Life – An Exalted Destiny – Aga Khan III

Life - An Exalted Destiny - Aga Khan III Life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can, but a lofty and exalted destiny.

Aga Khan’s 76th Birthday — December 13, 2012

Mowlana Hazar Imam’s 76th Birthday – Khushiali Mubarak! Salgirah Mubarak! (Birthday Blessings!) — December 13, 2012

His Highness the Aga Khan Mowlana Hazar Imam
His Highness the Aga Khan Mowlana Hazar Imam – Spiritual Leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims
Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali!
Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali!
Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali!
Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali!
Ali Ali Ali Ali Ali!
The first Imam Hazrat Ali was appointed as as his successor by Prophet Muhammad at Ghadir e Khumm when he declared:
He of whomever I am the Master-Lord Mowla, Ali is his Master-Lord Mowla! Imam Ali plays a pivotal role in the spiritual lives of his followers as do his successors and we are blessed to be led by the 49th Imam!
Video and Audio Files of this declaration: Haq Ali Mowla Ali Ali Manaqib by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Man kunto Mowla Ali Mowla Manaqib by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – my favorite – First ever Qawwali composed by Amir Khusraw Man kunto Mowla Ali Mowla Rahat Fateh Ali KhanEnglish commentary Dam Mast Qalandar Qawwali by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Man kunto Mowla Ali Mowla Sabri Brothers3 Parts Man qunto Mowla Snippet by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (.au file)
                     Quran Sura 4:174, 175

Yaa- ‘ayyu-hannasu qad O mankind! Verily
Jaa- ‘akum There hath come to you
Bur-hanum A convincing proof
Mir Rabbikum From your Lord:
Wa ‘anzalnaa ‘ilaykum For We have sent unto you
Nuram mubiinaa A light (that is) manifest.
Fa- ‘ammal’lazina ‘aamanu Then those who believe
Bil-laahi wa’ -tasamu In God, and hold fast
Bihi fasa-yud-khiluhum fi To Him, – soon will he
Rahmatim-minhu Admit them to Mercy
Wa Fazlin And Grace from Himself,
Wa yah-dihim ‘ilayhi And guide them to Himself
Siraatam Mustaqima. By a straight path.



The Shia Imam’s Birthday – Decendant of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
What The Holy Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan’s Birthday Celebrations – Khushiali Mubarak! Salgirah Mubarak! (Birthday Blessings!)
Why The birthday of the Imam of the Time of the Shia Ismaili Muslims is celebrated to honor his service to God in spreading peace and understanding amongst his community and the peoples of the world. This tradition has continued for over 1400 years since the time of Hazrat Ali (a.s. on whom be peace) the first Imam appointed by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s. – peace be upon him)
When His birthday anniversary is on December 13th every year
Where Celebrations take place in over 50 countries around the world where Ismailis live. Prime Minister Harper of Canada and his Cabinet honored His Highness the Aga Khan by issuing Governmental greetings to the Imam and applauded his humanitarian efforts in bringing hope to the underprivileged in the world and in spreading knowledge amongst people of different backgrounds and promoting pluralism. On November 4, 2011, Illinois State Governor Patrick “Pat” Quinn, praised the Imam and his work when signing an Agreement of Cooperation between the State of Illinois and the Ismaili Imamat. Please watch this wonderful video.
History Birthdays
of the Ahl-e-Bayt
(the Prophet’s family) and the Imams and certain
important dates of the year were celebrated. Imam took part in the celebrations
of the festivals. Local festivals of secular origin, like the “Flooding
of the Nile” and “Navroz” (beginning of spring) were also encouraged by
the Imam. Imam
would hold huge receptions at his palace; processions were
taken through the town and the whole town was illuminated.”The above (taken
from the History of the Imams page
) is a description of the traditional
celebration of the birthday of the Imam of the time (Hazar Imam) the progeny
of Prophet Muhammad (sas). We are all very happy at the occasion of the
birthday of Mowlana Karim Al-Husaini Hazar Imam (as), the 49th descendant,
on December the 13th. The world is celebrating the birthday of this Noble
Spirit, Ameen.
More Info Please visit his past birthday celebrations every year listed on links below

‘Gazing upon Ali is an act of worship (al-nazar ila Ali ibada).’

