[The message is reproduced from the official website of the Ismaili community. The sub-titles shown in this post are our own and not part of the original article in the Ismaili – Ed.]
By MALIK TALIB
(Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum)
On the occasion of Navroz, our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam has most graciously sent a Talika Mubarak to be shared with our global Jamat, which reads as follows:
My dear Malik,
On the occasion of Navroz, I send to my worldwide Jamat my best blessings for peace and happiness in their lives.
I am also sending my special blessings for Mushkil Asan for my Jamats wherever they may be, and I pray for their health and their well-being.
I convey warm Mubarak to the global Jamat on the occasion of Navroz and, on behalf of all the murids world-wide, I express humble shukrana to our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam for the gracious Talika.
Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Guidance Central to Ismaili Institutions’ decision making during the COVID-19 crisis
….Malik Talib’s message continues below
The festival of Navroz is a time for hope, optimism, renewal, and faith – even in times of uncertainty and difficulty.
I would like to assure the Jamat that all Jamati institutions and leaders around the world are doing everything possible to ensure the Jamat’s safety and security.
For so many of us, the temporary suspension placed on Jamatkhana gatherings is perhaps the most difficult among the wide array of disruptions to our everyday lives. The decision to temporarily suspend our Jamatkhana gatherings was not taken lightly, and was implemented in accordance with Hazar Imam’s guidance to comply with government and public health guidelines around the world.
While we appreciate that this indeed is a very difficult disruption, and that we are no longer able to gather physically at the present time, we remain unified in our faith, in devotion and compassion.
These bonds of community have sustained throughout the vagaries of time and history, and will continue in the difficult weeks and months ahead. As we prepare ourselves, we will work together as a united Jamat.
It is of great importance that we follow the directions given by the Jamati institutions who are working with the AKDN [Aga Khan Development Network] to ensure compliance with government measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
Ours is an esoteric faith. Our Imam has time and time again reminded us of the importance of spiritual contemplation, reflection, personal search and prayer. In these moments we will find peace and solace to overcome our current challenges. We would be well advised to recall Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Farmans regarding engaging in personal prayer, when we are unable to attend Jamatkhana. It is my conviction that adhering to this guidance will bring us comfort in these challenging times.
Virtual Jamatkhanas are inappropriate
….Malik Talib’s message continues below
The temporary closure of our Jamatkhanas has resulted in the appearance of electronic and digital channels offering a “virtual Jamatkhana”. This is clearly inappropriate, as a Jamatkhana may only be established and function under the Imam’s authority, through his institutions and appointed Mukhi-Kamadias.
At this time in particular, it is critical that we understand the risks of misinformation and miscommunication, and rely only on credible government and Jamati institutional sources – including The Ismaili – the official website and social media channels for the Jamat.
At a time of increased economic anxiety, it is also imperative that we act rationally, with prudence and sound judgement.
COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s thoughts
….Malik Talib’s message continues below
The current developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic have been at the forefront of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s thoughts, and I would like to inform the Jamat that, following Mawlana Hazar Imam’s guidance, an international Steering Group has been established to coordinate the efforts to ensure the Jamat’s safety and well-being, and to support the responses being undertaken in each national Jamati jurisdiction.
These are difficult times. However, as one Jamat, our faith unites us, and gives us the strength, courage and hope to face this adversity, and emerge from it, a stronger community, bound by our values, and our allegiance to the Imam-of-the-Time.
Let us offer shukrana for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s continued love, grace, protection and guidance, and pray for the Jamat’s safety, good health and Mushkil Asan.
A Note from the Publisher/Editor of Barakah
By MALIK MERCHANT
Nothing can be more gratifying for a murid of Mawlana Hazar Imam than receiving his blessings on the occasion of Navroz, as well as special blessings for Mushkil Asan at this particular time of a world wide novel coronavirus pandemic. Instead of celebrating Navroz in Jamatkhanas, we will be observing it in our unique ways in our homes. This is unprecedented in recent history! However we have received the Imam’s Blessings as we would in Jamatkhanas. That should bring contentment and happiness in our hearts and give us immense strength and hope for the future.
