Skip to Content

What does Aga Khan Museum have?

The Aga Khan Museum located in Toronto is an architectural gem designed by a renowned Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. The museum was inaugurated on September 12, 2014, by Prince Karim Aga Khan, the founder of the Aga Khan Development Network. The Aga Khan Museum is dedicated to showcasing the rich cultural heritage and artistic expressions of Muslim civilizations across different eras and regions. The museum is an exquisite amalgamation of heritage, architecture, and art. The museum houses over 1,000 objects, ranging from rare manuscripts and textiles to contemporary art and historic objects.

The Collection

The Aga Khan Museum’s vast collection of over 1,000 artifacts spans more than 1,000 years of human history and geography, from Spain to China and all points in between. The collection includes rare manuscripts, ceramics, textiles, and metalwork from the Islamic world’s golden age. Visitors can also see the intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship of Central Asian pottery, including Samanid earthenware dating back to the 8th century.

The diverse collection provides an opportunity for visitors to gain insight into the artistic expressions of different periods, regions, and communities of the past. It simultaneously represents the thriving modern creativity of Muslim cultures across the world. The museum houses a range of permanent and temporary exhibits that showcase the richness and diversity of Muslim cultures through the ages.

The Museum Plan

The Aga Khan Museum’s award-winning design is a marvel itself, conceived by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki. The design of the museum combines traditional elements of Islamic architecture with contemporary design. The white-granite clad building, for example, recalls the geometric designs and monochrome patterns that are commonly found in Islamic architecture. The museum’s translucent exterior allows natural light into the interior and creates an ethereal space that enhances the spectator’s overall experience.

The museum’s layout is divided into galleries and classrooms, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about Islamic culture and art. The museum’s galleries contain a constantly evolving collection of artifacts, including some exceptional works of art from Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other regions. Visitors can also explore the museum’s permanent collection, which includes calligraphy, ceramics, metalwork, and textiles. Visitors can experience the sounds and rhythms of Islamic music through interactive exhibits and performances, while the museum’s inner courtyards, gardens, and terraces provide more contemplative spaces for visitors to reflect.

The Aga Khan Museum’s Impact

The Aga Khan Museum has played a vital role in highlighting the cultural richness and historical significance of Muslim civilizations and their contributions to human history. The museum’s exhibits have challenged the enduring stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Islamic cultures, promoting cross-cultural dialogue and understanding.

The Aga Khan Museum has also provided a unique and innovative educational platform that is accessible to individuals, families, and academic institutions. The museum’s educational programs, events, and workshops allow visitors to engage with the diverse cultures it represents while expanding their knowledge of art, history, and culture.


The Aga Khan Museum is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Muslim civilizations across every region and era. The museum’s vast collection of rare objects and exquisite artifacts serves as a source of inspiration for visitors and scholars alike. The museum’s innovative and accessible educational programming and extensive online resources provide a platform for individuals to experience Islamic art and culture at first hand. The Aga Khan Museum has done an excellent job of highlighting the significance of Islam and Muslim civilizations in human history and providing a space for cross-cultural exchange and understanding.


How long does it take to go through the Aga Khan museum?

The question of how long it takes to go through the Aga Khan museum is an important one for anyone planning a visit to this cultural institution in Toronto, Canada. After all, knowing how much time to set aside for exploring the exhibits, grounds, and other features of the museum can help visitors plan their day and make the most of their visit.

Based on the answer provided (which suggests that 2 hours is a sufficient amount of time for a visit), it seems that the Aga Khan museum is a moderately sized institution that can be explored comfortably in a reasonable amount of time. Of course, this will always depend on individual factors such as how interested a visitor is in the exhibits, how much time they spend in each room, and whether they opt to take a guided tour or explore on their own.

It’s worth noting that the Aga Khan museum features a range of exhibitions and collections that showcase the arts of Muslim civilizations from across the globe. This includes everything from paintings and sculptures to textiles, ceramics, and more. Additionally, the museum’s grounds are also a popular attraction, featuring beautiful gardens and landscaping that reflect Islamic influences.

Visitors to the Aga Khan museum should also be aware that there are on-site dining options available, including a restaurant that serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. This means that visitors may want to factor in extra time for enjoying a meal or a snack during their visit.

While the amount of time it takes to go through the Aga Khan museum will vary depending on individual preferences and circumstances, a visit of approximately 2 hours seems to be a good starting point. Visitors who are interested in learning more about the exhibits and collections may want to budget additional time, while those who are short on time can likely see the highlights of the museum in a shorter timeframe.

What do Ismailis believe?

Ismailis are members of an Islamic sect that emerged in the 8th century as a result of a dispute over who should be the rightful successor to Prophet Muhammad as the leader of the Muslim community. Ismailis believe in the oneness of God and the fundamental principles of Islam, including daily prayer, fasting during the month of Ramadan, giving to charity, and performing pilgrimage to Mecca.

However, Ismailis also have some unique beliefs and practices that set them apart from other branches of Islam. One of the central beliefs of Ismailism is the concept of the Imamate, which holds that the leader of the Muslim community should be not only a political leader but also a spiritual guide and interpreter of Islamic scripture. Ismailis believe that the Imam is infallible and divinely inspired, and that he has the ability to provide guidance and insight into the true meaning of the Quran and other Islamic texts.

In addition to the Imamate, Ismailis also believe in the concept of ta’wil, which is the symbolic interpretation of religious texts and traditions. Ismailis believe that the Quran is a multi-layered text that requires interpretation to uncover its deeper meanings and significance. Ismaili scholars and leaders are trained in the art of ta’wil and work to provide their followers with a deeper understanding of Islamic teachings and practices.

