Letter from publisher

Abdulmalik Merchant

BY MALIK MERCHANT

Hundreds of songs, lessons that teach us how to learn to play the latest styles of gharba (an Indian dance), and Youtube clips of Ismailis around the world celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, are mushrooming on the Internet. This proliferation of music and video from members of the Ismaili community (and, others) is exciting: there are sparks of creativity, there is unabated passion, but it has also created significant angst! What do we watch, read or listen to and what should we skip? It would be inappropriate to get into that discussion: most of the pieces have been produced with a deep sense of affection and love for Hazar Imam. There is an immense amount of great material out there, with more to follow. But let us be warned: there is a lot of superficial nonsense too! So it is not surprising that after having watched, heard and read some euphoric and elating stuff on the Internet, we also come across material that seeks to negate the contributions of the Imam and the Imamat, most often placed by individuals outside of the community. That is one reason why members of the Jamat, especially the professionals and youth of the Jamat, should be well tuned and versed with their faith so that we are able to separate the wheat from the chaff.

With regards to material which is produced out of genuine love for the Ismaili community and Mawlana Hazar Imam, there are clips that we will want to watch over and over again, and also share with our friends and family members.  As such, Barakah hopes to identify clips that will have a lasting impression of elation and happiness!

Let us begin with this incredible little boy celebrating the Diamond Jubilee. Just watch his enthusiasm and energy (and his moves!) — all children possess that! And if that level of enthusiasm is sustained as children continue to grow until they reach adulthood, and they are simultaneously taught the correct principles of the faith, while receiving a good education, then we may safely assert that the Ismaili community will become even stronger in the future. Nothing else would make Mawlana Hazar Imam happier than that gift of balance that he is seeking from our lives! 

We will watch this boy for slightly over a minute, and then turn our attention to an audio recording of an interview of Mawlana Hazar Imam given to Radio Pakistan in October 1960. It is a fascinating and penetrating insight into the Imam’s thoughts when he was in his early twenties.

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A RARE INTERVIEW WITH PRINCE KARIM AGA KHAN FROM THE AUDIO ARCHIVES OF LUTFULLAH KHAN. THE INTERVIEW WAS DONE BY RADIO PAKISTAN IN 1960.

(Note: In the recording, the interview gets repeated, so the actual interview is approximately around 9 minutes and not 18:50 minutes. There is some background conversation noise in the recording, but otherwise it is quite audible). 

So what lessons can we draw from the child and Mawlana Hazar Imam? To remain enthusiastic, work hard and live by our Islamic faith.

Date posted: July 15, 2017.

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