The Shafik Sachedina holds the position of personal representative of the spiritual leader of the Aga Khan IV. Nizari, the largest branch of Ismaili Shii Muslims are the second-largest group of Shia Islam. The Ismaili teachings emphasize reasoning and the combined use of the Quran and the Hadith. They strongly embrace racial, ethnic, cultural, intra-religious differences and social justice. The leader of Ismaili muslims is the Imam or the Aga Khan. The Institute of Ismaili Studies is located in London, United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the promotion of the study of Muslim groups, their cultures and societies. The goal is to encourage a greater understanding of how relations with other faiths and societies can positively interact.
As the Aga Khan Representative, Shafik Sachedina must perform certain duties. Recently, on October 2017, he and a delegation from the Aga Khan Foundation met with the Russian Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov to discuss the Russian involvement in the peaceful resolution of the fighting in Syria and Afghanistan. Two of the main focuses of their discussion was the fight against terrorism and extremism. Their aim was to establish a negotiating process between the Syrian Arab Republic and its opposition. According to careopinion.org.uk a political solution to the Syrian crisis in keeping with UN Security Council’s Resolution 2254 was the ultimate goal.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies has a library which houses the largest known collection of Ismaili codices on the planet. Because it offers such a treasure trove of Ismaili history and knowledge, it can offer two graduate programs to its students: the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) and the Graduate Program in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH).
Safik Sachedina is also a board member of the Ismaili Institute. It is his job to oversee the activities of the Institute. The Aga Khan gives the direction that the other members follow and Sachedina insures those guidelines are followed properly. He is also involved in creating budgets for the institution and coordinating the national bodies of the Ismaili Institute alongside and with the guidance of the Imam: bodies are local, regional and national.
Modern Ismaili studies first began in the 1930’s in South Asia when long lost manuscripts were found. The Institute of Ismaili Studies Library was started in 1979. The late Aga Khan III campaigned starting as early as 1896 for the Muslims’ need for a Central University. It was to be a place where religion and learning could cohabitate and be safeguarded from imitating other similarly founded schools. He had hoped the students would be instilled with truthfulness and independence of thought as they gained higher learning in the history of Islamic civilization.
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