Utah’s Deseret News – the Historic News Component of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Reflects on Eid ul-Fitr in the Context of its Management’s Visit to the Ismaili Centre Dubai

Ismaili Centre Dubai Photo Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News, Aaron Sherinian
Ismaili Centre Dubai. Please click on photo for article in the Deseret News

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and SimergphotosBarakah

Having lived in Salt Lake City in 1979-80, I would turn to the award winning Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News for my daily and weekend news. Deseret News, the longest-running news organization in Utah, is a subsidiary of the Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

I have often turned to the two papers’ on-line editions to catch up with news on Salt Lake City, my favourite city in the world for two main reasons — the inspiration it gave me to truly appreciate nature and also by the way the city and its people, and especially the professional group of people I worked with, instilled in me a good work ethic and self-confidence during my very early years in the IT field. That along with Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s blessings, have enabled me to cope with life’s ups and downs and everything it has thrown in my way — good as well as challenging — pretty well.

On May 2, while I joyously celebrated Eid ul-Fitr with the Ismaili Muslim community at Calgary’s Westwinds Jamatkhana, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a piece in Deseret News entitled “Breaking the fast: Today is Eid ul-Fitr, an occasion of peace” containing beautiful photos of the Ismaili Centre Dubai. Apparently, Aaron Sherinian, the author of the article along with photographer Jefferey D. Alfred were part of a team from Deseret Management that visited the Ismaili Centre recently. I invite readers to click Ismaili Centre Dubai or on any of the the two photos on this page to view the beautiful photos in the Deseret News.

Ismaili Centre Dubai Photo Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News, Aaron Sherinian
Please click on photo to read article in Utah’s Deseret News. Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

While on the subject of Utah’s newspapers, may I draw the readers’ attention to a piece published on this website on the 48th Ismaili Imam Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah’s historic visit to the USA in 1907. The visit was covered in a number of American newspapers including the Salt Lake Tribune. Please click Historical American Newspapers on His Highness the Aga Khan’s ‘Incognito’ Visit to the USA in 1906-1907 to read the article that was compiled from the archives of historic newspapers at the US Library of Congress.

Date posted: May 3, 2022.

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Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos. Simerg’s editor Malik may be reached at mmerchant@simerg.com

New moon Calgary 2022

Eid Mubarak: Eid ul-Fitr Talika of 2020, and an Exquisite Painting of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan

My spiritual children should always remain mindful that it is the principles of our faith that will bring peace and solace in these times of uncertainty. I am with my Jamat at all times, and each of you, individually, is always in my heart, in my thoughts and in my prayers” — Mawlana Hazar Imam, May 23, 2020

Introduced and prepared by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and SimergphotosBarakah

According to the websites Griffith Observatory and Time and Date, the New Moon that has just marked the end of Ramadan actually occurred on April 30, but as Time and Date mentions the illumination was 0% making the crescent invisible to the naked eye. However, on Sunday, May 1, at the time of writing this post, the illumination has increased to around 1.2%, again making the new moon crescent virtually impossible to see. The moon is scheduled to set at 10:18 pm (Mountain Daylight Time — Calgary), so following this evening’s sunset at around 8:58 pm, I hope to be able to focus my eyes on the sky in the direction 300 WNW, knowing that the crescent moon is there, and that Eid ul-Fitr will be observed by Ismaili Muslims as well as many other Muslim communities in Canada and other parts of the world tomorrow, Monday May 2, 2022.

On this auspicious occasion of Eid ul-Fitr, my family joins me in wishing all our friends and readers of Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos a very joyous Eid, with a very sincere hope and prayer that the uncertainty, wars, and tribulations that the world is facing should come to an end.

On that note, I leave readers with Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s blessings to his spiritual children around the world on the occasion of Eid-u-Fitr on May 23, 2020. As murids of Mawlana Hazar Imam, we should always keep in mind that the Imam’s blessings are with us all the time, and we should seek to constantly remember his words and keep the blessings in our hearts, minds and souls for constant inspiration and happiness, and for courage and strength to cope with difficulties that may come our way. As Mawlana Hazar Imam says in his holy Talika, “I am with my Jamat at all times, and each of you, individually, is always in my heart, in my thoughts and in my prayers.”

