When Barakah was launched four years ago, it was intended primarily as a commemoration of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee. Barakah included tributes in the form of photographs, eyewitness accounts, descriptive essays, in-depth articles, insightful interviews, detailed timelines, as well as audio and video recordings covering 60 years of his Imamat. During the 17 month period beginning March 2017, we published more than 130 pieces.
Although the Diamond Jubilee celebrations around the world were completed, the incredible work and achievements of the Imamat in all spheres of activity continues unabated. We have therefore continued to publish articles of significant interest on Mawlana Hazar Imam, members of his family as well as the Ismaili Imamat, and our post count as of December 1, 2020 stands at more than 250 pieces.
In less than two weeks, Ismailis around the world will be celebrating Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 84th birthday, and we felt it opportune to launch a special new series entitled “Historic Days in the Life of Mawlana Hazar Imam.” A determining framework for this series will the Imam’s own words signifying the uniqueness of the event.
As we proceed with the series, all facets of the Imamat’s initiatives will be brought to the forefront. A unique or historic day may have a resulted in significant future beneficial outcomes for the community or society at large, and the series will seek to highlight such achievements.
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Amazingly, some of the initiatives undertaken by Mawlana Hazar Imam during his Imamat were vividly captured in a spectacular digital image prepared by Toronto’s Akbar Kanji, under the title “The Closer You Come the More You Will See Him.” This is precisely our goal for the series too, with the hope that it will provide an enlightening, educational and inspiring history of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s magnificent Imamat.
We are delighted to start the series with a poem composed by Vancouver’s Farah Tejani, a truly gifted and talented creative writer. Her recent piece on our sister website Simerg entitled Celebrating the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre in Toronto resulted in an appreciative comment from Prince Rahim Aga Khan. Her special poem for Barakah “In Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Eyes” encapsulates Farah’s deep feelings as a murid of Mawlana Hazar Imam, and also conveys her understanding of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s work for Ismailis and non-Ismailis alike. It is appropriate therefore that we launch “Historic Days in the Life of Mawlana Hazar Imam” with Farah’s beautiful poem as well as Akbar Kanji’s superb work “The Closer You Come the More You Will See Him.”
In Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Eyes
By FARAH TEJANI
In Your Eyes are my heart’s questions answered,
My soul’s voyage enlightened,
And all of my fears dissolved…
Because You, my Lord, are The Light and The Truth
And the Wisdom;
And now I am at peace with my responsibilities
As Your humble servant,
From now until the day I take my last breath.
Ya Ali, Ya Shah Karim, Ya Ali.
In Your Eyes there is a Flame so Pure,
None can behold it…
But I can always see Your Approving Smile,
On the inside of my eyelids;
While You Shower Your Blessings upon all of us,
Oh Ali, Oh Khudavind, Ya Mere Mawla.
In Your Eyes there is an All Embracing Love,
Like a Devoted Parent for His children,
No one is denied,
Please accept my humble fragrant garland of flowers,
Roses, Daisies, Carnations, and Pansies
That I have myself grown in my very own garden…
Please allow me to place it over Your Head,
While You Receive and Accept the Holy Salwaat,
Of the millions of your Steadfast Murids,
Who are with tears of joy,
Waiting at Your Door…
In Your Eyes there is the Future,
With Wisdom Beyond This Realm…
You prepare and protect us.
You hold The Key to The Known and the Unknown,
With Endless Hours of Service to Ismailis everywhere
You Pave the Road as our Spiritual Father
And we as Your humble servants,
Implore You to forgive us our shortcomings,
And Bless us with Your Holy Noorani Deedar.
In Your Eyes there is the Greatest Compassion,
For All who dwell on this Earth,
Regardless of Race, Creed, or Color,
And there is Love for ALL things living…
Oh Mawla, how fortuitous are we
To be within Your Loving Embrace?
In Your Eyes there are all the stars in the Galaxy,
Representing each and every one of us…
Ya Ali Bilutfika Adhrikni,
Oh Ali, help me with Thy Kindness.
In Your Eyes there is Peace.
World Peace and Unity…
You are the Visionary and the Vision.
I vow a lifetime of service to you my Lord…
Ya Mawla, Ya Ali, Ya Shah Karim.
Date posted: December 1, 2020.
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About the contributors
Born in Bangladesh, Akbar Kanji moved to Pakistan where he pursued his childhood dream of becoming an artist by completing a Graphics Design Diploma at the Karachi School of Art. He continued his interest at other Fine Art, Performing Art and Visual Art institutes in Karachi and Toronto, and also trained under well known Pakistani artists including the late Ismaili artist Gulgee, Rabia Zubairi, Talat Hussein and others. Akbar has served the Ismaili community’s Arts and Culture portfolio, and currently resides in Toronto where he works as a graphic designer.
Farah Tejani graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in May of 1997 and earned top Honors for her Thesis on Short Fiction. She has published a collection of short stories “Make Your Own Chai, Mama’s Boy!” dealing with different dilemmas South Asians face. Farah also wrote and co-directed her stage play, “Safeway Samosas,” which won “The Best of Brave New Playwrights Award” in July 1995. Her short story , “Too Hot” won third place in the “Canada-Wide Best Short Fiction Award” and was read at The Vancouver Writers Festival. Currently, Farah is working on Childrens’ stories and a collection of poetry called, “Elastic Embrace” to be published in 2021.
Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 230 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.
Forthcoming in historic day series: Sunday, 13th December 1964, Mawlana Hazar Imam celebrates his 28th birthday in person with the Jamat in Karachi, Pakistan.