Photos from our 2017 posts: From the site of the 48th Ismaili Imam’s Bagamoyo landing to the Diamond Jubilee visits of the 49th Imam His Highness the Aga Khan
The following selection of photographs, videos and quotes is taken from posts that were published in 2017 on this blog, simergphotos, and its affiliated websites, simerg.com and barakah.com; links to complete articles listed after post.
Moscow: Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 80th Birthday
Silk Road Journey
Passu Suspension wooden footbridge across the Hunza river. Photo: Copyright © Ali Karim.
A stunning view of the sprawling roof-tops of homes around Altit Fort, Hunza. The flat roofs are used for multiple activities like drying fruit, clothes, etc. Photo: Copyright © Ali Karim.
The Total Solar Eclipse
The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017: The Diamond Ring effect, a breathtaking sparkle of sun’s radiance coming from a tiny exposed sliver of the sun’s surface. This is seen 15 seconds before and again after totality. The photo was taken at Stanley, Idaho. Photo: Arif Babul.
Family of His Highness the Aga Khan
AGA KHAN III’S 1899 BAGAMOYO LANDING
A present-day photo of Bagamoyo Beach, Tanzania, where over a century ago, in 1899, the young 22-year-old Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III, came by yacht from Zanzibar, the first Ismaili Imam ever to set foot on East African soil, in the then German East Africa. Photo: © Copyright Zahir K. Dhalla 2017.
PRINCE SINAN AGA KHAN
Prince Sinan in the arms of his father Prince Rahim Aga Khan, and Princess Salwa carrying his big brother, Prince Irfan. Prince Sinan was born in London, England, on January 2, 2017. Photo: The Ismaili.
PRINCE AMYN AGA KHAN
Prince Amyn Aga Khan receives a standing ovation on May 12, 2017 as he arrives for the opening party for the exhibition Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.
by AZEEM MAHERALI
“For more than fifty years now, perhaps even longer, you have dedicated your entire life in the service of the Institution of Imamat, channeling your creativity, intelligence, time and energy, knowledge and leadership in numerous Imamat endeavours benefiting both jamati and non-jamati constituencies. Given that Mawlana Hazar Imam rarely speaks about the work of the members of his family; graciously directing compliments to the jamati leadership and countless volunteers, I do recollect a very rare instance that took place in Lisbon in July 1998. Mawlana Hazar Imam referring to you stated that he deeply valued your time, talent, thought and creativity for many of the exceptional projects that had been developed for the Jamats around the world. Mawlana Hazar Imam continued to say that in many ways you exemplified the true spirit of service in Islam – seeking no recognition.
“Dear Prince Amyn, we have witnessed and continue to witness with immense happiness your enormous love, loyalty and respect for our beloved Hazar Imam. Throughout your life, you have been by his side as his trusted supporter, loyal advisor and confidant. You continue to be an epitome of inspiration in the service of the Imam, the Institution of Imamat, worldwide Jamats, greater Muslim Ummah and the totality of humanity.”
Mawlana Hazar Imam Opens Global Centre for Pluralism
His Highness the Aga Khan and His Excellency David Johnston joke as they prepare to unveil the commemorative plaque of the official opening of the International Headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa, Canada, on May 16, 2017. Photo: Copyright © Jean Marc Carisse.
Song – A Diamond Jubilee Tribute to Mawlana Hazar Imam
A musical tribute composed by duo brothers Salim – Sulaiman Merchant and performed by Ismaili artists from around the world to honour 60 years of glorious Imamat. Credit: The Ismaili.
Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Homage Ceremony in France and Celebrations in Montreal
Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, pictured in Aiglemont on July 11, 2017, on the occasion of the Homage Ceremony marking the commencement of his Diamond Jubilee year. Photo: AKDN/Zahur Ramji.
DIAMOND JUBILEE LAPEL PIN
The Diamond Jubilee lapel pin was distributed to the Jamats in Montreal, Quebec, on July 11, 2017 when they attended to watch the video of the Homage Ceremony relayed from Aiglemont, France. The pin bears the crest of the Ismaili Imamat in the centre. The crest has 60 crescents surrounding it, representing the His Highness the Aga Khan’s 60 year reign. A Kufic rendition of the Qur’anic verse (49:13) from Surah Al-Hujurat (the Dwellings) with the following meaning, forms the outer perimeter of the lapel pin.
“O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.” — Translation by Pickthall.
