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.

Imams in Arabia

lst Imam Mowlana Aly
2nd Imam Mowlana Husayn
3rd Imam Mowlana Zain al-Abidin
4th Imam Mowlana Muhammad al-Baqir
5th Imam Mowlana Ja’far as-Sadiq

History of the Ismaili Imams Tarikh-e Imamat

By Al-Waez Alijah Hasan Husayn Nazar Ali
Table of Contents

Firman Mubarak
Message from The Chairman
Chapter I – Arabia and Imamat 1
Chapter II – Syria and Imamat 14
Chapter III – N.W. Africa and Imamat 21
Chapter IV – Egypt and Imamat 26
Chapter V – Alamut and Imamat 67
Chapter VI – Persia and lmamat 67
Chapter VII – Indo-Pak and lmamat 74
Chapter VIII – Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Husayni Aga Khan IV 86
Holy Ginan

Firman Mubarak

“I hope more and more useful study will be made of the history of Islam and the history of Ismaili Caliphate in Egypt and the Caliphate of our cousins in Spain.”
– Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah – (Message to Garden Library, Karachi, 1951)

“You must tell missionaries the essence of history, They must preach in Jamat Khana the history of Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq and the Prophet”
– Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (Ismailia Association Conference, Karachi,1952)
Message from the Chairman:

The Edmonton Regional Committee of Ismailia Association for Canada takes great pleasure in publishing this book “Brief History of our Imams” compiled by our Religious Education Coordinator, Al-Wa’ez Hasan Nazarali. I hope this volume will prove rewarding for both teachers and students of Ismaili History.

For his unconditional devotion to the betterment of religious education in our Jamat, my Committee and I fervently pray for Al-Wa’ez Hasan Nazarali’s good health, happiness and prosperity and hope that he will continue to inspire the young teachers in our Jamat.

Shiraz Jiwani


I am grateful to Abbas Al-Hamdani. B.A., LI.B. Ph-O.. London, Professor of Islamic History, Islamia College, Karachi, Pakistan, Research Assistant, Ismailia Association of Pakistan, who has gone a long way in building up my Academic paper. I have been given to understand that presently he is a resident Professor at the Institute of Ismailis Studies, London. In most of my work, I have used his notes, as well as the material from the “Shia of India,” by John Norman Hollister B.Sc., M.A., Ph.D., and “History of the Ismailia” by A.S. Picklay.

My gratitude also goes to our Chairman, Shiraz Jiwani and Honorary Secretary Shiraz Kanji for their encourgement which has been a great source of inspiration for me to revise the work on the History of the Imams.

Lastly, I wish to thank Mr. Ramzan Surani and Mr. Zul Ahmed for having very kindly provided photographs for this publication, and lqbal Mawji without whose assistance and co-operation it would have been impossible to publish this book.

Al-Wa’ez Hasan Nazar Ali
Edmonton, Alberta
July 11, 1983


One of the fundamentals of Ismaili Faith, after the demise of the last and final Prophet, has been the doctrine of the presence of the Living Imam to substitute the Prophet in every period of Islamic History in order that the unity of the faithful be maintained throughout as in the time of the Prophet. It has, therefore, been of great importance for the faithful to have a vital knowledge of the History of the Imam, their regular and unbroken succession from generation to generation and their periodical guidance to the faithful according to the need of the times. With this end in view I have decided to issue these brief notes on the lives and works of each Imam. These notes will prove to be very  useful and informative by our Religious Education Teachers. The contents of these notes are based on bare historical facts whose veracity has been vouchsafed from original and reliable sources.

This sort of work on the history of the Imams is not something new and I have not intended to launch on a new scheme of work or to claim that I am pioneer in writing the history of the Imams. In fact a considerable information is forthcoming about the Imams in various books on History written by various Muslim and non-Muslim authors. But these voluminous books are practically of little benefit to a layman and average reader who can neither spare time nor money to avail himself of these books. Again these volumes do not contain such exclusive chapters and parts as a faithful would like to read and remember easily and conveniently about a particular Imam. Such volumes contain such long and elaborate narrations of various historical facts here and there that they require very careful and patient study, long time, hard labour and in addition to all this, a very high price.

Another point to be borne in mind is that whatever has been written about the Imams in these works is not free from prejudice that was brought about as a natural result of the bitter political rivalry that existed between various political parties such as the Ummayyads, the Abbasids and the Fatimids during those remote periods of history. You cannot find, therefore, a clear and impartial account of any Imam in most of the so called historic books.

