<![CDATA[Inside Ismailism - Blog]]>Tue, 17 Nov 2015 04:37:23 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Ginan Central: From Hinduism to Idolatry]]>Wed, 04 Nov 2015 02:08:31 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/ginan-central-from-hinduism-to-idolatryIntroduction Picture
Ginans (devotional songs in Indian languages) are the basis and foundation of Ismailism.

Disputing the preaching of a Ginan by a Ismaili would be similar in significance to the contradiction of the teachings of the Quran by a believing Muslim. Any study of the Ismaili Tariqah, without the study of the origins of Ginans and their influence upon Ismailis, would be an incomplete study.

Who Wrote The Ginans?

Forefathers of the present day Khoja Ismailis were converted by Pirs (پیر) from Hinduism with the Ginanic preaching. “Pir” is a Persian word. It means Murshid, Guru, an authorized teacher. For a Ismaili, the teachings of a Pir are to be obeyed, word for word.

​Al-Waez Abualy A. Aziz has quoted a Farman of an Imam on Page 134 of ‘Ismaili Tariqah’ to show that the obedience to Pir is obligatory upon every Ismaili. The quoted Farman reads:
The Pir is the person to whom the Imam of the time has granted his position which makes him the highest amongst his creation (ashraf-imakhluqat) and whenever the Imam has chosen the Pir and appointed him, he must convey to others the knowledge in detail. You must attain perfection in the knowledge of the Imam through him. Therefore it is obligatory upon you to follow the Pir, never flinching from his obedience. Be bound by what the Pir tells you, acting as he says and when you obey the Pir, the Pir in the Hereafter will pray to God for your protection.
​Ismailis recite Ginans everyday with love and devotion in their Jamatkhanas, but most Ismailis have not studied the History and origin of these Ginans. They believe that each and every Ginan that is recited in their Jamatkhanas and/or published by the Ismailia Association is composed by an authorized Pir and must be obeyed. However that is not so. In fact, there are more Ginans composed by non-Pirs than there are by Pirs.

Appointed Pirs and Their Children

Ginans Authored by Anonymous Authors

Professor W. Ivanow, a well known Russian scholar and a reputed researcher of Ismaili history has translated many books and manuscripts of Ismaili literature. He writes in his book ‘Ismaili Literature’ (Tehran University Press – 1963) on Page 174:
“A great majority of Ginans are the creation of anonymous authors. Apparently quite a considerable proportion of those attributed to the authorship of Great Pirs probably have nothing to do with them, and were composed at a much later date. This particularly applies to the gnans about various Pirs, their miracles, their sayings”.
Hundreds of Ginans which were composed by the children and grandchildren of the pirs were attributed to Pir Sadruddin and Pir Hasan Kabirdin by these descendants. Writing new Ginans and selling them to newly converted Khojas was the main source of income for these hundreds of relatives of Pirs. Ismailia Association for India has confirmed these facts and added that “out of 18 sons of Pir Hasan Kabirdin, 17 sons had opened various religious Bazaars of their own and had started their own independent factories. Some of these so called Sayyids had even established their own sects.

In 1969, the Ismailia Association for India published a series of Collection of Ginans (2nd Edition). This series includes Ginans composed by officially appointed authorized Pirs, Ginans by Sayyids (descendants of the Pirs) whose names and brief history are published in the introduction, and also Ginans composed by so-called Sayyids, whose historical record is neither available, nor known.

​Below are three excerpts from the introductions of this series published from Bombay, India by the Ismailia Association:
Translation:
1. Besides the authorized Pirs, descendants of the Pirs have also propagated faith in the same manner as their fathers and grandfathers. These descendants have composed some Ginans in which Sayyid Imamshah’s contribution is the greatest.

2. It should be borne in mind (by Ismailis) that many Ismaili Poets, Philosophers and Bhagats (devotes) have written songs and propagated the true path of Ismailism. Similarly Sayyids (and one Sayyidah) have also composed Ginans and propagated the faith. These compositions have been preserved in our religious literature. We have only to adopt the preaching that are within these compositions (Ginans). But, the Ginans of these composers cannot be given the same “weight” as those composed by the authorized Pirs that were nominated by Imam-e-Zaman.

3. Who were the original creators (composers) of all these sacred writings (Ginans)? In trying to find an answer to this question it is being observed that it is likely that some Sayyids (descendants of Pirs) might have added their names to the original Ginans or sacred writings created by Pirs.
It is evident from the last excerpt that the Ismailia Association is trying to impress upon Ismailis that although a Ginan may mention the name of a Sayyid or Sayyidah as the composer it could be a composition of an authorized Pir. In other words, it should be given the same “weight” as an authorized composition. The collection of “Ginans” published by the Ismailia Association for India is made from the following categories:

1. Authorized Ginans composed by appointed Pirs
2. Devotional Songs composed by known Sayyids
3. Devotional Songs composed by unknown Sayyids

Officially, Ginans and Songs are both called Ginans. Both are being equally honoured, trusted and obeyed by Ismailis, because they bear the same nomenclature. In some cases the name of a father appears as the creator Pir and his son’s name appears, in the same verse, as the reciter Pir. There are even cases where the prefix ‘Pir’ is added to the name of the composer when he is neither a Pir nor a descendant of any Pir or Sayyid. Below is one such “Phony Ginan” created during my lifetime.
​About The Phony Ginan “Par karo beda Guruji”A Ginan which begins with “Par karo beda Guruji” is often being recited in the  Jamatkhanas of Canada. It is a “song” composed by Head Master (Head Teacher) Hussain Gulamhussain Hussaini of a religious night school at Khadak, Bombay, India in the 1940’s. In those days I was one of the teachers in that school. The Head Master had a poetic talent and used to compose songs for students of the night school to sing in the night school “Majlis”. Later on, this particular song became a “Ginan”. Master Hussaini who had composed the song, under the pen-name of “Musst” (in high spirits – carefree),
became ‘Pir Musst Musst Hussaini” instead of ‘Musst Master Hussaini”. The majority of Ismailis do not know such historical facts behind the origin of Ismaili Ginans. A missionary would not reveal these facts, in order to preserve the “weight” of Ginanic literature. They want Ismailis to obey each and every “Ginan” with the same respect in spite of the fact that there are more unauthorized Ginans than there are authorized ones.
Who wrote “Garbis” of Pir Shams?Ismaili sources record that Pir Shams was sent to India by one of their Imams from Iran. He was born in Iran. He died in Multan, Pakistan (formerly India). The custodian of the shrine in Multan has a genealogy tree (Sajrah) which records that he was born in Gazhni and came from Afghanistan. He was not an Ismaili and he did not propagate the Ismaili faith. However, the point to note is that he was a foreigner when he came to India. History records that he traveled from Afghanistan to Sind, Punjab, Kashmir and Tibet and settled in Multan (Punjab) where he died. Even the Ismaili sources have no records of his stay in Cutchh, Kathiawar or Gujrat where the inhabitants speak Gujrati.
In the Jamatkhanas of Punjab, Ismailis recite Ginans in Punjabi which they say were composed by Pir Shams, seven centuries ago. In most of the other Jamatkhanas the world over, Ismailis recite Garbis (folk songs in Gujrati to which men and women would dance at a festival, with music), Kathas, Salokas and Ginans in Gujrati which they claim were all composed by Pir Shams. This entire collection in Gujrati language would be of over 2000 verses.

This gives rise to a series of questions:
1. When and where did Pir Shams learn Gujrati?
2. Why would he compose and sing Ginans in Gujrati before his non-Gujrati adherents?
3. Was the art of poetry writing in Gujrati already developed 700 years ago?

Examining the standard of the language of the Garbis and Ginans by Pir Shams, one can say that they are the work of an individual well versed in contemporary as well as medieval Gujrati.

Who edited “Pir Pandiyat-i Jawan-mardi”?It is interesting to note that in the Ismaili Tariqah, one of the “Authorized Pirs” is a “Book”. The Book is supposed to have been written by a Nizari Imam whose name was called Mustansir Billah II. The Book is called ‘Pir Pandiyat-i Jawan-mardi” – a strange name for a Pir. For more details please read page 123 and 124 of ‘A Brief History of Ismailism’ by Abualy A. Aziz.
Professor W Ivanow translated “Pir Pandiyat-i Jawan-mardi’ into English and published the text of the work and its translation through ‘The Ismaili Society’, Bombay, in 1953. Ten years later he wrote:
“Taking into consideration the fundamental differences between various versions of the text, mentioned in the Introduction, it is easy to suspect that the work (Pandiyat-i Jawan-mardi) has passed through the hands of Khayrkhwah (Herati) who had no scruples about ‘editing’ it, and probably ultimately it reached India in his version”.
‘Ismaili Literature’ Tehran University Press, 1963. Page 139
Who wrote “Kalam-i Pir”?Khayrkhwah Herati is also suspected by Professor Ivanow of committing ‘the worst plagiarism” and converting “Haft-bab-i Bu Ishaq” (Haft-bab written by Abu Ishaq Quhistani) into “Haft-bab-i Shah Sayyid Nasir” (Haft-bab written by Sayyid Nasir-i Khusraw), otherwise known as “Kalam-i Pir“. This book is considered as “Pir”, by Ismailis of Badakshan and Northern Pakistan. It has also been translated by Professor W. Ivanow into English in 1959.

“Editing” of books written by Pirs and Imams is not an uncommon practice in this Unique Tariqah. The “edited” version is treated with the same veneration and glory as if it was the original unedited version, because an Ismaili cannot distinguish the edited portion from the unedited.
Who made “w’Allah” (“By God!”), into Allah?Over a period of seven centuries, the original Ginans have gone through lots of transitions. Most of the old Ginans have either been lost or removed from circulation permanently In their places new Ginans have been added. Ginans were composed by Sayyids (male and female) until the last century.
Many Ginans have been edited by the Ismailia Associations.
Some Ginans are banned by the Imams.
Others have been modified or recast to incorporate Shia beliefs or to glorify the image of Ali. For example, the word “Hari” has been replaced with “Ali”, “Swami” is changed to “Sami’ and “w’Allah e’hi Imam” meaning “By God! that (Islam Shah) is Imam” has been altered to read “Allah e’hi Imam” meaning “Allah that is (equal to) Imam”, (nauzbillah).
The texts of some of these Ginans are beyond human reasoning and logic. Yet, in spite of these corruptions, Ginans are the basis of Ismaili beliefs. Ismailis burst with joy and pride when they sing “Allah e’hi Imam” not knowing that they are uttering a blasphemy and committing a heinous sin.
On pages 136 and 137 of ‘Ismaili Tariqah’ Abualyhas quoted nearly a dozen or so Farmans of Aga Khan III on Ginans. Reproduced below are three Farmans:

“Pir Sadruddin composed the Ginans, in Indian languages, which are the extracts from the Quran” – Aga Khan III
“Pir Sadruddin has given you, in his Ginans, the tafseer (interpretation) of the Quran-e-Shariff”. – Aga Khan III
“Pir Sadruddin has guided you to the Right Path. If (instead) you will follow the path of the Moguls and the Arabs, you will be lost”.  – Aga Khan III
Prophet Muhammad came to India as “Pir”On page 133, Abualy has quoted a Ginan of Pir Sadruddin in Gujrati and has given the translation thereof as under:
Translation: 
“Before the creation there was Nabi Mohammed Mustafa. The same Murshid has come to India.”
Such fantastic claims made in the names of Pirs are the basis of the Ismaili Tariqah’s bizarre teachings and beliefs of the repeated incarnations of Hazrat Ali (ra) and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the ‘Avtaras‘ of Hindu deities; ‘Vishnu’ and ‘Bramah’ respectively, from before the Creation. Ismailis are also taught that the Pirs who came to India were the holders of the Noor of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – the Bramah, and the Aga Khans are the final Avtaras of Lord Vishnu. Rama and Krishna were also Avtaras of Vishnu.

Prophet acknowledged Ali was the CreatorQuoted below is another “Unique Ginan”. The Ginan is published under a collection entitled “Momin Chetavni“. This Ginan is in connection with the birth of Ali ibn Abu Talib. It narrates a dialogue between Muhammed Mustafa (who was not yet Prophet and was 29 years of age) and a group of Angels who had come down from heaven to see Ali ibn Abu Talib, who had just been born.

Translation: 

‘When Nabi Muhammed, the leader of the Angels, returned after doing his  Salaam (to Ali), the Angels said to Nabi Muhammed
“He (Baby Ali) is the creator of ‘Arsh Kursh’ (Heavenly throne);
He (Ali) is the one who has commanded us and kept us under your leadership.
He is indeed the same, without any doubt.
Then Nabi Muhammed replied:
“Brother Angels, let me tell you my thoughts; He (Baby Ali) has made known to me, he is the Creator of this Universe”.

Can these Ginans be considered as the “extracts from the Quran”? Does the Quran speak of “Ali the Creator of this Universe”?

No Muslim in his right mind would believe a single verse of the above Ginans. Any individual (Muslim or non-Muslim) who has read the history of the Great Prophet of Islam would say that when the Prophet Muhammad heard Angel Jibrael (Gabriel) for the first time in his life, it was in the cave of Mount Hira and he being about 40 years old. If the Prophet at the age of 29 years knew “Ali is the Creator of this Universe” then why did he go to Mount Hira? Why was the Prophet shocked to hear the voice of Angel Jibrael in the cave, if they both had known each other and spoken before? Finally, who told the Pir what the Prophet said to the Angels 700 years ago? Such Ginans are the basis for establishing the “Unique Supremacy” of Ali and his successors, the Aga Khans.

Allah created Adam and gave him wisdom. He implanted in him the faculty of knowledge and judgment, before sending him upon this earth. He also gave him the power of reasoning, intuition and instinctive feelings. He therefore enjoys a special place within the creation of Allah – “Ashraful Makhlukat“. Allah has honoured Adam to be His vicegerent on earth – “Khaliful Ardh“. We, the human race, inherited these faculties. Today, the sources of acquiring knowledge are unlimited and easily accessible. This makes one wonder why Ismailis of this 20th century who are so advanced and discerning in managing their financial affairs, become so gullible as to place their entire confidence in Ginans, and base their religious beliefs on such bizarre Ginanic legends of Ali and Nabi and not upon the Quranic teachings?

The Quran teaches: “Say I (Muhammad) am no more than a human being like you”. Holy Quran 18/10
As for the supremacy of Hazrat Ali; in the Fatimid period (i.e. pre-Alamut and preGinanic period), Ali was considered as “al-Wasiyin wa Wazir Khair al-Mursalin”, meaning “the distinguished Nominee and Representative(Wazir) of the Messenger”. These words were inscribed on the obverse of the Fatimid Dinars to describe their Imams – the descendants of Ali.

