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.

Prince Sadruddin

Prince Sadruddin was an avid collector of art from various civilizations of the Muslim world including Persia , Mughal India , and Ottoman lands. He began collecting Islamic art in the 1950s when he was a student at Harvard University . An exhibition of his collection was organized by the British Museum (January 22 to April 12, 1998) in London, UK, and was accompanied by a catalogue of 145 pieces from the collection. In the Forward to the catalogue, Prince Sadruddin stated:

“My first awareness of art from the Islamic world goes back to the library of the Villa Jane-Andree at Cap d’Antibes, where my parents spent much time before and after the Second World War. It was a musty and dark place. The curtains were often drawn to prevent the Mediterranean sun from bleaching the huge 14th-century Mamluk Qur’an which lay open on the rosewood stand, usually at the beginning of ‘Surat-ul-Nas,’ which my father never tired of quoting. I was fascinated by the power of its calligraphic counterpoint, the diacritics and the illuminations . . . the burnished pages and their dark corners . . . . .exuded a special mystery which I never forgot . . . . Many years have passed and the world is a different place, but my love of Arab manuscripts and Persian and Indian paintings has never ceased. .It is my hope that Princes, Poets & Paladins will spread a timeless message, one befitting the halls of the British Museum .”

Mawlana Hazar Imam announced that this collection will be housed in the Aga Khan Museum to be built in Toronto .

A floral fantasy India. c. 1650

Ibrahim Mirza’s garden party. Iran , 1582

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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