Ismailis also have a strong tradition of social and charitable work known as the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The AKDN is a global network of non-profit organizations that work to improve the lives of people in the developing world, regardless of their faith or nationality. The AKDN focuses on issues such as healthcare, education, job creation, and poverty reduction, and has a strong emphasis on working with marginalized communities and promoting gender equality.

In terms of religious rituals, Ismailis have their own unique practices. For example, Ismailis have a dua, which is a congregational prayer that is recited in the Jamatkhana, or prayer hall. Ismailis also mark the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth and death as well as other important holy days, including Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

Ismailis are committed to practicing their faith in a way that promotes social justice, equality, and compassion for others. Their unique beliefs and practices reflect a deep commitment to interpreting Islamic teachings in a way that is relevant to the modern world and that promotes peace and understanding between people of different backgrounds and faiths.

Why is Aga Khan so famous?

The Aga Khan is a well-known public figure, philanthropist, and the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community. His prominence largely stems from his role as the 49th hereditary Imam, or spiritual leader, of the Ismailis. He inherited this position from his grandfather in 1957 at the age of 20, making him one of the youngest Imams in the community’s history.

Besides his religious significance, the Aga Khan is also known for his extensive charitable work through the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The AKDN is a group of non-denominational development agencies that operate in over thirty countries, focusing on areas such as health, education, culture, and economic development. The network has been instrumental in improving the quality of life for many people, particularly in areas that have been historically neglected by governments or international aid programs.

In addition to his religious and philanthropic activities, the Aga Khan is also a prominent global figure. He is a member of the United Nations’ Global Leadership Foundation, and has been awarded numerous national and international honors for his contributions to development and the promotion of pluralism and peace.

Another factor that contributes to the Aga Khan’s fame is his personal wealth. Forbes describes him as one of the world’s fifteen richest royals, and the most recent estimate of his net worth is $13.3 billion. However, it’s worth noting that the Aga Khan is unique among the richest royals in that he does not preside over a geographic territory.

The Aga Khan is famous for his multifaceted contributions to society, his dedication to philanthropic work, and his position as the spiritual leader of a global community. He serves as an example of how one individual can make a significant and positive impact on the world.

What religion are Ismailis in Syria?

In Syria, the majority of Ismailis follow the religious practices of the Shi’a Twelvers. They are a branch of the Shi’a Islam, which recognizes the succession of twelve Imams or spiritual leaders after Prophet Muhammad. The term Ismaili refers to those who align themselves with the teachings of Isma’il ibn Jafar, the seventh Imam.

Ismailis have a unique interpretation of Islam, emphasizing the esoteric meaning of the Quran. They believe that the Imams are not only political and religious leaders but also spiritual guides who hold the key to the inner meaning of the Quran. Ismailis believe in the doctrine of taqiyya, which allows believers to conceal their faith in times of persecution. It is therefore not uncommon for Ismailis to live in relative obscurity and to keep their religious practices a secret.

In Syria, most of the Ismailis live in Salamiya, a town located in the east of Hama. This is the largest and oldest Ismaili community in the country, with a history that dates back over a thousand years. The community has been relatively autonomous for centuries, and this has allowed them to maintain their religious identity and practices. There are also smaller Ismaili communities in Masyaf and Qadmus, located in the southern part of the coastal mountain range.

Despite living in a predominantly Sunni Muslim country, the Ismailis of Syria have managed to preserve their unique identity and culture. They have their religious centers, schools, and places of worship, which are separate from those of the Sunni majority. The Ismailis of Syria are a minority group, but they have contributed significantly to the country’s cultural and intellectual heritage. They have produced some of the most respected scholars and thinkers in the Arab world, and their influence extends beyond the borders of Syria.

What religion did Khan believe in?

Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, was a religiously tolerant leader. In his empire, his followers were free to practice their religions of choice. However, Genghis Khan himself was believed to be a follower of Tengrism, which was a religion practiced by the nomadic tribes of Central Asia and parts of Siberia.

Tengrism, also known as Tengriism or Tengerism, was a polytheistic religion that included elements of animism, shamanism, and ancestor worship. It was centered around the worship of Tengri, which means “sky” or “heaven” in Mongolian. Tengri was the highest god in the Tengrism pantheon and was believed to be the creator and ruler of the universe.

Tengri was associated with the sky, and Mongols believed that everything in the universe was linked to the sky. Thus, Tengrism also included the veneration of natural forces and the spirits of mountains, rivers, and trees. Shamans, who were believed to have a special connection to the spiritual world, played an important role in the religion. They performed rituals and offered sacrifices to the spirits to ensure that they would be favorable to the Mongols.

While there is some debate among scholars about the extent of Genghis Khan’s religious devotion to Tengrism, it is widely accepted that he and his followers believed in the religion’s basic tenets. Genghis Khan used Tengrism to unify the disparate tribes of Mongolia and create a common identity for the Mongol people. He saw it as a way to legitimize his rule and establish a sense of shared values among his followers.

While Genghis Khan was a religiously tolerant leader, he and his followers were believed to be followers of Tengrism, a polytheistic religion that included elements of animism, shamanism, and ancestor worship. Tengrism included the worship of Tengri, the highest god in the Tengrism pantheon, and the veneration of natural forces and spirits. Genghis Khan used Tengrism to unify the Mongol people and establish a shared identity.