Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan: The 62nd Year of His Imamat – (I) The Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Lisbon, Portugal

Compiled and prepared by MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

with Excerpts from Eyewitness Accounts by ZAFEERA KASSAM (Kenya), AZEEM MAHERALI (USA) and RAHIM HIRJI (UK)

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, ordains the instrument to designate the Henrique de Mendonça Palace as the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat on July 11 2018, to be known as the Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.

On July 11, 2021 on the occasion of the 64th Imamat Day of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, we launched a pictorial photo series featuring the first four years in the seventh decade of his Imamat. The 1st part celebrated the Diamond Jubilee Year. The year was inaugurated with a Homage Ceremony on July 11, 2017 at Mawlana Hazar Imam’s residence, and over the next 12 months Mawlana Hazar Imam made Diamond Jubilee visits to Jamats around the world.

This second part in the series will highlight the 62nd year of the Imamat of Mawlana Hazar Imam Imamat. The 62nd year commenced on July 11, 2018, a date that also marked the conclusion of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations with a unique Darbar in Lisbon, Portugal, that was open to Jamats from around the world. The focus in this specific post will be on the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and the Darbar in Portugal. We will then conclude the 62nd year with a new post that will cover Mawlana Hazar Imam’s activities beyond the Lisbon Diamond Jubilee celebrations until July 10, 2019.

The Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Lisbon, Portugal

(I). Prelude to the Lisbon Celebrations, a Short Reflection on the Ismaili Community and the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Lisbon

Nazim Ahmed akdn portugal Barakah
Nazim Ahmad, seated at far-left, during the presentation of the Ismaili Imamat Agreement with Portugal at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Photo: Council of Europe, North-South Centre.

Nazim Ahmad, the AKDN representative in Portugal made a surprise revelation at Portugal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs either late or early 2018 that the high point of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee would take place in Lisbon on July 11, 2018. When we read that statement, we immediately prepared and released the piece Highest point of the celebrations of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee will be in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 11, 2018.

Our post was read by tens of thousands of Ismailis from around the world, and the bookings for air flights and hotels got underway immediately. The news of the grand Darbar in Lisbon was then confirmed in a message released on Navroz, March 21, 2018 by the Ismaili Leaders International Forum (LIF) which stated that, with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s approval, the Jamats around the world would be welcome to join the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Lisbon.

Earnestly, we released a new post, To Ismailis of Portugal — We are now preparing to be with you in Lisbon to celebrate the “highest point” of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. We also created a new blog under the title All Things Lisboa and invited Ismaili travel agents to list their offerings for Lisbon as well as provided articles on what to do in Lisbon, where to go and places to dine. It was an exciting time for millions of Ismailis around the world, and we are delighted to bring to our readers a short recollection of the Jubilee celebrations that took place in Portugal

Portugal signed an agreement with the Ismaili Imamat on June 3rd, 2015, with the objective of establishing its global Seat in Portugal….Over the last four decades, the Ismaili community has been highly respected and very well integrated in Portugal, with many partnerships in various areas of our collective life, with an emphasis on social work….Portugal ranks second in the list of [European] countries with most followers. Largely from Mozambique, the Ismailis have excelled in areas such as commerce, catering, hospitality, manufacturing or finance…. The Seat will be established in the [Henrique de] Mendonça Palace], in Rua Marquês de Fronteira, in the centre of Lisbon, and will be inaugurated in July [2018]. — Excerpt from Jornal SOL – Sapo, April 30, 2018.

Seat of Ismaili Imamat the diwan of the Imamat Henrique Mendonça Palace
Restoration work at Henrique Mendonça Palace, acquired by Mawlana Hazar Imam to House the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat. It was designated as the Diwan by the Imam on July 11, 2018.
Restoration work inside Henrique Mendonça Palace acquired by Mawlana Hazar Imam to House the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat. It was designated as the Diwan by the Imam on July 11, 2018.

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(II). Photographs and 3 Eyewitness Accounts of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Lisbon

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT 1
Excerpts from ZAFEERA KASSAM’S Article

The word that was uppermost in my mind was the word ‘FINALE’ and this very small word, finale, actually gives visions and intimations of grandeur, of explosive colours and celebrations that would give a fitting end to what was certainly an epochal year. The year of our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee.

