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Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, on a World War (III) of a different kind

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

I have been ever so reluctant to raise this matter and share something that grabbed my attention during one of my longer stays at my parent’s place over the past 20 years. During those multi-week stays, I had the opportunity of going through my late dad Jehangir Merchant’s archives of family letters, hand-written notes as well as old magazine and newspaper articles that he had preserved for many, many years. For example, I discovered letters exchanged between my mum and him from the early 1950’s. I came across a 1961 penciled letter that my dad wrote to my mum from an internment camp in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique, a few days after my mum had given birth to my youngest brother. During my latest visit, I read a very descriptive letter that he had penned to my mum from both Aswan and Cairo when Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah was permanently laid to rest in 1959. It was, in a sense, a kind of a serialized letter because there were “to be continued” notes throughout the letter.

Some of the material I found in my dad’s archives has been published in Simerg, Barakah, and Simergphotos. One such piece published in Barakah recently was Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah’s historical visit to Iran in 1951.

Anyway, one of my most astonishing discoveries took place several years ago, long before any of my websites were created. It was a very tiny report that appeared on the front page of either the Tanganyika Standard or the East African Standard from the 1950’s.

At first glance, I did not notice anything of significance on the page, aside from the fact that it was over 65 years old. However, I knew that my dad was detail-oriented, and kept important and historical clippings regardless of their sizes, so my curiosity was deepened.

As I examined every column on the page, I came across a very tiny, perhaps even smaller than a 1.5″ x 1.5″ column, on Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah. I had never seen such as small report on the late Imam considering its importance. It concerned a question the Imam was asked – whether he believed that there would be a World War III. The Imam replied in the affirmative, but said that it would be a totally different kind of a war! There was no further elaboration in the newspaper.

From that day onwards, I have remained quite puzzled about what that “different war” might be. Today, as the COVID-19 crisis deepens, and given its status as a worldwide pandemic affecting the lives of billions of people, I’ve begun to read headlines such as ‘It’s World War III’: local health officials bracing for surge in COVID-19 cases. In a brief introduction to Morgan Housel’s article Common Enemies that appears in Collaborative Fund, Dale Roberts pens as follows in Fighting Covid is World War 3. “Who knew that World War 3 (WWIII) would be against a virus that we cannot see? That would be almost no one. But that is the case. That is the reality…..Fighting COVID-19 is World War 3.” It is worth reading Dale’s introduction as well as Housel’s insightful article in which he writes: “World War II united most of the world against a common enemy in a way that’s incredibly rare. Cooperation within, and between, countries surged….The fight against COVID-19 is nearly identical in that respect. This may be the first time since the 1940s that so much of the world is united so firmly against such a specific foe.”

Of course, the COVID-19 crisis has not been officially declared as World War III. However, we have a deepening world crisis which has seen the USA come up with a 2 trillion dollar bailout for its economy. Other countries have taken similar steps. The numbers of confirmed cases and deaths reported in worldometers keep on rising. There are more than 130 countries with COVID-19 cases ranging from 30 in Uganda to 122,246 in the USA. As of March 28, 2020, there were more than 662,800 coronavirus cases, with over 30,800 deaths around the world.

I am of course determined to locate that astonishing clipping in the coming years as I get an opportunity to review my parent’s literary archives once again after having successfully separated ‘the wheat from the chaff’ in the last two decades.

At this time, I can only assure readers that I vividly remember Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah’s very brief interview report. My recollection is 100% accurate. I just have to find the clipping, and when I do find it I will share its image with Barakah’s readers.

Finally, I am also reminded of a Farman following the dissolution of the Soviet Empire in which Mawlana Hazar Imam said that inshallah there won’t be any wars in the future. Let that wish always be our hope and prayer.

Date posted: March 28, 2020.

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Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 200 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

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.

Please follow us http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and http://twitter.com/simerg. This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

Mawlana Hazar Imam sends talika on the occasion of Navroz with special blessings for mushkil asan, and prayers for the Jamat's health and well-being

[The message is reproduced from the official website of the Ismaili community. The sub-titles shown in this post are our own and not part of the original article in the Ismaili – Ed.]