Under the above mentioned facts, it would not be an easy task for the average Ismaili to draw true information about his Imams from the extant books on history. The vast Ismaili literature which otherwise would have given true account of the Ismaili Imams’ history, was almost totally destroyed through begot fanaticism of the Saljuks and Mongols. It is only through hard labour of scientific research on the history of Islam that one can come across an impartial account of the Ismaili Imams. 1, therefore, hope that the Religious Education Teachers will avail themselves of the beneficial services that I am offering to them in these valuable lines.

Al Wa’ez Hasan Nazar Aly

Page 1

Mowlana Murtaza Aly

1st Imam of the Shia and the 4th Caliph of the Muslims (10 A.H. – 40 A.H.)

Early Life:

Hazrat Aly was born in Mecca in 599 A.D. in the Hashimite family of the Arabs. His father was Abu Talib and mother was Fatima bint Asad. Hazrat Aly remained in the care of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He married the Prophet’s daughter Fatima by whom were born Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Husayn.

The Prophet’s flight (Hijrah) to Medina:

At the time of Hijrah, Hazrat Aly helped the Prophet by remaining behind in Mecca in his place. In Medina, he was made the Prophet’s partner and brother in the new Muslim fraternity (brotherhood). Hazrat Aly was a brave young warrior, standard bearer of the Muslim army. He fought in almost all the battles of the Prophet.

Ghadeer al-Khumm:

The Prophet made his last pilgrimage, Hijjatul-Widdai, in 10 A.H. After making his last Hajj, on his way back to Medina, the Prophet received the Message of God regarding the declaration of Hazrat Aly as his successor and Imam-e-Mubin. The Prophet at once gathered all his followers at a place called Ghadeer al-Khumm. Then he declared Hazrat Aly as his successor at the same place on 18th of Zul Hijjah, which is celebrated by the Shia as the Idd Ghadeer al-Khumm.

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Sagifa bani Saida:

At the time of the Prophet’s death in 11th Hijrah, Hazrat Aly performed all his funeral ceremonies, while Hazrat Abu Bakr was chosen Caliph at a place called Saqifa bani Saida. It is said that before the Prophet died, he wanted to make a will but was prevented from doing so by Hazrat Umar.

The Caliphate:

Hazrat Abu Bakr always consulted Hazrat Aly and received his advice regarding the wars. At the time of his death, Hazrat Abu Bakr appointed Hazrat Umar as his successor. Hazrat Umar continued to consult Hazrat Aly and paid him due respect. Hazrat Aly was one of the six members of the Shura (council) appointed by Hazrat Umar at the time of his death. However, he was not selected and the Caliphate went to Hazrat Uthman. Hazrat Uthman proved to be a very weak ruler, partial to his family – the Umayyads, and was killed. Hazrat Aly was now recognized as Caliph in Medina in Hijrah 35.

The Battle of Jamel:

On being recognized as Caliph, Hazrat Aly had to face the opposition of Talha, Zubair and Aayesha (the Prophet’s wife). There was a battle near Basra called the battle of Jamel (camel). In this battle, Hazrat Aly won; Talha and Zubair were killed and Aayesha was sent back to Mecca in retirement.

The Battle of Siffin:

Muawia was the governor of Syria and Hazrat Aly wanted to depose him from his position. Muawia now raised the banner of revenge for Hazrat Uthman. A battle was fought between them at Siffin. When Muawia saw that Hazrat Aly’s army was about to win, he ordered the raising of Qurans on the spears and appealing for arbitration (peace). Hazrat Aly was opposed to this but had to accept it on the insistence of a section of his army. These very same people, later on, opposed Hazrat Aly for accepting the arbitration. They withdrew from his camp and were known as the ‘Khawarij’ for that reason.

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The Battle of Naherwan:

The arbitration was later held at a place called ‘Adhruh’. This led to confusion and the arbitration court withdrew without any decision. In the meantime, the Khawarij became so troublesome to Hazrat Aly that he had to proceed against them and defeat them at the battle of Naherwan.