And certainly a finale it was! The whole week from 5th July leading up to 11th July, 2018, can be described unequivocally as a fitting finale. Could all this just have been achieved within a few months of preparation? To me, it seemed as if years must have been spent to organise such a mela. The Jubilee Arts Gallery, the Film Festival, Celebrity Concerts, Talent Shows, the Diamond Jubilee Bands marching and performing among the crowds all of it was awe-inspiring. This was further enhanced by the presence and intermingling of murids from all four corners of the globe.

Zafeera Kassam’s article continues below

Ismaili  symbol of Global Unity Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Barakah
The symbol of Global Unity. A free standing Diamond Jubilee motif at Park of Nations, the venue where tens of thousands of Ismailis gathered to celebrate Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee for 7 days. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Ismaili volunteers welcome visitors from abroad for the Aga Khan's Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon in July 2018
Ismailis arriving from around the world for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, in Lisbon in July 2018 receive a warm and caring welcome at Lisbon airport by Ismaili volunteers. Photo: The Ismaili

What was more exciting was the honourable presence and loving, familial interactions of the Noorani Family, some members of which a large number of us hadn’t seen ever or in ages! Who can forget Prince Rahim striding up to murids behind barriers to shake their hands and greet them cordially? Who can forget Prince Irfan waving at assembled murids, standing up on his chair, clapping along to the beats of Dama Dam Mast Kalander, Ali Da Pehla Number? He stole the show and our hearts!

Zafeera Kassam’s article continues below

Aga Khan arrives in Lisbon for his Diamond Jubilee
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives in Lisbon, Portugal, to Military Honours on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Portugal motorcade Parque Eduardo VII
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, waves to members of the Jamat gathered at Parque Eduardo VII to welcome him to Portugal for his Diamond Jubilee in July 2018. The editor of this website, Malik Merchant, is also captured in the photo on the other side of the street, at right, where he is seen taking photos with his iPad. Photo: The Ismaili/Vazir Karsan
Ismailis at  Eduardo VII Park during the Diamond Jubilee of Aga Khan in Lisbon Malik Merchant simerg
The Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, in July 2018 brought more than 40,000 Ismailis from all over the world to Lisbon. This group represents several countries and was pictured on the terrace of Eduardo VII Park following the departure of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s motorcade (see previous photo). Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant.
Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Digitized wrist bands for gaining entry to the Diamond Jubilee grounds in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Aga Khan Band at Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon, Barakah
India’s Andheri Versova Aga Khan Baug Band marches in, signalling the opening of the Pátio Mela at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili
Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Lisbon, Mrs. Merchant and the Alibhoys
(Late) Alwaeza Malek Merchant (“Mrs. Merchant”, d. January 21, 2021, age 89), seated right, at the Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon in July 2018. Seated next to her is Shellina Karmali (Alnoor Merchant’s fiance), and standing are niece Shamsa Alibhoy and Mrs. Merchant’s son Alnoor.
Portuguese ismaili children aga khan diamond jubilee
Portuguese and Ismaili children under the jurisdiction of the Aga Khan Council for Portugal participate in a devotional dance during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili.
Aga Khan audience with Ismailis Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, departs Centro de Congressos after gracing the Portugal jurisdiction Jamat with a Mulaqat during his Diamond Jubilee visit to Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili.
Ismailis in Lisbon for Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Nothing less than joy. Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Ismaili volunteers in Lisbon Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Volunteers at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. They are the pride of the Ismaili community around the world. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Parque das Nações Lisbon Aga Khan
A view of Park of Nations (Parque das Nações) where the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan was celebrated in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Ismaili youth Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Happy faces from around the world at the Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Sentimental Wall Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Malik Merchant
Messages on Sentimental Wall at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant
Sentimental Wall Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Malik Merchant
Tajiki film maker Memonsho Memonshoev (centre) with members of Khorog Jamat at Sentimental Wall in Lisbon during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in July 2018. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant.
Ismaili pipe band Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
A pipe band performance at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Art Gallery Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
A view of the International Arts Gallery at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant/
Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee art gallery
Diamond Jubilee International Arts Festival, Lisbon, July 2018. GOD’S CREATION by Nadya Shakoor, USA. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant
Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee art gallery
Diamond Jubilee International Arts Festival, Lisbon, July 2018. FAMILY by Boris Maramatshoev, Tajikistan. Photo: Barakah/Malik Merchant.
transportation aga khan diamond Jubilee lisbon
Transportation within the mela grounds at the Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Prince Hussain Aga Khan photographs Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
A view of Prince Hussain Aga Khan’s photography exhibition at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Left: Portrait of a dolphin in Sataya – about 5 hours from the coast of Egypt. Photograph was taken in November or December 2014, and appears on the cover page of Prince Hussain’s book Diving into Wildlife. Right: Detail of a large nudibranch at Gato Island, just off Malapascua in the Philippines. Photo was taken by Prince Hussain Aga Khan in May 2017.
Prince Rahim and Prince Irfan Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Prince Rahim Aga Khan shows his older son Prince Irfan a photograph taken by his brother, Prince Hussain, at the Photographic Exhibition in Lisbon during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Shireen Nazim