By MALIK TALIB
(Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum)

On the occasion of Navroz, our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam has most graciously sent a Talika Mubarak to be shared with our global Jamat, which reads as follows:

My dear Malik,

On the occasion of Navroz, I send to my worldwide Jamat my best blessings for peace and happiness in their lives.

I am also sending my special blessings for Mushkil Asan for my Jamats wherever they may be, and I pray for their health and their well-being.

Yours affectionately,

Aga Khan

I convey warm Mubarak to the global Jamat on the occasion of Navroz and, on behalf of all the murids world-wide, I express humble shukrana to our beloved Mawlana Hazar Imam for the gracious Talika.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Guidance Central to Ismaili Institutions’ decision making during the COVID-19 crisis

….Malik Talib’s message continues below

The festival of Navroz is a time for hope, optimism, renewal, and faith – even in times of uncertainty and difficulty.

I would like to assure the Jamat that all Jamati institutions and leaders around the world are doing everything possible to ensure the Jamat’s safety and security.

For so many of us, the temporary suspension placed on Jamatkhana gatherings is perhaps the most difficult among the wide array of disruptions to our everyday lives. The decision to temporarily suspend our Jamatkhana gatherings was not taken lightly, and was implemented in accordance with Hazar Imam’s guidance to comply with government and public health guidelines around the world.

While we appreciate that this indeed is a very difficult disruption, and that we are no longer able to gather physically at the present time, we remain unified in our faith, in devotion and compassion.

These bonds of community have sustained throughout the vagaries of time and history, and will continue in the difficult weeks and months ahead. As we prepare ourselves, we will work together as a united Jamat.

It is of great importance that we follow the directions given by the Jamati institutions who are working with the AKDN [Aga Khan Development Network] to ensure compliance with government measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

Ours is an esoteric faith. Our Imam has time and time again reminded us of the importance of spiritual contemplation, reflection, personal search and prayer. In these moments we will find peace and solace to overcome our current challenges. We would be well advised to recall Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Farmans regarding engaging in personal prayer, when we are unable to attend Jamatkhana. It is my conviction that adhering to this guidance will bring us comfort in these challenging times.

Virtual Jamatkhanas are inappropriate

….Malik Talib’s message continues below

The temporary closure of our Jamatkhanas has resulted in the appearance of electronic and digital channels offering a “virtual Jamatkhana”. This is clearly inappropriate, as a Jamatkhana may only be established and function under the Imam’s authority, through his institutions and appointed Mukhi-Kamadias.

At this time in particular, it is critical that we understand the risks of misinformation and miscommunication, and rely only on credible government and Jamati institutional sources – including The Ismaili – the official website and social media channels for the Jamat.

At a time of increased economic anxiety, it is also imperative that we act rationally, with prudence and sound judgement.

COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s thoughts

….Malik Talib’s message continues below

The current developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic have been at the forefront of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s thoughts, and I would like to inform the Jamat that, following Mawlana Hazar Imam’s guidance, an international Steering Group has been established to coordinate the efforts to ensure the Jamat’s safety and well-being, and to support the responses being undertaken in each national Jamati jurisdiction.
 
These are difficult times. However, as one Jamat, our faith unites us, and gives us the strength, courage and hope to face this adversity, and emerge from it, a stronger community, bound by our values, and our allegiance to the Imam-of-the-Time.

Let us offer shukrana for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s continued love, grace, protection and guidance, and pray for the Jamat’s safety, good health and Mushkil Asan.

Ameen.

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A Note from the Publisher/Editor of Barakah

By MALIK MERCHANT

Nothing can be more gratifying for a murid of Mawlana Hazar Imam than receiving his blessings on the occasion of Navroz, as well as special blessings for Mushkil Asan at this particular time of a world wide novel coronavirus pandemic. Instead of celebrating Navroz in Jamatkhanas, we will be observing it in our unique ways in our homes. This is unprecedented in recent history! However we have received the Imam’s Blessings as we would in Jamatkhanas. That should bring contentment and happiness in our hearts and give us immense strength and hope for the future.

The message from Malik Talib, the Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum, has outlined our responsibilities as members of a universal brotherhood. It is important that we follow the instructions of the leaders at this time of crisis, and act according to the wishes of Mawlana Hazar Imam.

Date posted: March 21, 2019.

We invite our readers to share their feelings, Navroz greetings, and unique experiences during the extraordinary events that are taking place in light of COVID-19. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY box below. If the form is not shown, please send your comment to Simerg@aol.com.

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Malik Talib was appointed as Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum by Mawlana Hazar Imam on the occasion of his 83rd Salgirah on December 13, 2019. Prior to that he was the President of His Highness the Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Canada for a period of seven years. Malik follows the tradition of members of his family who have before him served the Jamat and the Imam of the Time for generations.

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Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 200 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

On the birth anniversary of Hazrat Ali, 10 principles that will assist us for spiritual growth during the coming Navroz

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

As Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, how can we grow closer to the Noor of Imamat and experience spiritual growth? No doubt, our spiritual practices aid us in the process of spiritual development. However the fruit of that practice for spiritual barakah (happiness) multiplies many folds when we seek to apply meaningful virtues in our daily lives. These include the cardinal virtues of honesty, patience, kindness, generosity, courage, justice and prudence.

As we commemorate the birth anniversary of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) on 13th Rajab (March 7, 2020) and also celebrate the New Year, Navroz, on March 21, let us reflect on some of Hazrat Ali’s principles that will bring us immense happiness in our daily lives as well as give us a boost in our religious and spiritual practices.

On this happy and auspicious occasion, we offer our humble and deep shukrana (gratitude) to Mawlana Shah Karim al Hussaini Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, for guiding his spiritual children on the path of Sirat al-Mustaqim (the Straight Path), a 1400 year legacy from the time of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S.) and our first Imam, Hazrat Ali.

~~~~~~~

Introduction: The Prophet’s Household

To them (the Household of the Prophet)
pertain the noblest of human virtues described in the Qur’an,
and they are the treasures of the Beneficent Allah.
When they speak, they speak the truth,
but when they keep quiet, no one can out strip them… Hazrat Ali

~~~~~~~~~~

10 Inspiring Teachings of Hazrat Ali

PRAYER

Commit yourselves to prayer
and be watchful over it.
Pray as much as you can
and seek nearness to God through it

A TENDER HEART

Have a tender heart,
as tender as a fistful of green grass;
be not arrogant and stiff as a tree
upright in a forest.

Be as soft as silk.

CONDUCT

Gold remains in this world,
but right conduct (adab) enable you to meet your lord.

CONSULTATION

One who is headstrong and opinionated perishes,
while one who seeks the advice of others
becomes a partner in their understanding.

PATIENCE

One who perseveres patiently
will not be without success,
even if it takes a long time.

STRENGTH IN ADVERSITY

A tree is toppled in a storm,
but grass bends and sways happily with the wind.

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF TIME

The waters of a river do not turn back;
neither does one’s age.

WEALTH AND GENEROSITY

The best of wealth is that
which is spent in the Name and way of the Lord

KNOWLEDGE

One who acts without knowledge
is like one who walks off the road.
Then his deviating from the clear path
takes him farther and farther away from
his destination.
But one who acts with knowledge
is like one who walks on the clear path.
Therefore, one should see
whether he is moving forward
towards his goal or going backwards

SUMMARY: VIRTUES OF THE BLESSED

Blessed is one
who is humble regarding himself,
whose livelihood is good,
whose inner thoughts are virtuous,
whose character is good,
who spends the surplus from his wealth
and removes superfluity from his speech,
who keeps his evil away from people.

~~~~~~~~~~

In difficult times, invoke Nadi Ali

Nadi Ali by Ottoman artist. Credit: Trustees of the British Museum. Barakah.com
A Nadi Ali calligraphy in nasta’liq script by 17th century Ottoman artist Fakhri of Busra (d. 1618). Photo Credit: © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Nadi Ali, Nadi Ali, Nadi Ali
Nadi Aliyyan mazhar al-ajaib
Tajidahu aunan lakafin-nawaib
Kullu hammin wa ghammin
sayanj-i Ali Bi wilayatika
Ya Ali, Ya Ali, Ya Ali.

Translation

Call Ali, Call Ali, Call Ali
Call Ali who is the manifestation of marvels;
You will find him your helper in calamities.
Every anxiety and grief will come to an end
Through your friendship,
O Ali, O Ali, O Ali.

Date posted: March 5, 2020.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 200 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

__________________

Further reading: Hazrat Ali’s aphorisms and wise counsels got translated into numerous languages across the Muslim world. The Kalame Mawla is a moving poetic rendition of his teachings in Hindustani. The work exhorts the believers to observe virtues such as brotherhood, honesty and generosity. Please see Farouk Topan’s excellent piece on Kalame Mawla in our sister website Simerg

Aga Khan Arusha Tanzania 1966, Barakah photo.

Amin Jaffer collection: Exclusive photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966

We are once again deeply indebted to Amin Jaffer for sharing with readers of Barakah this rich and rare collection of photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966. Barakah is dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family as well as the Ismaili Imamat. Jaffer’s previous exclusive contributions have been widely read around the world, and we invite our readers to click on the following links:

  • Photos of Prince Amyn Aga Khan’s 1968 visits to Arusha;
  • Photos of Prince Aly Khan’s 1951 visit to Arusha, Tanganyika; and
  • Photos of Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah and Mawlana Shah Karim from Jan Karmali Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured during his visit to the Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha as part of his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection

By AMIN JAFFER

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrived in Nairobi on October 18, 1966 to commence a 54 day visit to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Malagasy Republic (now Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar).

This was the longest ever visit Mawlana Hazar Imam had made to any part of the world until 1966, since assuming the Imamat on July 11, 1957. During these 54 days he took two very short breaks to Europe for personal engagements, including treatment to his leg.

His visits to various cities and towns in these four countries involved courtesy calls to the Presidents of the countries, meetings and official functions of the Governments and various institutions.

The extensive visit included mulaqats with Jamats in small as well as big towns and cities. He visited Imamat projects including schools, hospitals, dispensaries as well as numerous industries associated with the Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), which is now an economic arm under the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), a major agency of the Ismaili Imamat’s Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in the pituresque town of Arusha on October 20th, two days after landing in Nairobi. He was received at Arusha Airport by Jamati leaders as well as Government officials. From the airport Hazar Imam proceeded to the compounds of Arusha Jamatkhana accompanied by Arusha’s Regional Commissioner. A guard of honour was presented by the Aga Khan Scouts Band, and national anthems of Tanzania and the Ismaili Imamat were played. Thereafter the Regional Commissioner departed, and Hazar Imam inspected the troops of Aga Khan volunteers, boys scouts, girl guides and cubs before going into the Jamatkhana where he bestowed the Jamat with his holy didar, guidance and blessings. He also conducted religious ceremonies.

He then paid a visit to KILTEX, an IPS textile mill, and Tanzania Litho where he performed the opening ceremony of extensions of the facility. Mawlana Hazar Imam was accompanied by Michael Curtis, the CEO of Nation Media.

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Arusha visit included a luncheon hosted by the Aga Khan Council and the Jamat at the Arusha school which was attended by leaders and members of the Jamat as well as government leaders and other dignitaries.

His final stop before departing Arusha was the Aga Khan Primary School which was still under construction. The school was completed a few months later in 1967. He met the school’s architects, contractors, the headmaster and teachers, and signed the guestbook before departing for the nearby town of Moshi.

His Highness the Aga Khan at Arusha Jamatkhana, Tanzania

