Why You Haven’t Heard of the Aga Khan

There is so much more to the Muslim religion than the broken record of terrorism and extremism the media perpetuates. Ismaili Muslims, for example, have a religious leader, the Aga Khan, who is responsible for $625 million worth of philanthropic programs all across the world that nobody knows about. We should be hearing more about him.

The Aga Khan’s work is newsworthy, and the media should be focusing more on the contributions of the Muslim community rather than on the small percentage of Muslims who terrorize the world.

There are several occasions where the media has exaggerated the threat that extremists pose. For example, several reporters from Fox News were spreading fear and terror when it came to the Syrian refugee situation. Andrea Tantaros described taking Islamic refugees as suicide, it would be a national security threat to admit any Muslims into this country. Bill O’Reilly also suggested that allowing refugees into the United States would open the door for terrorists.

But the Migration Policy Institute says posing as a refugee is the least likely way that a terrorist would try to get into the United States. If a refugee is selected to go through the migration process, they are put in contact with the FBI and go through an intense 18-to-24-month screening process. It does not make sense for a terrorist to seek out screening by the FBI. The FBI reported that from 1980 to 2005, 94 percent of terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. From this, it is clear that Fox is simply spreading misinformation.

A Huffington Post article explains that it is not only Fox News that is spreading a message of Islamophobia. After the Paris attacks, CNN anchor John Vause asked anti-Islamophobia activist Yasser Louati “Why is it that no one within the Muslim community there in France knew what these guys were up to?” Louati responded, “Sir, the Muslim community has nothing to do with these guys — nothing…we cannot justify ourselves for the actions of someone who just claims to be Muslim.” Vause was associating the extremists with the peaceful Muslim community and insinuating that they should be preventing these acts of terror.

According to a Gallup poll, 34 percent of Muslims in the United States feel like they are not treated fairly. This poll also revealed that 36 percent of people who claim to have no prejudice towards Muslims believe that Muslims are not accepting of other religions and one-third of the same group does not have favorable views of Islam. If the media spent more time reporting on people like the Aga Khan, these numbers would be different.

The exposure we have to Muslims in the media is concentrated, for the most part, on the radicals. When my professor, Dr. Lee Huebner, asked a class full of politically and civic minded students if they knew who or what the Aga Khan was, everybody shook their heads no. Nobody knew who he was because the media focuses on the sensational side of the Islamic religion rather than the meaningful.

The Aga Khan is to the Ismaili Muslims as the Pope is to the Catholics, explained Huebner. Huebner is currently consulting  for the Aga Khan Development Network. The current Aga Khan is Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini.

“The developed country he is most popular in is Canada,“ Huebner said. “He gave a lecture last fall at Harvard and nobody thought it was newsworthy.”

The Ismailis are a moderate sect of Islam and a division of the Shia Muslims. Core beliefs of their religion are community service and pluralism. They believe that the Aga Khan is a descendant of the prophet Muhammad.   

The Aga Khan serves as the chairman of his Development Network, which focuses on providing aid to developing world. Each year, the Network generates electricity for 10 million people, creates programs to achieve food security for 8 million, and provides healthcare for 5 million.

After millions of dollars donated and lives changed, the American people still do not know who the Aga Khan is. Terror in the media overshadows all the contributions the Muslim community has to offer. The Muslim religion is misunderstood and the first step to changing the perception has to start with the media coverage.  

72 thoughts on “Why You Haven’t Heard of the Aga Khan”

  1. Lois Sernoff says:

    You make a good point. Usually, the “Muslim problem” is dealt with in generalities. You have highlighted an excellent example of the fact that not all Muslim sects nor their leaders are our enemies. I was struck by the fact that the Aga Kahn is so involved with the needs of his people. I am probably much older than most of your readers and I can remember when the Aga Kahn and his family made the news constantly, not for their charity but for their ultra extravagant lifestyle.

  2. MARCIA HALBERT says:

    Hi Sophie:
    I have not met you, but I know your Grandmoother Adele. I found your article interesting and informative and I remember another Aga Kahn, many years ago, whom I did not know was the same kind of leader. Good luck in school and much success in your future.

    1. xxx says:

      Hi, MARCIA & LOIS,

      His Actual name is Shah Karim Al Hussain, Aga Khan is like his surname, AGA KHAN IV. It means his Grandfather was also known as Aga Khan but his actual name was Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah.

      1. Alfan Amin Galmani says:

        The title of Aga Khan(Persian: آقاخان‎‎; also transliterated as Aqa Khan) was first granted to Aga Hassanaly Shah, the 46th Ismaili Imam, by the Shah of Persia, in the 1830s. The title of His Highness was granted by Her Majesty the Queen of England (1957) and His Royal Highness was granted by His Imperial Majesty the Shah of Iran (1959)

      2. Mansoor says:

        Aga Khan is a title given by the Shah of Iran to the family. Hence, Prince Karim is Aga Khan IV.

      3. Akbarali Nagji says:

        To my understanding AGA KHAN is not like a surname as you have mentionef but wss a Title given from Persia ( now Iran).