Who can forget the young Prince Sinan, clinging on to Princess Salwa and sucking his thumb or the regal Prince Amyn, gorgeous Princesses Zahra and Sara and handsome Prince Illyan graciously acknowledging murids? Who can forget Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad turning up unexpectedly to showcase their respective projects and lend their support and contributions to those of the jamati members, thus proving they are part of us?

These were once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, which will add pizzazz to our history books forever, and for which I deeply commend the organisers, all the volunteers and contributors who must have spent countless sleepless nights but who will carry, in their hearts, these memories forever, and who will regale their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren of anecdotes from this epochal finale of Mawlana Shah Karim al Hussaini’s Diamond Jubilee.

Zafeera Kassam’s article concludes below

Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Lisbon
Prince Hussain Aga Khan and younger brother Prince Aly Muhammad admire a photograph of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, as a young boy, during their tour of the Rays of Light exhibition at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Aziz Ajaney.
Ismailis in Lisbon metro
Red line metro carriage is packed with Ismailis as they depart Oriente station for a night’s rest after an eventful day at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.
Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee memorabilia counter
The ever busy memorabilia counter at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.

And I am extremely proud to state that a fitting finale it certainly was for our beloved Hazar Imam, Shah Karim al Hussaini. The colourful State Honours at the Palace of Belem, the Prime Minister’s Luncheon at the Foz Palace where postage stamps were unveiled in honour of the Diamond Jubilee; the visit by Portugal’s President and representatives of Sovereign and Civil Society Bodies to see the restoration works of the Palacete Henrique de Mendonça, the Presidential Banquet at the Palace of Queluz in Sintra; Mawlana Hazar Imam’s historical address to the Portuguese Parliament – all this made my heart swell with pride and joy. When Hazar Imam is honoured on such a grand scale, it is a matter of pride and joy for the entire global Ismaili community.

