a tribute to his highness the aga khan iv on his 75th birthday – part i

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A Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan on His 75th Birthday Part I SIMERG Insights from Around the World

SIM ERG Insights fr o m Ar o u nd the W o r ldWith a particular focus on the cultural, intellectual and textual expressions of the Ismailis and related Muslim traditions. Weekly quote: Our Ismaili traditionhas always accepted the spirit of pluralism among schools of interpretation of the faith, and seen thisas a true reflection of divine plenitudeThrough your studies you have known the many Quranic verses and hadiths of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that acknowledge and extol the value of diversity within human societies. Prince Rahim Aga Khan, IIS Graduation Ceremony, London, September 2007.












A Tr ibu te to H is H igh n ess th e Aga K h an o n H is 75th B ir th day Par t IMawlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Hussaini, His Highness Prince Aga Khan, in direct lineal descent from the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s.) and Hazrat Bibi Fatima (a.s), is the Forty-Ninth Imam of the Ismaili Muslims. By virtue of his office and in accordance with the faith and belief of the Ismaili Muslims, the Imam enjoys full authority of governance over and in respect of all religious and Jamati matters of the Ismaili Muslimsfrom the Preamble of the Ismaili Constitution, 1986

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RE C E NT PO ST S Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith a brief but ambitious essay by Vartan Gregorian 1952 Historical Recordings of Allidina Jamal Walji Luvungivallas Ismaili Songs in Kiswahili at SAMAP Shia-Sunni Reconciliation and Enriching the Ummah and the World Through a Common Islamic Ethic, as Articulated by the Modern Direct Descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) Reflections on Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) by Three Ismaili Imams The Mevlud/Mawlid Tradition by Omid Safi

Introduced by Abdulmalik Merchant

Publisher-Editor, Simerg.comAndrew Kosorok, an artist living in Utah made this poignant observation about the 49th Ismaili Imam on this Website: The more I read about His Highness, the greater my respect. When someone can literally do whatever it is he wants, or can literally have anything his heart desires, whatever that is, says a lot about the person. It is a consistent source of hope to see to what ends the Aga Khan uses the resources at his




A Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan on His 75th Birthday Part I SIMERG Insights from Around the Worlddisposal. I am grateful for a world leader of such stature, with a heart such as his. These are highly complimentary words for His Highness the Aga Khan, who explained his role in an interview with Politique Internationale: The Imams responsibility covers both domains.his first concern is for the security of his followers; his second is for their freedom to practice their religion; his third is for their quality of life, as I have just mentioned. I repeat, the Imamat is an institution whose two-fold mission is to guarantee quality of life and to interpret the faith. If we consider the last half of this year alone, we see how the Ismaili Imam is fulfilling his mandate. In June and July, he spent an extended period of time with his followers in East Africa to perform religious ceremonies and inspire them with words of wisdom for their spiritual and material well-being. Then, in a very short period between October 29th and November 7th, His Highness the Aga Khan visited half-a-dozen countries for Imamat related projects, which fall under the aegis of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), of which he is the chairman and founder. He began his tour in New Delhi to review progress on the restoration of Humayuns Tomb and the work at Sunder Nursery in the capital region of Delhi; his next stop was Kabul where he met with President Karzai to discuss the progress of AKDN activities in Afghanistan. This was followed by a brief two day visit to Tajikistan where he witnessed the inauguration of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel as well as participated in the foundation-stone ceremony of a new bridge connecting Afghanistan and Tajikistan to be built with AKDN support.S I M E R G S M O N T H L Y A RC HI V E S (PA RT I A L ONL Y ) Select Month

