I cite Hazrat Ali’s words so that you may understand the spirit in which I have attempted to fulfill the mandate left to me as the 49th hereditary [Ismaili] Imam after the death of my grandfather. I quote:
“No belief is like modesty and patience, no attainment is like humility, no honour is like knowledge, no power is like forbearance, and no support is more reliable than consultation.”
Hazrat Ali’s regard for knowledge reinforces the compatibility of faith and the world. And his respect for consultation is, in my view, a commitment to tolerant and open-hearted democratic processes.
These Islamic ideals, of course, have also been emphasized by other great religions. Despite the long history of religious conflict, there is a long counter-history of religious focus on tolerance as a central virtue — on welcoming the stranger and loving one’s neighbour.
–Excerpt: His Highness the Aga Khan upon receiving the “Tolerance” award at the Tutzing Evangelical Academy. Tutzing, Germany (20 May 2006)
Words of Wisdom: Beautiful green spaces, designed to honour the past – while also serving the future