The Aga Khan strongly believes and practices in serving the humanity, as it is a strong component of Islamic tradition called Huqooqul Ibad, the rights of fellow beings. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said the best among you is the one who sees to it that his neighbor is fed and cared for. Imam Hazrat Ali (ra), the 4th rightly guided Caliph (Leader) who succeeded Prophet Muhammad in providing the leadership to the Muslim community says, "The best man is he who is most serviceable to fellow humans."
Dallas, Texas. Sunday, July 11, 2010.
53 Years ago today, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan was appointed to become the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah Aga Khan III.
Since then, every year on that day and the week around it, the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims celebrate the day called the “Imamat Day” and the week of “Khushali” peace and prosperity. The Imam, in their spiritual tradition of 1400 years is called Hazar Imam, the current Imam.
Per the tradition he interprets the Quraan for daily living to his 15 million plus followers spread out across the world. He has fulfilled his role as the spiritual leader in guiding the community to prosperity and living a responsible life in the societies they live.
In gratitude for his continued guidance, the Ismaili Muslims celebrate this week honoring him and reaffirming his leadership with a renewed commitment to serving the humanity.
The Aga Khan strongly believes and practices in serving the humanity, as it is a strong component of Islamic tradition called Huqooqul Ibad, the rights of fellow beings. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said the best among you is the one sees to it that his neighbor is fed and cared for. Hazrat Ali, the 4th rightly guided Caliph (Leader) who succeeded Prophet Muhammad in providing the leadership to the Muslim community says, "The best man is he who is most serviceable to fellow humans."
One of the sayings of Hazrat Ali that resonates with me on a daily basis is, “A wise man needs each day an hour to set apart in which to examine his conscience, and measure what he as gained or lost”. My Maternal Grand father Shaikh Hussain said “if you attend a funeral of a stranger to match each wedding you attend of a friend, the contrast will straighten you out to become a humble servant of humanity known as Khaksar.”
Both Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Imam Hazrat Ali (ra) had continuously advocated living in a moderation and a mid path between the worldly and spiritual needs. The Aga Khan has fine tuned that balance between living for oneself materially and living for the others spiritually and has founded the Aga Khan Development Network that is committed to serving the humanity without regard to faith, origin or gender. I believe AKDN (http://www.akdn.org/) is one of the largest Non Governmental bodies serving humanity to stand on their own feet.
We wish a very happy Imamat day and Khushali to the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and blessing of long life to the Hazar Imam HH Karim Aga Khan. Amen!
PN: I have been sharing the essence of celebrations and commemorations of every religious and cultural traditions under the title "Festivals of the world" for over 15 years now under the banner of Foundation for Pluralism. I don't write/speak on every one of the events, but surely make an attempt to do as many as I can in the time I have avaialable to me in a given day. The idea is for us to know a little bit about each other, as it paves the way to greater understanding and a cohesive life.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India, Peace and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and is a frequent guest on the media. Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
45 PICTURES AT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157641382648224/
August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916
Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.