“In Ismaili poetical literature comprising of Ginans and Qasidas, some of the most profound philosophical thoughts and sublime mystical insights are very tersely and beautifully expressed in verses. Moreover, this poetic literature effectively emphasizes the renewal and strengthening of the spiritual relationship between each murid (follower) in the community and Kamil Murshid (The Perfect Guide), Hazar Imam (The Living Imam)….
“The tradition of reciting the Munajat, Ya Ali Khuba Mijalas, began over a hundred years ago. It was recited in various jamati gatherings (mijalas) by Ismailis in many parts of the world to commemorate the enthronement of their 48th Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah, the late Aga Khan III (1877 – 1957). Continuing with this tradition, this Munajat, with slight variations, is now recited on the occasion of the anniversary of the ascension of Shah Karim al-Husseini (His Highness the Aga Khan IV) as the 49th Imam of The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims….”
Please click: The Munajat – Ya Ali Khuba Mijalas
In History in Quotations, which reflects five thousand years of World History, authors M. J. Cohen and John Major write as follows:
‘He of whom I am the Mawla (patron), 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.”
The authors then sum up by stating that through the use of the term Mawla, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) was giving Mawlana Ali (a.s.) the parity with himself in this function. Dr. Aziz Kurwa, a long serving member of the Ismaili community, takes us to the beginning of Islamic and Ismaili history and imaginatively constructs the role he played as a volunteer on that eventful and historic occasion, a day which was described by one of our readers as “an introduction to a new world order”. Aziz Kurwa was among the thirty-one who contributed to Simerg’s highly acclaimed series I Wish I’d Been There.
Please click on image below or: Volunteering at the Dawn of the Age of Imamat
“I don’t read or write but I am very interested in animal husbandry and I have always worked hard on the farm. It was my dream for my children to be educated so I worked hard and provided for their education…” — Guljon Bibi
This is a fascinating collection of autobiographical tales told by women from the Ismaili village of Shimshal, in the remote Karakoram mountains. On the eastern border of Pakistan, the women of Shimshal live peaceful lives of extreme hardship and good-humoured tolerance.
“…This tale belongs to ages past. It goes back to the era of Hazrat Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.), our third Imam, from whose veins was to ensue the Divine Line of the best Imams. He was the Imam who, on the battlefield of Karbala, received the nass of Imamat from his father, Hazrat Imam Hussain (a.s.) with the blessing: “Through you the line of Imamat will continue till the Day of Judgment…”
“….What we admire in you above all is the fact not that you have a modernised religion, but that you have been able to integrate a modern outlook with religion so that religion has been allowed its true role which is not merely to provide an all-embracing explanation of the universe but also to furnish the fundamental solutions of the problems which life poses us…”
In 1910 a young man in twenties went to see the 48th Ismaili Imam, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III (1877 – 1957), in Bombay at his Walkeshwar bungalow. Fortunately, he got the opportunity to have a personal audience with the Imam of the time. When asked for the purpose of his visit, he said (in Urdu) “Ya Mawla, I am a Shamsi Ismaili from Multan and wish that Mawlana Hazar Imam give me a Muslim name…..”
“…Prince, we have witnessed and continue to witness your immense love, loyalty and respect for our beloved Hazar Imam. You continue to be an epitome of inspiration in the service of the Imam, Imamat, worldwide Jamats, greater Muslim Ummah and humanity…..
To read published letters, please click Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures
“….I remember vividly my trips, on Friday or Saturday mornings, to the sokoni with Ma and various of my brothers and sisters. The market…sat on a square consisting of several acres. Decrepit wooden stalls pinched against one another higgledy-piggledy. Narrow, dirt lanes meandered around and through the grounds…The bazaar-like atmosphere was intoxicating, a pulsing cacophony of sights and sounds. The air was redolent with a muddle of delectable, pungent, and sometimes revolting odours….”
Please also visit: ESSAYS AND LETTERS
“…The Nav Chugga are our choice. In the poem, if all goes well, the inevitability is for the butterfly (or silk moth) to emerge and do its butterfly thing, remembering its delicate wings can intricately avert the forces of evil with strength of flight and purpose. Only by guidance, reflection and intention can this occur for the ruh (spirit)…”
For series, please click Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures
To mark this blog’s third anniversary, we recently launched the series, “Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures,” with the publication of three letters by Andrew Kosorok (Makers of the Fatimid Blue Qur’an), Mohezin Tejani (Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan) and Aziz Kurwa (The Person of the Institution of Imamat). Several ”Thank You Letters” will be published over the coming weeks and months, and cover numeous historical figures during the past 1400 years.
What did this blog begin with, and which are the pieces that have been viewed the most since our launch in the spring of 2009? We wish to present some twenty-four selections in two instalments from over 600 fine articles. Motivation does not necessarily come from anything that is lavish and extravagant. Lasting impressions and effects often come from small things, and in this regard there are two short and wonderful anecdotes that set the website rolling. “Thank You” to the Ismaili historical figures Muayyad din Shirazi and Nasir Khusraw for the momentum and inspiration they provided. Both the anecdotes are definitely worth a read, and should provide the readers with an appetite to read the remaining contents of this blog, as and when time permits. Please share this page and the website with your contacts around the world.
Here is an array of some dozen top reads, not in any order, that will be of interest to readers who have joined us recently as well as those who may have missed the readings altogether. The remaining twelve popular post links will be provided later during the week.
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