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Imamat Day July 11, 2006! - 49 Years!

He it is Who sent His Apostle with the guidance
and the true religion that He may make it prevail over all the religions;
and Allah is enough for a witness.
Victory [48:28]

Imamat Day is celebrated every year by Ismailis on the day that the Imamat transferred from the past Imam to the Present Living Imam. This anniversary is celebrated with great rejoicing by the followers of the Imam, for this is a unique occasion full of symbolism wherein the continuance of Allah's covenant is celebrated.

Allah has declared that His Light is everpresent and will remain a Guide until Judgement Day. In every Jomma, (period of Imamat) even though the previous Imam passes away, the believers rejoice at the appointment of the new, Living Imam as the Hablillah (Rope of Allah) continues.

"What Allah has ordained, will surely come to pass." [6:134]

This occasion is even more solemn as many events point to its importance. For example, Prophet Muhammad's birthday was also his death anniversary. For Shia Muslims, this was a further endorsement of the divinely ordained appointment of Hazrat Ali at Gadhir-e Khumm where Prophet Muhammad declared him as his successor.

Prophet Muhammad (sas) took Hazrat Ali's hand in his hand, raising it high, declared articulately:

"Mann kunto Mowlahu fa-Aliyun Mowlahu" meaning, "He of whom I am Lord, Ali is also his Lord". He then added, "Ali is to me as Harun (Aaron) was to Musa (Moses)", and prayed, "O Allah! Be a friend of Ali's friends and a foe to his foes. Help those who help Ali and frustrate the hopes of those who betray Ali."

Audio file Mann kunto Mowla

As Prophet Muhammad completed this message, Umar bin Khattab, (later the second Caliph of Islam) came before Hazrat Ali and said, "Congratulations to you, O the son of Abu Talib! You have become the Master of every male and female Momin." Saying this, he took the Baiyah, (Baiyat in Urdu and Gujerati) oath of allegiance, on Hazrat Ali's hand. Following Caliph Umar's example, all the Muslims, both men and women, made the Baiyah on Hazrat Ali's hand accompanied by great rejoicing.

This weighty declaration led to the revelation of the following verse that was recited by Prophet Muhammad in his last sermon: "This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favors upon you and chosen Islam as your religion." - [5:3] This event took place over 1400 years ago and Momins have great joy in their hearts as this unbroken chain of Imamat continues, Nooran Ala Noor (Light Upon Light), through prosperous and perilous periods in history.

"Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is a mighty achievement." Quran 9.111

Salwaat Audio
Allahuma salli ala Muhammadin wa Aali Muhammad!

This year, we are celebrating the 49th anniversary of the Present Living Imam's accession to the seat of Imamat. As Momins, we renew our pledge, to promote what Allah wants us to do and stay away from what He prohibits, to obey the Imam in acheiving this goal. In helping Mowlana Hazar Imam in his work in secular and spiritual arenas, we rejoice in the bargain we have made.

"And Allah's are the hosts of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Mighty, Wise. Surely We have sent you as a witness and as a bearer of good news and as a warner. That you may believe in Allah and His Apostle and may aid him and revere him; and (that) you may declare His glory, morning and evening."

"Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his pledge), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward." [Quran 48:7-10]

7. Walillahi junoodu alssamawati waal-ardi wakana Allahu AAazeezan hakeeman
8. Inna arsalnaka shahidan wamubashshiran wanatheeran
9. Litu/minoo biAllahi warasoolihi watuAAazziroohu watuwaqqiroohu watusabbihoohu bukratan waaseelan 33
10. Inna allatheena yubayiAAoonaka innama yubayiAAoona Allaha yadu Allahi fawqa aydeehim faman nakatha fa-innama yankuthu AAala nafsihi waman awfa bima AAahada AAalayhu Allaha fasayu/teehi ajran AAatheeman

Audio and Arabic Script

"Those who follow the Apostle-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful." [Quran 7:157]

"Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; a likeness of His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, (and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star, lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western, the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not-- light upon light-- Allah guides to His light whom He pleases, and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah is Cognizant of all things." [24:35]

He it is Who sent His Apostle with the guidance
and the true religion
that He may make it prevail over all the religions;
and Allah is enough for a witness.
Victory [48:28] "And when Allah made a covenant through the prophets: Certainly what I have given you of Book and wisdom-- then an apostle comes to you verifying that which is with you, you must believe in him, and you must aid him. He said: Do you affirm and accept My compact in this (matter)? They said: We do affirm. He said: Then bear witness, and I (too) am of the bearers of witness with you." [3.81]

As we do at every Eid, be it Eid-e Milad, Eid-e Gadhir or Eid-e Nourouz (Navroz), at Imamat Day, we remember and renew our pledge of allegiance to help him, to look back at the year before and see what we have done and not done, reflect upon it and use our "wealth and our persons" to resolve to do better in the year ahead of us, Inshallah!