      4. muhibbewatan says:

        Correction: His name is Shah Karim-al-Hussaini with the Title of AGA KHAN (by which he is generally know worldwide) and his grandfather, too, received the same Title during his illustrious lifetime. Their British title was (and is) His Highness; hence the address ‘His Highness The Aga Khan’ by most speakers these days.

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  5. saliyat says:

    Khojas working for his institutions don’t want you know the truth about Aga Khan and Ismaili faith they suppress and control all the information including his Farmans or commandments that he gives to his follwers during his visits to them which is equal to Quran, Bible or Torah or Geeta.

    1. Arif Hussain says:

      never and not equal to QURAN, BIBLE AND GETA. Its just guiding principles

    2. Fatima says:

      Hello Saliyat,
      Just a few corrections to your statements. Firstly, being Khoja is not synonymous with being Ismaili. Khoja is an ethnic/cultural term that refers to people who are from the same geographic region of Northwest India and includes Ithna-Ashari Shia, as well as Hindus and Sikhs.
      Secondly, as Ismailis, we are proud of our Imam and what he does for humanity and will discuss it with anyone who asks. Of course, because of misinterpretation, vilification, and risks of being targeted as a “heretical” group by other Muslims who consider themselves superior, we are protective. At the same time, non-Ismailis are welcome to know about our practices at our discretion, should their intentions be identified as inquisitive rather than inflammatory – you can understand this in light of the discussion at hand about targeting and generalizing, I’m sure.

      We do not equate the speeches the Aga Khan gives as “commandments” like you say. That sounds a bit inflammatory for propagating misinformation…just like CNN or Fox News.

      1. Carima sidi says:

        Well said!!!

      2. Javed says:

        Nicely put.

      3. Naveed says:

        Well said!!

      4. RIZWAN BAWA says:

        Well said!!! Great

    3. Muizz says:

      People like Saliyat take the Muslim community backwards and thats why there is no unity within various muslim sects. We Ismailies have a belief which has continued after Prophet Mohammad (p. B. U. H) through different Imams and they have changed time and time again. So you are actually looking to understand more than 1400 years of history in one lifetime which is next to impossible. The simple message is , be united and lets make the world a better place to live not only for Muslims but for all humanity.

      1. Som says:

        You’re all literally crazy.

        1. Noor says:

          The Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) once said that those in proximity to God will see a reflection of themselves in one another.

        2. abby bhalla says:

          And you, are ?

    4. Amir says:

      His life is an open book, good and bad nothing to hide, His farmans and commandments are for His followers, who believe in Him. All his good deeds around the world are open and available for general public like you

      1. jose blose says:

        where does his money come from for the private islands and aircraft etc.?

  6. Karim ravji says:

    AKDN.ORG is where those who are truly interested in knowledge will relate to. We are either good human beings or bad. Religion teaches us to be be peaceful tolerant kind patient generous forgiving honest and so forth.

  7. Mary Hass says:

    Thank you Sophie for enlightening your readers with such an interesting global personality such as His Highness The Agakhan for his humanitarian activities. My curiosity took me to search more and this is what I found on Google. He has been adorned with titles, honours, honorary degrees from prestigious western universities and key to cities around the world for his commendable contribution to make this world a better place. The awards and recognition from Britain, Germany,. France, Italy and you name a country with various Universities are listed. It is just difficult to believe that any one individual can accomplish so much. I also found out that today on September 21 he is being bestowed with Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship today and the event will be webcast at TheIsmaili.org/live at 7:30 PM EDT (Toronto time). on September 21, 2016. Truly amazing.
    Mary Hass
    Calgary, AB, Canada

  8. Shakil AHMAD says:

    an extremely awesome article highlighting the positive aspect of muslim. all the muslims are not terrorist and all the terrorist are not muslim. the thing is handful of some arrogant people are indulge in creating chaos and deterioration in the world by tagging themselves as muslim. there are also various sects of muslim likewise ismaili muslim who are rendering services for the welfare and well being of humanity. the media should also published sth about there services but it is only engaged in propagating fierce propaganda against muslims.

  9. sheraz karim says:

    Proud to a ismailli muslim..

  10. Sultan manjee says:

    Bravo:)
    Beautifully written article and very enlighting

  11. Liaqat Hamiya says:

    Proud to be an Ismaili Muslime and the follower of Agha Khan.

  12. Mary Hass says:

    Thank you Karim ravji
    Thank you for introducing the readers to AKDN.ORG. I looked at the website and I was baffled by the extensive work done under Agakhan Foundation. Incredible!.

