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Ismaili constitutions 1905

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Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:59 pm    Post subject: Ismaili constitutions 1905 Reply with quote

Ismaili Constitution In 1905

There were Ismaili states and constitutions during Fatimid times and Hazrat Ali.

In 1905 the Imam of the time ordained the first modern era Ismaili constitution for East Africa followed by National constitutions in many other countries.

In 1986 these were replaced by the present global Ismaili Constitution in 1986- amended in 1998 (link 1998 ismaili Constitution

“In 1905, the 48th Ismaili Imam, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III, issued a written set of ‘Rules and Regulations’ for the Ismailis of East Africa which effectively served as their communal constitution.  This constitution re-affirmed the centrality of the Imam’s authority over the affairs of his community and also articulated the distinctive religious identity of the Ismailis. This document was revised and published several times until 1954, and was made available to Ismailis and non-Ismailis alike. Similar rules were given to the Ismaili community in British India “ Simerg

In 1905 Mawlana Sultan Mohammed Shah “ordained the first Ismā'īlī Constitution for the social governance of the community in East Africa. The new administration for the Community's affairs was organised into a hierarchy of councils at the local, national, and regional levels. The constitution also set out rules in such matters as marriage, divorce and inheritance, guidelines for mutual cooperation and support among Ismā'īlīs, and their interface with other communities. Similar constitutions were promulgated in India, and all were periodically revised to address emerging needs and circumstances in diverse settings.”
(Daftary, Farhad (1998). A Short History of the Ismailis. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 199–206)

The first Ismaili Constitution was issued in Zanzibar on September 9, 1905, but was not published in printed form until 1922 when it appeared in English and Gujerati (more recently it was also translated into German). Although it has since been revised several times, the basic laws remain the same as those first laid down by Aga Khan III. Designed for a society which was still largely primitive, the original 1905 draft was a splendid testimonial to his scholarly and modern mind. He issued a Holy Firman ordering Ismailis to abide by it and instructed local leaders to send him regular reports about every aspect of the community's life.

The practice is still followed and his young successor is often snowed under with communications from Ismailis all over the world.
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Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:41 am    Post subject: Ismaili Constitutions of India and Pakistan 1962 & 1968 Reply with quote

On March 21, 1961, the Ismailia Federal Council for Pakistan came into existence. Another Constitution was put into effect for the Ismailis of Pakistan on July 11, 1962.. On the basis of the Constitution of 1962 for Pakistan, each Supreme Council was responsible for supervising the activities of some of the 23 Divisional. District and Local Councils throughout the country.

In India, the Federal Council, located at Bombay directed the affairs of four Regional Council for Maharashtra, Gujrat, southern India and eastern India. At the bottom of the hierarchy, there were 28 Local Councils in India, for south Bombay, north Bombay, Jamnagar, Kutchh, Surat, Hyderabad, and so forth.

On March 21, 1968, a third Constitution was promulgated in India.

During his visit to India, the Imam said on February 23, 1969 in Bombay that,

“Last year a new Constitution was introduced for my jamat of India. Many of you may not know that the earlier Constitution was dated 1946, that is for 22 years, our jamat implemented the same Constitution. It was my view, and it is my view, that circumstances have changed sufficiently so that a new Constitution should be introduced. If I have seen fit to introduce a new Constitution in 1968, this means that I may see fit to introduce a new Constitution in 1970, or 72, or 74. This means that no Constitution for our jamat is a firm, solid, immovable document. It is a document, which is created to assist the jamat to administer its affairs satisfactorily and in keeping with the times. Thus, I wish my spiritual children to understand that if through the implementation of this Constitution, it is found that certain matters could be better pharsed, could be amended, could be improved, the Constitution will be continuously amended. The Constitution of our jamat here in India, like in East Africa, like in Pakistan, is a living document and where it is not in keeping with the tradition of the jamat, or in keeping with what the times require, amendment will be introduced."

The Constitutions of East Africa, Pakistan and India were alike in spirit, but differed in several points according to the different circumstances prevalent in these countries. This was explained by the Present Imam upon his sanctioning The Constitution of the Councils and Jamats of Shi'a Imami Ismaili Muslims of Pakistan that, "Look to the spirit and not the letter of the Constitution."
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Joined: 06 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:04 pm    Post subject: Ismaili Constitution of 1905 - Cover page Reply with quote

This is the cover page of September 1905 first Ismaili Constitution promulgated in Zanzibar.

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