Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:11 am Post subject: Authority & Nur (light), of Imam in Quran & Farmans
Who is His Highness the Aga Khan, what is His authority, and how does he exercises his authority, and his leadership. Without understanding this it is not possible, to understand Ismailism or the Ismaili Muslim faith, practices and prayers.
Authority is a right which comes from a position of leadership. Leadership is much more that giving orders and enforcing them. The Aga Khan is first and foremost a religious Leader, an Imam , guiding over 15 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide. This guidance is called Farmans . His authority and position are derived from the Quran, which has come from Allah (God), through Prophet Mohammed. The first Ismaili Imam, was appointed by Prophet Mohammed with authority to continue the interpretation, and teaching of the Quran. This is a divinely ordained mandate, to light the way for all those who seek, called believers or murids. To the Imam they are all his beloved spiritual children.
Imam is therefore an inheritor, intercessor & trustee, to continue the interpretations36 (Tawil), and teaching36 (Talim), of the Qur’an. This has been explained by the Imam, in the Ismaili constitution, and in many Farmans. An example is;
“The Imam must direct Ismailis on the practice of their religion and constantly interpret the Qur’an for them according to our theology. On the spiritual plane, the Imam’s authority is absolute. Ismailis believe therefore that what the Imam says is the only true interpretation possible.
There is a difference between Divinity and Divine or divinely ordained authority. Imams do not claim divinity. Prophet Mohammed never claimed Divinity. According to Ismaili Muslims, Prophet Mohammed passed on authority, by appointing Imam Ali, as the inheritor and a successor. Imam’s guidance is for all who seek, and submit to his guidance. Therefore Farmans are never blocked or edited by the Imams
“You have to be very careful not to confuse the concept of religious authority with divinity. The Prophet himself never claimed any miracle of any sort. The only miracle which you have in Islam is the Qur’an”. (The Aga Khan)
Imam gives his guidance in many forms. He does so by acting, & also by not acting. His spiritual children seek, and submit to obey his guidance/Farmans. In return they receive Farmans and blessings. The ultimate is receiving spiritual enlightenment. The giving of allegiance and receviving of Farmans is in efffect a contract between the Imam and his spiritual children (the seekers, individually and collectively). The legality of this Bayah, and contract is unquestionable for Ismaili Imams and Muslims
In the Quran, Allah, asks believers to send their prayers, through Prophet Mohammed. Prophet appointed Imams Ali, as the first Imam of Ismaili Muslims. He has said “Truly, ‘Ali is from me and I am from him, and he is the walī (spiritual master) of every believer after me.” Ismaili Muslims send their prayers through their Imam to Allah. Because they believe their Imam is the bearer of the light, as an inheritor, intercessor, and legatee, with divine authority. Imam is present in this world in perpetuity.
The continuity of the authority of Ismaili Imams is by hereditary appointment from one Imam to another. This appointment is twofold. First it is that of the Imam’s light (Nur). This has and will remain the same. Secondly and simultaneously is a physical succession, as from a father to a son. This appointment or accession is also referred to as a Nass
His Highness has confirmed he is a bearer of the Nur, which means Light This Nur, is by direct and linear descent from Prophet Mohammed. He has also confirmed that 2000 years before creation Prophet Mohammed and Imam Ali were one light20 (Nur). Bearer of the light means, bearer of divinely ordained authority rooted in knowledge, from which emanate blessings of Farmans2, which is the Imams tawil36 and talim.
Allah’s (God’s). guidance on earth, has always been communicated to mankind, through those living amongst them. Guidance/Farmans, from Imams is valid, unless changed with a new Farman, by any Imam.
Imam has the sole prerogative to give, and change Farmans.
The Authority and Leadership of the Imam (Imamat), must not be confused with worldly or religious Institutions bearing the names of Imam, (including Imam’s, Office and Imam’s secretariat, Imamat or Aga Khan. The bear the name, not the divine authority or Nur. They are constitutional entities for governance, dissemination, & education. The management, and mandates of these entities are distinct and separate from the person of the Imam, and his Nur.
The Ismaili constitutional entities are run by those appointed, under the Ismaili constitution. Not all are appointed personally by the Imam. This is delegated in the Ismaili constitution. These entities are also called “Imamat institutions” or the “Institutions of His Highness the Aga Khan”. They are confused with the Imam, and the exercise of his divine authority as Imam of the time. The senior leadership have given the impression that all they do is personally approved and authorized by the Imam.
