Agakhan Collection part of a new survey of 800 years of Indian painting that is about to open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
"The paintings come from the Met’s own collection and the Rietberg Museum in Zurich (where the show originated), as well as from a number of other public and private collections. Mansur’s chameleon is one of six loans from Queen Elizabeth. The City Palace Museum in Udaipur has sent works never loaned before. Although diplomatic complications prevented the miniatures from Tehran and St Petersburg that were shown in Switzerland from travelling to America, the Met’s version of “Wonder of the Age” has added works from the Aga Khan’s collection and the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, has sent its treasured 17th-century masterpiece, “Humayun Seated in a Landscape”, which was painted by Payag for Jahangir’s son, the emperor Shah Jahan."
MHI gives a keynote address at Paris conference of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities
The keynote speaker was the Aga Khan, who in addition to being the spiritual leader of millions of Shiite Muslims has bred or owned 36 European Classic winners and operates France’s largest breeding operation. He also got the biggest laugh of the afternoon, from delegates listening through headphones as his remarks were simultaneously translated from English into French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish:
“I was reminded the other day of a particularly generous and kindly lady,” said His Highness, “who took pity on one of the less fortunate people she encountered on the street as she took a walk one day. Impulsively, she handed him a 20-Euro note and murmured in a kind, quiet voice, ‘Godspeed, my good man.’
“The next day, the same man came up to her and handed her a 100-Euro note. ‘What is this for?’ she asked. ‘Haven’t you heard?’ said the man. ’Godspeed came in at 5 to 1 at Longchamp.’ ”
The Council for USA is pleased to inform the Jamat that earlier today, Mawlana Hazar Imam was awarded the J.C. Nichols prize for visionaries in urban development by the Urban Land Institute.
The award was made at the annual meeting of the Urban Land Institute in Los Angeles, California.
Accepting the award on behalf of Mawlana Hazar Imam was Luis Monreal, General Manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
This $100,000 prize is awarded every three years to a person whose career demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development.
The award jury selected Mawlana Hazar Imam for his strong leadership of a stunning variety of development and philanthropic endeavors throughout poor communities struggling to improve their living conditions.
The two AKDN agencies that the award jury particularly noted were the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The Urban Land Institute stated, "In a time of both unrest and great hope in the Arab and Muslim worlds, the jury was moved to honor a leader who has raised the quality of life in these regions without regard to nationality, creed, or gender.
Standing with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Mawlana Hazar Imam speaks at the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between the State of Illinois and the Ismaili Imamat on 4 November 2011. Photo: Farhez Rayani
Chicago, 4 November 2011 — At the invitation of Illinois State Governor Patrick “Pat” Quinn, Mawlana Hazar Imam travelled to Chicago today to sign an Agreement of Cooperation between the State of Illinois and the Ismaili Imamat. During the visit, Hazar Imam and Governor Quinn and their representatives also held talks on a range of issues of mutual interest, including early childhood education and media and communications.
The Agreement of Cooperation, the third such agreement with a US state, marks a historic milestone. It establishes a basis for long term collaborative programmes between the State and the institutions of the Imamat in the fields of education, environmental stewardship and management, health sciences, library and information sciences, infrastructure development, agricultural sustainability, and culture.
Describing Mawlana Hazar’s Imam work, Governor Quinn expressed that “the great work of the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan University, the Network and people of his faith were quite inspirational” and that the Imam himself embodied the “definition of humanitarian — a man of the world and somebody who has a servant’s heart”. In thanking Mawlana Hazar Imam for his visit to Illinois, “and his commitment in our state, in our country, in our world, to making it a better world,” Governor Quinn added, “I think that should be the mission of all of us that were put on earth, and given life by God, and what we do with our life is our gift back to God. Whatever faith you practice, it is important to understand that we are all together on this planet earth.”
The Governor further noted that the people of Illinois would contribute their “great skills and warm hearts” to achieving, in particular, the AKDN’s mission of early childhood education which he felt was critically important.
Mawlana Hazar Imam, in his remarks, indicated that the agreement between the State of Illinois and the Network “brings access to knowledge” to develop civil society — knowledge that is necessary for civil society to fulfil its role in sustaining human development, especially in the developing world and in cases where governments are fragile.
