Chapter Five of Nasir-i Khusraw’s Wajh-i Din: The Gateway and Key to Paradise by Rukhsana Ali

“By the generosity of the Imam of the time, we say that Paradise in truth is the Intellect, and the Gateway of paradise is the Prophet (peace and salutation be upon him) during his time, and his wasi, his rank, and the Imam of the time during his age. The Key to the gateway of paradise is the utterance of the phrase, La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadan rasul Allah.”

Please click:  Pir Nasir-i Khusraw on the Gateway and Key to Paradise

This statue of the Ismaili da’i and intellectual giant Nasir Khusraw stands in his memory in Badakhshan. Please click for article.

A Story from ‘Pyara Imam ni Pyari Wato’: Historical Memories by Sairab Abuturabi and Jaferali Bhalwani

Loving Tales of our Beloved Imams: (I) Farazdaq’s Praise and Support of Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.)

“…This tale belongs to ages past. It goes back to the era of Hazrat Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.), our third Imam, from whose veins was to ensue the Divine Line of the Imams. He was the Imam who, on the battlefield of Karbala, received the nass of Imamat from his father, Hazrat Imam Hussain (a.s.) with the blessing: “Through you the line of Imamat will continue till the Day of Judgment…”

Please click for story

An Interview on Nasir Khusraw: Australian Broadcaster in Conversation with Alice Hunsberger

Rachael Kohn: Hello, this is “The Ark”, and I am Rachael Kohn. A thousand years ago a Persian poet defied the conventions of the day. His name was Nasir Khusraw, an Ismaili Muslim, a branch of Shi’a Islam. Instead of lavishing praise on the sultan or his horse, he praised learning and spiritual purity…..Click to read the Australian broadcaster’s interview with Nasir Khusraw specialist Alice Hunsberger

A statue of the famous Ismaili dai Nasir Khusraw in Badakhshan. Please click on image for interview.

A statue of the famous Ismaili dai Nasir Khusraw in Badakhshan. Please click on image for interview.

Lessons from Ismaili History

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

Abdulmalik Merchant,  Publisher-Editor, Simerg. Click photo for profile.

Abdulmalik Merchant, Publisher-Editor, Simerg. Click photo for profile.

To mark Simerg’s 3rd anniversary, a special series “Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures” was launched  because I have felt that learning about outstanding Ismaili figures can help us to make better decisions as members or leaders of the community to which we belong, and instill in us greater sense of responsibility when dealing with community success stories, issues and challenges as well as personal disappointments and setbacks. Fourteen different individuals have contributed to the series so far and their thank you letters to numerous individuals covering 1400 years of history are a must read. Please click on 14 Inspirational Thank You Letters to Remarkable Ismaili Historical Figures and take your time to read each thank you letter over the next few days or weeks. I am sure you will be enlightened by these letters to Prince Amyn, Prince Sadruddin, Pir Sabzali, Ismaili philosophers and other historical figures.

Please click on image to download series "I Wish I'd Been There"

Please click on image to download series “I Wish I’d Been There”

In the same vein as “Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures”, Simerg had earlier presented a series called “I Wish I’d Been There” in which 31 writers from different backgrounds took an incident in Ismaili History and briefly described why they would have liked to have been a witness to an iconic moment of their choice.

From the historical period of Prophet Muhammad, Hazrat Ali and Imam Hussein to Imam Mahdi’s unveiling at Sijilmasa in today’s Morocco to the burning of the library in Alamut as well as the more recent history covering the periods of Tharia Topan and Ismail Gangji, this rich series deserves to be read. The 121 page PDF publication can be quickly downloaded by clicking on I Wish I’d Been There Series – PDF or the series articles can be  individually accessed by clicking on I Wish I’d Been There.

Both the series are engaging, informative as well as inspiring, and we are sure readers will wish to share them with their family members and friends.

Date posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014.

