Note: The Lapis event is now over
The Aga Khan Museum has been hosting the annual fund raising LAPIS event for the past few years, with Prince Amyn Muhammad Aga Khan honouring the event by personally attending it. Now due to Covid-19, the signature event has been reinvented with a broadcast from the Aga Khan Museum that everyone is invited to register for free.
The program on Thursday September 24, 2020 will be live streamed at 8 PM ET, and include remarks from Prince Amyn, Chairman of the Aga Khan Museum Board, meaningful conversations with acclaimed international artists on art in a changing world and four breathtaking performances with diverse talent from around the world.
The Aga Khan Museum invites you to join with friends and family from around the world as together it shares a unique message of hope, resilience and light. Please click HERE TO REGISTER.
Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre 6th Anniversary
And while we are on the subject of the Aga Khan Museum, let us remind our readers that September 12, 2020 marked the 6th anniversary of the inauguration of the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, and the then Prime Minister of Canada the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper. The Museum officially opened to the public on September 18, 2014, with the Ismaili Centre Jamatkhana (known as the Toronto Headquarters Jamatkhana) opening to Ismaili community for prayers on Friday, September 19, 2014.
To commemorate the openings of the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre as well as the annual Lapis event, we are delighted to present this thoughtful poem by Farah Tejani of Vancouver.
Celebrating the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre in Toronto
By FARAH TEJANI
Two complementary sister structures of architectural elegance and splendor
Jut out and pierce the heart of Toronto’s sky.
The Aga Khan Museum and
The Ismaili Centre.
United are they for the beneficial purpose of extending a hand
Of Everlasting Friendship,
Between Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.
Uniting the Muslim Ummah,
The World Ummah,
With Cultural and Religious Tolerance and Respect…
Dispelling all deplorable depictions of Islam in the Media,
By propagating the Truth:
Peace, Love, Brotherhood, Compassion, Spirituality and Prayer.
Yes, we extend a hospitable, gracious, loving hand of friendship,
Celebrating Cultural Diversity,
Arts and Artifacts,
Awe-inspiring Calligraphic Designs and Structures,
Tours, Recitals, Exhibitions, Theatre, Films and
Educational and Cultural Activities.
The Ismaili Centre has unique and grand tiled floors
Laced with elaborate, poignant calligraphy,
Upon entering the prayer hall
We begin every act beseeching God to
Bless and Accept
All Our Endeavours.
The Prayer Hall’s distinctive
And elegant Crystalline dome,
Illuminates the night sky,
Reflecting itself into the pond,
While angels come together to lift and carry,
Each and every Murid’s,
Most Earnest and Heartfelt Prayer
To the stars:
Just Outside Allah’s Door.
Comprising one fifth of the world,
We are Muslims…
Yet there is little known of our faith and traditions.
These two buildings will stand side by side like Doves of Peace,
Aiming to bridge the gap and promote Compassion and Understanding,
Welcome, one and all.
Housing Well-Preserved Priceless Works of Art:
Objects and Artifacts,
From the Aga Khan and his Family’s Personal Collection,
The Aga Khan Museum’s Relics will tell of themselves,
For countless years to come.
Tradition and Modernity,
Come and join together to create these Majestic Timeless Landmarks,
For people from all parts of the world to enjoy.
As His Highness the Aga Khan said at the Opening Ceremony:
“We are, after all, a community that WELCOMES THE SMILE!”
With His Grace, many outdated notions of what Islam is
Will be Demystified,
And the Exemplary Fundamental Truths Unveiled
For all to see.
So again we say Welcome…
We extend a hand of Loyal and Loving Friendship,
With Peace, Brotherhood, Unity and Prayer at the Core of Our Existence.
And from the Heart of each and every individual Ismaili,
We welcome you to
Our Wonderful Universal and Timeless Tradition.
Come discover, share and learn.
Date posted: September 29, 2020.
We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click on Leave a comment . Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.
