Timeless and Inspirational Pieces on Imam Ali: Essays, Art, Ginans, Songs, Stories and Quotes

Over the years, Simerg and its sister websites have published numerous enlightening and reflective pieces on Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him), the first Imam of Shia Muslims, whose birth anniversary falls on the 13th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. The Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle and this translates to February 3, 2023 in the Gregorian calendar. We are pleased to provide the following links to a selection of timeless pieces on the Imam:

Date posted: February 3, 2023.

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REVIEW SIMERG’S TABLE OF CONTENTS AND VISIT ITS SISTER WEBSITES

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

The editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com. 

Ode to the Ismaili Imam of the Present Time, Mawlana Shah Karim, His Highness the Aga Khan

[Ismaili Muslims around the world celebrated the 86th birthday of their 49th Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, on December 13, 2022. The following beautiful ode was submitted in our comments section by France’s Moez Nato as his feedback to Simerg’s article entitled Ismaili Muslims Celebrate 86th Birthday of Mawlana Shah Karim Al Hussaini Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. We feel that the ode deserves a post in its own right and we are pleased to publish it as submitted by Moez, with minor editorial changes related to capitalization and spelling — Ed.]

By MOEZ NATO, France

In the name of Allah the Most Clement, the Most Merciful,

At the first hours of this blessed day of your birthday oh Beloved Khudavind, millions and millions of voices of your murids of your globalized Jamat, will invoke the Grace, the Mercy of Allah so that you have a good health, a long life, a serene family happiness and that all your dear wishes are realized.

And may you always remain this Bright Lighthouse in this world which is going through a deep sanitary crisis, accompanied by climatic disturbances, wars and the noise of boots, socio-economic troubles in a world in full geopolitical changes.

And we will also have, on this happy day, affectionate thoughts filled with gratitude, esteem and sincere recognition for all the members of your Noorani family for their tireless commitment to make radiate throughout the world all your wishes, projects and who present your Jamat, as Muslims Shia Ismaili Imami Nizari responsible, worthy and bearers of values and humanistic projects with universal scope.

On this happy anniversary day, we will renew as your spiritual children bound by the Bayat, our unwavering attachment to your Spiritual Authority. We humbly express our sincere shukranas for your high benevolence, your Hidayats, your Farmans to always protect us, guide us to the right path of Sirat al-Mustaqim and encourage us for the spiritual quest.

With your constant Guidance, O Being of Light, we seek, as murids living a faith of conviction, as ambassadors of Islam, as worthy and responsible dais, to apply the precious precepts of the ethics of our faith. And as you advice us, we never forget to always remember the presence of Allah in our life journey.

And in this troubled world, we seek, thanks to your vision of a contemporary enlightened Islam, to extend these precepts in our daily commitments as loyal, responsible and committed citizens in the pluralist, tolerant and generous civil society.

Good health and long life to our Imam of the Present Time!

Date posted: December 13, 2022.
Last updated: December 17, 2022.

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FEEDBACK

Simerg welcomes your feedback. Please click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

REVIEW SIMERG’S TABLE OF CONTENTS AND VISIT ITS SISTER WEBSITES

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 SimergphotosThe editor may be reached via email at mmerchant@simerg.com.

The Greatest Gift also known as The Season’s Upon Us

By FARAH TEJANI

Winter winds whispering through the near naked trees,
The Season is upon us, feel that crisp familiar breeze.
With no two snowflakes alike, they settle on our faces,
Melting on eyelashes and leaving no traces…

A white blanket of fresh snow falls all around,
Like in a snow globe it always astounds;
We run out to greet it throwing our hands in the air,
So effortlessly it falls and with wonder we share

With loved ones we gather making snow angels and snowmen.
Year after year, we never tire, we do it again and again.
The fresh snow makes everything feel sacred and new,
Our own Winter Wonderland is the spectacle we view.

So gather together as the New Year draws near,
It is a time for resolutions and to make them sincere,
Take note with GRATITUDE, God is blessing you with more time,
Blessed is life’s journey, to waste even a day is a crime.

