Expressions for the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan: Calligraphy; Ya Mawla you are there; Someone is coming; and Darbar 2018

Ya Mawla You are There…



When we are suffering and afraid
Ya Mawla You are there
When we fall and need your aid
Ya Mawla You are there

When we look for light in the dark of night
Ya Mawla You are there
When we struggle and fight and nothing feels right
Ya Mawla You are there

Our desires are fulfilled at the glory of your sight
The stars retreat because you shine so bright
You raise our souls to the uppermost height…

And when we reach our goal

Ya Mawla You are there


Someone is Coming

Aga Khan photo by Zafeera Kassam thumbnail


Can you hear that?
A unique symphony – 
the cadence of rain
prelude privy murmurs
of seniors’ acknowledging:
“dharti naram thai chhe
ena Kadam Mubarak vaaste” 
(Earth is becoming tender
that may His feet not meet arid ground)

And can you feel it?
the soil once parched, now
softens, quells;
a bride perched on the precipice – 
avidity and precipitation,
such is the wait;

Someone is coming…

Even nature adorns her lushest green.
Can you see that?
The euphoric zest
with which Nairobi rejuvenates;
the rush to prepare, to accommodate,
to cater, to appease, to please – 
blinking lights festoon the walls;
blooms and decorations deck the halls;
the hustle and bustle of Volunteers;
the surge of Congolese, South Africans,
Malagasy, Burundians and Rwandans – 
oh, how the city comes alive!

Can you hear that?
The day packed with
the cacophony of networks connecting,
committees in continual assembly,
discussions abound, deadlines accomplished;
The evening abuzz with 
zikr in brimming jamatkhanas,
the spiritual musicality sublime
elevating the soul supreme;
The night resonant with
the clackety-clack of dandia sticks,
the chorus of catchy geets – 
Mowla’s praises and chants
reverberating right into our restless dreams.

Someone is coming…

Someone is coming,
And we cannot wait
to see His beatific countenance – 
those twinkling eyes, that dazzling smile,
His majestic frame cloaked
in the special Diamond Jubilee Khil’at 
and astrakhan cap up top.

Someone is coming,
And we cannot wait
to hear His enchanting voice
infused with love and happiness
as He blesses us all to keep to Sirat al-Mustaqim
as He shares a joke or two to invoke laughter
as He coaxes the dormant spirit awake
inspiring love and compassion in the depths of us.

Someone is coming,
And we cannot wait
to feel the indescribable – 
that fullness; a certain kind of contentment
in the very root of our consciences;
a cosmic-sized epicentre of gratitude 
that overflows in our rendered tender hearts
and rivulets down the flushed cheeks;
a collective sense of transcendental bliss
that only you know and I know
cannot be captured succinctly in words.

He is coming…
We cannot wait,
but prepare we do
for our Lord and Murshid
to grace our humble home.

Karibu Kenya, Ya Shah Karim Hazar Imam!


Darbar 2018


aga-khan-ceremonial-installation-nairobi-1957-600dpi-s thumbnail

An inner anticipation
Only Intezar can explain
A pulse, a momentum
Is building up in heart
In our minds,our spirit
Is agog with a longing

What is the Intezar
A two way silence

The premises once plain
Now glittering in splendour
Of the sixty year history
Memories of Takhtnashini
Embedded in the very earth
And in the hearts of murids

This Intezar
A silent prayer

So many countries, towns
The old and babes in arms
Preparation is in motion
A movement a silent notion
A fertile spirit in Zikr all day
Meeting to enforce our love

This Intezar
A silent tribute

Our Murshid approaches
Steady footsteps unheard
Magnetic field felt unseen
Words subside tears whel
Salwats rise to the dome
To the sky to the universe

This Intezar
One universe

Then the world stands still
The very silence is pregnant
The ocean of grace opens up
A sacred space contains all
The murid and Murshid unite
In one universal symphony

The intezar
Now Didar manifest

No diamond can glitter thus
Blinding thoughts of dunya
Only the inner world of Din
In now manifest in the heart
Murids now in supplication
To receive gems of wisdom

The Intezar
Completes its circle
At last

Date posted: April 12, 2018.



  • Karim Ismail (Calligraphy at top of page) is a pharmacist by profession. Currently in Toronto, he has contributed to the Ismaili community in the UK and Canada as a teacher and mentor for many decades;
  • Nadim Pabani (Ya Mawla You are There) holds a Masters in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Edinburgh University. Currently, he is a Secondary Teacher and Educator, having undertaken the Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) at the Institute of Ismaili Studies and UCL, both in London, UK.
  • Zafeera Kassam (Someone is Coming) a teacher by profession, lives in Nairobi.  She hopes to be continuously inspired to write praises of Mawlana Hazar Imam;
  • Shariffa Keshavjee (Darbar 2018), is a Nairobi based philanthropist and helps women empower themselves. Raised in Kisumu, she considers herself a “pakaa” Kenyan.  She takes a keen interest in writing,  bird watching and  painting.


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This website, Barakah, is a special project by and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan as he celebrates his Diamond Jubilee or 60 years of Imamat.


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