Ismā‘īlī Constitution

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Nizari Muslims around the globe are governed by one universal constitution known as "The World Constitution".

The Constitution[edit]

The Constitution gives a unifying structure of governance to all Nizaris and their religiously-based institutions, who are established in more than 25 countries and territories around 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 of fundamental Islamic beliefs[edit]

The Constitution affirms all the fundamental Islamic beliefs and then clearly focuses on the doctrine of the Imamate as envisioned within Nizari theology. It sets out the essence of Isma'ili Shi'i beliefs, affirming the Shahada and that Islam, as revealed in the Quran, is the final message of God to mankind, and is universal and eternal. The Preamble states the authority of the Imam in the Isma'ili tariqa (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[edit]

Further information: History of Nizari Ismailism

The development of the constitution began in March 1964, after Imam Karim al-Husayni, known as "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 13 December 1986, at 11 am, at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mumtaz Ali Tajddin S. Ali. "Ismaili Constitution". Encyclopaedia of Ismailism. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.