“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, 2014 marks the 137th 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:
BIOGRAPHY, DECORATIONS, IMAM’S WRITINGS AND TRIBUTES
1. Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah – An Astonishing and Extraordinary Personality
2. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – Successor and a Son Reflect on Accomplishments of the 48th Ismaili Imam
3. Titles, Decorations and Honours Conferred on 48th Ismaili Imam; 72 Year Reign Spanned Six British Monarchs and Seventeen PM’s
4. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – The Road to Happiness and The Concept of Life
5. “Work No Words” by His Highness the Aga Khan, and Other Rare Ismaili Historical Quotes on Service
6. His Highness the Aga Khan’s “Never-To-Be-Forgotten” Message to Ismaili Youth – “Keep Clean Soul in a Clean Body”
7. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – Long Reign Ends
8. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III: The Face of Imamat
9. The Memoirs of Aga Khan – World Enough and Time: A Translator’s Voice
10. I Wish I’d Been There: A Unique Moment in the Life of the Punjab Jamat
11. Yakimour 1954: A Golden Moment for an Aspiring Student – An Audience with the 48th Ismaili Imam, Aga Khan
13. On Meeting the Noorani Family – My Voyage to Europe
14. An Ismaili Youth’s Rare Moment With Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah
EXTRA ORDINARY VISITS AND THE JUBILEES
15. Lakhpaty’s Intriguing Poster for 48th Ismaili Imam’s Diamond Jubilee Shows Artistic Ingenuity
16. Imam’s Message in South Africa Addressed Artificial Barriers, Unity, Education for All, and Damaging Social Habits
17. Photo Essay: The Historical Jubilees of His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957), the Imam of the Socio-Economic Revolution
18. World Renowned Photographer Sarite Sanders Portrays Mysterious Radiance of a Fatimid Tomb and the Elegance of the Aga Khan Mausoleum
19. When His Highness the Aga Khan III First Visited East Africa and the USA
DEDICATION TO ISLAM AND THE MUSLIM WORLD
20. His Highness the Aga Khan and the Bubonic Plague of 1897: How the Ismaili Imam’s Courage and Leadership Saved Countless Lives
21. Hazrat Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – A “Mendicant” Who Transformed a Dream into Reality and Stirred the Soul of a Bitter Critic
22. Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – A Muslim’s Analysis of Lessons that Can be Learnt from the 48th Ismaili Imam
Date post updated: Saturday, November 1, 2014.
I echo Valis remarks with respect to the Jubilees of the 48th Imam. They bring lots of beautiful and innocent memories. Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah (a.s.) gave us the gift of all the gifts, our beloved Mawlana Shah Karim Hazar Imam, who has dedicated his life to bringing to fruitation the dreams and aspirations of his beloved grandfather. We are ideed a community of destiny. Ameen.
When we look at these pictures what do we think? Of course as Ismailis we feel very proud of our 48th Imam under whose Imamatship we lived and changed from dhotis to 3-piece suits, from utter poverty in India to riches in East Africa and don’t let’s forget most of us started coming here/going there under his guidance. But we also see how different the world was. The British Empire ruled from sunbreak to sunset and our Mowla was a prince in that empire, entitled to a 9-gun salute, confirmed by the title of His Highness and Sir. He instructed us to be loyal to our masters. When we look at pictures of people going to do his mulakat at his palaces we think back on those times of leisurely travel to the Continent. Not everyone got to travel but those who came near the gates asked to be allowed in. Now our present Imam comes to us so often. How lucky are we who lived under these two extraordinary leaders.
This post is so relevant for 2nd November.