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.

In Memory of Rai Hoosein Khan Mohammed – Ismaili Star of Burma

Rai Hoosein Khan MohammedCondolence and Memorial Meeting in the loving memory of Rai Hoosein Khan Mohammed – Eulogy by Hasni Essa


A well organized Condolence and Memorial Meeting in the loving memory of Rai Hoosein Khan Mohammed was arranged by ITREB Pakistan on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 from 7:30pm at ITREB, P Auditorium. The Program to pay homage to the departed soul was as follows:

· Farman Mubarak by Ambreen Hussaini
· Opening Remarks by Abdul Mohammed Sheriff, Chairman ITREB, Pakistan
· Condolence Messages Inviting members from audience
· Remarks by Family Members
· Conclusion by Mushtaq Kazani, Executive Officer
· Dua by Mukhi Saheb


Pictures of late Hoosein bhai were projected on the wall for the benefit of the audience.


The meeting was attended by the family members, Board members, Waezeen, scholars and the leaders of the Jamat.


Alwaz Sabz Ali Haji Baig was the moderator.


The meeting started with reading Farman Mubarak of Mowlana Hazar Imam.


Alwaz Sabz Ali began the proceedings by saying that in Rai Hoosein Khan Mohammed we have lost a volunteer of Tariqah Board with exceptional qualities. His contribution to Tariqah, Imam and Jamat would be remembered for long time to come.


Chairman Abdul Mohammed Sheriff in his opening remarks observed that late Hussain bhai had played a pioneering role as a member of Ismailia Association in early 70’s. As a member of the team, he helped in developing feasibility for the Manpower Training Project; helping the Association to submit a report of its 5 year plan to Mowlana Hazar Imam in Paris in 1975 and in a number of other important activities. The Manpower Training Project created a batch of waezeen and scholars most of whom serve the cause of Tariqah to date. ITREB Pakistan continues the direction of developing manpower set by the Ismailia Association. Hussain bhai will be missed by the family, friends the community and off course the Tariqah. Deepest condolences are offered to the family members of late Hussain bhai.


Alwaz Sabz Ali recalled his experiences of knowing and working with late Rai Sahib. He said that he was impressed with the knowledge of Tariqah. Rai Sahib was also at ease with technology in the days when the use of technology was limited. He had an opportunity of travelling with Hussain Bhai in the Northern Areas. Hussain Bhai would carry a wide angled lens camera to take shots of scenic beauty there. He said that he fondly remembers the valued gift of a radio with large speakers from him.


Alwaz Sabz Ali then invited the members of family and audience to give their messages.


Anisa Merchant, a niece of Hussain bhai paid great tribute to the departed soul as a loving, kind and caring father figure of the extended Khan Mohammed family. He took great interest in the affairs and welfare of the family. The family looked up to him for guidance and advice. He was deeply interested in Tariqah matters till he breathed his last. He had a large collection of books, journals and articles on Ismailism and comparative religions. In his last years, his eye sight and health had deteriorated but his enthusiasm for the knowledge and sharing of it remained the same. He would ask her to search for this material or that material on Farmans, Ginans and other topics of Ismailism because some one wanted the same. Just before his passing away, he asked her for some material to be given to one Alwaz Lalani who visited him in Los Angeles then. She said that his children are following in his foot steps. One of his grand sons who is only 13 years old leads Eid Namaz and has deep interest in Tariqah. His son Imtiaz is a Mukhi of Baitul Khayal.


Rai Zulfiqar Meghani was next to pay homage to the departed soul. He said that he was fortunate to work with Hussain Bhai on a number of projects of ITREB in the capacity of the member of Ismailia Association. He worked with him on the Manpower Training Project, International Ginan Conference, Joint Waezeen Training Program, Zonal Conference and many other events. He said that in May 1976 Molwana Hazar Imam graciously gave a singular honor to the Ismailia Association by gracing to preside over its board meeting in Karachi. In that meeting Mowlana Hazar Imam took the Board in confidence and shared His engagements of Seerat Conference, Rotary Club etc. Mowlana Hazar Imam was gracious to allow members to ask questions about Tariqah matters. Replying to a question submitted by Hoosein Bhai, Hazar Imam counseled that we should build bridges with other communities.


Hoosein Bhai gave his heart and soul to the International Ginan Conference that lasted for 35 days. He worked for long hours to make the conference successful and the outcome productive.


Rai Zulfiqar said that Hoosein Bhai was so loving and caring that anyone who came in contact with him was touched by his loving kindness. Vazir Noor Mohammed Mewawala also was Hon. Secretary of Tariqah Board while Hoosein bhai was a member. He especially asked his children to attend Rai Sahib’s funeral in Los Angeles.


Hoosein bhai worked most devotedly, sincerely and efficiently in whatever capacity that was assigned to him. He was a pillar of strength for the Burma Jamat in troubled times. Hazar Imam was in touch with the Jamat intimately at that time. As the Hon. Secretary of Burma council, he would swiftly convey the guidance of Imam to the members of Jamat. This saved the Jamat great hardships and loss of capital funds.


Rai Mushtaq Jindani who was associated with Rai Sahib as the Hon. Secretary of the Ismailia Association in 70’s paid glowing tributes. He observed that late Hoosein bhai was one of the finest human beings that he had come across in his life. His contribution to the community was immense. He said that he was fortunate to work with him very closely in Ismailia Association for Pakistan.