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, seen arriving at Arusha Jamatkhana with the Regional Commissioner (other side of car) during his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam is garlanded by Kamadia Kassamali Mohamed Jivan as he arrives at Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. On other side of the car are Arusha’s Regional Commissioner (left) and Madat Moolji. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, takes salute after his arrival at Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. In photo (l to r) are Mukhi Abdul Tharani, Regional Commissioner for Arusha Region, MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM , Kamadia Kassamali Mohamed Jivan, and Volunteer Captain Badrudin Lalani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, inspects boy scouts and other troops upon his arrival at the compounds of the Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on at left is scout master Sadru H.K. Ishani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is greeted by Arusha girl guides leader Farida Razak Kara at the compounds of the Arusha Jamatkhana during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on at left is scout master Sadru H.K. Ishani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, accompanied by Arusha’s Mukhi Abdul Tharani and volunteers’ captain Badrudin Lalani, walks towards the Arusha Jamatkhana building after inspecting the troops upon his arrival at Jamatkhana compounds during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is seen leaving the Arusha Jamatkhana reading room during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan visits IPS Projects in Arusha, Tanzania

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, walks with Michael Curtis (left) and manager of Tanzania Litho, during his tour of Kiltex and Tanzania Litho, both IPS projects in Arusha, as part of his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with Mr. Sayani, manager of Kiltex factory during his visit to Arusha, Tanzania, as part of his extensive visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at Kiltex factory in Arusha, Tanzania, during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at Kiltex factory in Arusha, Tanzania, during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan attends a special luncheon in his honour in Arusha

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, with a Government official at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at a special luncheon held in his honour in Arusha, Tanzania, during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on is the Tanzanian Aga Khan Council President Abdulla Tejpar. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

His Highness the Aga Khan visits Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha

Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, is met by Mr. Razac Husein Hasam, the Administrator of Aga Khan Schools in Tanzania as he arrives at the construction site of Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. K & Kassam Lalji Co. Ltd of Dar es Salaam constructed the school under the supervision of Shamshu Ismail Haji. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Razac Husein Hasaam, the Administrator of Aga Khan Schools in Tanzania, introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Akbar Natha Hirji, Manager of Aga Khan Schools in Arusha, Tanzania, during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured at Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School, during during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured at Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School, during during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan with teachers Gulshan Ismail Suleman (left) and Amina Ibrahim of Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School Project during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan signing the guest book at Arusha’s Aga Khan Primary School Project during his visit to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Looking on is Mithoo N.V. Gillani. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, views other institutional buildings located in the same corridor as the Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Students of Arusha’s Aga Khan School stand respectfully as Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, visits them during his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1966 Barakah photo, www.barakah.com
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, takes leave after visiting Arusha as part of his extensive tour of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar in 1966. Seated in the front seat closest to the window is Late Diwan Sir Eboo Pirbhai who served Mawlana Hazar Imam and Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah for several decades. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.
Aga Khan in Arusha Tanzania in 1966, Barakah Photo. Aga Khan Primary School Arusha completed in 1967. Mount Meru in background.
A view of the Aga Khan Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania, with Mt. Meru (4,562 m/14,965 ft) in background. Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, visited the school during its construction phase in October 1966. The school was completed in 1967. See previous photos. Photo: Amin Jaffer Collection.

Date posted: February 24, 2019.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

We urge our readers to review their old archives and photo albums for rare photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, and his family, and get in touch with Barakah by writing to Malik Merchant at simerg@aol.com.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

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Exclusive: Noorali Harji collection of rare photos of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, Prince Aly Khan and Mawlana Hazar Imam in Zanzibar and Mombasa

