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Authority & Nur (light), of Imam in Quran & Farmans

 
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mahebubchatur



Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:11 am    Post subject: Authority & Nur (light), of Imam in Quran & Farmans Reply with quote

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).

By M Chatur© 5 Jan 2019


Last edited by mahebubchatur on Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:43 am, edited 4 times in total
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mahebubchatur



Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:15 am    Post subject: More on Imams direct descent and proofs ... Reply with quote

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

ismailignosis.com/2016/07/09/the-aga-khans-direct-descent-from-prophet-muhammad-historical-proof/

ismailignosis.com/2018/02/26/the-concept-of-imamat-in-the-quran/
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mahebubchatur



Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:13 am    Post subject: Ismaili Muslims have a duty to read & share Farmans Reply with quote

Hazar Imam and Imams have said that every Ismaili Muslim has a duty to seek, read, understand and share his Talim and tawil ( Farmans).
Link to these Farmans to share and Be his Dais
http://ismaili.net/timeline/2018/101-proofs-chatur.pdf
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mahebubchatur



Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:22 am    Post subject: More posts and discussion on Imamat Reply with quote

Link http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=636
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6085

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a shadow of the thread. The thread has been moved t Doctrine section. Please continue the discussion there.
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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mahebubchatur



Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:37 am    Post subject: Religious “Deedar“ congregation & Prayers in Imam’s pres Reply with quote

Ismaili Muslim religious Deedar prayers. Deedars are Holy congregational prayers performed in the presence of Hazar Imam of the time , H H The Aga Khan

These holy Prayers are also a reaffirmation of the Imam’s divinely ordained Authority, & allegiance (Bayah) given to the Imam by his followers.

This congregational prayers and religious ceremony begins with a Recitation of a Ginan (Hymn). This forms a part of the Imam Talim and Tawil (teachings and interpretations of the Quran by Imams after Prophet Mohammed.

This is followed by a recitation of a few verses from the Quran.

Then begins the handing of, and acceptances by the Imam of the Insignias of “Imamat”

First
The Gold Chain of Office of Imamat. This signifies the continuity of the authority and eternal & one Noor (light) of all Imams, in perpetuity

Second
The Holy Qur’an, which are the messages of Allah to Mankind which Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was asked by Allah to deliver.

Third
The Ismaili Constitution. This was ordained by the Imam of the time for all his Murids to obey, implement and benefit.

Fourth
The Inkwell - a symbol an Alid-Fatimid and Ismaili Muslim tradition of the Intellect and Knowledge to serve Mankind

Fifth
A Ceremonial Sword from the time of the Prophet and Hazrat Ali. This symbolises the defence of the faith and its values, and of the protection of the weak and of dispensation of justice for all.

Sixth
Parasol of Fabric, matching the Imam’s ceremonial attire & Robe. This represents Imam’s Divinely Ordained Authority

Seventh
A Farmangiven by the Imam to the congregation (Guidance and blessings). This Is for and to be relayed to all Ismaili Muslims.

The following renewal and reaffirmation of allegiance were given to the Imam.

“Oh Imam e Zaman, We and the Jamat all over the world stand before you, and  we make these solemn pledges;

1                 We pledge our unreserved spiritual allegiance. 
2                 We pledge our absolute loyalty and we submit to you as our Imam, Pir, and Murshid to lead us along  siratul mustaquim
3                 We pledge and submit our entire love devotion and dedication
4                 We pledge our obedience, Oh  bearer of true authority in direct  succession to  Prophet Muhammed Hazrat Ali and Bibi Fatima (PBUT)
5                 We pledge to extend our unreserved and unconditional support to all your endeavours for the Jamat’s spiritual and material progress, and wellbeing
6                 We pledge our total support for your work in the cause of  Islam,  our faith of  peace love compassion and human dignity.”

(These were given by the appointed Chairman who also presented a Scroll of these affirmations to the Imam) (GJ - LIF speech at start of GJ)

These religious prayers were performed at the start of the Golden Jubilee (and of the Diamond Jubilee)

During other Deedars in Diamond Jubilee, Hazar Imam comes to the religious hall where there is a special suite, to change into ceremonial attire. The following are the Deedar prayers Which are then performed.

1. Recitation of Religious Invocations & Prayers
2. Ginan recitation
3. Recitation of Quran - few verses
4. Farman - blessings and guidance given by Imam
5. mehmanis and Abe Shifa offerings prayers and blessings from Imam
6. Nazrana- collective offering for blessings and guidance to the Imam
7. Farman - blessings and Guidance from Imam
8. Recitation of Religious invocations & prayers

More details on meaning and significance of Deedars and Divinely ordained Authority

Meaning and significance of Deedars

http://ismaili.net/source/didar-meaning.pdf

Imams’ Divinely ordained Authority and Divinity

http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=9224








 
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deedars are not prayers. They are the visions or appearance of the Imam either in his physical presence or in a spiritual pursuits.

The sequence of events you mentioned don't happen in all the deedars.

The Qur'an verses are recited before the recitation of Ginan verses.
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mahebubchatur



Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
Deedars are not prayers. They are the visions or appearance of the Imam either in his physical presence or in a spiritual pursuits.

The sequence of events you mentioned don't happen in all the deedars.

The Qur'an verses are recited before the recitation of Ginan verses.


