A Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan on His 75th Birthday – Part II

“The authority of the Imam in the Ismaili Tariqah is testified by Bay‘ah by the murid to the Imam which is the act of acceptance by the murid of the permanent spiritual bond between the Imam and the murid. This allegiance unites all Ismaili Muslims worldwide in their loyalty, devotion and obedience to the Imam within the Islamic concept of universal brotherhood. It is distinct from the allegiance of the individual murid to his land of abode”….from the Preamble of the Ismaili Constitution

A portrait of His Highness the Aga Khan taken in Pakistan in 1976. Photo: Ilm Supplement, 1976

 “It is the desire and Hidāyat of Mawlana Hazar Imam that the constitutions presently applicable to the Ismaili Muslims in different countries be superseded and that the Ismaili Muslims worldwide be given this constitution in order better to secure their peace and unity, religious and social welfare, to foster fruitful collaboration between different peoples, to optimise the use of resources, and to enable the Ismaili Muslims to make a valid and meaningful contribution to the improvement of the quality of life of the Ummah and the societies in which they live”….from the Preamble of the Ismaili Constitution

His Highness the Aga Khan's historic first visit to Badakhshan in May 1995.


Happy Young Faces 

Shazia' Ayn, right, and her friend, Soraiya, feeling the joy of the Golden Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan. Photo: Karim Lalani.

The Youth


“I have always urged Ismailis to be loyal to their countries where they live and to whatever Government is responsible for their security and their well-being”…His Highness the Aga Khan, Dar-es-Salaam, November 21, 1982

A portrait of an Ismaili soldier, Nizar Ahmed Mahmed, who died as the ship he was travelling on sunk off the coast of Mozambique around the year 1960. Photo: Jehangir Merchant collection.

High Achievers

“I hope that this new and young Jamat in the United States, and the new and young Jamat in Canada, and the slightly less new and slightly less young Jamat in the United Kingdom and Western Europe will succeed in maintaining this tradition [of voluntary service], strengthening it and making it available to the Jamat around the world – not only the traditional service but that, that traditional service should grow, that which is strong and that which is desirable from Western society, from western technology and from western know-how”….His Highness the Aga Khan, quoted in The American Ismaili/Roshni, 1983 special issue

Ismaili youth – the ISTAR finalists from across Canada pictured in Calgary during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of His Highness the Aga Khan.

The Elders

“And for those of you who are old and who say: ‘I am too old to do this now’, remember that you are never too old, never too old; that so long as you are alive every day is a day that must be lived and in that day you must fulfill your responsibilities to the best of your ability.” Farman Mubarak, Mumbai, November 27, 1973, published by the Ismailia Association for the UK.  

An old Ismaili woman in seen husking in the mountainous region of Central Asia. Women are said to do as much agricultural work as men. Photo: Henry Dallal.

 The Noble Volunteers

“Sometimes people who are not members of the Jamat ask me where the strength of the Jamat comes from and it is very difficult for me to explain to them that the strength of the Jamat, in many ways, comes from this spirit of brotherhood, the spirit of service, the spirit of concern for people of the same faith, the same family”…His Highness the Aga Khan, quoted in The American Ismaili/Roshni, 1983 special issue

“I asked him (His Highness) how he kept his focus and energy. He replied that he surrounded himself with people who were very good at what they do and also many dedicated volunteers. He said he was inspired every day by their efforts and devotion to excellence”….Maria Cook, Ottawa Citizen, in an interview with Simerg’s editor

Centre group - Ottawa Ismaili Junior volunteers with their mentor; Two insets - Ismaili volunteers serving as part of the welcoming team to receive out-ot-town Ismailis at the Toronto Pearson International Airport during the Golden Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan.


The Imam’s Aspirations and a Leader’s Reflection

“Here assembled this evening are people whose parents I have worked with, whose children I am working with, lnshallah, whose grandchildren I will work with. And, I think it is appropriate that I should express, in my office as Imam, my happiness and my gratitude, my pride, in working with such eminent leadership, with leadership which is committed to honorary service taken out of their daily lives which requires of them hard work, commitment to their families but on top of that they have found the time in the past, find the time today, Inshallah, will continue to find the time in the future, to serve the Jamat around the world….His Highness the Aga Khan, quoted in The American Ismaili/Roshni, 1983 special issue.

His Highness the Aga Khan and the Late Diwan Sir Eboo Pirbhai share a moment in Los Angeles, USA, in 1983.

 “I am deeply moved that the Councils in the United States wish to present a token gift to me, and even more moved that Mawlana Hazar Imam has graciously consented to award the token on this happy occasion of his Silver Jubilee Visit to New York. Khudavind, I consider this singular honor as yet another sign of the millions of mercies which you have showered upon me, and I submit to you my humble gratitude.  I can only say that it is a rare privilege to be blessed with the opportunity of serving the Imam and the Jamat. Having been so blessed, I consider that what little I have been able to achieve has been no more than what any member of the Jamat would have done. Each one of us is only an instrument of the will and guidance of Mawlana Hazar lmam, and our duty and responsibility is to fulfill his wishes to the best of our abilities”….Diwan Sir Eboo Pirbhai, quoted in The American Ismaili/Roshni, 1983 special issue


A portrait of His Highness the Aga Khan. Photo: Jehangir Merchant collection.


The Aga Khan showing immense delight of gift of trinite presented to him during his visit to the Health Research Laboratory in Las Alamos, California, in November 1959.


May 1958 - His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Ismaili Imam, seen waving from a plane as he departs Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique. Photo: Jehangir Merchant collection

This phenomenal lapis lazuli mosaic portrait of His Highness the Aga Khan at the Ismaili Centre in London was done by the late Pakistani Ismaili artist Gulgee. Photo: Ismailimail.


"The Good One", Mixed Media, Oil on Canvas (Original Size 48" x 36"), print of original Bernard Sarfran oil painting of the Aga Khan transposed onto canvas. Sides of canvas carry the attributes "The Generous", "Light", "The Majestic" and "One who is Good" in either a West African Script or Arabic. Painting by Hawa, 2004, private collection

The Founder of the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, in the Chancellor's Robe


His Highness the Aga Khan pictured with Ismaili leaders at the Toronto International Centre as he celebrates his 42nd birthday with a cake in front of a large gathering of Ismailis during his visit to Toronto, Canada, in November 1978. The 49th Shia Ismaili Imam was on the final leg of his first tour to Canada since the Ismailis’ large scale settlement in the country during the early 1970′s.

Date posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011.
Date updated: Thursday, December 15, 2011 (new portrait)

MORE…Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan – Part III
A Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan – Part I 


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4 thoughts on “A Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan on His 75th Birthday – Part II

  1. A very beautiful tribute to our beloved Mowlana Hazar Imam on His 75th birthday. Mubarakis to all my Ismaili brothrens all over the world. Me and my family are also extremely fortunate to have been born in this perfect faith and pray too, to remain so until our last breath, ameen

  2. Beautiful tribute and equally befitting comments by our Ismaili brethren; keep up the excellent work. Feel extremely fortunate to have been born in this perfect faith and pray to remain so until the final breath.

  3. A beautiful collection of pictures and inspiring excerpts. Mubaraki Simerg and continue your seva. Mowla bless you always!
    Rashida Kanji

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