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Dhaka Tribune

Aga Khan’s diamond jubilee as spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims today

Update : 11 Jul 2017, 01:12 AM
Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan, the current imam of Nizari Ismailism, will mark 60 years as the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslims today. The worldwide celebration brings together the global Ismaili community, partners of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), and government and faith community leaders in over 25 countries, said a press release. July 11 marks a year from the milestone announcements by Aga Khan for a global commitment to partnerships based on the principles of ethics in action, peace and pluralism. Over the past six decades, Aga Khan has transformed the quality of life for millions of people around the world. In the areas of health, education, cultural revitalisation, and economic empowerment, he has worked to inspire excellence and improve living conditions and opportunities in some of the world’s most remote and troubled regions. In Islam’s ethical tradition, religious leaders not only interpret the faith but also have a responsibility to help improve the quality of life of their community and the societies among which they live. For Aga Khan, this has meant dedicating his life to addressing concerns of the developing world. Aga Khan is a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. He succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan as the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims 60 years ago, at the age of 20. Today, Aga Khan leads a global community of some 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims, living predominantly in South Asia, Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and the Far East. Like the Muslim world as a whole, the Ismaili community represents a rich diversity of cultures, languages, and nationalities. His role as Imam includes the interpretation of the faith and responsibility for religious institutions and activities of his followers worldwide, said an AKDN statement.
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