Should not the Aga Khan ask his followers to consider him, ‘Wazir of the Messenger’, since he claims to be a descendant of the Fatimid Imams?
Who are Moguls and Arabs?Incidentally, there is another Farman of Aga Khan III which speaks of Moguls as being  “beggars” and Arabs “like donkeys’ and “what will they teach Ismailis?” The Farman is in “Khojki” (a script especially developed by Khoja-Ismailis, for private records and secret writings). This Farman was made on August 20, 1899 in Zanzibar, Africa.

Translation: 
“Pir Sadardin has shown you the straight path, if you leave that, and walk upon the talks of Moguls and Arabs, then you will fall down. Arabs are like donkeys. What will they teach you? They themselves do not know anything, then what will they teach you? Moguls seek alms in every country. What will they teach you? If you follow their talks, then you too will become donkeys”. (Bahere Rehmat, pages 30 & 31)

Aga Khan III tells Ismailis in the Farman that if they follow the words of Moguls and  Arabs they will fall down and become like donkeys. The question is, who was Aga Khan III? Did he not call himself a Hashemite? Who were Hazrat Ali (r.a.) and Nabi Muhammad (s.a.s.)? Finally, who is Aga Khan IV? Is he Italian, French, British, Irani or an Arab? He calls himself Karim al-Hussaini. Who were Hashem and Hussain, if not Arabs?
Muslims – those who submit to Allah – have based their religious beliefs by reference to the “Words of their Creator” – the Quran. Ismaili Momins – those who submit to their Imams – have based their religious beliefs by reference to the “words of Poets” – the Ginans. Which Tariqah is on the right path? Allah says:
“Shall I inform you, (O people!), on whom it is that the evil ones descend? They descend on every lying, wicked person, (into whose ears) they pour hearsay vanities, and most of them are liars. And the Poets, — it is those straying in evil, who follow them: Seest thou not that they wander distracted in every valley?  And that they say what they practise not?” Holy Quran 26/221 to 226
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<![CDATA[Answering Ismaili Gnosis: How Hazar Imam really uses Dasond, Mehmani and Contributions by the Community]]>Mon, 28 Sep 2015 04:35:50 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/answering-ismaili-gnosis-how-hazar-imam-really-uses-dasond-mehmani-and-contributions-by-the-communityOne of Canada’s most reputed news source, The Toronto Star has reported Aga Khan Foundation for “lack of transparency” and as one of the charities which do not release their audited financial statements to the public and refused to provide them to an independent agency that evaluates charities. The report can be seen here:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/11/15/audit_of_charities_encounters_resistance.html

​Aga Khan Foundation is ‘ethically’ bound, if not legally

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Charities are not legally bound to disclose their audited financial statements to the public, but it is considered ethical to do so because they take in public dollars, said Greg Thomson, director of research for charityintelligence.ca.

When charityintelligence.ca requested Canada Revenue Agency to dig up the The Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), it was revealed that Aga Khan Foundation had “enough cash-in-hand to operate for up to 8 years without raising even a single penny.”

This is a staggering amount of cash-in-hand, and something major to consider for the donors whether they want to donate to a charity where their money could lie idle for almost a decade as compared to donating to charities which have immediate and sometimes urgent need for donations.

CharityIntelligenca.ca also reported that:

• Aga Khan Foundation received $41.9m in government funding in 2013.

• Aga Khan Foundation also gives away a salary between $300,000 – $350,000 to its Chief Executive Officer.

• Aga Khan Foundation holds significant ‘idle’ property valued at $346.2m in F2013, including $27.3m acquired in F2013 and $43.3m in F2012.

The monies collected by Aga Khan Foundation are distinct from those collected within the Ismāʿīlī Centers around the world from members of the Ismāʿīlī community in the name of tithe (also called dasond) to the Aga Khan. These collections too, are often cited for lack of transparency and allocation. While a small percentage of these funds collected in the name of tithe are visibly used for administrative costs for the Ismāʿīlī Centers, the whereabouts of a large chunk of these collections is unknown.

Many of the institutions established by the Aga Khan are profit-based such as Aga Khan Hospital and Aga Khan Museum. Both of these are run like any other business and Aga Khan Hospital in particular is reputed to be the most expensive hospital in the territories it operates – in Nairobi, Kenya and in Karachi, Pakistan.

Lack of transparency for the public charity like the Aga Khan Foundation, coupled with the same lack of transparency for the tens of thousands of dollars of tithes collected in the name of Aga Khan around the world in Ismāʿīlī Centers (also called Jamatkahanas) around the world, together with Aga Khan’s lavish lifestyle, has only increased the level of distrust towards the Aga Khan from within the community and from outsiders such as the Toronto Star.

One glaring example of such lavish expenditures by the Aga Khan is the hundreds of millions of dollars he has invested in a super-yacht called Alamshar which has been 13 years in the making. 

​This was supposed to reach 60 knots but it can go only half that speed, so the Aga Khan is taking legal advice. He’s not a happy man.
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Aga Khan ordered the boat to be built to break the world speed record for super-yachts of 65 knots, as well as beat the transatlantic record of two days, ten hours and 34 minutes – an average speed of 53.1 knots – set in 1992. When the yacht was initially delivered, it only attained a speed of 30 knots during sea trials off Plymouth. The Aga Khan went on to hire a firm of top international maritime lawyers to handle any potential claim against boatbuilders Babcock Marine, who own Devonport naval dockyard where the Alamshar was built.

During an initial test, the turbine blades in its three Rolls-Royce gaspowered engines – which were originally designed for Sea King helicopters – burnt out. They were replaced with engines made by Rolls’s US rivals Pratt & Whitney, which were used to drive water jets.

A source said: “This was supposed to reach 60 knots but it can go only half that speed, so the Aga Khan is taking legal advice. He’s not a happy man.” The boat has cost over US$300 million.

Another example of Aga Khan’s spending are the two divorce settlements. The recent one beingUS$75 million which he paid to his wife Gabriele zu Leiningen (formally known as Begum Inaara) as ordered by a French court after determining that Aga Khan was exclusively at fault due to having an extra-marital affair with an airhostess Beatrice von der Schulenburg.

Before this, Aga Khan paid US$30 million to his first wife Sally Crocker-Poole who was formally known as Begum Salimah during their marriage. She now lives in London with Philippe Lizop, the French lawyer who secured her divorce settlement.

A Bloomberg report in 2005 said that unlike the pope, who received $51.7 million in 2004 from Catholic contributions known as Peter’s Pence, the Aga Khan won’t say how much he raises from his followers each year or break out how the money is spent. Nor will he disclose all the sources of the $325 million that his development network, which has diplomatic status in 10 countries.

And he won’t give performance figures for the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development SA, a Geneva-based holding company that owns stakes in 90 companies. All profits and dividends from the companies and projects are reinvested, he says.

The original Bloomberg report can be found here:
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=nifea&&sid=aq1oK0lHLVgM

And it’ s mirror preserved on Ismaili.net can be found here:
http://www.ismaili.net/heritage/node/12292

In addition to money from his Ismaili followers, the Aga Khan obtains bank loans and grants from Western governments and aid organizations to finance his empire. The Aga Khan’s companies, with total sales in 2004 of $1.36 billion, stretch from Pakistan’s No. 2 lender, Habib Bank Ltd., to Kenyan bean farms, to the just-opened Serena Hotel in Kabul, where rooms start at $250 a night — about what the average Afghan makes in a year.
He also owns stakes in two car dealerships in Edmonton, Alberta: Mayfield Toyota Ltd. and T&T Honda Ltd.

A collage few of the companies and agencies owned by the Aga Khan under the guise of Aga Khan Fund for Enocomic Development. A large majority of these companies are for-profit institutions.

The Aga Khan has also expanded the institutions started by his grandfather into a nondenominational network of 325 schools, two universities, 11 hospitals and 195 health clinics in 30 countries. Most of the institutions charge their clients — even the poorest — fees.

A 74-acre (30-hectare) public park he opened in March 2005 in Cairo charges three Egyptian pounds (52 U.S. cents) to enter.

In 2003, the Karachi-based Aga Khan University got $4.5 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development to start a new, Western-style exam board for schools. That angered conservative clerics and politicians who view the U.S. with suspicion.

In Afghanistan, the development network, the Aga Khan’s umbrella organization, has built schools, hospitals, roads and bridges and owns 51 percent of Roshan, the country’s biggest cell-phone service company.

The Aga Khan’s personal fortune includes stud farms in France and Ireland that have yielded four English Derby and three Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winners since 1981. In the 1960s and 1970s, he developed a virgin strip of coast on the Italian island of Sardinia into Costa Smeralda, where Italy’s billionaire prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and others have vacation homes.

And in 1992, the Aga Khan and his friend Gianni Agnelli, the late Fiat SpA chairman, smashed the transatlantic speed record with their 220-foot (67-meter), 50,000-horsepower speedboat Destriero.

The Aga Khan currently owns an undeveloped piece of coast on the Spanish island of Ibiza, and he’s considering plans for a luxury development on Malta and a project to transform a military arsenal on the Italian island of La Maddalena into a harbor for big yachts, says Enzo Satta, 60, a Sardinian architect who says he has worked for the Aga Khan on the ventures.

Ismailis dismiss questions about the Aga Khan’s wealth and private life. “What’s important is the guidance he gives and the development of the unique network he has created,” says Naguib Kheraj, 41, a British Ismaili who’s chief financial officer of Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s third-biggest bank.

The companies held by AKFED (Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development) currently employ 30,242 people. It’s profits are undisclosed.

The Aga Khan owns all but seven of the fund’s 175,000 shares, according to the Registre du Commerce in Geneva. The fund is the economic arm of the Aga Khan Development Network, which also has units covering culture and social development projects such as schools and hospitals. The network employs 20,000 people.

The Aga Khan, who travels the world in a Bombardier Global Express jet, declines to comment on how much of the money for his philanthropy comes from his own personal wealth and how much from followers.

I’ve never discussed my personal income, and I wouldn’t do that. Every generation of the family has made its investments, and fortunately, some of them have been very, very good indeed.

– Aga Khan IV

Money Laundering - A Secret Religious Duty?

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In “The Memoirs of Aga Khan”, published by Cassel & Co. in London in 1954, the present imam’s grandfather wrote that he kept a “small fraction” of his followers’ offerings for himself.

Lack of transparency got an Ismaili leader into jail in the U.S. On May 18, 1987, Nizamudin Alibhai, an Ismaili community leader in Texas, boarded an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to London’s Gatwick Airport with $1.1 million stuffed in a burgundy flight bag.

Prosecutor Stewart Robinson said Alibhai took $27.3 million out of the U.S. on a total of 33 journeys, breaking a law requiring transfers of more than $10,000 to be declared. Alibhai was charged in Dallas with money laundering for five specific transatlantic journeys, in which he took a total of $4.3 million to London from 1985 to 1987. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Alibhai’s lawyer said he was performing a secret religious duty. In his memorandum in support of the motion for a reduction of the sentence, defense lawyer Vincent Perini wrote, “A history of persecution by repressive African governments and fundamentalist Muslim groups have required the Ismailis to keep their activities private.”

The cash was deposited in London because there were no reporting requirements in the U.K. at the time, Perini wrote. His memorandum also included a letter dated March 8, 1990, from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, the imam’s Washington-based lawyers, which said the Aga Khan had set up a U.S. bank account for Ismaili tithes following the trial.

“Our client does not direct or control the system of offerings,” the letter said. “The contributions, and their collection, have always been conducted by volunteers. These offerings are then primarily used by the Aga Khan to support religious activities and to support a multitude of development projects in the third world.”

Funding Sources
​The Aga Khan’s followers are unable to answer detailed questions about the sources of funds for their projects. Sher Lakhani, a Canadian Ismaili manager of Geneva-based Aga Khan Education Services SA, doesn’t know the breakdown of the $20 million used to build a high school in Mombasa on Kenya’s coast.

Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Nairobi-based managing director of Serena Hotels, doesn’t know how much of the $19.3 million plowed into the Kabul hotel in the Aga Khan’s name came from the imam and how much came from Ismailis. “All I know is, construction has never been stopped for lack of funds,” says Mohamed, 52, a Kenyan Ismaili.

Some of the money for the Aga Khan’s projects comes from grants and loans from Western governments through organizations like theU.S. Agency for International Development. In 2004, the Aga Khan Foundation, which kick-starts health, education and rural development projects, got commitments of $71 million from donors like the U.S. government, says Tom Kessinger, 64, the foundation’s American general manager.

Partnerships and Funding from World Bank and Blackstone“The staff is among the most qualified in the region,” says Dwight Smith, USAID’s assistant mission director in Kenya. USAID granted $35 million to the Aga Khan’s projects in Asia and Africa from 1999 to 2004, says Harry Edwards, a Washington-based spokesman for the organization.

The Aga Khan’s companies borrow from commercial and development banks and raise funds from investors. In 2003, the World Bank’sInternational Finance Corp. unit lent $7 million to help build the $36 million Serena Hotel in Kabul.

Development funds owned by the Norwegian and Dutch governments also invested $5 million each in the hotel. In April 2005, Afghan mobile-phone company Roshan got $35 million from the Asian Development Bank, which is owned by a group of Asian governments.

Commercial partners include Blackstone Group LP, which is raising the world’s biggest buyout fund. In Uganda, the Aga Khan’sIndustrial Promotion Services is planning a $500 million hydroelectric dam with Blackstone’s Sithe Global Power LLC, a New York-based power producer.

In Afghanistan, the Aga Khan’s partners include a company controlled by Bracknell, England-based Cable & Wireless Plc, which owns 37 percent of Roshan. The Afghan cell-phone company has raised more than $160 million of loans since 2002, with $24.5 million coming from the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, says Altaf Ladak, Roshan’s chief marketing officer.

Roshan has 600,000 customers and 500 employees. The company is profitable, says Chief Executive Officer Karim Khoja, a Canadian Ismaili. He won’t say how much it earned on sales of $93 million in 2004.

In remote tribal areas, where women traditionally wear head-to-toe burqas and aren’t allowed out of family compounds, Roshan has found a way of boosting its sales and helping vulnerable women with no male relatives: The company uses them as sales representatives, selling them prepaid phone cards to sell to other women.

Nation Media is one of 16 Kenyan companies in which the Aga Khan’s fund for economic development owns stakes. The others include Frigoken, the bean exporter, and the Kenyan unit of Serena Hotels, Tourism Promotion Services Ltd., which is also listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

In Mombasa he has a $20 million school built out of white coral-rock bricks and modeled after Andover, Massachusetts-based Phillips Academy, whose alumni include U.S. President George W. Bush and the Aga Khan’s son, Prince Rahim.

Religion isn’t even part of the syllabus at the school, which opened in 2003 and has 525 students, ages 5 to 19. Fees at the academy are $2,700 a year — more than double the average Kenyan’s annual income.

Aga Khan also owns Property Deelopment and Management (PDM) – a luxury development company in Kenya which has built and manages high-profile projects such as Nation Centre in Kenya’s Central Business District, Courtyard along General Mathenge Drive, Westlands and the DTB Centre in Kampala.

