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.

Nasir Khusraw

Nowruz, Navroz Mubarak!

Shahnama Banquet - Shiraz, 1444 - Amaana.orgNawruz Mubarak Everyone! Rejoice!

March 21st is Imam Hazrat Ali‘s solar birthday anniversary! Please read on the following pages to see how important this New Year celebration is for the Ismailis and the whole Universe, especially since this year it falls on the New Moon and Total Solar Eclipse on this Equinox day! How Divine!

I am especially happy as this Navroz will be the 21st anniversary of Amaana.org on March 21st 2015!

If Nawruz is a festival of joy and delight,
it is through your light that it has come to be so.

— Prince Amir Tamim al-Fatimi, son of Imam al-Muiz

“Factually the number of months in the eyes of God, in the Book of God from the day He created the earth and the heaven, are… Continue reading

Ismaili Theology: The Prophetic Chain and the God Beyond Being — Wilferd Madelung

Prophet Muhammad Designating Imam Ali His First Successor at Ghadir Khumm - Amaana.orgAspects of Ismaili Theology: The Prophetic Chain and the God Beyond Being by Wilferd Madelung

This is an edited version of an article that was originally published in Ismaili Contributions to Islamic Culture, eds. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (1977), Imperial Iranian, Academy of Philosophy, Tehran, pp: 53-65.

The Ismailis appeared first on the stage of the history of Islam in the second half of the third century AH /ninth century CE and spread with astonishing rapidity. Centred originally in Khuzistan in south-western Iran, its missionaries carried its message throughout the Islamic world from Transoxania and the Indus valley to the Maghrib. In eastern Arabia, the Yaman and in the eastern Maghrib, its converts became numerous enough to set up their own political communities under the sovereignty of the Expected… Continue reading

Faith and Intellect — Diana Steigerwald

A folio from the Akhlaq-i Nasiri, a philosophical treatise written by the famous scholar Nasir al-Din Tusi - Amaana.org

Faith (Îmân) and Intellect (‘Aql)

In Shî’ite Tradition*

 

By Diana Steigerwald

California State University (Long Beach)

Summary: Faith in Islâm bears witness to the divine Unicity (Tawhîd) and to the Prophecy (Nubuwwa) of Muhammad, at the same time it is deeply rooted in knowledge (‘ilm). It is based on arguments and proofs, since there is no significant distinction between science and faith. This article examines the importance of faith and intellect for some great Shî’ite thinkers: Muhammad Ibn Babawayh (d. 381/991-992), Shaykh Muhammad al-Mufîd (d. 413/1022), Nâsir-i Khusraw (d. after 465/1072), Abû al-Fath al-Shahrastânî (d. 548/1153), Nasîr al-dîn Tûsî (d. 672/1273), Haydar Âmulî (VII/XIVth century), and Mullâ Sadrâ (d. 1050/1640). It also highlights the meanings of these two technical terms for… Continue reading

An ode for Imam-e-Zaman — Nadim Pabani

His Highness the Aga Khan 2007 - Amaana.org

An ode for

Imam-e-Zaman

By Nadim Pabani – Inspired by the Navroz Spring.

 

An ode for Imam-e-Zaman we sing.
Seeing the birds outside take flight,
Line by line we begin to write.

So now we wish to begin this rhyme,
For the Master of the Age and Time
To glorify your Light that shines,
We are moved to write each line.

But how can human language
Begin to describe, begin to capture, begin to give justice to your greatness,
To quote the words of the Prophet, a Muslim void of love for Ali is faithless.

But this Murid will try his very best,
To help others realise that you are the Light of the East and West,
You refrain from seeking worldly might,
Even though, this is your… Continue reading

Nasir-i Khusraw Poetry — Nasir Khusraw Shia Ismaili Muslim Dai and Poet

 

Nasir-i Khusraw Poetry

Nasir Khusraw is acknowledged as one of the foremost poets of the Persian language. Born in the Balkh district of Central Asia in 394/1004, Nasir was inspired from an early age by a tremendous thirst for knowledge. His intellectual abilities brought him much fame, a promising career in government service, and a life of ease and pleasure. But he was always dissatisfied by a lack of meaning and purpose in his life until one day, at the age of 42, he was dramatically transformed by a visionary dream. He converted to Ismailism, renounced his worldly life and embarked on his famous seven-year journey to Egypt. Nasir arrived in Cairo in 439/1047, where he stayed for three years and became acquainted with Ismaili dignitaries such as Al… Continue reading

Introduction to Ismailism

Ali ibn Abi Talib - Imam Hazrat AliBy Dr. Sheikh Khodr Hamawi

 

 

Forward
Prelude

 

Part I
Chapter I

 

Comparative Study of Religions
1- Judaism
2- Christianity
3- Islam
Chapter II Islam and its Divisions
1- The Sunna
2- The Shi’a
3- The Theology of Sunna and Shi’a
Chapter III Shi’a and its Sub divisions

 

Part II
Doctrine of Ismailism
Chapter I Potentiality and Actuality
Chapter II Existence in Power
Chapter III Existence in Action (by force)
Chapter IV Knowledge of Truth
Chapter V Implementation of faith by Action
A- Shariat
1- Islam
2- Imam
B- Tariquat
1- Ta’at (Obedience)
2- Tabligh (Revelation)
3- Bai’at (Allegiance)
C- Hakikat
1- Amanat (Trust)
2_ Tawhid (Monotheism)
D-Maarifat
Al-Irfan (Knowledge)
1- Unity of the Universe
2- The greatness of Man
3- The Human Brotherhood
4- Evolution… Continue reading

