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Imam Sultan Mohammed Shah - Nov. 2nd birth & History
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan’s role in Pakistan’s creation
News desk -
July 11, 2019

Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed

HIGH Highness Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan-III GCSI GCMG GCIE GCVO PC was the 48th Imam of Ismaili Shia Muslims. He was not only the first President of the All-India Muslim League, but did help in promoting the cause of the Muslims of British India whenever he was needed in uniting them and serving as a strong force behind Quaid-i-Azam, the Founder of Pakistan, in the Pakistan Movement. He was born in Karachi on 2 November 1877, but passed away in Versoix, Switzerland on 11 July 1957. After Sir Syed Khan, he played a leading role not only in strengthening the political role of the Muslims of the Indo-Pak subcontinent, the cause of Aligarh Muslim University but the Pakistan Movement also. He was in close liaison with the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan in all the critical moments of the Movement. On the creation of Pakistan Sir Aga Khan congratulated Quaid-i-Azam in these words: “Thanks to the immense and almost miraculous efforts of Governor-General Jinnah, who alone brought about the greatest Muslim State in the world. Pakistan is now an accomplished fact”. Thus he is also remembered as a Veteran of the Pakistan Movement.

First President of All India Muslim League 1908-1913: First meeting of the All India Muslim League was held at Aligarh on 18-19 March 1908. It was at this session that Sir Aga Khan III was unanimously elected as first President of the All India Muslim League. Actually, Presidents of the Party were of two kinds. First there was the permanent President who was elected for three years. The other pattern was that some prominent Muslim leader of the country was asked to preside over the session, but his position was temporary and honorary. Since 1912, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had started his efforts for the Hindu-Muslim unity. Though he was not member of the AIML before 1913, he was invited to attend the meeting of the AIML Council on instructions from the Aga Khan by the Secretary of the AIML Syed Wazir Hasan. It was at this meeting under the presidentship HH Sir Aga Khan that the AIML adopted its new policy of “self-government suitable to India” on a motion by Quaid-i-Azam. It was ratified by the next session held in March 1913. HH the Aga Khan also attended the next 7th session of AIML held at Agra on 30-31 December 1013 where the Hon. President was Sir Ibrahim Rahimtullah, a Bombay business magnate, who delivered his presidential address.

HH the Aga Khan, as President of the Party, himself moved a resolution for the creation of “Muslim National Fund” whose aim was “political progress and advancement of Musalmans” at provincial level. This resolution was passed with great “acclamation”. Seconding this resolution the Raja of Mahmudabad appreciated the vision of HH the Aga Khan. In matters of discussion on other resolutions also, the presence of HH Aga Khan had sobering effect on the proceedings of the Muslim League. Thereafter, HH the Aga Khan resigned from the presidentship of the AIML. Despite his resignation from the AIML, HH the Aga Khan had close contact with Jinnah especially during his efforts for the Hindu-Muslim unity during 1914-1916. His contribution in the Pakistan Movement: Sir Aga Khan was also the president of the All Parties Muslim Conference held in 1928-29. During 1930-33, he also attended the Round Table Conferences held in London for settling the future of the Muslims as delegate.

Quaid-i-Azam was also attended the first two conferences in London. Both jointly pleaded the cause of the Muslims. They were very close to each other and were in regulation private and confidential correspondence, apart from the participation in the committees of the RTCs in London. They share a lot of private consultation regarding the future of the Muslims. Sir Aga Khan’s letters of 20 January 1931, 29 March 1931, 20 June 1931 and many others indicate the kind of consultation both had regarding the future of the Muslims before going to different sessions of the RTC. This showed that both the leaders were highly confiding with each other and jointly making strategy regarding the future of the Muslims in British India. Sir Aga Khan was nominated to represent India at the League of Nations in 1932, where he continued to work until the outbreak of the World War II. He was an excellent statesman and was elected President of the League of Nations (now known as the United Nations Organization) in July 1937. He was the only Asian to have been appointed to this high office. During the Pakistan Sir Aga Khan signally contributed towards the Pakistan Movement. Quaid-i-Azam and Sir Aga Khan were regularly in contact with each other for the furthering of the Pakistan Movement.

Even when the AIML became united about the time when the Pakistan Movement was to be started and 24th session of AIML held in Bombay on 11-12 1936 exhibiting the unity of the Muslim Conference and the All India Muslim League the contribution of Sir Aga Khan was thus recorded: “There was no person in India except His Highness the Aga Khan who could make all the parties unite on one platform”. During 1940-1947 at all the critical times, Quaid-i-Azam and Sir Aga Khan had close contact with each other and had a lot of consultation with each other on the issues such as Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, Cabinet Mission Plan and the Partition issues during May-August 1947. Sir Aga Khan fell ill in 1954 during his visit to Dhaka and from then on struggling with ill health, passed away on 11 July 1957, in Switzerland and is buried in Aswan, Egypt. On the occasion of his birth anniversary on 02 November, we pay tribute to a great Muslim leader by renewing our pledge to make Pakistan a prosperous and advanced country.