14 Inspirational Thank You Letters to Remarkable Ismaili Historical Figures

Jehangir Merchant’s Thank You Letter to the Fatimid Ismaili Icon, Da’i Al-Mu’ayyad al-Shirazi by Jehangir A. Merchant (Canada)

Please click for letter
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Jalaledin Ebrahim’s Gratitude to Amira Dharrab, Abu Najm Sarraj and Hasan-i-Sabbah by Jalaledin Ebrahim (USA)

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Khalil Andani’s Thank You Letter to the School of Isma‘ili Philosophers by Khalil Andani (USA/Canada)

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Navyn Naran’s Ode to Pir Hasan Kabirdin – the Author of Anant Akhado and the Nav Chugga

A Thank You Letter Inspired by Prince Amyn Mohammad Aga Khan’s Exceptional Service to the Imamat by Azeem Maherali (USA)

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Vali Jamal’s Thank You Letter to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan: The 1972 Expulsion of Asians from Uganda by Vali Jamal (Uganda)

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Salim Kanji’s Thank You Letter to Three Ismaili Pioneers in East Africa by Salim Kanji (Canada)

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Zarina Moosa’s Thank You Letter to Lady Ali Shah Through the Voice of Her Son, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III by Zarina Moosa (Canada)

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Reminiscences of Two Great Ismaili Missionaries, Pir Sabzali and Meghji Missionary by Izat Velji (Canada)

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Ameer Janmohamed’s Thank You Letter to Pir Sabzali and the Ismaili Pirs of the Ginanic Tradition by Ameer Janmohamed (UK)

Please click for “Thank You” Letter to Pir Sabzali

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Hatim Mahamid’s Thank You Letter to the IIS by Hatim Mahamid (Israel)

Please click on image to read complete “Thank You” letter.

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A “Thank You” Letter to the Person of the Institution of Imamat by Aziz Kurwa (UK)

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A Thank You Letter to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan – “A Man of Multiple Visions” by Mohezin Tejani (Thailand)

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A “Thank You” Letter to the Makers of the Blue Qur’an by Andrew Kosorok (USA)

Please click for thank you letter. Image: Simerg.com.

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Has anyone in Ismaili history from the earliest times to the modern period inspired you and left an indelible mark on your life? How would you thank that one individual and what would you say in your letter to the person or groups of persons? We invite your contributions for this on-going imaginative series which began during this blog’s 3rd anniversary.

Please send your contribution to Simerg@aol.com, Subject: “Thank You Series.” All contributors will be contacted before their letters are published. Contributors must include their full name, address and phone number, and accompany their information with a brief profile and, optionally, a photo.

Date posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

His Highness the Aga Khan III: Historic First Landings in East Africa in 1899 and the USA in 1906

The Old Boma where His Highness the Aga Khan was received with great honours by the Chief of the District, Surgeon-Major Gaertner, and all the Europeans, among them the author of the article. Please click on image to read both the East Africa and USA accounts.

The Old Boma where His Highness the Aga Khan was received with great honours by the Chief of the District, Surgeon-Major Gaertner, and all the Europeans, among them the author of the article. Please click on image to read accounts of both the East Africa and USA visits.

“….The enthusiasm and veneration for His Highness at his arrival [in Bagamoyo] as well as during his whole stay was tremendous and will linger in the memories of all who, like me, had the honour to be present” — Otto Mahnke…Read More

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Clip of page from the Washington Herald dated January 27, 1907 containing article on His Highness the Aga Khan. Please click on image to read accounts of both USA and East Africa visits.

Clip of page from the Washington Herald dated January 27, 1907 containing article on His Highness the Aga Khan. Please click on image to read accounts of both USA and East Africa visits.