With this new snowfall, it’s time to clean all the slates,
Forgiveness is Powerful, it can open any gate,
Bear no grudges, this is of no use to you,
It is just more baggage to carry, and it is truthfully undue.

We are granted just this one gift to live here and now,
What you do with this gift is to God what you vow.
Every day when your eyes open, before turning the coffee pot on,
Look in your heart and thank God that you are not gone.

Every single day is a present to be opened with joy,
And doing God’s WORK is a meaningful and righteous employ.
Forget all the spending, the best present you can give,
Is TO LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY FOR AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.

Copyright © Farah Tejani

Date posted: Dec 23, 2021.

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Farah Tejani Ismaili poet and writer
Farah Tejani

Farah Tejani is a creative writer based in Vancouver. She is currently working on Childrens’ stories and a collection of poetry called “Elastic Embrace.” She has been contributing poems and stories for Simerg and its sister website Barakah for the past year. We invite our readers to read some of Farah’s poems by clicking on  Elastic Embrace; The Fragrance of Spring; and The Great Sacrifice. Children will particularly love her heart warming stories Mr. Sneaky Peeky and the Two Red-Tailed Monkeys and Elizabeth the Ladybug and the Lonely Rose.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

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.

Dare to Dream

By FARAH TEJANI

Dare to dream and soar the skies,
Without ever questioning or wondering why;
Life is the canvas and you are the brush,
With so many hues, there is no need to rush.

Discover your gifts and leave no stone unturned,
It’s your time to claim all that you have yearned;
Travel the world, give birth to a precious child,
Dig deep into your soul and let your spirit run wild.

Photograph, sing, write, fly,
Sculpt, dig, explore on high;
Have lunch on the moon or have tea with the Queen
Don’t be left wondering wonder what you could have been.

This world is for living in and living in now,
Those who lose sight will always wonder “how.”
Time stops for no one, so play your best game,
With so many days, make no two the same.

And be prepared for those who will tell you you can’t,
For it is these same people you will truly enchant.
Many are jealous of the gifts we possess,
But it is WITHIN US ALL to find true success

So challenge yourself, there is no time to compete,
To compare yourself to others is quite simply effete.
You’re God’s gifted child, He has plans for you,
So dare to dream, it is time for your debut!

You are the butterfly asleep in the Cocoon,
You must wait for your time, lest it be too soon.
And when the time is right you will no doubt emerge,
With uniquely painted wings and upwards you will surge.

Date posted: November 8, 2021.

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Farah Tejani creative writer Vancouver
Farah Tejani

Farah Tejani is a creative writer based in Vancouver. She is currently working on Childrens’ stories and a collection of poetry called “Elastic Embrace.” She has been contributing poems and stories for Simerg and its sister website Barakah for the past year. We invite our readers to read some of Farah’s poems by clicking on The Fragrance of SpringElastic Embrace; and The Great Sacrifice. Children will particularly love her heart warming stories Mr. Sneaky Peeky and the Two Red-Tailed Monkeys and Elizabeth the Ladybug and the Lonely Rose.

Simerg welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment . Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

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. Please also visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah and Simergphotos.

Jehangir Tejani, Vancouver, Passings, Simerg (d. 2021). Photo: Farah Tejani.

Passings: Jehangir Tejani (1946 – 2021)

Submitted by RASHIDA and FARAH TEJANI, Vancouver

Originally from Uganda, Jehangir and Rashida Tejani together with their two year old daughter Farah immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in August 1970, two years before the Ugandan refugee crisis in 1972. After working in paint sales, Jehangir opened his own business, JR Imports, until his retirement in 2015. Jehangir was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing pool. He loved cooking gourmet meals and entertaining friends and family members, and was regarded as “the life of the party.” He encountered health issues in recent months and was hospitalized. Sadly, he never recovered from his illness, and passed away on May 16, 2021 at the age of 75. His funeral was held in Vancouver on May 21, 2021. 

Jehangir is survived by his wife Rashida, daughter Farah, son Faizal and three grandchildren Donnie, Jayden and Charlize. We pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace. Ameen.

