Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database. Guests are not required to login during this beta-testing phase

Over 80% of ismailis have NO access to Farmans.

Mr Sachedina helps to establish that despite there being a few thousand Jamatkhanas, the circumstances of the worldwide ismaili Jamat are such that over 80% of ismailis do not have access to Jamatkhanas or to Farmans.

[Note: Extracts of Federal Court Transcripts of Cross-Examinations held August 2010 for Summary Judgement Motions in the Aga Khan Copyright Lawsuit
Sections starting with N. Tajdin #... Means Nagib Tajdin is the one answering questions in the next section
Sections starting with Jiwa #... Means Alnaz Jiwa is the one answering questions in the next section
Sections starting with Sachedina #... Means Shafik Sachedina is the one answering questions in the next section
Sections starting with Bhaloo #... Means Aziz Bhaloo is the one answering questions in the next section

Sachedina #606-#614:
Cross-Examination by Mr Tajdin.
Q. Now, as the head of Jamati Affairs, you have a list of how many jamat khanas there are which are in contact with the Imamat?
A. Yes.
Q. Approximately how many?
A. Of the number of murids or in the global number of countries?
Q. No. Jamat khanas.
A. Oh, jamat khanas. Well, we have in excess of nearly over 5,000-7,000 jamat khanas.
Q. 7,000. And some are in remote areas where there are small villages and few people?
A. Absolutely.
Q. So on the average, that would cover about 2, 3 million Ismailis?
A. Well, yes, possibly. Even more.
Q. There are jamat khanas where there are a thousand people that can sit, and there are some where there are a hundred people that can sit; am I right?
A. There are different size of jamat khanas.
Q. Okay. So if we have to be very generous that about 2, 3 million people have access to jamat khanas, would you agree that not all the people who have access to jamat khanas go to jamat khanas?
A. Access to jamat khanas is out of choice of people being able to go because of their lives, whether they are able to go to the jamat khanas, the proximity of the jamat khanas, the distances people have to travel to jamat khanas. So there are many factors that determine for any member of the community to go to jamat khanas. There could be a jamat khana but they can't get to it because of the distance, whatever it may be. There are many reasons for that.
Q. Okay. Out of 15 million Ismailis, if you have 2 or 3 million at the most who have access -- let's say they all go to jamat khanas, would you agree that 80 per cent of the people do not have access to jamat khanas in our community; they live in regions where there are not yet either a jamat khana or --
A. I'm not able to make that judgment to say to you for sure that is the case. But there is a large proportion, and you know that the Imam of the Time has said that there are many places in the world that there are no jamat khanas, which he will at the time -- at the time of the Golden Jubilee it was one of the goals, was to establish jamat khanas in parts of the world where there has been no access to the jamat khanas. And that is his goal. And therefore he -- there are many, many places in that region of the world where there's a large population and they do not have access to jamat khanas.
Q. Okay. Now, would you agree that people who do not have access to jamat khanas do not have access to farmans?
A. Yes, because -- they would not have access simply that there are no structures, even institutional structures, in some of these places.
Q. True.
A. There has been no constitutional bodies in many of these countries. In fact, till today I can tell you most of these countries do not have constitutional bodies.
Q. Yes. In fact, the Imam mentioned in a farman that there are no constitutional bodies in many, many places where Ismaili --
A. In those parts of the world where there are large jamats, there are in some of these countries what I call the jamats that we are mentioning, majority of the jamats do not have jamati institutional structures. You know, I can give you Russia, central Asia, Afghanistan only just started, western China -- all of these places have a large population, but these are areas of the world where jamat khanas have not been established because there are no constitutional bodies or just about beginning to be established. So it's under the constitutional bodies that jamat khanas -- and there are no traditions in some of these places to have jamat khanas.

Back to top