‘May God have mercy on ‘Ali. O God, make the truth revolve around Ali wherever he turns (adiri‘l-haqq ma‘ahu haythu dara).’

I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its gate; so whoever desires knowledge, let him enter the gate.’ (Ana Madinatul ilm wa Ali Babuha)

– All above are sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him!) (read the many more of his hadiths in honor of Hazrat Ali!)

Mashallah! How lucky are we to be able to gaze upon him! To be in his community and to be able to contemplate him and have his Didaar! Alhamdulillah!

“And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life” Holy Quran 19:15

“Whenever virtue subsides and immorality prevails, then I body Myself forth. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of Dharma (righteousness), I come into being, in every age.” – Bhagavad Gita

“And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving as is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper!” Quran 22:78

He it is Who sent His Apostle with the guidance and the true religion that He may make it prevail over all the religions; and Allah is enough for a witness.” Quran 48.28

“Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.” Quran 9.111

Mubarak everyone! As Ismailis, we are truly fortunate to be blessed by this Grace and rejoice in the bargain we have made. Mashallah!

One of the central elements of the Islamic faith is the inseparable nature of faith and world. [Din and Dunya] The two are so deeply intertwined that one cannot imagine their separation. They constitute a “Way of Life.” The role and responsibility of an Imam, therefore, is both to interpret the faith to the community, and also to do all within his means to improve the quality, and security, of their daily lives. I am fascinated and somewhat frustrated when representatives of the Western world — especially the Western media — try to describe the work of our Aga Khan Development Network in fields like education, health, the economy, media, and the building of social infrastructure. Reflecting a certain historical tendency of the West to separate the secular from the religious, they often describe it either as philanthropy or entrepreneurship. What is not understood is that this work is for us a part of our institutional responsibility — it flows from the mandate of the office of Imam to improve the quality of worldly life for the concerned communities.

Our spiritual understandings, like those of your Academy, are rooted, of course, in ancient teachings. In the case of Islam, there are two touchstones which I have long treasured and sought to apply. The first affirms the unity of the human race, as expressed in the Holy Qur’an where God, as revealed through the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, says the following:

O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from the twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. (Quran 4:1)

This remarkable verse speaks both of the inherent diversity of mankind — the “multitude” — and of the unity of mankind — the “single soul created by a single Creator” — a spiritual legacy which distinguishes the human race from all other forms of life.

— His Highness the Aga Khan’s Acceptance Speech – Tutzing Evangelical Academy’s ‘Tolerance’ Award – Tutzing, Germany May 20, 2006 – this is an amazing speech, read full version here

In the Holy Quran, God outlines that everyone who strives for virtue and right action will be led back to Him through their faith as our primordial nature, the Fitra, is to seek a way back to our origin, to merge into God, we have been hard-wired to know God, a veritable theme in the Quran.

“Truly those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabeans (the Persians), whoever believes in God and the Last Day and is virtuous, surely their reward is with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve.” Quran 2:62

Even though Islam is being maligned post-9/11, it is very clear from the verse above that the same God, the Almighty, is the originator of Islam, as of the all the great religions. In the Quran we are exhorted to follow our faith and way as the right path to Him. As Ismailis, we follow the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his progeny. See what Allah says in the Quran:

For each (religion), We have appointed from you a Law and a Way shiraatan wa minhajan. Had God willed, He could have made you one community. But that He might try you by that which He hath given you [you are born into a faith]. So vie with one another in good works. Unto God you will all return, and He will inform you of that wherein you differed.” Quran 5:48

Unto each community We have given sacred rites mansakan which they are to perform; so let them not dispute with thee about the matter, but summon them unto thy Lord.” Quran 22:67

