Clause G of the “Preamble of the Ismaili Constitution” ordained on December 13, 1986 by the 49th and current Ismaili Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan declares:
Mawlana 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.
This principle of direct hereditary descent of the Imam from the Prophet has been championed throughout history by Ismaili missionaries, poets and scholars, often with the support of the following Qur’anic verse:
Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran above all people – offspring, one of the other, and Allah knows and hears all things. (Holy Qur’an, 3:33-34).
To mark the Diamond Jubilee or sixty years of Imamat of Prince Karim’s predecessor, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, a genealogical chart of the forty-eight Ismaili Imams was published in a special 1946 souvenir issue. The genealogy represents and defines the principle of direct hereditary descent of the Ismaili Imam from the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.), starting with Hazrat Ali (a.s.), the first Shia Imam. The chart should be of interest to everyone, and we invite you to click on Historical Images: A 1946 Genealogical Chart of Ismaili Imams and a Magnificent Portrait of the Young Prince Karim Aga Khan or on the image shown above: