Barakah is dedicated to Mawlana Shah Karim al Hussaini, His Highness the Aga Khan, members of his family and the Ismaili Imamat – a Hereditary Divine Institution from the Time of the Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali
I know the power of your network; I know what you have built. And we need more networks of people determined to say this is a world of good, this is a world of standing by each other, and this is what we honor here tonight — Josette Sheeran, Asia Society, November 1, 2017
Barakah is pleased to present a pictorial overview of the first four years in the seventh decade of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat, as Ismailis all around world prepare to celebrate the completion of his 64 years of Imamat on July 11, 2021. The presentation is being made in four parts in the days leading to and after Imamat Day. The series will conclude on August 11.
Part 1 (this post) will cover the period from July 11, 2017 until July 10, 2018; part 2 will be dedicated to the grand Darbar in Lisbon in July 2018 as well as cover other events that took place after the Darbar until July 10 2019; part 3 will take us to July 2020, and part 4 will bring us to July 11, 2021.
It is our sincere prayer and hope that six years hence, on July 11, 2027, we will Inshallah celebrate Mawlana Shah Karim al Hussaini Hazar Imam’s 70 years of Imamat. He would then become only the second Imam in Ismaili history to complete the Platinum Jubilee, like his beloved grandfather and our beloved 48th Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III. Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah was born on November 2, 1877, and became the Imam on August 17, 1885 at the age of 7. When he bequeathed his Hereditary Divine Authority to Mawlana Hazar Imam on July 11, 1957, his rule had lasted for 71 years.
It may be noted however that our beloved 49th Imam, Mawlana Hazar Imam, at the age of 84, is the oldest living Imam in Ismaili history and no one else has lived that long; his grandfather passed away at the age of 79.
In presenting this post, we invite our readers to click on the links shown at the bottom of this post for reflections of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s first six decades of Imamat from 1957 to 2017 published in The Ismaili, the official website of the Ismaili community.
Part 1: The Diamond Jubilee Year – Milestones, Darbars and Honours
July 11, 2017: Paris, France – The Homage Ceremony and the Commencement of the Diamond Jubilee Year
Homage – A Murid’s Yearning
BY JALAL JAFFER
The gracious smile The loving eyes The unspoken words A symbolic embrace Extend a gracious welcome For each and every murid From the mountains of Tajikistan To the plains of Africa, From the northern areas of Pakistan To the forgotten continent of Australia Through the Leaders, past and present.
And in a majestic flair A kingly benevolence The Murshid accepts the Homage From and on behalf of His global Jamats.
July 20, 2017: Lisbon, Portugal, Awards and Honours
“I reiterate my profound appreciation for our own partnership, and for honouring me and by extension the Ismaili Imamat and the AKDN, especially as this honour comes during my Diamond Jubilee year, marking 60 years as the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims worldwide. Our commitment to Portugal reflects our deep respect for this country and our deep affection for its people.” — His Highness the Aga Khan, Lisbon, July 20, 2017.
September 12, 2017: Prince Amyn Aga Khan Becomes 80
Prince Amyn Aga Khan turned 80 on September 12, 2017, two months into the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam. Though discreet and always working behind the scenes, Prince Amyn’s contribution to the Imamat institutions have always been influential and impactful. His commitment for human dignity, global peace and humanism is reflected by his creative ingenuity in multiple dimensions of human endeavor. For more than fifty years now, he has dedicated his entire life in the service of the Institution of Imamat, channeling his creativity, intelligence, time and energy, knowledge and leadership in numerous Imamat endeavours benefiting both jamati and non-jamati constituencies.
October 8-11, 2017: Uganda, Diamond Jubilee Visit
“Your national pathway has been exciting and inspiring to watch and all your friends, including of course myself, look to the future of Uganda in hope, in aspiration, for a better quality of life for all the people of Uganda and of this region of Africa…Our institutions have been here for many decades, [and] it is my hope today that they will participate in improving the quality of life of all the people of Eastern Africa as they build for future generations.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Uganda, October 9, 2017.
October 11-12, 2017: Tanzania, Diamond Jubilee Visit
October 18, 2017: New York, Champion for Global Change Award
For a long time, political debate all around the world focused on the competing merits of government action versus private enterprise. My conviction, which has deepened through the years, is that these are false alternatives. The question is not which sector can be most effective in the march towards progress – the central question is how these sectors can best become effective partners in this quest. The concept of public-private partnerships has been one of the keys to the best work of our agencies….The public-private partnership formula alone, however, is incomplete – unless we also insert the words “Civil Society”…. The partnerships that will most dramatically change the world are those in which all three components – private, public and civil society institutions – can connect one with the another in all-embracing common effort…. fundamental to all of this, of course, is a basic philosophical commitment which is expressed by another important word and that word is “pluralism”. This is a frame of mind which regards diversity, multiplicity, and indeed difference itself – not as a burden nor a threat but as a gift – a Gift of the divine – an opportunity to learn rather than a danger to be avoided. – His Highness the Aga Khan, excerpts from speech made at the United Nations Global Leadership Dinner, October 18, 2017, New York.