    The former Governor General of Canada Rt. Hon Adrian Clarkson who will be presenting the award tonight describes His Highness The Agakhan as the most remarkable human being who has helped the most disadvantageous people in thirty countries. She goes on to say that that AKDN has 80,000 people working all around the world with the mandate to help to improve the lives of most disadvantageous people through health, microfinance, architecture, and redevelopment of cities ,through the giving of parks and by converting a largest dumping ground in Cairo into a most spectacular Park and a sight to behold. See the CBC radio interview link with Governor General on Global Citizenship Award to His Highness The Agakhan.
    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/six-degrees-1.3768631
    Thank you all for sharing such positive news.
    Mary Hass

    1. Diamond Lakhani says:

      Some more examples of the work of AKDN and The Aga Khan Trust for Culture:
      AKDN Historic Cities
      Aga Khan Trust for Culture
      • Restoration l
      • Revitalization
      http://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-trust-culture/aga-khan-historic-cities-programme/historic-cities-overview

      Al-Azhar park: In Cairo;
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Azhar_Park
      Al-Azhar Park is a public park located in Cairo, Egypt.

      Among several honors, this park is listed as one of the world’s sixty great public spaces by the Project for Public Spaces (PPS).[1] The park was created by the Historic Cities Support Programme (HCSP) of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), an entity of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The park, developed at a cost in excess of USD $30 million, was a gift to Cairo from Aga Khan IV: a descendant of the Fatimid Imam-Caliphs who founded the city of Cairo in the year 969.
      • 1.1Restoration of the Ayyubid Wall
      • 1.2Revitalization of Darb-Al-Ahmar

      <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>

      Urban renewal in Delhi – Heritage conservation
      RESTORATION & REVITALIZATION – IN DELHI INDIA; (NON MUSLIM COUNTRY)
      http://www.akdn.org/where-we-work/south-asia/india/cultural-development/urban-renewal-delhi-heritage-conservation
      Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s son Akbar in 1569-70, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect chosen by Bega Begum.

      AND IN OTHER ‘OLD CILIVIZATION” CITIES
      3A): http://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/revitalisation-recent-heritage-tunis
      New Life for Old Structures | Aga Khan Development Network
      http://www.akdn.org › … › 1999-2001 Cycle
      1.
      Aga Khan Development Network
      … residences for public use with the aim to promote restoration as an economic means of urban renewal and revitalisation while preserving cultural identity.

  13. Naznin says:

    Very commendable article to show the kinder, gentler side of a Muslim sect that incorporates pluralism and diversity in their religion. Have been taught that actions speak louder than words and the Aga Khan has epitomized philanthropy throughout the marginalized world.

  14. Firoz Hirani says:

    Great article Sophie. Is it really ignorance or deliberate omission by the media to not publish the good side of Islam, which is a religion of peace? One should check the ownership of CNN, Fox and other major media houses in the USA and across the world. Perhaps then you can find a connection between the degrading of Islam and the Muslim population and the reasons behind the silence of these media houses NOT to publish the good sides of the Muslim world. Do you know that USA is NOT the most powerful country in the world? Neither is Russia, China or India? It is a small country country that controls USA, Britain, France and other notable western countries, which operates with total impunity in world affairs and there is nothing that the world can do about it. That country’s population. I might add, are good generous, and humane people who have been brain washed ( like the world ) into believing that they have security concerns and are not to associate with their “cousins” or show them any mercy. But most of the population defy that government’s harsh agenda and still show mercy and humanity towards their unfortunate neighbours.
    If the Aga Khan’s good works are published world wide by these puppet media houses, it would show that all Muslims are not bad people – but that would defeat the purpose of that “small” country”s propaganda machine against the Muslims.
    They say Charity begins at home – I say so does Humanity and until human rights and freedoms are restored for a few million desperate, tortured and unfortunate Muslim people, there can never be peace in the world. Politics, Politics, Politics!!!!!

  15. Aly says:

    Thank you for such an insightful article.
    As an Ismaili, I find it hard to convey to people that, not all Muslims are terrorist and having to deal with Islamaphobia.
    Thank you once again.

  16. GDaredia says:

    Absolutely awesome… feel so happy and proud when somebody who doesn’t share our belief talks positive about our Imam … Article is coming from a well studied writer but I am amazed of the quick search of a reader too… Thanks Sophie and Thanks Mary Hass for putting worth reading words together about Ismilies and their Imam (The Aga Khan) … just to know more about this faith / or I would say to know more about this view of interpretationsome of Islam I would recommend to visit Is mailing Gnosis website, the scholars there do share such a deep view of the practice / faith.
    Thanks again for your efforts 🙂

    1. GDaredia says:

      Absolutely awesome… feel so happy and proud when somebody who doesn’t share our belief talks positive about our Imam … Article is coming from a well studied writer but I am amazed of the quick search of a reader too… Thanks Sophie and Thanks Mary Hass for putting worth reading words together about Ismilies and their Imam (The Aga Khan) … just to know more about this faith / or I would say to know more about this view of interpretation of Islam I would recommend to visit Ismaili Gnosis website, the scholars there do share such a deep view of the practice / faith.
      Thanks again for your efforts

  17. Doctorsahaab says:

    Lovely share Sophie
    Saying of Aga Khan
    ‘If you got a choice either to be right or to be kind, choose to be kind’

    So be kind…

  18. Zeeshan Alam says:

    Thank you for such a great write up about His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan.
    Saying of Aga Khan
    “We are a community that welcomes the smile”.

