Minister Kenney issues statement recognizing Khushiali
Ottawa, July 11, 2012 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement recognizing Khushiali (Imamat Day):
“Every year on this date, Ismailis in Canada and around the world celebrate the anniversary of the accession of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan as Imam of the Shi’a Ismaili Muslims. His Highness assumed the Imamat in 1957, exactly 55 years ago today.
“Canadians are privileged by our close connection with the Aga Khan and his important work. This may be best exemplified by the fact that His Highness is one of only five people in history to have ever been awarded honourary Canadian citizenship.
“Next year, the Aga Khan museum is scheduled to open in Toronto. It will house some of the most important works of Islamic Art in the world, and will serve as a great centre of culture and education.
“The Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa is another example of the Aga Khan’s visionary international leadership. This research and education centre, focused on deepening the world’s ability to understand and practice pluralism, was founded by His Highness, in collaboration with the Government of Canada. The Aga Khan picked Canada as home for this Centre because of our country’s great success as a pluralist society.
“Prime Minister Harper has praised the Aga Khan’s initiatives, noting that his ‘name has become synonymous with humanitarian aid and development in countries beset by conflict and poverty. Just as importantly, he has worked tirelessly as a bridge-builder between faiths and cultures.’
“Khushiali is a time of great celebration for the Ismaili community. It also offers all Canadians a chance to reflect on the extraordinary achievements of the Aga Khan, and on the contributions of Canadian Ismailis to our society.
“As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I offer warm congratulations to His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on the 55th anniversary of his accession as Imam, and sincere appreciation for his tremendous contributions to our country.
GILGIT/CHITRAL, July 10: The Ismaili community in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral are observing the 55th Imamat Day on Wednesday.
Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, ascended the Imamat on July 11, 1957, upon the death of his uncle and the 48th Imam Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III.
As usual, this year too elaborated arrangements have been made to celebrate the event in a befitting manner.
Various programmes have been chalked out to give the event a special colour. In Gilgit-Baltistan, vintage points and mountains have been illuminated on the occasion. Special religious gatherings would be held in all the Jamat Khanas in both Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.
In Garam Chashma, Upper Chitral, Hunza and adjacent areas where the community is settled, colorful events would also take place. Besides, musical programmes and sports festivals will also mark the day.
The government of Gilgit-Baltistan has announced a local holiday in connection with the day.
The chief minister, Mehdi Shah, has directed the Water and Power Department to make sure that there is no power loadshedding, so that the community could enjoy the celebrations without any hardship. Strict security measures have been adopted by the police and administration to avoid any untoward incident.
This year, the tenure of the current Mukhis and Kamadias of Jamat Khanas will end and the names of the new officials will be announced on July 11, who will resume their duties on July 12.
Role of His Highness the Aga Khan in development of GB is remarkable: Mehdi Shah
GB Chief Minister cutting a cake to celebrate the Imamat Day in memory of the day 55 years (11 July 1957) ago when His Highness became Imam of the Ismaili community.
Gilgit, July 11: The role of His Highness the Aga Khan in development of Gilgit – Baltistan is remarkable and others should follow it. Sir Aga Khan III played a leading role in the movement for creation of Pakistan as President of the All India Muslim League.
These views were expressed by GB Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah while addressing a ceremony organized to commemorate the 55th Imamat Day of His Highness the Aga Khan.
The Chief Minister also praised the Ismaili community for their ‘peacefulness and discipline’. He said that the Ismaili community has played an important role in promoting harmony across the region.
He invited His Highness the Aga Khan to visit Baltistan in the future.
It is for the first time that the Imamat Day of the Aga Khan was celebrated at official level at the Chief Minister House. Also present at the occasion were members of the GBLA and notables of the city, including Ismaili leaders.
The Ismaili community also celebrated the day with great zeal and zest in Hunza, Ghizar, Skardu and Gilgit. Different programmes were held to pay tributes to the leadership of His Highness.
A cake-cutting ceremony was also held in Gilgit in which a group of the workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party paid tribute to His Highness.