The following poem in Jehangir’s honour was penned by his daughter Farah, a creative writer based in Vancouver.

Much Too Soon To Go

Jehangir Tejani, Vancouver, Passings, Simerg (d. 2021). Photo: Farah Tejani.
Jehangir Tejani (April 8, 1946 – May 16, 2021). Photo: Farah Tejani.

By FARAH TEJANI

Dad, how could you leave us and go so soon,
When there was so much left to do and say? 
All of us were hoping and praying, 
That you would recuperate and stay,

None of us could bare to see the pain you were in 
You, the “King of Laughter”…
But there is some consolation that your Soul’s Journey will begin, 
And finally you will be at ease in the World Hereafter.

You gave generously and rarely said “No”
Your heart was pure gold,
And quite frankly there could be no match
To the gut-busting jokes that you told.

Now here I sit with pain and tears of joy 
This double sided coin ,
Such is life here on this Earth 
We come from Him and with Him we rejoin.

I want to thank you Dad , with my most sincere heart
For the life lessons that you taught me 
And the greatest gift was you father!
Greater than anything you bought me.

Our home was open to many,
And everyone you met became your friend
It is just the way you were…
You are my inspiration and you were my friend.

Oh how many stories you would tell, 
And each one fresh and new, 
It was not difficult to attract an audience, 
Every detail was 100% true

And Dad you were a jack all trades, 
You and Mom always provided, 
Please tell me WHAT COULD YOU NOT DO?
Thank you for how you patiently guided.

********

You and Mom had vision and you wanted to raise us here,
Despite the comforts of Kampala, Uganda…
You took a gamble for sure,
And here me and my brother are grateful citizens of this GREAT LAND
Fearless you both were, I admire your strength and conviction.

Dad, I will call on you from time to time,
Because I know you will hear me, 
I am happy that you are not suffering…
But I will never get over the loss.
I love you, Papa Jan…You will never be far from my heart.

Date posted: June 28, 2021.

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We invite you to submit your condolences, memories and tributes to Jehangir Tejani. To pen your reflection please complete the feedback form below or click on Leave a comment.

Simerg invites Ismaili families to submit obituaries and tributes for deceased members of their families. For guidelines, please click Passings.

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Farah Tejani

Farah Tejani is a creative writer based in Vancouver. She is currently working on Childrens’ stories and a collection of poetry called “Elastic Embrace” to be published later this year. She has contributed numerous poems for Simerg and its sister website Barakah in recent months. Here are links to some of Farah’s poems: The Fragrance of Spring; Elastic Embrace; and The Great Sacrifice.

Aga Khan arrives for award ceremony in Lahore Pakistan

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s References to Simurgh – the Ideal and Perfect King – and Attar’s “Conference of the Birds”; and the Book’s Availability in English

Compiled and introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergBarakah and Simergphotos

Simurgh, Simorg, SIMORGH, Conference of the Birds, Aga Khan Museum, Bellerive, SimergPhotos, Photo of the Day by Afraaz Mulji
The Simurgh ceramic vase at the Aga Khan Museum, Bellerive Room.

In our “Photo of the Day” feature published in Simergphotos on June 2, 2021, musician, author and artist Afraaz Mulji picked out the ceramic object Simurgh as his favourite piece among 60 other ceramic works of art that make up the beautiful Bellerive Room at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum. The collection was gifted by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan’s widow, Princess Catherine, to honour his memory. The Prince (d. 2003) was a consummate collector who formed one of the great collections of art from the Muslim world.

Bellerive Room, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto. Photo: Malik Merchant Simerg Princess Sadruddin and Princess Catherine
Bellerive Room, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Looking through Mawlana Hazar Imam’s speeches, we noted that he had mentioned Simurgh in a dynamic and stirring address that he delivered at the inaugural ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held in Lahore, Pakistan on October 23, 1980.

