Flashback 2016: A Moment of Joy in Kyrgyzstan as Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Spontaneously Walks to His Followers and Blesses Them for Everything They Wish, Bringing Tears of Happiness to Their Eyes; With a Humble Supplication to the Beloved 49th Imam

“I wish you all success, good health, happiness, everything you wish, everything you wish for. Best Blessings” — Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, October 19, 2016, see 1 minute video below.



Just over 44 years years ago, my late dad (Alwaez) Jehangir wrote a beautiful piece for UK’s flagship Ismaili religious magazine, Ilm, on Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s memorable weeklong visit to the United Kingdom in September 1979.

He mentioned the unbounded joy emanating from the souls of the members of the UK Ismailis as the visit was announced in a Talika (written holy message) that was read out in Jamatkhanas across the UK on July 7th, 1979.

Aga Khan Hazar Imam in the UK
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, addressing Ismailis in the the UK at Olympia Hall, London, in September 1979. Photograph: Bahadur Hirji/Ilm Magazine, December 1979.

Describing the last few moments of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s final day of his seven day memorable stay in England, my dad wrote:

“In his infinite mercy and grace, Mawlana Hazar Imam then blessed the jamat for happiness, good health, unity, success in spiritual happiness, success in worldly happiness and for remaining on the Straight Path. What more would the mu’mins wish? Their Imam, their beloved Mawla [Lord] had blessed them munificently. Tears were streaming from their eyes in reverence and devotion for their beloved Mawla for the immense love he had shown towards them….Very slowly and graciously, Mawla walked all around the [Olympia] hall to be as near to his spiritual children as possible for the last time during this visit.

“When he arrived at the exit of the hall, he majestically turned towards his spiritual children, stood there in all his glory for one brief moment, showered his Noor (Light) on the whole assembly of souls and then moved away from the sight of his beloved spiritual children who had all made him so very very happy.”

Aga Khan presented with Fatimid Gold Dinars
Dr. Aziz Kurwa, then president of the Ismailia Association for the UK, and now a resident of Calgary, Alberta, presents Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with a report of the Association’s activities along with a framed set of 3 Fatimid gold dinars at the students and volunteers gathering held in London in September 1979. The coins were from the reigns of Fatimid Caliphs-Imams Mawlana Mansur, Mawlana Muizz and Mawlana Hakim. Photograph: Bahadur Hirji/Ilm Magazine, December 1979.
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, walks through his followers and past the Ismailia Association literature counter as he departs Olympia Hall after his final audience with the Ismailis in London in September 1979. Photograph: Sarfaraz Sadruddin/Ilm Magazine, December 1979.

I mention this anecdote because something remarkable and inspiring happened on October 19, 2016, in Kyrgyzstan as Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the new Naryn campus of the University of Central Asia.

An amateur video footage that we received at that time captures the excitement, uncontrollable joy, happiness and emotion from a small group of Ismailis as Mawlana Hazar Imam points in their direction and starts walking towards them. He then from a very close distance, with hands stretched out, graciously and lovingly blesses them with the following words:

“I wish you all success, good health, happiness, everything you wish, everything you wish for. Best Blessings.”

Aga Khan receives Order of Danaker Kyrgyz
His Excellency Almazbek Atambayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic presents Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan with the Order of Danaker, the highest award given to a foreign citizen, during his four day visit from October 17-20, 2016 to the Kyrgyz Republic when he also presided over the inauguration of the Naryn Campus of the University of Central Asia. The Flags of the Ismaili Imamat bearing the crest and Kyrgystan form a beautiful bakdrop to the ceremony. Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte.

The voices that we hear in the footage as Mawlana Hazar Imam begins to walk towards them — “Ya Hazar Imam” — and when he leaves them after fulfilling their dreams and filling their hearts, minds and souls with peace and unbounded spiritual happiness is a testament to the faith and love that each and every Ismaili around the world holds for his or her beloved Imam.

His Highness the Aga Khan is the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad — may peace be upon him and his family — and the 49th Hereditary Imam in the succession of Imams that goes back to the origins of Shia Islam when the Prophet appointed his son-in-law, Ali, to continue his teachings within the Muslim community. The Ismailis, as His Highness said in an interview, “are the only Shia Muslims to have a living Imam, namely myself.”

The following two quotes from the Holy Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet are very important in this regard:

“God chose Adam and Noah and the House of Abraham and the House of Imran above all beings, the seed of one another; God hears, and knows.” — Holy Qur’an, 3:33-34


“Truly, I am leaving behind amongst you the two weighty things: the Book of God and my Ahl al-Bayt, they will not be parted from each other until they return to me at the paradisal pool.” — a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.

