Yaum e-Ali – The Birth Anniversary of Imam Ali (a.s.)
The birthday anniversary of Hazrat Imam Ali (a.s) is commemorated on the 13th Rajab (falling on June 2/3 in 2012). This festival is celebrated by the Shi’te communities and is observed as an occasion to reflect upon the life and teachings of their first Imam. According to the Shi’a doctrine and tradition, Hazrat Ali was the foundation (asas) of the institution of Imamah. His designation (nass) by the Prophet upon the Command of Allah (al-amr), to guide the believers after the termination of the institution of Nabuwah is central to the Shi’a theology. The Imam’s function is to continue the teaching (ta’lim) and interpretation (ta’wil) of Allah’s Final Message after the demise of the Prophet.
Today, the Shi’a Ismaili Muslims, in addition to the celebration of Yaum e-Ali, commemorate the birthday anniversary (Salgirah) of their present living Imam (Mawlana Hazar Imam) who is the direct lineal descendent of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) through Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and Bibi Fatima (a.s.).
The Principle of the Unity of Imamat
….Each Imam presents to the world of his time that facet of the multi-faceted splendour the Ismailis call Imamat. All Ismaili philosophers have emphasized the principle of the Unity of Imamat under the superficial diversity exhibited by each Imam of the Time. It is in this sense that the Ismailis believe that Imam is the same irrespective of his own age or the time he lives in…..The proverbial valour and exemplary statesmanship of Imam Mawla Murtaza Ali, the encyclopaedic erudition of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, the extraordinary intellectual brilliance of Imam al-Hakim bi Amrillah, the administrative ability of Imam Mustansir Billah (during the first half of his Khilafat), the political acumen of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah (he defied geography and created history), the organizing genius of the present Imam, Shah Karim al-Husayni, are only some of the more spectacular characteristics exhibited by the Imam of the Time in accordance with the exigencies of the situations facing him…..
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Simerg’s Great Readings on Hazrat Ali (a.s.)