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Please click on photo for enlargement

New moon Calgary start of ramadan 2020, simerg
New moon in the sky above the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, April 2, 2022, 09:47 pm, shortly after the month of Ramadan commenced. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Along with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s benevolent blessings, I am pleased to include photos of the crescent moon that I captured in Calgary about a month ago that marked the start of the month of Ramadan. I am also particularly happy to include a photo of a painting of Mawlana Hazar Imam completed earlier this year by Ismaili artist Mobina Marani (Jamani). The painting along with several other pieces of work by the artist were especially submitted for publication in Simerg. Mobina’s beautiful rendition of Mawlana Hazar Imam, below, is based on a portrait taken during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2018. We hope to be able to publish her submissions in the near future.

Mawlana Haza Imam’s Eid ul-Fitr Talika Mubarak to the Worldwide Jamats, May 23, 2020

Please click on photo for enlargement

Aga Khan Mawlana Hazar Imam by Mobina Marani
A rendering of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s portrait by Ismaili artist Mobina Marani (nee Jamani) of Crystal Beach, Ontario. Mobina completed this 13″ x 17″ acrylic painting on composite wood in January 2022.

My beloved spiritual children,

“On the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr, I send my special loving blessings to my Jamats throughout the world for your happiness, peace, safety, and good health. My family joins me in wishing you all Eid Mubarak.

“At this difficult time, I applaud, with the highest admiration and gratefulness, the selfless services of all my Jamati volunteers, as well as the doctors, nurses, paramedics and support workers in the AKDN and other health facilities and related programmes: Their exemplary courage, commitment and dedication in extending care and comfort to my Jamat and others, and especially to those who are vulnerable and sick, is an outstanding actualization of the human values and ethics that all faiths cherish.

“It is my wish that my Jamat should look to the future with hope and courage, in keeping with its age-old tradition of unity, generosity and mutual support which has at all times enabled it to move forward to a position of enhanced strength and resilience, from generation to generation.”

“My spiritual children should always remain mindful that it is the principles of our faith that will bring peace and solace in these times of uncertainty. I am with my Jamat at all times, and each of you, individually, is always in my heart, in my thoughts and in my prayers.

“I send my most affectionate paternal, maternal loving blessings to all my Jamat – for happiness, good health, confidence and security in your lives ahead, and for mushkil-asan.”

Date posted: May 1, 2022.

Please visit our sister website Barakah to read all the Talikas sent by Mawlana Hazar Imam to his Jamats throughout the world and published online during the Covid-19 lockdown https://barakah.com/talikas/.

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Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos. Simerg’s editor Malik may be reached at mmerchant@simerg.com

Photos and Video: A Gift for Eid ul-Fitr – The Birth of 6 Goslings at the Ismaili Centre Toronto on the Blessed Day of Chandraat

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

Editor’s note: Please click Simergphotos for a vastly updated version of this post.

Newly hatched goslings at the Ismaili Centre Toronto. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg. Click on image for enlargement.

The female goose I had photographed so many times in the weeks before I travelled to Vancouver lay on her eggs for around 28 days. No food, no drinks, no wandering around!

She had to find a perfect spot to protect her nest from animals and human interference, and that she did at a shrub just outside the South East wall of the Ismaili Centre. What a strategy — uncomplicated and safe!

A new family. Proud parents with their newly born goslings outside the Ismaili Centre and the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana Toronto. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg. Click on image for enlargement.

The eggs hatched on the morning of Wednesday May 12, as per the security guard who was present at the nesting site when I met him. My plan was to actually go to Edward Gardens for a long walk but instead of travelling straight on Wynford Drive to reach Don Mills Road, I “lost my senses” and ended in the parking lot of the Aga Khan Museum. I couldn’t have been happier, with what I saw and came away with.

