Simerg’s New Downloadable Publication: Nawruz Literary Readings, Poetry and Ginan

Simerg’s new downloadable publication is filled with informative readings and inspiring poems including an explanation of the ginan “Eji Navroz na din sohamna”. Please click on A Rich Collection of Readings and Poetry on Navroz or one of the following two NASA images showing a cylindrical projection of the earth and the earth as seen from the sun at noon on March 21, 2013.

Earth Cylindrical Projection 2013-03-21 0012UT. NASA Image. Please click on image to download Nawruz booklet.

Earth Cylindrical Projection 2013-03-21 0012UT. NASA Image. Please click on image to download Nawruz booklet.

Earth Spherical View 2013-03-21 0012UT. NASA Image. Please click to download Nawruz booklet.

Earth Spherical View 2013-03-21 0012UT. NASA Image. Please click on image to download Nawruz booklet.

His Highness the Aga Khan’s “Never-To-Be-Forgotten” Message to Ismaili Youth – “Keep Clean Soul in a Clean Body”

The following image is a copy of the original message sent to Ismaili youth by the 48th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877 – 1957) on the occasion of the Students’ Rally held in Nairobi, and  appeared in the Diamond Jubilee Souvenir, 1946. Another version of the image along with the cover page of the souvenir issue can be viewed by clicking on Historical Images: The 48th Ismaili Imam’s “Never-to-be-Forgotten” Message to Ismaili Youth or on the following image.

The above image of the message sent to Ismaili Youth appears in the Diamond Jubilee Souvenir Yearbook published in Dar-es-Salaam on August 10th 1946. Pleas click on image to view a larger version of the image with a transcript and the cover page of the special issue.

The above image of the message sent to Ismaili Youth appears in the Diamond Jubilee Souvenir Yearbook published in Dar-es-Salaam on August 10th 1946. Please click on image to view a larger version of the image as well as the cover page of the special issue.

UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT

“To My Spiritual children taking part in The Rally 

Blessings and Welcome – I am sorry my health does not permit me to be with you but I have followed your programme with great interest. Remember that according to our Ismailia Faith the body is the Temple of God for it carries the soul that receives Divine Light so great care of body its health and cleanliness are to guide you in later life care of your inside and outside cleanliness – mouth, eyes, ears and on first signs of infection to the dispensary. Later in life sports will become difficult for you but you can do much by going about your business, shopping etc on foot and carrying yourselves straight. The times of prayer should not be forgotten if you can do go to Jamatkana, if not say your Tesbih wherever you be. So keep clean soul in a clean body Blessings Aga Khan”

Date posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014.

Photo Essay: Karim Master’s Original Copy of “Fidai” Magazine Published in 1936 to Commemorate the Golden Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan

Karim Master’s Original Copy of “Fidai” Magazine Published in 1936 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan

Please click on image for photo essay on Fidai magazine

Please click on image for photo essay on Fidai magazine

Poems for Salgirah: The Noor of Imamat Breathing with the Trillion Stars….and OOops (the Optimistically Out of Poverty Society) by Navyn Naran

ThE NOOR OF IMAMAT….OOops

By Navyn Naran

The arc of the Milky Way hangs over the imposing mountain fortress of Alamut in this starry scene. Photo: Babak Tafreshi. Copyright.

The arc of the Milky Way with over 100 thousand million stars hangs over the imposing mountain fortress of Alamut in this starry scene. Photo: Babak Tafreshi. Copyright.

Find your space, under a trillion stars
In the crystal quiet of the night,
no thoughts, no bars,
Breathe softly, abreast of a beating heart,
Under the open night sky, atop a mountain’s peak,
Where all is still, the breath and the heart’s beat.

A hum of air, quiet, warm,
Dark blue, black and milky way’s starry storm
a smattering of stars, incandescent light
hura and oil before any concern of dawn.
Breathing with the pulse of oceans and earths,
Under heaven of stars, as if asleep, but alert,
feel the ebb and flow in the breath of the world

din and duniya, Ya Ali
In desert sand under a diamond sky, Ya Ali
Peace it is, Ya Ali,
The Noor of Imamat born, Ya Ali
Breathing with the trillion stars, Ya Ali
Under dome of the hearth, You as me.

