AGA KHAN DECLARES:
IS THE MAZHAR OF GOD
the early 1970s, the fundamental issue of the "Divinity" of Karim Aga Khan
became a cause of major animosity between the leaders of the Ismailia community
from the Islamic States and the non Islamic States. When the Aga Khan's
highest ranking international leader - the late Sir Eboo Pirbhai of Kenya,
failed to resolve the issue from his headquarters in Nairobi, he referred
the matter to Karim Aga Khan himself. Finally, in 1975, an
International Conference of the heads of Ismailia Associations (the religious
bodies created to propagate the Ismaili faith), and the renowned Ismaili
scholars from all over the world was held in Paris under
the chairmanship of the 49th Imam of the Agakhani Ismailis.
The final report
of this Paris Conference was printed in May 5, 1975 from Nairobi, Kenya.
It was published by the co-ordinator for the Ismailia Association
Central Co-ordination Office, Mr. Eqbal Rupani. Reproduced below is the
officially defined "Concept of Imamah", as
it appears on page six of the said Paris Conference Report:
Imam to be explained as 'mazhar'
of God, and the relationship between God and the Imam to be related to
varying levels of inspiration and communication from God to man."
The objective of the International Conference
was to render precise and explicit definition of the term "Imamah"
to the followers, endorsed by the Imam himself. The late 48th Imam had
candidly claimed "Divinity" within several of his Farmans (e.g., "Heaven
and Hell (to give) is in my hand" of February 20, 1910, Rajkot,
India and published in a book entitled; Khangi Farman, page
72; Mawla Ali repeatedly beheading/killing/cutting
into pieces and then bringing back to life, an "Ali Allahi" named
Nusheri, on the bank of Furat river,
in the Farman book entitled; Kalam e Imam e Mubin, Farmans
Nos. 2, 18 and 80).
The media were publicizing the Imam
as the Living God. Ismaili missionaries were confusing the issue. Some
were preaching; YES, he is the Living God.
Others were declaring;
No, he is not. The community
leaders wanted an explicit clear cut definition of the term "Imamah",
in black and white. What they got out of this International Conference
was more confusion.
With the insertion of the words; "varying
levels of inspiration and communication from God to man." inthe
Resolution, the prevailing disorientation of maintaining
diverse beliefs and owning dissimilar definitions for the "Imamah",
was in effect endorsed.
The ambiguity of the enigmatic phrase "Mazhar
of God" created further chaos, as we shall
discover in the following paragraph.
IS 'MAZHAR' ?
happens to be an Arabic word which translates; "copy" or "manifest". Hence
"Mazhar of God"
would literally mean, a "Copy of God" or
a "Manifestation of God." The
concept, although regarded as gravely heretic by other Muslims, may be
readily acceptable by the Khojah Agakhani Ismailis, since their early ancestors
had their roots in Hinduism. In the Hindu philosophy, the repeated appearances
upon this earth, in the multifarious bodily forms, as the Incarnations
or Manifestations of the heavenly gods (e.g., Lord Vishnu as Rama, Krishna,
etc. etc.,), is very common. These "Manifestations
of gods " are known as "Avtars of gods".
There are ancient Ginans (devotional songs recited in the
Ismaili Jamatkhanas) that do propagate and profess that Hadhrat Ali (a.s.),
Imam, was the last and final Tenth
Manifestation or Tenth Incarnation (Avatar) of Lord Vishnu. And
simultaneously, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) was the Final
Incarnation of Lord Bramah.
In the book of Ginans entitled "Motto Das Avatar" (meaning, "Big Ten Incarnations"),
on page 57 it reads;
"Gur Brahmah te sahi Nabi Mahamad dharawiyya naam"
"Lord Brahmah has truly taken the name of Nabi Muhammad."
The Ginan continues and speaks of "Pir Shams as the recent Gur Brahmah".
