Mutual care and love: His Highness the Aga Khan with his grandchildren, Princes Irfan and Sinan; some New Year tasks for the worldwide Jamat to reflect on


Aga Khan with grandsons Sinan and Irfan
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured at his home in Lisbon, Portugal, with his grandsons Prince Irfan, aged 7, left, and Prince Sinan, aged 6, both children of Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa. Photograph: IPL via The Ismaili. Please click on photo to enlarge.

A beautiful photograph of love, joy and happiness as well as togetherness has just been released on the.Ismaili website showing Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with his beloved grandchildren, Prince Irfan, aged 7, and Prince Sinan, aged 6, both children of Prince Rahim.

This represents for me the importance of the very young ones being able to bond with their elderly grandparents, and a solid example that as parents we should encourage the relationship to grow between our children and our own parents. Throughout the past 10-15 years, and especially since his Golden Jubilee in 2007-2008, Mawlana Hazar Imam has reminded the Jamat about our responsibilities and care for older members of the Jamat; the heartwarming portrait serves as a reminder of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s recommendation for his every spiritual child. In this regard, we also present a historic photograph from 81 years ago of our beloved 48th Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, pictured with his grandsons, Prince Karim — our present Imam — and Prince Amyn when they were 6 and 5 years old respectively.

Aga Khan III with grandsons Prince Karim and Prince Amyn
Flashback, 1942: Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, 48th Ismaili Imam, with his grandsons Prince Amyn (right) and Prince Karim, who succeeded him on July 11,1957 as the 49th Hereditary Ismaili Imam. The picture was taken in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1942. Photo: 25 Years in Pictures. Islamic Publications, London, UK, Volume 1.

As a personal observation of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s photos with the two Princes, Prince Irfan is seen wearing a t-shirt printed with a message “SHARKS DO BETTER….”, an ocean animal that is among the favourite animal species of his beloved uncle Prince Hussain, a marine diver, who wishes us to consider his exhibitions of sea animal photographs not only a work of art but, more than that, for people to get “a close look at how extraordinary these animals are and how our actions are endangering them.”

Also, on this very auspicious occasion of Navroz, March 21, 2023, we would like to relive a moment of blessing that Mawlana Hazar Imam conveyed to the worldwide Jamat on the occasion of Navroz 2021 during the difficult time of Covid-19. He said in his Talika:

“In these troubled times, it is my prayer that Navroz will herald a new beginning, with greater resilience, strength and unity in my Jamat to overcome all forms of difficulty. While the Jamatkhanas will continue to be re-opened as the situation improves, I wish my Jamat to keep in mind the importance I attach to our historic tradition of personal, private prayer.

“I send my most affectionate loving blessings for mushkil-asan, and for my Jamat’s wellbeing, good health, safety and security. I also give my best loving blessings for barakah in your spiritual and material lives, and for the fulfilment of all your wishes.”

There are numerous messages for Navroz.

During his visit to Burma (now Myanmar) that coincided with Navroz in 1960, Mawlana Hazar Imam said to the Jamat:

“On this day of Navroz, I say to each and everyone of you Eid Mubarak and I pray that in this New Year your worldly and your spiritual happiness should progress tenfold and that this should be the case every year.”

Then he asked the Jamat “to try and think a little bit ahead in the future, and at each Navroz say to yourselves. ‘Have we done our work?’ If you have then I will be very happy indeed.”

As beloved murids of Mawlana Hazar Imam, let each task in the work we need to do represent for each of us a beautiful flower and let us during the year ahead start putting together a garland of beautiful flowers that we collectively present to our beloved 49th Imam, Mawlana Shah Karim Al Hussiani Hazar Imam, that he can happily feel in his heart — Malik Merchant

Among countless recommendations that Mawlana Hazar Imam has made during his 65 years of Imamat are: to educate ourselves and develop our intellect and use the education in the Islamic spirit of humility; for Jamati and family unity, for good health and in this repect also to forego bad and damaging social habits, to stay on the path of siratal mustakim (the straight path), to maintain a balance between the world of the spirit (din) and the world of matter (duniya), to carry a tasbih and take a few precious moments in the remembrance of Allah, to practice our faith regularly, to learn English and to be able to communicate well in the language, to help each other, to seek unity across communities, to be peaceful, to be loyal to the countries of adoption, to be grateful with our wealth and acquired knowledge and to share them for the betterment of others, to seek to grow spiritually to come closer to the light of Imamat.