I would call it “A Miracle of Life” and it took place at the end of Ramadhan, and on the day of the sighting of the new moon that Ismaili Muslims celebrate as Chandraat as per the wishes of their 48th Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957). He bestowed the night on the Ismailis for the inner peace and happiness it would bring. For me seeing this phenomenon of birth, and looking at the tiny goslings was an incredible and joyous event. I consider it as the most appropriate gift of Eid ul-Fitr. Enjoy the photographs.

The beautiful Aga Khan Museum Building. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg. Click on image for enlargement.
Children play on the courtyard of the Ismaili Centre Toronto. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg. Click on image for enlargement.
The Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana Toronto, an extension of the Ismaili Centre. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg. Click on image for enlargement.
Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
The female goose seen by the shrub at the Ismaili Centre where she nested her eggs for a period of around 28 days. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg.
The mother goose on the nest with her new family of six goslings at the Ismaili Centre Toronto. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg. Click on image for enlargement.
Newly hatched goslings at the Ismaili Centre Toronto. May 12, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simerg. Click on image for enlargement.

VIDEO OF THE NEW FAMILY

To my fellow brothers and sisters in the Ismaili community, I share with you the following message that Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, conveyed to us a year ago on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr:

“It is my wish that my Jamat should look to the future with hope and courage, in keeping with its age-old tradition of unity, generosity and mutual support which has at all times enabled it to move forward to a position of enhanced strength and resilience, from generation to generation.

“My spiritual children should always remain mindful that it is the principles of our faith that will bring peace and solace in these times of uncertainty. I am with my Jamat at all times, and each of you, individually, is always in my heart, in my thoughts and in my prayers.

“I send my most affectionate paternal, maternal loving blessings to all my Jamat – for happiness, good health, confidence and security in your lives ahead, and for mushkil-asan.”

My daughter Nurin joins me in conveying all readers of Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos Eid Mubarak with best wishes and prayers for good health; long lives and success in all walks of life.

Date posted: May 13, 2021.
Last updated: May 14, 2021 (link to updated version of post, click HERE)

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Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

You must watch the 72 hour Shukrana concert on Ismaili.TV – don’t let anything stop you!

by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor,  Simerg, Barakah, and Simergphotos)

I’ve been watching the special Eid ul-Fitr presentation Shukrana since it was launched on Ismaili TV Sunday, May 24 2020, at 2 am! Yes! You are reading the hour correctly. When Saba Rawjani of Ottawa was performing on Sunday, my daughter Nurin was doing her gardening under sunny skies and a temperature of 25c in Ottawa! I urged her to get back and watch Saba (see photo at top of post). What a sweet and charming talent Saba is, and what about the control of her voice! Of course, I have heard her in Ottawa since she was a child, but how much she has grown over the years! Then, on Sunday morning the Syrian performance was incredible. Truly, every performance has been top class! And what about those messages from little children — I’m glad they are repeated every so often. Keep one thing in mind: every composition has been done with the artists’ love for Mawlana Hazar Imam, and in the spirit of ONE JAMAT.

I will review the concert at a later time but in the meantime I simply urge you to leave everything aside, for a few hours everyday, and watch the superb musical talent of the Jamat from every corner of the Ismaili world.

You still have more than 24 hours of continuous watching. What have I been doing during my absolutely essential sleeping time? Take my notebook into my bedroom, lay it on the dresser beside me, with the screen facing my bed! Something or the other nudges me to open my eyes, and I stare at the screen with delight. My ears are always open! I feel rested, and I owe it to delightful voices and instruments of Ismaili artists! What a wonderful intrusion!

WATCH IT, and ask your family members to join you! Sorry, but make the Shukrana viewing mandatory, at least for a few hours of the remaining time that is left! Please click Ismaili.tv.

Date posted: May 25, 2020, 01:05 AM.

Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few.

