“On 2nd November, 1877 my beloved grandfather was born here in Karachi. Through 72 years of Imamat, he guided his spiritual children to happiness and prosperity….Many many memories come to our minds as we think of him. He achieved in his life, for our community that which could only have been accomplished normally in a period of many generations. The tributes that the world has paid him bear honest testimony to his great life and work” — His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, 49th Ismaili Imam
November 2, 2013 marks the 136th birth anniversary of the 48th Ismaili Imam, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III. Born in Karachi in 1877, he assumed the reign of Imamat at the age of seven, and ruled the Ismailis for 72 years, becoming the community’s longest-serving Imam. He passed away on July 11, 1957, and willed that the mantle of Imamat should pass to his grandson, the present 49th Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.
We are pleased to provide our readers with links to diverse articles, stories and photo essays related to the beloved 48th Imam, who has been described in one of the pieces as the Imam of the Socio-Economic Revolution. Please click on the following selections:
COMPREHENSIVE BIOGRAPHY AND DECORATIONS
INSPIRING STORIES BY THE YOUTH
PHOTO ESSAYS: EXTRA ORDINARY VISITS AND THE JUBILEES
EXAMPLE SETTER AND DEDICATION TO ISLAM AND THE MUSLIM WORLD
Excerpt adapted from Ilm magazine, December, 1989*
‘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  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.
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
 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.
“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
“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. 
II. IDD-E-GHADIR STAMPS
“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.
IV. HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN AND
HIS DEVELOPMENT NETWORK ON HAZRAT ALI
”…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. 
“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. 
V. “I WISH I’D BEEN THERE”
By Jehangir Merchant, Aziz Kurwa and Barnaby Rogerson
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)…
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…
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 read background story and complete preamble, please click The Preamble Of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”.
 To read this and other published speeches at the AKDN Website, please click Tolerance Award from the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing and Speech Archives.
 See The Ismaili Imamat note in AKDN–Brazil Protocol.
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.
AN INSTALLMENT FROM SIMERG’S MUST READ SERIES ABOUT NASER-E KHOSRAW’S MEMORABLE JOURNEY TO FATIMID EGYPT
“….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)
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
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.”
In some parts of the Muslim world, the actual sighting of the new or crescent moon determines the end of the month of Ramadan, whilst other Muslim bodies such as the Fiqh Council of North America determine the end of the month based on “scientifically guaranteed astronomical calculations.” According to a statement released by the Fiqh Council, the new moon was going to be visible with a telescope in California on Wednesday August 7, and Eid ul-Fitr would be celebrated on Thursday, August 8, the first day of the month of Shawwal. Newspapers from India such as the Deccan Herald reported the sighting of the crescent moon over places such as Kapad beach, near Kozhikode in Kerala, yesterday, Wednesday August 7 and announced that Eid ul-Fitr would take take place on Thursday, August 8. Kuwait, Jordan and Palestine are marking Eid on Thursday while Oman and Pakistan are expected to observe it on Friday.
Thus over a 1000 million Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid on Thursday or on Friday August 9th, based on the method used to determine the end of Ramadan. In any case bakeries, confectionaries and toy shops have been witnessing heavy rush of customers as Muslims started preparing for the two-day Eid festival. In Srinagar, Kashmir, where Eid is to be expected to be observed on Friday shopping outlets dealing with clothing including kids-wear, perfumes and footwear have started seeing brisk sales from early in the morning.
The festival of Eid, also known as Bairam or Eid Ramadan is one of the most joyous days in the Islamic calendar. It is an occasion for celebration and rejoicing for Allah’s Bounty upon mankind for His revelation of the Qur’an during the holy month of Ramadan.
It is also a time for individuals to express their gratitude to Allah for having given them the strength, courage and resilience to complete the fast, and thus fulfilling the duty enjoined upon them by Allah.
The festival begins with a festive prayer (Salatul-Fitr) with all the believers congregating at mosques and jamatkhanas. It is also an occasion for socializing and meeting with other Muslims and for fostering a sense of brotherhood and unity amongst the community (ummah). After the communal prayer, families gather together at home with relatives and friends and participate in exchanging gifts and partaking a meal.
We convey our heartiest felicitations and Eid Mubarak to all our readers as well as Muslims around the world, with the fervent hope and prayer that peace and harmony will soon prevail over many areas of the Muslim world afflicted by horrible conflicts, which are resulting in the loss of lives and contributing to unbearable hardships and struggles. The Islamic ethic of forgiveness, generosity, and peaceful co-existence and unity through dialogue are keys by which conflicts can be resolved, whereby every Muslim can aspire for a life of material and spiritual well-being and happiness.
Date posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013.
Date updated: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) received his first revelation from Allah through Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) in the Hira cave which is on Jabl al Nur (Mount of Light) shown in this photo. The peak is visible from a great distance. The Prophet used to climb this mountain often even before receiving his fist revelation from Allah.
A photo of Cave of Hira in the Mount of Light, near Mecca, where the Prophet would come for his devotions and meditations, and the sacred spot where the Holy Quran began to be revealed. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) had just stepped into the forty-first year of his life, when during the 23rd night in the month of Ramadan the first 5 verses of the Surah Al-Alaq (96) were revealed to him.
A close-up of the Cave of Hira. The small cave is about 3.5 meters long and 2 meters wide. It was Prophet Muhammad’s most adorable place for meditation.