Death of Hazrat Aly:

Now Muawia and Hazrat Aly were face to face preparing for a final showdown. Muawia was stronger because he had the support of his strong Syrian army. They were all well paid and fresh for battle as they had done very little fighting in the past. Muawia had almost a year of peace to prepare himself. On the other hand, Hazrat Aly’s army was weak because it consisted of different groups. They were opposed to each other and all of them tired after the battles of Jamel, Siffin and Naherwan. In spite of this, Hazrat Aly succeeded in gathering an army of 40,000 men; but before he could proceed against Muawia, who had now declared himself as Caliph, he was killed in the mosque of Kufa on 15th of Ramadhan, 40 A.H. (661 A.D.), by a Kharajite called Ibn Muljim.


Hazrat Aly is regarded as the 1st Imam by all the Shias and as the 4th Caliph by all Muslims. Imamat has come down from the line of Hazrat Aly as Spiritual Leadership as opposed to the temporal leadership of the Caliphate, although certain Imams like Hazrat Aly and the Fatimids have been Imams as well as Caliphs at the same time.


Hazrat Aly was not only known for his bravery and courage and for his close relationship with the Prophet, but also for his vast learning and knowledge, and for his strength of character.

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Ismailis – The Shia of Aly

“Originally, after the death of the Prophet, the Muslims were united and there was no question of Shia and Sunni until after the murder of Khalifa Uthman. Then the world of Islam was divided into two branches which in Arabic means two Shias, namely two sections, one was known as the Shia of Hazrat Aly, the other as the Shia of Muawia. These two remained until such time as Imam Hasan made his peace with Muawia when Muawia became the undisputed Caliph and the Shias of Muawia became the great central stream of Islam and the majority (Sunnis). While the Shias of Hazrat Aly remained as the other section (Shias). To that section of Hazrat Aly the Ismailis belong.

“They take the view that as Hazrat Aly having himself cooperated with the first three Khaliphs, it is not now for us to judge the first three Khaliphs, but to respect their memory as Hazrat Aly himself did all his life according to historians even in Persia.

“We believe that the Imamat belongs to the House of Prophet, but that for reasons best known to himself, Hazrat Aly did not raise the question during the lifetime of the first three Khaliphs and that is good enough for us not to raise the question which he did not raise himself.

“In this way, though Shias of Aly, we can sincerely join in the prayer that Allah may in His great mercy forgive the sins of all Muslims.”

– Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah – Memoirs of Aga Khan, 1950

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Hazrat Hasan

Early Life

Hazrat Hasan was born in Medina on 15th Ramadhan, 3 Hijra. He was a great favourite of his grandfather, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, whom he resembled very much. He was a handsome man with artistic tastes and a quiet temperament. He had eight sons and seven daughters. He was kind, generous and hospitable.

The Caliphate:

Hazrat Hasan succeeded to the Caliphate on his father, Hazrat Aly’s death on 17th Ramadhan, 40 A.H. (661 A.D.), at the age of 36. On his succession to Caliphate, Muawia challenged him and led an army against him. The main part of Hazrat Hasan’s 40,000 troops under his personal command, was stationed in Medina, where a part of Muawia’s army met him. Hazrat Hasan’s commander Qays bin Saad and his uncle Ibne Abbas led an army of 12,000 men against Muawia’s main forces at Maskin.

Muawia bribed lbne Abbas and won him over but failed to attempt Qays bin Saad. Mughira bin Shaba was sent by Muawia to Hazrat Hasan for negotiations. He spread the rumour that Hazrat Hasan had agreed to surrender. Some of Hazrat Hasan’s men got excited by this rumour and attempted to kill him.

Hazrat Hasan being betrayed by his uncle and disgusted with the attitude and the disunity among his own men, decided to surrender. An agreement was confirmed between Muawia and Hazrat Hasan on the condition that Muawia should not be succeeded by his son Yazid.

Death of Hazrat Hasan:

For nine years more, Hazrat Hasan lived a quiet life of retirement at Medina. After repeated attempts of Muawia to get Hazrat Hasan poisoned, he finally succeeded. Hazrat Hasan was poisoned by his wife Asama who was offered marriage to Yazid by Muawia, but when the deed was done, Muawia did not fulfil his promise.

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Aayesha refused Hazrat Hasan to be buried near the tomb of the Prophet; therefore, he was buried near the tomb of his mother, Hazrat Fatima. Hazrat Hasan died in Medina in 50 A.H., at the age of 47.

Mowlana Husayn 2nd Imam – (40 A.H. – 61 A.H.)

