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Aga Khan Arusha Tanzania 1966, Barakah photo.

Amin Jaffer collection: Exclusive photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam's visit to Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966

We are once again deeply indebted to Amin Jaffer for sharing with readers of Barakah this rich and rare collection of photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966. Barakah is dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family as well as the Ismaili Imamat. Jaffer’s previous exclusive contributions have been widely read around the world, and we invite our readers to click on the following links:

  • Photos of Prince Amyn Aga Khan’s 1968 visits to Arusha;
  • Photos of Prince Aly Khan’s 1951 visit to Arusha, Tanganyika; and
  • Photos of Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah and Mawlana Shah Karim from Jan Karmali Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured during his visit to the Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha as part of his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection

By AMIN JAFFER

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrived in Nairobi on October 18, 1966 to commence a 54 day visit to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Malagasy Republic (now Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar).

This was the longest ever visit Mawlana Hazar Imam had made to any part of the world until 1966, since assuming the Imamat on July 11, 1957. During these 54 days he took two very short breaks to Europe for personal engagements, including treatment to his leg.

His visits to various cities and towns in these four countries involved courtesy calls to the Presidents of the countries, meetings and official functions of the Governments and various institutions.

The extensive visit included mulaqats with Jamats in small as well as big towns and cities. He visited Imamat projects including schools, hospitals, dispensaries as well as numerous industries associated with the Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), which is now an economic arm under the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), a major agency of the Ismaili Imamat’s Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in the pituresque town of Arusha on October 20th, two days after landing in Nairobi. He was received at Arusha Airport by Jamati leaders as well as Government officials. From the airport Hazar Imam proceeded to the compounds of Arusha Jamatkhana accompanied by Arusha’s Regional Commissioner. A guard of honour was presented by the Aga Khan Scouts Band, and national anthems of Tanzania and the Ismaili Imamat were played. Thereafter the Regional Commissioner departed, and Hazar Imam inspected the troops of Aga Khan volunteers, boys scouts, girl guides and cubs before going into the Jamatkhana where he bestowed the Jamat with his holy didar, guidance and blessings. He also conducted religious ceremonies.

He then paid a visit to KILTEX, an IPS textile mill, and Tanzania Litho where he performed the opening ceremony of extensions of the facility. Mawlana Hazar Imam was accompanied by Michael Curtis, the CEO of Nation Media.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Arusha visit included a luncheon hosted by the Aga Khan Council and the Jamat at the Arusha school which was attended by leaders and members of the Jamat as well as government leaders and other dignitaries.

His final stop before departing Arusha was the Aga Khan Primary School which was still under construction. The school was completed a few months later in 1967. He met the school’s architects, contractors, the headmaster and teachers, and signed the guestbook before departing for the nearby town of Moshi.

His Highness the Aga Khan at Arusha Jamatkhana, Tanzania

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, seen arriving at Arusha Jamatkhana with the Regional Commissioner (other side of car) during his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam is garlanded by Kamadia Kassamali Mohamed Jivan as he arrives at Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. On other side of the car are Arusha’s Regional Commissioner (left) and Madat Moolji. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, takes salute after his arrival at Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. In photo (l to r) are Mukhi Abdul Tharani, Regional Commissioner for Arusha Region, MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM , Kamadia Kassamali Mohamed Jivan, and Volunteer Captain Badrudin Lalani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, inspects boy scouts and other troops upon his arrival at the compounds of the Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on at left is scout master Sadru H.K. Ishani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is greeted by Arusha girl guides leader Farida Razak Kara at the compounds of the Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on at left is scout master Sadru H.K. Ishani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by Arusha’s Mukhi Abdul Tharani and volunteers’ captain Badrudin Lalani, walks towards the Arusha Jamatkhana building after inspecting the troops upon his arrival at Jamatkhana compounds during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is seen leaving the Arusha Jamatkhana reading room during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan visits IPS Projects in Arusha, Tanzania

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, walks with Michael Curtis (left) and manager of Tanzania Litho, during his tour of Kiltex and Tanzania Litho, both IPS projects in Arusha, as part of his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with Mr. Sayani, manager of Kiltex factory during his visit to Arusha, Tanzania, as part of his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at Kiltex factory in Arusha, Tanzania, during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at Kiltex factory in Arusha, Tanzania, during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan attends a special luncheon in his honour in Arusha

