Reflection: 48th Ismaili Imam – His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III on the Meaning of Life

The 48th hereditary Ismaili Imam, His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III played a pivotal role not only in the advancement of the Ismaili community, but also in global affairs during the first part of the 20th century.

18 Assembly of the League of Nations, showing His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III in the Presidential Chair. Geneva 1937 - Photo League of Nations Archive
18 Assembly of the League of Nations, showing His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III in the Presidential Chair. Geneva 1937 – Photo League of Nations Archive

Here we share our 48th Imam’s quotes that have inspired us not only in framing our daily life’s challenges, but also in counting our many blessings.

In addition to the Imam’s quotes, we share extracts from two significant enabling documents – AKDN Ethical Framework and the Preamble of the Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims – that add to the context of the centrality of the Imam in the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community.

“You must remember that life will have for you many disappointments.

 

His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III - President of the Assembly, League of Nations - Photo League of Nations Archieve
His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – President of the Assembly, League of Nations – Photo League of Nations Archieve

If one-fifth of one’s hopes are realised, one is extremely lucky and fortunate, so do not be discouraged by disappointments.

 

Struggle is the meaning of life; defeat or victory is in the hands of God. But struggle itself is man’s duty and should be his joy.

 

Failures should be forgotten and new efforts made. Despondency is a sin, and hope, a necessary part of iman (faith) both for material wealth and, above all, for progress to spiritual enlightenment.

 

Life is a great and noble calling, not a mean and grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can but a lofty and exalted destiny.”

 

– Quotes adopted from Simerg | Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – The Road to Happiness and The Concept of Life


The AKDN Ethical Framework

Din and Dunya

A person’s ultimate worth depends on how he or she responds to these Divine favours.

Din is the spiritual relationship of willing submission of a reasoning creature to his Lord who creates, sustains and guides. For the truly discerning, the earthly life, dunya, is a gift to cherish inasmuch as it is a bridge to, and preparation for, the life to come. Otherwise it is an enticement, distracting man from service of God which is the true purpose of life.

Service of God is not only worship, but also service to humanity, and abiding by the duty of trust towards the rest of creation. Righteousness, says the Quran, is not only fulfilling one’s religious obligations.

Without social responsibility, religiosity is a show of conceit. Islam is, therefore, both din and dunya, spirit and matter, distinct but linked, neither to be forsaken.

Discover, Explore and Learn more at the AKDN Ethical Framework


Ismaili Imams on Imam's Essence and Noor of Imamat

The Preamble of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”

(B) In accordance with Shia doctrine, tradition, and interpretation of history, the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) designated and appointed his cousin and son-in-law Hazrat Mawlana Ali Amiru-l-Mu’minin (a.s), to be the first Imam to continue the Ta’wīl and Ta‘līm of Allah’s final message and to guide the murids, and proclaimed that the Imamat should continue by heredity through Hazrat Mawlana Ali (a.s) and his daughter Hazrat Bibi Fatimat-az-Zahra, Khātun-i-Jannat (a.s).

Discover, Explore and Learn more at The Preamble Of “The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims”

Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali


Constellation of Honors

His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III in full regalia (Photo courtesy of Simerg)
His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III in full regalia

Constellation of Honours, similar to the one highlighted for Mawlana Hazar Imam, is a humble attempt to show the high esteem in which Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah was held, and the influence he commanded both in the east and the west.

From Britain to Persia, Germany to Syria, and Turkey to Zanzibar, we find various Kings, Emperors and Sultans honoured our Imam.

Two different sets of events among others illustrate the high points of his international leadership: the first one being his appointment as the President of the League of Nations, and the second his nomination for the Noble Peace Prize.

There are various other honors and accolades that we encourage you to learn about as you explore Constellation of Honours – Click image below to learn more.

Constellation of Honours of His Highness Aga Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III

“Through 72 years of Imamat, he guided his spiritual children to happiness and prosperity …

 

Many, many memories come to our minds as we think of him.

He achieved in his life, for our community that which could only have been accomplished normally in a period of many generations.

 

The tributes that the world has paid him bear honest testimony to his great life and work”

 

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims
Takht Nashini, Karachi, Pakistan – January 23, 1958


Credits:

  1. All photo images via Simerg.com unless otherwise indicated.
  2. The content of this post is exclusively written for Ismailimail. No distribution is permitted without permission. Contact the blog owners at ismailimail@gmail.com if you are seeking permission to reproduce the material.

Recommended stories on Aga Khan III:

Recommended stories on Aga Khan IV:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s