Ismaili religious leader celebrates golden jubilee
BY Jon Sarpong
June 26, 2008 10:29 AM
Individuals from Canada, the United States and around the globe will converge on London, England, to commemorate the golden jubilee of Prince Karim Aga Khan, the 71-year-old spiritual and temporal leader of Shi'a Imami Nizari 'Ismaili' Muslims.
The observance of this anniversary began in France on July 11, 2007, exactly 50 years to the day he became the 49th hereditary imam (Living Guide) of the pluralistic and pacifist minority Shi'a community.
Today, close to 15 million Ismailis practice their faith in more than 50 countries around the world.
The Ismaili branch of Islam is the second largest part of the Shi'a community, after the Twelvers. The Ismaili get their name from their acceptance of Ismail bin Jafar as the divinely appointed spiritual successor (imam) to Jafar al-Sadiq, wherein they differ from the Twelvers, who accept Musa al-Kazim, younger brother of Ismail, as the true Imam.
The Ismaili and the Twelvers both accept the same initial imams from the descendants of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima Zahra and therefore share much of their early history.
As Muslims, the Ismailis affirm the fundamental Islamic testimony of truth, the Shahada, that there is no God but God (Allah in Arabic) and that Muhammad is His messenger. They believe that Muhammad was the last and final Prophet of Allah, and that the Holy Qur'an, Allah's final message to mankind, was revealed through him.
Muslims hold this revelation to be the culmination of the message that had been revealed through other prophets of the tradition before Muhammad, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus, all of whom Muslims revere as prophets of Allah.
During his week-long stay in the United Kingdom, the Aga Khan will be involved in meeting with representatives from various non-governmental organizations and charities with whom his global Aga Khan Development Network has been involved in humanitarian projects in various countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and South Africa.
The pinnacle of celebration will be the special get together (Mulaquat) in solemn and tranquil surroundings with his spiritual followers at ExCel Centre in the London Docklands.
About 30,000 followers are expected to welcome Prince Aga Khan in jubilation of this monumental event. Adorned in a ceremonial religious robe and cap, and in possession of the Sword of Justice, Prince Aga Khan will wear the chain of office, which displays 49 links that inclusively symbolize his predecessors. With the signet ring used as the seal of the imam as far back as the 12th century, the Aga Khan will enter the Congregational Hall to continuous unified supplications, beseeching the creator to shower blessings on the Prophet Muhammad and his progeny (from whom The Aga Khan's ancestors originated more than 1,400 years ago).
Affectionately referred to by his devout followers as 'Hazar Imam' (Present and Living Guide), the Aga Khan will be imparting spiritual and worldly advice as to how his followers should live and conduct themselves in their personal environment and impart religious knowledge and directives that reflect the ethics of their esoteric faith.
This historic event will mark a milestone in the lives of millions around the globe, as well as thousands of Toronto Ismailis participating in this event.
Visit www.akdn.org for details on the celebration of Prince Karim Aga Khan's golden jubilee.
Jon Sarpong is a diversity consultant. He provides independent diversity training and consultation for various organizations. To suggest a story idea for Panorama, e-mail jsarpong@....
His Highness the Aga Khan in the United Kingdom
to mark Golden Jubilee visit Official seven-day trip will mark 50 years of becoming Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims
and the Aga Khan Development Network’s long-standing partnership with the British Government
2 July 2008, London, United Kingdom - His Highness the Aga Khan, arrives later today on an official seven-day visit to the United Kingdom on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee.
During this visit, the Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims will attend a dinner hosted by Her Majesty the Queen to mark his Golden Jubilee and to acknowledge the close relationship he and his family have had over generations with the British Monarchy and the UK.
The Aga Khan is scheduled to meet with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary as well as the Secretary of State for International Development. The Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice, will host a lunch in his honour. He will also meet with the Leader of the Opposition and the Mayor of London. During his visit, the Aga Khan will meet with members of the Ismaili community.
The Aga Khan Development Network has had a longstanding relationship with development partners in the United Kingdom. Over the past 25 years, AKDN has received approximately $100m in complementary support of its development activities from UK institutions, primarily the Department for International Development (DfID) and its predecessors. The geographic areas of cooperation between the British Government and AKDN include Africa, Central Asia, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, where UK support has played an important role in making a difference in the quality of life of tens of millions of people.
During his visit to the United Kingdom, the Aga Khan will host a dinner for senior members of the Government, diplomats, distinguished leaders from industry, academia, the arts, faith communities, the NGO sector as well as leaders of the Ismaili community. The evening will provide an opportunity for the Aga Khan to thank the British Government and the civil society representatives for their unwavering support and commitment.
During the past 50 years, the Aga Khan has fostered and overseen the growth of one of the largest private development networks in the world. The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is engaged in a wide range of activities in education, healthcare, rural development, cultural and economic development. These activities are undertaken for the common good of all citizens, regardless of their gender, origin or religion in some of the poorest regions of the world. The work of the
Aga Khan Development Network is undertaken through its nine agencies in partnership with Governments and leading multilateral agencies.
The Aga Khan has received numerous awards and decorations. The title ‘His Highness’ was bestowed to him by Her Majesty the Queen in 1957.
This visit to the United Kingdom is one of many that the Aga Khan is undertaking around the world in commemoration of his Golden Jubilee year – the 50th anniversary of becoming the Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims – an ethnically diverse community whose members reside in some 25 countries, including the UK. He is founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network.
For more information, please contact:
Head of Communications Department
Secretariat of His Highness the Aga Khan
Tel. +33 68 30 85 233
Asked what was discussed at the Prime Minister's meeting with the Aga Khan, the PMS said that they had discussed the cooperation between the Government and the Aga Khan Development Network, which supported projects in health, education, poverty alleviation, peace and stability. The Prime Minister had also congratulated the Aga Khan on his golden jubilee.
Daily Mail, UK
The Queen is personally honouring the Aga Khan with a private banquet at
Buckingham Palace on Monday to mark his golden jubilee.
YAM to all,
(There were 28,000 murid present (capacity of hall is 35,000)
Awal Sufro went for £1.4 Million)
Arrival of MHI at Darbar hall ExCel
MHI arrived at Darbar Hall (ExCel) at 3:47:01 pm. (that is about 13 mins earlier) MHI get off the car and meet Zauhar Megjee (Our UK council president) and walked towards the stairs continue wishing every one of the welcome team, then MHI went up the Excel stairs and walk between the volunteers who were lined up either side, MHI stop at five different places during this walk and bless with His Right hand over the shoulder of three different volunteers and gave Blessings, at one place MHI talk for about one min with a single lady volunteer and at other place MHI spoke with an other volunteer for about 20 secs then MHI was greeted by Darkhana Mukhi & Kamadia from there MHI went to the special room; there MHI dress up His “GJ Darbar Jabbo” then MHI spend 4 mins with Jamati leaders before stepping in His “Mubarak Kadam” into the Darbar gate.
Arrival of MHI into Darbar hall, time 3:59:58pm
On arrival into the Darbar MHI straight away turn right and walked through the elderly and disable people area, MHI walked horizontally 2 lanes that was right across the Darbar hall and went to the stage.
(With the blessings of MHI I have attended several Darbar and many Dedar BUT I never saw MHI that happy as at this occasion.)
After all the ceremonies on the stage MHI took a different path and walk through the other of two horizontal lanes and again pass through the elderly and disable people area leaving the Darbar area; went to the special room and pass some time with the Mukhi Kamdia and other Jamati Leaders.
MHI went to the non-Ismailis family members, there MHI spoke to 11 individual and shake hands with several; and place His Mubarak hand on the head of three individual children. MHI spend about 12 mins with them.
Before leaving MHI spoke to Mukhi for several mins. (but sorry to say that Mukhi didn’t convey that message to the Jamat). MHI left at 5:24:36pm. MHI waved three time His right hand before got into the car.
Stage ceremony and Farman Mubarak
First let me tell you the MHI Make us laugh six times during the farman and deliberately make us clapping, in the beginning only about 25% of Jamat clapped so MHI said a wonderful phrase and waited for every one to clap on this happy occasion and that makes every one present there clapping for a while. All together the Jamat where clapping at four different time during farman.
(Stage ceremony and Farman Mubarak step by step I will post soon, within couple of days)
Professor Azim Nanji and Dr Farhad Daftary of the IIS present Mawlana Hazar Imam with a copy of The Ismailis: An Illustrated History. Photo: Gary Otte
This morning, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with faculty and staff from The Institute of Ismaili Studies and the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations at the Ismaili Centre. During the reception, the leaders of the IIS presented Mawlana Hazar Imam with a copy of their latest publication titled The Ismailis: An Illustrated History.
Later, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, visited the Ismaili Centre to meet with Mawlana Hazar Imam.
Additional photographs are available in the photo gallery. Updates on Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee visit to the United Kingdom will continue to be posted at TheIsmaili.org.
Thursday, 3 July
Mawlana Hazar Imam with British Prime Minister The Rt Hon Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street. Photo: Gary Otte
This morning, on the first full day of his Golden Jubilee visit to the United Kingdom, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with the British Government’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon David Miliband MP at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Mawlana Hazar Imam was a guest of honour at a luncheon hosted by the Rt Hon Jack Straw, Secretary of State for Justice and the Lord Chancellor. After lunch Mawlana Hazar Imam met with the British Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown.
In the evening Mawlana Hazar Imam hosted a reception for diplomats and senior government officials, followed by an Imamat dinner attended by political and civil society leaders from across the United Kingdom.