Minister Baird Greets His Highness the Aga Khan in Ottawa | Le ministre Baird accueille Son Altesse l’Aga Khan à Ottawa
November 4, 2011
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird greets His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, at the headquarters of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Ottawa. The meeting was part of ongoing consultations the government is conducting across the country and around the world on establishing its Office of Religious Freedom, one of the government’s key priorities. The commitment was included in the Speech from the Throne on June 3, 2011, and reiterated in Minister Baird’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2011.
German ARTE TV to telecast the documentary “Karim Aga Khan IV and his Development Network” on Sunday 11 December 2011 at 4:30 pm
November 19, 2011 Leave a Comment
Film producer Veronika Hofer has accompanied His Highness for two years and have documented all-encompassing portrait of the Imam.
-Translated from German via Google.
The Aga Khan, leader of the Shiite Muslim religious community of Ismaili Muslims, is in Africa, Asia, the Middle East or even in Canada as a quiet and effective diplomat, as a bridge builder, but mainly known as a benefactor. His Aga Khan Development Network, which counts 80,000 employees worldwide, is the largest private development aid organization in the world. Filmmaker Veronika Hofer has accompanied him for two years and draws in their documentation a more sophisticated, all-encompassing portrait of the 75-year-olds.
Devonian to incorporate Islamic garden
By Brandi Morin
Posted 2 days ago
University of Alberta Devonian Gardens incorporating new and innovative attractions, is about to be put on the worldwide map. An Islamic garden, the first of its kind, is now in the design and planning stages. The garden was a multi-million-dollar gift from his Highness Aga Khan, the global leader of the Ismaili Muslim community. To date Khan has planted similar types of gardens, symbolizing peace and harmony all over the world.
Parkland County Div. 5 Coun. Denise Locher recently attended an information workshop in which organizers were seeking input regarding the gardens design.
In the session Locher learned that gardens are not associated with religion in Islam.
“Historically gardens were not religious places and it’s not integral to the mass design,” said Locher. “It would be like asking what is a democratic garden? I thought it was excellent, their concept is great. They’re looking to keep it non-religious, multi-cultural and as a safe place, for people to go and experience nature.”
She also learned that planners are leaning toward designing more of a natural type garden, because traditionally, Islamic gardens flourished naturally, free and wild such as a natural forest garden would.
There are other cultural gardens at Devonian such as the Japanese and First Nations gardens. The Islamic garden is a large project that encompasses nine acres of land with natural forest areas and a creek running through.
Carrie Mulholland, communications, Devonian Gardens, said when finished they expect the garden to attract visitors from around the world.
“We’re delighted it’s going forward,” said Mulholland.
“It’s an incredible addition taking the gardens to a whole new level. The garden is intended for everyone, for all people to enjoy.”
It is not yet known when the garden will be complete but Mulholland said they are aiming for a possible 2013 opening.
Two months ago GoldenRoom did a feature article on Tibet, describing the world’s other theocracy; unique amongst nations, Tibet is headed by a spiritual leader the Dalai Lama even though it is deprived of its actual territory. As was stated in that article, Tibet is not the world’s only theocracy and this month GoldenRoom features an even more remarkable community: the Ismaili community, headed by their ‘king’ and spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, yet never having a territory. The Ismaili dynasty itself is perhaps one of the most cross cultural in the world, and despite its lack of territory maintains an active and influential international role.
The history of the Ismaili Muslims is drawn from numerous nations, cultures and languages, but it begins with the origins of Islam. There are two main branches of Islam, Sunnism and Shiism which are traced to the dispute over the succession of the Prophet Muhammad. The Shia believe that Ali, the cousin and son- in- law of the Prophet Muhammad, was divinely appointed and selected by the Prophet Muhammad himself to be his successor to safeguard Islam, the Quran and the sharia. Shia believe that certain individuals among the Prophet Muhammad’s descendents, Imams, have special spiritual and political authority over the community. Shia believe in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imāms, and are thus sometimes known as the Twelvers. Approximately 85% of Shia are Twelvers and the term Shia commonly refers to this community.
Imam Alī was assassinated in 661 CE, and the Imāmate passed on to his son Hasan and then his son Husayn. Husayn whilst travelling to Kufa on a diplomatic mission was stopped by the army of the Syrian governor Yazid. In Karbala, during the month of Muharram Husayn and his extended family were starved, and ten days later, Husayn was killed, and the women and children in enslaved. This battle would become extremely important to the Shīa psyche.
