The Seal of Aga Khan University

Aga Khan University Seal

The Seal of the 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.

Aga Khan University Convocation

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, attired in the Aga Khan University regalia during a convocation ceremony held in 2013 in East Africa on the 30th anniversary of the University’s founding. The seal of the University is seen at the front of the podium.

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

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The Regalia (Jamiapoash) of His Highness the Aga Khan

aga-khan-in-regalia

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.

Aga Khan University Convocation-jacqueline-diad-award-of-excecellence-in-educations

His Highness the Aga Khan presenting an Award of Excellence to Jacqueline Dias during a convocation held in East Africa in 2013 on the occasion of the Aga Khan University’s 30th year of founding. His ancestor, the Fatimid Imam-Caliph Al-Muizz was the founder of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, a thousand years ago. His Highness, as the Chancellor of the University, is seen in the academic regalia called Jamiapoash which comprises a Khila’at, meaning “robe of honour” in Arabic and a Sirpoash, meaning “headwear” in Persian, with a tassel on the right (see previous photo). The Aga Khan’s robe 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. The robes worn by graduands as well as the President, the Board of Trustees and the Faculty of the University are green but have their own lines, trims, specific decorations and distinct features running both across the robe and the headgear.

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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