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.

Poetry

Arabic Universal Language of the Muslim World — Aga Khan III

Aga-Khan-III-autographed-photo-Amaana.orgArabic Universal Language of the Muslim World

Speech by the late H. H. Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III at a session of Motamer al-Alam-al-Islamiyya

Karachi, Pakistan

February 9, 1951

Mr. President
Brother Muslims

I can assure you that it is not with a light heart that I address you this evening. I fully realise that what I am going to say will make me most unpopular with important sections of the population. However, I would be a traitor to Islam if I let this opportunity pass without placing before the people of this powerful and populous Islamic nation the views which I consider my duty to place before the Muslims with as many of the arguments as I am capable of using in a short address. I fear… Continue reading

Beyond Polemics and Pluralism: The Universal Message of the Qur’an — Reza Shah-Kazemi

Behzad's Advice of the Ascetic (c.1500-1550) - Amaana.orgBeyond Polemics and Pluralism: The Universal Message of the Qur’an[1]

— Reza Shah-Kazemi

Editor’s Note: It was a delight to hear Dr. Shah-Kazemi’s lecture on the subject in person yesterday. Please view my picture with him below! Yay! My sincere thanks to Dr. Shah-Kazemi for providing this article and I am honored to present it on the Ismaili Web. Alhamduli’Llah! Please also view video of this presentation made in June 2014 at the end of this article and I just added his presentation at FIU on March 31, 2015. Thank you!

And they say: None entereth Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if ye are truthful.

Nay, but whosoever submitteth his purpose to God, and he is… Continue reading

Moments with Shams Tabriz

Divan-e Shamse Tabrizi depicting Shamse Tabrizi playing chess with a young Persian prince 5th-16th century - Amaana.org

Moments with Shams – Words of Wisdom from Rumi’s Teacher

 — Selections from the Maqalat of Shams-i Tabriz, Translated and edited by Refik Algan and Camille Helminski

Intensifying One’s Search

One’s longing, one’s search for the beneficence of God, must be so strong and intense that like the longing of Moses it allows no obstacle to stand in the way. When the Prophet Moses asked: “Who is more knowledgeable in the universe than I am?” his friend Joshua answered: “There is one person more knowledgeable than you are.” Moses didn’t get angry, he didn’t get offended; he didn’t say, “What kind of a thing to say is that!” But instead, “Oh, what was it you said?” he asked for information, because he was searching. Joshua was also a prophet, but… Continue reading

40 Rules of Love — Shams Tabriz, Rumi’s Teacher

Meeting of Jalaledin Rumi and Shams al-Din Tabriz - Amaana.orgShams-i-Tabrīzī (Persian: شمس تبریزی‎) or ‘Shams al-Din Mohammad’ (1185–1248) was a Persian Muslim, who is credited as the spiritual instructor of Mewlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi, also known as Rumi and is referenced with great reverence in Rumi’s poetic collection, in particular Diwan-i Shams-i Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz). Tradition holds that Shams taught Rumi in seclusion in Konya for a period of forty days, before fleeing for Damascus. The tomb of Shams-i Tabrīzī was recently nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to Sipah Salar, a devotee and intimate friend of Rumi who spent forty days with him, Shams was the son of the [Ismaili] ‘Imam Ala al-Din’. In a work entitled Manāqib al-‘arifīn (Eulogies of the Gnostics),… Continue reading

The Holy Quran in the Ginanic Literature – Rashida Noormohamed-Hunzai

Mughal Gathering Music Recital 16th c - Amaana.org

The Holy Qur’an in the Ginanic Literature – An Initial Exploration

By Rashida Noormohamed-Hunzai

This paper seeks to demonstrate the underlying teachings of the holy Qur’an in the Ginanic Literature, therefore it is essential, first of all to describe the nature of the Qur’an, as well as that of the Ginans in order to understand better the relationship between them.

The holy Qur’an is the Divine revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) and unites the entire Muslim ummah. In its own words in Surah 26, verses 192 to 195:

“It is a revelation of the Lord of the worlds, which the True Spirit has brought down upon your (i.e. Prophet Muhammad’s) heart that you may be of the warners in plain Arabic speech.” — Quran 26:192-195

We further learn from… Continue reading

Prophet Muhammad Birthday Mevlut

Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali Reunited Manuscript Punjab 1686 - Amaana.orgProphet Muhammad Birthday Milad un Nabi — Mevlût

