This piece was first published on April 11, 2020, when Prince Irfan became 5 years old. He is now six. His younger brother Prince Sinan became 4 years old on January 2, 2021. The meanings of both Irfan and Sinan are provided in this article. Their parents Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa were born on October 12, 1971 and August 5, 1988 respectively — Ed.
AUGUST 31, 2013: Prince Rahim, the eldest son of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, marries Princess Salwa (née Kendra Spears) on 31 August 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland on the grounds of the Château de Bellerive – the residence of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s uncle, the late Prince Sadruddin and his wife Princess Aliya.
The proceedings commence with the recitation of a traditional qasida in the Farsi language, in praise of Hazrat Ali. This is followed by the nikah recited by His Eminence Sayyed Muhammad Musawi, a prominent Shia faith leader.
OCTOBER 24, 2014: Mawlana Hazar Imam informs the Jamat that Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa are expecting their first child. Around the world, Ismailis gather in Jamatkhanas to celebrate the happy news.
APRIL 11, 2015: Prince Irfan is born in Geneva, Switzerland on April 11, 2015. Mawlana Hazar Imam’s special message to the global Jamat on this occasion expresses happiness of his and Princess Salwa’s family. Jamats around the world receive the news of Prince Irfan’s birth with immense joy and traditional celebrations.
OCTOBER 7, 2016: Mawlana Hazar Imam informs the Jamat with great joy that Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa are expecting their second child.
“It gives me the greatest happiness to announce that Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa are expecting their second child,” says Mawlana Hazar Imam in a written message. “This wonderful news, which I am delighted to share with you, brings immense joy and happiness to all our family and to the Ismaili community worldwide.” Ismailis gather in Jamatkhanas around the world to celebrate the happy news.
December 16, 2016: Mawlana Hazar Imam, whose birthday falls on December 13, celebrates his 80th birthday on December 16, 2016 at Aiglemont with his family and Ismaili leaders from around the world. Prince Irfan, then 20 months old, is present at the birthday.
JANUARY 2, 2017: Prince Sinan is born on January 2, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.
“Prince Sinan’s birth has brought immense joy to our family,” writes Mawlana Hazar Imam in a message to the global Jamat. “We are most touched by your kind thoughts and prayers over the period leading to Sinan’s birth.” Ismailis gather in Jamatkhanas around the world to celebrate the happy news.
Meaning of Irfan
Irfan is an indirect Qur’anic name for boys. Irfan means “wisdom”, or more correctly, Wisdom with a capital W. It refers to all that is good and true of thoughts and deeds. It is derived from the Ain-R-F root (to know, to recognize), which is used in many places in the Holy Qur’an,  as in the following verse:
Wa Jā’a ‘Ikhwatu Yūsufa Fadakhalū `Alayhi Fa`arafahum Wa Hum Lahu Munkirūna — Sura Yusuf, Chapter 12, Verse 58
And the brethren of Joseph came, and entered unto him, and he knew them, but they knew him not — Holy Qur’an, 12:15, translation by A.J. Arberry.
The Term Irfan in Islamic Mysticism
The term ‘irfan (gnosis), which literally meaning knowledge, is widely applied in Islamic mysticism. In the mystical context, like another term in the same family, mari’fa, which is also translated as gnosis, the knowledge is of certain kind which can be achieved neither through the senses nor experience, nor through reason nor narration, but rather is acquired by inner witnessings and interior unveilings.  It is that knowledge that unites man with God after penetrating and transforming him completely.
The famous prayer of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s) sums up the end toward which the gnostic strives with all his mind, soul and body:
“O God, deliver us from preoccupations with worldly vanities and show us the nature of things ‘as they really are’. Remove from our eyes the veil of ignorance, and show us things as they really are…Deliver us from ourselves, and accord us intimate knowledge of Thee.” 
Meaning of Sinan
Sinan is an Arabic name for boys meaning spearhead. It is derived from the root word S-N-N which is used in the Qur’an. Sinan is pronounced [(SI)mple] + [(NA)p + (N)ew] with emphasis on the second syllable. Wikipedia mentions that the name might also be related to the Ancient Greek name Sinon.
In Ismaili history, the name Sinan is associated with the revered personality of Rashid al-din Sinan, one of the greatest and most valiant of the Syrian Isma’ili da’is of the thirteenth century A.C.
Date posted: April 11, 2020.
Last updated: August 8, 2021 (Updated with birth dates of Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa).
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