PDM is also a part of Aga Khan Development Network, (AKDN), and its major shareholders are Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Jubilee Holdings Limited, and Nation Media Group Limited, both of which are part of AKDN.

​​Conclusion

It appears that the Aga Khan’s confession of ‘keeping a small fraction’ of dasond (tithe) money for himself has grown more than just being a small fraction. Until there is transparency in the collection and disbursement of dasond (tithe) money, Ismailis as well as non-Ismailis will always be doubtful of where the dasond money goes.
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<![CDATA[The Secret Life of the Aga Khan]]>Tue, 04 Aug 2015 06:51:14 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/the-secret-life-of-the-aga-khanWhen a rogue snowboarder crashed into the Aga Khan on the slopes of Courchevel, 15 million Ismaili Muslims were left pondering who would inherit the role of spiritual leader. ‘K’ has recovered, but his half-British children  have  been thrown into the spotlight, in particular Prince Rahim, who shares his father’s appetite for women and winter sports. Mark Hollingsworth on the new playboy of the Eastern world.

When the flamboyant Aga Khan, regarded as a ‘living god’ by his 15 million Islamic followers, collided with a snowboarder on the slopes of Courchevel last year, and was flown to hospital in Boston with serious injuries, the incredibly delicate issue of his succession was raised for the first time. As a result, the accident was kept secret for more than two months and hospital staff were under instructions not to disclose the identity of their famous patient.

The Aga Khan, 71, made a full recovery, but ever since his advisers have been quietly focusing on the suitability of his eldest son Prince Rahim, 36, to inherit the title (although, ultimately, it is the Aga Khan’s decision).

Known jokingly as ‘Jesus’ or ‘the Son of God’ by his friends, the Prince is intelligent, capable and charismatic, but has inherited his father’s taste for the high life. ‘There some anxiety about the succession,’ a friend of the family said. ‘The Aga Khan only inherited the title because his own father was considered unsuitable because of his womanizing, self-indulgence and endless pursuit of pleasure. Rahim has some of those tendencies. There are a few nervous conversations going on.’

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While a spokesman for the Aga Khan insists that ‘any speculation of this sort is very unhelpful to the Ismaili community’, other sources close to the family insist that Rahim’s playboy label is out-of-date and exaggerated. ‘He does go out with staggeringly beautiful women but so what,’ said one friend. ‘He is single. What’s more interesting is how he has moved from drifting and dabbling in his mid-twenties hippie period to today when he takes his responsibilities seriously. If he succeeds his father, then I think that he would make a great modernizing Aga Khan.’
Born in 1971, Prince Rahim is the second child of the Aga Khan and his first wife. When K, as the Aga Khan is known, proposed to Sally Croker-Poole in 1969, the former model and 1958 debutante was warned about his infidelities. But Sally, whose first marriage to Lord James Crichton-Stuart had been a disaster, was ready to settle down. She had had a series of boyfriends – financier Sir James Goldsmith, tipster Charles Benson and backgammon hustler Phillip Martyn – but all were gamblers and Sally wanted stability. She and the Aga Khan went on to have three children: Princess Zahra, 37, Prince Rahim, 36, and Prince Hussain, 34.

The current Aga Khan’s life has been a remarkable paradox: he is both a serial philanderer and a ‘workaholic’ philanthropist, a jet-setter renowned for his hedonistic habits and yet leader of a powerful and progressive Shia Islamic group. It is his ability to straddle both the religious and secular worlds that makes the Aga Khan so intriguing.

He likes to be addressed as ‘Your Highness’ (based on a title bestowed on him by the Queen in 1957). He is not quite royal but, like the Dalai Lama, he has an iconic status with mysterious origins – legend has it that followers in Tanzania once bottled his bathwater. He also retains a quasi- diplomatic status and has a role as an interlocutor between Islam and the West. The Aga Khan enjoys the pleasures of the West while promoting himself as a philanthropic citizen of the world.
He hates publicity about his extravagant lifestyle but is keen to publicize his work in sponsoring education, religious tolerance and charities for the poor.

Home is a £50 million estate at Aiglemont (meaning ‘Eagle Mountain’) just outside Chantilly, 20 miles from Paris, where his offices and horse-racing interests are based.

He owns houses on five continents, numerous cars, a Gulfstream private jet and vast yachts. His fortune is based on donations from millions of Ismaili Muslims, the second largest Shia community in the world, who regard the Aga Khan as the 49th direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammed and pay him upwards of 12 per cent of their income. In return he provides spiritual guidance and facilities for his faithful, such as hospitals and schools.
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He  was  born in  Geneva in  1937 as  plain Prince  Karim and,  like  George VI  during King Edward VIII’s reign, did  not  expect to inherit.  At the  time the  title was  held   by his  grandfather. But because  of  his  father Prince Aly Khan’s outrageous playboy antics and   marriage to Rita Hayworth, the   title skipped  a  generation.  Darkly  handsome, urbane and aristocratic (his mother Joan Yarde-Buller, daughter of the 3rd Lord Churston, later became the Viscountess Camrose by marrying press baron John Berry), at 20, while still an economics student at Harvard, Prince Karim became the Aga Khan, a position for which he was ill-prepared. He had wanted to be a businessman and ski for Britain (he nearly made the team for both the 1960 and 1964 Olympics). Now he was responsible for the spiritual well- being of millions of Ismaili Muslims (around 11,000 of them in the UK).

Fortunately for the Aga Khan, Ismaili Muslims do not believe that material comforts and luxury goods are inconsistent with their religion. The Aga Khan has three passions – women, horses and skiing. He keeps hundreds of race horses, brood mares and foals at Aiglemont and in Ireland. The Aga Khan’s greatest horse was Shergar, winner of the 1981 Derby, who was later kidnapped and never found. He has since produced three more Derby winners – Shahrastani(1986), Kahyasi (1988) and Sinndar (2000). ‘I think the racing public like continuity,’ he once said. ‘They like to follow a set of colors like mine, to watch the sons and daughters of horses they remember.’
‘Continuity’ is not a word associated with the Aga Khan’s relationships with women. For the Aga Khan, women must be both subservient and decorative. ‘There is no discussion on this,’ he told his second wife, the Begum Inaara, at the beginning of their marriage. ‘I determine things. You obey.’

In 1968 he had met Sally Croker-Poole. Seduced by the Aga Khan’s attentive courtship and gifts of expensive jewelry, Sally, the daughter of a colonel in the Bengal Lancers, accepted his proposal of marriage, converted to Islam and took the title of the Begum Salimah. ‘I don’t envy the Begum,’ said Yvette Blanche Labrousse, the fourth wife of the Aga Khan’s father. ‘She will need to be someone with a great deal of character and self-discipline, ready to accept second place to her husband and remain in the background.’

The wedding reception was at the Aga Khan’s 13th-century Paris home at 1 rue des Ursins on the Ile St Louis and the guest-of-honor was Princess Margaret. The bride wore a white sari and pearls were thrown at her feet.

PictureThe Aga Khan in Norway in 1966.
But it was not long before the Aga Khan took mistresses and the couple assumed separate lives. The pattern was always the same: at the beginning of a romance, he lavished presents and attention but then his interest waned. One mistress, Italian beauty Milena Maffei, hung around for years in the hope that he would divorce Sally. Then there was Austrian Pilar Goess who had posed nude for Playboy magazine. And later Ariane Soldati, an Egyptian who came under the Aga Khan’s spell after her husband died in a polo accident.

His mistresses stalked the couple. ‘She’s always shadowing me,’ Sally remarked of Milena Maffei. ‘I go to the races and there she is, a few yards away.’ By the time Sally was moved from Paris to Geneva in 1984, the marriage was all but over. That summer the family holidayed in the Greek islands and Sally resented Pilar Goess, who not only made a move on the Aga Khan but also her children.

‘What I particularly disliked about her, apart from her being with my husband, was the way my children were integrated into the affair,’ she recalled. ‘K and Pilar used to go for walks along the Bois de Boulogne, taking my sons with them. She kept appearing on board his yacht,Shergar, and made a great fuss of the boys. Rahim and Hussain were very flattered by her attention. She would read to them and look after them.’

In 1994 came the inevitable divorce. Sally emerged with £20 million and auctioned off her jewelry for £17.5 million through Christie’s. Now 67, she now spends her time between her £25 million mansion overlooking Lake Geneva and her 10,700sq ft. £15 million London apartment at Hyde Park Gardens, known as the ‘Palazzo Apartment’. She has since remarried. Her husband, French lawyer Philippe Lizop, is deputy chairman of David Linley and Co. Her eldest son Rahim was educated at the £45,000-a-year Institut Le Rosey, the boarding school for the European elite and royal families, based in the Swiss village of Rolle. The pupils are heirs to the world’s great private fortunes and royal titles: the Shah of IranKing Albert II of Belgium and Prince Rainier III of Monaco all attended.

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When Prince Rahim was a pupil in the early Eighties, the school was like a club. ‘The great thing about Le Rosey,’ recalled the journalist Paul Klebnikov in 1999 for Forbes magazine, who taught there briefly, ‘is the old boy network that it produces – uniquely tight, wealthy and international.’

Prince Rahim left Le Rosey with an excellent academic record and in 1985 attended Phillips Academy, one of America’s oldest boarding schools. Based just north of Boston, it prepares students for the Ivy League and alumni include former US Presidents. In 1990 Prince Rahim enrolled at Brown University, Rhode Island, one of America’s most social colleges.

At Brown, Rahim is remembered for his sharp intellect and bohemian lifestyle. He wore his hair in a ponytail and sported tattoos and a beard. In 1995, aged 24, the Prince graduated and spent an aimless few years, relocating to San Diego.

But in 1998 the Prince moved back to Europe, and shook off his hippie leanings. He secured a business degree from the University of Navarra in Barcelona and moved to Paris, where he still lives in an elegant apartment on boulevard Jean Mermoz in Neuilly- sur-Seine.

In April 2003, he launched his own company, Beyond Hotels Ltd, which aimed to provide films and recreational facilities to hotels. His partners included Christopher Naess, the son of the Norwegian mountaineer Arne Naess Jr, Diana Ross’s second husband. The shares were owned by two offshore companies: Baron Ventures Ltd, based in Nassau, Bahamas, and IBH Trust Inc, registered in the Caribbean island of Nevis. But it was not a success. Beyond Hotels never traded and was dissolved in November 2005.

Rich, clever and nearly the Aga Khan, Prince Rahim holds all the aces. Throughout Europe, he is seen with exotic women at glitzy nightclubs, most notably the Billionaire Club in Sardinia.

And although Prince Rahim still likes to squire beautiful women, he is becoming increasingly involved in his father’s work – keeping up the family tradition of juggling pleasure and industry. He has learned Urdu and  now executive director of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, an international agency dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in the developing world. Via a network of affiliates with 90 companies and annual revenues of $1.5 billion, the fund is active in 16 countries. Projects include the Serena Hotel Chain, which has 33 hotels, safari lodges and resorts in Kabul, Islamabad, Zanzibar and elsewhere. A spokesman says that the ‘Prince is very hands-on, particularly in West Africa’. But it is unclear how much of the Aga Khan’s personal wealth – an estimated £2.5 billion – has been invested. The Aga Khan’s private projects have not always been successful, notably a disastrous investment in a hotel chain, Ciga, in Italy.

The Prince is also active in the Aga Khan’s Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS). ‘Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, hostility to diverse interpretations of Islam, and lack of religious tolerance, have become chronic and worsening problems,’ he told a graduation ceremony at the IIS on Cromwell Road, South Kensington, last year. ‘Sometimes these attitudes have led to hatred and violence. At the root of the problem is an artificial notion among some Muslims and other people that there is, or could ever be, a restricted, monolithic reality called Islam.’

Rahim’s commitment to his father’s work is a relatively new phenomenon, whereas Princess Zahra has been at her father’s side since leaving Harvard, choosing to live with him when her parents divorced in 1994, and focusing on social development projects in Asia and Africa, while also remaining close to her mother and accompanying her to social functions.

She is universally popular, and often travels with her father on his Grumman Gulfstream III private jet. Like her brothers, she was educated at Le Rosey. After taking a course in nursing at Massachusetts General Hospital, she graduated from Harvard with a diploma in Third World studies and, much to her father’s delight, made the polo team. She also owns race horses and has registered her own dark green and brown colors. But Princess Zahra’s personal life has been less successful. In 1997 she married Mark Boyden, the then 27-year-old British management consultant and son of a farming family in Dorset. They have two children, but separated in 2004.

Despite being the oldest and the most capable, Zahra is disqualified from the succession because of her sex – to the frustration of some family friends. ‘Zahra has the nicest personality of the three children,’ said one courtier. ‘Rahim will eventually succeed but she will be a great asset. She has a tremendous sense of humor and is a lot of fun to be with.’

Her other brother, Prince brother, Prince Hussain, is also unlikely to accede, being the youngest. At 16 he broke his left arm while jet-skiing, just three years after he was partially paralyzed on the same side in another jet-ski crash. Hussain went to boarding school at Deerfield College in the US and then university at Williams College, Massachusetts. Based in France, he is passionate about skiing, as well as working for the Aga Khan’s Trust for Culture. In 2006, he married Kristin White, an American health consultant whose father is an academic and mother a psychologist. Meanwhile, the current Aga Khan shows no signs of retiring from either his philandering or philanthropy. After divorcing Sally Croker-Poole, he took up with the London-based German lawyer Gabriele zu Leiningen, 26 years his junior. A former pop singer, she had a degree in international law and a previous relationship with Muck Flick, heir to the Daimler-Benzfortune. Gabriele was introduced to the Aga Khan by the King of Spain in 1998 and, after a whirlwind romance, they were married in a near-secret ceremony.

But within two years, the Aga Khan had lost interest. ‘He has always been this way,’ a lifelong friend told the German newspaper Bild. ‘At first he cannot take his hands off the woman. No present is too expensive. But when he loses enthusiasm, his heart turns to ice.’

In 2004, Gabriele, now known as the Begum Inaara, filed for divorce and told friends that her husband ‘didn’t give enough love’, suggesting he had taken another mistress. K blamed ‘the influence of Gabriele’s socially ambitious German mother-in-law’. The most likely new Begum is another blonde: 40-year-old Beatrice von der Schulenberg. Her father, Frederik van Pallandt, was a Sixties folk singer and half of Nina and Frederik, who found fame with ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’. He later became a member of a drug syndicate and in 1994 was shot dead by a contract killer. Beatrice grew up with her mother in London and attended the Academy of Live and Recorded Art, and Elmhurst Ballet School. She married Jeffrey von der Schulenberg, a German management consultant who was ten years older. They divorced in 2005. The Aga Khan met Beatrice at a party in Paris in early 2006. Since then they have been photographed together on his yachts in the Mediterranean. More recently, they have kept a low profile, although they were at a museum opening which was also attended by the King of Spain. By all accounts, she is more easy-going and relaxed than many of K’s previous wives and mistresses. But the 71-year-old shows no signs of slowing down, not least on the ski slopes, and his children may have to wait a few more years before anyone succeeds to the coveted title.


