The Constitution gives a unifying structure of governance, to all Nizari Ismā'īlī (and their religious based institutions) who are established in more than 25 countries and territories across the globe. Due to the differing social, economic, and political realities faced by the Nizari Diaspora; the constitution has built in flexibility allowing various communities the ability to propose rules and regulations unique to individual communities, while retaining the overall unity of framework with all other communities, through detailed provisions within the constitution.
The affirmation all the fundamental Islamic beliefs
The Constitution affirms all the fundamental Islamic beliefs and then clearly focuses on the doctrine of the Imamate as envisioned within Nizārī Ismā'īlī theology. It sets out the essence of the Isma'ili beliefs as Shi'a Imami Ismā'īlī Muslims who affirm the Shahadah and that the Muhammad is the last and final Prophet of God, and that Islam, as revealed in the Qu'ran, is the final message of God to mankind, and is universal and eternal. The Preamble states the authority of the Imam in the Ismā'īlī Tariqah (path) and that allegiance to the Imam unites all Ismā'īlī Muslims worldwide in their "loyalty, devotion and obedience to the Imam within the Islamic concept of universal brotherhood". It further states that from the time of Ali bin Abu Talib, the Imams have given rules of conduct and constitutions in conformity with "the Islamic concepts of unity, brotherhood, justice, tolerance and goodwill".
The development of the constitution
The development of the constitution began in March, 1964, after the Isma'ili Imam His Highness Shah Karim Al-Husayni, The Aga Khan IV ordained the formation of a Constitutional Committee of Review which sought to produce a report on the needs and circumstances facing diaspora communities. In 1984 a series of field reports were conducted in Africa, Europe, North America, the Middle east, and South Asia. The Reports were submitted to the Secretariat of the Imam at Aiglemont outside of Paris, France. Community leaders were then encouraged to offer constructive input. The constitution was signed into effect by the Imam on December 13, 1986, at 11 am, at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Mumtaz Ali Tajddin S. Ali. "Ismaili Constitution". Encyclopaedia of Ismailism. www.ismaili-net.com. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
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