The Aga Khan is back in city after 16 yrs
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 03:52 IST
The spiritual leader of Shiite Ismaili Muslims is the 49th heriditary imam
MUMBAI: The top spiritual leader of the Shiite Ismaili Muslims is expected to reach Mumbai on May 14 as part of an eight-day official visit to the country.
The 49th hereditary imam, prince Karim al-Husseni, who is a descendant of the Prophet Aga Khan, touched base in Delhi on Monday, where he met prime minister Manmohan Singh, president Pratibha Patil and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He is in the country to take part in the golden jubilee celebrations of the Aga Khan, which began in July last year.
For the 6,000-odd Ismaili Muslims in Mumbai the occasion is nothing short of grand. “The imam is visiting Mumbai after a gap of 16 years and we are upbeat about it,” said Amin Patel, a community representative close to al-Husseni.
The Aga Khan is likely to preside over interactive sessions with members of his community. He may also allow an interface with other streams of Islam and their followers, a community member said.
According to a report in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), the Aga Khan - one of the world’s wealthiest Muslim investors - preaches ethical use of wealth and financial aid that promotes economic self-reliance among developing countries.
It said the Aga Khan has poured money into poorer, neglected parts of the world. He presents a less threatening face of Islam on the global business stage.
He owns hundreds of racehorses and valuable stud farms. He also owns an exclusive yacht club on Sardinia and a lavish estate near Paris, according to the IHT report.
It is estimated that around 20 million Ismaili Muslims, spread across 25 countries, view the Aga Khan as their “messiah”.
The Ismaili sect broke away from the parent Shiite tradition, and soon Nizari Muslims embraced the new ideology and internalised it. Shiite Islam views Ali as the rightful successor of the Prophet.
The Aga Khan is often credited with projecting Islam as a thinking man’s religion and a spiritual faith that is in consonance with the larger Ismaili credo. The Islmaili tradition grew in large parts of the world by marrying intellectual freedom with tolerance.
And in keeping with this vision of Islam and towing a long tradition of service to the humanity at large, the Ismailis have carved out an elaborate institutional framework to build capacity and improve the quality of life for their community members.
It was under the leadership of the present Imam that the institutional framework was welded into the Aga Khan Development Network - a loose collection of groups and agencies devoted to improving the quality of life across some of the troubled spots in the world.
High-level meet: Prince Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims, with Governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari at Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad on Wednesday -
HYDERABAD: Prince Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismailis, who arrived here on Wednesday on a five-hour visit to the city, met Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and reviewed the progress of the work of Aga Khan Academy coming up at Maheshwaram. Dr. Reddy requested him to expedite the work, while assuring the Government’s help and assistance. Earlier, after arriving here by a special flight from New Delhi, the Prince drove straight to Maheshwaram to inspect the Academy’s work. He left for Mumbai in the evening.
Lensmen roughed up
The media coverage of the visit was marred by ugly incidents when press photographers were roughed up and pushed around. The first incident occurred at a five-star hotel in Banjara Hills where the visiting dignitary met Dr. Reddy. Several lensmen sustained minor injuries when the security personnel of the hotel roughed them up in the lift area. The security men said the photographers were not allowed to take pictures of the Chief Minister-Aga Khan meeting as the Information and Public Relations Department did not inform them about the invitation being extended to them.
The scene was repeated at the Raj Bhavan when the Prince called on Governor N. D. Tiwari, with the security and police blocking the entry of photographers near the Darbar Hall. After a lot of shoving, the lensmen had their way when Mr. Tiwari instructed the security personnel to allow them inside.
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:33 am Post subject: MHI's visit to Prince Aly Khan Hospital at Mazgaon
Somebody from Mumbai, told me that MHI visited Prince Aly Khan Hospital without prior information. He interacted with the patients and examined the medical facilities at the hospital. Can somebody pls confirm?
In this handout photograph made available by the Gujarat State Information Department, shown is Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi, left, welcomes the Aga Khan in Gandhinagar, 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of Ahmadabad, India, Friday, May 16, 2008. The Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of 20 million Ismaili muslims, is on a week long visit to India. (AP Photo/Gujarat State Information Department, HO)/2008-05-16 21:12:08/
Mawlana Hazar Imam waves at members of the Jamat who lined the streets around Hyderabad airport to welcome him. Photo: Hussain
Today, Mawlana Hazar Imam travelled to Hyderabad where he was greeted at the airport by Government representatives and leaders of the Jamat. The Jamat of Hyderabad lined the streets around the airport to welcome Hazar Imam.
While in Hyderabad, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and the Governor of the state, Mr Narayan Dutt Tiwari.
Mawlana Hazar Imam also visited the site of the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, where he had laid the foundation stone of the Academy in 2006. At the site, he reviewed plans with the architects.
In the evening, Mawlana Hazar Imam flew to Mumbai where thousands of cheering members of the Jamat waved flags and greeted the Imam.
