BY SHARIFFA KESHAVJEE
This Imamat Day
Is a promise for a thirsty heart
Innumerable will be the facets of the Diamond Jubilee
As we in anticipation await humble of heart
Make us worthy of this blessing
O Mawla a prayer rises from my heart
At the feet of Shah Sultan Mahomed Shah
An innocent babe in naive anticipation
Your guiding light has lit the path
Path eased with access to health education
Let knowledge lead us to sat bhudhi
O Mawla a prayer emanates from my heart
Your protective shade sent light
Throughly the windows of our schools
Your wisdom in wise words led every step
Your vision sent us succour with words of hope
Your guiding hand gave hope after Uganda
A prayer of gratitude leaves my heart
Still you guide us through the bridge of River Panj
Through Syria to the Hindu Kush
From East To the West in every direction
Your helping hand O Mawla opens our heart
This four day life journey is so ephemeral
It is enriched by the Light of
Your Ever-present Noor- e-Ali
Oh Mawla we look towards thee
With empathetic hearts our face turns
To the Alfa and Omega of our life
Your ishara with vision and ‘aql
Enables door upon door to open up for us
To guide us into that which is the qalb
To beckon a prayer from our heart
O Mawla make us worthy of the trust you place
In our actions which often trip
In our words which wisdom oft lack
Keep us balanced in din and dunya
We pray from our heart
O Mawla our hands are raised
All ready to receive the pearls
Of wisdom, vision , love and ever caring hand
We are in intezaar of your
Diamond Faceted Jubilee
A prayer of gratitude leaves my heart
As we await let our zikr lead to fikr
Cleanse our hearts so it may sing
The praise of all human and sentient beings
Our life will be the lighter for
The aid you have given in years before
We beseech in prayer from
Let our intellect understand unity
That we are all from One Soul
Let us internalise this oneness
So that our heart is prepared
In joyful presence to celebrate the Jubillee
A prayer from each heart
Lead us to fana through forgiveness to transcend
So we stand worthy of the many faceted diamond
In word and in deed in intention and action
O Mawla all this so we can raise
Our hands with a prayer from the heart
Our heads are held up high for you are our pride
As we are yours to fly your flag
Up high in all direction proud the world over
O Alfa O Omega the Ever-present
O Mawla we beseech that this
Diamond Faceted Jubillee
Be a diamond of Almas
Is our prayer rendered from the heart
Date posted: July 9, 2016.
Diamond Photo: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Glossary of terms used in the poem:
- Almas – Muslim baby name, also means diamond.
- Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
- din and dunya – sacred and profane, religion and world.
- fana – annihilation of the self.
- fikr -contemplation, deep thought and reflection.
- Imamat Day – the day an Ismaili Imam succeeds as his community’s spiritual leader by the designation (nass) of his predecessor.
- ishara – sign, gesture.
- Mawla – Master. Here the reference is to the current 49th Imam, Mawlana Shah Karim al-Hussaini, His Highness the Aga Khan, whose 60 years of reign will be celebrated on July 11, 2017.
- Noor-e-Ali – Light of Ali (or the Light of Imamat).
- qalb – heart
- sat budh – pure knowledge or understanding of true essence or true nature of things.
- Shah Sultan Mahomed Shah (d. 1957) – the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismailis.
- zikr – remembrance of Allah, form of special devotion.
Sublime. Inspired and most inspiring!
Ismailis in the whole world always look forward to celebrate the Imamat Day of Hazar Imam every year. On this day they find and meet their lost friends and relatives in Jamatkhanas and other festivities. Wish and pray everyone to witness more happy occasions like this. Happy Imamat Day to everyone and thank you Shariffa for this beautiful writeup.