  19. unknown says:

    No doubt he does some good work but I do not think this is the best way to highlight Islam.

    Islam is about worshipping one God and associating none other to him. Ismailies are on the opposite of this. They call out to Aga Khan and treat him in a God like way. They have pictures of him in their house.. they have places of worship where they spend their time ‘worshipping’ him. Oh and unless you are Ismaili, you cannot enter.

    I just think you cannot have Aga Khan represent Muslims.

    He does some outstanding work and should be acknowledged for that no doubt.. but acknowledge it for humanity and Ismailis. Nothing else please.

    1. Javed says:

      Fool.

    2. Javed says:

      You Fool. He is not and never treated as God.

    3. abby bhalla says:

      you are a bub, what have you done ? help anyone, no

    4. Salim Maredia says:

      No wonder that you do not wish to disclose your identity. Forget our belief, that’s none of your concern. Look at AKDN’S work and try to do even 5% of that work. Would appreciate that.

    5. nizar manji says:

      Hello Unknown:
      We, Ismailis, believe that we are true Muslims and are on the right path. I have some questions for you.
      1…Look in the Holy Quran in 36:12 which says “wa kul la sai in ahsaina_hu fi ima_mim mubin”, and you guys have translated the word Imam as the book that is you are saying “And all things We have kept in a clear register”. Why do you guys translate Imam as the register or book? But the correct translation is “And we have vested all the knowledge and authority to the manifest Imam”. If you guys agree to this, then everything will fall into its right place.
      2…So you are saying that if someone writes a book, and if you read the book, you will know EVERYTHING that the guy had in his mind?? In the same way, the Holy Quran stays the same, but the culture changes, so you do need someone to change the translation as time changes.
      3…Even Universities have so many books about every subject, but we still need Professors to make us understand everything. The education is for a few years, but we still need Professors, so what about life time living—we don’t need someone to explain??
      4…You are doing everything that the Prophet Mohamed (SAS) did and allow. Did he allow you to use guns? What about cars. Have you asked the Prophet?

  20. Aasim Amirali says:

    Good to see so many people are finally trying to reckon the true meaning of Islam. To work for the welfare of humanity, understanding purpose behind revelation of islam instead following blindly and overcome distances between each other is from ultimate goals of Islam. These are among the things which prophet mohammed tried to achieve is his lifespan and Sir Agakhan is striving day and night to do the same so please instead of accusing one another try to calm your unnecessary sentiments and become someone who is beneficial to our religion.

  21. Nashir Bhanji says:

    Congratulations Sophie for the wonderful article.It is a pity that few in the USA know who His Highness The Agakhan is and his contributions to mankind. No wonder it is called ISLAND AMERICA. I agree with Firoz Hirani that most news agencies are biased against Islam.This attitude needs to change and it is only the American people who can do it by protesting. One only has to go to the websites of The Agakhan Development Network to see the work they do in poor and developing countries without racial or religious discrimination.

  22. Ashraf Khan says:

    Prince Karim Aga Khan’s efforts for the humanity are unprecedented and he is promoting the true sense of Islam by devoting his life to community service.

  23. Amanullah Khan says:

    Ismailis are more fundamentalists than majority of other Muslims. They practice in the same way as
    the Muslims practiced in mosques during the period of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). They also know that a lady Hazrat Umme Warqa bint Abdullah was appointed as Khateeb of a prominent Mosque by the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself. When she died during the caliphate of Hazrat Omar her successor was not a lady but a man.

  24. unknown says:

    Just a question. Why do Ismailis not go for Hajj then? I heard they believe that seeing their Aga Khan is equivalent of Hajj. Please tell me this is not true!

    1. janwaar says:

      Why do you go for Hajj and walk around shrouded stone chanting ‘prayers’ when you call Hindus ‘praying’ b4 stone figures ‘kafirs’?

  25. abby bhalla says:

    you are ignorant,

    1. Ali says:

      Abby Bhalla, perhaps “unknown” is ignorant and that is why he’s asking a reasonable question. Instead of stooping down with name calling, you could serve well in the cause of creating understanding by responding to his question, if you know the answer, that is.

  26. Karim Karmali says:

    His highness does what is ethical and not for recognition. Apart from taking care of his community, his mandate is to help the marginalized. This by building schools, hospitals and infrastructure that is not limited to only providing aid for Ismailis. Show me how many individual leaders have this much compassion? Is this not spirituality? No wonder volunteerism thrives within his community.