The Ismailis do not proselytize as every religion has its own rites and rituals to be pursued by the adherants, seeking their way back to God. The pluralism and multiple cultures were ordained by Providence, so we would know one another as the Holy Quran says:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most pious.” Quran 49:13

The Ismailis follow the esoteric practice of Islam, of piety and virtuous action, that has survived from the time of Prophet Muhammad, which was perfected by Imam Ali; all Sufi orders descend from him and strive to please God. Our present living Imam, Mowlana Hazar Imam, has been a champion of “vying with one another in good works” as is evident in all his works for his community and for the wider population. Always promoting pluralism, recently opening the Global Centre for Pluralism, and leaders the world over are realizing and praising his active humanitarian endeavors.

Prime Minister Harper of Canada and his Cabinet honored His Highness the Aga Khan by issuing Governmental greetings to the Imam and applauded his humanitarian efforts in bringing hope to the underprivileged in the world and in spreading knowledge amongst people of different backgrounds and promoting pluralism.

On November 9, 2010, the French Minister for Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand, on behalf of the French government, conveyed honours on His Highness the Aga Khan and his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan. Recognizing their contributions to culture, both personally and through the various activities of the Aga Khan Development Network, the Minister noted that the promotion of culture had a privileged position amongst all of their multiple activities, because “you are convinced of its importance in the process of improving the quality of life globally”.

“He not only celebrates diversity, he also honours the differences between people that can paradoxically give them their greatest bond. He has two roles in this world; one which he has inherited as an extraordinary charge, and the other that he has built upon and recreated, that now involves all of us. He manifests the creative relationship of spiritual values and material concern, which is unique in the world today, and is a model for all of us…In his own being, he encompasses the world.” Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

According to Sura Fatiha, the first chapter of the Quran, we are to follow the straight path and ask to be guided to the straight path!

“And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving as is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this [the Holy Quran], that the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper!” Quran 22:78

With such a wonderful Guide, what are we to do and how are we to respond? The Imam tells us religion means not only faith but also good works! So for his 76th birthday, can we reflect and put our life in the right order, to follow his guidance and with faith commit to virtuous action? Then we can truly celebrate as you can see the special verse in the Quran referring to us: Mubarak!

“They are not all alike. Of the People of the Book, there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of God in the watches of the night, falling prostrate.” Quran 3:113

Meet you at dawn! Grace

“The essence (batin) of Ismailism remains unchanged but the external aspect (zahir) changes. The Nizari Ismailies believe that the first man who existed on earth was an Imam and the last will also be an Imam…These two are in essence the same, the archetype of the Spirit that pervades the whole of Creation. As Imam Ali is reported to have stated in the Sermon of the Great Declaration (khutbat al-bayan): “I am the First and the Last.” All Imams are thus understood in Ismaili doctrine to be one of the same essence transmitting the Sophia Perennis (Eternal Wisdom) to the seekers of enlightenment from generation to generation until the end of time.”

– Diana Steigerwald, (The Multiple Facets of Ismailism, Sacred Web, Volume 9, pp. 87, July 2002)

“In Islam, the Holy Koran says that man is God’s noblest creation to whom He has entrusted the stewardship of all that is on earth. Each generation must leave for its successors an enhanced and sustainable social and physical environment. I am sure every responsible citizen in every part of the world would share this aspiration.” – from Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Ninth Award Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

How can we as his Murids, do more for our world and for our spiritual uplift?

“With respect to relations between the Western and Islamic worlds, are we not seeing a conflict of stereotypes and prejudices, exacerbated by a good measure of ignorance about Islam? There are, of course, some differences, but if superficiality and trivialisation can be set aside, and be replaced by the will to go deeper to seek a solid foundation for mutual understanding and respect, it can be found in the common heritage of the Abrahamic faiths and the ethical principles that they share.”– His Highness the Aga Khan, speaking at the presentation ceremony for The Aga Khan Award for Architecture on 6 November 2001.