Article continues below

Aga Khan arrives for award ceremony in Lahore Pakistan
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives for the inaugural ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture held on October 23 1980, in Lahore, Pakistan. Photo: AKDN/Christopher Little.
Aga Khan Award Ceremony AKDN photo Lahore 1980 simerg
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, presents the Aga Khan Award for Architecture to representatives of the Kampung Improvement Programme (KIP) in Jakarta, Indonesia at the first award ceremony held on October 23. 1980, in Lahore, Pakistan. Photo: AKDN/Christopher Little.

Mawlana Hazar Imam said:

“…..as we celebrate the first Awards and open the way for the forthcoming ones, all these challenges (Please read Speech at AKDN) can help us in defining the attitudes we must develop in thinking of the future and the areas of discovery open to us. It is a task we must accomplish together, fully acknowledging our diversities, but knowing, as well, that there is a Straight Path which is that of our Faith.

“Let me close, therefore, by reminding you of Attar’s great poem, the Conference of the Birds, Mantiqat at-Tayr.

“The birds, you will recall, in huge quantities went in search of the Simurgh, the ideal and perfect king. After many tribulations, thirty of them do reach the end of the journey and come to the gate of the Supreme Majesty. The Chamberlain tests them and then opens the door and they sit on the masnad, the seat of the Majesty and Glory. And, as an inner glow came into them, they realised that it is they together who were the Simurgh and that the Simurgh was the thirty birds.

“Is this not what these Awards mean? From the travails and labours of thousands, humble masons or expensive experts, there have emerged those works made by us and for us which we can present as being, all together, as an aggregate, as a group, the statement of our hopes and of our expectations as much as of our achievements.”

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The Conference of the Birds: Selected Works in English


Afkham Darbandi
and
Dick Davis
From left: Front covers of The Conference of the Birds by Davis, Nott, and Sis. Click on links below for pricing and availability. May we note that there are translation by other writers.

1. Attar’s Conference of the Birds by C.S. Nott has been available for more than 60 years in English, with a newer paperback released in 2016. Please check out C.S. Nott Conference of the Birds on Amazon.

2. Penguin Classics published a highly acclaimed translation in English by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis, with an introduction by the latter, in 1984. See Darbandi & Davis Conference of the Birds on Amazon. See also its availability at Chapters-Indigo.

3. More recently Peter Sis, an award winning children’s book writer and illustrator, has offered a beautiful and uplifting adaptation of Attar’s poem which is available in both hardback and paperback formats. See Peter Sis Conference of the Birds on Amazon. See also its availability at Bookoutlet.

Date posted: June 3, 2021.

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We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

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.

May 4, 2021, the 23rd Night of Ramadhan: Laylat al-Qadr Program for Jamats in North America

Ismaili Muslims observe Laylat al-Qadr on the 23rd night of Ramadhan, which falls on Tuesday, May 4, in 2021. Jamati members across North America are cordially invited to participate in a special Laylat al-Qadr program that will be held in three sessions as highlighted in the poster below (click on image for enlargement).

Please also click HERE for the institutional events page, and click on Laylat al-Qadr to read Simerg’s piece on the Night of the First Revelation of the Holy Qur’an.

Laylat al-Qadr programming poster for 2021, May 4, 23rd of Ramadhan
Please click on image for enlargement

Date posted: May 4, 2021.

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The Fragrance of Spring

By FARAH TEJANI

Open your doors and let the honeyed fragrance of Spring,
Enter your household while the seraphic birds sweetly sing,
All life is born again now that the gruelling winter is done,
Raise hands and praise Allah under the melting rays of the sun.

Navroz Mubarak, the New Year begins,
We welcome it with wonder and repent for our sins,
Three hundred million of us over three thousand years,
Jubilantly celebrate with sacred songs and with cheers.

A new chapter to read, a new seed to plant,
For abundance and prosperity a sacred prayer we chant.
On Navroz we strengthen bonds and our families unite,
Exchanging human values, our wishes with foresight.

Envisioning the New Year to bring with it Peace,
And for all calamities and ill health to immediately cease.
We dance and we sing sacred Ginans from our Pirs
Qasidas and Garbis unite and cohere.

In harmony with Nature we must strive to exist,
If not pandemics like COVID-19 will sadly persist,
But if we take it in stride as a hard lesson learned
We will appreciate the respect that Nature truly yearned.

