“Throughout the book we are brought along to various exotic destinations with Hussain. We are his travelling companion on his many journeys and are a virtual witness to what he sees as important to record, which is the photographic evidence of many endangered species. From the inside front cover we know that the proceeds from the sale of the book will be distributed to the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment.” – excerpt from book review by John MacDonald
A MUST READ PIECE FOR CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS ALIKE
“Given a right understanding of the foundations of Islam and Christianity, and the spiritual values which they have proclaimed, it should not prove very difficult to build a bridge of mutual respect and co-operation between the two great religions. Unfortunately, it is a fact that the close similarity between the two remains largely unknown to the West.”
Earlier in August, His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th Imam of Ismaili Muslims announced that the Nikah of his eldest son, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, to Ms. Kendra Salwa Spears would take place in Geneva on August 31, 2013.
The day finally arrived with the Nikah taking place as announced in Geneva, Switzerland, in a private ceremony attended by members and friends of both families. At the request of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Chairman and Members of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum (LIF), see photo above, represented the global Ismaili community at the event held on the shores of Lake Geneva, on the grounds of the Château de Bellerive — the residence of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s uncle, the late Prince Sadruddin and his wife Princess Aliya.
Ismailis around the world rejoice with their beloved Imam and his family as well as the family of the bride, and wish Prince Rahim Aga Khan and his beloved bride, Princess Salwa peace and happiness in their life together.
In Islam, the Nikah is a solemn and sacred social contract between the bride and the groom; each has the “liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this marriage contract.” 
We convey our heartiest felicitations to all our readers on this happy occasion and encourage readers to express their wishes and thoughts by clicking on Leave a Comment. What follows is one such piece, in the form of a poem.
By Navyn Naran
And the symphony of great angels
gathered between stars of pure light
as if brass, woodwind or strings of meticulous clarity
spiritual music, sparkling in this Blessed light….
It is the dawn of a glorious day
as petals are unfurling
the Jamat is delighted to welcome a Prince’s Bride.
how Joyous our Imam and His Family.
Mubarak, Salwa, Mubarak kareem!
Mubarak Rahim, Mubarak kareem!
In Geneva, dawn has risen, lilies awaken from rest
It is day of jubilance, solemn promise and grace
The bee readies her honey for this very special occasion
Dew evaporates from tall grasses,
while in Aiglemont, majestic trees await grandly at their station.
Around the world it is a day like Eid
Remembering our history, Khadijah and Muhammad Nabi,
Our first Imam Ali and Bibi Fatima by his side
A bond nourished and unbreakable, as beam of light
Walkways strewn with rose petals, fresh for this day
Canopies of wisteria frame entrances of gates
Saffron and nutmeg are prepared for the sweets
Badam and pista for nut-filled date treats.
Love is an expression of personal dimension,
‘Tis a light in the eye that harkens the soul
A delight and understanding without apprehension
A precious connection as each partner stays whole
A civil contract, then Nikah, the marriage contract and true
No dowry but a mahr, and an acknowledgement between two
The husband will care and provide for his wife
The wife whole internally, softens (and strengthens) his life.
Our Mawla, we affirm our love and devotion,
On this grand occasion, the Jamat prepares a delicate sherbet potion
Our elders rejoicing, ambrosial sherbet and cake we share
Our Beloved Noorani family, your Jamat is with you there.
Many mornings have accompanied their journeys and now
A Nikah, a prayer, a ring and a vow
And around the world, salwaats are being prayed
Murids’ wishes for happiness for the Noorani couple this day
Softly, gently in tempo as breeze flows with grace
She walks by his side, radiant is her face
May joy, trust and respect Bless their joint life
As Prince takes Princess for his beloved wife.
Sun blushing in laughter, fountains dancing in flow
This bond is hope rooted, and dreams will grow…
Hafiz Loves the spaces eyesight cannot see
Love is a truth stronger, it sees the unseen.
Date posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013.
Date updated: Saturday, August 31, 2013 (new photo)
Copyright: Navyn Naran/Simerg. August 2013.
 The first lines set the stage; indeed, angels have arrived in the celestial sky and because of them even the starlight is brighter; and with this dawn breaks, and it is time for a wedding. In the unseen, the orchestra of angels and starlight are showering special blessings, akin to an unseen or hidden orchestra playing its resounding symphony. Metaphorically, the occasion is set…i.e. Allah has set the stage.
To express your wishes and thoughts on Prince Rahim’s marriage to Ms. Spears, please click on Leave a Comment. The link also appears at the top left of this post.
Please also visit the official website of the Ismaili community, www.theismaili.org.
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 has lived since. Dr. Naran went to medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. She currently works in Paediatric Critical Care.
We encourage readers to express their wishes and thoughts. Please click on “Leave a Comment” at the top left of this page or Leave a Comment.
Compiled by Malik Merchant
(Publisher-Editor, Simerg and Simergphotos)
MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM, HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN
THE WILL OF IMAM MAWLANA SULTAN MAHOMED SHAH, THE 48TH IMAM
“Ever since the time of my first ancestor Ali, the first Imam, that is to say over a period of thirteen hundred years it has always been the tradition of our family that each Imam chooses his successor at his absolute and unfettered discretion from amongst any of his descendants whether they be sons or remoter male issue.
“In view of the fundamentally altered conditions in the world in very recent years due to the great changes which have taken place including the discoveries of atomic science I am convinced that it is in the best interests of the Shia Moslem Ismailian Community that I should be succeeded by a young man who has been brought up and developed during recent years and in the midst of the new age and who brings a new outlook on life to his office as Imam.