Additional photographs are available in the Delhi and Andhra Pradesh galleries, and on the AKDN website. Further details about the visit will continue to be posted at www.TheIsmaili.org.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with the Honourable President of India, Mrs Pratibha Patil. Photo: Gary Otte
Mawlana Hazar Imam began his day by visiting the Sundar Nursery and Nila Gumbad.
In addition to housing and protecting hundreds of plants, the Sundar Nursery also includes a number of ancient monuments, many of which date back to the Mughal period. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is currently working on the preservation of these monuments.
Both Sundar Nursery and Nila Gunbad — also a historic monument which AKTC is helping to restore — are located around Humayun’s Tomb. The revitalisation of the Gardens of Humayun’s Tomb was the first privately funded restoration of a World Heritage Site in India. It was completed in 2003 through the joint efforts of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India under the aegis of the National Culture Fund.
Later in the day, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with the Honourable President of India, Mrs Pratibha Patil and with the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Lal Krishna Advani.
In the evening, Mawlana Hazar Imam hosted a reception for the diplomatic corps of India.
Monday, 12 May 2008
Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Photo: Gary Otte
This morning, Mawlana Hazar Imam landed in New Delhi, commencing his eight-day Golden Jubilee visit of India. He was received at the airport by the Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr E. Ahmad, the Foreign Secretary, Mr Shivshankar Menon, the Chief of Protocol for the Government of India, Mr Sunil Lal, and leaders of the Jamat in India.
During the course of the day, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with the Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr E. Ahmad, the Honourable Vice President, Mr Mohammad Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.
In the evening, Mawlana Hazar Imam was the guest of honour at a dinner hosted by the Vice President of India.
Imam (spirtual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan is welcomed at the Taj Residency Ummed in Ahmedabad on May 16, 2008. The Aga Khan is on a one-day visit to Gujarat state of Western India during his seven day official tour to India till May 19. AFP PHOTO/ Sam PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Imam (spirtual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili muslims, the Aga Khan (R) greets with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Rajashekar Reddy in Hyderabad on May 14, 2008. The Aga Khan is on a one-day visit to the southern Indian city during his seven day official tour to India till May 19. AFP PHOTO /Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)
Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan (R) talks with Indian President Pratibha Patil during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on May 13, 2008. The Aga Khan is on a seven day offcial visit to India till may 19, during which he will met Indian President Pratibha patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and he will also visit the Indian cities of Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
mam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims Aga Khan (L) talks with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi (R) during a meeting in New Delhi on May 12, 2008. The Aga Khan is on a seven day offcial visit to India till May 19, during which he will meet Indian President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and visit the Indian cities of Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
HI gave Deedar to Siddpur Jamat - Farman was in very simple English. At one point, with His hands, he drew face, made 2 dots for eyes, 2 dots for cheeks and joined the lines to make happy face. Said He was happy & Jamat should be happy
Told M/Ks that He loved Siddhpur and would want to stay there
Also during preparation of Mandap, non-Ismailis and Ismaili farmers cleared there fields to build for the Deedar
One Ismaili said his house could be cleared also to make way for Hazar Imam's special entrance
Mawlana Hazar Imam meets with the Governor of Gujarat, Mr Nawal Kishore Sharma, in Ahmedabad. Photo: Gary Otte
Departing Mumbai early in the morning, Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Ahmedabad today. There he met with the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr Narendra Modi and the Governor of the state, Mr Nawal Kishore Sharma.
In the afternoon, Mawlana Hazar Imam travelled by helicopter to the small Gujarat town of Sidhpur for the first of three Golden Jubilee Darbars. The Jamat from across the state of Gujarat, had travelled to Sidhpur for this Darbar which was held at a site specially constructed to accommodate over 50 000 people.
Following the Darbar, Mawlana Hazar Imam returned to Mumbai.
Additional photographs are available in the Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra / Gujarat galleries, and on the AKDN website. Further details about the visit will continue to be posted at www.TheIsmaili.org.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Mawlana Hazar Imam smiles as he looks at photographs of his visit to the Diamond Jubilee High School in 1958, and Princess Zahra’s inauguration of the new site of the school in 2007. Photo: Gary Otte
This morning Mawlana Hazar Imam visited the Prince Aly Khan Hospital in Mumbai.
Established in 1945, the hospital was named after Hazar Imam’s father, Prince Aly Khan, who donated the land upon which it was built. Thousands of members of the Jamat gathered outside the hospital, located on the Aga Hall Estate, to welcome Mawlana Hazar Imam.
During his visit, Mawlana Hazar Imam toured the facility. He also met with the Senior Management of the hospital and the Directors of the Aga Khan Health Services in India.
From the hospital, Mawlana Hazar Imam went to the Diamond Jubilee High School in Mumbai.
Originally established in 1947 following the Diamond Jubilee of Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah, the school was last visited by Mawlana Hazar Imam in 1958. In 2007, it moved to a new site which was inaugurated by Princess Zahra.
During his visit, Mawlana Hazar Imam reviewed the school facilities and met briefly with the Directors of the Aga Khan Education Service in India.
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