The Meaning of Irfan, the Name of the New Prince Welcomed by Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa Aga Khan

Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa during their nikah ceremony in September 2013. Photo: TheIsmaili / Gary Otte

Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa during their nikah ceremony in September 2013. Photo: TheIsmaili / Gary Otte

Compiled by Simerg

Following last October’s happy announcement by Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa that that they were expecting their first child, a son named Prince Irfan, was born in Geneva, Switzerland on 11 April, 2015. The couple were married in September 2013 in the grounds of the Château de Bellerive, overlooking the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

An official announcement on the community’s website, http://www.theismaili.org, said that both Princess Salwa and Prince Irfan were in good health. Mawlana Hazar Imam’s special message to the global Jamat on this occasion expressed the great happiness of both his as well as the family of Princess Salwa. Jamats around the world received the news of Prince Irfan’s birth with immense joy and traditional celebrations.

The Meaning of Irfan

Irfan is an indirect Qur’anic name for boys. Irfan means “wisdom”, or more correctly, Wisdom with a capital W. It refers to all that is good and true of thoughts and deeds. It is derived from the Ain-R-F root (to know, to recognize), which is used in many places in the Holy Qu’ran, [1] as in the following verse:

Transliteration:

Wa Jā’a ‘Ikhwatu Yūsufa Fadakhalū `Alayhi Fa`arafahum Wa Hum Lahu Munkirūna — Sura Yusuf, Chapter 12, Verse 58

Translation:

And the brethren of Joseph came, and entered unto him, and he knew them, but they knew him not — Holy Qur’an, 12:15, translation by A.J. Arberry.

The Term Irfan in Islamic Mysticism

The term ‘irfan (gnosis), which literally meaning knowledge, is widely applied in Islamic mysticism. In the mystical context, like another term in the same family, mari’fa, which is also translated as gnosis, the knowledge is of certain kind which can be achieved neither through the senses nor experience, nor through reason nor narration, but rather is acquired by inner witnessings and interior unveilings. [2] It is that knowledge that unites man with God after penetrating and transforming him completely.

The famous prayer of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) sums up the end toward which the gnostic strives with all his mind, soul and body:

“O God, deliver us from preoccupations with worldly vanities and show us the nature of things ‘as they really are’. Remove from our eyes the veil of ignorance, and show us things as they really are…Deliver us from ourselves, and accord us intimate knowledge of Thee.” [3]

We rejoice with our thousands of  readers around the world on the wonderful news of the birth of Prince Irfan, and join with jamats around the world to congratulate Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Rahim, Princess Salwa and their families, with prayers for Prince Irfan’s long life and well being.

We also sincerely hope and pray that the birth of Prince Irfan may bring immense barakah and peace to jamats worldwide.

We encourage readers to express their wishes and thoughts on the birth of Prince Irfan by clicking on Leave a comment or scrolling down to the comments box below.

Date posted: Friday, April 17, 2015.
Last updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

____________________

This compiled piece contains excerpts from the following sources:

[1] http://quranicnames.com/irfan/
[2] http://www.alseraj.net/
[3] http://www.allamaiqbal.com/publications/journals/review/apr89/7.htm

See also:

A Nikah in the Noorani Family: Prince Rahim Aga Khan Weds Ms. Kendra Salwa Spears by Navyn Naran

20 thoughts on “The Meaning of Irfan, the Name of the New Prince Welcomed by Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Princess Salwa Aga Khan

  1. Irfan is a great blessing. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an He made the whole humanity out of one soul. Blessings of God be upon the Noorani Family.

  2. Congratulations and good wishes to Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Rahim, Princess Salwa and Noorani family on the occasion of Prince Irfan’s birth May Allah bless the prince with good health, happiness and peaceful life with spirituality. Ameen.

  3. Heartiest Mubaraki to Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Noorani family. Hazar Imam has become dada jan to his grandson Prince Irfan, born to Prince Rahim and Princess Shalwa. Rejoice all the Ismailis world wide.
    Noorally Moosa,
    Dallas, TX, U.S.A.

  4. Congratulations to Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Noorani family and the Worldwide Jamat on the occasion of the birth of Prince Irfan.

  5. Warmest congratulations to Mawla Hazar Imam and to the Noorani family as well as to Ismailis over the World. I pray for Prince Irfan’s good health and long life, and may he brings lots of happiness and barakat.

  6. Congratulations to Mawlana Hazar Imam, the Noorani family and the Jamat worldwide on the occasion of the birth of Prince Irfan.

  7. My sincere congratulations on the occasion of Prince Irfan’s birth. May his life be full of barakah. Congratulations to the jamaat all over the world!

  8. May Allah shower His choicest blessings on Prince Irfan and his parents Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa. Ameen

  9. Beautiful name, Irfan : ” Wisdom/Gnosis” ! Heartiest Mubaraki to Mawla and Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa and entire family on the auspicious occasion of Prince Irfan’s birth. We all collectively pray for Allah to grant him health, happiness in his life, and Barakaat! Ameen.

  10. Mubaraki to Mowlana Hazar Imam, Noorani family and Ismaili jamat all over the world on the birth of Prince Irfan.

  11. Heartiest Congratulations to Hazar Imam and the Noorani Family as well as Ismailis all over the world on the occasion Of Prince Irfan’s birth.

  12. Congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of Prince Irfan’s birth to Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Rahim, Princess Salwa and Hazar Imam’s family. May Allah bless the prince with good health, happiness and peaceful life with spirituality. Ameen.

  13. Heartiest congratulations to Hazar Imam and Noorani family, and all the Ismailis all over the world on the occasion of Prince Irfan’s birth.

  14. Heartiest congratulation to Maulana Hazir Imam and family, and Ismaili Jamat all over the world on the occasion of Prince Irfan’s birth.

  15. Mubaraki to Mowlana Hazar Imam, Noorani family and Ismaili jamat all over the world for the birth of Prince Irfan.

  16. Thank you Malik for this research as a lot of us come across individuals with this name but with lack of knowledge of Arabic and most of all of Qur’an it just becomes another Muslim name! May you continue to enlighten us, Ameen.

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