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Malik Merchant
Malik Merchant of Simerg

Malik Merchant is the founding publisher/editor of Simerg (2009), Barakah (2017) and Simergphotos (2012). A former IT consultant, he now dedicates his time to small family projects and other passionate endeavours such as the publication of this website. He is the eldest son of the Late Alwaez Jehangir Merchant (1928-2018) and Alwaeza Maleksultan Merchant, who both served Ismaili Jamati institutions together for several decades in professional and honorary capacities. His daughter, Nurin Merchant, is a veterinarian. He may be contacted at Simerg@aol.com.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s message and loving blessings to the worldwide Jamat on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr, with translations in 8 languages

The following message in English and all the translations that follow are reproduced from the The Ismaili, the official website of the community. After reading the message, please scroll to the bottom of this post to read our supplication to Mawlana Hazar Imam — it follows the Tajik translation. For another version of this post, please visit our sister website Barakah, which is exclusively dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family.

Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (English)

His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam

My beloved spiritual children,

On the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr, I send my special loving blessings to my Jamats throughout the world for your happiness, peace, safety, and good health. My family joins me in wishing you all Eid Mubarak.

As the Jamati and AKDN institutions continue their collaboration with various governments, public health authorities and other partners in the endeavor to overcome the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like my spiritual children to continue to exercise the utmost rigor in undertaking all personal measures to safeguard your own health, as recommended by the public health authorities and my Institutions.

At this difficult time, I applaud, with the highest admiration and gratefulness, the selfless services of all my Jamati volunteers, as well as the doctors, nurses, paramedics and support workers in the AKDN and other health facilities and related programmes: Their exemplary courage, commitment and dedication in extending care and comfort to my Jamat and others, and especially to those who are vulnerable and sick, is an outstanding actualization of the human values and ethics that all faiths cherish.

It is my wish that my Jamat should look to the future with hope and courage, in keeping with its age-old tradition of unity, generosity and mutual support which has at all times enabled it to move forward to a position of enhanced strength and resilience, from generation to generation.

My spiritual children should always remain mindful that it is the principles of our faith that will bring peace and solace in these times of uncertainty. I am with my Jamat at all times, and each of you, individually, is always in my heart, in my thoughts and in my prayers.

I send my most affectionate paternal, maternal loving blessings to all my Jamat – for happiness, good health, confidence and security in your lives ahead, and for mushkil-asan.

Yours affectionately,

Aga Khan

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (French)

MESSAGE DE MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM


Le 23 Mai 2020,

Mes chers enfants spirituels,

En cette occasion de Eid-ul-Fitr, j’envoie mes bénédictions affectueuses spéciales aux Jamats du monde entier pour votre bonheur, pour la paix, la sécurité et pour une bonne santé. Ma famille se joint à moi pour vous souhaiter à tous Eid Mubarak.

Alors que les Institutions Jamaties et AKDN poursuivent leurs collaborations avec les gouvernements, les autorités de santé publique et d’autres partenaires pour surmonter le défi de la pandémie COVID-19, je voudrais que mes enfants spirituels continuent à appliquer avec la plus grande rigueur toutes les mesures personnelles pour protéger sa santé, en lien avec les recommandations des autorités de santé publique et de mes Institutions.

En ces temps difficiles, je rends hommage, avec ma plus grande admiration et reconnaissance, aux service dévoués de mes volontaires du Jamat, ainsi qu’aux médecins, infirmiers, personnels paramédicaux, et à tous ceux qui travaillent au sein d’AKDN, des autres établissements de santé et des programmes associés. Leur courage exemplaire, leur engagement et leur dévouement pour apporter soins et réconforts au Jamat et en dehors, et plus spécifiquement aux membres vulnérables et malades, sont une représentation exceptionnelle des valeurs humaines et de l’éthique chères à toutes les religions.

C’est mon souhait que mon Jamat regarde vers le futur avec espoir et courage, en gardant sa tradition séculaire d’unité, de générosité et d’entraide, qui nous a permis en tout temps d’accroître notre position de résilience et de force à travers les générations.