Ismailis are mislead into believing that the famous Muslim Awliyya of India,
Shah Shams-ud-Din of Multan, Punjab (d.1276), was an Ismaili Pi'r sent
by an Imam to cnovert Khojahs into Ismailis. The historical facts are this
Muslim never ever saw any Ismaili Imam or even visited the country where
the Imam lived. He was a Sunni Muslim and his converts were and are
Muslims. He never ever visited Gujrat, Kutchh, Kathiaward or Sindh where
the Khojahs used to live. For more information please click ISMAILI
In another Ismaili Ginan entitled "Naklanki Geeta", on page 65 it recites
that Pir Sadruddin (a student of Shah Shams-ud-Din) is the present Avatar
of prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.).
Anyone who has diligently studied the theory of "Avatars" (Incarnations),
knows that these were not the historical figures but were mythological
characters. One wonders, how the two are linked together? It is often said:
"It is easier to believe a falsehood that you have heard thousand times
than to believe the Truth that you are hearing for the first time!!!"
Everything that Hadhrat Ali the 1st Imam possessed in his times
has been fully and completely delegated, by the process of "nass"
(divine delegation), into Ali's 49th direct descendant, His Highness
Prince Karim Aga Khan the present living Imam of the two million or less,
Deviating from the mainstream Shiah concept, Ali's eldest son Hassan becomes
(Da'i - Missionary) of the Agakhani Ismailis,
having inherited it from Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.). Whereas, Ali's second
son Hussain becomes the designated 2nd
of the Agakhani Ismailis, having been delegated by Ali (r.a.). The rest
of the Shiahs regard Hassan as their 2nd Imam and Hussain as the
Here is a translation of a 'Farman' (religious pronouncement), made by
the late Aga Khan explaining the unique Ismaili Concept.
Nabi Mohammed Mustafa departed from this world he appointed Pir Imam
Hasan as his successor to carry on the work. Similarly, Murtaza Ali appointed
Imam Husayn as the Imam after him."
A well known senior Ismaili missionary of our era, Abualy A. Aziz of Burnaby,
British Columbia, Canada, who prides himself in delivering fiery sermons
on "Ali truly Allah",
book 'Kutchh na Farman' pages 8-9.
Imam is the Supreme Authority appointed directly by Allah. He is the asa's
cause, root) and Pi'r is the na'tiq (conversant, conversationalist,
messenger). Ima'm is Hujjatullah and Khali'fatullah, the Vicegerent of
God; while Pi'r is Hujjatul Ima'm and Khali'ftur Rasoolullah."
I was an Ismaili mission student, our class was taught that in Surat Al-Baqarah
(2) verse 124; Allah appointed Hadhrat Ibrahim (a.s.) as an "Imam to the
people" when he was already a Messenger of God. That showed; The
status of "Imamah" was higher than that of "Naboowah".
This kind of logic was faulty.
Brief History of Ismailism (1985), pages 107-108
Here are some true facts. The Qur'an was revealed to the Messenger of God,
a Nabi. Not a single verse has been revealed to any of the 49 Ismaili Imams.
The Qur'an Commands the Believers to recite "Salwat - Darud" upon the Prophet.
Allah's angles also send Darud to the Prophet. There no similar Command
from Allah for any living or dead Imam. The name of Prophet (and a Surat
in his name) appears in the Qur'an. Neither the name of Hadhrat Ali nor
any of his so called 48 direct hereditary descendants appear in the Holy
Book. Believers are to follow the "sunnah" of the Prophet (Quran 33:21).
There is no such commendation for following the "sunnah" of the Hazar Imam.
Surprisingly, the Agakhani Ismailis do not follow the "sunnah" of Karim
Aga Khan. If they were, then they should be reciting the Friday noon Prayers,
which they do not. In his very early years, as a young boy, Karim Aga Khan
lead the Eid Salah of his Ismaili Jamaat in Nairobi. It is worth noting
that the same Hazar Imam who is now 63 years old, has never ever lead or
recited the enigmatic Ismaili Ritual Prayer called; Du'a. Should a any
"Living God" or any "Manifest (Mazhar) of God" go to any Mosque on Fridays
and do prostrations to the Almighty Allah?
Christian would say; Jesus was God but he
simply acted as a "Bond Servant" while praying to his Father.
Is there a pattern of similarity here?