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with a Government official at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on is the Tanzanian Aga Khan Council President Abdulla Tejpar. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan visits Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is met by Mr. Razac Husein Hasam, the Administrator of Aga Khan Schools in Tanzania as he arrives at the construction site of Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. K & Kassam Lalji Co. Ltd of Dar es Salaam constructed the school under the supervision of Shamshu Ismail Haji. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Razac Husein Hasaam, the Administrator of Aga Khan Schools in Tanzania, introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Akbar Natha Hirji, Manager of Aga Khan Schools in Arusha, Tanzania, during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured at Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School, during during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured at Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School, during during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan with teachers Gulshan Ismail Suleman (left) and Amina Ibrahim of Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School Project during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan signing the guest book at Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School Project during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on is Mithoo N.V. Gillani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, views other institutional buildings located in the same corridor as the Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Students of Arusha’s Aga Khan School stand respectfully as Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, visits them during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, takes leave after visiting Arusha as part of his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Seated in the front seat closest to the window is Late Diwan Sir Eboo Pirbhai who served Mawlana Hazar Imam and Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah for several decades. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha Tanzania in 1966, Barakah Photo. Aga Khan Primary School Arusha completed in 1967. Mount Meru in background.
A view of the Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania, with Mt. Meru (4,562 m/14,965 ft) in background. Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, visited the school during its construction phase in October 1966. The school was completed in 1967. See previous photos. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

Date posted: February 24, 2019.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

We urge our readers to review their old archives and photo albums for rare photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, and his family, and get in touch with Barakah by writing to Malik Merchant at simerg@aol.com.

___________________

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

____________________

Exclusive: Noorali Harji collection of rare photos of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, Prince Aly Khan and Mawlana Hazar Imam in Zanzibar and Mombasa

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Vancouver, Canada, 1978, Barakah.
Nizar Harji of Vancouver receives Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at a mulaqat in Vancouver during his first visit to Canada in 1978. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

The historical photos in this article are from the collection of Late Noorali Harji (1912-2006). They were presented for publication in Barakah by his son Nizar Harji (see his photo with Mawlana Hazar Imam, above) when I met him in Vancouver recently. Like other individuals and families before him who have submitted rare and historical photos for publication on this blog, Nizar re-ignited my long-held view that hundreds if not thousands of families have historical photographs of Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family in their archives that are waiting to be uncovered. As before, we again urge families to devote some time looking through their old photo albums and archives for gems and treasures from our recent history. Young boys and girls will be a great asset in this rewarding task. Unknown to you, the photos in your archives might be among the rarest as well as of significant historical importance. If you uncover a photo that you have not seen anywhere else, it is quite likely that it may be very rare! Please contact the writer at Simerg@aol.com, and you will receive an immediate response.

story continues after photo

 Noorali Harji and Noorbanu Suleman Bhanji
Wedding portrait of Noorali Harji and Noorbanu Suleman Bhanji. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

The story of Nizar’s family is fascinating and I listened to it with great interest. Very briefly, Nizar’s grandfather Gulamhusein Harji was one of the earliest Ismaili settlers in Zanzibar. Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, during his second visit to Zanzibar in 1905, created a council to run the community’s affairs and also established the first Zanzibar Jamatkhana. Gulamhusein Harji was appointed both as a Council member as well as the Jamatkhana’s Kamadia. At that time a panjebhai committee was also created and meetings were held at his house, where food was served. During a later visit by the Imam, the panjebhai committee was merged and a monthly Chandraat Majlis was instead established by the 48th Imam which continues to the present day.