“The Pope and the Dalai Lama of Tibet are great spiritual chiefs, but in them the principle of inheritance is absent” — The Washington Herald, 1907…Read More

Unique Moments from the Extraordinary Life of His Highness the Aga Khan III – the Beloved 48th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims

“On 2nd November, 1877 my beloved grandfather was born here in Karachi. Through 72 years of Imamat, he guided his spiritual children to happiness and prosperity….Many many memories come to our minds as we think of him. He achieved in his life, for our community that which could only have been accomplished normally in a period of many generations. The tributes that the world has paid him bear honest testimony to his great life and work” — His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, 49th Ismaili Imam

The late 48th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, seated on a wheelchair with members of his family with his successor, the present Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan, standing at extreme right. Others in the photo (l to r), grandson Prince Amyn Muhammad ,and the late Imams two sons, the late Prince Sadruddin and Prince Aly Khan, who is seen holding his daughter Princes Yasmin Aga Khan Photo: Zul Khoja Collection, Ottawa.

The 48th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877 – 1957), seated on a wheelchair with members of his family with his successor, the present Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan, standing at extreme right. Others in the photo (l to r), grandson Prince Amyn Muhammad , and the 48th Imam’s  two sons, the late Prince Sadruddin and Prince Aly Khan who is seen holding his daughter Princes Yasmin Aga Khan. Photo: Zul Khoja Collection, Ottawa.

November 2, 2014 marks the 137th birth anniversary of the 48th Ismaili Imam, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III. Born in Karachi in 1877, he assumed the reign of Imamat at the age of seven, and ruled the Ismailis  for 72 years, becoming the community’s longest-serving Imam. He passed away on July 11, 1957, and willed that the mantle of Imamat should pass to his grandson, the present 49th Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.

We are pleased to provide our readers with links to diverse articles, stories and photo essays related to the beloved 48th Imam, who has been described in one of the pieces as the Imam of the Socio-Economic Revolution. Please click on the following selections:

BIOGRAPHY, DECORATIONS, IMAM’S WRITINGS AND TRIBUTES

His Highness the Aga Khan III,  48th Imam of Shia Imami Ismailis, in full regalia. Photo: Jehangir Merchant Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan III, 48th Imam of Shia Imami Ismailis, in full regalia. Photo: Jehangir Merchant Collection.

1. Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah – An Astonishing and Extraordinary Personality

2. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – Successor and a Son Reflect on Accomplishments of the 48th Ismaili Imam

3. Titles, Decorations and Honours Conferred on 48th Ismaili Imam; 72 Year Reign Spanned Six British Monarchs and Seventeen PM’s

4. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – The Road to Happiness and The Concept of Life

5. “Work No Words” by His Highness the Aga Khan, and Other Rare Ismaili Historical Quotes on Service

6. His Highness the Aga Khan’s “Never-To-Be-Forgotten” Message to Ismaili Youth – “Keep Clean Soul in a Clean Body”

7. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – Long Reign Ends

8. Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III: The Face of Imamat 

9. The Memoirs of Aga Khan – World Enough and Time: A Translator’s Voice

ANECDOTES

The late Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III pictured with Badrudin Adatia. Recalls Adatia: "I wanted to take picture of him with us and I asked his permission. The room was dim, however, and I didn’t have a flash on my camera. Although he was very sick and could not even walk, he told me he would head toward the window where there would be better light. Imagine! I clasped my hands with respect and said, “No Khudavind. I will take the picture just as we are.” Photo: Badrudin Adatia collection.

The late Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III pictured with Badrudin Adatia. Recalls Adatia: “I wanted to take picture of him with us and I asked his permission. The room was dim, however, and I didn’t have a flash on my camera. Although he was very sick and could not even walk, he told me he would head toward the window where there would be better light. Imagine! I clasped my hands with respect and said, “No Khudavind. I will take the picture just as we are.” Photo: Badrudin Adatia collection.