In his speech at the event, Mawlana Hazar Imam acknowledged the various partners in the UK and Europe that have worked with the Aga Khan Development Network and spoke of the development of the Jamat in the UK. The Rt. Hon John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, delivered a short address acknowledging the work done by Mawlana Hazar Imam and the AKDN in the United Kingdom.
Also see the text of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s speech as well as related coverage on the AKDN website.
Wednesday, 2 July
Leaders of the UK Jamat welcoming Mawlana Hazar Imam to London. Photo: Gary Otte
This afternoon, Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in London, England, commencing his seven-day Golden Jubilee visit to the United Kingdom. He was greeted at the airport by officials of the British Government and leaders of the UK Jamat.
Secretary of State John Denham
High Representative Solana
Ladies and Gentlemen
What a great pleasure it is for me to welcome you tonight - to greet so many friends, old and new - and to acknowledge how much your friendship - and that of this country - has meant to me.
I am deeply grateful for your warm welcome. I am no stranger to London, but this is a very special visit, as it is part of a year-long celebration - the Golden Jubilee anniversary of my Imamat.
I came to this office in 1957 upon the passing away of my grandfather. I was an undergraduate university student at that time - and perhaps I seemed a rather unusual student, when I showed up for the next school term with two secretaries and a personal assistant!
In Islamic thought and practice, the world of the spirit and the world of daily life are inseparably intertwined. This is why, over a half century, my role as a spiritual leader has also required me to act in a host of social, economic and cultural endeavours, in order to secure and enhance the well being of the Ismailis and the communities amongst which they live. The Aga Khan Development Network has grown out of those efforts, and I am happy to say, the size of its staff has also grown just a bit since my undergraduate days!
In all of these endeavours, we have developed wonderful partnerships with many institutions around the world. And many of our most effective partners have come from this country.
These partnerships have involved many collaborators - governmental and private, academic and charitable, non-profit and commercial, religious and secular, national and international - providing not only financial resources but also human resources and intellectual capital. London has also been an important base for our work with Governments around Europe, and with the European Union itself.
Many of our partners - from the UK and other parts of Europe - are represented here tonight. We have been fortunate in these relationships, and I would like to express my deep gratitude to all those who have made them possible.
Our spirit of partnership here has deep roots. Over a century ago, my grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, worked closely with Her Majesty Queen Victoria and her governments in the pursuit of common ideals. These ties were further strengthened by the strong presence of the Ismaili community - initially in places which later became Commonwealth countries, and later, here in the United Kingdom.
Many of the developing countries in which Ismailis lived were just coming into independent nationhood when I took office fifty years ago. Since that time, my attention has been focused on their challenges. My goal has been to improve the quality of life and to build new opportunity for Ismailis and the peoples amongst whom they live, while strongly supporting their pluralism and diversity.
The approach we take in the Aga Khan Development Network is non-denominational and holistic. It encompasses both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. We seek to catalyze the creation of necessary basic infrastructure, together with the provision of good quality education and healthcare. We are concerned with ensuring access to appropriate credit for the poor at the same time as we are working to sustain the arts and culture.
It is particularly in the field of rural development in East Africa, South East Asia and Central Asia that we have established long standing and successful programmes with the Department for International Development. This has been born of a common philosophy and approach, and has resulted in an improvement in the quality of life for tens of millions of people in some of the poorest regions in the world.
It is striking to me that in 1957, there were only about 100 Ismaili residents in this country, and most of them were students. Today, there are fourteen thousand Ismailis permanently living here and of all ages and walks of life.
Our story in this country is a case study in the settlement of an immigrant community - one which originated from East Africa, the Indian subcontinent and now Central Asia. Upheavals in their native lands - wars of independence, civil wars, collapsed economies and other dislocations affected the Ismailis and millions of others around them. Today almost one third of my community in this country have been born in the United Kingdom. They have maintained their religious and cultural identity and they are well integrated into their local environment. It is a community in which over 90 per cent of the university age population participate in tertiary education. The average household income is a third higher than the national average - although I say this with some trepidation as I hope we are not being overheard by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs!
Britain has been an enabling environment. As a result, the community is now making a meaningful contribution to the economy and civic society, whilst also providing a resource to support initiatives in other parts of the world.
In 1957, there was only one Ismaili space here for congregational prayer - and that was on leased premises! Creating places of prayer as centres for community life was fundamental to ensuring the cohesion of the community, and there are now over 40 such places. Among them, of course, a central focal point is The Ismaili Centre, located in South Kensington. Having Baroness Thatcher with us tonight is particularly significant because The Ismaili Centre was opened by her in 1985.
