Content Tagged with Muslim Civilisations

A view of the courtyard of the mosque of al-Azhar in Cairo. Bernard O'Kane

Leading historian of Islamic art and culture, Professor Bernard O’Kane offers a peek at the architectural accomplishments of the Fatimids in Egypt. On 21 February, he will speak on the same topic at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

Lion’s Head, Historic Syria, 9th–8th centuries BCE, Ivory, carved. With permission of the Royal Ontario Museum © ROM.

The large contemporary photographs that greet visitors at the entrance to Syria: A Living History, contrast sharply with the devastation wreaked by the country’s six-year civil war. Instead, the exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which spans 5 000 years, celebrates the land and people of Syria — and offers hope.

The Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Dallas performing at "Dialogs with Islamic Art", an event introducing the first exhibition of the Keir Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art. Shehzad Bhayani

For the next 15 years, objects from one of the world’s largest private collections of Islamic art are on loan to the Dallas Museum of Art. An event introducing the first exhibition from the collection opened in September 2015 with a special performance by the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Dallas.

His Royal Highness Prince Hassan El Talal speakiing at the Ismaili Centre London. Ismaili Council for the UK

His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan delivered an Ismaili Centre International Lecture on 2 November 2015 at the Ismaili Centre, London. An on-stage discussion with journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown followed the lecture, together with questions from the audience.

Music and other performing arts are an important part of cultural expression in the Muslim world, and will be part of what the Aga Khan Museum  offers to its visitors.

An event hosted at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai by the Aga Khan Museum and the Embassy of Canada to the United Arab Emirates offered a preview of what will be the first museum in North America dedicated to the Islamic arts and cultures. Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak al-Nahyan applauded the Museum’s goal to showcase diversity of Muslim societies and foster greater understanding amongst peoples of different backgrounds.

Ibn al-Haytham was a Fatimid-era scholar and polymath who wrote over 200 scientific works in subjects like astronomy, mathematics, medicine, optics, philosophy, and physics.

Born in 965 CE, Ibn al-Haytham is considered by many to be the world’s first scientist. He also invented the camera obscura, the earliest avatar of the modern digital camera that you carry around in your pocket.

Chartered in 1983 as Pakistan’s first private university, Aga Khan University is an international University with 11 teaching sites spread over 8 countries. The University’s School of Nursing in Karachi, predates the Charter, having opened its

Three decades is a relatively short period in the history of a university, but the impact that the Aga Khan University has had in its formative years is not to be underestimated. And while the institution may be young, its spirit is far older.

Karen Armstrong speaks about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and the relevance of his life to our present time at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby on 25 March 2012.

Prominent religious historian and well-known author, Karen Armstrong, was the keynote speaker at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby on 25 March 2012, where she delivered a lecture on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) and the relevance of his life to our present time. The visit was part of Armstrong’s “12 Days of Compassion” tour of Greater Vancouver.

Saloni Firasta-Vastani, Member of the Ismaili Council for the Southeastern United States, Imam Plemon El-Amin, and Priyanka Sinha, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Michael C. Carlos Museum gather with Dr. Hussein Rashid (second from the rig

Dr Hussein Rashid delivered a lecture titled Everyday Art: An Islamic Impact on American Art on 13 February 2011 at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In the talk, Dr Rashid highlights Islamic influences on popular art in America – from architecture and popular media to poetry and writing.

Pages from a manuscript of Firdawsi’s “Shanama”.

On 4 November 2010, Dr Francesca Leoni delivered a presentation to mark the millennial anniversary of Firdawsi’s Shahnama. The presentation took place at the University of Texas at Arlington, with support from its Office of the Provost, the University’s College of Liberal Arts, and the Ismaili Council for Northern Texas.

Shenila Khoja-Moolji interviewing Professor Ali Asani for this article.

In the spring of 2010, Harvard University, for the first time in its history, offered a course on Ismaili History and Thought. Harvard student Shenila S. Khoja-Moolji spoke with Professor Ali Asani about his experience designing and teaching it.

This Qur’an bifolium is written in gold kufic script on blue parchment. Created by the Fatimids during their rule in Kairouan, it is considered to be one of the most lavish Qur’anic scripts ever created.

The Aga Khan Museum Collection, which has been travelling across Europe since 2007, will ultimately find its permanent home in a new museum being established in Toronto. Reflecting the diversity and pluralism that characterises the Muslim world, the artwork and objects that comprise the Collection are helping to foster a greater appreciation of our collective human heritage and shared history.

A scene from the Shahnama: Rustam pursues Akvan the Onager-Div.

This year marks the 1 000th anniversary of the completion of Shahnama, The Book of Kings by Abu´l-Qasim Firdawsi. Consisting of some 60 000 verses, it is considered one of the longest and most important epic poems ever written. To commemorate its millenary, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston hosted a lecture that was co-sponsored by the Ismaili Council for the Southwestern USA.

Zain Verjee of CNN International hosts an on-stage conversation with Dr Amyn B. Sajoo about his book, “A Companion to the Muslim World”.

The Institute of Ismaili Studies recently launched A Companion to the Muslim World, the first book in a new series of publications on essential themes of Muslim heritage. Intelligently written, yet easy to read, the book aims to assist the non-specialist reader to better understand the Muslim world.

Alnoor Merchant, Head Librarian and Keeper of the Ismaili collections at The Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, speaks about the origins of historic artefacts in the Aga Khan Museum collection at the University of Texas at Arlington.

As part of a tour of several US centres, Alnoor Merchant from The Institute of Ismaili Studies spoke at the University of Texas in Arlington about the origins of historic artefacts in the Aga Khan Museum collection, and the role of patrons in the history of Islamic Art.

Voided silk-velvet textile fragment from Iran, dating from the first quarter of the 17th century. This fabric represents the type of luxury silks that were produced as a result of Shah Abbas’ stimulus to trade with Europe.

A major exhibition on the Safavid Emperor Shah Abbas I, whose rule of Persia spanned the 16th – 17th centuries is on at the British Museum in London. It provides a historical and cultural introduction to Persian culture and achievement, and situates it within the wider context of world events in the same period.

Alnoor Merchant addresses the audience at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Alnoor Merchant from the IIS recently conducted a four-city lecture series on Muslim artistic, scientific, and architectural patronage. Captivating the audience with historic artefacts from the Aga Khan Museum collection, Merchant described the important role played by patrons in the history of Islamic art.

Spirit & Life: Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection. Cover of exhibition catalogue print version published by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)

Currently touring Europe, rare masterpieces of Islamic art, from the Aga Khan Museum Collection are contributing to a wider understanding of Islam's rich artistic and cultural history. The Aga Khan Museum Collection has been appreciated by not only the Jamat but also members of the general public.