Credit: Mark Hollingsworth (www.markhollingsworth.co.uk), published as “Aga in Waiting”
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<![CDATA[The Trinity in Ismailism]]>Fri, 08 May 2015 16:46:54 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/the-trinity-in-ismailism
Nizari Ismailis recite the Ismaili Holy Du’a (called Du’a) instead of the Muslim prayer (called salāt in Arabic and namaz in Persian and Urdu). In Urdu-speaking countries, Ismailis insist that since the word namaz does not appear anywhere in the Quran, the namaz which is recited by the Muslims is never commanded by the Quran and that the Ismailis are free to call it Du’a since it is one of the meanings of the Arabic word salāt.

Beyond just the word, the Du’a offered by the Nizari Ismailis is not anything like the Muslim salāt which the Prophet (pbuh) used to offer and which Muslims to-date have learned and practised. Not only did the Prophet (pbuh) offered the Muslim salāt, he also instructed us:
Pray as you have seen me praying.
(Sahih Bukhari Book 1, Vol. 1, Hadith #604)

Other than being different than the Muslim salāt, a deeper inspection of this Du’a reveals many aspects of Ismailis’ own version of Trinity. Daily recitation of this Holy Du’a subliminally minimizes the difference between Allah (swt), Ali (ra) and Aga Khan since the Ismaili worshiper invokes all three during his prayer thinking that he is invoking a single deity.


1. Fixed Form of Nizari Ismaili Holy Dua

The Muslim salah begins with the mandatory recitation of Surah al-Fatiha followed by a recitation of any verse(s) or chapter(s) from the Quran, followed by ruku (bowing) and sujud (prostration). There is no option on the Ismaili worshiper to recite any Chapter of the Quran – the content is fixed and contextually, the Ismaili Holy Dua is directed towards Allah – or is it? We shall examine this in the later part of this article.


2. Triple Invocation

2.1 Triple Invocation #1 (of 3): Invoking Allah (swt) as Ya Mowlana

As claimants of being members of the Muslim Ummah, the Ismailis invoke Allah in their Holy Dua as do more than a billion Muslims around the world. They address Allah as Ya Mowlana

In Unit 2 of Ismaili Holy Du’a, it is recited:
اللهمَ يا مولانا انتَ السَّلامُ وَ مِنكَ السَّلامُ

Transliteration:
Allahumma ya mawlānā  antas-salam, wa minkas-salam,

Translation (English):
O Allah, O our Lord, Thou art the peace, and from Thee is the peace.

Translation (Urdu):
اے اللہ، اے  ہمارے مولا، تو ہی سلامتی ہے اور تجھ ہی سے سلامتی لوٹتی ہے
Here is an excerpt from the Ismaili Dua book as an evidence of the above:
In the same Unit 2 of the Holy Dua, the Ismaili worshiper recites:

اللهُمَ يا مَوْلاَنا مِنكَ مَدَدِي

Transliteration:
Allahumma ya mowlana minka madadi

Translation (English):
O Allah, O our Lord, from Thee is my help

Translation (Urdu):
اے اللہ، اے ہمارے مولا، تجھ  ہی سے میری امداد ہوتی رہتی ہے
Here is an excerpt from the Ismaili Dua book as an evidence of the above:
The above therefore establishes that Allah (swt) is invoked, and equated to Mawla, and is asked for help (مدد), which can be illustrated as follows:


2.2 Triple Invocation #2 (of 3): Invoking Ali (ra) as The Helper

In Unit 2 of the Holy Dua, the Ismaili worshiper invokes Ali (ra) instead of Allah (swt) by saying:
يا علي بلطفكَ ادركني

Transliteration:
Ya ‘Ali Bilutfika Adrikni

Translation (English):
O ‘Aly, help me with your kindness

Translation (Urdu):
اے  علیؑ، اپنے لطف و عنایت  سے میری امداد کے لئے پہنچ
Here is an excerpt from the Ismaili Dua book as an evidence of the above:
This establishes the second component of the Ismaili Trinity where instead of Allah (swt), Ali (ra) is invoked for help by the worshiper during the Ismaili Holy Dua, which can be illustrated as follows:


2.3 Triple Invocation #3 (of 3): Invoking Hazar Imam or Aga Khan as the Helper

In the same Ismaili Holy Du’a in Unit 5 the Ismaili worshiper says with his hands raised:
يا امامَ الزَّمان يا مولانا انتَ قُوَّتِي و انت سَندي وعليكَ اتكالي
يا حاضر يا موجود يا شاه كريم الحسيني، انتَ الامامُ الحقُ المُبِيْنُ


Transliteration:
ya imamaz-zaman, ya mawlānā, anta quwwati , wa anta sanadi, wa’alaykat tlkali,
ya hadir, ya mawjud, ya Shah Karim al husayni, anta al imam ul haqq ul mubin

Translation (English):
O Imam of the time, O our Lord, Thou art my strength and Thou art my support and on Thee I rely
O present O living, O Shah Karim al-Husayni, Thou art the true manifest Imam.

Translation (Urdu):
اے امامِ زمان، اے ہمارے مولا، توہی میری قوت ہے اور تو ہی میرا سہارا ہے اور تجھ ہی پر میرا توکل ہے
اے حاضر، اے موجود ، اے شاہ کریم الحسینی، تو ہی  برحق اور ظاہر امام ہے
Here is an excerpt from the Ismaili Dua book as an evidence of the above:
Therefore here, the Imam az-Zaman (or the Imam of the present time, which is the Aga Khan) is invoked during the Ismaili Holy Du’a:

Hazar Imam is given the title of Mowlana – same as the name given to Allah in the second unit of the Ismaili Dua (illustrated and described above in Section 2.1).

Hazar Imam is asked for strength and support (help) – same as it was sought from Ali (ra) in the second unit of the Ismaili Dua (illustrated and described above in Section 2.2)

These three invocations complete the Ismaili Trinity in the form of Allah (swt), Ali (ra) and the Hazar Imam – all of who are addressed as lord and asked for help, which can be illustrated as follows:


3. Conclusion

Allah says in the Quran in Surah al-Jinn Chapter 72, Verse 18:
وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا

Transliteration:
Wa ‘Anna Al-Masājida Lillāhi Falā Tad`ū Ma`a Allāhi ‘Aĥadāan

Translation (English):
And that the masjids are for Allah, so do not invoke with Allah anyone.

Translation (Urdu):
ور یہ کہ مسجدیں صرف اللہ ہی کے لئے خاص ہیں پس اللہ تعالیٰ کے ساتھ کسی اور کو نہ پکارو
In spite of clear prohibition of worshiping anyone other than Allah according to the Islamic creed and according to the Quran, this ritual of offering prayers is repeated daily in the Ismaili Jamatkhanas (or Ismaili Centers as they are called in the west). When the Ismaili worshiper is reciting this Holy Dua, he is directing it towards a single deity like Muslims do. Muslims, however invoke, praise and worship Allah whereas in the Ismaili Holy Dua, Ismailis invoke and praise Ali (ra) and Hazar Imam. As a result of this trinity, the differentiation between Allah, Ali (ra) and Hazar Imam is subconsciously removed. A normal Ismaili assumes Hazar Imam to have divine powers. Author Mihir Bose writes in book The Aga Khans:
In 1967 a young man, just turning thirty, visited a small Asian community in Iringa in Tanzania. The young man had a most curios background; his mother was English, his father half Italian and he himself was one of the richest men in the world. He had arrived in Iringa, and its small community of 800-odd Asians, as part of his religious duties. Iringa is one of those Tanzanian places which nobody has ever heard of, and no celebrity ever visits. But this young man’s visit was so important that a special extension was built onto the house in which he was to live. This was fitted out in what locals called ‘the Western style’, meaning a bathroom with a proper toilet and a bath tub. Some time during his stay in Iringa the young man had a bath in the bath tub. This would hardly be worth mentioning except that long after the young man had left Iringa, the water that he had used for his bath was saved and bottled. The Asian community in Iringa believed the young man was God and they were happy to buy bottles of the young man’s bath water and preserve it in their homes as a sure mark of their God.
When Willi Frischauer, during writing of his book on the historical account of Karim al Hussaini and his ancestors, spoke to a young Ismaili graduate in an important position in a Commonwealth organization whom he asked to tell the Aga Khan of their conversation, the student replied: ‘Of course, of course – but, being the Imam, he will know anyway.’

Thousands of Ismailis around the world today are living testimony of the belief that their Hazar Imam possesses divine powers of listening to the supplications of Ismailis wherever they speak to him in whatever language they invoke him and granting them their wishes. This is the reason that at the end of every Holy Dua in the Jamatkhana, the following supplications, among many more, are made all across the world calling the Hazar Imam, while the Aga Khan has no worldly possible means of hearing these:
Ya nur mowlana Shah Karim al Husaini Hazar Imam, forgive the sins of the Jamaat

یا نور مولانا شاہ کریم الحسینی حاضر امام جماعت کے کُل گناہ معاف فرما

Ya nur mowlana Shah Karim al Husaini Hazar Imam, give ease to the Jamat in their difficulties

یا نور مولانا شاہ کریم الحسینی حاضر امام جماعت کی کُل مشکلیں آسان فرما

Ya nur mowlana Shah Karim al Husaini Hazar Imam, bless the Jamat with your spiritual glimpse

یا نور مولانا شاہ کریم الحسینی حاضر امام جماعت کو اپنا نورانی دیدار نصیب فرما
May Allah guide the Ismailis to take their guidance from the Quran rather than anything else, and enable them to seek help from Allah rather than anyone else. Amen.
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<![CDATA[The Rejection of Zakat in Ismailism]]>Fri, 01 May 2015 05:03:23 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/the-rejection-of-zakat-in-ismailism
Like other pillars of Islam, zakat is rejected in Ismailism. Instead, the followers of Aga Khan are required to pay something called dasond (دسوند). Unlike in Islam, where zakat is paid yearly on savings at the rate of 2.5% per annumdasond is paid to Aga Khan monthly on earnings at the rate of 12.5% – 25% per month depending upon the level of membership a Ismaili holds in the Jamat.

1. What is Dasond?The word dasond is a derivation from das-ans or das-ant, which means “tenth part”. A contribution of 10% means dasond. To this, a share of 2.5% is added for the current pir (پیر). In Ismailism, the shah (شاہ), which means the current Imām, is responsible for collecting the 10% dasondwhile the current pir is responsible for collecting 2.5% of his share. The present Aga Khan claims to be both the shah, as well as the pir. Hence he collects both of these which comes to 12.5%.

Aga Khan III sent the following reply to a letter by Dr. Pir Mohammad Hoodbhoy, declaring that he held both the offices of the Shah and the pir.
16th October, 1954

My Dear Hoodbhoy,

In reply to your letter of 8th October, the colors of our family are, as you know, red and green, the reason being that we represent both the (offices of) shah and the peer.

The Shah was Hussein, the pir was Hasan. Hasan had the pir’s color of green, but Hussein’s martyrdom was so enormous in events and was so opposed to even the smallest laws of war that the color of his holy blood, namely red, was accepted with the green of the Prophet’s flag as a souvenir and remembrance of that terrible day.

Ismailis consider the Imām to be their spiritual father and pir to be their spiritual mother, even though both of them have historically always been male. As mentioned above in his official letter, Aga Khan III claimed both the positions of spiritual motherhood as well as spiritual fatherhood.

2. Dasond to be Paid Directly into Jamatkhana and Not as Charity to the Poor

It is general knowledge among Muslims that the eight permissible recepients of zakat are clearly spelled out in the Quran in Surah at-Taubah (The Repentance), Chapter 9, Verse 60 as follows:
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۖ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
Now let us see how vast is the difference is in Ismailism:

This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting an influential Ismaili social worker that  had just returned from his tour of India and Pakistan. He had one very important and valid question on his mind. Since I have lived in Pakistan, he imagined that I would be in a better position to answer his query or else elucidate on the subject. His question was in connection with the Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.

One of the senior administrators of the Age Khan Hospital, who keeps on visiting continent after continent, collecting millions of dollars for the hospital project had informed the Jamat that in Pakistan, that the “Muslims” (a term used by Ismailis for non-Ismailis) are contributing theirzakat to the hospital.

The question of the visitor was that if that was the case, then could he adjust his past donations to the Aga Khan Hospital against his future contributions of dasond? Alternatively, can he funnel his dasond money to the Aga Khan Hospital, in the future, or to any other lsmaili “Boarding School” (term used for Orphanages)?

He also mentioned that back home it was not difficult to collect cash under the table. In Canada, paying of the dasond in cash to mukhi (minister of the Aga Khan) without obtaining a receipt poses accounting problems. The amount contributed cannot be deducted as expenses on his income tax returns. Physical cash has to be withdrawn from a bank and handed over personally to the ministers of the Aga Khan in the Jamatkhanas every month. At times, there are long queues at the banks and also in the Jamatkhanas to submit the dasond money. Finally, there is a question of savings. Contributions paid to a registered institution having a tax exemption means a big saving in the income tax.

My response was that the senior administrator he had named was not only a roving ambassador but also a very highly paid kingpin at the Aga Khan Hospital. I had no reason to doubt the statement made by him in public or before the Jamat. If “Muslims” can regard their donations to the Hospital as Zakat, then Ismailis can offset their donations to the Hospital as dasond.

In principle, a Ismaili should be able to pay 2.5% to Aga Khan as the share of pir and the balance of 10% can be offset against his contributions as poor-dues to charitable hospitals and orphanages if he so chooses. However, this is not permissible in Ismailism and all dasond has to be paid directly into the Jamatkhana by every Ismaili.

3.  Dasond Rates and Mandli Memberships

Every Ismaili is supposed to pay 12.5% of his gross income as dasond. There are thousands of Ismailis in Canada who pay 25% of their gross income to Aga Khan. They pay this higher contribution because they are members of an exclusive mandli (group) called ‘Mubarak Mandli‘ or ‘One-fourth Mandli‘. They hold secret monthly meetings called “One-fourth Majlis” in Jamatkhanas throughout the world. They pay their dasond of 25% in their Majlis to the mukhis of their Mandlis and not to the mukhi of the Jamatkhana.

An Ismaili who is not a member of the ‘Mubarak Mandli’ cannot participate in their Majlis. Aga Khan gives members of the Mubarak mandli private audiences and makes special farmans. He also gives them special blessings. My wife was a member of a Mubarak Mandli. She paid 25% of her personal income, or pocket money received from me and also on the gifts and prizes received by her. My wife would not tell me the farmansmade for ‘Mubarak Mandli‘. She had a book of ‘Private and Confidential Farmans’ for her group which I was not allowed to touch. I believe they consider Aga Khan as their “Partner” or vice verse. I am told there is a group above the Mubarak. The members of these groups, I am told, pay 33.3% of their income to Aga Khan. I have not met any member of this Mandli because they would not reveal their identity, nor would anyone confirm their existence.