Like other Ismaili Centres around the world, the London Centre serves not only as a gathering place for Ismailis, but as an active participant in local society, sponsoring a variety of cultural initiatives - exhibitions, lectures and other public events. These efforts reflect our pride in our heritage and our eagerness to share it with others.
We have also, in these recent decades, established two new institutions of higher learning here, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, and The Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, which is part of the Aga Khan University. They both offer Masters level teaching programmes, they engage in research and publication, and they also develop curriculum materials for children in primary and secondary schools. In all these efforts, they take a holistic, civilizational approach to Islamic studies, rather than emphasizing the more narrow domain of theological dialectic.
What some describe as a clash of civilizations in our modern world is, in my view, a clash of ignorances. This is why education about religious and cultural heritage is so critically important—and why we will continue to invest in these institutions. We deeply believe that scholarship, publication and instruction—of high quality and generous breadth-- can provide important pathways toward a more pluralistic and peaceful world.
All of these comments, then, speak to the context in which we gather tonight-- a rich history of partnership reaching deeply into the past - and extending, we hope and trust, into an even more productive future.
Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:06 pm Post subject: testimony
Dear Family and Friends
Ya Ali Madad and ghani ghani mubaraki...
This was a most wonderful Didar we have ever experienced. Words cannot
express how fortunate we were to participate in this most happy Golden Jubilee Darbar. Mowlana Hazar Imam was emotional and in a very jovial and joking mood. We have never seen Him so happy.
The Intazari started at 1.00pm with tasbihs, ginans, qasidas and waez. This continued until MHI arrived 20 minutes earlier than scheduled at 3.40pm on Saturday 5th July 2008 at ExCel Centre, Docklands, London. A Police escort led the procession of 3 cars, and the arrival was shown on the big screens. This was a first in that throughout the visit, we were treated to amazing live relay on the big screens.
MHI walked up the upteen steps to the centre, retired to the private
chamber, donned the Golden Jubilee attire (jubbo and pagri) and entered the Darbar Hall at 4.00pm. What a fantastic regal entrance that was - tears of joy poured down the murids faces. The long hall had the significant International Jamat seated at the two ends of the hall, with the UK jurisdiction jamat in the middle, and the chairs lining up at the back of the hall, and at the two ends.
MHI graced the jamat with Didar by walking the length of the hall, first
turning right and then left on the long long back runner right upto the other
end of the hall, and turning left at the far end, walked onto the next long
runner to the far end of other side, and then turning right, walked half the
hallway to the simple but beautiful stage. He walked up the steps and sat on theTakht at 4.10. He gestured the Darkhana Mukhi/Kamadia Mukhiani/Kamadia to come and sit on the stage.
Mukhisaheb and Kamadiasaheb garlanded MHI with the golden chain, and
requested approval for the recitation of Tilawat-e-quran. Sura4 Ayat 174-5 was recited followed by the meaning. Ginan Sahebji tu more man bhave, followed by a Qasida Ali guyan, Ali juyam. Mowla looked at them with intensity and gave a big smile after each recitation. While the various recitations went on He was playing with his fingers repeatedly. While Sahebji tu was being recited, Mowla smiled as the verse Je Je mangu.
There followed the submission of mehmani on behalf of the jamat, and then the M/K of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway mehmanis on behalf of their countries, these are part of UK jurisdiction jamats. Ab-e Shifa ceremony took place.
The president of the National Council for UK gave the loyalty address.
MHI rose to make the Farman at 4.22pm, and what a Farman. He was so emotional and made a number of very important points always with the soft touch and a few jokes
details later. He spoke for 30 minutes.
A gift was presented by President saheb and a Fatimind glass vase was
presented by Vice-President. Before VP had a chance to step down from the stage, MHI was up walking to the mike. He made a short Farman, and then walked down the stage. He turned left and walked to the remaining half of the hall to the other end, and then walked the final runner all the way to end of the hall where the sick members of the jamat were lying on their beds. MHI walked amongst these murids and stopped between 2 beds and spoke to one little sick baby. He then walked out of the hall, and retired to the private chambers, where He spent considerable time with Mukhi/Kamadia, Presidentsaheb and Aitmadi Shafik Sachedina.
He later appeared outside the hall having changed back to the navy blue
suit. He then walked past the guard of honour of volunteers, talking to some of them including one cadet. He met with the non-Ismaili spouses and other non-Ismailis who were gathered together, stopping to talk to them in small groups.
He spent nearly 30 minutes with them.
MHI departed at 6.00 with a Police escort. In all MHI spent over 2 hours
with usâ€¦..shukar al-hamdulillah.
Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:59 pm Post subject: testimony
Hazir Imam asked us to convey his best loving blessings to all family
members and to tell you that he places his hand individually on each one of you with blessings for mushkil asan, good health, long life, peace and
happiness. I kept each one of you including all children in my thoughts for
his blessings constantly.