Hazar Imam, your firmans are pearls
the essence of the word, an individual learns
on your Birthday we reflect on Peace and Truth
on that which is not seen, that which will soothe.

OOops!

i will bow before you, and begin my poem.
let’s twirl under the sunshine,
optimistically
see all the wealth around us;
out of poverty comes sunlight
and “where hope takes root” paths emerge.

lift up your eyes and walk out of poverty.
in your very mind, exit poverty.
and if there is poverty of health and you can’t walk,
then move passionately, breathe deeply, sing from your heart

poverty in wealth?
a greater wealth than the wallet, is in our connection
recognizing one another is an unspoken place
look not always above you; look also below
gratefulness is greater than wealth

and if wallets are full,
is there an emptiness of heart? of mind? the poverty of love?
bridge our smiles, consult, listen to each other….

but walk, yes do walk.
walk out of poverty of respect. Leave.
“even the ants greet one another before they begin”
respect is greater wealth.

walk also out of the poverty of knowledge.
moving out of poverty, i may apply the information
no matter how minute or detailed.
stand solidly, grounded
walk out of lack of stability
one brick after another, consistently, as putty between the bricks

and in poverty of truth
speak heart and mind to self, if no other.
rich in your truth, there, is wealth.

you whistle and sing, and here
there is no poverty. rise, rise, further

poverty of ethics?
command over self a discipline and grace,
barakah will visit you, at its patient pace

poverty of generosity? i see it not,
naught to offer, sit with me here and drink water…refresh
smile and the world will smile at you, abundant generosity
simple living with high thinking.

walk.
let’s always walk.
out of poverty, i trust?
yes, yes…optimistically out of poverty,
a must.

in this quiet of night , in the softness and peace of morning snow,
Full of the magic of creation
there is physical, the obvious and the unknown
You hold the rope of being.

And this is a manifest world,
of the eye and the seeing
as in the surface of the ocean.
surface, recognised well, by surface.
and beyond? entire worlds and realities, hidden

there lie truths
and through the physical Imam
lies Truth
tis a journey
a truer reality, hidden batin

A birthday, the celebration of a physical reality
of a spiritual Being in a physical world.

Date posted: Friday, December 13, 2013

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About the author: Dr. Navyn Naran was born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, to Anaar and Badrudin Naran. After beginning her high school in the UK, her family immigrated to the USA where she went to medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. She currently works in Paediatric Critical Care.

Pir Sadr al-Din’s Ginan “Eji Dhan Dhan Aajano” with Meaning, and Other Readings for the 77th Salgirah of the 49th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan

Spread in various countries around the world, the Shia Imami Ismailis have their own innumerable ways for celebrating important religious occasions according to their various cultural, social and religious traditions and backgrounds. One very important occasion in the annual calendar of the Ismailis is the Salgirah, or the birthday of their spiritual leader (Imam). His Highness the Aga Khan is their present Imam, and Ismailis around the world will be marking his 77th Salgirah on December 13, 2013. The following readings will enhance the readers’ understanding about the occasion as well as the special relationship that binds the Imam of the Time with his spiritual children.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Salgirah and the Depth of His Love for the Jamat

The term Salgirah is of Persian origin. Sal means anniversary and girah means knot and hence Salgirah literally means ‘an anniversary knot added on to a string kept for the purpose’. This article approaches the subject of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s birthday in terms of the Imam’s love for his murids and the love and devotion of the murids for their Imam.

In Metaphoric Ginan “Eji Dhan Dhan Aajano” Pir Sadr al-Din Asks Mu’mins to Act Righteously and Gain Spiritual Recognition of Imam-e-Zaman

The Ginan has attained a very special status because it is primarily recited during the festivities marking the Salgirah of the Imam. The appropriateness of reciting Eji Dhan Dhan Aajano during the Salgirah will become apparent as we try to understand the ginan and its underlying spiritual teachings.

The Preamble Of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”

The new Ismaili Constitution was ordained, signed and sealed by His Highness the Aga Khan on December 13th, 1986, his 50th birthday. His Highness did this with the belief that the Constitution would provide a strong institutional and organizational framework for his Ismaili community to contribute meaningfully to the societies among whom they live.