“As we work towards that vision of the future we will remember the Surah of Light from the Quran. It tells us that the oil of the blessed olive tree lights the lamp of understanding, a light that belongs neither to the East nor West. We are to give this light to all. In that spirit, all that we learn will belong to the world and that too is part of the vision I share with you.” Speech by His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan to the Asia Society, New York, September 25, 1979

Islam has the answer to the world’s problems by following the true teachings of Islam, i.e. equality of all humans (isn’t this why the Christian and Jewish faiths flourished when Islam was ruling the world?), by bringing the quest for material goods in real perspective i.e. not giving up our spiritual practices in the pursuit of material happiness. All of us should be the ambassadors of Islam and show the world that the “terrorist” label is not one that belongs to Islam. Let us do our part in educating everyone about what it means to be a Muslim, its generosity, its piety and ethical values, wishing upon their neighbors what they wish upon themselves, the principle of unity where the all the peoples of the world are created by the one God and we are to all spread the message of peace and tolerance to all, this year and every year. Let this birthday anniversary of our Holy Imam remind us of our duty to mankind! Rejoice!

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Quran, 13:28

ألا بِذِكْرِ اللهِ تَطمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Verily! In the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment.” - Quran, 13:28

Prophet Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad:

‘Ali is ‘as my own soul’ (ka-nafsi).

He said to ‘Ali, ‘You are from me and I am from you (anta minni wa ana minka).’

‘Truly, ‘Ali is from me and I am from him (inna ‘Ali minni wa ana minhu), and he is the wali (patron/spiritual master) of every believer after me.’

Hazrat Ali

12. When some blessings come to you, do not drive them away through thanklessness.

13. He who is deserted by friends and relatives will often find help and sympathy from strangers.

Imam Ali Sayings

Imam Jaffer Sadiq

لاَ يَكُونُ شَيْءٌ فِي اْلاَرْضِ وَلا فِي السَّمَاءِ إِلاَّ بِهذِهِ الْخِصَالِ السَّبْعِ: بِمَشيئَةٍ وَ إِرادَةٍ وَقَدَرٍ وَقَضَاءٍ وَ إِذْنٍ وَكِتابٍ وَأَجَلٍ. فَمَنْ زَعَمَ أَنَّهُ يَقْدِرُ عَلى نَقْضٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، فَقَدْ كَفَرَ.

“Nothing occurs in this earth and in the heaven except with the following seven stages: Will, intention, destiny, decree, permission, book and implementation. Then whoever thinks that he can reduce any of these stages, then indeed he has disbelieved.”

- Imam Jaffer Sadiq, Usul al Kafi, vol. 1, p. 149

Rumi on Ramadan

The month of fasting has come, the emperor’s banner has arrived; withhold your hand from food, the spirit’s table has arrived. The soul has escaped from separation and bound nature’s hands; the heart of error is defeated, the army of faith has arrived. Fasting is our sacrifice, it is the life of our soul; let us sacrifice all our body, since the soul has arrived as guest. Fortitude is as a sweet cloud, wisdom rains from it, because it was in such a month of fortitude that the Koran arrived. …Wash your hands and your mouth, neither eat nor speak; seek that speech and that morsel which has come to the silent ones.


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99 Beautiful Names

Asma-ul Husna


Aga Khan jokes

Aga Khan Speech Brown University May 1996:

"Looking around this colorful gathering, I recall helping in the choice of the Aga Khan University's regalia. Our research into Islamic traditions of academic dress revealed that an academic's rank determined the height of his hat. The higher the rank, the taller the hat. The senior most professors therefore appeared taller than their students even when sitting down. I have just learnt that my friend Neil Rudenstein, the President of Harvard has given instructions that all Harvard hats are to be heightened by at least a foot. This has caused havoc in the Ivy League which is now debating resolution MAHH96, standing for Maximum Allowable Hat Height. My academic standing and that of President Gregorian, should be evident from the hats that we are presently wearing!"

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