story continues after photo

Aga Khan III, Zanzibar, 1905. Barakah.
Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah pictured with early Ismaili settlers from India during his second visit to Zanzibar in 1905. During the visit the Imam established the first Ismaili Council as well as the first Jamatkhana. Mukhi and Kamadia were appointed. Major Noorali Harji’s father, Gulamhusein Harji, standing 3rd from left, became the Kamadia and was also appointed as a Council member. During the visit the Imam also gave the Jamat its first ever constitution. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Kamadia Gulamhusein was killed in the line of duty serving as a volunteer while he was still in the council. He had joined other volunteers to guard the Jamat against a group of Muslims who used to hold anti-Ismaili parades outside the Jamatkhana premises on a regular basis. One day the enemies arrived in full force on their horses and Gulamhusein with two other Ismailis died during a confrontation with the undignified group. Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah then sent a talika, with blessings. A photograph of the three deceased Ismailis was hung at the Zanzibar Jamatkhana entrance, as a reminder to all of their sacrificing spirit while defending the dignity of the Jamat. Nizar recollected during our meeting that the historical photo was present in the Jamatkhana during the 1980’s. Perhaps someone in Zanzibar can send us an image of the photo if it is still hanging on the wall.

story continues after photo

Aga Khan III Diamond JubiIee Committee, Mombasa
Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah’s Diamond Jubilee celebration committee meet in a room under his portrait. Noorali Harji is seated second from left. The chairman of the committee was Count Lutafali Merali. Noorali Harji was involved in the logistics of chartering the steam ship “Vasna” to take murids from the Coast Region to Dar es Salaam and back for the Diamond Jubilee celebration. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Kamadia Gulamhusein’s son, Noorali, was born in Zanzibar in 1912. Noorali got married in 1935 to Noorbanu Suleman Bhanji. At that time, matriculation (Grade 11-12) was the highest level of education available in Zanzibar. Noorbanu, at the age of 18, passed the matriculation exams with the highest marks. Her accomplishment can be attributed to the importance that Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah placed on education. Aga Khan schools had already been established in East Africa by the time Noorbanu began schooling.

story continues after photo

Aga Khan III Diamond Jubilee Dar es Salaam 1945
Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah at the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tazania), 1945. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Noorali, with his new wife Noorbanu, then settled in Mombasa. Inspired by his father’s ethic of service, he too began a lifetime of service to the Ismaili community as well as external civil society bodies. His photographs with Mawlana Hazar Imam, Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah and Prince Aly Khan are a wonderful testimony of his extraordinary and devoted honorary services to the Jamat. He was linked with many bodies and sporting committees. In civil society, he was instrumental in arguing for the case to prevent core member of Ismaili families from being called upon to serve in military campaigns against Kenya’s anti-colonial movement that included Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as its leader. No doubt, Noorali is seen travelling with Jomo Kenyatta in an Ismaili volunteer’s uniform, after the fighter’s release from a Mombasa prison.

story continues after photo

Jomo Kenyatta release from prison, Mombasa, Barakah.
Major Noorali Harji accompanies Jomo Kenyatta (centre) upon his release from a Mombasa prison. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Noorali moved to Canada in 1985 and began serving in his new country with determination and enthusiasm for which he was honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He served to the last days of his life. While assisting Hon. Hedy Fry for her re-election to the Federal Parliament and after having introduced her to the voters at the meeting, Noorali suddenly felt ill and was hospitalised. He passed away four days later on January 26, 2006 at the age of 93 . We pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace.

We pay our deep respect and gratitude to late Noorali Harji for preserving this collection carefully for decades, and thank his son Nizar Harji of Vancouver for sharing this unique photo collection of his father with readers of Barakah.

Aga Khan III at Muslim meeting in Mombasa with the Begum. Barakah.
Scout Noorali Harji on duty in Mombasa as Hazrat Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah arrives with Begum Om Habibeh Mata Salamat for a meeting with Muslim leaders. At left is Sunni Muslim leader Dr. Rana. During the visit to Mombasa, the Imam established the Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education at Tudor. It still exists as Madrasa school. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Prince Aly Khan

Prince Aly Khan, Mombasa, Barakah
Prince Aly Khan visits the Ismaili Housing Complex in Makupa, Mombasa. He randomly elected to go into one of the occupied flats for inspection. He ordered many trees to be planted in the open spaces. Photo: Nizar Harji/Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Prince Aly Khan at a tennis game in Mombasa, Barakah.
Prince Aly Khan pictured at a tennis game in Mombasa or Zanzibar. On either side of the Prince are Count Jindani (left) and Abdulrasul (Merry) Merali. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Prince Aly Khan with Ismaili Scouts Mombasa, Barakah.
Prince Aly Khan in a jovial mood at the Mombasa Aga Khan Club with a group of scouts. Rover Scout leader Noorali Harji is seated next to the Prince at right. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan

Aga Khan visit to Mombasa before becoming 49th Imam, Barakah.
Major Noorali Harji holds out an umbrella for Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, as he arrives for a visit to Mombasa in 1956 prior to becoming the 49th Hereditary Imam of the Ismailis on July 11, 1957. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Captain Shamshudin Gillani. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives for his first visit to Mombasa as the 49th Imam in November 1957. He is seen with Major Noorali Harji inspecting a guard of honour at the Mombasa airport. Mawlana HazAr Imam arrived from Nairobi on a chartered East African Airways Dakota plane seen in the background. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Captain Amir Hassan Juma. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Captain Mohamedali Mohan Amersi. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Scout Master Mohamedali Noormohamed and Girls Guide Captain Shirin Habib Alibhai. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, inspects a guard of honour at Mombasa airport with Major Noorali Harji. Following them is the British High Commissioner for the Coast Region. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives at Mombasa’s Tudor Ismaili Housing Complex Jamatkhana. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, Vancouver Canada, 1978. Barakah.
Nizar Harji of Vancouver bids farewell to Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, following a Jamati majlis gathering during his first visit to Ismailis in Canada in 1978. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Date posted: February 8, 2020.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

___________________

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

A reflection on the recent publication of Farman Mubarak of Mawlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Hussaini Aga Khan

Aga Khan, Diamond Jubilee
Mawlana Hazar Imam delivering a Farman at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Kenya. Top featured photo: Mawlana Hazar Imam at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in the UK. Photos: The Ismaili.

Jamat is deeply joyous on the publication of two Farman books

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

I was in Ottawa when a set of two Farman books first went on sale a couple of weeks ago.  There was a long queue at the literature counter immediately after the Jamati programming and events announcements were completed. The Jamati members were thrilled to secure their own copies of the precious books. It is the first time in more than 40 years that the guidance given by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to his spiritual children has been authorized in printed form. The two Farman books have been published by Islamic Publications Limited which is based at the new Aga Khan Centre in London. A note has been made that the Farmans are published under exclusive licence from Mawlana Hazar Imam.

The set of two books ($10.00 per set) contains Farmans made by Mawlana Hazar Imam from 2011 to 2018. The first book (116 pages) contains a total of 24 Farmans made by Mawlana Hazar Imam during his mulaqats with the Jamats in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Singapore, Bangladesh and India between July 5, 2011 and September 27, 2013. The second book (236 pages) commences with the Farman made on the inauguration of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee in Aiglemont France on July 11, 2017 – the 60th anniversary of his Imamat – and is followed by 44 Farmans made between October 10, 2017 and July 11, 2018 during his Diamond Jubilee visits to Uganda, Tanzania, Eastern Canada, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, India, USA, Kenya, Western Canada, France, the UK and Portugal. The Farmans are published in chronological sequence and there is a table of contents at the beginning of the book. However, there is no index in the two books, and that would be very useful to have moving forward.

It is hoped that Farmans made by Mawlana Hazar Imam before 2011 which have already been authorized and are read out in Jamatkkhanas will be published in the foreseeable future. This publication of the Farman books in printed form takes place almost 44 years after Farmans were last produced in 1976-77. The writer was very much involved with his late father, Alwaez Jehangir Merchant, in the production of that small volume by the Ismailia Association for the United Kingdom (now known as the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board).

Many of us will recall our childhood years during the 1960’s, when our parents would advise us to read a Farman every night before going to bed. At that time we had the benefit of short excerpted Farmans by subject category in tiny books such as Precious Pearls and Precious Gems. In the absence of such books, parents can utilize the newly released Farman books by reading out short excerpts to their babies and young children on a regular basis. The Australian website raising children mentions that reading to babies and children help them to get to know sounds, words and language, and they develop early literacy skills. In our particular case of reading out Farmans to children, we can also say that by doing so we are building their attachment, affection and love for Mawlana Hazar Imam.