  27. Unknown says:

    Mauybe you Sunni muslims should learn an important lesson from the Agakhan and Ismailis. RESPECT RESPECT RESPECT for other interpretation of Islam.You are ignorant so quick to critize instead of repecting other humanbeings choice. We donot critise your form of praying or your backward view of treating women as second class citzens shrouded in black. Covering what? You donot have anything we donot? Learn to RESPECT and maybe some humility will rub off on you. Maybe your Imams can stop teaching youngsters such stupid things about Infidels what planet are you from ? May Allah bless with some ackle. You need it you will always be shunned pieted and disliked by all other races

  28. Ramju says:

    Well written by Sophie. Everybody knows now that media is mostly owned by the politicians. Their motive is mostly find bad onions from the lot and publicize.
    To reply some previous ones; there are good and truthful people in Muslim Ummah, including Ismaili Muslims andvice versa.
    The truth is that Mowlana Hazar Imam, as we call the present Agakhan or the first Imam Moula Murtaza Ali (A S), has never said they are/were divine.
    I as a true Ismaili Muslim believe that Noor is present in every human being bestowed by Allah (A S T) from Hazrat Adam (A S).
    To the best of my knowledge most Ismaili Muslims do not fully grasp the meaning of Quran’s first chapter, Surah Fateha and Surah Akhlas which they recite in their prayer (d’ua) three times a day.
    Following the principle of pluralism, the people at large are increasingly allowed in the Ismaili Muslim’s traditional rituals, other than ones they wouldn’t understand.

  29. N.Gilani says:

    One day a man came to the Prophet (PBUH) and mentioned of a person who prayed day and night. The Prophet asked this man that while this person prayed all the time , who supported him . The man replied that it was this person’s brother. The Prophet said to this man that the brother who supported the man was more religious. On the same token, the Ismailis pray , but also deliver the goods by going around looking for people to help and assimilating them into their communities . I know one thing that the Aga Khan mentions and reminds his followers is” never Criticize any religion”. Remember God is eternal in every religion and he was here before Islam and is here forever and mentions in the Holy Quran that he created Man into different tribes so they may know each other. Lets all remain as brothers & sisters to each other instead of finding faults in them. Also aren’t we all created from “One Soul”.

  30. Unknown says:

    I am not trying to cause arguments here. I am simply trying to understand more.

    It goes without saying that The Quran states there will be 72 tribes and among those, only ONE will enter Jannah.

    So those that worship only Allah, call out to none other than him, pray namaz and give zakat AND go to hajj.. those are the ones on the right path would it not be?

    And i totally agree humanitarian work of highest level is achieved by Aga Khan. In fact there is no human alive today in islam that has achieved that.

    However let yourselves not stray from the rope of Allah. As it says in quran to hold on to the rope of Allah.

    If your religion/faith/practice is taking you away from Allah then is it the one that is right?

    Apologies again if i caused offense

    1. Asif says:

      You cannot understand all the practises and beliefs on comments of a post. If you interested there are lot of published books or discussions like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rXDe54j6To

      Also, please until you understand stop passing judgements about Ismailis. As Ismailis we believe in One Allah and only worship him. We also believe that Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger of Allah and Holy Quran is the book of Allah.

      Also I would like to respectfully question you, what qualifies you to determine the right path?

    2. janwaar says:

      What exactly you want to understand? Your comments is only questioning some thing and that is also vague.

  31. Love for all says:

    There is no need for hostility here. If people are asking questions then try to answer it as best as you can without being insulting.

    It shows more of YOUR character when you say things like ‘being disliked by all other races’ and ‘treating women as second class citizen’. It shows how less you know of the Sunni faith and even more so, of your own Ismaili faith otherwise you would have had an appropriate answer other than the backlash.

    I am born a Sunni Muslim yet I do not choose to identify as one. I am a Muslim. Bowing down to none other than Allah. No one else will have that capacity for me. No imam. No leader. Simple.

  32. N. Gilani says:

    What gives anyone the right to judge anyone else? All for himself. Only Allah judges. There are over a thousand different interpretations of the Quran. Tell me now you have the right one. So the best thing one can do is please Allah by doing things that please him. The Prophet (PBUH) always reminded the Muslims of his time that if they did not love him first , even more than their own lives than Allah would not accept their prayers. The Ismailis love their Imam just as much as they love their Prophet, they believe he is the direct descendent of the Prophet,through his daughter Fatima.

  33. SHAMS says:

    SOME PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AGAINST ISMAILI COMMUNITY OR HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN, BECAUSE THEY ARE TOTALLY IGNORANT.
    GIVE ME ONE MUSLIM LEADER WHO HAS DONE ANY THING CLOSE TO WHAT HIS HIGHNESS SINGLE HANDED HAS DONE TO ELEVATE EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE BY
    BUILDING SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS UNIVERSITY AND HELPING POOR TO ACHIEVE A BETTER LIFE IN AFRICA, ASIA AND OTHER PART OF THE WORLD, WHERE MOST
    GOVERNMENT WOULD ONLY GO TO SAFEGUARD THEIR OWN POLITICAL INTEREST. BEFORE ANYONE WRITE ANYTHING TO HARM ONE COMMUNITY OR ITS LEADER, THEY SHOULD GET MORE FACTS, AND THEY ARE AVAILABLE ON INTERNET THESE DAYS.