The Darbar was held at ExCel center which has a capacity of 35,000. The
spaces were well organized and services and arrangements were well done. Mum and Dad got a seat in the seniors area reserved for international jamats. There were several huge screens in front of the hall with crystal clear images and the mikes were great.
Hazir Imam arrived about 10 minutes early. He walked around the hall ‹
which really was huge ‹ and Mum and Dad had a clear view. I sat in the
section in front of them, and had to turn around when he walked past and had a glimpse too. As usual, he was walking a mile a minute! And saying
Khanavadan every step or two.
Now here is the main part, namely, the gist of his firman with the very
strong caveat that all this is paraphrased and from memory, and I request
that it not be forwarded to anyone else without permission. Hazir Imam
indicated several areas of importance to him, and by extension, guidance and direction to the jamat:
First, we must work for the achievement of peace wherever we are, and to
seek practical and effective means for reducing conflict in society.
Second, we must address the unacceptable conditions of extreme poverty that exist in our own jamats and more generally worldwide.
Third, we must take care of the elderly and ensure that they are not sad and lonely. Medicine has extended our lives but the quality of life for the aged needs attention too.
In the above contexts, he again brought up the issue of institutional
development. He was not speaking of material contribution, but time and
knowledge that is required to build civil society.
(As an aside, money is clearly not a problem. Memani during evening prayers went to £ x. When bidding hit the £ x mark, the jamat applauded!)
Fourth, he emphasized that the premise of our faith is ethical behavior.
Modern society enjoys many freedoms but freedom must be governed by good judgment and a value system.
Fifth, he said faith must be practiced every moment, not just when we are
born and when we die. Be conscious of faith day and night and take the name of God, prophet, imams.
Sixth, reduce exposure to risk of the current slowdown or recession in the
economy. In addition to avoiding further debt, minimize risk and maximize
financial strength through business partnerships.
He said he loved his jamat but noted that they are individualists who felt
distrustful of joint ventures. To protect each other, develop an entry and
an exit strategy when going into partnerships. Do it with integrity.
He made several jokes, each had a substantive point to it. For instance, he
said the jamat must be wondering why the Imam is talking about economics. That¹s because the leaders have asked the Imam but it seems that what the Imam said has not been conveyed to the jamat. A long applause followed.
He was presented a rock crystal from the Fatimid period as nazrana after
which he stood and said that the Fatimid period was founded on principles
that are extremely important today including a concentration of knowledge, humanism or a humanistic outlook, and working for the unity of the ummah.
At several points he said he wanted the jamat to be happy and celebrate.
When the mukhi-kamadia returned after seeing him off, they said the Imam had asked them to convey to the jamat that happiness was part of Islam, and the smile a duty of faith ‹ or something to that effect.
I really wish I had a better memory. I pray we get the actual firman to
study; better still a video to hear and see his gestures several times. He
was extremely forthright and humorous. For example, when he said we should expect that there will be bumps in the economy, he added that even cars are made so that they can handle bumps!!
All in all, a blessed occasion. The Qur¹anic verse Allahu nuru samawati w¹al ard (God is the light of the heavens and earth) came to mind. I kept you vividly in my heart, and pray that you received the blessings of that
The Queen is hosting a dinner party in honour of billionaire racehorse owner the Aga Khan.
Senior members of the Royal Family will attend the Buckingham Palace dinner on Monday for the long-term friend of the Queen.
The Queen, 82, and the Aga Khan, 71, are both ardent fans of horse racing and in the past they have watched the sport together at Royal Ascot.
The Aga Khan was the owner of Shergar, the Derby-winning racehorse who was kidnapped from his Irish stud farm in 1983 and never seen again.
He is also the Imam of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims and a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
Last year he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his succession to the title held by his grandfather.
The Aga Khan is coming to the end of a seven-day visit to the UK held to mark the milestone.
In 2005 he became one of six people given the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for his efforts improving living conditions in the developed world.
His Aga Khan Development Network is a group of agencies working in health, education, culture and rural and economic development, in 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, south and central Asia, and the Middle East.
Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:40 am Post subject: testimony
We've had a wonderful didar here in London. Attendees came from 68 countries not counting some of the European ones which are considered to be under UK jurisdiction. We met a lot of people from Calgary and Canada The London jamat was very gracious and generous.
The Imam was extremely relaxed and in a very jovial mood. He arrived promptly at 4:00 PM and left the grounds at 6:00 after stopping with the non-Ismaili spouses. Someone said (unsubstantiated) that we was overheard saying upon his departure that that this Jubilee Celebrations are so much fun, perhaps we should extend them. He asked the jamat to be happy and said we should all have a smile and a laugh on our faces that evening.
