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.

Ramadan Kareem Mubarak!

Ramadan Four Angels-Amaana.orgRamadan Kareem Mubarak!

“Be it man or woman, each of you is equal to the other.”

The holy month of Ramadan begins on the first day of Ramadan which is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This year it starts on June 18, 2015 which equates to Ramadan 1, 1436 A.H. After the moon’s lunar cycle of 30 days or so, the end of the fasting month is celebrated by Eid where the devout celebrate after having completed the month of fasting successfully from dawn to sunset each day.  The end of this month starts with the morning prayers on Eid-ul Fitr, greetings are exchanged with everyone and children are given an Eidi, a gift of money followed great rejoicing and feasting and picnics.

The great Muslim poet Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi in the  13th century AD says about Ramadan:

“Don’t give into some illusion and lose your power,
but even if you have, if you’ve lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out of the ground,
pennants flying above them.

A table descends to your tents, Jesus’ table.
Expect to see it, when you fast,
this table spread with other food,
better than the broth of cabbages.”

Rumi’s Ramadan Poems (more at this link)

Ramadan is the month that the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad on the 23rd night of Ramadan and that night has been called the Night of Power – Layla-tul Qadr, the great night where a single moment of enlightenment of the Light of God converts the night into a period of Spiritual glory and majesty that touches the eternal life. Pious Muslims strive to make themselves pure, especially during this month, by ritual and spiritual observances to make ready for the Companionship on High as alluded to in Rumi’s poem above. The faithful try to emulate the Prophet Muhammad’s example and are engaged in their daily lives with good actions in helping fellow human beings and worshiping God and constantly seeking His Grace by their ethical actions in society and during Ramadan, all the piety is concentrated especially whilst fasting and staying away from all pollution and unethical behavior. This month has been declared sacred in the Holy Quran wherein God says:

2:183 – O you who believe, fasting is prescribed on you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you may become self-restrained.

2:185 – The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty, is an expiation – the feeding of a poor man. And whoso does good of his own accord it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew.

The Holy Quran was revealed on the 23rd night of Ramadan celebrated as Layla tul Qadr — the Night of Power when Angel Gabriel descended to deliver God’s message to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him:

Iqra, bi-ismi rabbika allathee khalaq
Khalaqa al-insana min AAalaq
Iqra, warabbuka al-akram
Allathee AAallama bil qalam
AAallama al-insana ma lamyaAAlam
Read in the name of your Lord Who created.
He created man from a clot.
Read and your Lord is Most Honorable,
Who taught (to write) with the pen
Taught man what he knew not.

Surat Al-Qadr – The Power, Quran 97 – سورة القدر

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ
أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ وَمَآ
لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ
سَلاَمٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ

For the last 1400 years, now over 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world, the believers pay special attention to the esoteric (batin) matters by practicing the exoteric (zaher) fasting by refraining from dishonesty, stealing, unethical actions, and other activities that would lead one astray.  A Momin’s (believer’s) life is a journey to become one with the Essence and her daily life is a mirror of her spiritual beauty. A Muslim lives a daily life of piety which includes practice of faith and taking care of life, that means, working for the family, earning and taking part in society whilst also maintaining a relationship with the Creator-on-high. So the tasbi (rosary) will be in constant use to remember God and recall this link with the Spirit and Soul.

ramadhan-kareem-Amaana.orgDuring Ramadan, Muslims fast from sun-up to sun-down daily, not having anything to eat, drink, smoke and keep away from sexual relations during that period of about 8-10 hours a day. A special feast is prepared for the breaking of the fast each evening known as Iftar, where everyone present is invited to partake of the dinner after the all-day fast and prayers of thanks are offered and family and friends reconnect and rejoice for remembering their duty to God and for striving to be pious.

The month ends with special festivities on the Eid al-Fitr (Day of Feasting) celebration when families and friends truly rejoice for having completed the commandment of Allah by successful abstinence and by zikr (remembrance of Allah) at all times.

Sunnata man qad arsalna qablaka minrusulina wala tajidu lisunnatina tahweela

(This was Our) way with the messengers We sent before thee: thou wilt find no change in Our ways. — Quran 17:77

Audio Quran 17:77

 The above Ayat is retold by Imam Hazrat Ali in his Khutbat Iftikhar so beautifully and powerfully!

I am the meaning of Ramadan and the night of Qadr (Quran 97:1-3) mentioned in the Mother Book. My utterance is decisive, for I am the Surah of Praise (Hamd). I am the purpose of prayer itself, whether at home or when travelling. I am the purpose of fasting, and the sacred anniversaries in the months of the year. I am the Lord of Resurrection and Judgement, the One who can remove the yoke that lies heavy on the people of Muhammad. I am the Gate through which all shall pass who worship God; I am His worshipper, and one created by Him. I am both the witness and the One witnessed to, the possessor of the green canopy, He Whose name is mentioned in the heavens and the earth, Who is the travelling companion of the Messenger of God throughout the heavens, for with Me is the Book and the sacred Arc.

ramadhan-kareem-Amaana.orgMubarak Everyone! Rejoice!

Nasr min Allah wa Fath Qarib! – Help from God and Victory very Near! – Quran 61:13

Enjoy the lovely Nasheed below and also browse the pages created for previous years for Ramadan at the links below where you will also find Iftar dinner speeches by Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. Hope you have a great month of spiritual connection with the All-High and realize you are Angelic!

Ahl-Al-Bayt Nasheed

Eid Celebrations

One Response to Ramadan Kareem Mubarak!

  • yasmin akram says:

    The importance and usefulness of hunger among the religions of the world is such that, it is given the status of a supreme ibadat (2:183). The dire need of hunger is also felt in medical science, in the form of diet, starvation, prevention, etc. In addition, so long as there is no comfort or rest and silence in the stomach of a person, he can neither do any mental work peacefully, nor any successful ibadat.
    Book of Healing (208)

Please leave your comments

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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