The Gilgit-Baltistan government had announced holiday on the occasion of Prince Karim Agha Khan's birthday. Ceremonies were also held in Hunza, Ghizer and Skardu in connection with Karim Agha Khan's birthday
Statement by Liberal Leader Bob Rae on Imamat Day
Posted on July 11, 2012
EDMONTON – Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on the occasion of Imamat Day
“Today, on Imamat Day, we come together as Canadians to commemorate and celebrate the 55th anniversary of the ascension of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV to the Ismaili Imamat.
Over the past 55 years, the Aga Khan has become a global leader in development and humanitarian aid, committed to sharing his compassion with those who need it most. His promotion of tolerance and pluralism have helped make the world a better place.
Joining with Ismailis across Canada, His Highness has worked tirelessly to promote dialogue and inclusivity across Canada’s many cultural communities for decades. The Delegation of Ismaili Imamat and the Aga Khan Museum stand as a testament to his commitment to peaceful co-existence.
As Canadians, we pride ourselves on multiculturalism, and share the same principles and commitment to fundamental human rights as His Highness. We are truly proud to call him a great friend, and delighted to celebrate this important milestone today with him.
On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, please accept my best wishes. Kushiali Mubarak!”
ISLAMABAD, July 12 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari has greeted Prince Karim Agha Khan on 56 years of his Imamat. Prince Karim Agha Khan IV became the Spiritual leader of the Ismaili community at the age of 20, on July 11, 1957. In his greeting message, the President while lauding social services of Prince Agha Khan across the world particularly for the people of Pakistan for poverty eradication, economic uplift of the poor, education, women empowerment and socio-economic development of the poor strata of society, prayed for his long life, good health and prosperity. The President also invited him to visit Pakistan at his convenience.
When thinking about the meaning of Imamat, I remember an incident recorded by many Muslim historians that I once wrote about in one of my articles. It occurred at the time of Mawlana Zain al-Abidin.
It was the time of the Hajj, and throngs of pilgrims had gathered in Mecca. The mighty prince, Hisham bin Abd al-Malik, the heir to the throne of the Umayyad caliphate, was also present. He had arrived with his retinue of courtiers and servants. Among them was the al-Farazdaq, a panegyrist for the Umayyads and one of the most renowned Arab poets of all time. The royal party circled the holy Ka'ba with the other pilgrims. Prince Hisham tried in vain to reach the sacred Black Stone of the Ka'ba and to touch the holy relic, but despite his aristocratic status, the masses of pilgrims ignored him and would not let him through. He therefore moved aside until such a time as the crowd would disperse.
At that moment, Prince Hisham's entourage noticed that all the people parted reverently and lovingly to make way for a dignified looking figure. It was Prophet Muhammad's great-grandson, our Imam, Mawlana Zayn al-Abidin, who easily approached the stone and kissed it. Deeply offended and jealous at the greater respect given by the pilgrims to the newly arrived personage, the Umayyad prince feigned ignorance of the Imam's identity and asked sarcastically "Who is this?"
Hearing the disparaging remark, al-Farazdaq boldly stepped before the Umayyad prince and spontaneously composed the following poetic rejoinder, which has since been considered a masterpiece of Arabic literature. On the occasion of Imamat Day, this poem tells us something about who the Imam is. I have translated part of it below:
Who is This?
This is he whose very footsteps are known to the valley of Mecca!
The surrounding land, the sanctuary and the sacred House itself know him well
This is the child of the best of all God's servants
Peerless, pious, pure and pristine
Are you ignorant of who he is? He is the son of Fatima
God's prophets were sealed with his grandfather
Your words, "Who is this?" harm him not
For Arabs and non-Arabs, all know well the one of whom you feign ignorance
His liberal hands, ever-generous like the bounteous rain clouds
Shower abundantly, untouched by want
So gentle and mild, there is no fear of outbursts
For two ornaments adorn him: charming character and delightful disposition
He has embraced all creatures in his favours
Such that their gloom is dispelled, their poverty and privation put to flight
When the Quraysh see him, their locutor proclaims:
Nobility culminates in his noblesse
He lowers his gaze in modesty, while others do so in awe of him
A smile always accompanies his speech
Recognizing his touch, the Ka'ba's wall
Almost leaps forth to greet his hand
God exalted and ennobled him in pre-eternity
For the Pen decreed this for him on His Tablet
The vestments of darkness are rent asunder by the light of his forehead
As night's gloom vanishes before the glorious rays of the rising sun
If you would like to read the remainder of the poem, you can find it at this link (it will take the page a few moments to load):
On this Imamat Day, may you and your dear ones be blessed by the hand of the Imam, ever-generous like the bounteous rain clouds, by the light of whose forehead the vestments of darkness are rent asunder, and in whose presence night's gloom vanishes before the glorious rays of the rising sun….ameen.
