A Visual and Textual Celebration 1957-2017

BY ABDULMALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher/Editor Barakah, Simerg and Simergphotos)

His Highness the Aga Khan, direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), through his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter, became the forty-ninth hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims at the age of twenty on 11th July, 1957.

Since his accession to the Imamat, His Highness has described his responsibilities as encompassing not only the interpretation of matters of faith, but also the social, cultural and economic spheres. This engagement, grounded in Islam’s message of the fundamental unity of din and dunya – spirit and life – and guided by the ethics of Islam that bridge faith and society, has led to initiatives that, since 1957, have had a profound impact on the lives of millions of individuals, without regard to their origin, gender or faith. His Highness the Aga Khan has guided the spiritual growth of his followers, and worked tirelessly for the well-being not only of Ismaili communities worldwide, but also the material progress of the broader societies in which they live. He has articulated that education, self-help, unity, tolerance and generosity, as well as the ethic of maintaining a balance between the spiritual and temporal, are elements which keep a community vibrant and lead to enlightenment and dignity.


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On 11th July, 2017, Ismailis around the world, along with the wider societies within which they live, will celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the accession to the Imamat of His Highness the Aga Khan.

(GERMANY OUT) Aga Khan IV., Prinz Karim *13.12.1936- Imam der Ismaeliten (Ismaeli Sekte), Unternehmer, GB - Portrait, laechelt - 1960 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims (© Ulstein Bild, Getty Images, 1960).

Over the course of the next several months, Barakah* will illustrate the remarkable and inspiring life of His Highness the Aga Khan through a unique project titled “His Highness the Aga Khan: A Visual and Textual Celebration, 1957-2017”, which will include rare photographs, eyewitness accounts, descriptive essays, in-depth articles, insightful interviews, detailed timelines, as well as audio and video recordings.

Barakah hopes to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the remarkable work that His Highness the Aga Khan has accomplished in all spheres of human endeavour. We hope that our readers’ perception and understanding of the unique nature of the Ismaili Imam and the Imamat will be strengthened through Barakah.

Date updated: May 10, 2017.

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Copyright notice: The photo of His Highness the Aga Khan shown above is reproduced under a licensing arrangement with Getty Images. Reproduction or distribution of the photo without prior written permission from Getty Images is strictly prohibited.

*Barakah is a word derived from the Arabic root b-r-k, and its most fundamental meaning is ‘Blessing’, conferred by the Divine upon humankind — a Divine Blessing with an intent to increase goodness to a thing. The Arabic word forms the logo design shown at the top of this page.

This website is an independent initiative by Simerg, and is not affiliated with or supported by  any other organization or institution. Please also visit http://www.simerg.com and http://www.simergphotos.com.