The son of Alī ibn Ḥusayn and Fatimah bint al-Hasan, Muhammad al-Baqir is considered by the Shi'a to be the fifth Shia Imam. Muhammad’s son, by Fatima Al- Hasan, Jafar is considered the sixth Imam. Jafar married another Fatima Al-Hasan, a descendant of Hasan ibn Ali, and they had two sons: Isma'il ibn Jafar and Abdullah al-Aftah.
It is at this point in geneology where the Shia community split. The Twelvers accept the youngest son of Jafar, Musa al Kazim, by his second wife, Hamidah as the true Imam, the seventh. The Ismailis get their name from their acceptance of Ismail ibn Jafar as the appointed spiritual successor to the Imam Jafar al Sadiq
However Ismaili predeceased his father Jafar and the Ismailis went on to recognise his son Muḥammad ibn Ismāīl, as Imām. In contrast the Twelvers do not believe that Ismaili was ever designated as Imam, and that only Musa al Kazim was ever designated.
By the late ninth century under the Imam Ubayrd Allah al Mahdi Billah an army was raised and a Shia political states was established, originally based in Tunisia, is centre was later transferred to Egypt. In parallel with the dynasty's claim of descent from Alī and Fāṭimah, the empire was named “Fatimid.”
Under subsequent imams the Fatimid Empire quickly expanded. At its peak it included North Africa, Sicily, Palestine, Syria, the Red Sea coast, Yemen and Hejaz. A schism split Ismailism into two major branches, the Nizari and the Mustalian. The Nizari leaders succeeded in founding a cohesive state with numerous mountain strongholds and scattered territories stretching from eastern Persia to Syria. However the Nizari state collapsed only under the onslaught of all-conquering Mongols. Thereafter, the Ismailis never regained any political prominence and survived in many lands as a minor Shia Muslim sect.
By the second half of the eighteenth century, however, Ismaili imams came out of their obscurity and acquired political prominence. The 46th Imam, Aga Hassan Alī Shah, fled Iran in the 1840s after a failed coup against the Shah of the Qajar dynasty. Aga Hassan Alī Shah settled in Mumbai in 1848 where there was a largish community of Ismaili Muslims. The dynasty later acquired international prominence under their hereditary and honorific title of Agha Khan (Aga Khan) which was bestowed upon AgaHasan Ali Shah, Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar the Shah of Persia. Etymologically the title combines the Turkish military title Agha, meaning a "noble" or "lord", with the Turko-Mongol title Khan for a local ruler, so the combination means roughly "Commanding Chief. In 1887, the British colonial rulers of India formally recognized the Aga Khan's rank and nobility.
The Ismaili accept today as their 49th Imam Prince Karim Aga Khan IV whom they claim is descended from Muḥammad through his daughter Fāṭimah az-Zahra and Ali, Muḥammad's cousin and son-in-law. The title “His Highness” was granted by Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britan in 1957. His Highness the Aga Khan became Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims on July 11, 1957 at the age of 20, succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan.
In common with other Muslims sects Ismailis believe in the oneness of God, the divine revelations to Muḥammad as the final Prophet and Messenger of God to all humanity. As with other Shī‘ah, Ismāīlīs believe that the understanding of God is derived from the first light in the universe, the light of Aql, roughly translated as 'Intellect'. Through this Universal Intellect all living and non-living entities know God, and all of humanity is dependent and united in this light God. In Ismaili metaphysics, God is seen as above and beyond all conceptions, names, and descriptions; knowledge of God as such is above all human comprehension.
Ismailis share in the pillars of Islam, however The Shahadah (profession of faith), is not considered a Pillar but rather the foundation upon which they are built. The remaining pillars for the Ismaili are: Walayah meaning Guardianship denotes love and devotion to God: Tawhid meaning the "Oneness" of God: Salah or Prayer, however unlike Sunni and Twelver Muslims, Nizari Ismāʻīliyya currently pray three times a day; Zakah which is sometimes called Dasond or Charity refers to the proportion of personal income that Ismailis pay to their Imam. Most followers of the Aga Khan donate 12.5% of their personal income, of which 2.5% is directed to the poor, and the remaining 10% belongs directly to the Aga Khan: Sawm or Fasting has both a metaphorical and literal meaning, where the literal meaning would include abstaining from food such as during Ramadan, and the metaphorical meaning refers to avoiding activities that distract one from the goal of attaining Divine Truth: Hajj or Pilgrimage also has two meanings for Ismāīlīs. Visiting the imām or his representative is one of the most aspired pilgrimages, Hajj-i-Batini, but they share with other Muslims the importance of pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj-i-Zahiri: Jihad or Struggle is the final pillar, but as the Ismaili are pacifists this is interpreted as the struggle again personal and social vices.
