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Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA)

It was the Imam's own involvement in construction in developing countries during the 1960s and 1970s that evoked his concern with the deteriorating architectural heritage and inappropriate building practices in many Muslim societies. To sensitize those who build in the developing world to the unique heritage of Muslim history and architecture, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) was founded in 1977. The goal of the Award is to recognize outstanding architectural achievements in all the different cultures and communities of the Muslim world.


"The word ahl means those who occupy with one the same tent, the family or inmates, relative, folk, kin, kinfolk, family, people, members, followers, etc. Under these meanings, the word ahl occurs 31 times in the Koran. According to another view, it is derived from ahala, meaning to demonstrate (the family). The word kitab, comes from the root word kataba, meaning to write down. The word kitaba occurs in the Koran for the Divine Books revealed to various prophets.


Allah is the proper or personal name (ism dhat) of the Divine Being, as distinguished from all other names which are called asma' al-sifat or names denoting attributes. The word Allah occurs 2702 times in the Koran, such as Allahu 980 times, Allaha 592 times, Allahi 1125 times and Allahumma 5 times. It is also known as the greatest name of God (ism a'zam).

Architectural Education Program

In 1979, the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) established the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) with grants of some $. 12 million from the Imam. It mandate is to educate architects, planners, teachers and researchers who can contribute to building and design, which meet the needs of Muslim societies today. The professorships, scholarships and projects of the Program are supported by its endowment fund and by grants from the Trust.


The headquarters of the Present Ismaili Imam Shah Karim al-Husayni was Geneva, Switzerland between 1957 and 1976. Then, in 1976, the Imam moved his headquarters, the Secretariat de Son Altesse l'Aga Khan, from Geneva to Paris, building two replica 17th century chateaux on a large wooded estate at Aiglemont, Gouvieus, north of Paris


In Sindhi and Kutchhi, Allah Tohar or Allah Toahar means with the help of God or reliance on God. It was a common phrase the scribes wrote in the beginning of the manuscripts of the ginans in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.


Ashab al-Suffa or Ahl al-Suffa was a group of the Prophet's Companions. The suffa or zulla (bench or banquette) was a long, covered portico or vestibule, which formed part of the mosque at Medina. This was the sole home of these men, and they spent their time in study and worship. They are sometimes said to have been as many as four hundred.

Historic Cities Support Programme (HCSP)

The Trust's most recent initiative is the Historic Cities Support Programme (HCSP). It was established to promote the conservation and re-use of building and public spaces in historic cities in ways that can catalyze social, economic and cultural development. In HCSO's approach, the restoration and rehabilitation of buildings and public spaces cannot be conceived apart from broader processes of community development. Its project briefs go beyond technical restoration to address the questions of re-use and community revitalization.


It is a group of institutions working to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of the developing world. The Network's institutions have individuals mandates that range from the fields of health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private sector enterprise. Together they collaborate in working toward a common goal


In social development, the Network is particularly active in health, education, housing and rural development. The purpose of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is to promote creative and effective solutions to problems that impede social development. AKF provides funding and technical assistance for many social development projects carried out by both Network institutions and other agencies. The Aga Khan University (AKU) is an international institution whose Faculty of Health Sciences and Institute for Educational Development are in Karachi, Pakistan.


"Abu Abdullah al-Shi'i was hailed from Kufa. He espoused Ismailism by the hand of da'i Firuz. Imam Radi Abdullah sent him to Ibn Hawshab in Yamen for further training in esoteric doctrines as well as affairs of the state, where he stayed for a year. Ibn Hawshab then sent him towards Maghrib.

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)

Founded in 1967, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is now a major non-governmental organization (NGO) active in health, education and rural development. With roots in the third world and support in the West, it cooperates with more than thirty other national and international agencies to finance programmes, primarily in Africa and Asia. To encourage a new generation of development practitioners aware of the realities of the third world, it also provides scholarships, training and internships to young people from developing and industrialized countries. AKF's headquarters are in Switzerland.


"Abu Ali ibn Sina, Ibn Sina or Avicenna, known in the West as Prince of Physicians, was born in 370/980 in the village of Afshana near Bukhara. He was an encyclopeadist, philosopher, physiologist, physician, mathematician, astronomer, logician and poet. He gained the titles of Shaikh al-Ra'is (leader among the wise men) and Hujjat al-Haq (proof of God), displayed a remarkable aptitude for learning from an early age. His father Abdullah hailed from Balkh and was in the service of the Samanid court.

The Aga Khan University (AKU)

With the faculty of Health Sciences and the Institute for Educational Development in Pakistan, the Aga Khan University (AKU) occupies a pivotal place in the Network's social development activities. Inaugurated in 1985, its purpose is to provide higher education and stimulate research pertinent to Pakistan and the developing world, while maintaining internationally accepted academic standards.


Abu Bakr, the son of Abu Qahafa was born in the Qoraish family. When he was born he was taken to the Kaba, dedicated to the gods, and named Abdul Kaba. In his early age, he liked to play with the young camels, which earned him the surname of Abu Bakr, i.e., the father of the foal of the camel. He did not receive any formal education. At the age of 18 years, he adopted the profession of a cloth merchant, which was his family business, and came to be recognized as one of the richest merchants of Mecca. He was first among the elders to accept Islam in Mecca.

Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS)

The Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) is one of the most comprehensive non-profit health care systems in the developing world. Building on the Ismaili community's health care efforts during the first half of the century, AKHS now provides primary health care and curative medical care in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania and Syria. It includes five general hospitals, the Aga Khan University Hospital in Pakistan, six maternity homes and more than 230 health centers.


"Abu Hatim ar-Razi was born near Ray around 260/874. He was the hujjat of Ray, and conducted the mission with great efficiency and promptness. He studied Ismaili doctrines, also Arabic poetry, and the religious science of Islam, comparative religion and indeed the natural and mathematical sciences. He succeeded to bring the ruler of Ray, Ahmad bin Ali (307-311/92O-924) to the Ismaili fold, who was formerly aggressive to the Ismailis.

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