“The Jamatkhana will be a place of congregation, of order, of peace, of hope, of humility and of brotherhood. From it should come forth those thoughts, those sentiments, those attitudes, which bind men together, and which unite.” -Mawlana Hazar Imam, Foundation Ceremony of the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, July 26, 1982.
Located in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center was opened in 2002, by Governor Rick Perry and Mawlana Hazar Imam.
This Jamatkhana, the largest in the USA, incorporates spaces for spiritual reflection, learning, and social events, and serves also as the administrative center for the Aga Khan Council for the United States of America, which oversees the activities of the Ismaili community in this country.
The Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center is a place for fostering an appreciation of pluralism and for enhancing relationships among faith communities, government and civil society. Events at the Center aspire to stimulate the intellect, encourage dialogue, and celebrate cultural diversity in the greater Houston area. It is open to the public periodically for tours and, by invitation, and has drawn thousands of visitors since its opening.
At the inauguration of the Center, Mawlana Hazar Imam remarked: "It will be a place of search and enlightenment... It will be a center which will seek to bond men and women of this pluralist country to replace their fragility in their narrow spheres by the strength of civilized society bound together by a common destiny."
Governor Perry, in his address, said: "This new Center will leave a lasting imprint on Texas. It will promote the virtues of your faith. It will further the cause of peace and understanding. And it will reflect gloriously upon this Texas we love."
In 2016, over 50 events were held at the Center, from cultural exhibitions to seminars, to a TedTalk, a local Mayoral debate, and concerts.
For Ismailis worldwide, the Jamatkhana is the main venue for religious and social gathering. This Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center is one of several sites across the country that incorporates spaces for spiritual contemplation, reflection, as well as social and cultural gatherings and intellectual engagement. A central purpose of these spaces is to encourage understanding between diverse communities and faiths.