FUL L SI M E RG C O NT E NT S ABOUT SIMERG Personal Reflections My Letters to the Editor Simerg Banner PASSINGS Remembering Mohezin Tejani: Brilliant Author, Humanitarian and Global Nomad Dead at 61 THANKING ISMAILI HISTORICAL FIGURES Jalaledin Ebrahims Gratitude to Amira Dharrab, Abu Najm Sarraj and Hasan-i-Sabbah Khalil Andanis Thank You Letter to the School of Ismaili Philosophers Azeem Maheralis Thank You Letter Inspired by Prince Amyn Mohammad Aga Khans Exceptional Service to the Imamat Navyn Narans Ode to Pir Hasan Kabirdin the author of Anant Akhado and the Nav Chugga Vali Jamals Thank You Letter to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan: The 1972 Expulsion of Asians from Uganda Salim Kanjis Thank You Letter to East African Pioneers Kassam Ali Paroo, Lutafali Maherali and Aziz Esmail Zarina Moosas Thank You Letter to Lady Ali Shah Through the Voice of Her Son, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III Ameer Janmohameds Thank You Letter to Pir Sabzali and the Ismaili Pirs of the Ginanic Tradition Reminiscences of Two Great Ismaili Missionaries, Pir Sabzali and Meghji Missionary Hatim Mahamids Thank You Letter to the Institute of Ismaili Studies Aziz Kurwas Thank You Letter to the Person of the Institution of Imamat Mohezin Tejanis Thank You Letter to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan A Man of Multiple Visions Andrew Kosoroks Thank You Letter to the Makers of the Fatimid Blue Quran I WISH ID BEEN THERE Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters Ikhwan al-Safa The Love for Ali

Mawlana Shah Karim al-Hussaini, left, marking his second birthday with uncle Prince Sadruddin and younger brother Prince Amyn on December 13, 1938. Not more than 72 hours after, he was in Ottawa to preside over a meeting with the directors of the Global Centre for Pluralism and also to meet with the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to discuss the Canadian Governments priority to establish the Office of Religious Freedom. At the wink of the eye, he was in Chicago signing an Agreement of Cooperation between the State of Illinois and the Ismaili Imamat. The visit to Chicago also included talks on early childhood education and media and communications. Such has been the life of His Highness since he began his reign as the Ismaili communitys 49th spiritual leader at the age of twenty. He has over the past 54 years, guided the spiritual growth of his Ismaili followers as well as helped them achieve a better material life through economic, social, and cultural progress. The Aga Khan has articulated that education, self-help, unity, character and generosity as well as the ethic of keeping a balance between the spiritual (din) and temporal (dunya ) are the elements which keep a community vibrant and healthy and lead to enlightenment and dignity. His tireless endeavours for his global community have also led to the improvement, well-being and dignity of human beings in some of the worlds poorest, most deprived and most diverse communities regardless of faith, origin or gender. THE CLOSER YOU COME THE MORE YOU WILL SEE HIM




A Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan on His 75th Birthday Part I SIMERG Insights from Around the WorldThe Eid-i Qiyama! Al-Qahirah: Then and Now Khawja Nasir Tusis Tales Pir Satgur Nur: Miracles in Ginan Putla Ismaili Penmanship in 1906 Discourses of Hazrat Ali Ibn Ridwan and Supernova 1006 Light the Candle of Wisdom in the Heart A Fidai Mission: Into Saladins Tent His Name is Jawhar Inferno of Alamut Fatimid Power and Learning Spirit A Young Murid Aspires to Understand Commonalities Between Past and Present Hazrat Alis Example: What We Can Do Today The Great Resurrection Varas Ismail Gangji: The Turning Point The Three Kings Without Crowns Riding Forth to Open the Canal with Nasir Khusraw

Digital portrait by Akber Kanji depicting the life of the Ismaili Imam and his works. It is impossible to do adequate justice to his vast and monumental work in any form. Akber Kanji of Toronto sought to capture some of the numerous projects of the Ismaili Imam through a highly creative digital work which he titled The Closer You Come the More You Will See Him. We published his remarkable image last March, and do so again in this brief tribute so that our readers may get a glimpse and seek to understand and appreciate the scope and depth of the work of His Highness the Aga Khan. Ismailis around the world have a very deep sense of affection and love as well as engagemnent with their beloved Imam. However, we all realize that even in ordinary lives the affection that parents have for their children is unsurpassed and cannot be equally recipocrated. The same holds for the Ismaili Imam. The Prophet and his successor, the Imams, are regarded as the spiritual parents of their respective communities, and for this reason Mawlana Hazar Imam has himself said: When I leave this evening I would like that you should remember two things.


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