Report compiled by Abdulmalik Merchant
Poem by Shariffa Keshavjee
In a special talika (written message) read out in Ismaili jamatkhanas on Friday, January 13, 2017, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, informed his world-wide community that Princess Salwa gave birth to a baby boy named Sinan in London, England, on January 2, 2017. The Princess is married to Prince Rahim Aga Khan, the 49th Ismaili Imam’s oldest son. The couple was married in a nikah ceremony in September 2013, and their first child Prince Irfan was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on 11 April, 2015.
Prince Rahim has an older sister, Princess Zahra, and two brothers younger than him, Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad.
“Prince Sinan’s birth has brought immense joy to our family,” wrote Mawlana Hazar Imam in the talika, and added that “We are most touched by your kind thoughts and prayers over the period leading to Sinan’s birth.” In the talika, he conveyed his affectionate loving blessings to his followers, whom he addresses as his spiritual children.
Hello magazine reported the birth of Prince Sinan as the world’s first royal baby of 2017!
We rejoice with our thousands of readers around the world on the wonderful news of the birth of Prince Sinan, and join with jamats around the world to congratulate Mawlana Hazar Imam, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa as well as their son Prince Irfan, and all the members of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s and Princess Salwa’s families.
We sincerely hope and pray that the birth of Prince Sinan may bring immense barakah to jamats worldwide. We also pray for Prince Sinan’s long life and wellbeing.
The Meaning of Sinan
Sinan is an Arabic name for boys meaning spearhead. It is derived from the root word S-N-N which is used in the Qur’an. Sinan is pronounced [(SI)mple] + [(NA)p + (N)ew] with emphasis on the second syllable. Wikipedia mentions that the name might also be related to the Ancient Greek name Sinon.
In Ismaili history, the name Sinan is associated with the revered personality of Rashid al-din Sinan, one of the greatest and most valiant of the Syrian Isma’ili da’is of the thirteenth century A.C.
By Shariffa Keshavjee
A miracle, a gift today a child that comes to us
Our bending is of gladness in the archers hand to us
He loves the arrow that flies, the bow so stable for us
The archer sees the mark upon the path for us
Bends it with his might, the arrow goes far for us
The name of Sinan brings the memory of
Aleppo and Masyaf to us
His philosophy as dai forever imprinted on us
The balance of the zahir and batin as it come to us
A reciprocal social relationship of balance within us
Weaving a tapestry of din-dunia
In this our Diamond Jubilee year, your birth bring to us
Great tidings of gladness and joy within us
Our many faceted diamond is aglow for us.
Date posted: Saturday, January 14, 2017.
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A very special day, a very special child.
Beautiful poem Shariffa! So blessed!
I have to agree with Shamim Mulji that it is through Shariffa’s poem that the poignancy of the event comes home to us. I am impressed that Shariffa produced this lyrical piece very next day after the official announcement of the birth through the mubarak talika although as Malik notes the birth took place two weeks ago. What joy Prince Rahim has brought to the house of Ali. I hope Shariffa keeps writing poems through the Diamond Jubilee Year, like diamonds cascading from the heaven onto the weigh scale. Am of the old school of thought but a real diamond jubilee would knock the world down. Just one err though…It is Salamiya that is dear to us Ismailis not Aleppo! In the Ismaili Gnosis site we see many of our Imam’s prior to going over to North America lived and are buried there. Prince Aly Khan chose to be buried there – “Salamiya ke pyaare, himmat wale, tumko lakho salaam”. Unfortunately the 5Gs – after our common great-grandfather Jamal Pradhan – lost it along with burying Gujarati in Gujarat. I mean my youngest sister.
What a beautiful rendition of praise through your poem Shariffa! We are so blessed to be alive and experiencing this glorious Diamond Jubilee and the barakah! I have been seconded to the Aga Khan Academy, Maputo by the Ontario Ministry of Education and thank God each day for this privilege to teach and learn in Mozambique. Thank you for your eloquent poem, and warm regards, Shamim Murji