Early Life:

Hazrat Imam Husayn was born at Medina in 4 A.H. He was born one year after the birth of Hazrat Hasan, though it is also maintained that he was born together with Hazrat Hasan. He was born pre-mature. When Hazrat Aly died, he was about 35 years old and he was 45 years old when Hazrat Hasan died.

Opposition to Muawia:

Imam Husayn kept his peace with Muawia and did not claim Caliphate according to the agreement between Muawia and Hazrat Hasan. Only in the last year of his life, when Muawia began to prepare for the succession of his son Yazid, that Imam Husayn showed opposition to Muawia. One fact remains clear and certain that on the death of Muawia, in 60 A.H., Imam Husayn did not pay his allegiance to Yazid and began preparing for a showdown with him, particularly because of the insistence and support of the provinces. Opposition to Yazid was due to the fact that Yazid was not considered capable of bearing the responsibility of the Muslim Empire due to his bad character.

Invitation from Kufa:

The most insistent invitation to Imam Husayn came from Kufa and he decided to go there. Imam Husayn was very keen on going to Kufa, although it was an open country, whose people were divided in their support, and where a very able and a cruel governor of Yazid, namely Ibne Ziyad was in charge. However, it was the shortest cut to success, or failure, and Imam Husayn courageously decided to risk it.

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Muslim bin Aqil:

Imam Husayn first sent his cousin, Muslim bin Aqil, to prospect the situation there and to report to him whether he should go to Kufa or not. It is also mentioned that certain agents of Kufa’s governor had pretended to be followers of Imam Husayn and had insisted on inviting him to Kufa. Therefore, as a cautious step, Muslim bin Aqil’s visit was the most proper thing. Muslim bin Aqil gathered many supporters and remained in hiding, moving from place to place. The governor knew of this but did not touch him purposely, because he wanted Imam Husayn to come to Kufa where he could trap him. As soon as Muslim bin Aqil wrote to Imam Husayn to come immediately, the governor took action against him. He got him arrested and tortured him to death.

Journey to Kufa:

Relying on the report sent to him, Imam Husayn started his journey to Kufa. As he expected his army to be recruited in Kufa, he took with him only his family members and friends who volunteered to go with him. On his way, he met a few messengers of the governor of Kufa, who pretended to be the followers of Muslim bin Aqil, and they urged him to proceed to Kuf a.

The Tragedy of Karbala:

Imam Husayn reached the plain of Karbala, a little distance away from the River Euphrates, on the other side of which lay Kufa. There he saw the army of Yazid under Umar bin Saad, who prevented Imam Husayn’s men from approaching water, as well as from going back to Medina. Imam Husayn’s camp remained under seige for a long period of time, therefore, many of his men died of thirst. Even the sons of Imam Husayn, whom he tried to take to the river for drinking water, were wounded by arrows from the enemy, and died in Imam Husayn’s arms.

Many of Imam Husayn’s relatives died in actual fighting. During this battle, the standard bearer of the Imam, his half brother, Hazrat Abbas, showed such heroism before he died, that to this day, he is the inspiring hero of all Shia soldiers. His tomb in Karbala is next to that of Imam Husayn, an important shrine for the pilgrimage.

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Imam Husayn died on the 10th Muharram 61 A.H. 87 people died with him; among them were his eldest son and sons of Hazrat Hasan. The brothers of Imam Husayn who were killed in this battle were all sons of Hazrat Aly, but not of Fatima. There were 33 strokes of the lance and 34 blows of the sword on his body. Umar bin Saad ordered his horsemen to trample Imam Husayn’s body underneath their horses’ feet because he had lost 88 men in the conflict.

The man who gave Imam Husayn the fatal blow was an Arab, known as Shimar. It was this man who cut off Imam’s head and took it to the governor of Kufa. The body of Imam Husayn was buried in Karbala where today there is an important shrine, and it is the centre of pilgrimage for all Shias. After Mecca and Medina, Najaf and Karbala are considered to be the most sacred places by the Muslims.

As for Imam Husayn’s head, it was taken to the governor, who sent it to Yazid at Damascus. Yazid struck it on the mouth and said, “We have taken the lives of those who were dear to us but who became rebellious and unjust.” Abu Barza al Aslami, who was sitting near Yazid, protested by saying, “Withdraw your hand, for, have I not seen the mouth of the Prophet on this mouth, in a kiss?”

