Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:46 am Post subject: World Ismailia Association conference on Ginans
The following is from an article written by Dominique-Sila Khan (2005: 339) titled "Reimagining the Buddha":
"Let us first examine the changes that were decided among the Nizari ‘mainstream’ communities by the World Ismailia Assocations
in 1975 (Rattansi, 1987: 157). During the conference that was
held in Paris and chaired by the Aga Khan a resolution was
passed regarding the classification of the ginans into three categories:
the first, unproblematic one, referred to the texts that did
not contain ‘Hindu elements’ and which were to continue to be
recited as such in the jamat-khanas, the prayer halls of the Nizari
Ismailis. The second category comprised the hymns that included a
few Hindu terms. It was decided to replace these words by their
Islamic equivalents: in this way ‘Hari’ became ‘Ali’, ‘Gur’, ‘Pir’ etc.
As for the third category, which had ‘excessive Hindu elements’
such as the famous Das avatar, they were simply banned (Ibid:
Does anyone have further insight into the above passage? Abu Aly Missionary was very much against changing the words, however the above conference where this resolution was passed was chaired by Hazer Imam. Not to mention, the "banning" of some ginans.
I saw this also posted earlier:
"This reminds me of an incidence where MHI was told by Alwaez Amlani (who was granted an audience with the Imam for the purpose of Ginans) that we are being accused of being Hindus because of the Ginanic references to Hindu ideas. To which MHI reacted with emotion and banged his hand on the table and said "Moses is mentioned in the Quran, Jesus is mentioned in the Quran, we do not become Jews or Christians as a result!"
The following is another quote from the same article above (p. 341):
"the decision of the Ismailiya Association referred to above is more a recommendation that a real ban." He further says that many of these ginans are still said in Jamatkhanas around the world and mentions this Heritage Society for upholding this tradition, which is truly great.
If you have read my earlier posts you would know that I am an advocate of upholding the tradition and acknowledging the true continuity of the Imamat from the beginning of time. However, the Imam chaired the conference where some of these were banned. Of course, I believe that anything which the Imam says is right, no questions asked, however, I want to know if anyone has further information on the conference or has a different explanation/interpretation.
Thank you very much. From the discussion above it seems that the author of the article I had quoted had some wrong information about Hazir Imam's role in accepting these changes and banning other ginans, which makes sense considering some of the other information I had heard.
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