I WISH I’D BEEN THERE

We asked you to be a fly on the wall and answer the question: What is the one scene, incident or event in Ismaili history you would like to have witnessed — and why?

Simerg published thirty one contributions over a period of nine weeks for this highly anticipated series. We began the  series on Wednesday April 7, 2010, with Hussein Rashid’s intriguing piece, The Mind of Yazid, the Faith of Hussein and concluded on June 17 with Jehangir Merchant’s Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters.

Individual articles in the series may be accessed by clicking on the links or images shown below. The illustrated narratives are also available in a single PDF file. To download this wonderful publication please click I Wish I’d Been There Series – PDF

Malik Merchant
Editor/Publisher
Simerg.com
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Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters

Ikhwan al-Safa

The Love for Ali

The Eid-i Qiyama!

Al-Qahirah: Then and Now

Khawja Nasir Tusi’s Tales

Pir Satgur Nur: Miracles in Ginan ‘Putla’

Ismaili Penmanship in 1906

Discourses of Hazrat Ali

Ibn Ridwan and Supernova 1006

Light the Candle of Wisdom in the Heart

A Fida’i Mission: Into Saladin’s Tent

His Name is Jawhar

Inferno of Alamut

Fatimid Power and Learning Spirit

A Young Murid Aspires to Understand Commonalities Between Past and Present

Hazrat Ali’s Example: What We Can Do Today

The Great Resurrection

Varas Ismail Gangji: The Turning Point

The Three Kings Without Crowns

“Riding Forth to Open the Canal” with Nasir Khusraw

Weaving a Web of Silence, Only to Know

A Christian Envoy at the Ghadir Khumm Campsite

Volunteering at the Dawn of the Age of Imamat

The Unveiling at Sijilmasa

Beginnings….

Another Shalimar

A Unique Moment in the Life of the Punjab Jamat

The Faith of My Forefathers

13th-14th Century “Avatar” Discourses; 1885 – Aga Khan III Investiture; 1907 – Aga Khan III in New York

The Mind of Yazid, the Faith of Hussein

 Karbala Tragedy (supplementary reading)

“I Wish I’d Been There” – Summoning the Past Into the Present (Series Introduction)

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LINKS VIA IMAGES. PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE.

Hussein Rashid - "The Mind of Yazid, The Faith of Hussein"

IMAGE: A DESERT SCENE
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Zahir Dharsee: "Avatar Discourses, Aga Khan III Installation and Aga Khan III in New York"

IMAGE: HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN III INSTALLATION

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Ameer Janmohamed - "The Faith of My Forefathers"

IMAGE: A FOLIO FROM A GINAN MANUSCRIPT AND A SCENE ON THE FRONT COVER OF TAZIM KASSAM’S BOOK “SONGS OF WISDOM AND CIRCLES OF DANCE”

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Ali M. Rajput - "A Unique Moment in the Life of the Punjab Jamat"

IMAGE: TWO BOATS TO REFLECT IMAM SULTAN MUHAMMAD SHAH’S GUIDANCE TO THE PUNJAB JAMAT (IN QUOTES)

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Shamas Nanji - "Another Shalimar"

IMAGE: SHALIMAR GARDENS, LAHORE, PAKISTAN

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Farzana Meru - "Beginnings"

IMAGE: A DESERT SCENE

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Aleem Karmali - "The Unveiling of Imam al-Mahdi at Sijilmasa"

IMAGE: MAP OF CURRENT DAY MOROCCO  SHOWING THE RELATIVE LOCATION OF SIJILMASA WHERE IMAM AL-MAHDI REVEALED HIMSELF

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Aziz Kurwa - "Volunteering at the Dawning of the Age of Imamat"

IMAGE: PRESENT DAY VOLUNTEERS; INFINITY (CIRCLES) TO REFLECT TWO WEIGHTY MATTERS AND ETERNITY OF THE DIVINE INSTITUTION OF IMAMAT, AS ALSO SHOWN BY THE NUMBERS 1-49………..