In recent years, his Imamat institutions have become more cognisant of the impact of climate change on the environment and natural disasters and this is where the youth of the Jamat can play an active role both within and outside the Jamat to reverse the trend.

Again, Mawlana Hazar Imam’ emphasis on the care of the elderly is something that must be cultivated in the hearts of the very young, the youth and the professionals of the Jamat.

Aga Khan London visit 1979
Mawlana Hazar Imam during his visit to London in September 1979. Photo: Jehangir Merchant Collection.

There are of course many many messages that need to be fulfilled for the desirous work to be completed, and yet these tasks are all within our rich. May we all have the strength to fulfill the tasks that will ensure our own betterment as well as countless other people around the world. There is no better service and joy than serving others in our society.

As beloved murids of Mawlana Hazar Imam, let each task in the work we need to do represent for each of us a beautiful flower and let us during the year ahead start putting together a garland of beautiful flowers that we collectively present to our beloved 49th Imam, Mawlana Shah Karim Al Hussiani Hazar Imam, that he can happily feel in his heart.

We urge each Ismaili family to acquire the holy Farman books (containing Farmans made from 1995 – 2018, with a combined total number of approximately pages 725 pages) that have been printed in the last 2-3 years, and for youths and professionals of the Jamat to read the Farmans avidly, one at a time, 3 pages a day (300-325 words per page, taking up 3 minutes of your time.)

Navroz Mubarak with best wishes and prayers for Barakah — happiness — in all walks of your life.

Date posted: March 21, 2023.
Last updated: March 22, 2023 (several typos.)



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  1. Ya Ali Madad! Dear Editor Malik Merchant,
    You have referred to the book of holy farmans from 1995-2018 in the final part of this piece. Where can we find that ? Is it available online or can we order it ??
    Please let me know.
    Thank you.


    • The Farman books are available at Jamatkhana literature counters around the world. There are no online versions available. Please contact your local ITREB member or the Mukhi of your Jamatkhana to order a few complete sets for you and other members of your Jamat from location(s) in your country that have it. Thank you for writing to me.

      With Ya Ali Madad



  2. Mubarak Malik and Navroz Mubarak with prayers for good health happiness peace Mushkil Ahsan and lots of Barakat.

    Malik you have articulated so well and our prayers that each Murid will appreciate and understand your very valuable message. Inshallah. Again Mubarak and please keep your Seva going. With prayers.



  3. Excellent commentary. In the excitement of admiring the lovely photo, how many of us missed observing the caption on Prince Irfan’s t-shirt. Uncle nephew bond besides one with grandpa!


  4. The last issue of Barakah reached me just as I was about to join the Paris Darkhana for congregational prayers on the occasion of Nawroz.

    What a strong emotion to discover the photo of Mowlana Hazar Imam surrounded by His 2 grandchildren, Prince Irfan and Prince Sinan!

    Hazar Imam has lost weight! He is smiling and hugged by Prince Sinan! What a comfort to discover during their meeting this bond of tenderness, affection, love.

    A clear proof of luminous communion between a happy Grand Father, savoring a serene happiness, sharing remarkable things from His rich experiences of more than 65 years of His reign of Imamat.

    All our prayers for a long life and good health to our Beloved Hazar Imam.

    Many thanks and bravo to Barakah for sharing this meeting of Noorani members in Lisbon. I appreciate also the remarkable and thoughtfull piece of the Editor Malik Merchant.

    Mohez Nato


  5. In Italian 🙏🏼 Grazie per aver condiviso il materiale bello e sorprendente che sei riuscito a distribuire a tutti noi | Un Jamat. Grazie dal profondo del cuore | Anima. Ameen.

    Questa volontà ci aiuta ad abbracciare e riflettere con gentilezza e felicità in questo giorno speciale e per l’anno a venire – Ameen.❤️🙏🏼💚🤗 The Giovanni Family (London, UK).


    ❤️ Navroz Mubarak to all💚🙏🏼 Dear Malik, profoundly thank you for sharing this remarkable article and most inspiring messages | words that have been beautifully collaborated by yourself., taking that time to share with us all. It’s is unprecedented and so humble of you. 🙏🏼 We (as a family) always waiting and lookout for your updates and helps us to embrace the love and the unique information you have carefully obtained | passing it on to the whole Jamat | Our Community! We shall treasure this and help us review , reflect and rejoice every time we read it – Ameen. With lots of love and sincer wishes The Giovanni Family (London.UK)🙏🏼🤗❤️💚


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