November 1, 2017: New York, Asia Society, Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award
We know the power of your work; I know the power of your network; I know what you have built. And we need more networks of people determined to say this is a world of good, this is a world of standing by each other, and this is what we honor here tonight — Asia Society’s President Asia Society’s Josette Sheeran, November 1, 2017
Any leader of any global community hopes and prays for one thing – peace; peace in every community, in every country of the world, so that men and women can live in safety, build their futures with strength, courage, hope and wisdom. These are the values that the leaders of my community, my institutions and myself, are intimately linked with and will continue to work for, for many, many decades ahead.” – His Highness the Aga Khan, Asia Game Changer Award, November 1, 2017
A MUST SEE SHORT VIDEO OF REMARKS MADE BY MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM
November 15, 2017: Ottawa, Canada, Inaugural Global Pluralism Award Ceremony
As you have heard, I am currently marking sixty years in the role I inherited in 1957. This role has taught me a great deal about the challenges of pluralism — about the way those challenges can be met, but also the way those challenges are growing. These are not new challenges, they are as old as the human race. They include the human temptation to define our personal identities by what we are against — rather than what we are for. They include the temptation to view difference, whenever it may appear, as something that might complicate one’s life, rather than as something that can enrich one’s life. And they include the sometimes instinctive reaction that difference is a threat to be avoided rather than an opportunity to be embraced….Their [the awards’] essential purpose is to share the power of inspiring examples with an ever-wider Community of Pluralism all across our world, a Community that will then create a growing momentum for inclusion — rather than exclusion – as a way to respond to the changes of our world. — His Highness the Aga Khan, November 15, 2017, Inaugural Global Pluralism Award Ceremony
November 2017: Toronto and Montreal, Diamond Jubilee Visits to Eastern Canada
December 2017: Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral and Karachi, Diamond Jubilee Visit
The Darbar at Yassin
By IZZAT SHAH
I was bestowed Didar Mubarak and Darbar in the glorious pandal at Yassin, as I belong to Yassin Valley. We the Jamat in Yassin feel extremely fortunate and lucky as Mawlana Hazar Imam gave us his loving blessings and unmmeasurable affection at our door step. Through this Didar, he gave us the splendid chance to serve those Jamaats who had come from the rural areas of Northern Pakistan. We did the very best we could for those who had come from far and wide. Mawlana Hazar Imam was very happy during the Didar and gave us a loving Farman and conveyed his loving blessings with deep affection. He came thrice on the stage and I have no words to explain how I feel at the moment. I pray for the happiness of each and every Ismaili brother and sister living in the world today.
The Darbar at Aliabad, Hunza
By FAQIR ULLAN KHAN
When Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived at the didargah in Aliabad, the Jamat’s emotion and excitement reached its peak. Tears started rolling down our faces without control as his helicopter landed. We were tens of thousands in this huge landscape surrounded by mountains. Our wish was for a glimpse of our beloved Imam. More tears flowed as he showered that glimpse upon us with all his grace and mercy – we felt his Zahiri-u-Noorani Didar after 17 long years! This was happening at a historical time of his Imamat – 60 years! The Diamond Jubilee was an unbelievable occasion for us.
January 2018: Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Diamond Jubilee Visit
February 20 – March 1, 2018: India, Diamond Jubilee Visit
It is with the future in mind that we now dedicate the Sunder Nursery as one of the world’s great public parks – open to all for recreation, for contemplation, for education, and for inspiration. Just think of what a lively, energetic place this will be in the days and years to come. Already, we are told, a vast array of birds and butterflies have made their new homes in these restored spaces. And soon they will be joined by school children coming here to experience a variety of new micro-habitats, by scientists advancing their ecological research, by artists meeting audiences in the beautiful Garden amphitheatre, by historians and other visitors engaging with dozens of preserved historical monuments. — His Highness the Aga Khan, excerpt from speech made at the opening ceremony of Sunder Nursery, February 21, 2018.