With warmest wishes and Khushali Mubarak,
Dr. Shafique N. Virani
Chair, Department of Historical Studies
University of Toronto Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies
University of Toronto related correspondence: email@example.com
All other correspondence:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Aga Khan Development Network celebrated the 55th Imamat Day promising to engage in more development activities in the country.The network is pledging to support the country’s development blueprint, Vision 2030
Throughout history, Ismaili Muslims have been led by a living, hereditary Imam-of-the-Time descended from the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) through his cousin and son-in-law, Hazrat Ali, and his daughter, Hazrat Bibi Fatima.
On 13 December 2012, Ismailis around the world will celebrate the 76th birthday of our present living Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan. Born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1936, he succeeded his grandfather to become the 49th Ismaili Imam at the age of 20. During the five decades of his Imamat, Mawlana Hazar Imam has devoted himself to the spiritual and worldly progress of Ismailis everywhere.
The celebration of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s birthday is an occasion for Ismailis to reflect on the unique spiritual bond that links each murid to Hazar Imam. It also affords the Jamat an opportunity to express its love, loyalty and devotion to the Imamat, which binds the Ismaili community together as one.
Minister Kenney issues statement celebrating Khushiali
December 13, 2012
I wish to extend my warmest wishes to His Highness, Prince Karim, the Aga Khan, on occasion of his birthday, and Salgirah Khushiali Mubarak to Canada’s Ismaili Muslim community.
Under the Aga Khan’s leadership, there has been a revitalization of social, cultural, and economic institutions all over the world, and important humanitarian development projects.
On several occasions, I have had the opportunity to meet with His Highness, to discuss matters of mutual interest including pluralism and human rights. Earlier this year, we had the privilege of hosting His Highness in my home province of Alberta. Moreover, our government continues to work closely with His Highness to establish the unique Global Centre for Pluralism in our nation’s Capital.
Just last month, I was privileged to see the Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, Egypt, one of many extraordinary projects in the Aga Khan Development Network. The area includes not only the rehabilitation of historic Islamic structures and open green space in one of the world’s most crowded cities, but also provides numerous economic opportunities for the people of Cairo. It is just one of the Aga Khan’s many development projects in Asia and Africa.
I wish his High Highness, the Aga Khan, a very happy birthday, and thank him for his continuing contributions to the global community.
76th birthday of Prince Karim Agha Khan celebrated
KARACHI/TALHAR - The 76th birthday of spiritual leader of Ismailis, Prince Karim Agha Khan, was celebrated throughout the country with zeal and fervor on Thursday.
Candles were lighted in the Ismaili community centres to observe the sanctity of Muharram-ul-Haram, while the Ismailis prayed for the peace, prosperity and safety of Pakistan.
Prince Karim Agha Khan is 49th Imam of Ismaili sect and also head of the Agha Khan Foundation and Agha Khan Development Network contributing to many humanitarian and social service projects undergoing in the country.
