The unforgettable Eid ul-Fitr of September 1944: A heart warming story as told by Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn Muhammad

The following piece has been adapted from our earlier post The Aga Khan: Sweet and endearing stories of his childhood days in Kenya. The anecdote is from the diary of Kaderali Patel who was the religious education tutor of Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn Muhammad during their childhood days in Kenya.

Articles recording the historical and unforgettable day, do not specify the date of Eid ul-Fitr in 1944. We have gathered from numerous websites on the internet that Eid ul-Fitr was celebrated on Tuesday, September 19, 1944. Mawlana Hazar Imam (b. Dec. 13, 1936) was then 7 years old. There may be a discrepancy of a day because at that time, as is the case today with many Muslim communities, the celebration of the Idd is only announced after the physical sighting of the new moon.

By LATE MISSIONARY KADERALI PATEL

There were many children who attended the Idd Namaz. Most of these children came to wish us Idd Mubarak and shake hands with us. Among these children were some who shook hands with us and then, greatly excited, came back for a second handshake — Prince Amyn Muhammad

Prince Karim Aga Khan reciting Idd Namaz on the occasion of Idd ul Fitr in September 1944 when he was 7 years old.
Mawlana Hazar Imam leading the Eid ul Ftir prayers in Nairobi on approximately September 19, 1944. Photo: 25 Years in Pictures. Islamic Publications, London, UK, Volume 1.

Prince Karim first recited the Idd Namaz in public in his childhood, at the age of seven, at Nairobi Chief Jamatkhana. It had been announced in the Jamatkhana the previous day that Prince Karim would lead the Idd Namaz at 10 a.m. All Ismailis were delighted when they heard the announcement.

Next day was Idd-ul Fitr. Early in the morning all Ismailis arrived dressed up in their best clothes. The officers all wore golden red gowns. This was a very unique occasion and everyone’s heart was filled with inner happiness.

At 10 a.m, Prince Karim arrived at the Main Jamatkhana on Government Road with his brother Prince Amyn. The Jamat’s chief officers welcomed the Princes.

Prince Karim took his place in front of the Jamat and recited the Namaz. Then Prince Karim and Prince Amyn stood in line with the officers and for hours shook hands with Ismaili brethren and wished them ‘Idd Mubarak’.

They gladdened the hearts of thousands of people who will never forget the ‘Idd Mubarak’ uttered by Prince Karim.

In the evening, when I went to see the Princes at their bungalow, I found them talking to Miss Lyon on the verandah. I went nearer and greeted them with a salaam. Prince Karim asked me to come closer. I respectfully bowed before him and said: “You must be tired, standing for hours and shaking hands with so many people.”

Prince Karim replied, smiling: “We are not at all tired. In fact we are very pleased that on this holy occasion we were able to meet and shake hands with all Ismailis, young and old alike. Indeed, we are very happy.”

I asked Prince Amyn if he was tired. He replied: “Not at all. There were many children who attended the Idd Namaz. Most of these children came to wish us Idd Mubarak and shake hands with us. Among these children were some who shook hands with us and then, greatly excited, came back for a second handshake. Even though we knew this, we shook hands with them again. We were pleased to make them happy.”

I said: ‘You are right when you say some children came twice to shake hands with you. As this was their first occasion to shake hands with you, they were tremendously happy.’

I asked Prince Amyn if he would offer the Idd Namaz the following year. He replied: “I cannot promise you that. It depends on what my parents have to say. It is every child’s duty to obey his parents.”

Prince Karim added to this: “That’s true. We must obey our parents. God is not pleased with those children who do not listen to their parents.”

It seemed that flowers poured out of the Princes’ mouths when they said these words.

Prince Karim and Prince Amyn were extremely happy on that auspicious day.

Date posted: May 23, 2020.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 200 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

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6 comments

  1. I just read the wonderful, history making event.If only the children of our Jamat will learn from what Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amin said about obeying the parents. During this lockdown, when mostly all the family members are together at home, this Holy Guidance is more important for harmony and peace.
    Remember, it’s always easy to have tantrum than a few loving words.
    Alwaz Rai Noor Amlani

    Like

  2. Heart warming reminder of the IDD especially at the present time of lockdown. Did Hazar Imam and Prince Amynmohamed lived in Nairobi till the next Idd which would have been 39 days later? I knew about the Namaaz By Hazar Imam but did not realise till I saw this article that it was Idd ul-Fitr.

    Thanks for the sewa you are doing; may Mowla fulfil all your wishes.

    Like

  3. Thanks for sharing such an historical event when our beloved Hazar Imam recited Idd Namaz in Nairobi, Kenya. I liked this article very much. Thank you once again and hope to receive such articles/unforgettable events in future.

    Like

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