On the other hand, I was a member of ‘Noorani Mandli’, of which my wife was not a member. I was not allowed to tell my wife what transpired in our Majlises nor what was revealed by Aga Khan to our private group of elite. To become a member of “Noorani” I had to pay a considerable sum, to the treasurer of Aga Khan, as an entrance fee. I was not issued a receipt for the amount tendered nor a membership card or a certificate. When I attended the first Majlis of my Noorani Mandli, I was surprised to see that practically every well-to-do Ismaili was in the group. Non-members – usually those who could not afford the entrance fees – were not allowed to participate in our Majlises. After the Majlis they were invited to help as volunteers, to serve our lunches and dinners. Every Ismaili is virtually segregated from another Ismaili, or a husband segregated from his wife and vice verse, based on memberships of these mandlis.

Before joining the ‘Noorani‘ I passed through half a dozen smaller segregated Groups or Mandlis; each having their own designated place in the community. After my joining the Noorani Mandli, I was told of a few other Mandlis that were above my group. I have no idea where this hierarchy of elite and super elite Ismailis come to an end. All I know is that the higher the Mandli, the higher the entrance fee and the more segregated you become. Aga Khan gives separate audiences to each Mandli and makes appropriate farmans. The more you pay the closer you are considered to be to Aga Khan. His farmans give you that sense of elevation. The names designated to these Mandlis also identify the class distinctions. Surprisingly, the only requisite for it is, how much you can afford to pay in “cash”. There are Mandlis which are equivalent to clubs of the recipients of “Purple Heart” or “Victoria Cross“. The Membership criteria is money. In other words money is the root of all elevations and distinctions.

4. Triple TaxationFrom my personal experience I can say that an Ismaili bread-earner would pay 12.5% of his income to Aga Khan. He then would give his wife pocket money to buy her clothing and other needs. Then his wife would pay 25% of the pocket money, as her Mubarak Mandli dues to Aga Khan. Then, she would give her children a weekly allowance. Each child would pay 12.5% to Aga Khan out of his or her allowance.

I have often asked missionaries, “Why should the wife pay 25%, if the husband has already paid 12.5% prior to the payment of pocket money?” Since I was not a member of the Mubarak, it was not an appropriate subject for me to discuss, and missionaries are not allowed to discuss matters pertaining to “Mubarak” with non-members. A childhood friend of mine is a member of “Mubarak” and so is his wife. In their family, the rate of “triple Dasond” is 25% – 25% – 12.5%. That gives me some consolation that in my family the rate was 12.5 – 25% and 12.5%.

During the period of his Imamat, Aga Khan III had made very strict Farmans for Dasond. Some of his Farmans suggested that losses may occur by fire and sickness if Dasond was not paid in full, and also mentioned that without the Dasond there was no foundation for the religion. An Ismaili cannot attain “Noorani Deedar” (spiritual glimpse of Aga Khan) or make any progress in his esoteric meditation if he defaults in his payment ofDasond. On the other hand, contributors of Dasonds will be repaid here, and hereafter in the ratio of 1:125,000.

The present Aga Khan has not made any specific Farmans for Dasonds, but by the same token has not stopped collecting Dasond or has not stopped giving his “special blessings” to members of the Mubarak Mandli.

5. Dasond is Also Due to be Paid by Recipients of CharityOn the evening of February 8th 1970, Karim Aga Khan was sitting on a sofa in the Prayer Hall (Jamatkhana) of Muhammadi Girls’ Academy Karachi, with his shoes on. I was standing beside him with my shoes off and nearly 200 resident boarders of the Academy and staff members were sitting on the floor facing the Aga Khan. They all were reciting ‘Salwat’ with their hands clasped and raised.

After the usual ceremonies of Niaz, Memanis, Blessings and Farmans, Karim Aga Khan was about to get up from his sofa when the innocent young girls of the Academy, who were dressed in white, began crying. Tears started rolling down their tiny cheeks. The girls were seeking forgiveness, but for what? Aga Khan was surprised. He asked me what was the problem. I asked Mukhiyani the reason. She began talking to Aga Khan in her usual manner and language, which Aga Khan could not understand. She was speaking about ‘Dasond‘ and was pointing at her wrist. With a look of bewilderment, Karim Aga Khan – the one “who has the knowledge and authority of every thing” – asked me to explain what the Mukhiyani had related.

Before I continue further, I wish to inform you that the Ismailia Youth Services – a parent body of Muhammadi Girls’ Academy and Prince Aly Boys’ Academy had hired an Ismaili lady-missionary to teach Ismailism to the girls of the Academy. She was a member of special Mandli mentioned before. She had probably indoctrinated the girls about ‘Dasond’ to be paid from the charitable donations collected. I clarified before Karim Aga Khan that the girls of the Academy who were crying, had certain concepts about Dasond. Because the 12.5% Dasond was not being paid from donations collected, they felt that the food prepared from the money was not pure. Pointing to the veins on her hand the Mukhiyani tried to describe the fact that the blood produced from the food also was impure. Consequently the girls could not progress in their Bandgi‘ (meditation) every morning.

Thereupon, Aga Khan made a Farman to the girls which stated that any money received by him as Dasond is returned. If they paid the Dasond it will be paid back. This was not a simple Farman, to pay or not to pay the Dasond.

In the following meeting of the Ismailia Youth Services I was bombarded with questions. I was requested to strain my memory and repeat theFarman verbatim precisely, because it could be misinterpreted. Unfortunately, no other member of the Youth Services or of the Academy was present at that moment. I could not be precise as I did not make notes. During their two hours tour of boys’ and girls’ Academies, I must admit I answered dozens of questions and heard that many remarks, advises and jokes from their Highnesses.

The issue was delicate and concerned the fundamental aspects of Ismaili religion. The members could not come to a unanimous decision as to the paying of the Dasond , out of charity money. It was resolved that a guidance be sought from Aga Khan by writing a letter.

Aga Khan replied that the Ismaili Youth Services should pay a token amount, every month, in the Jamatkhana as a dasond. Now came the real problem, how to pay the Dasond in cash without any written acknowledgment of the payment? The treasurer would not release funds every month without a voucher because the auditors would not pass such withdrawals. The second question was about justifying to the donors the payment of dasond. Some of them were giving donations in lieu of the dasond  and they would not like their contributions channeled to the treasury of Aga Khan.

Finally, a member of the Youth Services agreed to pay the sum demanded by Aga Khan in the Jamatkhana every month, for a period of one year out of her pocket. Before the year was over I was nominated as President of the Council and had to relinquish my post with the Ismailia Youth Service and Muhammadi Girls’ Academy. I am not sure, but I believe that the farman of the Aga Khan to pay dasond, from the charitable donations, is still being diligently followed. The money continues to go from the pocket of the Youth Services or its members into the collection bag of the mukhi.

Today, the girls of the Academy who were crying must be grown and perhaps, they may be wondering was it necessary to pay “poor dues” (dasond) out of charity money? Was non-payment a reason for not gaining progress in their ‘bandgi‘? “Do we have to follow the teachings of our teachers, missionaries or parents, if they are teaching us or asking us to practice a belief that is sinful in the eyes of Allah?”

Allah mentions in Surah al-Ankabut (The Spider), Chapter 29, Verse 8:
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا ۖ وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ لِتُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۚ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. To Me is your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.
The above is an improvised extract from Akberally Meherally’s Understanding Ismailism: A Unique Tariqa of IslamDownload the complete book from here for free.
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<![CDATA[Aga Khan's Alcohol Business]]>Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:18:42 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/aga-khans-alcohol-businessThe complete prohibition of intoxicants was established through the following verse of the Quran:
O you who believe! intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaitan's work; shun it therefore that you may be successful. The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist?

The Holy Quran, Surah al-Maida, Chapter 5: 90-91)
The above verse was revealed after initial verses discouraging the Muslim from praying while intoxicated (4:43) and before that stating that intoxicants do more harm than good (2:219).

The Prophet (pbuh) further instructed Muslims to refrain from selling of alcohol. It was narrated from Jabir bin `Abdullah that he heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying in the year of the Conquest (of Mecca) while he was in Mecca:
"Allah and His Apostle have made the selling of wine unlawful."

Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Military Expeditions led by the Prophet (pbuh) (Al-Maghaazi), Vol. 5, Book 59, Hadith 590
Furthermore, it was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
"Wine is cursed from ten angles: The wine itself, the one who squeezes, the one for whom it is squeezed, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, the one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, the one who consumes its price, the one who drinks it and the one who pours it.”

Sunan Ibn Majah, Chapters on Drinks, Vol. 4, Book 30, Hadith 3380
Aga Khan, who claims to be a Muslim leader and a self-proclaimed direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), openly disobeys the Quran. He owns a chain of luxury 5-star hotels known as Serena Hotels (www.serenahotels.com). Alcohol is openly sold in the bars of these hotels. 
Above: Invitation for Wine Tasting at Polana Serena Hotel
Above: Champagne offerings pictured in the homepage of Serena Lake Manyara. 
Source: http://www.serenahotels.com/serenalakemanyara/default-en.html
The following is a list of locations where Aga Khan sells alcohol:

1. Afghanistan
1.1 Pool Bar in Kabul Serena Hotel http://www.serenahotels.com/serenakabul/dining-en.html

2. Pakistan
2.1 Pool Bar at Faisalabad Serena Hotel http://www.serenahotels.com/serenafaisalabad/default-en.html
2.2 Pool Bar at Islamabad Serena Hotel  http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaislamabad/dining-en.html
2.3 Pool Bar at Quetta Serena Hotel http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaquetta/dining-en.html
2.4 Pool Bar at Swat Serena Hotel http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaswat/dining-en.html

3. Kenya
3.1 Pool Terrace and Bar  at Nairobi Serena Hotel  http://www.serenahotels.com/serenanairobi/poolterraceandbar-en.html
3.2 Aksum Bar at Nairobi Serena Hotel http://www.serenahotels.com/serenanairobi/aksumbar-en.html
3.3 Wines, beers, spirits  at Mara Serena Safari Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenamara/dining-en.html
3.4 Wines, beers, spirits at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaamboseli/dining-en.html
3.5 Wines, beers, spirits at Sweetwaters Tented Camp http://www.serenahotels.com/serenasweetwaters/dining-en.html
3.6 Wines, beers, spirits at Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenakilaguni/dining-en.html
3.7 Wines, beers, spirits at Serena Mountain Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenamountainlodge/dining-en.html
3.8 Wines, beers, spirits at Ol Pejeta House http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaolpejeta/dining-en.html

Champagne offerings pictured at the homepage of Serena Lake Manyara. 
(Source: http://www.serenahotels.com/serenalakemanyara/default-en.html)
4. Mozambique
4.1 Aquarius Restaurant and Bar Polana Serena Hotel) http://www.serenahotels.com/serenapolana/dining-en.html
4.2 The Polana Bar(Polana Serena Hotel) http://www.serenahotels.com/serenapolana/dining-en.html

5. Rwanda
5.1 Lake View Bar and Terrace (Lake Kivu Serena Hotel) http://www.serenahotels.com/serenalakekivu/default-en.html
5.2 Ziwani beach café and bar (Lake Kivu Serena Hotel) http://www.serenahotels.com/serenalakekivu/default-en.html

6. Tanzania
6.1 Masahani Bar at Zanzibar Serena Inn http://www.serenahotels.com/serenazanzibar/dining-en.html
6.2 Wines, beers, spirits at Arusha Mountain Village http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaarusha/dining-en.html
6.3 Wines, beers, spirits at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenangorongoro/dining-en.html
6.4 Wines, beers, spirits at Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaserengeti/dining-en.html
6.5 Wines, beers, spirits at Lake Manyara Safari Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenalakemanyara/dining-en.html
6.6 Wines, beers, spirits at Selous Wildlife Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaselous/dining-en.html
6.7 Wines, beers, spirits at Mivumo River Lodge http://www.serenahotels.com/serenamivumo/dining-en.html

7. Uganda
7.1 Mist Bar at Kampala Serena Hotel  http://www.serenahotels.com/serenakampala/dining5-en.html
7.2 The Kigo Bar  at Lake Victoria Serena Resort http://www.serenahotels.com/serenalakevictoria/dining3-en.htmlFor more information and an audio narrative, please watch the video below:

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<![CDATA[Al Karimi Bunglows Fraud | Ismaili Community Frauds]]>Thu, 09 Apr 2015 05:25:43 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/al-karimi-bunglows-fraud-ismaili-community-fraudsA friend of mine was going through a severe financial crisis - the details of which he never revealed. One day however, he broke down and shared his sad story with me.

My friend belongs to Ismaili community and he invested all his life savings into a community property project Al Karimi which lately discovered a biggest fraud with all the Ismaili community in Karachi, Pakistan. All society (Al Karimi) members handed over a large sum of their life savings amount into the project blindly.

I will definitely share those names specially the main leader who started this fraud scheme and ripped-off each and every member of this society from this scheme, He is none other than Saleem Lalani (Ex-State Bank employee) who gathered few more community leaders to gain community trust and launch this scam.

Following are the project details:

Company: Al Karimi Multipurpose Cooperative Society

Chairman:  Mr. Salim Lalani / Saleem Lalani (Ex-State bank employee)

Project Name: Al Karim Bungalows

Project Start Date: 22/08/2006

Main Leadership / Partners:  Abdul Nabi Reimoo, Nizar Noorallah Panjwani, Wazir Ali Panjwani, Madad Ali 

Total Fraud in PKR : 336,474,339.00

Let me share the following newspaper cutting which published in 2011 as the affected members of the society went to court for legal justice but nothing happened.
Picture
Daily Ummat - 21 April 2011 in which legal proceedings initiated against illegal purchase of 20 acres of land by the Al Karimi Cooperative Housing Society
The above is a news clip from Daily Ummat of 21 April in which charges were leveled against all members of the managing committee of the housing society for illegal purchase of land. Names of the members mentioned include Chairman Salim Lalani, Vice Chairman Abdul Nabi, Honorary Secretary Vazir Panjwani, Member Finance Nizar Panjwani as mentioned in the audit report.

One week later, details of the fraud were revealed after investigation as shown in the below clips:

There are more than hundred people who have invested their lifetime savings in the project. Some of them have even sold their houses to invest in this project.

It's now been over 9 years but the culprit are enjoying their lavish life and no one is taking responsibility to resolve this issue. The reconciliation and arbitration board within the community has absolved themselves of such community frauds whereas this is the very reason for their existence. It is suspected that the fraudsters have connections deep enough within the community's local leadership.