CELEBRATION: MONTREAL, QUEBEC
Members of the Montreal jamat celebrate the commencement of the Diamond Jubilee year. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
On July 11. 2017, on the occasion of the commencement of the Diamond Jubilee year of His Highness the Aga Khan, Mawlana Hazar Imam, Ismailis around the world gathered at various locations and jamatkhana to watch a video of the Homage ceremony relayed from France. In Montreal, the celebrations took place at Stad Uniprix followed by a jaman (feast) that was served in tents outside the hall. Approximately 8,000 Ismailis attended the event. Photo: Copyright © Muslim Harji.
Honours and Awards to Mawlana Hazar Imam
July 2017: Universidade NOVA de Lisboa honours His Highness the Aga Khan with the Honoris Causa Doctorate in July 2017.
“I reiterate my profound appreciation for our own partnership, and for honouring me and by extension the Ismaili Imamat and the AKDN, especially as this honour comes during my Diamond Jubilee Year, marking 60 years as the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims worldwide. Our commitment to Portugal reflects our deep respect for this country and our deep affection for its people.” — His Highness the Aga Khan, Lisbon, July 20, 2017.
July 2017: Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa presents His Highness the Aga Khan with the Gra-cruz da ordem de Liberdade in recognition of his service to uplifting lives around the world. Photo: AKDN/Antonio Pedrosa.
On Monday October 9, 2017 His Highness the Aga Khan was conferred with the Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa by His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni, as part of Uganda’s 55th Independence Day celebration. Held in Bushenyi Municipal Grounds, Uganda’s Independence Day consisted of jovial celebrations, various cultural performances and renditions of the Ugandan and East African national anthems. The President welcomed the Aga Khan as the guest of honour, and acknowledged the Ismaili community’s contribution to the ongoing development of Uganda.
Before departing Tanzania on October 12, 2017, Mawlana Hazar Imam was presented with a gift of First Day Covers and Commemorative Stamps printed by the Tanzania Postal Service Corporation in honour of his Diamond Jubilee. The First Day Covers and Commemorative stamps depict various themes in which AKDN is active in East Africa, as well as the Diamond Jubilee motif.
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, presents the Champion for Global Change Award to His Highness the Aga Khan at a special gala dinner held in New York on October 18, 2017. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim/ Mairaj Manji.
ASIA SOCIETY, NEW YORK
Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran greets His Highness the Aga Khan prior to the Asia Society Game Changer awards on November 1, 2017. Photo: Jamie Watts/Asia Society.
Prime Minister Abbasi of Pakistan presents a commemorative First Day Cover to Mawlana Hazar Imam on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee visit to Pakistan in December 2017. Photo: The Ismaili/Akbar Hakim.
Pluralism Award, Ottawa, Canada
His Highness the Aga Khan and the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, in a group photo with winners and honourable mentions of the inaugural Global Pluralism Award held at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building on November 15, 2017. Photo: Copyright © Jean Marc Carisse.
Darbars and Mulaqats in Uganda, Tanzania, Canada and Pakistan
UGANDA, OCTOBER 2017
The Kampala Ismaili Darkhana Jamatkhana. Photo: The Ismaili.
Mawlana Hazar Imam is received by Mukhisaheb and Kamadiasaheb upon his arrival for the Darbar at Darkhana, Kampala. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
Mawlana Hazar Imam shares a light moment at the Darbar in Kampala, Uganda.
THE MAJESTY OF THE IMAM
(Adapted from an ode by 33rd Ismaili Imam ‘Abd al Salam)
The talisman that can open the treasure trove of spiritual meaning of the Holy Qur’an is the Imam. The true essence of the Imam cannot be recognized with earthly, fleshly eyes, for these can only see his physical form, perishing like all else with the passage of time.
His true face is to be perceived with the eyes of the heart. He has thousands of physical habitations, but his true home is traceless; he has had a thousand names, but all of them refer to one reality.
Today he is known as ‘Abd al-Salam, but tomorrow the physical body will be gone and the name will change, yet the essence will remain in the next Imam of the lineage.
In form the Imams change, but in meaning and substance they are changeless. Human language cannot attain to the majesty of the Imams. The Imam is the most precious ingredient in the supreme elixir of eternal life-red sulphur. He is not simply a pearl, but the ocean that gives birth to pearls. The existence of the Imam, who leads humankind to a recognition of God, is the very pinnacle of creation. — from Ismailis in the Middle Ages by Shafique Virani.