The Tolerance of the Fatimids toward “The People of the Book” (Ahl Al-Kitab)

Fatima and her sons in metal work inscription Iran 17c
The Tolerance of the Fâtimids toward “The People of the Book” (Ahl Al-Kitâb)

 
By Diana Steigerwald

 

“The first principle is to comprehend, to be convinced of, to uphold the fact
that  there  is  no  conflict  between  Islam  and  Christianity.  There  may  be
conflict on political issues, there may be conflict on economic issues, there
may be conflict on social issues but the faith of Islam is not in conflict with
the faith of Christianity and that is so clearly specified in Islam and all I need
to do this morning is to mention the words to you Ahl al-Kitâb, the People of
Book.  The  Book  is  Allah’s  revelation  to  man,  revealed  to  man  through
Allâh’s Prophets of which Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet.” (Karîm
Âghâ Khân… Continue reading

Layla tul Qadr – The Night of Power and Destiny

Layla tul Qadr The Night of Power Quran Sura 97 - Amaana.org

Man kana yarjoo liqaa Allahifa-inna ajala Allahi laatin wahuwa assamee AAualAAaleem

Whoever hopes to meet Allah, the term appointed by Allah will then most surely come; and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. – Quran 29:5

Please visit my previous Layla tul Qadr page where I describe traditional details of this holy night of Ramadan. With that as a foundation, I would like to present my views of this veritable Night of Power with focus on the above verse from the Quran wherein God hints that we are programmed to meet Him and that the term appointed will surely come when we will become Fana fi Allah, annihilated in God. To me, this is also congruent with Inna Lillahi wa inna Illaiyhi Raajioon – from God we have come and… Continue reading

Layla tul Qadr – The Night of Power

 
Sura Qadr in Farsi

Layla tul Qadr falls on the 23rd of Ramadan and this is a significant event in Muslim history as not only did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) receive his first revelation that culminated in the Holy Quran, but this day marks the anniversary of his Prophethood on earth. Muslims all over the world spend this night in prayers as it holds special Barakah for those in prayer.

 

“In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful

“Indeed We sent it [the Holy Quran] down on the Night of Power. What will convey to you what the Night of Power is? Better is the Night of Power than a thousand months. In that Night the angels and the Spirit descend by the permission of their Lord for every errand. Peace it… Continue reading

Philosophical Significance of the Imam in Ismailism

Prophet Muhammad on his prayer rug Persian Amaana.org

By Sami N. Makarem

 

While the Sunnis believe in five pillars in Islam, the Isma’ilis raise them to seven. Al-Qadi an-Nu’man devoted the first volume of his famous book Da’a’im al-Islam to the description of these pillars and an elaboration of them. The first of these seven pillars, as al-Qadi an-Nu’man mentions, is Faith (Iman). He also calls it walaya, which means allegiance or devotion. The other six are successively Ritual Purification (tahara), prayer (salat), Alms Tax (zakat), Fasting (sawm), Pilgrimage (hajj), and Holy War (jihad).

 

The association of faith (iman) with allegiance (walaya) is very fundamental in Ismailism. It illustrates the importance of the Isma’ilis attachment to their Imams. This is shown in the following passage by al-Qadi an-Nu’man in his aforementioned book.1 He says: “Iman… Continue reading

Nasir Khusraw Collection at Ismaili Web

Khusraw and the Lion Persian 1632

 

His Highness the Aga Khan’s Speech ‘Word of God, Art of Man: The Qur’an and its Creative Expressions’

Scroll below to play the video of this speech

Audio of speech at Nanowisdoms

His Highness the Aga Khan October 19, 2003 IIS Speech

Aga Khan : ‘The Qur’an and its Creative Expressions’

His Highness the Aga Khan The Ismaili Centre, London October 19, 2003

Your Excellencies,
Your Worship,
Distinguished Scholars and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

An assembly of the wise and learned is a privileged occasion. I am, therefore, immensely happy to be with you this morning as you begin your deliberations on a theme which, though of perennial interest, holds a special significance at a time that calls for enlightened encounters among faiths and cultures. Whatever its vernacular forms, the language of art, more so when it is spiritually inspired, can be a positive barrier-transcending medium of discourse, manifesting the depths of the human spirit.

The venue for… Continue reading

Nasir Khusraw – By Alice C. Hunsberger

 

Khusraw and the Lion Persian 1632
Amir Khusraw coaching students Nasir Khusraw Collection

 

Abu Mo’in Hamid al-Din Nasir ibn Khusraw is an important figure in the development of Ismaili philosophy. Much of his biography and philosophical ideology has been obtained through fragmented texts, both in poetry and prose.  Born into a politically connected family, Khusraw was well-educated in the sciences and humanities.  Having spent most of his life occupying prestigious positions within the Saljuq court, Khusraw converted to the Ismaili faith at the age of forty after careful study.  He spent the rest of his life writing and advocating for the Ismaili faith, and eventually was forced into exile by Sunni authorities.

 

Consistent with other Ismaili philosophers, Khusraw’s cosmology is heavily inspired by Neoplatonism.  His metaphysics describes a God from which… Continue reading

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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