  34. zeeshan mainai says:

    Acccording to Quran there is a spiritual leader from God for every time (And those who disbelieved say, “Why has a sign not been sent down to him from his Lord?” You are only a warner, and for every people is a guide. Quran 13/17) So that people could not argue with God by saying “you have not done justice, Before Muhammad (s.a.w) you appoint prophets to guide people in every time and for us you just give a book and let everyone to interpretative it according to there mid, there were thousand of interpretations of your book and religion how we could find the right one? ”
    God was aware of this, A small bank branch needs a manager to run, then how it is possible for religion to run without a spiritual leader??? so God appointed a Hadi (spiritual leader) for every time, and on the day of Qayama (resurrection) God will Call people with their spiritual leader of the time or Imam of the time ( [Mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will call forth every people with their Imam. Quran 17:71 )

    1. zeeshan mainai says:

      “Indeed, it is a noble Qur’an In a Register well-protected; None touch it except the purified.” Al-Quran – 56/77-79
      “Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.” Al-Quran – 33/33
      “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah and Those Who are firmly grounded in knowledge ” Al-Quran – 3/7
      If according to these verses only Ahl e Bayt e Rasool (Imam of the Time) can touch Quran (have access to real meanings of quranic verses) the why people claim to be teachers of book of God?
      They are not teachers they are just wrong numbers, Prophets at the time of Prophethood and Imams in the Time of Imamat are Right numbers sent by God not created by Idiot Peoples so Call God through them, God will hear and you will get spiritual success and wisdom.

      1. zeeshan mainai says:

        [ If they reply that the Book of God, may He be exalted, guides the people, we would tell them that the Book cannot speak without a speaker. If they claim that the Book is sufficient without an expounder, they belie the speech of God, may He be exalted, Who says: “We have sent down to you [O Muhammad!] the Remembrance (the Qur’an), so that you may explain clearly to people whatever We have sent down for them – perhaps they may reflect upon it” (16:44). Thus, we say that God commanded people to reflect so that they would know that just as the Prophet, peace be upon him, was the expounder of the Book in his time, in the same way, there has to be an expounder of the Book today. Further, God, may He be exalted, commanded the Prophet to recite the Book to the people at intervals, that is, according to the time, and not to give the Book to them so that they may read it. He has said: “And a Qur’an, which We have divided (into parts) in order that you may recite it to people at intervals” (17:106).
        -Sayyidna Hakeem Pir Nasir-i Khusraw, (The Face of Religion) ]

        There are many fake guides, teachers in the world then stars. The real guide is the one who makes you see your inner beauty, not the one who wants to be admired and followed.
        -Hazrat-i-Shams-i-Tabrizi (R.A)

        1. zeeshan mainai says:

          I dont know what is problem with a lot of muslim brothers they always bark on Shia Imami Ismailis and Shah Karim Al Hussaini Hazir Imam ‘salawatullahi alayhi’. The Quran, Hadith, Intellect, Nature and Farmans and sayings of Imams clearly give proofs about Our Imam and Ismaili Religion. And how people will understand Quran because according to Quranic ayat which i have mentioned in one of my comments only clean people can touch Quran (have access to real meaning or quran) and those are Imams from the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w).

  35. unknown says:

    So every faith needs a leader, yep that makes sense. But the role of the leader is to guide to Islam, not change everything about it.

    Also no one answered my question about Hajj. Why has Aga Khan said that if you see him it is equal to Hajj? And fasting in ramzan? That is not necessary too? If you continue to change Islam just to fit your needs of today’s world then you cannot call it Islam anymore. You create your own religion.

  36. unknown says:

    Oh and another thing… I dont understand why Ismailis are soo quick to point out everything Aga Khan has done. That is the first line of defence for them. ‘Show me another leader that has done so much for humanity etc’. Yes i agree he has done so much more than a lot of leaders. But thats not the point!

    My point is that he doesnt really preach Islam. It is a faded version of it. (Again my apologies i really really do not mean offense)

  37. ceramah agama islam says:

    Thank you very much for posting, this is very helpfull

  38. Alnoor B Kassam says:

    Ms Kaplan, dear Sophie,

    The zeal of your mind brings to memory a hadith, or narrative, of the praiseworthy Prophet of Islam, “One learned scholar is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshipers.”

    Your worldview, enunciated with refreshing honesty, has evidently struck a chord. Those who grasp the essence of humanity have no trouble catching on to what’s good for one and all; what profile of character and action is worthy of well deserved accolade; how, for most of us, life is a series of struggles to better our lot – despite whatever hand fate may have dealt us – and whom to look to for mentoring when we reach the very limits of either personal creativity or environmental circumstance.

    His Highness The Aga Khan iv’s contributions – not unlike those of his predecessor the late Aga Khan iii’s – to humanity at large, in both word and deed, exemplify every aspect of guidance that scriptural ethics idealize, and sincere world leaders crave; so that peaceful and civil societies may have room to grow and prevail – despite the challenges of modernity.

    For instance, back in the late 1980’s, when the two superpowers – represented by Michael Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan – had their first apex disarmament meeting, it was under severe pressure of nuclear annihilation. Yet, there was no turf on the face of this planet wherein the two diametrically opposed political ideologues could possibly meet. Ultimately, that apex meeting was facilitated at the personal residence of His Highness The Aga Khan iv, in Geneva, Switzerland; with his entire family and entourage vacating the premises, so that the leaders of the world could meet in a politically neutral and non-patronizing environment. The astute mind would here recognize the transcendent grace therein.