His Highness the Aga Khan and the Ismailis

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On the occasion of His Highness the Aga Khan’s 75th birthday on December 13, 2011, Simerg published a three-part photo essay tribute to the 49th Ismaili Imam. For those who may have missed, the series has been consolidated into a captivating one piece photo essay, which can be read at Simerg’s companion photo blog, Simergphotos, by clicking on the above link.

Date posted: December 7, 2013

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A Note to Readers: Please scroll down or click Home page for other recent posts and click What’s New for links to all articles published on this blog since March 2009. Subscribe to this Website via the box near the top right of this page.

The Muslim Calendar, Muharram and Muslim and Non-Muslim Expressions on Imam Hussein (a.s.) and the Karbala Tragedy

Please click: Muslim and non-Muslim Expressions on Imam Hussein (a.s.)

This oil on canvas painting by Abbas Al-Musavi commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at the Battle of Karbala. Its focus is his half brother Abbas ibn Ali on a white horse. This image was uploaded into Wikipedia Commons as a donation by the Brooklyn Museum. The image is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Please click on image for article on Imam Hussein.

This image of an oil on canvas painting by Abbas Al-Musavi commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein at the Battle of Karbala. Its focus is his half-brother Abbas ibn Ali on a white horse. This image was uploaded into Wikipedia Commons as a donation by the Brooklyn Museum and is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The painting is a gift of K. Thomas Elghanayan in honor of Nourollah Elghanayan. Please click on image for article on Imam Hussain.

The emigration (Hijrah) of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) from Mecca to Medina in the year 622 AC was a significant event and later adopted to mark the beginning of the Muslim Era. The Muslim New Year begins with the month of Muharram. The coming of the New Year is observed by offering of special prayers at night and reflection on the life and times of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

The twelve months of the Muslim calendar and major Muslim festivals. Image by Simerg.

The twelve months of the Muslim calendar and major Muslim festivals. Image by Simerg.

Amongst the Shi’a Muslims, the first part of the month of Muharram is also an occasion which is marked with a sense of sorrow and solemnity. The 10th of Muharram was the day when Hazrat Imam Hussein (a.s.) together with most of the members of his family and close companions were martyred on the fields of Karbala….Please click Muslim and non-Muslim Expressions on Imam Hussein

Ya Hussain Wallpaper, designed by Mohammad Sajjad. Please click for article. Wallpaper credit: Sajjadsgraphics.blogspot.com

Ya Hussain Wallpaper, designed by Mohammad Sajjad.
Please click for article. Wallpaper credit: Sajjadsgraphics.blogspot.com

An Account of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Recent Visit to India: For Ismaili Followers and Volunteers, “An Experience of Being Lifted Away to Another World” by Toral Pradhan

“The car door was left open waiting for him to sit in, but Hazar Imam was instead moving around the compound as if unwilling to leave the premises…..This is a sight that is difficult to erase from the mind” — Toral Pradhan

PLEASE CLICK: His Highness the Aga Khan’s Visit to India: For His Ismaili Followers and Volunteers, “A Dream Come True” and “An Experience of Being Lifted Away to Another World”

Please click on image for article by Toral Pradhan.

Please click on image for article by Toral Pradhan.

Id-e-Ghadir – The Designation of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) as Commander of the Faithful

Excerpt adapted from Ilm magazine, December, 1989*

The twelve months of the Muslim calendar and major Muslim festivals. Image by Simerg.

The twelve months of the Muslim calendar and major Muslim festivals. Image by Simerg.

‘Id-e-Ghadir is celebrated by the Shi ‘ite communities to mark the event that took place at Ghadir Khumm (Valley of the Pond) on the 18th Dhul-Hijjah. This event commemorates the designation (appointment by way of nass) of Hazrat All as the ‘Amir-ul-Mu’minin (commander of the faithful) and Imamul-Muslimin’ (the Imam of the community of believers) at Ghadir-i Khumm when the Prophet (s.a.s.) was returning from his Last Pilgrimage (hajjatul-wida) in the year 632 AC. On this occasion, the Prophet publicly proclaimed Ali to be his successor [1] in guiding the community after the end of the institution of Nubuwwah. According to the Shi’a doctrine, tradition and interpretation of history, the designation of Hazrat Ali marked the beginning of the institution of Imamah. The designated Imam was to continue the ta’wil (interpretation) and talim (teaching) of Allah’s Final Message, i.e. the Holy Qur’an.