“I appoint my grandson Karim, the son of my son Aly Salomone Khan to succeed to the title of Aga Khan and to be the Imam and Pir of all my Shia Ismailian followers.”….His Highness the Aga Khan III.
SUCCESSION AND THE NATURE OF IMAMAT
“…the [installation] ceremony is a public installation of the Imam. The Ismailis pay homage to the Imam and that is when you are recognised by the world at large as the Imam. Officially as soon as one Imam passes away, his successor takes on from the very minute the Imam has passed away.” — His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan 
A TRIBUTE TO THE 48TH IMAM, AND THE NEW IMAM’S DEDICATION
“My grandfather dedicated his life to the Imamat and Islam, both of which came first, and above all other considerations. While I was prepared that one day I might be designated the Aga Khan I did not expect it so soon. I follow a great man in a great responsibility and he could have given me no more appreciated honour than to bequeath me this spiritual leadership. My life, as his, will be dedicated to the service of my followers.”….His Highness the Aga Khan.
THE LOVE FOR THE IMAM OF THE TIME
In all four ages,
I went about,
I found none
to match you, my lord.
my heart is fond of you. 
MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM, HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN
Date posted: Monday, July 9, 2013.
© All photos are Copyright by the respective copyright owners. Reproduction strictly prohibited without licensing agreement(s) from the copyright sources mentioned in the photo captions.
For an extra-ordinary version of this photo essay please visit our sister blog Simergphotos. Please click For 56th Imamat Anniversary, Magnificent and Unique Historical Portraits of His Highness the Aga Khan
 Verse 3 translation of Saiyad Imamshah’s ginan Sahebaji tun more mana bhave, from “A Scent of Sandalwood” by Dr. Aziz Esmail
For other Imamat related readings including an explanation of the Munajat recited during Imamat Day please click on the following links:
We welcome feedback/letters from our readers. Please use the LEAVE A REPLY box which appears below. Your feedback may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation. We are unable to acknowledge unpublished letters. Please visit the Simerg Home page for links to articles posted most recently. For links to articles posted on this Web site since its launch in March 2009, please click What’s New.
A very small town by the name of Amir Pir is the setting for a photo essay about the town’s Ismaili connection going back 170 years to the 46th Ismaili, Shah Hasan Ali Shah, Aga Khan I (a.s.). Gulshan Chunara and Salina Hasan respectively provide the text and photos for this intriguing historical piece…Click for Photos
PRINCE RAHIM AGA KHAN – A BRIEF PROFILE
Date and place of birth: October 12, 1971, Geneva, Switzerland.
Relationship to His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Ismaili Imam: Prince Rahim Aga Khan is His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s second of four children, the others being older sister Princess Zahra and younger brothers Prince Hussain Aga Khan (all three born to Begum Salimah Aga Khan) and Prince Aly Muhammad (born to Princess Inaara Aga Khan).
Post Secondary Education and Specialization:
(1) 1996 – Bachelor of Arts, Comparative Literature, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island;
(2) 2006 – Executive Development Programme, Management and Administration, University of Navarra IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
Current Responsibilities: Executive Director of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED); Executive Director at the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance(AKAM).
Based at the Secretariat of His Highness the Aga Khan at Aiglemont, north of Paris, France, Prince Rahim is an executive Director of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) — the economic development arm of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). He also serves as an Executive Director at the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM).
A graduate of Brown University, Rhode Island, USA with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Literature awarded in 1996, Prince Rahim received his secondary education at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. In 2006, Prince Rahim completed an executive development programme in Management and Administration at the University of Navarra IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. Prince Rahim travels regularly to Asia and Africa to oversee the industrial plants, hotel properties and financial institutions, including microfinance programmes, of the Aga Khan Development Network.
The engagement of Prince Rahim to Ms Kendra Spears, of Seattle, Washington USA, was announced on Friday, April 26, 2013, to the joy of Ismailis around the world, who celebrated the news with sherbet and cake.
By Navyn Naran
there is an expectant joy in the air
as we welcome the news our Mawla has shared
and He is happy for a love of two
a new beginning for all, here paired.
this joy paralleled e’en by the spring
the breeze gently caressing the face of each
we share in their love and welcome the new
an understanding and acknowledgement in this niche.
our Prince has met a partner in life
and Benevolent the Grace enveloping this match
how happy we feel for that special bond and trust
and pray this development manifest strong in latch.
the sacred Truth as once was shared,
and Knowledge beckoned Adam and Hawa in this life
so meeting in mind, heart and soul in twain
is Blessed by the Creator as man takes wife
there is joy in our community for the Noorani family
sherbet and cake to enjoy for all
and cherry blossom beckon another fresh day
as brother and sister welcome this Call.
for the arduous tasks You take under Your wing
shall flourish and strengthen as this Bond to be
and mighty as Zulfiqar, the sword,
in Trust and Respect always between.
Khushamadeed Ms. Spears, Mubarak O Prince,
Mubarak! our hearts smile, Mubarak! and since
a Unity weaving as Iman does hope
we welcome you Kendra to this lineage’s rope.
our Mawla, Mubarak! devotedly we serve
Your happiness is ours also, let us not bend nor swerve
a nikkah is called, a love unending for two
Khushamadeed Kendra, a most respectful welcome to you.
Date posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Date updated: Monday, April 29, 2013 (typo)
For a contrasting style/format of this same piece, please click on the following:
“Mubarak…Khushamadeed”: A Poem for Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Ms. Kendra Spears