Aga Khan Family Diamond Jubilee
Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Miss Sara Boyden, and Master Iliyan Boyden enjoy a performance at the International Talent Showcase at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Aziz Ladha.
Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee
Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa acknowledge the crowd as they depart from the Altice Arena after attending the Sufi Voyage concert at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.
Aga Khan stamps Portugal
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with Isabel Mota, President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Prince Amyn, and Francisco Lacerda, CEO of the CTT (Portuguese Postal Services) at the unveiling of the official Diamond Jubilee commemorative postage stamp in Lisbon, July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.
Aga Khan stamps portugal
A close up of the Portugal Post’s souvenir sheet commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highmess tha Aga Khan, that was launched in Lisbon in July 2018. A genuine 1.25mm diamond is affixed on the souvenir sheet at the location we have marked with an arrow.
Aga Khan family with Portuguese president
The President of the Portuguese Republic hosts a dinner in honor of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at the National Palace of Queluz in the historic city of Sintra, with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s family in atttendance, during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Portugal in July 2018. Photo: Website of the President of Portugal.
Henrique de Mendonça Aga Khan welcomes portuguese president
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, receives Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Palacete Henrique de Mendonça for viewing of restorations that were underway at the historical Palace, which is now the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat. Photo: Website of the President of Portugal.
Aga Khan at Palácio de Belém during his Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon
The Portugal Army Band performs the Portuguese national anthem and the Nashid al-Imamah to welcome Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Palácio de Belém during his Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim
Aga Khan at Ideals of Leadership: Masterpieces from the Aga Khan Museum Collections, hosted at the Parliament building, São Bento Palace in Lisbon during the Diamond Jubilee visit in July 2018.
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, tours the exhibition Ideals of Leadership: Masterpieces from the Aga Khan Museum Collections, hosted at the Parliament building, São Bento Palace in Lisbon during the Diamond Jubilee visit in July 2018. Photo: AKDN/Mo Govindji
His Highness the Aga Khan, addresses Portugal's Members of Parliament in the Senate Chamber of the Portuguese Parliament Building on July 10, 2018 during his Diamond Jubilee visit to Portugal. Barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, addresses Portugal’s Members of Parliament in the Senate Chamber of the Portuguese Parliament Building on July 10, 2018 during his Diamond Jubilee visit to Portugal. Photo: AKDN/Moez Visram
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, ordains the instrument to designate the Henrique de Mendonça Palace as the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat on July 11 2018, to be known as the Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
On the occasion of the designation of the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat, known as the Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is presented with a gift on behalf of the global Ismaili community by Ismaili leaders Shafik Sachedina (left) and Mahmoud Eboo in Lisbon on July 11, 2018. See gift details in next photo. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.
The gift presented to Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, on the occasion of the designation of the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat as the Diwan of the Imamat is a meticulously detailed coloured print depicting Fath Ali Shah, the Persian Qajar monarch, an ancestor of Mawlana Hazar Imam (the 46th Ismaili Imam, Mawlana Shah Hasan Aly Shah, Aga Khan I, was married to the monarch’s daughter, Princess Sarv-i-Jahan Khanum). The coloured aquatint on paper depicts Fath Ali Shah enthroned with princes, non-blemen, ministers, foreign ambassadors and envoys. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.
 Henrique Mendonça Palace Aga Khan with Ismaili leaders the diwan of the Imamat
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, and members of his family take a group photo with Ismaili leaders on the steps of the Henrique Mendonça Palace on the morning of July 11, 2018 when the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat was designated by Mawlana Hazar Imam as the Diwan of the Imamat.
Ismailis visit Palacete Henrique De Mendonça, the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat, which Hazar Imam proclaimed as the Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat on July 11, 2018. Photo: © Muslim Harji.

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT 2
Excerpts from AZEEM MAHERALI’S Article

The entire Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Lisbon on July 11, 2018, the 61st Imamat Day of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, was filled with beautiful and surprising moments that will be deeply entrenched in everyone’s hearts, carrying indelible memories. Who would have imagined that Mawlana Hazar Imam with his family would visit all the three halls where the Jamats were seated and spend so much time at the Darbar; that in each of the halls he would graciously speak to the Jamat and ask us, as his dais, to convey his blessings to our families and Jamats around the world; and that the Darbar would be filled with so much laughter and happiness as well as applause. Mawlana Hazar Imam made it all happen! 

Azeem Maherali’s article concludes below

Aga Khan with his Ismaili folowers, Lisbon Portugal Diamond Jubilee, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Jamat, walks through the Jamat at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Lisbon on July 11, 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Akber Hakim
Aga Khan and members of his family at his Diamond Jubilee in Lisbon, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, shares a light moment with the Jamat at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Lisbon on July 11, 2018, as Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra, Prince Rahim, Princess Salwa, Prince Hussain, Prince Aly Muhammad, Miss Sara Boyden, and Master Iliyan Boyden look on. Photo: The Ismaili/Sohil Lalani

Of course, as a murid of Mawlana Hazar Imam, every moment of his holy presence was touching and deeply inspiring. However the moment that particularly stood out for me was the Portuguese President’s surprise visit at the Darbar. As I came to learn later, the President was deeply touched by the discipline of the Jamat and the adoration of the Jamat for their beloved Imam. The salwats for the Imam rang out from thousands of lips, and I begin to wonder what the President may have personally felt at this highly charged atmosphere. Mawlana Hazar Imam termed the visit by His Excellency Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa as “an unexpected blessing.” The mood was euphoric among the approximately 42,000 Ismaili faithfuls from 45 countries who were witnessing an unprecedented event in modern Ismaili history.

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT 3
Excerpts from RAHIM HIRJI’S Article

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, walks through the Jamat at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Lisbon on July 11, 2018, followed by the Mukhis and Kamadia of the Lisbon Jamat, Prince Amyn, Princess Zahra, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa, Prince Hussain, Prince Aly Muhammad, Miss Sara Boyden, Master Iliyan Boyden, and the Mukhiani and Kamadiani of the Lisbon Jamat. Photo: The Ismaili.