Part of Al-Alaq (The Clot) – 96th sura of the Holy Qur’an – the first revelation received by Prophet Muhammad
When Prophet Muhammad was 40 years old, he received his first divine revelation from Allah through Angel Jibreel. When Angel Jibreel appeared to him, he said:
Recite: In the Name of thy Lord who created,
created, Man of a blood-clot.
Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous,
who taught by the Pen,
taught Man that he knew not…..Holy Qur’an, Al-Alaq, 96:1-5
The night of this first revelation is celebrated as Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power).
Date posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013.
Article and photos prepared from the following sources:
3. English Translation of the Qur’anic verses by Arthur John Arberry.
Please see related post: Laylat al-Qadr – A Night Better than a Thousand Months
Compiled by Simerg
with contributions from Karima Maghraby
Laylat al-Qadr is the auspicious night when the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) first received the revelation of the Holy Qur’an, thereby conferring upon him the mantle of prophet hood at the age of forty.
The Shia Ismaili Muslims observe Laylat al-Qadr on the 23rd night of Ramadan, in keeping with traditions received through Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and his wife Hazrat Bibi Fatimah (a.s.), and the Imams of the Fatimid dynasty. It is a night of special prayer, reflection and remembrance of Allah.
The following verses from the Holy Qur’an describe the loftiness of this night and articulate the importance of the final revealed scripture to mankind:
“Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power. What will convey unto you what the Night of Power is! The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. Peace it is until the rising of the dawn.” — 94:5
“(This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto you (Muhammad) that thereby you may bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of Praise” — 14:01
“And celebrate the name of thy Lord morning and evening. And part of the night, prostrate thyself to Him; and glorify Him a long night through. As to these, they love the fleeting life, and put away behind them a Day (that will be) hard.” — 76:25-27
“We sent it down during a Blessed Night” — 44:3
“Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong)” – 2:185
Hazrat Mawlana Murtaza Ali (a.s.) the successor of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) to the throne of Imamat is quoted as having said:
“Do not remember God absent-mindedly, nor forget Him in distraction; rather, remember Him with perfect remembrance (dhikran kamilan), a remembrance in which your heart and tongue are in harmony, and what you conceal conforms with what you reveal.” — quoted in Justice and Remembrance, Introducing the Spirituality of Imam Ali, by Reza Shah Kazemi, p. 162.
Date posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013
Readers will be interested in a recently published piece on this blog, Assessing English Translations of the Qur’an, and Links to Translations on the Internet by Khaleel Mohammed (USA)
A collection of additional literary readings and essays inspired by the Holy Qur’an:
The Noble Qur’an – An Inexhaustible Well-Spring of Inspiration and Knowledge by His Highness the Aga Khan
We welcome feedback/letters from our readers. 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.
1. THE ROLE OF MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM
Historically and in accordance with Ismaili tradition, the Imam of the time is concerned with spiritual advancement as well as improvement of the quality of life of his murids. The imam’s ta‘lim lights the murid’s path to spiritual enlightenment and vision. In temporal matters, the Imam guides the murids, and motivates them to develop their potential…..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….Clauses (F) and (G) of the Preamble of the Ismaili Constitution ordained in 1986 .
2. IMAM – A COSMIC NECESSITY
Imam is the Threshold through which God and the creatures communicate; Imam is a Cosmic Necessity and the earth cannot be devoid of an Imam – without an Imam the earth and the universe would crumble; The Imam is the Proof, the Manifestation and the Organ of God and he is the Means by which human beings can attain the knowledge of God — Excerpt from The Divine Guide in Early Shi’ism by Mohamad Ali Amir-Moezzi, pp 125-131, SUNY, 1994.
Links to Six Readings
1. THE TERM IMAM IN THE HOLY QUR’AN
The term Imam is used seven times in the singular and five times in the plural form in the Holy Qur’an. It is not, however, used in the same sense every time. The different shades of meaning which it indicates therefore needs to be analysed….CLICK TO READ MORE
2. THE FORMULATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF IMAMAT
Like his father and grandfather before him, Imam Ja’far remained politically quiescent and inactive…..it was in this period of political inactivity – to an extent – that the main religious ideas and doctrinal formation of Imamate concepts really crystallised….CLICK TO READ MORE
3. THE DOCTRINE OF IMAMAT DURING THE FATIMID PERIOD
The central doctrine of the Ismaili community has always been the doctrine of Imamat because around it are built all the goals of the community and the roles of the dais, but this doctrine is also not rigid, it has been evolving, particularly in the writings and preachings of the dais….CLICK TO READ MORE
4. IMAMAT IN ISMAILI GINANIC LITERATURE
According to the Ginans the Imam is the source of Guidance for mankind. He shows them the right path, saves the people from ignorance and acts as a Divine Light in the darkness….CLICK TO READ MORE
5. THE NUR (LIGHT) OF IMAMAT
What is this special light that Allah refers to [in Holy Qur'an 4:174], which guides and makes things clear? For Shia Muslims, this light is the Light of Imamat. The Shias refer to it as the Nur of Imamat. Nur means light. The Nur of Imamat is a spiritual light….CLICK TO READ MORE
6. LOVE FOR THE IMAM
“Say (O Muhammad): No reward do I ask (for my favours) except your love for my kith and kin” – Holy Qur’an, 42:23
“He who loves us will be with us on the Day of Judgement” – Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq….CLICK TO READ MORE
Date posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013.
 Please click The Preamble of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”