"And those who are keepers of their trusts and their covenant,
And those who keep a guard on their prayers;
These are they who are the heirs,
Who shall inherit the Paradise; they shall abide therein." [23:8-11]

In writing this article for my Imamat Day page, I was reminded of Nasir Khusraw's quest for truth:

According to Encyclopedia of Islam, Nasir Khusraw left Persia at the difficult period, when the country was being laid waste by the continued wars between the various Princes. He found the same wretched picture in all the Muslim countries which he had to traverse on his journey. Only Egypt proved a pleasing exception, where he saw prosperity, rich bazars, harmony and tranquility. As the lsmaili dynasty of Fatimids were ruling in Egypt at that time, Nasir concluded that Islam had diverged from the true path and that only lsmailism could save the true believers from inevitable ruin.

When Nasir Khusraw visited Cairo in 439 A.H., he went to the court of Fatimid Caliph, Imam Mustansir Billah. There he met Khawaja Al Muayyad Fiddin Shirazi, who was then one of the twelve 'Hujjats' of the lmam. He discussed with him about the allegories of the Holy Ouran and other secrets of the Shariat (religious law) and he found the righteousness of the Fatimid Caliph Imam Al Mustansir Billah and accepted him as his lmam. He says, "I searched in the world for Tawil-e Mutashabihat (The meaning of allegories of Holy Ouran) but I could not find them anywhere except with Fatimid Caliphs".

He praised his teacher Al Muayyad in his Diwan for his superiority in knowledge.

"Kih kard az khatir-i Khwaja Muayyad Dar-i-Hikmat kushada bar tu yazdan shab-i-man rooz-i raushan kard Khwaja za burhanha-i-choon khurshid-ipakhshan.
Mara binamood hazir har do aakm ba yak ja dar tanam paida pinhan."

"From the heart of Al Muayyad, God has opened for thee the doors of wisdom. Khwaja changed my night into a shiny day by his right arguments like the sun. He showed me both the worlds in my person, he made me behold them openly as well as secretly, in my person." (full article)

Nasir Khusraw became one of the many exemplary Ismailis in history. His true faith and conviction gave salvation to many over the generations. As you know, Mowlana Hazar Imam's recent visit to Tajikistan was a very emotional one as these Ismailis had not seen the Imam of the Time for generations but their faith in the Truth gave them strength to endure the many physical and mental hardships that came their way.

In Mowlana Hazar Imam's words in his speech to the Government and people of the Kyrgyz Republic:

I cannot close without a final reflection on the Muslim Ummah which has undergone a long period of considerable turmoil. The last two hundred years have seen variegated experiences from political, economic and scientific domination by colonial powers, to isolation under highly traditional forms of governance, even of living under conditions of active hostility to the exercise of the faith. Not surprisingly, there are, throughout the Ummah, strong and legitimate aspirations to be - once again - a respected and central player on the stage of world civilizations.

In bringing these aspirations to fruition, I am struck by the close relationship which exists in Islam between intellect and the faith. During the glorious periods of Muslim history, Muslim thinkers, scientists and philosophers were beacons of light, sharing their knowledge freely with the non-Muslim world, indeed often leading it. I am convinced that the way for the Ummah to achieve its aspirations is through the development of first-rate institutions and professionals, steeped in the ethos of the faith, but applying their intellects and resources to help humanity develop solutions to the very. real problems facing it today - such as population growth, sustainable resource management, environmental degradation, the ethics governing new scientific capacities, or the creation of just civil societies without exclusions. more...

Say, It is Allah Who guides to the truth. Is then He, Who gives guidance to the truth, more worthy to be  followed. Quran 10-35 As an Ismaili, my wish for this Imamat Day is that more individuals of our time should take this pledge to heart and with faith, conviction, and righteous action, bring back to us the glory of our Fatimid times. On my Navroz page, I highlighted some of the vision of our beloved Imam regarding balancing spiritual and material life, and applying the daily principles of Islamic ethics in our life in the busy life in the West.

Today, I leave you with an excerpt of his speech to the Asia Society:

Asia Society New York, September 1979 - As we work towards that vision of the future we will remember the Surah of Light from the Quran. It tells us that the oil of the blessed olive tree lights the lamp of understanding, a light that belongs neither to the East nor West. We are to give this light to all. In that spirit, all that we learn will belong to the world and that too is part of the vision I share with you.

Qadi Nomaan's Majlis on Bayah
Al Muayyad's Majlis on Love for the Imams
Al Muayyad's Majlis on Guidance of the Imams

Related Links

49th Imamat Day Page - 2006
48th Imamat Day Page - 2005
47th Imamat Day Page - 2004
46th Imamat Day Page - 2003
45th Imamat Day Page - 2002
44th Imamat Day Page - 2001
43rd Imamat Day Page - 2000
42nd Imamat Day Page - 1999
41st Imamat Day Page - 1998
40th Imamat Day Page - 1997

69th Birthday Page - 2005
68th Birthday Page - 2004
67th Birthday Page - 2003
66th Birthday Page - 2002
65th Birthday Page - 2001
64th Birthday Page - 2000
63rd Birthday Page - 1999
62nd Birthday Page - 1998
61st Birthday Page - 1997
Verses in the Quran proclaiming the Imams - Ahl-e Bayt (Family of the Prophet)
Pan Tan Paak Ahl-e Bayt Page

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Eid-e Gadhir
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Present and Living Imam's Birthday
Imamat Day Succession of Prophet Muhammad's Progeny
Layl tul Qadr - The Night of Power 23rd of Ramadan
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