The Seal of Aga Khan University
The Seal of Aga Khan University is a visual representation of the principles which underlie the founding of the University. The circular form of the Seal, with its different levels of imagery contained in concentric circles, has its visual roots in the rosettes of early Islamic periods. The circle also symbolises the world and reflects the international presence of the University.
At the centre of the Seal is a star, or sun. Light is a universal symbol for the enlightenment that education provides. The light emanating from the star is also symbolic of Nur (Divine Light). The star incorporates 49 rays to commemorate the University’s founding by His Highness the Aga Khan, the forty-ninth Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
The outer ring circumscribes a Quranic ayat (verse) rendered in classic thuluth script and reads as follows:
“And hold fast, All together, by the rope
Which God (stretches out for you),
And be not divided among yourselves,
And remember with gratitude
God’s favour on you:
For ye were enemies
And He joined your hearts
In love, so that by His grace
Ye became brethren” — 3:103
The Regalia (Jamiapoash) of His Highness the Aga Khan
The academic regalia of the Aga Khan University worn during its convocations in Pakistan and East Africa is called Jamiapoash.
Jamia is from the Arabic meaning ‘institution of higher learning’ and poash is from Persian meaning ‘apparel.’ The Jamiapoash comprises a Khila’at, meaning “robe of honour” in Arabic and a Sirpoash, meaning “headwear” in Persian, with a tassel on the right.
The Khila’at (robe of honour) for Mawlana Hazar Imam is distinguished by its very elaborate and intricate gold embroidery on the upper part of the robe both back and front, but is also unique for its white colour.
White and gold were the colours of the coat of arms of the Fatimids of Egypt, the Aga Khan’s ancestors who founded al-Azhar University in Cairo in 970 CE.
The Sirpoash (headwear) for the Chancellor is white in colour and richly gold-embroidered with a 5.5 cm band and a 2 cm secondary green band with a green and white tassel.
Date posted: February 9, 2019.
Before departing this website, may we suggest that you visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 140 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family.
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Via Facebook: This was a wonderful article! I didn’t know that the colors of the Fatimid Army were white and gold. Thank you for such wonderful knowledge. I am one of the teachers in a Jamatkhana in Dallas. We are currently covering all of the initiatives under “people helping people” which talks about the AKDN. I have been in search of the meaning of all of the “logos” under the AKDN umbrella. Can you help me find them?
Explanations of logos of all the AKDN agencies and Jamati institutions will be covered in the coming weeks. Simerg has published pieces on the seals of AKF, AKAA etc. Please click on https://simerg.com/2016/04/07/the-work-of-the-ismaili-imamat-at-a-glance-and-the-most-famous-logos-of-the-aga-khan-development-network/. It is hoped that the respective agencies will carry statements about their logos and their designers.
It’s great to come to know about khilat and seal. Keep on giving light on our symbols.