The message from Malik Talib, the Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum, has outlined our responsibilities as members of a universal brotherhood. It is important that we follow the instructions of the leaders at this time of crisis, and act according to the wishes of Mawlana Hazar Imam.
Date posted: March 21, 2019.
We invite our readers to share their feelings, Navroz greetings, and unique experiences during the extraordinary events that are taking place in light of COVID-19. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY box below. If the form is not shown, please send your comment to Simerg@aol.com.
Malik Talib was appointed as Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum by Mawlana Hazar Imam on the occasion of his 83rd Salgirah on December 13, 2019. Prior to that he was the President of His Highness the Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Canada for a period of seven years. Malik follows the tradition of members of his family who have before him served the Jamat and the Imam of the Time for generations.
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Navroz Mubarak to the worldwide Jamat. So happy and blessed to have received Mawla’s Talika Mubarak on Navroz Day. Prayers for the worldwide Jamat & for the entire humanity for Mushkil Asan and peace.
Navroz Mubarak to all Ismaili brothers and sisters, with prayers for all Jamats around the world. Mawla Rahem Kare. Amen. With lots of love and regards.
I agree that virtual Jamatkhana concept is inappropriate. Jamatkhanas have been the axis of our faith the world over for centuries. They are established with the blessings of Imam and are officiated by Mukhi/Kamadia appointed by the Imam. They are spaces of worship where we practice the rituals and forms of worship in accordance with the approval of the Imam. Any deviation from this will compromise the dignity and sanctity of our Jamatkhans and negate the very ethos of our faith. The very first Ginan we teach our children, Eji Gat Mahe Avine… outlines in simple and beautiful verses the very basis of our Jamatkhanas: Eji Gat Mahe Aavine Virabhai Sanmukh rahiye…O brother, come to Jamatkhana and stay in the presence of the Imam.
There are numerous Firmans and Ginans that explain the sanctity of Jamatkhanas and I am certain most Momins are familiar with these. In these times of anxiety, it is possible that people in their zeal for devotion and comfort seek to fill the void of Jamatkhana. But to resort to unauthorised means is inappropriate. Yes, it is Okay to use technology to pray with friends an family, but to designate such forums as Jamatkhanas is not okay.
Thank you so much for the Talika Mubarak on the occasion of Navroz with special blessings for Mushkil Asan, and prayers for the Jamat’s health and well-being.
Praying for Mowla’s safety and the safety of his family. May Allah keep them safe.
I refer to Chairman Talib’s concerns about Virtual Jamatkhanas. They shouldn’t be allowed to proliferate and those who are promoting their virtual Jamatkhanas or prayer spaces do not realize the “competition aspect” they may be unknowingly creating between different prayer groups and thus dividing the Jamat rather than enhancing togetherness. After all aren’t websites vying for more and more readers all the time, and competing each other in order to gain popularity and subscriptions. Let’s be careful about encouraging virtual Jamatkhanas.
Navroz mubarakis and Mubarakis on Mowla’s Talika Mubarak, to our LIF leadership, Institutional and Jamati Leadership and the Jamat world wide. I am so glad, Chairman Malik Talib has made it clear that Virtual JKs are inappropriate.
It only needs members of the jamat in each jurisdiction to say their Duas at the appropriately scheduled time and we are all in Jamat Khanas. We are indeed grateful to Mowla to have given us so much flexibility and in such times guide us through our institutions. Ameen Mowla for your graciousness.
Malikbhai, thank you too for keeping us informed through your Simerg and Barakah as well as your social media pages and emails.
Nowroz mubarak to my brothers and sisters around the world, may this year bring peace, hope, love , good health, happiness, by the grace of Mawlana Hazar Imam to all.
Shukhar Al Hamdulillah,Ya Ali Madad and Navroz Mubarak.
Happy Nowroz Mubarak to the whole world jamat. Ever praying for your good health.
Love you all very much! ❤️❤️❤️❤️