He started by thanking her Majesty, her family and the government for the kindness shown him on his visit. He then started to welcome the international jamats and was very emphatic about us taking his prayers and du'a to our families and janats. He also said that he was placing his hand on each murids shoulder so to speak as he put and wished us Du'a ashish. He continued his farman with din and duniya, and keeping your faith in your heart regardless of the daily circumstances and using the tasbih at all times regardless. Talked about his two wishes for the Jubilee - eradication of poverty and the second one escapes me now - the care of the elderly.
Then he sat down and when all the regular ceremonies were completed he rose and pulled a Sultan Mohd Shah on us by talking very frankly but in an extermemy joking way so as not to offend. First he talked about the recession and said not to panic but be wise as not to take rash decisions. He went on to say how he admired us with regard to our business acumen but could not understand why we did not work in groups and unitedly. He could not understand why we were cheating each other and could not trust each other. He emphasized that we should be sharing our knowledge and greatly emphasized the time and knowledge contribution. Then he hit the leaders by saying you must be wondering why the Imam was talking economics but said he tried to pass on these messages but the leaders do not seem to pass on the messages and the jamat responded with massive clapping.
I have never heard him speak so openly and with such love. We had all of you the family, friends and the Calgary jamat.
More about all this on our return, in the meantime God Bless and bask in the blessings of the Imam.
Love hugs and kisses,
P.S. The awal suffro that night went for xxx GBP that over x million Canadian dollars - can you imagine.
When an aircraft passed overhead Hazar Imam said that He waited in case 63 aircraft were going to pass overhead to represent the 63 countries from which murids had arrived because Darbar was a day of celebration. In this way there were several times mowla made the jamat laugh
Dearest Family Members, Jamati Members and Friends,
Ya Ali Madat and Greetings from London, UK
DEEDAR MUBARAKI TO EACH ONE OF YOU, TO YOUR FAMILES AND TO YOUR JAMATS (Wherever you Live)
Twenty-five years ago, My Beloved Late Papa had the opportunity to attend Khudavind's Silver Jubilee Darbar held at the Olympia Hall in London, United Kingdom in 1982 and some 25 years later, with all your prayers, My son Altamish and I attended the Golden Jubilee Celebrations held at the Excel Centre in London, UK and were blessed with Deedar on Saturday July 5th, 2008.
It started raining on early Saturday morning and the rain clouds were being replaced with rays of sunshine as the clock ticked away nearing the time for the Darbar.......the sun came out and we headed to the Excel Center around 1:00 pm. The halls were open at 9:00 am and the volunteers had arrived at 4:00 am to prepare for this momentous day.
What an awesome experience this was........Mowlana Hazar Imam arrived at the Darbar Hall about 30 mins before the scheduled arrival time of 4:00 pm.......... Khudavind was recieved by the Mukhi Kamadia Sahebs and Leaders of the Jamat and a bunch of well-uniformed Young Volunteers. Khudavind's Car was escorted by a Police Motorcade to the Darbar Facility and great courtesies had been extended by the British Government to Mowla Bapa during his visit to London.
Mowla entered the Darbar Hall wearing his Golden Jubilee Jabo and walked for about 25 minutes along the runners......He walked by all the Seniors and blessed all of us with lots of Dua'ashis. Mowla climbed up the stairs of the stage and sat on His Throne which was the exact same chair -- the one used in the Darbars held in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique (I am told). Leaders of the LIF were also present at the Darbar and the Jamat comprised of Ismaili Brothers and Sisters from 63 different countries including many Jamati members from Canada and quite a few from Calgary. There were about 35000 murids present at this Darbar.
Khudavind was presented with the Gold Chain followed by a Recital of an ayat, its translation, the Ginan, Sahebji Tu More Man Bhave, a Qasida Ali Bhud, and the Homeage speech by the President of the United Kingdom Council.
Then Khudavind began His Firman by thanking Her Majesty the Queen, The Goverment & various Leaders and members of the UK Government.
Mowla gave Special Blessings on the Occasion of this Golden Jubilee Darbar and asked us to Convey Special Blessings to the Families and to all members of the Jamat from where we have come from.
Khudavind said that there were Murids from 63 countries and He joked that He would have to go back to school to learn his geography again.
Khudavind spoke of 4 goals that he had set for the Golden Jubilee....
a. Looking after the aged
b. Building educational and other Institutions and Capacities for the Jamats
c. Eliminating poverty and providing hope for the Jamat that live an 'Unacceptable Standard of Life'
d. I have forgotten the fourth goal... He talked about matters of the faith Din & Duniya and to carry a Tasbih and Call on the name of Ya ALLAH, YA ALI, the Prophet and the NAMES of the IMAMS and that you can practice your faith at any time....at any time....