Ismaili community Institutions are worldly manifestation of and from Farmans. They are independent of Imam and the making of his farmans. This is misunderstood and used by some of the senior Leaders to make people believe thtt their decisions instructions and interpretation equate to Farmans or are authority coming directly from the Aga Khan. That is not true. I have explained this bureacratisation under the Ismaili constitution. Most do not understand this.
Imams guidance lights the way of the seeker32 towards spiritual enlightenment. This is the ultimate goal for every Ismaili Muslim. This is only possible through seeking and sincere submission to Imams Farmans (Guidance). The following is from the Institute of Ismaili studies in London.
“A believer who sincerely submits to the Imam's guidance2 may potentially attain the knowledge of self. The tradition attributed to both the Prophet and Imam Ali: ‘He who knows himself, knows his Lord’ (God), conveys the essence of this relationship between the Imam and his follower. The Shia thus place obedience to the Imams after that to God and the Prophet by virtue of the command in the Quran for Muslims to obey those vested with authority*.” (* Imams for Ismaili Muslims - Ismaili Imamat )
Therefore, having Farmans and understanding them is fundamental, and the very essence of the Ismaili Muslim faith. Imam has given clear guidance to have, read understand, and share knowledge in Farmans. And he has said that If any of his spiritual children have any doubt, then they are to seek Farmans of the Imam.
"Imam" means His Highness the Aga Khan IV (the "Aga Khan") or any of his predecessors depending on the year of reference. There is a variety of understanding of the status of the Imam by his followers depending on their knowledge and personal experience, but the Imam is generally accepted as the "Mazhar" [Epiphany] of God. (Nagib Tajdin)
The Light-Nur of Imams is one and eternal "My words are the words of my father, and the words of my father are the words of my grandfather, and the words of my grandfather are the words of my great grandfathers, Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn, and their words are the words of Imam Ali, and the words of Imam Ali are the words of Prophet Muhammad (pbut) and (finally) the words of Prophet Muhammad are the words of God the Almighty, the Great. (Imam al Sadiq) * Usul al Kafi, Book 2, Chapter 17, Tradition 14
"We are the hujjah (proof) of God and His Gate. We are the tongue as well as the Face of God; we are the Eyes of God [guarding] His creation and we are the Guardians of the Divine Command (wulat al-amr) on earth.” Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought (Institute of Ismaili studies.
Imam In general usage, Imam means a leader of prayers or a religious leader. For Ismaili Muslims, Imams are their spiritual and hereditary leaders who are direct descendants of Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib and Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH), daughter, Fatima. (source Institute of Ismaili studies).
Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:15 am Post subject: More on Imams direct descent and proofs ...
The role and the divinely ordained appointment and authority of the Ismaili Imams needs to be understood. more Proofs of the divinely ordained authority & Nur which was is and will remain the same. more at
I am re posting my views on the topic as Admin has moved the article posted by Mr. Mahebub Chatur from 'Ismaili Law Documents' thread to Doctrines thread.
I agree with the following 3 paragraphs written by Mahebub Chatur on the topic of Imamat. It is true Imam is Noor of Allah, Mazhar of Allah, Hujjat of Allah, he is true guide, he is intercessor, he is trustee, he is door to Allah (Baabullah), he is shaheed (witness), that's why he is called 'Ainullah. Mowla Ali said," ANA AINULLAH ". (Koukab Durri)
Mahebub Chatur wrote;
"Authority is a right which comes from a position of leadership. Leadership is much more that giving orders and enforcing them. The Aga Khan is first and foremost a religious Leader, an Imam , guiding over 15 million Ismaili Muslims worldwide. This guidance is called Farmans . His authority and position are derived from the Quran, which has come from Allah (God), through Prophet Mohammed. The first Ismaili Imam, was appointed by Prophet Mohammed with authority to continue the interpretation, and teaching of the Quran. This is a divinely ordained mandate, to light the way for all those who seek, called believers or murids. To the Imam they are all his beloved spiritual children".
"Imam is therefore an inheritor, intercessor & trustee, to continue the interpretations (Tawil), and teaching (Talim), of the Qur’an. This has been explained by the Imam, in the Ismaili constitution, and in many Farmans.
"There is a difference between Divinity and Divine or divinely ordained authority. IMAMS DO NOT CLAIM DIVINITY. PROPHET MUHAMMAD NEVER CLAIMED DIVINITY. According to Ismaili Muslims, Prophet Mohammed passed on authority, by appointing Imam Ali, as the inheritor and a successor. Imam’s guidance is for all who seek, and submit to his guidance".
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