Source/Credit: https://communityfrauds.wordpress.com/

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<![CDATA[The Need for a Living Imam]]>Thu, 09 Apr 2015 05:18:00 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/the-need-for-a-living-imamۚ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

Translation:

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Holy Quran 5:3 – excerpt)

1. Takmil-e-Deen / Khatm-e-Nabuwat as the Basic Tenet of Faith

The religion of Islam has been perfected by Allah forever and for all the times and times to come. It does not need any innovation. Quran is the eternal, divine, flawless, faultless, intact, absolute, final and perfect Hidayat and the Code of Life for all the times and for all the people. Nothing can be added to nor can any part be omitted nor the words or sentences be changed from their placement. Quran has been perfected by Allah and there is no more any necessity for further revelations. Allah has repeatedly and in different manners has ordained and explained that, the Quran, He has made is easy to understand. This means that there is no need of any divine, secret or spiritual interpretation or interpreter. Allah has taken the responsibility to protect The Quran from any type of corruption. We see this miracle that Quran that is in our hands is the same original one in its pristine purity since last more than fourteen centuries.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the final and universal messenger till the day of Qiamah. The Quran is the final, eternal and perfect message/Hidayat, which is forever. Therefore there is no necessity for further revelations and consequently there is no more any necessity for the future Prophets.

The blessed Apostle of Allah, Muhammad Rasool-Allah (pbuh), with great pains, sufferings and continuous efforts, practiced perfectly in accordance to the guidance (hidayat) laid down in the Blessed Book, the Qur’an. This took twenty three years of continuous and ardent efforts under the direct guidance of Allah (swt). This is how the Prophethood reached its zenith and eternal perfection; this Ummah is the final Ummah till the Day of Judgment (Qiamah). There remains neither any necessity for further Prophet nor further revelations nor any new Ummah.

In gist now we have complete, perfect, divine and eternal Code of Life in the form of Qur’an; and we have complete and eternal Procedure Code of Life in the Sunnah of the Final Blessed Prophet (pbuh).

First, I shall tell you how I got interested in this Basic Tenet of Faith, Takmil-e-Deen/Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. A very effective movement took place against the Qadianis/Ahmedis on the point of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. During last some decades one Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani had claimed that he was a prophet. The anti-Qadiani movement gained ground and there was a fear that blood shed was imminent. The epicenter of this movement was Lahore, the provincial capital city of Punjab. Martial Law was imposed and General Azam Khan was the Martial Law Administrator. Mawlana Maududi, the Head of Jama’t e Islami, with many of his colleagues was arrested.  Mawlana Maudidi was awarded a death sentence which never took place. Anyhow the movement was suppressed for the time being and the arrested persons were released.

This movement interested me and I read Qadiani and anti-Qadiani literature. I read this literature in some detail. I fell into great confusion, bewilderment and perplexity resulting into consequent depression. The reason for this problem of mine was the deep and in-depth ingrained Doctrine of Imamat, in my mind since my early formative years and nurtured throughout  my youth by Ismaili literature and the lectures of various missionaries. Day by day, my confusion and perplexity was increased and I was in grave depression. It was very difficult to digest the point that: Wahi/Divine revelations are Merciful Blessing and the Guidance. How it can end when mankind is there and every day thousands of men are born? This was due to the doctrine of Imamat hammered into my mind since my formative years.

In the mean time I came across a noble and highly learned person whose name was Abdul Ghani. He had to his credit D. Oxon in Arabic from UK and had studied Islam in the University of Al-Azhar in Egypt. He kept himself at a low profile. I discussed my problem with him. He kept on hearing me. I discussed this point in detail. He explained in depth and convinced me on all the points I raised.  He consistently advised me to learn Salat/Namaz and do perform daily and Tehjud in the night. I benefited much from this advice. And, that opened many vistas of knowledge of Islam. Allah bless Ghani Sahib for his noble works.

It then dawned upon me that Qur’an is the only Divine Guidance and I can reap abundant and total guidance from, provided, I can wipe out my mind of all the false and erroneous ideas harboured and rooted there in. This did work and there after the Qur’an became very easy to follow, understand and act upon the Blessed Guidance. My Satanic ideas of the Ismaili doctrine of Imamat were gradually washed away and the truthful understanding of the Basic Tenet of Takmil-e-Deen / Khatm-e-Nabuwwat gradually evolved.

After this preliminary status of mind I will narrate the importance of this Basic Tenet of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, the Takmil-e-Deen of Islam.

2. Importance of Takmil-e-Deen/Perfection of Islam

The will and Pleasure of the Omnipotent Allah (swt) unfolded by making Islam complete, perfect, flawless, faultless, eternal and suited to the demands of all times and all climes. Muhammad the blessed apostle of Allah, faithfully delivered the Message vouchsafed to him and he had striven with all of his might to raise the final Ummah, which could discharge the responsibilities ordained by Allah and exemplified by the Holy Apostle. This ummah is entrusted the charge of spreading the message of Islam, safeguarding the Qur’an in its pristine purity against all deviations, innovations and assuming the leadership of humanity in order to guide it on the right path.

3. Importance of Takmil-e-Deen in the Modern Era and the Deception of Esoterism

In the present era, the issue of the finality of the prophethood is of great importance. In the last couple of centuries, certain self-seeking and dishonest persons have emerged whose sole aim and purpose has been to mislead the Muslim Ummah and to sow the seeds of discord and dissent amongst the various groups of Ummah. The modus operandi is to divert and sidetrack the Ummah from the accepted beliefs in the basic tenet of the faith, the finality of the Prophethood. The well-known enemies of Islam engineered/fabricated some conspiracies.  This sensitive issue demands some awareness and in depth study of this Tenet of Faith, the Finality of the Prophethood. For example, Bahauddin in Persia and Gulam Ahmad Qadiani in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, openly but erroneously claimed that they were Prophets of Islam for their malicious nasty and wicked purposes. Moreover there are certain Sufi and Batini Cults which have tried to hijack the functions of Prophet-hood for their selfish ends, in the form of secret, esoteric, batini and spiritual doctrines. These are only malevolent cults. Some have claimed the divinity (elahiat) in different forms viz incarnation of Allah in human form. For this purpose, they have fabricated false doctrines and cult practices which are quite alien to Islam. Their only aim, object and goal is to introduce false notions that the Final and Perfect Message i.e. Quran and the shariah established by the blessed apostel Muhammad of Islam on the basis of Quran, are not the final, complete and everlasting. In their fabricated Cult Doctrines, the Shariat can be amended, suspended and can be abrogated. The Shariat can be interpreted only by certain persons only, these persons claim that they have inherent right to change, amend, suspend or abrogate the shariah. They also claim that the shariah based on Quran and sunnah has two aspects one zahirmeaning manifest and apparent, the other is batini and secret meaning. And this is known to only certain persons who have direct communion with Allah. Some people have tried to introduce the philosophical interpretation of shariah, but Islam does not need the crutches of philosophy which is human thinking and the Quran is a Divine Message. These persons are false claimants and hide their identity under the banners of some buzurgImam sahib, wali (plural Awlia), peer sahib, shah Sahibsufi-buzurg, and host of similar terms.

With this background, we will study and elucidate this Basic Tenet of Faith: Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. Volumes and volumes have been written on this Basic Tenet of Faith. I do not intend to go in these details. I may discuss the points that interested me and led me to the correct concept and perception of this basic tenet of faith.

4. A Historical Perspective of Takmil-e-Deen


a. If we look at the history of all the Prophets from Adam to Jesus/Essa ibne Maryam we find that none of the prophets claimed the finality of the prophethood for himself.

b. There is no mention in all the previous revealed scriptures to the point and effect that any of these scriptures is perfect and final, nor there is any mention that any of the prophets is final prophet, but the Quran does claim.

c. In the history we have very scant information from Prophet Adam to the period before Prophet Moses. From Prophet Moses onward, we have enough references for the succeeding Prophets (pbut).

d. In Taurat/Torah there are references that there will be succeeding prophets. In Taurat and in Quran we find prophecies by Prophet Moosa that the Final Blessed Prophet will appear in the succeeding period.

Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.  

(Surah al-A’araf, 7:157)

Say, [O Muhammad], “O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, [from Him] to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death.” So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered prophet, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him that you may be guided.  

(Surah al-A’araf, 7:158)

Here the use of the word Ummi for the Holy Prophet in 7:157 is very significant. This was and is used as the national pride and arrogance of the Jews who called the non-Jews ummis (gentiles or goems). In this respect, they were so arrogant, that as a nation, neither to speak to nor to acknowledge an Ummi as a leader. They were, and are not ready even to concede basic human rights for the gentiles. It was, and is their conviction but false belief that they are not to be called to account of their behavior towards gentiles. But now their salvation solely depends in following this Ummi Prophet. If they follow him, they receive a portion of the Mercy of Allah (swt), otherwise they are doomed to the same wrath to which they were subjected during the centuries of their deviation.

4. Testimony of the BibleThe Bible also testifies for the coming of the Blessed Prophet in the future to succeed Jesus. Prophet Yahya (pbuh) or John The Baptist, was in jail. He heard the news that the Messiah Prophet ʿĪsā (pbuh) or Jesus has appeared and he has claimed that he is the Blessed Prophet. To confirm this message Prophet Yahya (pbuh) sent a person to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and asked the question to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) whether you are the same blessed Messiah? Prophet Jesus (pbuh) replied that the lame and disabled persons can walk straight and the blinds are bestowed vision, what more confirmation you want? The message was properly delivered to Prophet Yahya (pbuh) and he was fully satisfied.

We come across the prophecy of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to the effect that The Prophet Ahmed (pbuh) will succeed him. The details of which we find in Qur’an Surah Aş-Şaf, Chapter 61:6:

And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”

For the ones who are further interested, here are a few references in the Old Testament and the New Testament: Deutronomy 18: 15-19, Mathew 21: 33, 22: 1-4, 23 2, 42-46, John 1: 19-21 14:14-17, 25-30, 15: 25-26, 16:7-15, 42: 1-4, 14: 17,31.


It is narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) that:

"I have been honored over the Prophets with six (things): I have been given jawami' al-kalaam, I have been aided by (the ability to cause in the enemy) fright, the spoils of war have been made lawful for me, the Earth has been made as a Masjid and purifier for me, and I have been sent to all creatures, and with me Prophethood is sealed."  -- Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Vol. 3, Book 19, Hadith 1553

The Prophet (pbuh) of Allah also said:

“My position in relation to the prophets who came before me can be understood by this parable: A person erected a great building decorated and adorned this edifice with great beauty, but he left a niche, an empty space, for just one brick. People looked around the building and marveled at its beauty, but said: why a brick was missing from that niche? I am like unto that one missing brick and I am last in the line of the Prophets.”  -- Kitab-ul-Manaqib, al-Bukhari

Regarding the finality of the ummah, he said:

"There is no prophet after me, and there is, no Ummah after my Ummah." -- Baihaqi: Kitab-ar-Ru’ya and Tabrani)

An important historical point: In the terminal days of the blessed Apostle of Allah, one Musailama Qazab had claimed that he was a prophet. The Apostle of Allah termed him a liar and ordered a war against him and collected an army. But in these days the Prophet breathed his last. Abu Bakr became the first Caliph. He declared war against Musailima Qazab, the false claimant of prophet, their women and children were made slaves and every able follower of the false claimant was killed.

Thus, evidently, it was not the crime of rebellion for which the companions fought them but the crime was that a person had claimed to be a prophet after the Holy Prophet. This action was taken immediately after the demise of the Holy Prophet under the leadership of the first Caliph Abu Bakr. There was complete and total consensus of the companions of the Prophet that the only punishment is death for the claimant of prophethood.

6. Scholarly opinions regarding Takmil-e-Deen

Now let me quote the opinions from the works of the learned scholars:

1. A man in the time of Imam Abu Hanifa (80-150 AH) claimed to be a prophet, and said, “Allow me to present proof of my prophethood.” The Imam ruled: “Anyone who demands a proof of prophethood from him, will also turn to disbeliever, for me Messenger of Allah has said: “There is no prophet after me.” Reference: Munaqib al-Imam –A’zam Abi Hanifa. Ibne Ahmad al-Makki vol 1 page 161. Hyderabad Deccan AH 1321

2. “Imam Ghazali (450-505 AH) says: “There is complete consensus of Muslim Ummah that there is no prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The whole Ummah is unanimous that the Holy Prophet by his words La nabbiya ba’di meant nothing but that: after him there will neither be a prophet nor an Apostle. Anyone who interpret this saying in any other way, falls outside the pale of Islam; his interpretation would be nonsensical and his writings heretical. Besides. the Ummah is unanimous that there is no scope whatever for any other interpretation than this; one who denies it, denies the consensus of the Ummah,” reference: Al-Iqtisad fil I’tqad. Egypt page 114.

3. Qadi Iyad (d.544 AH) writes: “He who lays a claim to prophethood for himself or holds that one can acquire it and can attain the rank of prophethood through the purification of the heart, as some philosophers and so called Sufis assert, and likewise one who does not claim to be a prophet but claims that be receives revelations; all such people are disbelievers and deniers of the Holy Prophet, for he has informed us that he is last of the prophets and that no prophet is to come after him. And he has conveyed this news from Allah that he has closed the prophethood and that he has been sent to all mankind, and the whole Ummah is unanimous that these words no other but apparent meaning, Therefore, there can be absolutely no doubt about such peoples’ being Kafir both according to the consensus and the Traditions.” Reference: Shifa volume II page 270-271.

4. Allama Alusi (death 1270 AH) writes in his commentary Ruh al-Mani: “… The Holy Prophet being Khatam al-Nabiyyin by itself requires that he should also be Khatam al-Mursalin and his being the last of the Prophets and Apostles implies that his being blessed by Allah with the Prophethood for any jinn or human being has been abolished.” Reference Ruh al-Mani volume XXII page 32. “Whoever after him claims to be a recipient of revelation of the prophethood, will be declared Kafir and there is no difference of opinions amongst Muslims in this regard.” Reference Ruh al-Mani volume XXII page 38.

The above citations are from Ahadis and eminent learned scholars of the past with intention that there can be none of my bias or prejudice in elucidating the dictates, decrees and injunctions of the basic concept and tenet of faith the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat.

Many a times we hear that there are or will be seventy two sects in Islam. Out of which only one is correct. Any sect that deviates from this basic tenet of faith and conception of Kham-e-Nabuwwat is not a true sect of Islam. Therefore the only correct and true one is that which is in total consonance and identity with this tenet of faith.

7. Is there any need of new Prophet?

Let us consider and ponder on this point of a new prophet. Prophethood is not a quality which anyone can develop himself by worship and righteous acts. Accept Allah no one can designate prophet or prophethood; therefore, no one can designate this office to anyone.  Prophethood is not a property nor a commodity that can be dynastically bestowed nor there can be devolution nor inheritance.