SELECTION OF TWEETS FROM MEMBERS OF CANADA’S PARLIAMENT
Honorable Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Salgirah Khushiali Mubarak to everyone in Canada’s #Ismaili Muslim community! bit.ly/UcP79n—
Jason Kenney (@kenneyjason) December 13, 2012
Honorable Bob Rae, MP for Toronto Centre
Want to wish a very happy birthday to the Aga Khan – liberal.ca/newsroom/news-…—
Bob Rae (@bobraeMP) December 13, 2012
Honorable Jim Karygiannis Privy Councillor Member of Parliament Scarborough-Agincourt
76th Birthday of His Highness Aga Khan IV Statement for the by the Honourable Jim Karygiannis
(@jimkarygiannis) December 13, 2012
SELECTION OF TWEETS FROM MEMBERS OF VARIOUS CANADIAN PROVINCIAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES
Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia
Wishing His Highness the Aga Khan a very happy birthday today. ow.ly/g4X1U—
Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) December 13, 2012
John Yap, BC Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation, Technology and Multiculturalism
Best wishes on the celebration of the birth of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV;2day his 76th birthday #Diversity tinyurl.com/abqtwpo—
John Yap (@John_Yap) December 14, 2012
Jane Thornthwaite, Member of the BC Legislative Assembly for North Vancouver
Happy Birthday to His Highness The Aga Khan! ow.ly/g5nbc—
Jane Thornthwaite (@jthornthwaite) December 13, 2012
SELECTION OF TWEETS FROM THE MEDIA
Patricia Graham, Vice President, Pacific Newspaper Group
BC honours the Aga Khan on the occasion of his 76th birthday ow.ly/g5v1Q—
Patricia Graham (@patriciagraham) December 14, 2012
The Dardistan Times
Mubarak to the #Ismailies around the World. Happy Birthday to Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, A.K.A the #Aga Khan http://t.co/psyBdEJ9—
The Dardistan Times (@dardistantimes) December 13, 2012
The Pamir Times
Heartfelt greetings to all our Ismaili readers on the occasion of the Salgirah (bitrthday) of His Highness the Aga Khan (IV).—
(@pamirtimes) December 13, 2012
The Lahore Times
76th birthday of Prince Karim Aga Khan celebrated lhrtimes.com/2012/12/14/76t…—
The Lahore Times (@lhrtimes) December 13, 2012
Minister John Yap's statement on Aga Khan Birthday
I would like to extend my best wishes to the Ismaili community and all those celebrating the birth of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV on his 76th birthday.
Today is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the deeds of His Highness as one of the most prominent and influential spiritual leaders in the world who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for others regardless of faith, ethnicity or gender.
Through the Aga Khan Foundation, His Highness has committed to find sustainable solutions to the complex problems causing global poverty while the Aga Khan Development Network focuses on environment, health, education, culture, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalization of historic cities.
His Highness's influence extends beyond his own community. In Canada, not only does His Highness connect with Ismailis but his work has helped countless others through the Canadian branch of the Aga Khan Development Network.
As we commemorate the birth of His Highness, we also celebrate our province's rich cultural diversity, one that preserves the culture and heritage of others.
On behalf of all British Columbians, I congratulate those celebrating the birth of High Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan!
Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism
Statement on the Birthday of His Highness The Aga Khan
VICTORIA - To mark this occasion, Premier Christy Clark has issued the following statement:
"It is a pleasure to congratulate His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan on the occasion of his birthday.
"For millions of Ismailis around the globe, His Highness provides spiritual guidance, but since becoming the Aga Khan over 50 years ago, has also become one of the world's greatest statesmen. His work to build bridges across religious and ethnic divides has resulted in real change. His Highness also has been a tireless advocate for peace, prosperity, and equality.
"His Highness has touched many lives in Canada and British Columbia, not least through his non-profit foundations, including the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. I personally look forward to the Aga Khan Partnership Walk each May, which supports his goal of ending global poverty.
"In one of the most diverse provinces in one of the most diverse countries in the world, the Aga Khan has provided real leadership, and an example of the difference kindness, generosity, and tolerance can make.
"I know I speak on behalf of all British Columbians when I thank His Highness for everything he has done, and join with the Ismaili community in wishing His Highness a very happy birthday."
Office of the Premier
Ismailis celebrate Aga Khan’s birthday
Report Waqar Ahmed
CHITRAL, Dec 13: The Ismaili community in Chitral celebrated the 76th birthday of their spiritual leader, Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Aga Khan IV with great pomp and show and enthusiasm on Thursday.
A Salgirah cake is being cut in Chitral.