The Ismāīlīs believe the Qur'an has several layers of meaning, but they generally divide those types of meanings into two: the apparent (zahir) meaning and the hidden (batin) meaning. While a believer can understand the batin meaning to some extent, the ultimate interpretation lies in the office of the Imāmate. The Imām is seen believed to be the “Face of God.” For this sect, the Imām is truth and reality itself, and hence he is their path of salvation to God. Oftentimes, the Imam of the Time is known as the "Qur'an e Naatiq" (the "speaking Qur'an"), meaning that he reinterprets the literary text in a way that can be understood for today's times. In this way, the Ismāīlī community can adapt to new times and new places. The Imām's teachings are binding upon the community. Some dispute whether he is seen as Divine and the only Mediator, or as analogous to the Pope.
The Ismaili have a pluralistic heritage, with pockets of communities all over the world. In recent years, Nizari Ismāʿīlīs, who have come to the US, Canada and Europe, many as refugees from Asia and Africa, have readily settled into the social, educational and economic fabric of urban and rural centres across the two continents. Today, the Ismailis live in some 25 countries, mainly in West and Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as in North America and Western Europe.
In view of the importance that Islām places on maintaining a balance between the spiritual well-being of the individual and the quality of his life, the Imām's guidance deals with both aspects of the life of his followers. Like its predecessors, the present constitution is founded on each Ismāʿīlī's spiritual allegiance to the Imām which is separate from the secular allegiance that all Ismāʿīlīs owe as citizens to their national entities. Ismailis owe allegiance to their country as a fundamental obligation, to to be discharged not by passive affirmation but through responsible engagement and active commitment to uphold national integrity and contribute to peaceful development.
The present Aga Khan continues the practice of his predecessor and extended constitutions to the global Ismaili community following a process of consultation within each constituency. In 1986, he promulgated a Constitution that brought the social governance of the world-wide Ismaili community into a single structure with built-in flexibility to account for diverse circumstances of different regions. The Constitution is served by volunteers and functions to promote group responsibility and communal well being.
The donations of the Ismailis are not only for Muslims, but contribute to the welfare of the humankind like education and health projects. One of the major examples of these projects is the Aga Khan Development Network, which is one of the biggest welfare networks of the world. For His Highness the Aga Khan, this has meant a deep engagement with development for over 50 years through the agencies of the AKDN. The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of institutions working to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of the developing world. AKDN agencies conduct their programmes without regard to faith, origin or gender.
The Imams of the 20th and 21st centuries have overseen periods of intense social and political change. In the process they have become not just guardians of the Ismaili, but important and influential international figures, and often this has been reflected in their personal lives as well.
The Aga Khan III, was the son of the Aga Khan II and his third wife, Nawab A'lia Shamsul-Muluk, who was a granddaughter of Fath Ali Shah of Persia. He was also a highly sophisticated diplomat, who exercised a significant influence in international affairs, becoming President of the League of Nations. He second wife was Italian, Cleope Teresa Magliano and a dancer with the Ballet Opera of Monte Carlo. She did not convert to Islam, nor did his third wife, Andrée Joséphine Carron from France and co-owner of a Parisian boutique.
His fourth wife, by contrast, was a French tram conductor's daughter and was 29 years younger then him. He named her Mata Salamat though she was born, Yvonne Blanche Labrousse. Her conversion to Islam demonstrated her continuing support for the Aga Khan’s spiritual mission
The brother of the Aga Khan III Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, was the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations’ Coordinator for assistance to Afghanistan and United Nations’ Executive Delegate of Iraq-Turkey border areas.
Prince Aly Khan, (1911–1960) married his first wife, Princess Tajuddawlah Aly Khan, formerly the Hon. Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller. Prince Aly Khān later married Rita Hayworth - with whom he had a daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. Prince Aly Khan, was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
His Highness the Aga Khan, is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. He was born Prince Karim Aga Khan on December 13, 1936, in Geneva. He spent his early childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, and then attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland. He graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with a BA Honors Degree in Islamic history. He skied for Iran n the 1964 Olympic Games.