Mowla discussed the economy and stated that 'there will be a slowing down of the economy and 'people may call it a Slow-down or others may call it a recession... I don't care what people call it. I only care that my Jamat is better prepared to handle this soft economy. Do not take on any new commitments and think ahead to better place yourselves. Form associations with the people in the same professions or groups. I know my Jamat is very INDIVIDUALISTIC and I want you to come together and work together so that you can cut costs and share your knowledge with each other. When one member wishes to Exit this association, they may be able to do so without causing any damage to the others. Therefore when you ENTER this association, make your rules at that time so that there would be no harm caused when you wish to exit the association.' Mowla also said: 'you are brothers and sisters ...brothers and sisters do not CHEAT each other...... I am concerned for my Spiritual Children because I LOVE YOU ALL.......' These are the precise words or almost the exact words that Mowlana Hazar used.
Khudavind was very very Happy and he said ' I love you all'.........Shukar Mowla Shukar
Khudavind said something about Oil ...that Oil is not the one resource available and that there will be other types of resources that will become available... I believe this quotation probably refers to the fact that people are scared of the current rising prices of oil.....
Mowla joked and said that we have'bumpy roads and the vehicles are designed to handle the bumpy roads and therefore life can be a bumpy ride......at times..
Khudavind made a Special comment where He said : I am talking about the economy because my leaders have asked me to do.......they obviously do not convey to you what you want to know !! '
Overall, Khudavind was very very Happy and the Jamat had presented a Gift that dated back to the Fatimid Period........Mowla said that ' the Fatimid Period was a very Historic Period and there is a lot of knowledge CONCENTRATED in our history from this time.... that we should refer back to this knowledge as we seek to improve the practice of our Faith.
Mowla gave blessings for Time and Knowledge Nazrana.
Before departing, Mowla Bapa said that there was Dandia- Raas ....He said that Today is a Day of Happiness and I wish each one of you to be Happy ....to have a Smile on your Face as 'a SMILE IS A BLESSING' I want you all to REJOICE this Happy Occassion and that I will be with You when you enjoy this evening. I wish you to have a Wonderful evening .
Before leaving, Khudavind gave Special Blessings to Each of US. He said: I place MY HAND ON EACH OF YOUR SHOULDERS AND ON THE SHOULDERS OF YOUR FAMILY AND OF YOUR JAMAT AND I GIVE YOU ALL MY SPECIAL LOVING BLESSINGS.
I WANT YOU TO TAKE MY BLESSINGS, MY LOVE, MY AFFECTION TO YOUR FAMILY, TO YOUR JAMATS WHEREVER YOU COME FROM....K... K.. K...
Once again, Khudavind walked to other parts of the Darbar Hall and each and every Murids Heart was filled with Happiness and Joy and Blessings of Mowla's Deedar.... Khudavind took his time as he walked throughout the Darbar Hall........ Before leaving the Darbar Hall, Mowla Blessed many sick and ill murids that were in beds and before exiting He even held a little baby/child and give the Child and their Mother his Blessings for Muskhil ashan.
Khudavind spent almost 2 & 1/2 hours in the Darbar Hall andFacility......On his departure from the Excel centre, Mowla spent alot of time talking to Non-Ismaili Spouses & children and spoke to alotof Volunteers and held hands with many in the crowd.......He was especially Happy and at one point, the President tried to get Mowla tomove on and Khudavind stayed back to continue visiting with these Members of the crowd....then Mowla finally departed and the Jamat rejoiced and recited Shukar Tasbih.
After the tasbih, the Jamats hugged each other, their families, friends.....many went over to the social hall to get water or grab their cell phones or whatever and then we had evening Jamatkhana there and then food ...Biryani, Monthar, Water and Ice-cream was being served...........and Dandia-Raas began with awesome awesome awesome MUSIC...performance by the band KHAYAL ........the lighting, and laser shows was magnificent and the Jamat danced with Joy and Happiness.........What a Performance and the UK Darbar will be one that will ALWAYS BE CHERISHED for many many years to come !!!
The VOLUNTEERS of the UK JAMAT and International Volunteers did an Outstanding JOB, as the British would say : A BRILLIANT Job with each and every aspect of arrangements for this DARBAR held in London and for all activities, food, entertainment, the photo booth, the Volunteer Registration, the Cloakroom setup, the Security, the Padhramni Admission Cards, the Abe Safaa packages, the Juro, Water Bottles, the Taariff Program, and many things that I have not mentioned......I can say that given the location of this magnificent hall, the Volunteers both badged and non-badged did a magnificent job.
Having experienced Both the Darbars in San Antonio and London, I hope the Canadian Jamat can excel in its performance to prepare for a Long-Awaited Deedhar in Our country..... Inshallah ALL of US can look forward with UNITY and LOVE to Enjoy the Canadian Darbars !!