Farah graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in May of 1997 and earned top Honors for her Thesis on Short Fiction. With the help of her agent Barbara Graham she then went on to publish a collection of short stories published by Trafford, called, “Make Your Own Chai, Mama’s Boy!” — ten short stories dealing with different dilemmas South Asians face. Farah also wrote and co-directed her stage play, “Safeway Samosas,” which won “The Best of Brave New Playwrights Award” in July 1995. Her short story , “Too Hot” won third place in the “Canada-Wide Best Short Fiction Award.” and was read at The Vancouver Writers Festival. Currently, Farah is working on Childrens’ stories and a collection of poetry called, “Elastic Embrace” to be published in 2021. Her most recent poetic pieces are Behold the Light of Ali and The Great Sacrifice.
Such a beautiful poem. Very commendable work. Congratulations.
Inspirational and so true; deep meaning.
Bravo to you Farah for writing so many poems; all of your poems are so inspiring and thought provoking. This poem is also one of the best, and its amazingly beautiful. May you be blessed now and always! Ameen
This poem is thought provoking, inspiring and enlightening. It gives meanings to the two architectural wonders and takes one into a state of contemplation that leads to esoteric interpretations of the physical world in which humanity has a common cause of peace, tolerance and respect for diversity. A wonderful peace of literature. Congratulations.
Farah, what an awe-inspiring poem. I will make it a point to learn it and keep it in my heart forever.
Inspiring and illuminating! All the very best in your writing career.
Congratulations Farah. So proud of you. Was glad to have met you once in 2015. Hope you are doing well. Loved your first book too. So much honesty.
Aziz Gilani and Rozmin Janoo.
Congratulations Farah!! A beautiful, illuminating poem that truly characterizes the two stunning iconic buildings!! Keep up the great work!!
Readers have submitted the following feedback following comment received from Prince Rahim Aga Khan on Farah Tejani’s poem:
Amin: Blessings touched these beautiful rose of words – heartfelt Mubaraki to the poet, Ms. Tejani, its ambitious and relentless publisher, Malik, their families for this wonderful news – Shukar and Alhamdullilah.
Sherali Kara: Mubaraki to Farah Tejani for the praise she received from Prince Rahim for her poem.
Yasmin Allibhoy: What a wonderful surprise for Farah from Prince Rahim. My congratulations to Farah Tejani for her poem and you Malik for the amazing work you do. Bravo to both of you.
Shahnaz: Kudos to Farah Tejani for her poem. And congratulations to you too Malik for the work you do. Well deserved.
Shamsah Allibhoy: Mubaraki to Farah for the comment she has received from Prince Rahim for her wonderful poem.
Sophia: Congratulations! How awesome.
Please scroll up to read Farah’s poem, and scroll down to read Prince Rahim’s comment published on September 29, 2020.
Wonderfully expressed and very inspiring.
Farah, I like the lens that you are looking through. Your publications thus far have been inspiring, insightful and enlightening. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. Stay safe stay well.
Mashahallah, Farah. Through you we appreciate the structures even more….finding a deeper understanding in our Imam’s vision. How lucky are we as Ismailis? Thank you Farah for this wonderful gift. May you stay blessed.
[It is with utmost humility that we publish the following comment we have received from Prince Rahim Aga Khan on Ms. Farah Tejani’s poem entitled “Celebrating the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre in Toronto” which accompanied the above post on September 24, 2020; please scroll up to read the poem — Ed.]
Prince Rahim wrote:
“An absolutely beautiful poem. How wonderful and how true.”
Rahim Aga Khan
Excellent. No words to express. All the best.
Bravo Farah ! So proud of you. Keep up the good work.
Dear Farah: It is such a pleasure to read your poems. Please keep up the inspirational work. Dolar🥰🙌🙌🙌👌
Inspiring poem. She is very philosophical and naturally gifted.
Great work! Insightful. Keep it up.
Thanks Farah for such inspiring poem. Please keep it up in sharing your thoughts and knowledge. Looking forward to reading many more of your work. God bless!
So proud of my daughter Farah. May Mawlana Hazar Imam bless her with her writing and publishing more Poems. Shukhar and Ameen.
Looking forward to the Lapis event later today (Thursday, September 24).