This stamp, issued by Iran in 1990, includes the Shahada, Qur'anic ayats and the declaration made by Prophet Muhammad at Ghadir-e Khumm "Mun Koontu Mawla, Fa Hada, Aliyun Mawla" (He of whom I am the Mawla, Ali is also the Mawla). Image not exact stamp size.

This stamp, issued by Iran in 1990, includes the Shahada, Qur’anic ayats and the declaration made by Prophet Muhammad at Ghadir-e Khumm “Mun Koontu Mawla, Fa Hada, Aliyun Mawla” (He of whom I am the Mawla, Ali is also the Mawla). Image not exact stamp size.

Accordingly, throughout the course of the history, the Shi’a have commemorated this occasion as a mark of recognition and acceptance of Allah’s mercy to mankind by bestowing continued guidance. Each Imam, since the time of Hazrat Ali has designated his successor. The Imam in his time has continued to guide his followers according to the prevailing conditions. His function has always been to look after the welfare of the community both in spiritual and worldly (material) matters. His guidance to his followers is that they should lead their lives in such a way so as to practice their Faith with a sense of balance and harmony, ensuring that there is no conflict between the two aspects of an individual’s life. The practice of the Faith thus becomes the way of life.

Presently, the Shi’a Imami Ismaili Muslims celebrate the day of accession of their present Imam to the office of Imamah as Yaum-e Imamat or Imamat Day. This occasion is celebrated as a mark of gratitude to Allah in having bestowed His mercy and bounty in guiding them through the office of the Imam on Sirat al-Mustaqim (the Straight Path).

Date posted: October 22, 2013

Please also click: Ghadir-Khumm – “I Wish I’d Been There” and Other Writings

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Notes

[1] Vagglieri, Ghadir Khumm, The Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol II, E.J. Brill, 1965, pp. 993-994

* For link to complete article, please click Muslim Festivals and Religious Observances.

Ghadir-Khumm – “I Wish I’d Been There” and Other Writings

“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)

I. PREAMBLE OF THE ISMAILI CONSTITUTION

His Highness the Aga Khan seen ordaining a new constitution for the Ismaili community worldwide. Clause (G) of the Preamble states: “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.”

“In accordance with Shia doctrine, tradition, and interpretation of history, the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) designated and appointed his cousin and son-in-law Hazrat Mawlana Ali Amiru-l-Mu’minin (a.s), to be the first Imam to continue the Ta’wīl and Ta‘līm of Allah’s final message and to guide the murids, and proclaimed that the Imamat should continue by heredity through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s) and his daughter Hazrat Bibi Fatimat-az-Zahra, Khātun-i-Jannat (a.s).” – The Preamble of The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. [1]

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II. IDD-E-GHADIR STAMPS

Images of some stamps and coins issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran between 1990 and 2010 commemorating the Idd-e-Ghadir. The inscriptions include the Shahada, Qur’anic ayats and the declaration made by Prophet Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm, “Mun Koontu Mawla, Fa Hada, Aliyun Mawla” meaning “He of whom I am the Mawla Ali is also the Mawla.”

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III

With 9,000 chronological quotations arranged in 90 thematic chapters, this huge treasury is bursting with historical gems.

With 9,000 chronological quotations arranged in 90 thematic chapters, this huge treasury is bursting with historical gems.

“Muhammad said: ‘He of whom I am the Mawla, Ali is his Mawla. O God, be the friend of him who is his friend and be the enemy of his enemy.’

“This became the proof text for the Shia claim that Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, was the Prophet’s rightful successor after the Prophet’s death in 632. The meaning of Mawla here probably implies the role of patron, lord or protector.” — History in Quotations by M. J. Cohen and John Major.

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IV. HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN AND
HIS DEVELOPMENT NETWORK ON HAZRAT ALI

His Highness addressing the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing upon receiving the Tolerance Award, 20 May 2006.

His Highness addressing the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing upon receiving the Tolerance Award, 20 May 2006.