Mes enfants spirituels doivent toujours garder à l’esprit que ce sont les principes de notre foi qui nous apporteront la paix et le réconfort en ces temps incertains. Je suis avec mon Jamat en tout temps et, chacun de vous, individuellement, est toujours dans mon cœur, dans mes pensées et dans mes prières.

J’adresse à mon Jamat mes meilleures bénédictions paternelles et maternelles les plus affectueuses – pour le bonheur, pour une bonne santé, pour la confiance et la sécurité dans votre avenir, et pour Mushkil-asan.

Affectueusement,

Aga Khan

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Portuguese)

MENSAGEM DE MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM

23 de maio de 2020

Meus amados filhos espirituais, 

Por ocasião do Eid ul-Fitr, envio as minhas especiais e amorosas bençãos aos meus Jamats por todo o mundo, para a vossa felicidade, paz, segurança e boa saúde. A minha família junta-se a mim para vos desejar, a todos, Eid Mubarak. 

Enquanto as instituições Jamati e as da AKDN continuam a colaborar com os vários governos, autoridades de saúde pública e outros parceiros na tentativa de ultrapassar o desafio da pandemia da COVID-19, gostaria que os meus filhos espirituais continuassem a exercer o máximo rigor na tomada de todas as medidas individuais para salvaguardar a sua própria saúde, tal como recomendado pelas autoridades de saúde pública e pelas minhas Instituições.

Neste período difícil, aplaudo, com a maior admiração e gratidão, os generosos serviços prestados por todos os meus voluntários do Jamat, assim como os prestados pelos médicos, enfermeiros, paramédicos e pelos auxiliares quer na AKDN quer nas outras instituições de saúde e entidades relacionadas: A sua coragem exemplar, compromisso e dedicação na prestação de cuidados e conforto ao meu Jamat e aos outros, e em especial àqueles que são vulneráveis e doentes, é uma afirmação notável dos valores humanos e da ética que todas as fés partilham.

É meu desejo que o meu Jamat olhe para o futuro com esperança e coragem, mantendo a sua longa tradição de união, generosidade e apoio mútuo, que lhe permitiu, em todos os momentos, de geração em geração, seguir em frente para uma posição reforçada de força e resiliência.

Os meus filhos espirituais devem ter sempre em mente que são os princípios da nossa fé que nos trazem paz e consolo nestes tempos de incerteza. Estou com o meu Jamat em todos os momentos, e cada um de vocês, individualmente, está sempre no meu coração, nos meus pensamentos e nas minhas orações.

Envio as minhas mais afetuosas bênçãos paternais e maternais a todo o meu Jamat – para felicidade, boa saúde, confiança e segurança nas vossas vidas futuras, e para mushkil-asan.

Afetuosamente,

Aga Khan

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Farsi)

Aga Khan Eid ul-Fitr Message Farsi
Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Farsi)

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Arabic)

Aga Khan Eid ul-Fitr Message Arabic
Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Arabic)

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Gujarati)

Aga Khan Eid ul-Fitr Message Gujarati
Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Gujarati)

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Russian)

Aga Khan Eid ul-Fitr Message Russian
Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Russian)

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Urdu)

Aga Khan Eid ul-Fitr Message Urdu
Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Urdu)

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Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Tajik)

Aga Khan Eid ul-Fitr Message Tajik
Message from Mawlana Hazar Imam (Tajik)

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Shukrana and Supplication

We submit our humble gratitude to our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam for his blessings to the world wide Jamat on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr

We submit the following supplications from verse 1 of Pir Hasan Kabirdin’s Ginan Sahebe Farman Lakhi Mokalea:

“O brother! Listen, My Lord Ali has written and sent a Farman. The beloved Lord has remembered this servant today with kindness in his heart”

Date posted: May 23, 2020.

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Before departing this website please take a moment to review Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few.

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