He married Princess Salimah who was born, as Sarah Frances Croker-Poole in 1969. The Aga Khan married for the second time to Gabriele zu Leiningen, whose title was Princess Gabriele from her first marriage to Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen. The Princess assumed the name Begum Inaara Aga Khan and both Begums continued to work for the Aga Khan Development Network and other charitable causes.
The Aga Khan’s adult children are all closely involved with the work of the the Aga Khan Development Network.The Aga Khan’s brother, Prince Amyn, joined the United Nations Secretariat following in the family tradition of international service.
Over the years, the Aga Khan has received numerous decorations, honorary degrees, and awards in recognition of the various dimensions of his work. He has received civilian decorations on one or more occasions from the governments. As part of the commemoration of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Golden Jubilee which began on 11th July 2007, he has been paying official visits to some 35 countries, using these occasions to recognise the friendship and longstanding support of leaders of state, government and other partners in the work of the Ismaili Imamat. The dynasty and its active mission exemplifies the outstanding work across cultures that a monarchy is capable of, but this is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that this community and its leader, are without any territory at all.
ITBA special recognition award for the Aga Khan
By Bloodstock World Staff 8:06AM 27 MAY 2012
THE Aga Khan was on hand at the Curragh on Saturday to receive the ITBA Special Recognition Award at the ITBA Regional Awards for Kildare and Dublin, sponsored by Barrett Quigley Financial Limited.
The award - a plaque highlighting his Irish-bred Group 1 winners - was in recognition of the outstanding success enjoyed by the Aga Khan since he took control of his family's bloodstock in 1960. A number of champions have carried his famous green and red silks since then, among them Zarkava, Dalakhani, Shergar and Sinndar.
Excelebration: bred by John Tuthill's Owenstown Stud
PICTURE:Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Harry Reilly, a well known figure at the sales, won the Award for Contribution to the Industry. Reilly has spent 50 years in the industry, working with the likes of George Weld, Christy Grassick and Jim Bolger, and is now an important member of the sales team at the Castlebridge Consignment.
The Small Breeder Award went to Des Leadon and Dr Mariann Klay of Swordlestown Little. Established in 2001 near Naas, the operation made its mark in 2011 as the breeder of high-class juvenile Lilbourne Lad.
The leading two-year-old award was received by the breeders of Dewhurst Stakes fourth Most Improved, Skymarc Farm Inc. and Ecurie des Monceaux, while the leading three-year-old award went to the Group 1-winning miler Excelebration, bred by John Tuthill's Owenstown Stud.
Hurricane Fly, bred by Paolo Caiani at Holyhill Stud, was named leading jumps horse.
17:10 30/06/2012ALL NEWS
Lavrov meets Prince Aga Khan IV in Geneva
TASS-TVGENEVA, June 30 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with His Highness Prince Karim Aga Kham IV, global leader of the Ismaili Muslim community, in Geneva on Saturday.
“The meeting was held at the Russian permanent mission at the United Nations,” a Russian diplomat told Itar-Tass.
Aga Khan IV is founder and sponsor of many charitable projects, which are being carried out in many countries, including in Central Asian states. Under his leadership the Aga Khan Development Network operates. Several social, economic, educational and cultural institutions function under his auspices.
The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Hon. Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa (MP), welcomes His Highness the Aga Khan, the Imam of the Nizari Ismaili Community, upon his arrival at the Julius Nyerere International Airport today in Dar es Salaam. Hon. Kawambwa went on behalf of Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who had previous engagement of a meeting in China. The Nizari Ismaili community is a denomination of Ismailism within Shia Islam and consists of approximately 5-15 million adherents (under 10% of the world's Shia Muslim population).
Hon. Dr. Kawambwa and His Highness the Aga Khan in light talks upon his arrival at the Julius Nyerere International Airport. Other on the photo is Mr. Amin Kurji (left) who is the Country Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network.
His Highness the Aga Khan exchanging few words with Hon. Dr. Kawambwa. High Highness the Aga Khan is on the official visit to Tanzania for two days from July 17 to 18, 2012.
Hon. Dr. Kawambwa welcomes again His Highness the Aga Khan before departing to His Highness the Aga Khan's residence located in Oysterbay, Dar es Salaam.
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