ARE THE "SERVANTS OF GOD"
REVEALS THE HOLY QUR'AN
When Allah (s.w.t.) appointed prophet Abraham and his descendants as the
"Leaders" (Imams) of their people, HE also Proclaimed that
(Imams) constantly served Us* (Allah)." (Surah Al-Anbiyaa (21) verse
73; translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali). In other words; even the Imams
who were directly appointed by Allah (s.w.t.),
were also the
"Servants of Allah".
Arabic word 'aabidiin (translated "served Us") comes from
the root word 'abd meaning; service, worship. The word 'abiidun
"a servant" has its root in the same word.
All Muslims (except the Agakhani Ismailis), use the phrase 'abdhu
wa rasoolhu after the name of prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), in their
daily prayers. Which translates; Muhammad was "servant
of Allah and messenger of Allah". Since Hadhrat
Ali's appointment as a Leader (Imam or Mawla) was made by the Prophet (according
to the Shiah Beliefs), it follows that Ali the appointee was also the "servant
In one of the recorded prayers of Hadhrat Ali, published in Nahjul
Balagha, Ali the first Imam prays:
my Lord! Thou art the Creator, I am the created; Thou art the Sovereign,
I am only Thy servant; I am the beseecher, Thou my Lord! art the Refuge.
Thou art the Forgiver, I am the sinner; Thou my Lord! art the Merciful,
All-Knowing, All-loving; I am groping in the dark; I seek Thy knowledge
and Love..." page 89.
Servants be equal to their Masters?
sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of
another; he has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We
have bestowed goodly favors from ourselves and he spends thereof (freely)
privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means); praise
be to Allah. But most of them understand not."
Holy Qur'an 16:75
There is no communication
from Allah that defines any Imam, appointed directly or remotely, to be
the "Mazhar of Allah".
these circumstances, no upright and honest Alim
scholar who is knowledgeable in the Qur'an and the Prophetic sayings),
and who has also read the history of the Aga Khans could possibly subscribe
to the concept that Imam Karim Aga Khan is
the "Mazhar of God".
important question is; should a Muslim place his/her trust upon the Words
of Allah or the Wordings of an International Conference? I have not
read any book or any article written by an Agakhani Ismaili that has declared
the Aga Khans as the
of Allah". Next time if you happen to meet
an Ismaili, just ask him; if his Leader - Aga Khan, was the "Servant
of Allah"? It will be a very similar experience
to the one of asking a Christian; Was his Lord Jesus the "Servant
of Almighty God"?
Bible confirms; Jesus was the Servant of God.
(Mt. 12:18; Acts 3:13-26; 4:27 in NRSV; 1 Corin. 15:28; Is. 42:1; 53:11).
KARIM AGA KHAN IS NOT EVEN A
"spokesman for Allah"
The International magazine 'LIFE', issue December 1983, page 71, heading
'LIFE visits His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan'. The opening sentence
15 million Muslims in 25 countries, he is a living god, direct descendant
of Mohammed and the spokesman for almighty Allah."
the ensuing issue of 'LIFE', February 1984, page 15, heading 'LETTERS -
The Aga Khan', Aga Khan's Secretariat while refuting the above assertions,
Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam -spiritual leader- of the Shia Imami
Ismaili Muslims. The unity of Allah, "Tawheed," is one of the fundamental
principles of Islam. For LIFE to assert that the Aga Khan is "a living
god" and "spokesman for Allah" is a
total misinterpretation of the most basic
tenet of one of the world's major faiths, and a serious affront to all
During the trial before the High Courts of London in the matter of author
Mihir Bose and his publication 'The Aga Khans', Karim Aga Khan declared
through his lawyers that neither he nor his grandfather had claimed divinity.
The followers of Karim Aga Khan may or may not sincerely
discern within their souls, these public refutations
as; "The Whole Truth". But,
no Ismaili who has faith in the "Words of Allah" should deny; "Imams
are the servants of Allah". (Qur'an 21:73).
'See ye if the (Revelation) is (really) from Allah and yet do ye reject
it? Who is more astray than one who is in schism far (from any purpose)?'
Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth)
and in their own souls until it becomes manifest to them that this is the
Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?"
Holy Qur'an - Surah Ha-Mim (41), verses 52-53.
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