 “…As you know, the Shi’a divided from the Sunni after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Hazrat Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, was, in Shi’a belief, named by the Prophet to be the Legitimate Authority for the interpretation of the faith. For the Shi’a today, all over the world, he is regarded as the first Imam.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Tutzing Evangelical Academy, May 20, 2006. [2]

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“The Ismaili Imamat is a hereditary institution of Muslim leadership, linked to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) by direct lineal descent through Hazrat Ali, his cousin and son-in-law. The line of Ismaili Imams has continued uninterrupted by hereditary succession from Hazrat Ali through to the present, 49th Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan.” – The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) , Brazil and the Ismaili Imamat sign a Protocol. [3]

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V. “I WISH I’D BEEN THERE”

By Jehangir Merchant, Aziz Kurwa and Barnaby Rogerson

Please click for Jehangir A. Merchant’s “Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters”

Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters by Jehangir Merchant

The last obligatory duty that Allah sent down was al-Walaya (adherence to the guardian designated by Allah). Then, He sent down the verse: “This day have I perfected your religion for you and have completed My favours upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Holy Qur’an, 5:3)…

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Please click for Aziz Kurwa’s “Volunteering at the Dawning of the Age of Imamat”

Volunteering at the Dawn of the Age of Imamat by Aziz Kurwa

Rasul-illah mounted the pulpit and placed Ali on his right. He then delivered a sermon, thanking Allah for His bounty. Taking Hazrat Ali by the hand, he then declared: He of whom I am Mawla, of him Ali is also the Mawla. The volunteers cleared everything and then we sat around campfires in groups. In my group the conversations was buzzing over the historical and momentous events of the day…

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Please click for Barnaby Rogerson's "A Christian Envoy at the Ghadir Khumm Campsite"

Please click for Barnaby Rogerson’s “A Christian Envoy at the Ghadir Khumm Campsite”

A Christian Envoy at the Ghadir Khumm Campsite by Barnaby Rogerson

What an offer! To travel back in time and return as a true witness to the history that I have so often thought and dreamed about… (and) witness to the exact succession of events at the Ghadir Khumm campsite: the blessings, the sermon and the ritual actions of the Prophet ordaining Ali as his successor…

To download complete series please click I Wish I’d Been There Series – PDF. To read individual pieces, please visit I Wish I’d Been There.

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[1] To read background story and complete preamble, please click The Preamble Of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”.

[2] To read this and other published speeches at the AKDN Website, please click Tolerance Award from the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing and Speech Archives.

[3] See The Ismaili Imamat note in AKDN–Brazil Protocol.

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A Note to Readers: Please scroll down or click Home page for other recent posts and click What’s New for links to all articles published on this blog since March 2009. Subscribe to this Website via the box near the top right of this page.

A Description of the Hajj by the Ismaili Missionary Naser-e Khosraw – from “One Thousand Roads to Mecca” by Michael Wolfe

AN INSTALLMENT FROM SIMERG’S MUST READ SERIES ABOUT NASER-E KHOSRAW’S MEMORABLE JOURNEY TO FATIMID EGYPT

A statue of the famous Ismaili dai Nasir Khusraw in Badakhshan.

“….The tallest mountain near Mecca is Abu Qubays, which is round like a dome, so that if you shoot an arrow from the foot of the mountain it reaches its top.…Having come into the city, you enter the Haram Mosque, approach the Ka’ba, and circumambulate….. always keeping the Ka‘ba to your left [shoulder]. Then you go to the corner containing the Black Stone, kiss it, and pass on….”

Please click: Naser-e Khosraw’s Pilgrimages to Mecca
(Links to all series articles provided below)

A bird’s-eye view of the Ka’ba crowded with pilgrims. The photo is from the archives of the US Library of Congress and was created by American Colony (Jerusalem), Photo Dept., in 1910. Please click for article by Naser-e Khosraw.

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Complete series by Michael Wolfe:

Part I - Introduction and Naser-e Khosraw Commences the Journey
Part II – Naser-e Khosraw in Fatimid Cairo
Part III – Naser-e Khosraw’s Pilgrimages to Mecca
Part IV – Naser-e Khosraw’s Dangerous Homeward Journey