All Members of the Calgary, the Canadian Jamat and the Global Jamat and ALL Ruhani Members were in Our Thoughts and in Our Prayers During this Darbar in London and once again, We convey our Heartiest Feliciatations and Mubaraki on the Auspicious Occasion of the London Darbar held on Saturday July 5ht, 2008
Shukar Mowla for Everything You Have Blessed Us with and Please pray that ALL TRAVELLERS have a safe journey home to their beloved ones and to their Jamats.
We would also like to take this opportunity to Convey Lots of MUBARAKIS AND WISH EVERYONE MEMBER OF OUR JAMAT GLOBALLY IMAMAT DAY MUBARAK !!
Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:14 pm Post subject: testimony
The Queen and the Aga Khan share a smile at a dinner at Buckingham Palace
Message forwarded as received
Hi - hope you are all well and in good health. Thought of you during deedar.
We just had deedar yesterday and Mowla was so happy and relaxed. He has sent his blessing to you all. His firman yesterday was incredible - so blunt. He said that we were an individualistic community and that we were not trusting.
He told us to work together and that we were brothers and sisters. He said "brothers and sisters don't cheat each other". He told us that we should not become a faith of convenience where we attend only for births and funerals - we should carry a tasbhi and make faith a daily part of our lives.
He talked about the economy - entering a slow down. He said that the jamat must be wondering why the Imam is talking about the economy. He told us it was because the leadership asked him to and that he doesn't think the leadership tells us everything that He tells them. He ended his firman saying that there are many bumps in life but even the human race has made vehicles that can go over these bumps. He made us laugh so much and seemed to enjoy our clapping. He told us that this year is a time to rejoice. I guess you'll hear the firmans soon. When he left he sent a message with the mukhi saying that we should be happy and that we should smile - that even a child's smile is a blessing and that Islam says to be happy and smile - it is a blessing.
The whole experience was amazing - the organization was perfect. Not one flaw
- even the catering was perfect - no line ups at all. They h
ad these cardboard trays to hold the plates and all they served was the rice and biriyani and athano with one small piece of monthar. The portion was just right. Hardly any wastage. They even recycled everything. Oh, even the cutlery was so stylish - it was plastic but looked like stainless steel. The hall itself was perfect - on one side was the deedar hall and the other side was the social hall. In the middle was the boulevard - hallway - and they had kiosks where you could buy food and coffee and sit. Like I said - not one flaw. Even the washrooms were so clean and well maintained. Didn't even experience any lineups. And the sound system they had for the dandia was out of this world.
We sat really far from the stage during deedar but the big screen was crystal clear and Mowla walk throughout the entire hall. I think He spent a total of an hour and a half with us - he was not rushed at all. Infact when He left the hall they showed us Him leaving the building and talking to the non-Ismailies.
They had a red carpet for Him to walk on where all the volunteers were lined up - but when he saw the non-ismailies on the opposite side he left the red carpet and went over to talk at lenght with them. President sayeb kept nudging Him along and guided Him back on to the red carpet. He talked to a few of the volunteers standing there and then again went back to the non-ismailies. It was amazing!!! Wonder what he was saying to them!
The jamat maintained the utmost discipline through out - which really made the difference.
That's it for now.
Last edited by Admin on Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total
Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:38 pm Post subject: Use decent language and don't mock Sultan Muhammad Shah
Ya Ali Madad!
Mubarakis to All Momin Borthers and Sisters on this fantastic Deedar we
were blessed with on 5th July 2008.
Saw a few articles on Durbar in London and the details in this forum.
I would first like to inform some Momin brothers and sisters from Canada
that The United Kingdom is in Europe and is a European Country and
we are a part of that European Jamat.
Some European Countries come under the UK Council jurisdiction for the
simple reason of Language difficulties when under France, since most
jamats were English Speaking. That is to the best of my recollection.
The change was made in 1987 as far as I remember.
Also, as much as I am personally fascinated by all the accounts given by
you all and admire your memories I think it would be proper to use
decent language and not Mock any of our Imams as someone here
has done with Hazrat Sultan Muhammad Shah.
One does not make a mention of a gatt Imam that lightly. This is my
very personal opinion, and I stand for it.
Also please do not expect that those who are not supposed to have access
to the Firmans will not be able to do so, since it is quite easy for anyone to
access this site.
I would be very careful as to what I write and distribute.
Finally, It was wonderful to have you all from all the different countries
including Calgary in Canada and I would welcome you again as one
of the members of the U.K. jurisdiction who lives in Europe, and gladly
sit longer away from the mandap to give you a better place to have
Deedar. Let us hope Mowla will grant us ALL HIS NOORANI DEEDAR
I hope that I will be equally welcome to Calgary and Canada if I
come there, but believe me we from Europe did not come to the U.K.
as intruders, but as part of it in Welcoming those of you from all
It was a great pleasure to have you with us and May Mowla Bestow
upon You All His Choicest Blessings.
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