Obituaries and Tributes: Simerg Invites Ismaili Readers from Around the World to Honour and Celebrate Lives of Family Members Who Have Returned to Their Original Abode

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
“Surely we belong to God and to Him we return.” — Holy Qur’an

Did you know that Simerg offers to all its Ismaili readers around the world an opportunity to submit memorials to honour and celebrate the lives of beloved members of their families who have physically departed this world?

The 48th Ismaili Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877–1957), wrote in his Memoirs that “Life is a great and noble calling, not a mean and grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can but a lofty and exalted destiny.”

It is the individual’s celebrated life that we are asking you to reflect and write about, in the form of a short notice or a longer tribute, whether the member of your family passed away recently or in the past. Examples of  different types of obituaries and how to submit them are stated below.

Honouring Lives Lived

By Malik Merchant

Top portion of image shows plaque commemorating Ismailis who were killed in a WWII raid in Burma. Bottom half is a surreal image by Sarite Sanders of Aswan’s Fatimid cemetery.

Simerg offers all its Ismaili readers around the world an opportunity to submit memorials to honour and celebrate the lives of beloved members of their families who have physically departed this world recently or in the past. The memorials may be submitted in the form of (1) a simple short notice or (2) a tribute of up to 500 words.

Substance of the Notice and Tribute

1. The simplest kind of tribute is a notice about the passing of the person. The notice will contain some information about the who, when, and where of a person’s death. It may be one paragraph, which includes the name of the parents or spouse(s) of the deceased, the children of the deceased, sibling or close relatives of the deceased, place of residence, the Jamatkhana or funeral home where the last rites were carried out and where the deceased was finally laid to rest. This short notice may be followed by a longer tribute at a later date as described in (2) below. The following is an example of a notice:

“[Name of Deceased], author and playwright, died peacefully at home in [city], on [date]. He was the much-loved husband of [spouse name], father of [children], guardian and grandfather. The last rites were held in [name of Jamatkhana] on [date] and he was later buried on [date] at [name and city of cemetery]. Post funeral religious ceremonies were conducted at [name of Jamatkhana]. It was the wish [of the deceased or the deceased family] that monetary contributions in his honour be made to [organization, hospital, cause etc.].”

2. The purpose of the longer tribute will be to celebrate the person’s life. It will start with the same basic information you put in the notice (1, above), and goes on to add details about the person’s life: hometowns, education, jobs, family members, and personal interests and activities. Anecdotes may be included from the person’s life to help family members, readers and future generations to reflect on the life of the individual. The universal tale, as is well-known, lies in specific examples, and for this reason we are inviting you to write a tribute of up to 500 words in length.

For examples of obituaries/tributes please see your local newspaper, click The Globe and Mail. or What to Write. They are excellent resources to assist you in constructing appropriate obituaries.

Submission Rules

The obituary may be for any Ismaili person or a non-Ismaili by marriage or birth to an Ismaili who has passed away recently or at any time in the past.

Each submission must specify your relationship with the deceased person, as well as include your full name, mailing address and the phone number where you may be contacted. Anonymous pieces will not be accepted for publication, although the editor may at his discretion allow author anonymity once the tribute has been approved for publication. Please submit the notice or tribute in Word or PDF format, or include it in your email message. The tribute can be in English or French

Notices and tributes will appear on a cumulative basis, once a month (frequency is subject to change). They should be submitted to with the subject of the email reading “Celebrated life of [name of deceased].” There is no charge whatsoever for this initiative being offered by Simerg. The editor will contact you with the draft copy once the notice or tribute has been finalized for publication. Along with your short notice or tribute, we ask you to submit the celebrated person’s photo. For long tributes, we invite you to submit additional photos which have a direct relevance to the person’s life that you have described. Images should be in JPG format.

Thank you

Malik Merchant


Date updated: February 24, 2020.


Published tributes:

The editor welcomes tributes to the deceased. Please send them to Each submission must carry with it the contributor’s full name, address and phone number where he/she can be reached for authentication purposes. Anonymous submissions will not be acknowledged or replied to.

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