The survivors of Imam Husayn’s family were brought before Yazid. Yazid had already become unpopular for the brutal killing of Imam Husayn. Therefore, he did not want to anger the people more by killing these survivors, so he sent them back to Medina.

Thus ended the life and career of Imam Husayn, the Martyr (Shaheed) of Karbala. He died and sacrificed his family so that his followers and the Muslim nation may be saved from the Ummayyad rulers. Imam Husayn was 55 years old when he died.

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Mowlana Zain Al-Abidin

3rd Imam – (61 A.H. – 96 A.H.)

The Battle of Karbala:

In the battle of Karbala, most of Hazrat Aly’s family was killed. Only a few survived; among them were two daughters, two sons and an aunt. The daughters were Zainub and Sakina; the sons were Aly Asghar (Zain Al Abidin) and Umar; the aunt was Fatima. Zain al-Abidin was very ill and for this reason had not participated in the battle. At the earnest request of his sisters, he was spared from death by the general Umar bin Saad, who, however, sent all the survivors to Yazid at Damascus. Yazid sent them safely back to Medina.

Early Life:

Imam Zain al-Abidin was born in Medina in 39 A.H., a year before Hazrat Aly’s death. His mother was Sherbanu, the Persian princess, the daughter of Emperor Yazdegird. She had been brought to the court of second Caliph Hazrat Umar from the Persian war of conquest. She was bought by Hazrat Aly and was given in marriage to his son Imam Husayn.


After Imam Husayn’s death in 61 A.H. in Karbala, Zain al Abidin became the next Imam at the age of 22. He lived a long life during which he saw many changes in the Ummayyad dynasty and many events in the Muslim Empire. Through all these fast moving events and changes, Imam Zain al-Abidin remained, on purpose, in retirement at Medina.

Imam Zain al-Abidin devoted himself to prayers, so much so that a whole book of his Du’a has come down to us as a mark of his piety.

He also devoted himself to the quiet organization of the Shia. After the tragedy of Karbala, what was needed most for the Shia was not a further conflict with the Ummayyads, but a long enough period of time to recover from the past wounds. This attitude proved the accuracy of Imam Zain al-Abidin’s policy.

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Death of Imam Zain al-Abidin:

Imam Zain al-Abidin died in 96 A. H. at the age of 57. He was buried in the “Baqia” cemetery, where Hazrat Fatima and Hazrat Hasan were also buried. He was followed to the throne of Imamat by his son Muhammad, who was also caller “Al Baqir”.

Mowlana Muhammad Al Baqir

4th Imam – (96 A.H. – 125 A.H.)

Early Life:

Mowlana Muhammad al-Baqir was born at Medina on Tuesday, 3rd Safar, 57 A.H. He is said to have been 3 or 4 years old on the day his grandfather Imam Husayn was killed. His mother was known as Umme Abdullah and was the daughter of Hazrat Hasan. Thus Imam Muhammad al-Baqir combined in himself the families of Hazrat Hasan and Imam Husayn.


Imam Muhammad al-Baqir succeeded to the throne of Imamat in 96 A.H., at the age of 39. He lived during the period of Ummayyad rule. He continued his father’s policy of quiet organization of the Shia without listening to the voices of dissatisfied non-Arab population of the new Empire of the Ummayyad rulers. The state had taken measures to suppress the opposition but in spite of this, it continued to impress the minds of people and found expression in certain Shiite movements like that of Zayd.

The Zaydi Movement:

Zayd, the brother of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir rose in revolt in the time of the Ummayyad Caliph Hisham. He united many South Iraqi and Persian followers with his Arab followers. He claimed Imamat as well as Caliphate. He said that under his Imamat, everyone would have an easy life, the taxes would be lessened, the rule of justice, as laid down in the Quran and in the practices of the Imams and the Prophet, would be established and so on. His party was becoming very popular, but it was cruelly crushed by the Ummayyads and Zayd himself was killed, although his descendants survived. Some of Zayd’s followers later joined the Ismaili movement when it was organized.

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The System of Da’wa (Mission):

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir in refusing to join these anti-Ummayyad violent movements was not thereby supporting the Ummayyad rulers; in fact, he was much opposed to them, but his methods differed. He concentrated on peaceful organization until such time when the right opportunity came to overthrow the Ummayyad government.