Thank you. It will help if you can clarify the other sequences and reasons for the differences

Here is an article on the meaning and significance of Deedars. Deedar in its literal narrow meaning like Darshan does not explain Deedar according to the Shia Ismaili Muslim faith tradition and interpretation.

I wrote an article elucidating this in more detail with related Farmans etc.

Link http://ismaili.net/source/didar-meaning.pdf
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Admin



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How is Didar defined by the Imam in his Farmans (except BK - no BK Farman allowed here). I remember vaguely there is a Farman of Sultan Muhammad Shah in this regard. Actually he has made more than one farmans on this topic.
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mahebubchatur



Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 289

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:00 pm    Post subject: Imam’s Guidance on Best Practices and Inclusive Management Reply with quote

A new referenced article Best Practice and Inclusive Leadership- Based on Guidances and Foresight’s of His Highness The Aga Khan - Hazar Imam

http://ismaili.net/source/chatur-best-practice.pdf
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mahebubchatur



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Posts: 289

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:06 pm    Post subject: New Article on meaning and chronology of Deedars Reply with quote

Ya Ali Madad - Prophet Muhammad PBUH, & Mawlana Ali presided over congregational prayers, worship and also gave guidance ( Hadith,Sermons - collectively Firmans)

So does Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan
These prayers are now called Deedars. 

The attached article elucidates the meanings/chronology of this highest Ismaili religious & holy congregation for all Ismaili Muslims

Link to read or download
http://ismaili.net/source/chatur-chronology-of-prayers.pdf

“In the Qur’an, the term ibadat refers to both serving and worshipping God through living an ethical life and in constant awareness of God.
IIS Secondary Curriculum (Faith & Practice vol. 2 -Al Saha 28 April 2020)
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mahebubchatur



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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 4:38 pm    Post subject: A meeting in which Imam is exercising Leadership Reply with quote

His Highness the Aga Khan excercised his Leadership, Authority abd Imamat in a meeting with Leaders and members of the community
15 Oct 2010. A milestone Meeting
http://ismaili.net/source/legal-documents/2019-01-10-chatur8.pdf
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mahebubchatur



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:38 pm    Post subject: Authority -Inclusive Governance Fatimid empire-rise & fa Reply with quote

The Fatimid empire was successful and flourished because of the guidance (Firmans) of the Ismaili Imams (Caliphs-Rulers), which were inclusive & plural. Most importantly these were followed & implemented by Leaders (Vazirs). Today this title is given by Imam (#AgaKhan)

There was freedom to practice religion, for Muslim Sects, (Ummah) & other faiths. Shia Ismaili Muslims, were, and remained a very small minority, during their rule of about 200 years.

Over time, division tribalism, and corruption increased within the Leadership, elites and the army. That progressively led to the downfall of the Fatimid rule-dynasty. It was not the inclusive Firmans (directions) of Imams, but their effective implementation by Leaders/Army

The Ismaili Dawa (Dais) were not able to bridge the increasing division which was driven & motivated by greed & corruption.

“..Pluralist ethos in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious empire was not without its challenges. One example was the recurring conflict between key stakeholders in the Fatimid court, notably the maghariba (western Berber troops) and the mashariqa (eastern Turkish soldiers). Not surprisingly, this factionalism came in the way of effective governance. It was to contribute to the eventual dissipation of Fatimid sovereignty, which yielded in 1171 CE to the Ayyubid dynasty, with its less inclusive ways of governance. Yet the cosmopolitan culture that was engendered during the quarter-millennial reign of the Fatimids fed a vibrant social and intellectual discourse which echoed long after across the Mediterranean and beyond.” (Institute of Ismaili Studies - S Jiwa) link https://prod-static-iis.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Jiwa%20Shainool-187746009.pdf
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mahebubchatur



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Posts: 289

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:39 pm    Post subject: Authority -Inclusive Governance Fatimid empire-rise & fa Reply with quote

The Fatimid empire was successful and flourished because of the guidance (Firmans) of the Ismaili Imams (Caliphs-Rulers), which were inclusive & plural. Most importantly these were followed & implemented by Leaders (Vazirs). Today this title is given by Imam (#AgaKhan)

There was freedom to practice religion, for Muslim Sects, (Ummah) & other faiths. Shia Ismaili Muslims, were, and remained a very small minority, during their rule of about 200 years.

Over time, division tribalism, and corruption increased within the Leadership, elites and the army. That progressively led to the downfall of the Fatimid rule-dynasty. It was not the inclusive Firmans (directions) of Imams, but their effective implementation by Leaders/Army

The Ismaili Dawa (Dais) were not able to bridge the increasing division which was driven & motivated by greed & corruption.

“..Pluralist ethos in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious empire was not without its challenges. One example was the recurring conflict between key stakeholders in the Fatimid court, notably the maghariba (western Berber troops) and the mashariqa (eastern Turkish soldiers). Not surprisingly, this factionalism came in the way of effective governance. It was to contribute to the eventual dissipation of Fatimid sovereignty, which yielded in 1171 CE to the Ayyubid dynasty, with its less inclusive ways of governance. Yet the cosmopolitan culture that was engendered during the quarter-millennial reign of the Fatimids fed a vibrant social and intellectual discourse which echoed long after across the Mediterranean and beyond.” (Institute of Ismaili Studies - S Jiwa) link https://prod-static-iis.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Jiwa%20Shainool-187746009.pdf
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