10. I Wish I’d Been There: A Unique Moment in the Life of the Punjab Jamat

11. Yakimour 1954: A Golden Moment for an Aspiring Student – An Audience with the 48th Ismaili Imam, Aga Khan

12. “Mawla Fulfilled My Wish”

13. On Meeting the Noorani Family – My Voyage to Europe

14. An Ismaili Youth’s Rare Moment With Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah

EXTRA ORDINARY VISITS AND THE JUBILEES

His Highness the Aga Khan at a reception by the Ismaili community in South Africa.

His Highness the Aga Khan at a reception by the Ismaili community in South Africa.

15. Lakhpaty’s Intriguing Poster for 48th Ismaili Imam’s Diamond Jubilee Shows Artistic Ingenuity

16. Imam’s Message in South Africa Addressed Artificial Barriers, Unity, Education for All, and Damaging Social Habits

17. Photo Essay: The Historical Jubilees of His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957), the Imam of the Socio-Economic Revolution

18. World Renowned Photographer Sarite Sanders Portrays Mysterious Radiance of a Fatimid Tomb and the Elegance of the Aga Khan Mausoleum

19. When His Highness the Aga Khan III First Visited East Africa and the USA

DEDICATION TO ISLAM AND THE MUSLIM WORLD

A group comprising doctors, health and public officials gathered on a street in Bombay about to begin the day's work, during an outbreak of plague. Photo Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images. Copyright.

A group comprising doctors, health and public officials gathered on a street in Bombay about to begin the day’s work, during an outbreak of plague. Photo Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Copyright.

20. His Highness the Aga Khan and the Bubonic Plague of 1897: How the Ismaili Imam’s Courage and Leadership Saved Countless Lives

21. Hazrat Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – A “Mendicant” Who Transformed a Dream into Reality and Stirred the Soul of a Bitter Critic

22. Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – A Muslim’s Analysis of Lessons that Can be Learnt from the 48th Ismaili Imam

Date post updated: Saturday, November 1, 2014.

Simerg’s Historical Thank You Series – Prince Sadruddin, Prince Amyn, Pir Sabzali, Hasan-i-Sabbah and Others

SIMERG INVITES YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THIS CONTINUING SERIES

“A very beautiful tribute to Prince Sadruddin”

“Thank you for sharing this wonderful insight into the life of Prince Amyn Aga Khan”

Simerg Special Thank You Series: A Thank You Letter to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan from Mohezin Tejani

“Great piece with lots of invaluable historical information” 

“MashaAllah, it really raised my emotion and my spirit” 

These are a few of the many comments we have received for Simerg’s series Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures. We invite your contribution. The series so far:

Series details at Thanking Ismaili Historical Figures

Heart to Heart – A Thank You Letter from Jehangir A. Merchant to 11th c. Iconic Ismaili Da’i, Al-Mu’ayyad al-Shirazi

“….More than perhaps any other murid’s example in our history, your life is one which clearly illustrates that while serving the Imam presents formidable challenges, it also offers bountiful rewards in the form of spiritual barakah. I will say from the depth of my heart that it is by your noble example that I have been inspired to serve the Jamat and the Imam of the Time with a strong will….” — an excerpt from Alwaez Jehangir’s letter.

Please click for letter

Please click for letter

To read the complete (uplifting) letter, please click on above image or Jehangir Merchant’s Thank You Letter to the Fatimid Ismaili Icon, Da’i Al-Mu’ayyad al-Shirazi

A Story from ‘Pyara Imam ni Pyari Wato’: Historical Memories by Sairab Abuturabi and Jaferali Bhalwani

Loving Tales of our Beloved Imams: (I) Farazdaq’s Praise and Support of Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.)

“…This tale belongs to ages past. It goes back to the era of Hazrat Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.), our third Imam, from whose veins was to ensue the Divine Line of the Imams. He was the Imam who, on the battlefield of Karbala, received the nass of Imamat from his father, Hazrat Imam Hussain (a.s.) with the blessing: “Through you the line of Imamat will continue till the Day of Judgment…”

Please click for story