Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah Karachi welcomed Dr Shainool Jiwa, a specialist in Ismaili history and thought and the head of the Constituency Studies Research Unit at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Dr Jiwa was in town for her book launch: The Fatimids: Rise of a Muslim Empire.
Upon her arrival at Aljamea’s main entrance, Dr Jiwa was pleasantly surprised at seeing a large replica of Bāb al-Futūh, an eleventh century ceremonial gate known as the Gate of Conquest in the northern walls of old Fatimi Cairo.
After refreshments in the VIP room, faculty members showed Dr Jiwa around the campus pointing out key architectural elements inspired by the Fatimi period and explaining some of the philosophy behind them. Dr Jiwa, with her background in Fatimi history, also shared some of her own research and thoughts during the tour making for a meaningful exchange.
The library and the vast amount of Arabic resources available to research students, was of particular interest to Dr Jiwa. During the course of her visit she came across a picture of the sacred mausoleum of al-Dāʿī al-Ajal Syedna Idris ʿImaduddin RA , a prolific author and the compiler of ʿUyūn al-Akhbār, a seven volume history of the Fatimi dawat leading from the times of the Nabi Mohammed SAW to the seclusion of the 21st Fatimi Imam, Maulana al-Imam al-Tayyib AS. Dr Jiwa has translated a portion of this seminal text and published it as The Founder of Cairo, The Fatimid Imam-Caliph Al-Muizz and his Era. The photograph of the mausoleum represents Aljamea’s philosophy towards education in which the work and the author are both venerated. Dr Jiwa remarked on Aljamea’s important role in preserving Fatimi heritage and the legacy of Fatimi scholarship. She also commented on ‘the shared histories and traditions’ of the Dawoodi Bohra and Nizari Ismaili Muslim communities and the potential ‘to learn from each other and share with the world around us’.
Earlier in the week, a group of Aljamea faculty attended Dr Jiwa’s book launch at the Movenpick.