By Annemarie Schimmel

In the Turkish tradition, the best-known early mevlût was written by Süleyman Chelebi of Bursa around 1400. But more than a century earlier, Yunus Emre had already promised heavenly reward to those who recite mevlût, which shows — provided the verses are genuine — that mevlûts were popular among the Turks at a rather early stage. Süleyman Chelebi’s poem is written in rhyming couplets, a literary from adopted from the Persian. Its rhythm is simple; the meter is the same as that used primarily in Persian mystical and didactic epics such as ‘Attar’s Mantiq ut-tair and Rumi’s Mathnawi. The language is plain, almost childlike, and therefore the poem has not lost anything of its charm even today. (But even this poem was considered… Continue reading

Music in Persian Mysticism — Henry Corbin

Persian Poetry Divan by Hafiz - Amaana.orgOn the Meaning of Music in Persian Mysticism 

By Henry Corbin
(Introduction given at le cité Universitaire May 19th 1967, on the occasion of an evening of Persian  music, poetry and  dance.  L’Iran  et la Philosophie, Fayard 1990. This translation appeared in Temenos 13, 1992, Translated by Kathleen Raine)
I would like to suggest, in a few pages, how I see the fact that among all the forms of mysticism our science of religions has made known to us, Persian mysticism is notable as having always tended towards musical expression, and as never having found its complete expression otherwise than in that form. The part played by music in Islamic countries has not, over the centuries, followed the same course as in the West; doubtless because those who… Continue reading

Recognition of the Imam — Persian Manuscript translated by Ivanow

THE ISMAILI SOCIETY

ISMAILI TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS SERIES, NO. 4

ON THE

RECOGNITION OF THE IMAM

 

(Fasl dar Bayan-I Shinakht-i Imam)

 

Translated from Persian by

W. IVANOW

 


TABLE OF THE CONTENTS OF THE TEXT

1. The manifestation of the Imam and his Hujjat……1v.-2v.
2. The necessity of the propaganda (da’wat) in the time when the Imam is
hidden ….. 2v.-3
3. The fourfold knowledge about the Imam …..3-3v.
4. The Hujjat’s and da’i’s knowledge of the Imam …..3v.-4
5. The relations between the Imam and the Hujjat …..4-4v.
6. The manifestation of the Imam is essential to the existence of the world
…..4v.-6
7. Definition of the degree of the Hujjat …..6-6v.
8. The logical proofs of the necessity of the Hujjat …..6v.
9. The traditional proofs… 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

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

Imamat Day July 11, 2013 – Mashallah! 56 Years!

Mowlana Hazar Imam’s 56th Anniversary of the Ascent to the Imamat – July 11, 2013

Mowlana Hazar Imam’s GJ 2007 Amaana.org Aga Khan

Spiritual Leader and Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims – His Highness the Aga Khan at the 50th Imamat Day Golden Jubilee Celebrations amongst a gathering of his followers – Imam of the Time, Lamb of the Ages! To the right is the Alaam – the Standard, used in processions and official events of the Imams. This one dates back to the Fatimid period and has the Arabic calligraphy depicting the names of Allah, Muhammad and Ali, a theme running in the Shia Ismaili tradition that God did not leave mankind without a Living Guide! Our Zikr Tasbi (remembrance chant) calls these three names Allah, Muhammad and Ali. Mashallah! These three names can be seen in… Continue reading

Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr

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 July 8, 2013. After 30 days or so, dependent on the sighting of the moon, the end of the fasting month is celebrated by Eid where the devout celebrate after having completed the month of fasting successfully starting with the morning prayers after which greetings are exchanged 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’s Ramadan poems 13th century AD:

 

“O moon-faced Beloved,
the month of Ramadan has arrived.
Cover the table
and open the path of praise.”

 

“The month of fasting has come,… Continue reading

Nowruz Persian New Year – Eid Mubarak!

Navroz Mubarak! Eid Mubarak! Eid-e Shoma Mobarak!

Sultan Newruz – Imam Hazrat Ali’s Solar Birthday Anniversary! Norouz Nawruz Norooz – New Year Blessings! March 21, 2013

Shah Abbas I receiving Vali Muhammad Khan of Bukhara, Chehel Sotun, Isfahan1657
Shah Abbas I receiving Vali Muhammad Khan of Bukhara, Chehel Sotun, Isfahan (c.1657)

 

Cele-
bration
Navroz – New Year, birthday of Imam Hazrat Ali, Newruz Sultan
What A cross-cultural celebration of the New Year, the first day of the Spring astrological Equinox, solar birthday anniversary of our Imam Ali hence the name Nevruz Sultan, in Turkey Nauruz-i Sultani. “It was on Navroz that Adam was created, that God made a covenant with the souls, that Abraham destroyed the pagan idols, that the Prophet of Islam received first revelation, that the Prophet took Ali on his shoulders to smash 360 idols in Mecca, and… 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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