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Vancouver, Canada, 1978, Barakah.
Nizar Harji of Vancouver receives Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, at a mulaqat in Vancouver during his first visit to Canada in 1978. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

The historical photos in this article are from the collection of Late Noorali Harji (1912-2006). They were presented for publication in Barakah by his son Nizar Harji (see his photo with Mawlana Hazar Imam, above) when I met him in Vancouver recently. Like other individuals and families before him who have submitted rare and historical photos for publication on this blog, Nizar re-ignited my long-held view that hundreds if not thousands of families have historical photographs of Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family in their archives that are waiting to be uncovered. As before, we again urge families to devote some time looking through their old photo albums and archives for gems and treasures from our recent history. Young boys and girls will be a great asset in this rewarding task. Unknown to you, the photos in your archives might be among the rarest as well as of significant historical importance. If you uncover a photo that you have not seen anywhere else, it is quite likely that it may be very rare! Please contact the writer at Simerg@aol.com, and you will receive an immediate response.

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 Noorali Harji and Noorbanu Suleman Bhanji
Wedding portrait of Noorali Harji and Noorbanu Suleman Bhanji. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

The story of Nizar’s family is fascinating and I listened to it with great interest. Very briefly, Nizar’s grandfather Gulamhusein Harji was one of the earliest Ismaili settlers in Zanzibar. Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, during his second visit to Zanzibar in 1905, created a council to run the community’s affairs and also established the first Zanzibar Jamatkhana. Gulamhusein Harji was appointed both as a Council member as well as the Jamatkhana’s Kamadia. At that time a panjebhai committee was also created and meetings were held at his house, where food was served. During a later visit by the Imam, the panjebhai committee was merged and a monthly Chandraat Majlis was instead established by the 48th Imam which continues to the present day.

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Aga Khan III, Zanzibar, 1905. Barakah.
Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah pictured with early Ismaili settlers from India during his second visit to Zanzibar in 1905. During the visit the Imam established the first Ismaili Council as well as the first Jamatkhana. Mukhi and Kamadia were appointed. Major Noorali Harji’s father, Gulamhusein Harji, standing 3rd from left, became the Kamadia and was also appointed as a Council member. During the visit the Imam also gave the Jamat its first ever constitution. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Kamadia Gulamhusein was killed in the line of duty serving as a volunteer while he was still in the council. He had joined other volunteers to guard the Jamat against a group of Muslims who used to hold anti-Ismaili parades outside the Jamatkhana premises on a regular basis. One day the enemies arrived in full force on their horses and Gulamhusein with two other Ismailis died during a confrontation with the undignified group. Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah then sent a talika, with blessings. A photograph of the three deceased Ismailis was hung at the Zanzibar Jamatkhana entrance, as a reminder to all of their sacrificing spirit while defending the dignity of the Jamat. Nizar recollected during our meeting that the historical photo was present in the Jamatkhana during the 1980’s. Perhaps someone in Zanzibar can send us an image of the photo if it is still hanging on the wall.

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Aga Khan III Diamond JubiIee Committee, Mombasa
Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah’s Diamond Jubilee celebration committee meet in a room under his portrait. Noorali Harji is seated second from left. The chairman of the committee was Count Lutafali Merali. Noorali Harji was involved in the logistics of chartering the steam ship “Vasna” to take murids from the Coast Region to Dar es Salaam and back for the Diamond Jubilee celebration. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Kamadia Gulamhusein’s son, Noorali, was born in Zanzibar in 1912. Noorali got married in 1935 to Noorbanu Suleman Bhanji. At that time, matriculation (Grade 11-12) was the highest level of education available in Zanzibar. Noorbanu, at the age of 18, passed the matriculation exams with the highest marks. Her accomplishment can be attributed to the importance that Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah placed on education. Aga Khan schools had already been established in East Africa by the time Noorbanu began schooling.

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Aga Khan III Diamond Jubilee Dar es Salaam 1945
Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah at the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tazania), 1945. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Noorali, with his new wife Noorbanu, then settled in Mombasa. Inspired by his father’s ethic of service, he too began a lifetime of service to the Ismaili community as well as external civil society bodies. His photographs with Mawlana Hazar Imam, Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah and Prince Aly Khan are a wonderful testimony of his extraordinary and devoted honorary services to the Jamat. He was linked with many bodies and sporting committees. In civil society, he was instrumental in arguing for the case to prevent core member of Ismaili families from being called upon to serve in military campaigns against Kenya’s anti-colonial movement that included Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as its leader. No doubt, Noorali is seen travelling with Jomo Kenyatta in an Ismaili volunteer’s uniform, after the fighter’s release from a Mombasa prison.

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Jomo Kenyatta release from prison, Mombasa, Barakah.
Major Noorali Harji accompanies Jomo Kenyatta (centre) upon his release from a Mombasa prison. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Noorali moved to Canada in 1985 and began serving in his new country with determination and enthusiasm for which he was honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He served to the last days of his life. While assisting Hon. Hedy Fry for her re-election to the Federal Parliament and after having introduced her to the voters at the meeting, Noorali suddenly felt ill and was hospitalised. He passed away four days later on January 26, 2006 at the age of 93 . We pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace.

We pay our deep respect and gratitude to late Noorali Harji for preserving this collection carefully for decades, and thank his son Nizar Harji of Vancouver for sharing this unique photo collection of his father with readers of Barakah.

Aga Khan III at Muslim meeting in Mombasa with the Begum. Barakah.
Scout Noorali Harji on duty in Mombasa as Hazrat Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah arrives with Begum Om Habibeh Mata Salamat for a meeting with Muslim leaders. At left is Sunni Muslim leader Dr. Rana. During the visit to Mombasa, the Imam established the Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education at Tudor. It still exists as Madrasa school. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Prince Aly Khan

Prince Aly Khan, Mombasa, Barakah
Prince Aly Khan visits the Ismaili Housing Complex in Makupa, Mombasa. He randomly elected to go into one of the occupied flats for inspection. He ordered many trees to be planted in the open spaces. Photo: Nizar Harji/Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Prince Aly Khan at a tennis game in Mombasa, Barakah.
Prince Aly Khan pictured at a tennis game in Mombasa or Zanzibar. On either side of the Prince are Count Jindani (left) and Abdulrasul (Merry) Merali. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Prince Aly Khan with Ismaili Scouts Mombasa, Barakah.
Prince Aly Khan in a jovial mood at the Mombasa Aga Khan Club with a group of scouts. Rover Scout leader Noorali Harji is seated next to the Prince at right. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan

Aga Khan visit to Mombasa before becoming 49th Imam, Barakah.
Major Noorali Harji holds out an umbrella for Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, as he arrives for a visit to Mombasa in 1956 prior to becoming the 49th Hereditary Imam of the Ismailis on July 11, 1957. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Captain Shamshudin Gillani. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives for his first visit to Mombasa as the 49th Imam in November 1957. He is seen with Major Noorali Harji inspecting a guard of honour at the Mombasa airport. Mawlana HazAr Imam arrived from Nairobi on a chartered East African Airways Dakota plane seen in the background. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Captain Amir Hassan Juma. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Captain Mohamedali Mohan Amersi. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Major Noorali Harji introduces Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, to Scout Master Mohamedali Noormohamed and Girls Guide Captain Shirin Habib Alibhai. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, inspects a guard of honour at Mombasa airport with Major Noorali Harji. Following them is the British High Commissioner for the Coast Region. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan visit to Mombasa, Barakah
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives at Mombasa’s Tudor Ismaili Housing Complex Jamatkhana. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.
Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, Vancouver Canada, 1978. Barakah.
Nizar Harji of Vancouver bids farewell to Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, following a Jamati majlis gathering during his first visit to Ismailis in Canada in 1978. Photo: Late Noorali Harji Family Collection.

Date posted: February 8, 2020.

Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Table of Contents for links to more than 190 pieces dedicated to Mawlana Hazar Imam, his family and the Ismaili Imamat.

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Barakah welcomes your feedback. Please complete the LEAVE A REPLY form below or send your comment to simerg@aol.com. Your letter may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation.

Please join/like Barakah at http://www.facebook.com/1000fold and also follow us at http://twitter.com/simerg.

This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan and members of his family, as well as the Ismaili Imamat.

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