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Barnaby Rogerson - "A Christian Envoy at the Ghadir Khumm Campsite"

IMAGE: A REPRESENTATION OF THE KAABA SHOWN ON THE COVER OF A EUROPEAN EDITION OF ONE OF BARNABY ROGERSON’S BOOK

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Navyn Naran - "Weaving a Web of Silence, Only to Know"

IMAGE: A ‘SPIDER’ WEB AND A PHOTO TO REFLECT THE NARRATIVE OF THE PROPHET’S MIGRATION TO MEDINA AND THE AGA KHAN’S VISIT TO BADAKSHAN

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Alice Hunsberger - "Riding Forth to Open the Canal" with Nasir Khusraw

IMAGE: A VINTAGE PRINT ILLUSTRATING THE NILOMETER IN CAIRO

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PMohib Ebrahim - "The Three Kings Without Crowns"

IMAGE: A COLONIAL MAP OF EAST AFRICA WITH IMAGES OF TOPAN, PAROO AND VISRAM

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Maleksultan J. Merchant: "Varas Ismail Gangji: The Turning Point"

IMAGE: A PORTRAIT OF VARAS GANGJI ALONGSIDE HIS MOTHER’S QUOTE ON TRUTH

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Pervis Rawji: "Hazrat Ali's Example: What We Can Do Today"

IMAGE: AN ISMAILI CROWD IN BADAKHSHAN AS THEY LISTEN TO THEIR 49TH IMAM, HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN

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Khalil Andani: "August 8 1164: The Great Resurrection"

IMAGE: A MODERN DAY PAINTING DEPICTING THE ALAMUT VALLEY

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Shellyza Moledina - "A Young Murid Aspires to Understand Commonalities"

IMAGE: A SIGN REFLECTING THE WRITER’S TOPIC

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Heena Jiwani: "Fatimid Power and Learning Spirit"

IMAGE: A VINTAGE PRINT OF THE AL-AZHAR UNIVERSITY

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IMAGE: A MODERN DAY CASTLE ON FIRE

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Mansoor Ladha: "His Name is Jawhar"

 IMAGE: FATIMID ARMY AND ARMORY BASED ON AVAILABLE DESCRIPTIONS, WITH A PORTRAIT OF JAWHAR

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Nourmamadcho Nourmamadchoev: "Light the Candle of Wisdom in the Heart"

IMAGE: A STATUE OF NASIR KHUSRAW IN BADAKHSHAN

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Shazia'Ayn and Aliya-Nur Babul: A Fida'i Mission - Into Saladin's Tent

IMAGE: A MEDIEVAL SCENE – ARMY AND TENTS SET IN A VALLEY IN THE MIDST OF MOUNTAINS

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IMAGE: JUST OVER A  THOUSAND YEARS AGO, THE STELLAR EXPLOSION KNOWN AS SUPERNONVA SN 1006 WAS OBSERVED AND RECORDED BY FATIMID ASTRONOMER IBN RIDWAN. THIS COMPOSITE VIEW INCLUDES X-RAY DATA IN BLUE FROM CHANDRA OBSERVATORY, OPTICAL DATA IN YELLOWISH HUES AND RADIO IMAGE DATA IN RED. 

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Tajdin Dhala: "Discourses of Hazrat Ali"

IMAGE: A Folio from Hazrat Ali’s Nahj al-Balagha (Peaks of Eloquence). Photo: Wikipedia

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Zul Khoja: "Ismaili Penmanship in 1906"

IMAGE: AN ANTIQUE PEN, A THUMBNAIL PHOTO OF ALI VELJI AND A LINE FROM HIS GUJARATI NOTEBOOK

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Karim Maherali: Pir Satgur Nur - Miracles in Ginan 'Putla'

IMAGE: The Mausoleum of Pir Satgur Nur in Navsari, Gujarat, India, and a thumbnail depicting a putla (idol).

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Arif Babul: "Khawja Nasir Tusi's Tales"

IMAGE: TOP LEFT IS IMAGE CROPPED FROM AZERBAIZAN STAMP COMMEMORATING TUSI’S 800TH ANIVERSARY, THEN CLOCKWISE: TUSI WITH STUDENTS, MARAGHA OBSERVATORY, MONGOL SIEGE AT ALAMUT, CONTEMPORARY ART WORK OF THE ALAMUT CASTLE AND ADJOINING VALLEY

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IMAGE: AL-AZHAR UNIVERSITY,  A PLATE OF EGYPTIAN PASTRY KAHK, PLANET MARS, IMAM MUI’ZZ FATIMID GOLD DINAR, A VIEW OF CAIRO FROM AL-AZHAR PARK

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Jalaledin Ebrahim: "Eid-i Qiyama!"