We all share a common fate and must aim to erase,
All discrimination and hatred and truly embrace,
Love, tolerance and respect for all of mankind,
So that cultural diversity will not be undermined.

We pray for global peace and international cooperation
For we are all in the Ummah from nation to nation.
Let nothing divide us and bring us to fight,
Let us instead hold and value for tomorrow is in sight.

What was dead becomes alive, let the festivities begin,
Intricate henna designs are dyed on our skin,
We receive our roji and take our Navroz wishes,
For barakat and abundance and we enjoy festive dishes.

It is that time of year, tulips spring out from the soil
A hearty true effort from a burdensome winter’s toil,
Shadowed they waited for this day to emerge,
Colors in splendour they burst and they surge.

Spring blossoms are shedding their soft petals in few,
The buds are just opening thinly covered in dew,
Moist raindrops with sunlight the perfect combination,
To bring creation forth in a renewing sensation.

Take notice of Kudrat and all the miracles of Mawla,
His Bounty is Ever-Present, Al-Hamdu l’illah.
The Spring breeze whispers through the meadows and the trees,
And there is flitting and buzzing of butterflies and bees.

The animals all awaken from a dazed winter’s sleep,
The goats, the chickens and the sheep,
The horses, the donkeys, the rabbits, and the squirrels,
All the animals arise for the Navroz’ precious pearls.

So arise and awaken to the Navroz, our New Year,
And welcome all customs with good heart and good cheer,
United we stand and divided we fall,
The Ummah prevails and respectfully unites us all.

Date posted: March 18, 2021.

Copyright © Farah Tejani, Vancouver.

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Farah Tejani 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. She has published a collection of short stories “Make Your Own Chai, Mama’s Boy!” 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.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please also read Farah’s previous contributions to Simerg and its sister website Barakah by clicking on the following links:

Mrs. Merchant;
The Light of Ali (in Barakah.com)
The Great Sacrifice
In Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Eyes (in Barakah.com);
Celebrating the Aga Khan Museum;
Mystic Moon; and
A Mother’s Plea, Forest Cries, and Heaven’s Curtain

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.

A Poem in Memory of Mrs. Merchant

Mrs. Merchant

An Ever Burning Flame

By FARAH TEJANI

Like a candle,
In a dark room,
Her light would erase,

Any frown,
Or any pain,
You had on your face.

A gifted teacher,
Full of knowledge,
She’d leave you wanting more.

Her loving arms,
Were always open,
She would never shut her door.

All her students,
Were her children,
Whom she loved with her whole heart.

Not one student,
Could forget her,
Right from the very start.

Her knowledge
Was a mountain,
Everyone wanted to climb.

She imparted
With her wisdom,
Never concerned about the time.

Her bright smile
Filled the hearts,
Of all who came near,

When in her
Holy Presence,
There was never need to fear,

Her faith
Never wavered,
Not once would she question.

The words
Of the Imam
Or his Noble Direction.

Years and years
Of service,
She has given to our Mawla.

Precious, priceless
Memories,
For all of us to store.

With much sadness
Her time to go,
Has left us all with pain,

But if she had words
She’d tell us,

“I am an Ever Burning Flame.

Forget me not,
For I am near,
Closer than you know.

For even though
We leave this earth
We never truly go.

We are with God
Though we may be gone,
And though it is a shame.

You keep me alive
Alive in your heart
An Ever Burning Flame.”

Date posted: February 9, 2021.

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We welcome feedback from our readers. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or click Leave a comment. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Farah Tejani 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. She has published a collection of short stories “Make Your Own Chai, Mama’s Boy!” 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.

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.

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Also see the following 3 related pieces:

Alwaeza Raisaheba Maleksultan Jehangir Merchant (June 9, 1931 – January 21, 2021), age 89. Photo: Shellina Karmali.

Aga Khan Park

Let Storms Beware

Karim H. Karim’s beautiful poem is followed by a brief note from the editor as well as some pictures that he set off to take at Toronto’s Aga Khan Park, shortly after he had been inspired by the poem.

