His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), became 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims at the age of 20 on 11 July, 1957 following the death of his grandfather, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III (2 November, 1877 – 11 July, 1957).
Since his youth, His Highness has guided the spiritual growth of his followers and worked tirelessly for their material welfare and progress. He has articulated that education, self-help, unity, character and generosity as well as the ethic of keeping a balance between the spiritual (din) and temporal (dunya) are the elements which keep a community vibrant and healthy and lead to enlightenment and dignity.
The Aga Khan has described his mission as encompassing not only the interpretation of matters of faith, but also the economic, social, and cultural environments. This engagement, grounded in the ethics of Islam, has led to initiatives by him that, over the past five decades, has led to the improvement, well-being and dignity of human beings in some of the world’s poorest, most deprived and most diverse communities regardless of faith, origin or gender.
This series will try to tell the story of His Highness the Aga Khan and the Ismaili community by presenting the grand panorama of the 49th Imam through a collection of compact, lucid, incisive and authoritative articles. It is sincerely hoped that our greatest asset, the readers, will play their part by submitting anecdotes and photographs to make this a unique series. Please email your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject “Aga Khan IV Series.”
This page has not been updated for a considerable length of time. We recommend that you visit SIMERG’S TABLE OF CONTENTS for a complete and most current list of articles on this website. Also, please visit Barakah, our sister website dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family as well as the Ismaili Imamat.
“We are a long way from the democratization of nuclear energy. Maybe I’m naïve but I advocate another approach, which I call “positive proliferation.” The positive proliferation that I would dearly love to see happen is based on a simple principle: yes to energy, no to arms.”