    When, back in the early part of the 20th Century, the colonial powers were tipping towards all out world warfare – it was His (late) Highness Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan iii, (grandfather of the present Aga Khan) who proposed the idea of peaceful round table conferences, that led to the apex meetings at Locarno, and eventually to the creation of the League of Nations; of which His (late) Highness was voted President from 1933 – 1936. The modern day expression of the League has evolved into the United Nations; which members of the Aga Khan family have served in various capacities, in exemplary fashion. (For e.g., Prince Sadr ud-Din Aga Khan was the UN High Commissionaire for Refugees for close to two decades).

    Side by side with such constructs, innumerable more civil initiatives created over the last century dot the world at large – among them, as observed by friends here, schools; clinics; hospitals; housing; telecommunications; banking; insurance, etc. Such accomplishment is not accidental. Arguably, it is rooted in human communities blessed with ongoing, divine inspiration. It sits on a trajectory traceable to the inspired Prophets of scripture – Abraham; Noah; Solomon; David; Jacob; Joseph; Moses; Mary; Jesus; Muhammad.

    As is known, His Highness The Aga Khan iv is a direct descendant of the Prophet of Islam. A thousand years ago, [969 CE] his ancestors built the city of Cairo. It’s University – Al-Azhar, first of its kind in the modern world – is the very one from which, in the 21st C, President Barak Obama made his first address to the Islamic world, on Muslim soil. When one reads the Charter of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded at the onset of the industrial revolution, it would seem that the founders of Al-Azhar were present at its writing. When Madame Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, convened meetings with counterparts in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian places, she did so from the security of the Ismaili Center in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. When United Nations’ envoys such as Ms Angelina Jolie, visit the Central Asian Highlands, they do so in AKDN helicopters.

    Those, like yourself, who pursue educational insights from authentic sources, will find no shortage of information from which to construct reliable knowledge. The zeal with which to engage in such search and to share it with honesty though is a matter of wisdom. To distinguish in between the three – namely information, knowledge and wisdom – is the life long process of education. To know right from wrong, as His (late) Highness The Aga Khan iii once said, is the conscience of education.

    Not all media brokers are updated in their education. Most civil people have enough on their plate to simply survive into the next day with family intact; regardless of their professed beliefs. or lack thereof. In post 9/11 times, two major predicaments stare us square in the face: psychological insecurity and emotional safety. Our sense of nationhood is under threat; our sense of family never more in tatters.

    When the world catches glimpse of rare leadership coupled with purity of guidance, most would want to adorn it with sincere veneration. In this respect, innumerable Universities, not to mention the world’s governments, have acknowledged His Highness The Aga Khan iv as a personality of noble eminence.

    It is surely our special blessing if we can count ourselves as those among them.

    Alnoor B Kassam.

  39. NAZIR JAN DHARAMSI says:

    INSPIRING & PARTLY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE. THE IDEALS OF SHIA IMAMI ISMAILISM COME FROM THE VARIOUS PRINCIPLES OF HUMANITARIAN VALUES AND CHARITY EMANATING FROM THE HOLY QURAN. WE LIVE IN A GLOBAL VILLAGE AND HAVE TO UP LIFT THE DOWN TRODDEN PEOPLE OF THE THIRD WORLD FROM THEIR MISERY AS OTHERWISE THE ONLY WAY FOR THEM WOULD BE BY MIGRATING AS REFUGEES TO WESTERN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERIICA WHICH PROVIDE A VARIETY OF OPPURTUNITIES IN IN JOBS, ‘EDUCATION AND SO FORTH.

  40. unknown says:

    Still no one answered my questions.

  41. urusandunia says:

    i never heard about him before, thank you for this information

  42. Mehrun says:

    To Unknown:
    .Who gives you the right to sit in judgement of Ismailism or, for that matter, any faith? And why do the Ismailis have to be answerable to you with respect to any aspect of their religion?

    In any case, if you are really interested in Ismailism, I recommend the following books: “Early Shi’i Thought” by Arzina R. Lalani, The Ruby of Badakhshan by Alice C. Hunsberger, The Succession to Muhammad by Wilferd Madelung, Master of the Age by Paul E. Walker, Justice & Remembrance by Reza Shah-Kazemi.

    Now the facts. Allah (Arabic) or God has not left mankind without a guide on this earth at any time. Even when Moses went up the mountains for a mere 40 days, Allah asked him to appoint his brother Aaron to look after the people. So for a mere 40 days, Allah did not want the people to be without a guide, why would Allah leave mankind without a guide until the Day of Judgement?

