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Mawlana Hazar Imam and Portugal’s Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Rui Machete, sign a landmark agreement establishing a formal Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal, on June 4, 2015.

The internal divisions of the Shi‘i community - as highlighted in the first part of this article, which was published in the last edition of The Ismaili USA - can be traced to the dispute over the succession to Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (d. 148/765 CE). After his death, the majority of his followers eventually recognized his son Musa al-Kazim (d. 183/799 CE) as their next Imam. However, the other Shi‘i groups acknowledged the Imamat of Musa’s eldest half-brother Isma‘il, the eponym of the Isma‘ili Shi‘ia, or his son Muhammad b. Isma‘il as successors to the Imamat. Little is known about the life and career of Muhammad b. Isma‘il, the seventh Imam of the Isma‘ilis, who went into hiding, initiating a period of concealment (dawr al-satr) in early Ismaili history. This period of concealment lasted until the foundation of the Fatimid caliphate when the Ismaili Imams emerged openly as Fatimid Caliphs. Henceforth Imam Muhammad b. Isma‘il acquired the epithet al-Maktum (the hidden one), in addition to al-Maymun (the fortunate one).

"Islam: An Illustrated Journey"

Lavishly illustrated and written in a style accessible to all, Islam: An Illustrated Journey tells the story of Islam. Beginning in the world of late antiquity and the pre-Islamic period, the book takes the reader through Islam’s formative era and early development in the Arabian peninsula, the rise and decline of its major dynasties, including the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Mughals, Safavids, Ottomans and finally up to its place in the modern world.

Faith and Ethics

Shi`i Ismaili Muslims are unique in following a living, hereditary Imam (spiritual leader), whom they believe to be directly descended from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). The Imam's duty has been to guide his community with Islamic principles that apply to the needs of the time. In this insightful book, M. Ali Lakhani examines how the ideas and actions of the current Ismaili Imam, and fourth Aga Khan, Prince Karim al-Hussaini, provide an Islamic response to the challenges that face Muslims in the modern era. 

Participants receive certificates upon completion of the summer Makerspace Lab programme from Zuloby Mamadfozilov, AKES Tajikistan's CEO, and the programme facilitators, Faith Harron and Allison Armstrong.

A Makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school or other facility to encourage students to design, experiment, build, and invent; as they engage in science, engineering, art, and other creative projects. Two students from Stanford University were selected to implement the Makerspace initiative at the Aga Khan Lycée in Khorog, Tajikistan.

Students watch as the first 3D printer in all of Badakhshan province begins to print a model.

For the final article in November’s Science and Technology theme, we pay a visit to the Aga Khan Lycée in Khorog, Tajikistan. While immersing themselves in local culture, Stanford University students Faith Harron and Allison Armstrong taught the Makerspace curriculum at the Lycée, an Aga Khan Education Service (AKES) school.

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