The Darbar was unprecedented and what happened next was something no one was really anticipating: firstly, Hazar Imam was joined by Prince Amin, Prince Hussain, Prince Aly Muhammad, Princess Zahra, Prince Rahim, Princess Salwa, and Sara and Iliyan Boyden; secondly, we received what totalled three (+1) Darbars with Hazar Imam visiting all three halls; and finally  you will have heard this already  the President of Portugal joined the Darbar Hall with Hazar Imam.

I think I speak for many of us there, but after the first Darbar when we saw Hazar Imam on the screen looking as if he might be leaving, we weren’t quite sure what was happening. And when we were told that Hazar Imam would be receiving a guest, we couldn’t imagine who it might be. I don’t think we could have been more ecstatic that it was the actual President of Portugal.

Rahim Hirji’s article continues below

Highness the Aga Khan, receives Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa upon his arrival to the Darbar hall in Lisbon on July 11, 2018 on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, receives Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa upon his arrival to the Darbar hall in Lisbon on July 11, 2018. Photo: The Ismaili/Vazir Karsan

Bear in mind that we had had a darbar and when we saw the President arrive, and after a few moments, Hazar Iman returned to the same hall, this time with the President. I can’t stress how astonished we all were, that a head of state was joining Hazar Imam in the hall. Both Hazar Imam and the President gave speeches and Hazar Imam gave his vote of gratitude. The President stepped up to speak. He gave his short but full speech and implied that we will never leave Portugal  i.e. that this is a permanent seat of the Imamat. That received loud applause and even Hazar Imam clapped.

The themes of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Firmans were as follows:

1. He said “May all your difficulties go away and stay away”

2. He referred to us all as “Dais”, both those in the room and to those who we would spread his message to. (This is my way of passing forward the message)

3. He talked of saving money for future generations, saving “pockets of wealth” so that each generation is better off than the one before it. He said this more than once.

4. He emphasised the importance of English if it is not your first language. He joked that you didn’t need to be Shakespeare  “He’s long gone,” while gesturing – which was an amusing moment for us all.

5. There were blessings for the Ruhanis

6. He asked is to apply best practice in all that we do in our professional career

7. Work together, come together as a Jamat from different parts of the world, from different spheres. He said that we are stronger if we work together.

Rahim Hirji’s article concludes below

Ismailis enjoy the stick dance and raas at Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee in Portugal
Ismailis enjoy dandia raas at Praça Sony during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, in Lisbon in July 2018. Photo: The Ismaili

The moment that stood out as most amusing and memorable was when He told us that we should dance and be happy because that is what a Darbar is for. He then recounted that he used to partake in the festivities when he was younger and talked of the “stick dance” and that if you were not careful you would hurt yourself. “Beware of the stick dance!”  which had the Jamat in fits of laughter.

The night ended with biriyani, sherbet, and one final Pasteis de Nata, of course, eaten on the steps of the stadium. And we fulfilled Hazar Imam’s wishes by finding one of the many halls to do Raas. We missed the fireworks which looked phenomenal in the videos – but that ended our trip as we returned to London early the next morning. I still feel that I haven’t been able to describe what this celebration was like. It was a mash-up of an Olympic Games where the Closing Ceremony was the main event, with a run-up of A-list music concerts, reality TV talent shows and exhibitions, Disney-like excitement all packaged up with a quasi-coronation. But even that doesn’t do it justice.

Date posted: August 1, 2021.

Next article: The 62nd year of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Imamat will conclude with events that took place in the life of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family during the remaining period of the 62nd year — i.e. the article will cover the period July 12, 2018 until July 10, 2019.

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Watch a Beautiful Video of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee Visit to Portugal

Barakah invites its readers to watch a 58 minute presentation of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee visit to Portugal that was aired on Ismaili TV recently. Please watch the Youtube video below.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee visit to Portugal.

Read Digital Magazine of the Entire Diamond Jubilee Year of Mawlana Hazar Imam

Barakah also invites its readers to visit The.Ismaili website and read the complete coverage of all Diamond Jubilee visits undertaken by Mawlana Hazar Imam by clicking on Memories of the Diamond Jubilee. This is an interactive digital magazine looking back on Mawlana Hazar Imam’s historic Diamond Jubilee year.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com if you don’t see the comment box. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation. Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 260 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

2 comments

  1. All the pictures and stories brought back all the wonderful memories of the once in life time occasion of the diamond jubilee! This is going to be a keep sake article to go back to! Appreciate your efforts, thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

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