Reports received here from different parts of Chitral, especially Yarkhun valley, Laspur, Mastuj, Booni, Garam Chashma, Arkari, Madaklasht etc., said that special congregations were held to celebrate the event. On this occasion, cakes were cut in houses and religious organizations and offices. People said bakery and other shops saw huge rush of buyers in Chitral, Mastuj and Booni for about three days. Chiraghan were held on Wednesday and Thursday nights in all the villages populated by the Ismaili community. In many areas, people also gathered to hold musical programmes. This year, in Chitral, all the AKDN organizations, including AKES schools and colleges, also made special arrangements to celebrate the Salgirah.
In Chitral town, Booni, Mastuj and other areas where mobile phones services are available, the Ismailis sent each other SMS wishing Saligarah Mubarak. Even those from other communities also wished the Ismailis happy Salgirah.
BIRTHDAY: His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan feted by B.C. premier, Ismaili community
The Ismaili community across British Columbia will gather for a prayer Thursday evening to recognize His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s 76th birthday.
“It’s a very important time for everyone to celebrate and reflect on the vast work that His Highness has undertaken around the world,” said Ali Solehdin, a volunteer from within the Ismaili community.
The now 76-year-old Ismaili spiritual leader is believed to be a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad and is the 49th Imam of the Ismailis. He’s developed the Aga Khan Development Network, which has helped numerous people in developing parts of the world as well as the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
It’s already been a memorable year for the Ismaili community as they recognized 40 years in Canada since they were expelled from Uganda in 1972.
Honourary Counsel of Uganda, John Halani, attributes much of B.C.’s multiculturalism to the Aga Khan’s work.
“Forty years ago he did meet the Prime Minister of Canada (so) people from Uganda (could) come here,” he said. “That’s how we all came down to settle in Canada – partly because of him.”
If he hadn’t have paved the way, Halani may not be in Canada today.
And since their arrival, His Highness has provided guidance.
“We appreciate the guidance that he has given to the community,” he said. “A lot of advice that he gives to us is to be involved in the community and involved in the face of the province, of the country.”
Premier Christy Clark also extended her best wishes as well.
“In one of the most diverse provinces in one of the most diverse countries in the world, the Aga Khan has provided real leadership, and an example of the difference kindness, generosity, and tolerance can make,” Clark said in a release. “I know I speak on behalf of all British Columbians when I thank His Highness for everything he has done, and join with the Ismaili community in wishing His Highness a very happy birthday.”
An evening prayer will be held in his honour in many community centres and jamatkhanas Thursday night.
Statement on the 76th Birthday of His Highness Aga Khan IV
Posted on December 12, 2012
76th Birthday of His Highness Aga Khan IV
Statement by Joyce Murray, Member of Parliament for
Vancouver Quadra and Liberal Critic for Small Business and Tourism
It is with great pleasure that I extend my best wishes to His Highness Shah Karim al-Hussayni, the fourth Aga Khan and 49th Imam of Ismaili Islam, on the occasion of his 76th birthday.
Since becoming the Aga Khan in 1957, Prince Karim has been an inspiration to Ismaili Muslims and others around the world. He has worked tirelessly to promote both religious and racial tolerance. His strong belief in education has inspired young Ismaili people around the world to achieve post-secondary educational success.
In 1967, His Highness the Aga Khan founded the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) as a private, not-for-profit international development agency. The Aga Khan Foundation seeks to provide long-term solutions to problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill health in the poorest parts of South and Central Asia; Eastern and Western Africa; and, the Middle East. The Aga Khan Foundation works in close conjunction with The Aga Khan Development Network, a group of development agencies with mandates that include the environment; health; education; architecture; culture; microfinance; rural development; disaster reduction; the promotion of private-sector enterprise; and, the revitalization of historic cities. The Aga Khan Foundation and the Aga Khan Development Network agencies conduct their programs without regard to faith, origin or gender.
In Canada, His Highness has inspired Ismailis to work with the broader community in raising significant funds for worthwhile causes, helping many Canadians. On June 6, 2005, His Highness was recognized as an Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
Congratulations to all my friends in the Ismaili Community – it is a pleasure to wish His Highness the best of success and many happy returns.
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