—The writer is Ex-Director, National Institute of Historical & Cultural Research, & Prof. Quaid-i-Azam Chair, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

July 11, 2019

PM Imran taking tough decisions to break status quo: Dr. Firdous

SLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said Prime Minister Imran Khan is taking tough decisions like institutional reforms and breaking the status quo in the country.

She was addressing a seminar on the 62nd death anniversary of Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III in Islamabad this afternoon.
Paying rich tribute to Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III, the Special Assistant emphasized on protecting national heritage and national heroes of Pakistan, who played a pivotal role in creation of Pakistan .

She said Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III had arranged finances to procure Gwadar Port, which indicates his vision as the port offers greater regional connectivity and has the potential to become economic hub of the area.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the youth should learn from the struggle of national heroes. She said a leader always focuses on long term policies, securing future of the coming generations, and keeps national interest supreme.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan says current challenges being faced by Pakistan are due to attempts of previous rulers to undermine national institutions for their personal interests.

Talking to media in Islamabad this afternoon, she said the government of PTI has been making sincere efforts for rebuilding the damaged institutions.
She said we are taking forward the institutional reforms agenda of the government. She said parliament is a very important pillar of state. Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said some political pundits want to run the senate according to their wishes. She said the no confidence motion move by the opposition parties against Chairman Senate has raised serious questions in the minds of ordinary people about the designs of these parties. She said government will protect the national institutions from onslaught of opposition.

Referring to upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US, she said this will help strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries. She said it is first time that peace loving efforts of Pakistan have been recognized by the US. Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said the international standing of the country has improved due to its visionary leadership and foreign policy. She said the visit will also improve the standing of Pakistan’s passport in the world.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Aug 17]Today in history: Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah succeeded to the Imamat

Posted by Nimira Dewji
Imam Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III succeeded as Imam on August 17, 1885 at the age of eight years, leading the Nizari Ismailis as Imam for 72 years, longer than any of his predecessors. At the age of nine, he received the honorific title of ‘His Highness’ from Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901).

In 1892, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah commissioned the building of what came to be known as the Aga Khan Palace in Poona (modern-day Pune), India, to create employment for the poor who had been devastated by a recent famine. Mahatma Gandhi, his wife, and several dignitaries stayed at the palace during the political uprising from 1942 to 1944.

In February 1969, during a visit to India, Mawlana Hazar Imam donated the Palace to the Indian Government. In 2003, it was declared a monument of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India (The.Ismaili). The Palace is now Gandhi National Memorial Museum.

Aga Khan palace pune gandhi memorial
Aga Khan Palace, now Gandhi National Memorial
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah’s commitment to the Islamic ideals of the brotherhood of humanity, peace among nations, and respect for human dignity inspired him to be involved as a statesman on the world scene.

In 1902, when attending the coronation of Edward VII (r. 1901-1910) in London, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah received the rank of Grand Knight Commander. In the same year, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, appointed him to his Legislative Council at Calcutta. In 1906, he was elected first president of All-India Muslim League, an organisation that was established to support the advancement of Muslims, particularly with respect to their education and legal status in British India.

Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III arriving to preside over the All India Muslim Conference in Delhi in 1928. Source: Ismaili Mirror, Centenary Issue, November 1977
In 1912, Imam was decorated as Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India by George V during his coronation celebrations in India. Additionally, in recognition of his work in international affairs, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah was bestowed numerous honours by several countries.

Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah (seated 5th from far left) and other delegates at the first conference held in London in November 1930. Source: The Ismailis An Illustrated History
Due to his poor health, Imam retreated from political life, spending a few years in Switzerland, where he wrote India in Transition: A Study in political Evolution (1918). In 1920, he re-entered politics, becoming a prominent figure at the All-India Muslim Conference in Delhi in 1928-1929. In 1934, he became a member of the Privy Council, and also served as the delegate for British India at the Disarmament Conference and as chief delegate of India to the Assembly of the League of Nations. In 1937, Imam was elected President of the League and presided over its eighteenth assembly. The League of Nations was an international organisation, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, created after the First World War to provide a forum for resolving international disputes. It was replaced by the United Nations in 1945.

Aga Khan III League United Nations
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah addressing the Assembly. Source: The Ismailis An Illustrated History
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah also devoted much of his time and resources to consolidating and organising the Nizari Ismaili communities in the Indian subcontinent and East Africa. He was particularly concerned with introducing reforms that would transform the Ismaili community into a modern self-sufficient one, with high standards of education and welfare. To meet the needs of the community in South Asia and East Africa, he established networks of schools, health clinics, hospitals, and jamatkhanas. On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of his Imamat, he established scholarship programmes to provide assistance to students.