Please click on photo for enlargement

Aga Khan blesses students in Naryn, October 2016, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, greets — and blesses — students of the University of Central Asia’s founding undergraduate class in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, on October 19, 2016. See video below. Photograph: AKDN/Iskender Ermekov, The Ismaili Canada, Winter 2016.



Please see previous photograph, above, taken during the last few moments in this video while Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is seen blessing a small crowd in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, October 19, 2016.


It is therefore not in vain that Ismaili Pirs and missionaries wrote how fortunate the Ismaili people are to attain the recognition of the Imam-of-the-Time. Pir Sadardin, one of the most famous and well-known Ismaili missionaries, said in a very simple Ginan (hymn):

Eji Anand anand kariyo rikhisaro,
Awwal Shah tamey paya


Rejoice! O you who are on the True Path, rejoice!
For you have the Supreme Master.

Thus, readers, Ismailis and non-Ismailis alike, will appreciate the feelings that were expressed by the group of Ismailis in Naryn, Kyrgystan, who probably never expected their Imam to walk in their direction and bless them.

The blessings of Mawlana Hazar Imam for his murids are contained in all of his Farmans. I think I have read somewhere that the late 48th Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, had once said that an Ismaili should long for nothing than the Imam’s blessings.

His Highness the Aga Khan, the closer you come the more you will see him
A digital portrait by Toronto’s Akber Kanji depicting the life and work of the 49th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, under the theme “The closer you come the more you will see him.”

Long time in coming, the Farmans (guidance) and blessings that Mawlana Hazar Imam, the SUPREME MASTER — as indeed all Imams are because they are bearers of the same Noor (Light) of Imamat — delivered to his followers around the world between 1998 and 2017 have finally been published in a number of separate volumes. I would urge Ismailis and especially the youth to acquire the books and read the Farmans on a regular basis to benefit from the Imam’s guidance and the blessings contained in his Farmans.

In my humble opinion, if there was one Farman that I would SINGLE out and recommend everyone to read, then it has to be the one dated December 19, 2017, delivered during his Diamond Jubilee visit to Karachi, Pakistan.

The Farman covers: the importance of strong institutions, collaboration between the Jamat and its institutions, the importance of education…. “learn and learn and learn and learn” (Mawlana Hazar Imam repeats learn 11 times in the same sentence), the knowledge society, the mobility of the Jamat and capacity to live successfully in any part of the world, global unity and brotherhood, happiness in Islam, the balance between the faith and the world, the Imam’s ambitions for the Jamat and his institutions, and intellectual engagement, among other pieces of guidance. Of course, the Imam’s blessings and his immense love for his Ismaili followers are pronounced throughout the Farman.

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan
His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, 49th Hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. Photograph: Islamic Publications 2012 (Mawlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan, Golden Jubilee 1957-2007)

Captivating, memorable and always in my heart is the following excerpt from Mawlana Hazar Imam’s handwritten message that appeared in a special souvenir published following the completion of his Golden Jubilee in December 2008:

“I am ambitious for you in the right way, just as a father and mother are ambitious for their children. Both a father and a mother want their children to work well, properly and ethically, and to carry these values throughout their lives. These are thoughts that I share with you, and although I will be leaving you physically today, I am always with you. I watch over you, I think of you, I pray for you, and I want you to know that I am always with my Jamath” — Mawlana Hazar Imam, December 13, 2008 (click HERE to read Mawlana Hazar Imam’s complete handwritten message.)

Let us pray and supplicate that Mawlana Hazar Imam visits his Jamats around the world and grants us with his Didar (glimpse) and his blessings as he did with the group of Kyrgyz Ismailis.



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 I stand at Thy door,
O Ali! And sincerely beg of Thee;
Bless me with Thy Holy Didar, O Great Lord and Benefactor!
At Thy Feet I fall to prostrate.

Date posted: January 27, 2023.
Last updated: January 29, 2023 (UK photo at top of article replaced with better copy.)



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Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Home Page or Table of Contents for links to more than 300 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, members of his family and the Ismaili Imamat. Also, visit our two sister websites, Simerg and Simergphotos.

Barakah’s editor Malik may be reached at mmerchant@barakah.com. Please follow him @Facebook and @Twitter.


  1. Thank you Malik for this beautiful article and upsurging a deep feelings of gratitude in our hearts. Truly, all those who were in receipt of these blessings are the blessed ones. Our beloved Imam very graciously and generously bestowing His immense love and care for us.

    So let our supplications as said by Pir Hassen Kabirdeen be fulfilled in the years to come. Aameen.


  2. What a brilliant article – so well written that it brought tears in my eyes – expressing our deep love for our beloved Imam.


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