3 thoughts on “Barriers facing challenged Ismailis, and questions we need to ask ourselves

  1. Well stated, Shiraz. Yours is a much more eloquent call-to-action than my quick letter! Your thoughts bring to mind an all-too-common response: Well, we [as a community] already contribute to the empowerment of peoples living parts of the world with less opportunities than Canada (or the US or Europe). That is not, and cannot be, sufficient. Nor is it sufficient to point to the Center for Pluralism’s website. Words without action ring hollow. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote that the question “what have I enabled others to achieve?” – is a powerful call to action. It is a key theme that has reverberated throughout our history and is central to nearly all watershed moments in our history, including Imam Hussein’s journey to Kufa.

    On this auspicious day, it is worth reflecting on the fact that in his Takhtnashini message, Mawlana Hazar Imam committed himself to empowering us, his murids. In numerous speeches and Farmans over the past 63 years, he has also called on us to do the same to ask the very question your pose. And not just over there. We are duty-bound to also strive to improve the very societies we live in. his means actively seeking to transform Canada into a genuine pluralistic, just society. And, by extension, it means actively striving to transform our own community so that each and every murid can experience a sense of belonging and beauty in all its richness.

  2. Immensely happy to read this piece and suggestions to help the challenged, and to brighten their lives and be even more active in all spheres of Jamati programs

  3. On this auspicious Day, a Mubarak shout-out to Arif, particularly and emphatically for highlighting Inclusivity, in a more profound, pluralistic sense.

    Accessibility is more than just a ramp! Barriers to quality of life for the challenged Ismaili are physical and non-physical, visible and invisible, including (crucially) the attitude of each and every member of the Jamath.

    Alhamdulillah we live in a country, a just society, that has embraced the same no-compromise values and ethics, the same social justice imperative, which was perfected some 1,390 years ago in our Tariqa. How do we as murids answer Arif’s challenge? The notion of social conscience in Islam – “not only what did I achieve but also what have I enabled others to achieve” – is a powerful force for change. It is a call to duty. To help build in the powerless the capacity to become masters of their destiny, masters of the process. It is a “sacred religious imperative” to grow, to care for and nurture constantly, an enabling environment: One which not tolerates, not accepts, but embraces (unconditionally and with no compromise) inclusion,outreach, awareness, education, volunteers and ambassadors. It resonates with the call to “professionalize volunteers” and “volunteerize professionals”.

    Imamat Day Mubarak to my brothers and sisters, with an emphatic cri de coeur: What will I do differently from now on?

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