Now let us see in what circumstances we need a new prophet and whether these circumstances do exist:

  1. A particular nation stood in need of prophet because no prophet came to it before, nor had the message of a prophet sent to other nation reached it.
  2. The appointment of a prophet became necessary because the teaching of the former prophet had been forgotten, or tampered with, and it was no longer possible to know and follow his message in practical life.
  3. The people might have not received the complete message and guidance through the former prophet and more prophets were needed to supplement this teaching.
  4. A prophet might have needed another prophet to help and support him in carrying out his mission.
Obviously non of the above scenarios exist. The Quran tells us that the Prophet (pbuh)  has been raised for the guidance of the entire mankind. Therefore, there remains no need for separate prophets to be sent to separate nations. We have Quran in its pristine purity as the Code of Hidayat for the humanity and the Sunnah of the blessed prophet practiced during his long tenure of twenty three years in the most adverse circumstances is the  code of Procedure  and prepared the final Ummah.

8. Quranic Testimony of Takmil-e-Deen

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا

Translation:

Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing. (Holy Quran 33:40)

These points in the above verse need some elucidation:

First, that Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah

and 

Second, that [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets.

8.1 Muhammad is not the father of any of your menIf we look at the history we find that there were emperors and their empires, kings and their kingdoms many of whom claimed divine rights to rule. Heredity and dynasties were established by direct blood relations. The son, after the death of any king or emperor claimed all the rights to the kingdoms and all the properties including even divine right to rule. And there were no constraints of any kind and many of them ruled as tyrants and despots.

In Islam, no one can claim divinity or the manifestation of divinity or any divine right to rule even if it happens to be a son or very near relative of the prophets. The door of inheritance of Islam is closed for ever. Islam is not a commodity or any tangible or non-tangible property that can be inherited by any one. Only Allah has total sovereignty over Deen-e-Islam and over all the creation of the universe and that cannot be hijacked by anyone however highly he is placed neither in authority nor even by any sort of blood relation or spiritual descent/inheritance. Islam is the guidance (hidaya) to all the mankind and forever.

Allah the Almighty is the knower of the past, present and future. Therefore Allah has guided that a believer (mu'min) should not fall in the trap of this sort of misguidance. Though Allah bestowed two sons to the Holy Prophet but both of them died as infants so that no heredity can be claimed. Amongst Jews the inheritance is through the female / daughter.

In Quran the Furqan we find two examples where at it is clearly indicated that no special or divine rights are available even to the sons of the prophets:

a. Son of Prophet Noah (Nuh); and

b. Progeny of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim).

a. Son of Prophet Noah (Nuh): Let us contemplate and envisage on the verses of the Quran in Surah Hūd verses 42-43 and 45-47.

42. And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], "O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers."

43. [But] he said, "I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water." [Noah] said, "There is no protector today from the decree of Allah , except for whom He gives mercy." And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.

45. And Noah called to his Lord and said, "My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true; and You are the most just of judges!"

46. He said, "O Noah, indeed he is not of your family; indeed, he is [one whose] work was other than righteous, so ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant."

47. [Noah] said, "My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers."

b. Progeny of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim):  As in regard of the progeny of Prophet Ibrahim let us envisage on verse 124 of Surah al-Baqarah:

124. And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [ Allah ] said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." [Abraham] said, "And of my descendants?" [ Allah ] said, "My covenant does not include the wrongdoers."

The lesson that we can learn is:

i. It is the Mercy of Allah the Al-Mighty that He has bestowed upon the humanity a perfect code of life in the form of the Qur’an and the perfect procedure code in the form of the Sunnah of the Blessed Prophet.

ii. None of these two is a heritable commodity even if one is related to the prophet with blood relation, nor by any spiritual affinity.

iii. Islam is perfect and Allah has taken the responsibility of protection of the Qur’an the universal and eternal code of life for all the human beings.

iv. Any claimant, however highly placed he may be, he has to obey these codes of Islam. Any deviation from this, in the name of heredity, blood relationship or by the spiritual dynasty; is the deviations from Islam and he is to be considered as heretics.

In Surah al-Nisa, Allah says in verses 59-60 as follows:

59. O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.

60. Have you not seen those who claim to have believed in what was revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you? They wish to refer legislation to Taghut, while they were commanded to reject it; and Satan wishes to lead them far astray.

This verse is the basis of the entire religious, cultural and political system of Islam and is the first and the foremost article of the constitution of the Islamic state. The following four fundamental principles have been laid down permanently forever.

1. In the Islamic system the real authority is Allah, Who must be worshiped and obeyed. For, a Muslim is first of all the servant of Allah, and any other capacity that he may have is secondary.

2. The second fundamental principle of the Islamic system is allegiance and obedience to the Holy Prophet.

3. After these two allegiance, and subservient to these, is the allegiance to those invested with authority from among the Muslims themselves. The word ulil-amr comprises all the persons who might be in any way at the helm of the affairs of the Muslims. Whether they are religious scholars, political leaders, administrators, judges of the law courts or village, tribal and community chiefs, etc.

4. The commandments of Allah and the Sunnah of his Messenger are the fundamentals of law and jurisprudence of Islam and the final authority in the Islamic system. Hence if there is dispute between the Muslims or between the rulers and the ruled, they will turn to the Qur’an and the Sunnah for the decision and all must submit to it.

This means that any person, however high he may be, must submit to the commands of the Qur’an and Sunnah. No one has any inherent or evident authority against these two dictates. This is also the reason for the basic tenet of faith: Khatm-e-Nabuwat.

As per the guidance laid down in the Verse 60 of Surah al-Nisa quoted above it is ordained that any other system or person providing justice is an avowed enemy the Taghut/Satan.

It is mentioned in Surah al-A’raf, Chapter 7,  Verse 158:

O Muhammad! say: “O mankind I am a messenger to all of you from Allah to Whom belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity but He. He bestows life and ordains death. So believe in Allah and His Commandments. Follow Him: it is expected you will be guided aright.

It is clear that the blessed Holy Prophet is the Messenger/guide to the entire humanity.

In Surah Fuşşilat  Chapter 41, Verses 40-42, Allah (swt) mentions:

40. Indeed, those who inject deviation into Our verses are not concealed from Us. So, is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do whatever you will; indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.

41. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the message after it has come to them... And indeed, it is a mighty Book.

42. Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy.

Misconstruction Of the verses of the Quran falls in to the sin of tahreef. Whoever attempts to misconstrue the verses/Ayats of Qur’an has to find his place in the hell fire as per these verses 40-41. Verse 42 confirms that Allah is the protector of the Qur’an.

In Surah Al-Ĥijr, Chapter 15, Verse  9, Allah (swt) mentions:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَTranslation:

Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian.

Qur’an is under the direct and divine protection of Allah, the Almighty and Omnipresent. It is the miracle that the Qur’an that we have in our hands is in pristine purity though more than 1400 years have elapsed. No other book can claim this status.

8.2 That [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets 


Allah (swt) mentions in several places about the finality of the Message and the Prophethood. In Surah Saba' Chapter 34, Verse 28, Allah (swt) mentions:

And We have not sent you except comprehensively to mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know.

It is clear that the Sunnah of the Blessed and final Prophet is universal and eternal.

In Surah Al-Ambiya Chapter 21, Verse 107 it is mentioned:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَTranslation:

And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.

Comment: The Blessed and Final Prophet Is universal for all the mankind and his Sunnah has the authority over the entire humanity.

In Surah Al-Ambiya Chapter 21, Verses 92-93 it is also mentioned:

Indeed this Ummah of yours is one Ummah, and I am your Lord so worship Me alone. But they have broken up and differed as regards their religion among themselves. They shall return to Us.”

Therefore, Any deviation from the concept of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat is the breaking up of Muslim Ummah. In Surah Al-Muminun Chapter 23, Verses 51-52 it is mentioned:

O Messenger, eat of pure things and do righteous deeds, for I am fully aware of what you do. And you alone belong to one and the same Ummah, and I am your Lord so fear Me.

Holy Prophet is the part of the Muslim Ummah. Here there is a complete and total denial of any divine or any super human attribute. Surah At-Taubah Chapter 9, in Verses 32-33, it is mentioned:

32. They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah refuses except to perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.

33. It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although they who associate others with Allah dislike it.

In Verse 32 the word noor appears twice. And for us it is very important. Therefore, we need to understand the same in the light of reference to context. For this reason I am quoting here also the preceding verse 31 and the succeeding verse 34.

31. They have made their there scholars and monks as their Lords beside Allah, and likewise the Messiah the son of Mary, although they were enjoined not to worship any other than Allah, besides whom there is none worthy of worship. He (Allah) is absolutely pure and free from what they associate with him.

32. They (the disbelievers) desire to extinguish Allah’s noor with puffs from their mouths, Allah wills to perfect His noor, even though Mushrikun be much averse to it.

33. He sent His Messenger with guidance and right way so that He cause it prevail over all other Deens, even though the Mushrikun be much averse to it.” Verse.33 (similar verses in Surah Fatah verse-28 and Surah Saf verse 9

34. O Believers indeed most of the scholars and monks of the Peoples of the Book devours the wealth of the others by evil means and debar them from the Way of Allah..”

With reference to Verse 31, let me refer here a famous tradition. When Hazrat Adi ben Hatim, who was formerly a Christian, came before the Holy Prophet to embrace Islam, he asked the Holy Prophet “this verse accused us of making our scholars and monks our God. What is its real meaning?” The Holy Prophet said, “Is not a fact that you accept as unlawful what they declare as unlawful and lawful what they declare as lawful?  Adi admitted that they did. The Holy Prophet replied, “That amounts to making them God.”

From this Hadis we learn that, that those who set limits to the lawful and unlawful, without the authority of Allah’s Book, assume for themselves rank of godhead, and those who acknowledge their right to make laws make them their Gods. In retrospect I think that in my former faith in the doctrine of Imamat was equivalent to make the Imam as God.

With reference to the verse 32 and 33: In accordance to this verse real object of the mission of the Holy Prophet is to make Deen (Noor/Guidance/Hidayat)  i.e. the right way, that he has brought from Allah dominate over all Deens.

Therefore we can draw the conclusion that the Noor means here Guidance/Hidayat of Allah. The Noor is not a creator but it is a created entity. The Noor is amenable to completion and perfection by Allah. If Allah is taken as Noor then question arises that Allah was imperfect and this is the misguidance and Kufr.

In reference to the verse 34 we learn that no money can be collected in the name of Allah or Islam unless it is in accordance with the guidance laid down in the Qur’an and Sunnah, otherwise it is unlawful.

9. Further Proofs from the Quran: Do we need a Living Imam or do we need the Quran?

In Surah An-Namal Chapter 27, Verses 1-3, Allah declares the following verses about the Quran:

طس ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْقُرْآنِ وَكِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍTranslation:

Ta, Seen. These are the verses of the Qur'an and a clear Book

هُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَTranslation:

As guidance and good tidings for the believers

الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَTranslation:

Who establish prayer and give zakah, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].

In the second verse, the term kitab-im-mubeen has been translated as a clear book which means that the verses of The Book which presents its teachings, and its commandments and instructions clearly and plainly. Now this is clear that the teachings of the Quran need no Guru, Imam, Peer, Murshid, Sufi Buzurg, or anyone who claims to be a spiritual or divine guide.

In Surah Az-Zumar Chapter 39, Verse 41 it is mentioned:

(O Prophet) We have sent down to you for all mankind with this Book with the Truth. Now whosoever adopts the right way, will do for his own sake, and whosoever goes astray, will himself bear the burden of his deviation; you are not responsible for them.

This is a clear indication that this Quran is the final book of the final guidance and the proof of the Khatm-e-Nabuwat.

In Surah Suad, Chapter 38, verses 86-87 it is mentioned:

(O Prophet) say to them ‘I do not ask any recompense of you for this Message, nor I am an Imposter. This is only an admonition for all the people of the world.

In the text the word Zikra is translated as admonition and it stands for Quran. This is the eternal Guidance for ever and for all mankind. This is clear indication that this Quran is the final book of the guidance and the proof of the Khatm-e-Nabuwat.

Surah As-Saff, Chapter 61,  Verses 6-9 it is mentioned:

And remember what Jesus, son of Mary, had said: “O children of Israel, I am indeed a Messenger send to you by Allah, confirming the Torah which has come before me, and giving the good news of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.

Yet he came to them with clear signs, they said, “this is evident deception.” Now who can be wicked than he who forges falsehood against Allah even though he is being invited towards Islam? Allah does not guide such wrong doers. They seek to blow out Allah’s Light/Noor with their mouths, but Allah has decreed that He shall spread His Light/Noor to perfection, much as the disbelievers may dislike it. He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the true Religion that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, much as the mushriks may dis like it.

 


In Surah Al-Fatah, Chapter 48, Verse 28 it is mentioned:

It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and Deen-e-Haq (Religion of Truth), that He may prevail it over all religions. And All-Sufficient Allah as a Witness.

In Surah Ar-Ra’d, Chapter 13, Verse 7 it is mentioned:

And the unbelievers say: why is not the sign sent down to him (the Prophet) from his Lord? But thou art truly a warner and a guide to every people”.

This Ayat is clear and evident needs no further elucidation.

In Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter 2,  Verse 159 it is

Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.

In the original text the words Al Bayinat and Al Huda need to be elucidated. Al-Bayinat means clear, evident and it is easy to understand. It does not need any spiritual guide or anyone who claims part of Divinity i.e. Elahiat or communion with Allah.

In Surah Chapter 5, Verse 3 it is mentioned (excerpt):

...Today the disbelievers have despaired of (vanquishing) your religion: therefore, do not fear them but fear Me. Today I have perfected your religion for you and completed My Blessings on you and approved Islam as the way of life for you...

The word today does not mean any particular day but it denotes the era in which this surah and verses were revealed. Moving forward, the verse says that "the disbelievers have despaired of your religion”, which means that after a long systematic resistance and opposition, they have lost hope of defeating your religion. Now they do not expect you will ever return to the former way of ignorance because your religion has become a permanent way of life and has been established on a firm footing. Therefore “do not fear them but fear me.” Now there is no longer any danger of interferences from the disbelievers that they will prevent you from the performance of your religious obligations. You should, therefore, fear Allah and observe His commands and instructions no ground of fear has been left for you. Now your disobedience to the Law will mean that you do not intend to obey Allah.

"have perfected your religion” means that “I have provided it with all the essential elements of the permanent way of life, which comprises a complete system of thought, practice, and civilization, have laid down principles and given down instructions for the solution of all human problems. Hence there is no need for you to seek Guidance/Hidayat from any other source.’

The completion of the “blessings” is the completion of the blessings of Hidayat/Guidance/Shariat.

“I have approved Islam as deen/way of life for you” because you have proved by your obedience and devotion to it that you sincerely believe in Islam which you have accepted. As I have practically set you free from every kind of subjection and servitude, there is no compulsion for you to submit to any other than Me in your practical life. ”It also implies: “as a gratitude for these Blessings of Mine, you should show no negligence in the observance of the prescribed limits.”

