered great set back because of various reasons in which one may not go into, in this short space.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that lsmailis themselves have now started taking interest in the research activities of their glorious past. In 1963 Dr. Nasser Ahmed Mirza an lsmaili from Syria got his Ph.D from Durham University of U.K. His thesis was, "The Syrian lsmailis at the time of Crusades". At present he is working as a senior lecturer in the University of Melbourne, Australia in the department of Semitic studies. Three other lsmaili students have obtained doctorates in lsmaili studies in 1971. Dr. Akbar Ladak from Karachi and Dr. Asad Sadiq from Syria got their doctorates from the School of Oriental and African Studies London. The former wrote on, "The Fatimid Caliphate and the Ismaili Da'wa - from the appointment of Mustali to the suppression of the dynasty" and the latter wrote on, "The reign of lmam al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. These two thesis are about to be printed in book form. The third is Dr. Aziz Esmail from Kenya who did his doctorate from Edinburgh University, his subject being, "lsmaili Mysticism and Philosophy of Jung".

Five Ismailis have received doctorates in Islamic Studies in 1972. One of them is Dr. Abdullah Rehimtullah (Pakistan) at the Sorbonne University Paris. His thesis was, "Religious Philosophy of Hazrat Sultan Mohammed Shah." The other is Dr. Ghulamali Allana (Pakistan) at the Sind University Hyderabad. His subject was Ginans and Sindhi Literature. Dr. Miss Parvin Peerwani from Kenya has done her doctorate at the Tehran University in some aspect of philosophy of Nasir-Khusraw. Dr. Miss Ghulshun Khakee who is the recipient of the Prince Sadruddin Scholarship from Harvard University is from East Africa. Her doctorate thesis was on Momin Shah. Dr. Azim Nanji from Kenya has done his doctorate at the McGill University Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Institute of Islamic Studies, Canada. His subject was about the oral traditions regarding Ginans. Besides these, Miss Zaibun Jafferali from Congo is doing her research at the Sorbonne University under the supervision of Dr. Henry Corbin and would be getting her doctorate in 1973. She is editing in French one of the books of Nasir-Khusraw. Two other scholars who are carrying on doctorate studies are Mohammed Abualy from Kenya at Harvard and Mrs. Mehrunnissa Amirali from Pakistan at Karachi University. The former is writing a modern bibliography on lsmailism and the latter is writing on Muslim Education in West Pakistan. In this as a back-ground study she will write on the contribution of Hazrat Sultan Mohammed Shah for Muslim Educational uplift in the pre-partition India.

Other than these there are from the lsmailia Association Pakistan at Karachi, those who will be able to take up research studies in suitable lsmaili subjects specially on the philosophical side for doing their doctorate. They are Miss Zawahir Nooraly, Mr. Fakquir Mohammed, Mr. Shaykh Mohammad lqbal and Mr. Alijah Deedarali all of whom are double M.A.'s and fit to embark upon doctoral studies abroad.

Here mention must be made of the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan fellowship at the Harvard University, U.S.A. This fellowship at $3500 is a gift of His Serene Highness Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. It is designed to support post graduate work in Islamic Studies. Application forms for admission and scholarship and other information may be obtained by writing to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 75 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge Massachusetts 021 38, U.S.A. It is high time that more of lsmailis who are first class graduates or holding Master's degrees should take up further studies and research specially if lsmaili Philosophy much of which is yet not known. Research work in this direction will show how rich is lsmaili Philosophy and how much it has contributed to Islamic thought.

The Prince Ali S. Khan Colony Religious Night School have taken up another activity along with the bringing out of this Journal. They are organizing an Art Exhibition of Muslim scientists and men of learning. This Art Exhibition is going to attract a large crowd and will show Muslim contribution to world civilization. This activity of these young and enthusiastic workers also deserves appreciation of all of us because they have taken great pains and worked hard to make it successful.


10th March, 1973.
Blessed House,
178 Garden East, Britto Road,

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