The website reading rockets states that when the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child’s life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk. It has been recommended that reading should take place at least once everyday at a scheduled time and if this cannot be done, then read to your child as often as you possibly can. The typeset in the Farman books is large enough for the grown up children to comfortably read the Farmans by themselves. Parents and older siblings must encourage them to do so.

In addition, we urge every member of the Jamat and especially the youth and professionals to devote a few moments on a regular basis to the reading of Farmans, reflecting on them and seeking out the blessings that the Imam is conveying. Encouraging others to do likewise is a very important step in fulfilling our role as a dai, that is, a communicator of matters of faith.

The obedience to the Imam-of-the-Time is a time honoured Ismaili tradition, and Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah had once observed that heaps of pearls are scattered when Imams give Farmans. When a murid of the Imam consciously listens to Farmans in Jamatkhana or reads them in the books such as the ones that have just been published, the listener or reader should treat the blessings conveyed by Mawlana Hazar Imam for all times, and not treat the blessings as if they were for the occasion when the Farman was delivered. Indeed, as you are reading through the two Farman books, you will come across references to the enduring nature of the Imam’s blessings in his own words.

In her wonderful piece published in Ilm in 1979 and reproduced in Simerg, Nadya Kassam contextualized the importance of Farmans through a verse of the following ginan by Pir Shams:

Satagur kahere amara vachan je manshe,
Te chhe amare galeka har.
Tene galeka har kari rakhasu,
Tis momanke sukhaka anta na par-re.

The Pir in the verse says that a murid who obeys the Imam’s Farmans is like a garland (around the neck of the Imam). Hazar Imam keeps such a person very near to him, and that the mu’min will be very happy in this world and the next.

Mawlana Hazar Imam speaks to his spiritual children in plain language, always maintaining a joyful and warm demeanor. As we read through Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Farmans, his inspiring and perfect guidance as well as munificent blessings should touch our hearts, and raise and renew our hopes and spirits every single day.

We welcome the publication of the Farman set, and express our profound and humble shukhrana to Mawlana Hazar Imam for his constant guidance and blessings for our spiritual and material well-being.

Date posted: February 3, 2020.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

2020: For new year and a new decade, here are 10 guiding principles of Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan, for a happy, rich and meaningful life in the years ahead

Compiled and prepared by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

1. Life: An exalted destiny

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.

2. Seek harmony with God

First, I would place spiritual happiness. A man must be at one with God. This may sound old-fashioned to some people. A few may think that they do not believe in God, and some others that it matters little to the individual in his daily life how he stands with regard to Him.

Ruling out the atheist, it is surely strange that a believer in an Omnipotent and Ever-Present Deity should fail to realise that how we stand this instant and every instant toward Him matters to us more than anything else in the universe.

That is the fundamental question: Are you in harmony with God? If you are – you are happy.

3. Appreciate nature

Next I would place appreciation and enjoyment of the glories of nature. All those sunrises and sunsets – all the intricate miracle of sky colour, from dawn to dusk….then comes night – “a night of stars.” I look up at night and I know – I know the glory of the stars. It is then that the stars speak to us. All that splendid spendthrift beauty…As a very rich man treasures the possession of some unique picture, so a man should treasure and exult in the possession – his individual possession – of the sights of this unique world.

4. Be literary minded

Then comes literature – above all poetry. Poetry is the voice of God speaking through the lips of man. If great painting puts you in touch with nature, great poetry puts you in direct touch with God. It is not a soft indulgence, you need to be wide awake, with all your wits about you, to share the poet’s joys. And, indeed, happiness is never a negative affair; it is to be won by men who are fully alive, full of the joy of living.

5. Be active

Next I would place the joys of rapid movement such as you get from games like golf, tennis, football…As with literature for the mind, so with games the body feels itself vividly, happily alive.

These are the independent means of happiness. Any man may worship God, wonder at the miracle of nature, exult when he hears (in literature) the sons of God shouting for joy, and give praise for the perfection of his body in rapid movement.