    From Adam to Prophet Muhammad, there were 124,000 prophets that came into the world, one after another and each prophet predicting the coming of the next prophet. Jesus predicted the coming of Prophet Muhammad. The Bible quotes Jesus: “It will be for him, the truth giving spirit, when he comes, to guide you into all truth. He will not utter a message of his own; he will utter the message that has been given to him, and he will make it plain to you to what is still to come” (John 16:13). The Christians believe that Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit but in my humble opinion, a spirit cannot speak. As Muslims we believe that Jesus is predicting the coming of the next prophet (i.e. Muhammad). Jesus is also saying that Muhammad will utter a message that is given to him (by Allah) and he will tell you “what is still to come”. In my opinion, this means that Prophet Muhammad will announce the end of prophethood and the start of Imamat.

    The Quran says:
    “Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran, above all line of descendants, one succeeding the other, and Allah hearth and knoweth all things” (Sura 3:32)
    Ali’s father was called Imran, just as Moses & Aaron’s father and the father of Virgin Mary.

    Sura 3:33 says: “Offspring, one from the other, and verily God is All-Hearing; All Knowing”.

    Ismailis have been guided by the Imam for over 1400 years. Today, the Ismailis are the only community in the world who have a living Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, Shah Karim al-Husayani, to guide them in spiritual and worldly matters. He is the 49th direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Bibi Fatimah and Hazrat Ali.

    Sunnis contend that Prophet Muhammad did not appoint a successor; but Shias reject that. All previous prophets before Muhammad appointed their next of kin. The Prophet had a very close relationship to Ali. Ali was Prophet’s cousin and his son-in-law, married to his only surviving daughter from Bibi Khadija. Ali was the first Muslim youth after Bibi Khadija to accept Islam and the Prophet took Ali in his household when Ali was about 6 years old. There are numerous hadiths of Prophet Muhammad about Hazrat Ali. “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”. Ali and I are of the same light…etc.

    Sunnism is based on the Sunnah of the Prophet (i.e. to act and behave like the Prophet did). On his deathbed, Abu Bakr nominated Umar as the 2nd caliph and even put his decision in writing. This is rather revealing considering that the companions had maintained that the Prophet had not appointed anyone, nor was he allowed by Umar to put it in writing. Umar chose 6 people to choose the 3rd caliph.

    Sura 5:55 says: “Verily, your guardian is God and His Prophet, and those who believe, establishing prayer and paying charity even when bowing down (in prayer). This ayat relates to Hazrat Ali when he was praying in a mosque and a beggar came to him. He threw his ring as he was bowing down.

    Sura 4:59: “You who believe, obey God and the Messenger, and those in authority amongst you. If you are in dispute over any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger….” “Those in authority” means the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Muhammad, i.e. the Prophet’s Family, (i.e. Hazrat Ali, etc). The ayat further says that if there is any dispute over any matter, refer it to God and the Messenger. This is God’s word and God is fair and just to all the people, those who were born during the prophet’s time and those who will be born after the prophet. Since there is no messenger now, who should the people refer their dispute to?

    Sura 48:10: “Lo, those who swear allegiance unto thee (Muhammad), swear allegiance to only unto Allah. The Hand of Allah is over their hands…”. This ayat came down when the people were giving their bayah to the Prophet under a tree in a place called Hudaybiyya. This incident took place about 6 years after the Prophet migrated from Mecca to Medina (the hijra). This ayat says that those who give their allegiance to the prophet it is as if they have given allegiance to Allah himself and Allah will reward them (I have not typed the whole Ayat). And God has also accepted these people’s bayah because God says: “The Hand of Allah is over their hands”. So since there is no prophet now, no tree, does thisw mean that there is no paradise for people who were born after the Prophet? Since God is just He will not just limit this special status to only those who were born during prophet’s time. This opportunity for bayah must be present at all times, until the Day of Judgement. So there has to be someone on this earth continuously from whom the people can take bayah that would be tantamount to taking bayah from Allah.

    Sura 3:7 of the Quran says:

    “He it is who hath revealed unto thee the Scripture wherein are clear revelations..and others which are allegorical…”
    Explanation: Some verses are clear but others are not. The Sunnis have the Ulama to interpret the Quran for them, including verses that are not clear. Since there are different schools of thought in Sunnism, different Ulama would interpret the Quran differently. So God’s message has been interpreted differently by different Sunni schools of thought. So how do you as a Sunni know which interpretation is correct and which is not? Further, the Quran clearly says that some verses are not clear. In Ismailism, we don’t have that problem with the interpretation. Whether an Ismaili lives in Europe, or North America or Africa or South Asia, or wherever on this earth, the interpretation of the Quran doesn’t change because God’s message is and should be universal.

    Sura 5:67: O Prophet, deliver to the people what has been revealed to you from your Lord and if you do not do so, then you have not delivered His message and Allah will protect you from the people”. According to Shia, while the Prophet was returning from his last pilgrimage, he received a message from Allah to declare Hazrat Ali as his successor. The ayat further says that if the Prophet does not do that, then he has not delivered any message of Allah so the importance of declaring Ali. Ali was very young, compared to the Prophet’s other companions, including Abu Bakr, Umar, etc so God is saying He will protect the prophet from the people.

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