IMAGE: HASAN-I SABBAH ACQUIRED THE FORTRESS OF ALAMUT FROM A CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL NAMED MAHDI, AND GAVE A DRAFT OF 3,000 GOLD DINARS AS THE PRICE OF THE CASTLE. THE VELLUM DOCUMENT IN THE CENTRE OF THE IMAGE IS DEEMED TO BE A LATER COPY OF THIS DRAFT. PHOTO: THE INSTITUTE OF ISMAILI STUDIES.

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Altaf Hajiyani: "Love for Ali"

IMAGE: A MODERN COMPUTER-AIDED SHI`ITE CALLIGRAPHIC DESIGN, WITH THE NAME OF `ALI IN THE CENTER. CALLIGRAPHY HAS THE PROPHET’S WORDS “DHIKR ALI IBADA” (REMEMBRANCE OF ALI IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP).” SOURCE: AL-ISLAM.ORG

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Raheel Lakhani: "Ikhwan al-Safa"

 

IMAGE: THE EARLIEST MANUSCRIPT (LEFT) OF THE RASA’IL IN THE INSTITUTE OF ISMAILI STUDIES COLLECTION PROBABLY ORIGINATES FROM SYRIA AND WAS COPIED IN THE MID-THIRTEENTH CENTURY; OTHER MANUSCRIPTS IN THE COLLECTION WERE COPIED BETWEEN THE SIXTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURIES IN PERSIA AND INDIA. CREDIT: THE INSTITUTE OF ISMAILI STUDIES.

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Jehangir A. Merchant: "Ghadir-Khumm and the Two Weighty Matters"

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Design and Art Work by Nurin Merchant, Grade 12, Colonel By Secondary School Ottawa. Copyright: Simerg.com

Thumbnail images in outer border depict scenes from Ismaili history.

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8 thoughts on “I WISH I’D BEEN THERE

  1. I really enjoy the articles submitted in this section. I hope you keep this section open to encourage future entries from readers.

    Warmest regards,

    Naeemughal

  2. It seems incomplete to experience this fantastic voyage through history without expressing my praise, delight and indebtedness to you for this amazing trampoline of knowledge, of service. Alhamdulillah

  3. Thanks for making the series available in PDF document. Having re-read the contributions and from the comments received, I must say, the series has been enjoyed by both the young and the old. It is like living and learning the Ismaili history through virtual time.

    Zarina

  4. Congratulations!

    I really enjoy the articles submitted in this section and I second Zarina. I hope you keep this section open to encourage future entries from readers.

    Warmest regards,

    Nina

  5. Congratulations for this site, specially “Three Kings Without Crown.” I am happy to read about my great grandfather, Alidina Visram. Well done.

    Nellie (Canada)

    • Nellie, how fortunate to have had such an illustrious great grandfather. I have always been fascinated by the Visram family – the school was such a constant reminder, especially the architecture and it has certainly stood the passage of time. Years later, when I was a student in England, I met one of his daughters in law, at the Ismaili Centre, 5 Palace Gate. She was such a gracious lady, she mentored all the new students, kept in touch with them, talked to them, and there was at that time, an influx of refugees from the Congo and she was more than a mother, and a friend. She was affectionately called Bebibai. After my return to Kenya, some years later, I also met one of his great grandsons, who was working for an oil company in Nigeria and was on holiday in Kenya, and had taken time to look at the school. All those who hail from East Africa have certainly met and been with the Paroo family members as well as the Topan family. I met Dr. Farouk Topan at SOAS in London. All the very best to you Nellie.

  6. Ya Ali Madad,

    Congratulations for making available this site and in particular the new series “I Wish I’d Been There” – it is a brilliant idea and I hope you will keep the series open beyond May as I am sure many more people from all over the world would like to contribute. All the very best and I will keep reading.

    Zarina

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