Historical Photos from the Archives of Master Khimani of South Africa – Part III

Editor’s note: The first two sets of photographs from The Ismaili collection of the late Master Khimani, pictured at left with his wife, were described by Simerg’s readers as brilliant, very impressive and a veritable treasure trove. One reader from Mwanza, Tanzania, wrote: “Thanks to the Khimani Family for preserving these historical magazines and photos, some of which relate to Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan’s 50th birthday (1927).”  Simerg is pleased to present the last set of photos for this specific series. You are invited to view the previous two sets by clicking  A Brief Note on Master Khimani’s Service to the South African Jamat, and Historical Photos from His Family Archives and Historical Photos from the Archives of Master Khimani of South Africa – Part II. The historical photos produced in this series appeared in The Ismaili between 1923 and 1929.

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 NURTURING THE SPIRIT OF VOLUNTEERISM IN THE ISMAILI COMMUNITY AT A YOUNG AGE

Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images. Copyright.

The following excerpts from a speech made by Princess Zahra, daughter of His Highness the Aga Khan, is particularly relevant to the photo of young Ismaili volunteers shown below with the late 48th Ismaili Imam. Please read speech excerpts  and photo caption.

“….I would like to take some time to say a bit about volunteerism within the humanitarian and development efforts connected with the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community under the leadership of its Imam His Highness the Aga Khan. I do this not as a form of advertisement, or to “blow our own horn”, but to set a context for some more general comments on volunteerism in the new millennium that I think can be drawn from our experience.

“In the Shia Ismaili Muslim tradition, voluntary service to others is viewed as an integral and positive part of daily life, and never as a burdensome obligation or an elective activity. Service is a means for each individual to actualise Islam’s ethics of inclusiveness, of compassion, of sharing, of the respect for life, and of personal responsibility for sustaining a healthy physical, social, and cultural environment.

“All of this leads to a central question of this conference. How do you mobilise volunteers?….Amongst Ismailis, it starts early and continues throughout an individual’s life. Young Ismaili children perform volunteer tasks at Jamatkhanas: serving water, collecting and looking after coats, and the like, tasks which require no professional knowledge, but which introduce, at an early age, the ethos of volunteerism. As she or he grows and develops academically and professionally, so do the complexity and performance of the voluntary tasks.” Princess Zahra Aga Khan,  Edmonton, Canada, 25th August 1998.

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1927/1928: Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan with Ismaili volunteer boys of the “Sami Sanj Panjebhai Association” who served the community by distributing cold water at Jamatkhanas and other Ismaili events. The first step for this younger generation was the cultivation of the principle of serving through simple actions such as serving water to the thirsty. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada. Please click for enlargement.

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1927/1928: At the community’s command – Officers of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps, Sialkot, Pakistan. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada

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Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan with the Ladies Volunteer Corps of Khadak, Bombay. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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THE HISTORIC RAISING OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN’S FLAG IN INDIA

Excerpt from Roshan Ahmed’s article, My Flag, which appeared in The Ismaili issue dated 17th April 1928:

“The Ismaili Flag has been hoisted over our prayer houses (the Jamatkhanas) for the first time in India. With befitting ceremony, the Ismailis of Bombay and its suburbs witnessed the colours of His Highness the Aga Khan on their Jamatkhanas. With pardonable pride, the Ismailis have proclaimed to the world their unswerving loyalty to the Imam-e-Zaman (the Imam of the Time), and when saluting the Ismaili Flag for the first time in public, the hearts of every true Ismaili throbbed with new life and vigour.”

1928: The colours of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan being hoisted for the first time in India on the Ismaili Jamatkhana at ThanA, near Bombay. Major Mecklai is seen receiving the salute to the Ismaili Imam’s Flag. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada. Please click for enlargement.

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Alijah Ismailibhai V. Madhani is seen performing the Flag Ceremony before a large gathering at Andheri, near Bombay. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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1928: The President of the Vapi Ismaili Council, Mohamedbhai Fazal, seen performing the Ismaili Flag ceremony amidst a large and enthusiastic gathering. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN WITH HIS FOLLOWERS

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan with his Ismaili followers residing in Gwadar, a port town on the Arabian Sea in the south-west of Pakistan. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan with his Ismaili followers from Badakhshan, Central Asia, who had come to pay homage to him in India. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan receives a hearty welcome from members of his Ismaili community upon his arrival in Majunga, Madagascar. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN III ON SPORTS

“Next I would place the joys of rapid movement such as you get from games like golf, tennis, football, and, they tell me, cricket. As with literature the mind, so with games the body feels itself vividly, happily alive. Of all sports of rapid movement the riding of a horse is the best. The legend of the centaur- half man, half horse – was no idle dream; for you and the splendid creature are one. As its limbs gather and stretch out in perfect rhythm, electricity passes from the animal to you. It is a joy of the spirit as of the body. Through us speak the souls of our ancestors, who have ridden horses from the beginning of time. Yes, we may well believe that the horse was with man from the beginning.”

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, an avid golfer, about to putt from a short distance. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan going hunting during his trip to Karachi, Pakistan. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada

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BIRTH PLACE OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III was born in Karachi, Pakistan, on November 2, 1877. He became the 48th Ismaili Imam at the age of seven. He is pictured at his birthplace, with Vazir Rahim standing behind. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada.

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A  PROCESSION TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN

1927/1928: A view of the Ismaili procession proceeding to Wadi (Mazagaon) as part of the birthday celebrations of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada. Please click to enlarge.

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VISITING AN ISMAILI OWNED BUSINESS

1928: Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan pictured during his arrival at the offices of Messrs. Aimila Automobile, Bombay, with Husenali Mitha of the firm standing at right. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada

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A UNIQUE CUSTOM AND TRADITION: “DHARAS”

Ismaili follower who travelled to Iran to pay homage to their Imam were called “Dharas”. A letter patent to that effect would be granted as a custom and tradition by the Imam of the Time. The photo shows a patent granted by Mawlana Shah Khalilulah, the 45th Ismaili Imam to an Ismaili who had visited him.

Ismaili murids who travelled to Iran to pay homage to their Imam were called “Dharas”. A letter patent to that effect would be granted as a custom and tradition by the Imam of the Time. The photo shows a patent granted by Mawlana Shah Khalilulah, the 45th Ismaili Imam to an Ismaili who had visited him. Photo: Sadruddin Khimani Family Collection, Vancouver, Canada. Please click for enlargement.

Date posted: Saturday, May 26, 2012.

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If you missed the first two parts please click:

1. Historical Photos from the Archives of Master Khimani of South Africa – Part II
2. Master Khimani’s Service to the South African Jamat, and Historical Photos from His Family Archives (Part I)

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