In Surah Al-Qalam, Chapter 68, Verses: 51-52 it is mentioned:

“When the disbelievers hear the Admonition (the Qur’an), they look at you in a way as though they will trip you up, and say, ”he is certainly mad,” although it is an Admonition to all the people of the world.”  

Please note the words all the people of the world.

In Surah At-Takvir Chapter 81, verses 27-29 it is mentioned:

“This is an admonition to all the people of the world, to each one of you, who wishes to follow the Straight Way: but, your willing is of no avail unless Allah, Lord of worlds, wills so.”  

Please note the words all the people of the world, yet again.

In Surah Az-Zumar, Chapter 39, Verse 41 it is mentioned:

“(O Prophet:) ” We have sent down to you for all mankind the Book with the truth. Now whosoever adopts the right way, we do so for own sake, and whosoever goes astray, will himself bear the burden of his deviation; you are not responsible for them.”

Please note this sentence; We have sent down to you for all mankind the Book with the truth.

The Quran is made easy to understand. Al-Zumar, Verse Number 41. We can find similar verses in this subject in Qur’an. Viz. XII-2, IXX-97, XXVI-195, IXL-28, XLI-3 AND 44, XLIII-3, XLIV-58, LIV- 17, 22, 32, XVI-103.

10. Legal Status of those who do not believe in Khatm-e-Nabuwat

Finally let us study the legal status for those who deny or disagree to accept this basic tenet of faith: Khatm-e-Nabuwat. Here we come across two aspects: (a) Legal status as per Islamic Fiqh/law and jurisprudence of Islam and (b) Prevailing law in Pakistan.

Please ponder upon the following quotations from the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Penal code of Pakistan and be a judge yourself where do we stand. Please keep in mind the doctrine of Shahpir/Pirshah.

10.1 Legal Status as per Islamic FiqhThe following is a quote from Dr. Israr Ahmad’s book “Khatm-e-Nabuwat Kay Do Mafhoom Aur Takmeel-E-Risalat Kay Amli Taqazay”. On page 12 he writes:

“Any person who claimed that he is a prophet or may do in future is kazzab/liar, dajjal/antichrist, kafir/denier of faith, murtad/rejecter of faith and liable to suffer death penalty. Therefore, in the Islamic world, wherever there was Islamic Government, war was declared against anyone or any group of persons and such persons were killed who had claimed prophethood. Caliph  Abu Bakr declared war against the claimants of prophet hood, viz. Musailama Kazzab and other persons and they were killed without any reservation or exception. In Iran, one Bahaullah claimed prophethood. In Iran there was Islamic Government. The government declared war and Bahaullah with his followers were put to death and some fled and left the country. Even now any Bahai i.e. follower of Bahaullah, ventures to enter Iran/Persia he is supposed to be killed. But, unfortunately, Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani claimed that he was a prophet but no damage was done to him as this group was under the protection of British laws prevailing in India (where freedom of religion sects was a constitutional right).”

10.2 Prevailing Law in PakistanI will cite here some related Islamic provisions in The Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and from Pakistan Penal Code Section 295-A, 295-B & 295-C.

In the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan we find the Islamic provisions: In the Preamble Para 01, 04, 05. In part 1 Introductory Articles 02,02-A and in the annex para 01 & 05. Article 31 (1)(2), Articles 227 to 230, chapter 5 Interpretation, Definitions Article 260 (3)(a)(b) here in we find definition of “Muslim”. I am quoting only the definition in Article 260-(3)(a) & (b):

In the constitution and all other enactments and other legal instruments, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

(a) “Muslim” means a person who believes in the unity and oneness of Almighty Allah, in the absolute and unqualified finality of the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last of the prophets, and does not believe in, or recognize as a prophet as a prophet of the religion reformer, any person who claimed or claims to be prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after Muhammad (peace be upon him); and

(b) “non-Muslim” means a person who is not a Muslim, includes a person belonging to the Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Budhist or Parsi community, a person of the Qadiani group of the Lahori group (who call themselves Ahmadis or by any other name), or a Bahai, and a person belonging to any of scheduled cast]”

11.  Conclusion

In conclusion, the religion of Allah has been completed - both in terms of revelations, i.e., The Quran and also in terms of interpretation and implementation of it, i.e., the example of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There is no need to any changes of additions to the core Islamic values which have been taught by the Quran and ordered and exemplified by the Prophet (pbuh).

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<![CDATA[Reality of Navroz/Nowruz/Nowrose in Ismaili faith]]>Mon, 16 Mar 2015 05:20:45 GMThttp://insideismailism.weebly.com/blog/reality-of-navroznowruznowrose-in-ismaili-faith
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1. Significance of Nowruz in Ismailism
Nowruz (also spelled nauroz or navroz or navroze) is celebrated by Nizari Ismailis on March 21. In the evening, packets filled with raw sugar and raw rice are distributed in Jamatkhana and families decorate boiled eggs to mark the occasion.

The significance of this festival in Nizari Ismailism is best explained by the following speech of Abu Aly A. Aziz which he delivered on March 21, 1994 in Toronto.

In this speech, which is one of the few sources where significance of Nowruz in Ismailism is explained, Abu Aly A. Aziz says:

Nowruz is growth, rebirth and rekindling of life and that’s why eggs are boiled and are coloured red, green or yellow or any of the seven colours. Seven types of cereals (اناج) are given in rozi (packets distributed in Jamatkhana on day of Nowruz). Seven types of things are distributed and people go to each others’ houses and celebrate just like Eid and take sweets as well and this is now Nowruz is celebrated.

He further goes on to add:

Ever since the time of Mowla Hasan Ali Shah (Aga Khan I), the mukhi and kamadia and the amaldaars of the Jamaat requested that “Ya khudavind, please give us rozi with your own hands today”.  Then these seven types of rozi were kept, Jamaat used to form a queue and our spiritual father and mother Imam Hasan Ali Shah, then after him our spiritual mother and father Imam Ali Shah, then after him our spiritual father Sultan Mohammed Shah used to pour a fistful of rozi to the Jamaat in the handkerchiefs which the Jamaat carried to the Imam.

Abu Aly then instructs that the raw wheat should not be consumed for a year, but stored in a box with the wheat consumed in the house and the box should never get empty since this will give abundance in rizq throughout the year.

Abu Aly further adds that the significance of Nowruz is due to the following events:

  1. Prophet Adam (as) was “thrown” from the heavens to the earth on this day
  2. Event of Ghadir-e-Khumm took place on this day
  3. The ark of Prophet Noah (as) landed on the shore after the Great Flood



He goes on to claim in the above speech that at 10:20 EDT in Toronto on that day, 21 March 1994, the new year had started and Ismailis in Toronto were now well into the new year at the time of his sermon.



2. History of Nowruz

Nowruz  literally means “new day” and is the name of the Persian/Iranian new year, celebrated on March 21. 

It is a particularly holy day for Zoroastrians (commonly known as the Parsi community) who are one of the earliest known inhabitants of Persia. The word parsi also literally means Persian signifying the roots of the Zoroastrians who migrated from Persia (now known as Iran) to South Asia.

Nowruz marks the first day of the spring and the beginning of the new year in the Persian calendar. Like many other celebrations like Halloween and Valentine’s Day, it is thought of as a secular celebration, but has religious roots inZoroastrianism. Nowruz is said to have been invented by Zoroaster himself, though no evidence is available to substantiate this claim.

The Persian calendar (also called the Jalali calendar) is a solar calendar, as opposed to the Islamic lunar calendar. The Persian calendar was formalized by a panel convened by Seljuk Sultan Malik Shah I with significant contribution from the famous astronomer and philosopher, Omar Khayyam. The Persian calendar was formalized in the eleventh century, and the years in the Persian calendar are counted since the start of the first vernal equinox of the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar. The Persian calendar therefore started after the Islamic Hijri calendar.

3. Nowruz Celebrations in Zoroastrianism and Ismailism

The Zoroastrians traditionally spread a table called the Haft Sheen (seven primary items beginning with the Persian alphabet Sheen, and some ancillary items) table decorated with raw sugar, raw wheat, betel nut, flowers, the Zoroastrian holy book, the Khordeh Avesta, and a basket of decorated eggs to indicate new life.

The prevalent Ismaili practice of distributing packets in Jamatkhana filled with raw sugar and raw rice and decorating boiled eggs, similar to Easter eggs, bears striking resemblance to present-day and centuries-old Zoroastrian traditions.

Nowruz is also celebrated in Shia Islam. However, the Nizari Ismaili celebrations bear little similarity to the way Shia Muslims celebrate Nowruz. Shia Muslims are recommended to fast on the day of Nowruz and follow the daily salat with special adhkar. Nizari Muslims however, mark Nowruz with dance, music and dandia-raas as they mark most of their festivals. Here is a highlight from Nizari Ismaili Nowruz celebrations:
However, Nizari Ismailis continue to celebrate Nowruz as a part of pretending to be a part of the Shia Muslim community. Shia Muslims have the following narration from Bihar al-Anwar where Muhammad Bakir Majlisi reports a tradition related by Moalla bin Khunais that that Imam Jafar Sadik said:

“It was on Nowruz that Adam was created, that God made a covenant with the souls, that Abraham destroyed the pagan idols, that the Prophet of Islam received first revelation, that the Prophet took Ali on his shoulders to smash 360 idols in Mecca, and most important of all, that he declared Ali as his legitimate successor.”

There is no evidence from Quran or primary sources of Sunni or Shia hadith literature supporting Nowruz celebrations. Bihar al-Anwar is only considered as a secondary source of Shia hadith literature.

Ismailis are unable to quote the above narration from Bihar al-Anwar. If they would, their rejection of the remainder of Bihar al-Anwar would be exposed. It is a well-known fact that along with Quran, Ismailis reject all Sunni sources of hadith (Kutub Al-Sittah), Shia sources of Hadith (Al-Kutub Al-Arb’ah) as well as secondary Shia hadith sources, such as Allama Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar.

4. Exposing Nizari Ismaili Lies About NowruzWith the historical significance of Nowruz explained along with the importance of Nowruz in Zoroastrianism and the huge difference in the way that Nowruz is celebrated in Shia Islam as compared to Nizari Ismailism, we will now look at how Ismailis have been deceived yet again by Abu Aly A. Aziz in his above-referenced speech.

4.1 Nowruz Did Not Start at 10:20 EDT in 1994

We will start with the lie of Abu Aly when he stated that Nowruz of March 1994 started at 10:20am in Toronto. This claim of Abu Aly was obviously a blatant lie as he had no idea about the March equinox time. In 1994, the March equinox occurred at 20:28 GMT on 20 March 1994 (Source: http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/longest-day/equinox-solstice-1992-1999.htm). Eastern Time is behind Greenwich Mean Time and therefore the time in Toronto, Canada for March equinox was 16:28 EDT on 20 March 1994, and not on 10:20 EDT as Abu Aly mentioned.

4.2 Ghadir-e-Khumm and Nowruz Did Not Coincide

While keeping in mind the above-explained important fact for the beginning of the Persian/Jalali calendar, let’s analyse see if the event of Ghadir-e-Khumm occurred on Nowruz.

Event of Hajj ul Wida (or the Hajj of Farewell) occurred in the year 10 AH. The Prophet (pbuh) started his journey on 24 Dhul Qada, and reached Mecca on 4 Dhul Hajjah, moved to Mina on 8 Dhul Hajjah and the next morning to Arafat where he gave the Sermon of the Farewall Hajj. In total he stayed in Mecca for 10 days and then headed for Medina, stopping at Ghadir Khumm en route to Medina where the hadith of the pond of Khumm is recorded on 18 Dhul Hajjah 10 AH corresponding to 16 March, 632 AD of the Gregorian calendar according to all Hijri-Gregorian calendar conversions.

As per the official Iranian calendar conversion, the lunar calendar date of 18 Dhul Hajjah 10 AH corresponds to 28 Esfand 10 AP or 19 March 632 AD which is two days before the official Ismaili celebration of Nowruz.

Therefore the calculations reveal that the event of Ghadir-e-Khumm was not exactly on Nowruz, but was 2-5 days before the Persian new year.

Even if the event of Ghadir-e-Khumm occured on Nowruz, the question which Nizari Ismailis should ask themselves is that what’s the point of celebrating Eid-e-Ghadeer separately and Nowruz separately? Since Eid-e-Ghadeer is already a separate occasion for the Ismailis, it is clear that the core reason for celebrating Nowruz is not because of the event of Ghadeer-e-Khum.

4.3 Does it make sense to celebrate the day when Prophet Adam (as) “thrown” from the heavens to the earth?

For the educated mind, the above claim of Abu Aly A. Aziz does not require any explanation. Prophet Adam (as) was sent from the heavens to earth not as a reward, but as a punishment and it is senseless to mark that day as a day of celebration. Only the devil can be expected to celebrate that day since it was a day of joy and victory for him rather than anyone else.

4.4 Absence of any evidence that Prophet Noah (as) landed on the shore on Nowruz

There is absolutely no evidence in Quran, Hadith or history (which could not have been written at that time), that the day when Prophet Noah (as) landed on the shore was the day of vernal equinox or “Nowruz”. The Quran is loaded with examples of Prophets and many of their life events occurring on various days – none of them is however required to be celebrated or bears any significance to the followers of the Nizari Ismaili faith.

What about the day when Moses (as) spoke with Allah on Mount Sinai? What about the day when Jesus (as) was born? What about the day when Ayub (as) was cured of his decades-long illness? What about the day when Yunus (as) came out alive from the belly of the whale? What about the day when the dream of Yusuf (as) came true and his brothers who betrayed him were finally put to justice? What about the numerous victorious conquests of Islam when Prophet (pbuh) was victorious? What about the conquest of Mecca? What is the reason that the day when the ark of Prophet Noah (as) landed the shores is marked as Nowruz and celebrated? No Ismaili book has any answer to this question.

5. Prophet (pbuh) on Celebration of Festivals like Nowruz

Even if any major religious historical event is proven to occur on Nowruz, the following instruction of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) overrules all excuses for celebration of Nowruz when the Prophet (pbuh) said:

Uqbah bin Amir narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “The Day of Arafah, the Day of Nahr, and the Days of Tashriq are Eid for us. The people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking”

This hadith has been reported in Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2, Book 3, Hadith 773. Also reported in Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 13, Hadith 2413 and in Sunan an-Nasa’i, Vol. 3, Book 24, Hadith 3007.

The purpose of this instruction from Prophet (pbuh) was to encourage Muslims to unsubscribe from the pagan traditions and festivals that they had been following. Considering the careful instruction of the Prophet (pbuh) towards prevalent pagan festivals, it is illogical to believe that the Prophet (pbuh) would encourage any Muslim to subscribe to religious festivals of Zoroastrians.
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