AUDIO: ALLAHUMM-A SALL-I ‘ALA MUHAMMAD-IN WA AL-I MUHAMMAD
TANZANIA, OCTOBER 2017
Mawlana Hazar Imam is greeted by Aga Khan Scouts and Guides, as he leaves Diamond Jubilee Hall after the Darbar. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
Mawlana Hazar Imam delivers his Farman at the Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo: The Ismaili/Zahur Ramji.
EASTERN CANADA, NOVEMBER 2017
Front page of the mulaqat booklet distributed to Eastern Canada Jamat who had the mulaqat with Mawlana Hazar Imam in Montreal. Photo: Simerg/Malik Merchant.
Volunteers registering Jamati members in Montreal for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Mulaqat. Photo: Copyright ©Muslim Harji.
Montreal Ismailis celebrate news of announcing Mawlana Hazar Imam’s mulaqat with the Eastern Canada Jamat. Photo: Copyright ©Muslim Harji.
A group of Ismaili children in Montreal with their personal keepsakes of Mehmani plates that they painted preceding Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit to Eastern Canada in November 2017. Photo: Copyright ©Muslim Harji.
An inspirational evening of devotional songs held in Montreal before the Jamat’s mulaqat with Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo: Copyright ©Muslim Harji.
The chair on which Mawlana Hazar Imam took his seat during the jamati mulaqats held in Montreal. The Imamat crest forms the backdrop on the stage. Photo: Simerg/Malik Merchant
PAKISTAN, DECEMBER 2017
Ismaili youth etch the words Diamond Jubilee on a mountain near Passu, Hunza. Photo: Sadrudin Sakhi.
Mawlana Hazar Imam is presented with a bouquet of flowers by a young boy as he arrives inside the Islamabad terminal. The boy then shared an inspiring story about the few moments Hazar Imam spent with him. See video, next.
Welcome banner in Aliabad, Hunza. Photo: Barakah/Faqir Ullah Khan.
Decorations in a Karachi neighbourhood to commemorate Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee visit to Pakistan from December 7 – 19, 2017. Photo: Barakah.
Mawlana Hazar Imam grants a Darbar at Garamchashma, Lower Chitral. Photo: The Ismaili/Shafaat Salim.
An aerial shot of the Jamat gathering for the Darbar at Aliabad, Hunza. Photo: The Ismaili.
Emotions run high as Mawlana Hazar Imam walks through the crowd at the Darbar in Aliabad, Hunza. Photo: The Ismaili/Razi ud Din.
Song: Tribute to Mawlana Hazar Imam
Note: If you don’t hear sound, video volume may be muted. Please turn on sound at bottom right of image when you start video.
Date posted: December 26, 2017.
More photos and complete reports related to material published on this post at:
- Silk Road Travelogue by Ali Karim: (6) In Hunza’s Capital, Karimabad – Named after Prince Karim Aga Khan
- An Eyewitness Account of the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017
- Bagamoyo Beach Landing, where Aga Khan III was the first Ismaili Imam ever to set foot on East African soil in 1899
- More of Eastern Canada: See links at His Highness the Aga Khan: A visual and textual celebration
- More of Pakistan: See links at His Highness the Aga Khan: A visual and textual celebration
- 5 days to remember: The Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee visits to Uganda and Tanzania
- Exclusive photo essay – Aga Khan presides over ceremony to honour individuals dedicated to pluralism – the ideal of living together peacefully and respectfully
- Aga Khan receives Asia Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award with hope and prayer for peace in every community
- Aga Khan honoured as “Champion for Global Change” at top UN gala event
- In first public event of his Diamond Jubilee, Aga Khan is bestowed Portugal’s Grand Cross and an Honorary Doctorate
- Great photos of a “GREAT DAY” at 330 Sussex: Aga Khan and Canada’s Governor General open Global Centre for Pluralism
- Prince Amyn Muhammad Aga Khan turns 80 – A thank you letter for a life of service and dedication to Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan
- Prince Sinan Aga Khan: First official photos shared by Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa
- The importance of Salawat
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A beautiful collection, very tastefully presented. Well done Malik!
Excellent work Mr. Malik.
Beautiful and historic pictures – an amazing job. May Mowla grant you immense happiness and barakat!
Phenomenal…many barakat Malik sahib…
As I look at these pictures in the sequence in which you have posted them Simerg a feeling of pure joy wells up inside me! I’m looking forward to your next post continuing the sequence. This is a great service you are doing!