March 8, 2018: Windsor Castle, UK. Her Majesty the Queen Hosts Mawlana Hazar Imam for His Diamond Jubilee
March 13-20, 2018: Atlanta, Georgia, and Houston, Texas, USA Diamond Jubilee Visit
Please click on image to read proclamation
Welcoming the Aga Khan to Texas
The ethics of compassion and care, tolerance and equality, selflessness and service center His Highness’ deeply held belief in and practice of the Muslim faith. Particularly in recent years, the Aga Khan has pledged his voice to articulate the values of peace, generosity and brotherhood that unquestionably compose the core of Islam. He often says his obligations to his community and to humankind are inseparable. This has driven the Aga Khan to call on us to celebrate our differences of religion, culture, language and ethnicity as evidence of humanity’s great beauty. Our inherent diversity, he says, should propel humankind to embrace pluralism….When I visited the Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi, Kenya in 2015, I was emotionally struck by the undeniable love of humankind evident in the AKDN’s work to help those children reach their full potential. It became clear to me that the driving force behind each of the Aga Khan’s endeavors is his desire to foster progress and peace through hope. For hope, he says, is the most powerful source of human motivation… Mr. Speaker, His Highness the Aga Khan – through his work, rooted in the Muslim faith – is a testament to Islam being a religion of both the intellect and humility, of both tradition and progress. The celebration of the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee is a monumental occasion for Ismaili Muslims across the world. I wish to congratulate the American Ismaili Muslim community and convey to His Highness the Aga Khan that he and the values of tolerance, diversity and pluralism that Ismaili Muslims uphold will always be welcome in the United States of America. — Excerpt from Congressional Remarks made by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas in the US House of Representatives
March 21, 2018: 10 Downing Street, A Message to the Ismailis from British Prime Minister Theresa May
March 21, 2018: LIF Announcement, Portugal Darbar
LIF (Ismaili Leaders International Forum) announced on Navroz, March 21, 2018 that, with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s approval, the Jamats around the world would be welcome to join the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Lisbon. Some weeks earlier, Nazim Ahmed, the AKDN representative to Portugal and one of the 5 senior officials of the Ismaili Imamat to Portugal, made a statement to Portugal’s Ministry of External Affairs that the celebrations in Lisbon would be the highest point of the celebrations of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee.
April 2018: Nairobi, Kenya, Diamond Jubilee Visit
May 2018: Diamond Jubilee Visit Canada
June 23, 2018: Paris, Diamond Jubilee Visit France
June 2018: Diamond Jubilee Visit UK
The value of education, of course, is at the heart of this project [Aga Khan Centre]. We are proud to open here a new home for two important educational institutions associated with the Aga Khan Development Network and the Ismaili Imamat. One is the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations of the Aga Khan University. The other is the Institute of Ismaili Studies. The UK offices of the Aga Khan Foundation will also be located here…. These institutions — through their teaching and research, their rich library and archival resources, as well as their tours and public programmes – will enrich the lives of people from the entire world….When I came to my role as Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community — just sixty years ago — I found it impossible to accept the notion of inevitably clashing civilisations. My own early life experiences were in both worlds — and so were those of millions of Muslim peoples. So rather than talk about clashing civilisations, I began to talk — again and again, as some of you may recall — about a clash of ignorances. And the assumption behind that phrase was that ignorance could yield to understanding through the power of education. That continuing conviction is what brings me here today. I believe that is what brings all of us here. My strong expectation is that, from this new home, our education-oriented institutions will contribute powerfully to building new bridges of understanding across the gulfs of ignorance. — His Highness the Aga Khan, June 26, 2018, London
It is, of course, Your Highness, the remarkable leadership that you have shown over these past sixty years, which has made a reality of everything we see here today. Above all, it is Your Highness’s vision which has enabled the Aga Khan Development Network to grow into an organization of international importance, addressing development needs across the globe, and bridging the boundaries of race and religion with your message of hope, compassion and pluralism…. It is clear to me that in holding dear the values of humility, honour, magnanimity and hospitality, the Ismaili Community takes its inspiration from you, Your Highness, and from your extraordinary “Greatness of Soul.” In similarly inspiring this Centre, you have set it on a path to serve the world with great distinction, just as Your Highness has yourself done throughout your remarkable life. My wife and I have been fortunate enough to see just what an inspiration you are to your community when we accompanied you to Altit years ago…. His Royal Highness Prince Charles
A Humble Supplication
We make the following supplication from a Ginan composed by the Ismaili missionary Pir Hasan Kabirdin (14th century).
Eji, Aash Karine Ya Ali hun tere dar ubhi, Kar jodine em mangu Ya Shah; Dejo didar tusi mahavar datar Shah, Hama tere charane lagu. 
With hope O Ali I stand at Thy door, With palms joined I sincerely beg of Thee; Bless me with Thy Holy Didar, O Great Lord and Benefactor! At Thy Feet I fall to prostrate.
Please visit the following links reflecting the First Six Decades of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat:
The remaining parts of this special series on the first 4 years of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Seventh Decade of Imamat will be published in the coming days. Please visit Barakah regularly.
Date posted: July 8, 2021.
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