Rai Sahib was a beacon of knowledge. His love for knowledge, for Tariqah and devotion to Imam and Jamat is indescribable. He was always eager to learn and share more about history, doctrine, Farmans, and Ginans. He was ever vigilant looking for new material, books and articles on Ismailism. He had a passion for preparing an updated annotated bibliography on Tariqah. He would feel great satisfaction in sharing the knowledge with others. He was always respected for his generosity. Many scholars, waezeen and board members felt indebted to him for his guidance and nurturing. He was a source of inspiration for his colleagues. He would work for Ismailia Association tirelessly for hours and making a productive contribution. He lived, breathed and had his being in Tariqah every moment of his life.


He was a great motivator. He would often quote Mowlana Sultan Mohammed Shah’s Farman for the Ismailia Association “Ismailia Association today is the true successor of former dais and fidais” and would motivate to follow in the foot steps of our great dais and fidais such as Nasir Khusraw, Hasan bin Sabah and others.


Mr. Mushtaq Kazani summed up the meeting. He said that the present ITREB is reaping the fruits of the seeds sown by Hoosein bhai and other members. The pioneering work of HR development continues today as ITREB P’s main activities. Hoosein bhai would be sadly missed by all.


In the end, Mukhi Sahib gave dua for eternal peace of departed soul of late Hoosein bhai.


Eulogy by Hasanali Essa


Ismaili Star of Burma


In tribute.


“We owe eulogies to the living, but pay them to the dead.”


Inna Lillahi wa Inna Elaiyhi Rajeoon — To God we belong and to Him we return. Quran 2:156


The Ismaili Community indeed has lost one of its brilliant stars which shined and enlightened Ismaili Jamat with his exceptional knowledge of Ismailism and Ismaili tariqa which benefited Ismaili Jamat of Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the U.S.A


I humbly request therefore, let us have this moment to reflect on the great life of Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed of Burma who lived a long and fulfilling life, indeed.


However, due to low-profile life he believed in living he never sought limelight for his great achievement in life. He was not only unnoticed by many Ismaili members of our community, but on my research his works and accomplishment were, I believe, not even recorded and saved anywhere in Ismaili archives, for future generation to draw inspiration from his extraordinary knowledge of Ismailism and Ismaili tariqa.
I would kindly request therefore editor and publisher Nina Jaffer of AMAANA.ORG to post this eulogy of Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed in her esteemed website so that we could have wide circulation and inform the Jamat about who Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed was and how the Ismaili Jamat benefited from his contribution.


Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed of Burma has just passed away peacefully at the age of 80 on September 23, 2013 and we all hope that he is at peace already because he accomplished all that he set out to do as a most devoted member of the Ismaili community. He dedicated his whole life in service to his Imam and Ismaili community. Not only that, but served as youngest honorary secretary of Aga Khan Council of Burma, and
helped emigrate Burmese Ismaili community to East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
Let us now have few moments and reflect on life of Rai Hussein Khan Muhammad of Burma.


Burma: Burmese Ismaili Jamat had enjoyed best of times in peace and suffered worst of times during WW II and under Military Junta when private trade of Burma was nationalized. Thirty Ismailis were killed when Allied bomber had a direct hit on Burma Jamatkhana. Life was extremely miserable for one and a half years under Japanese occupation.


After the war, Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed was appointed as youngest honorary secretary of Aga Khan Council of Burma; who played a major role in helping to emigrate Burmese Jamat to East Pakistan (Bangladesh). He was also responsible for getting them passports and visas. Situation was so bad under military rule that Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed was even threatened to leave Burma right away because
of his exposure as one of the leaders involved in various activities to assist Burma Jamat to migrate to then East Pakistan. But, Rai Hussein was undeterred and said, “my Imam is with me.” He finally left after most of the Jamat had already left. Also, he was one of the main players in Dacca who was constantly in touch with Mowlana Hazar Imam to seek guidance to resettle Burma Jamat in East Pakistan.


Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed also played a pioneering role as a member of Ismailia Association in Karachi, Pakistan, and helped in developing feasibility for Manpower Training Project; help the Association to submit a report of its 5 year plan to Mowlana Hazar Imam in 1975 (attached above, Condolence and Memorial meeting in Karachi is self-explanatory of his works in Karachi ).


Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed was also a well known figure after he arrived in U.S.A. He was appointed Chairman of ITREB in Los Angeles of course for his past credentials.


Finally, Rai Hussein Khan Mohammed was no doubt a dedicated and humble man, a fountain of wisdom, a beacon of hope to all those who came in touch with him. But, he was more than that. He was a man filled with joy of living. He was a husband, a father…and my friend, who I am going to miss terribly. We would chat for hours at a time and I would ask him searching questions. He was always ready with the right answer and would convince me. He was once dubbed by some of our Ismaili brothers as “Encyclopedia of Ismailism ” by some who came in touch with him.


To his wife, sons and daughter our deepest sympathy on this bereavement, and our Ismaili community, in the deep expectation that “flowers will grow from his grave” for the benefit of Ismailis for years to come. This is not a goodbye, for he is not gone. He will live of course in memory of those who came in contact with him for his advice.


The Burma Jamat also extends their deepest condolences to his family at this difficult time.


— Hasanali Essa of Burma


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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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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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