Imam supported a range of initiatives in East Africa and Asia that had a positive impact on the well-being of Muslim societies and others in the region. In 1945, he founded the East African Muslim Welfare Society, “that aimed to improve the living standards of Muslims in East Africa through education and social welfare initiatives. One such effort culminated in the establishment of Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education (today known as Mombasa Polytechnic), the first post-secondary institutions for Muslims in coastal East Africa.” (The Ismailis An Illustrated History p 227). In 1951, Imam made his first and only visit to the community in Mahallat, Persia (modern-day Iran).

Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan Persia
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah and Mata Salamat with members of the jamat in Mahallat, Persia. Source: Ismaili Mirror, Centenary Issue, November 1977
The strengthening of the religious and social well-being of Ismaili communities remained the focus of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah. In 1905, Imam issued a written set of ‘Rules and Regulations’ for the Ismailis of East Africa, which served as the Constitution. This document was revised and printed several times until 1954 when a revised version was issued. Similar rules were also issued for the Ismailis in British India. The ‘Rules and Regulations’ described the organisational structure of the community with a hierarchy of councils and office-bearers, their administrative procedures, and local and regional constituencies. The Constitution also re-affirmed the centrality of the Imam’s absolute authority over the affairs of the community.

In 1952, Imam “called a conference of councillors from East Africa at Evian [France] in order to discuss their future needs, resulting in the revised constitution of 1954, In the same year, he published his autobiography, Memoirs of Aga Khan: World Enough and Time…” (The Ismailis An Illustrated History p 227).

First Constitution
The Ismaili Constitution was issued at Zanzibar in 1905 in Gujarati, under the title Khoja Shia Imami Ismaili Counsilna Kayadani Book: Prakaran Pelu thata Biju (The Rule Book of the Khoja Shia Imami Ismaili Council: Parts 1 and 2). This document was instituted along with the first Supreme Council for Africa.

Ismaili constitution Aga Khan zanzibar
Front inside cover of the Ismaili constitution issued at Zanzibar. Source: The Ismailis An Illustrated History
Within six months of the issue of the rule book in Zanzibar, the Ismaili community based in Gwadur (in modern-day Pakistan) received the Khoja Shia Imami Ismailia Counsilna Kaydani Book: Bhag Pelo thata Bijo, printed in March 1906.

Ismaili constitution zanzibar aga khan
Front inside cover of the constitution issued to Gwadur Ismaili community, printed in March 1906 in Bombay. Source: The Ismailis An Illustrated History
First Supreme Council for Africa

Ismaili aga khan constitution
First Supreme Council for Africa. Left to right: Top, standing: Mohamed Bhanji, Gulamhusein Harji Sumar Muhamed Rashid Alana, Ali Valli Issa, Gulamhussein Karmali Bhaloo Middle, seated: Pirmohamed Kanji, Visram Harji, President Vizier Mohamed Rahemtulla Hemani, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah al-Husayni Aga Khan III, Fazal Essani, Gulamhusien Bhaloo Kurji. Bottom row, seated: Mukhi Rajabali Gangji, Vizier Kassam Damani, Janmohamed Hansraj, Rai Mitha Jessa, Juma Bhagat Ismail, Kamadia (Itmadi) Jiwan Laljee, Salehmohamed Walli Dharsee, Janmohamed Jetha, Kamadia Fazal Shivji. Source: The Ismailis An Illustrated History
On the occasions of the Diamond and Platinum Jubilees of his Imamat, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah founded the Jubilee Investment Trust and the Platinum Jubilee Investments Limited, which have assisted the growth of various co-operative societies. Diamond Jubilee Schools for Girls were established throughout the remote northern areas of Pakistan and in India. Companies such as the Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust (now Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya ) and the Jubilee Insurance company, which are today quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, have become important national economic institutions. The scholarship programmes, founded during his Golden Jubilee, were progressively expanded.1

Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah died on July 11, 1957 and was buried at Aswan, Egypt. He was succeeded by Mawlana Hazar Imam.

Aga Khan III Aswan
Mausoleum of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah in Aswan, Egypt. Photo: via Pinterest.
Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III SUltan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III
Sultan Muhammd Shah Aga Khan III Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III

The Ismaili Community, The.Ismaili
The Ismaili Imamate
Ismaili Mirror, Centennial Issue, November 1977
Farhad Daftary, Zulfikar Hirji, The Ismailis, An Illustrated History, Azimuth Editions in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, 2007
The Ismaili Imamat: Contemporary Period, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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