 By KARIM H. KARIM

(Dedicated to all who are sad)

Sweetest are the songs
That we sing in sorrows;
Tears swell in our eyes
Even when joy overflows.

Naïve folk fear the thorns
Where flowers do flourish,
Fresh with hues of hope.

Dawn’s light is nearest
When sadness is darkest,
Sings the black night
In stars’ silent twinkle.

Embrace the aching pain,
Learn to laugh a little
And to comfort others.

Let storms beware
That we are lighting
The lamps of love.

Date posted: October 20, 2020.
Last updated: October 22, 2020.

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(Based on Shankardas Shailendra’s (1923-1966) “Hain Sabse Madhur Wo Geet,” which evokes Percy Shelley’s (1792-1822) line “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of the saddest thought.”)

Karim H. Karim Carleton University
Karim H. Karim

About the author: Karim H. Karim is the Director of the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam and a Professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication.

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Editor’s note: I was truly feeling sad earlier today (October 20), thinking about my daughter and my mother whom I haven’t visited for several months due to Covid-19. I was lonely, and also worried about my health in these uncertain times! My friend Karim H. Karim who is nearly 450 kms from me must have sensed that. I was waiting for another article from him altogether, not a piece dedicated for those who are sad. In my reply to his humble submission, I told him I would review it in a few days time! However, I decided to read it straight away, and his piece truly cheered me up. And in that moment of becoming a lot less sad, I gained some energy and headed to my favourite place! Yes, the Aga Khan Park, with two incredible buildings, the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum around it — gracious gifts from Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan.

Admittedly, I haven’t been to the Park for a number of weeks, passing by it only in my car. The photographs that I took during my visit to the Park, represent my joyous moments, that I owe to Karim’s beautiful rendition. As I walked to the park, I was reminded of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s quote where he says that if one has faith, one may be worried, one may at times feel sad but one will never be unhappy. How true! Enjoy the photos, which were inspired by the poem.

Note: The following photos — and more — can be viewed in larger format at Simerg’s special photo blog. Please click Bidding Farewell to Vibrant Autumn Colours at Aga Khan Park. If you haven’t visited the blog please click Simergphotos for an outstanding collection of photo essays!

The Flag of the Ismaili Imamat
The flag of the Ismaili Imamat by maple trees at the peak of autumn colours. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
A close up of autumn colours on a maple tree at the Aga Khan Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Aga Khan Museum and Aga Khan Park
The Aga Khan Museum building as seen from the edge of the Aga Khan Park at the Wynford Drive bridge over the Don Valley Parkway. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Big Heech Aga Khan Museum
The famous Big Heech sculpture by the north end of the Aga Khan Museum, with maple trees in the background exhibiting their fall colours. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Aga Khan Park
A gorgeous view of the dome of the Ismaili Jamatkhana, with rich autumn colours at the Aga Khan Park adding to the beauty of entire area. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Aga Khan Park Autumn Foliage Malik Merchant
Beautiful trees with rich autumn colours at the Aga Khan Park. To the left and not shown is the dome of the Ismaili Centre. See previous photo. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg
Ismaili Jamatkhana Dome and Aga Khan Park
A close up of the Ismaili Jamatkhana dome with a maple tree rich in autumn colours in the foreground. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Evergreen Brick Works
A view of CN Tower from the Evergreen Brick Works located in the Don River Valley on 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, a 10 minute drive from the Aga Khan Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Red maples Aga Khan Park
A beautiful view of red maple trees lined up at the edge of the Aga Khan Park along Wynford Drive, from the Aga Khan Museum (near end) to the Ismaili Centre. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg
Red Maples Aga Khan Park
Red maples reach the peak of their fall colours at the Aga Khan Park, with a view of the Ismaili Jamatkhana dome at left. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.
Aga Khan Park, Flags of Canada and the Ismaili Imamat
From left to right, flags of the Ismaili Imamat, the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and Canada, with its famous Maple Leaf. Photo: © Malik Merchant / Simerg.

Date posted: October 20, 2020.
Last updated: October 21, 2020 (new link).

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