6. Don’t fear marriage and parenthood

When I speak of marriage, I need not emphasize the joys of a happy marriage and fortunate parentage. They are inextricably interwoven – warp and woof of the same pattern, and the pattern is the whole of life in miniature. He who refuses that venture because of the risk is refusing life.

7. Don’t be solitary

I have no liking for hermits and other solitaries who refuse all responsibilities. They may live in a town as likely as in a desert, and their avowed purpose may be to lead holy lives; but, in fact, if they have ecstasies, they are the ecstasies of self-indulgence. My concern is not with them.

8. Reject despondency and have hope

You must remember that life will have for you many disappointments. If one-fifth of one’s hopes are realised, one is extremely lucky and fortunate, so do not be discouraged by disappointments.

Failures should be forgotten and new efforts made. Despondency is a sin, and hope a necessary part of Iman (faith) both for material wealth and, above all, for progress to spiritual enlightenment.

9. Be grateful

I should have a word to say to those who deem themselves unfortunate from a worldly point of view. I should say to them, ‘Do not look up and lament that you are not as well off as those above you. Look down and congratulate yourself that you are better off than those below you’. To a man who looks with such eyes upon the world, it is not a prison but a garden. A marvelous garden – the garden of the Lord.

10. Make struggle a joy

Struggle is the meaning of life; defeat or victory is in the hands of God. But struggle itself is man’s duty and should be his joy.

Date posted: January 1, 2020.
Last updated: January 12, 2020.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

_____________________

Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

References:

  • Aga Khan interview with Daily Sketch, London, on November 2, 1931.
  • The Memoirs of Aga Khan, Cassel and Company Limited, London, 1954.
  • My Philosophy of Happiness by Hazrat Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah.
  • Messages of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah – Message No. 1 published by Shia Imami Ismailia Association for Africa, 1955.
  • Hazrat Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah’s Concept of Life by Kamaluddin A. Muhammad, Ilm, Volume 3, Number 2, November 1977.
  • Literary Reading: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – The Road to Happiness and The Concept of Life
Barakah Aga Khan articles 2019

His Highness the Aga Khan: 2019 stories behind the photos

Barakah published 64 posts in 2019. Below we provide links to 16 interesting, thoughtful and inspiring pieces. Please click on link or photo to see the corresponding article in full.

A VISIT TO A LAB IN CALIFORNIA

Barakah 2019 Aga Khan year in review

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A FASCINATING SPEECH IN THE PHILIPPINES

Barakah 2019 Aga Khan year in review Philipines

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A BEAUTIFUL REGALIA

2019 Aga Khan year in review

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THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD

Barakah 2019 Aga Khan year in review Prophet Muhammad

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THE FIRST MUSIC AWARDS

Barakah 2019 Aga Khan year in review

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PRINCES AND PRINCESSES IN ACTION

Barakah 2019 Aga Khan year in review

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RARE COLLECTION

Barakah 2019 Aga Khan year in review

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REMEMBERING TWO PRINCES

2019 Aga Khan year in review Barakah

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PASSION FOR PLURALISM

2019 Aga Khan year in review

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A CONVOCATION AND TRIBUTE IN RHODE ISLAND

The Aga Khan delivered the Baccalaureate Address at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, on May 26, 1996. On the following day, he was the recipient of Brown University’s Honourary Degree of Doctor of Laws for “service to Islam and to all of human kind.” In the photo, the Aga Khan is seen leading the Honorary Degree recipients in the Academic Procession, which also included Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman judge on the United States Supreme Court, and James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank.

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FIRST VISIT TO TATARSTAN

2019 Aga Khan year in review

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NEW AFRICAN INTERVIEW

New African editor-in-chief Anver Versi with His Highness the Aga Khan. Photo: © New African / Anver Versi

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WEDDING IN GENEVA

2019 Aga Khan year in review

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AN HONOUR IN TEXAS

2019 Aga Khan year in review

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A UNIQUE PHOTO EXHIBITION

Hussain Aga Khan, His Highness the Aga Khan and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Living Sea, Barakah

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HONOURS FROM PORTUGAL ON TWO CONTINENTS

2019 Aga Khan year in review

Date posted: December 30, 2019.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

_____________________

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

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