Secondly, Imam al-Baqir wanted to inspire and keep the Shia united. For this noble task, he found two great supporters, Abdul Khattab and Maymun al-Qaddah. They lived up to the time of Mowlana Ismail and were the founders and architects of the developed Ismaili philosophy. Although previously the Ismailis had their great individual missionaries like Abuzer al-Ghaffari, the whole system of Da’wa was instituted. The theory of the Divine Light was also introduced, which later on gave rise to the related doctrines of the infallible Imams and their right as Quran Natik (speaking) to keep on interpreting from time to time the Quran Samit (silent), from its outward (Zaheri) meaning into its inward (Batuni) meaning.

Death of Imam al-Baqir:

The real cause of Imam al-Baqir’s death is not known with certainty. He died in the year 125 A.H., at the age of 68 years. He was succeeded to the throne of Imamat by his son Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq. Imam al-Baqir is said to have been very learned, and many of his sayings are reported. Because of his vast knowledge, he was given the title of al-Baqir, which means “Ample”.

Mowlana Jafar as Sadiq

5th Imam – (125 A.H. -148 A.H.)

Early Life:

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, the son of Imam Muhammad al Baqir, was born in Medina in 83 A.H., during the Caliphate of the Ummayyad Caliph, Abdul Malik. His mother was known as Umme Farwa; she was the grand daughter of the first Caliph Abu Bakr. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq succeeded to the throne of Imamat in 125 A.H., during the time of the 11th Ummayyad Caliph, Walid the Second.

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The Abbasid Caliphate:

During his lifetime, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq saw many important events happen. He saw the revolts of Zayd and Abu Mansur; he watched the development of Abbasid propaganda. It was during his lifetime that the Ummayyad Government was overthrown by the Abbasids.

A Learned Imam:

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq was a learned Imam. He was a master of Hadith (sayings of the Prophet) and Quranic interpretation. He was supposed to be the real founder of Shiism; even the Sunni scholars and learned men held him in high regard. Abu Hanifa and Malik ibn Anas, the two famous Imams of Sunni laws, were counted among his pupils. They used Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq’s teachings and traditions in their works and respected the Imam. The famous scientist Jabir bin Hayyan was also the Imam’s pupil. His many volumes are supposed to be based on thousands of pages written by the Imam himself, which unfortunately, have not been preserved to this day.

Ikhwan as-Safa (The Brethern of Purity):

A society called Ikhwan as-Safa was formed in the time of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq. It began its political and intellectual activities during his lifetime. The society was influenced by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq and in turn, influenced his own teachings.

Note: It is not certain that the society of Ikhwan as-.Safa was formed during the time of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq.

Shia Doctrine:

The process of development of Shia doctrine, which began in the time of Imam al-Baqir, was continued by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq. He received the support of able Dai’s like Abdul Khattab and Maymun al-Qaddah.

Hazrat Fatima:.

So long Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq’s first wife was called as she lived, he followed the example of Prophet Muhammad with Hazrat Khadija and married no other. For 20 years, he had no sons except Hazrat Ismail and Hazrat Abdullah. After Fatima’s death he married again and had other children – 7 in all.

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Death of the Imam:

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq died in 148 A.H., during the reign of the second Abbasid Caliph Mansur and was buried in the “Baqia” cemetery. He lived for 65 years and was Imam for 23 years.

The Ithna Asharis:

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq was followed by his son Imam Ismail to the throne of Imamat; although, after the death of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq, a section of the Shia, following the Imamat of Hazrat Musa al-Kazim, separated. They are known as the Ithna Asharis (Twelvers). They are so called because the line of their Imams came to an end with their 12th Imam Mahdi, who they say went into Ghaib (hiding) in a cave and will return to them in due time.

5th IMAM




|                                        |

|                                        |

6th IMAM ISMAIL                      7th IMAM MUSA AL KAZIM

(Ismailis)                                    |

|                             8th IMAM ALI BIN MUSA

|                                        |

7th IMAM                          9th IMAM MUHAMMED TAQI

MUHAMMAD BIN ISMAIL                                 |

|                               10th IMAM ALI NAQI

|                                        |

|                            11th IMAM HASAN ASGARI

|                                        |

|                           12th IMAM MUHAMMED MAHDI

|                                        |

|                          (Ithna Asharis – Twelvers)


49th IMAM


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.


Hijri Calendar Converter

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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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