Wednesday
Mar 21,2012

navroz mubarak 2012

On 21 March, Ismaili Muslims worldwide observe Navroz (Nowruz), a festival celebrated in many Muslim communities and cultures, particularly those belonging to the Shia. For many communities, it marks the beginning of a new year and the first day of spring. More generally, it signifies a time of spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation, as well as the spirit of gratitude for blessings and an outlook of hope and optimism towards the future.

The festival of Navroz commemorates a centuries-old, agrarian custom that over time was integrated into various cultures and faith traditions. Today, Navroz is celebrated in many parts of the Middle East and Central and South Asia, particularly among peoples influenced by Persian and Turkic civilisations. In countries such as Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Navroz is observed as a public holiday.

In Surah Ya-Sin of the Holy Qur’an, Allah says:

Let the once dead earth be a sign to them. We gave it life, and from it produced grain for their sustenance. We planted it with palm and the vine and watered it with gushing springs, so that men might feed on its fruit. It was not their hands that made all this. Should they not give thanks?

    — Surah 36, Verses 33–35

Ismailis across the globe celebrate Navroz with the recital of devotional poetry in the form of ginans, qasidas, and manqabas. Dried fruits, nuts and grains are distributed among Jamati members, symbolising blessings of abundance and sustenance. Navroz is also a time of family gatherings and celebratory meals, thus strengthening family bonds and fraternal ties.

Navroz Mubarak!

Source: http://www.theismaili.org/cms/960/Navroz

Wednesday
Dec 15,2010

Prince Karim Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of about 20 million Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and is now turning 74.  He was born on December 13, 1936 in Switzerland. Every year on December 13, the Ismailies around the world celebrate his birthday with religious and emotive zeal.

The Murids arrange religious Majalises in Jamat Khanas where they make religious offerings, supplications and reaffirm their allegiance to the Imam of time. Sweets and festive refreshment is served and the Ismailies wish each other Khushhali or Salgira Mubarak.

Ismailies around the world celebrated the Salgira, this year, jubilantly. Jamat Khanas were decorated in many parts of the world. Many people in North America, Australia and Europe closed their offices and businesses early to get to Jamat Khanas in time.

In Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral of Pakistan, Ismailies also congregated the Birthday of their Imam in a festive and religious fashion. Houses were seen decorated, lighting on the mountains and around Jamat Khana (prayer and social hall) premises and cultural dishes were especially prepared in the designated area of Jamat Khana called Langer.

Various Day and evening Majalises were arranged in which waezeen delivered speeches urging the Murids to follow the guidance of their Imam in their worldly and religious matters. The waezeen emphasized the Jamat to work for the better image of Islam through service to humanity.

This year’s celebrations were congregated modestly as the Ismailies simultaneously honour the holy month of Muharam in which one of their Imams, Imam Hussain Ibn Ali was martyred and his family was massacred by Umayyad Caliph Yazid, at Karbala in 680 CE

They pledged that every member of the community will continue to serve the humanity which, their Imam has consistently taken as mission since 1957.

The Ismailies concluded their celebrations with special prayers for all the Muslims around the world who are passing through difficult times. They also prayed for their national prosperity, peace and development in all their respective countries.

Q.K Sunny from Gilgit-Baltistan has contributed to this story

Friday
Apr 24,2009

Milad-e-Nabi : Celebration of Birth of
Prophet Mohamed (Peace Be Upon Him)

Coastweek — Six years ago The Aga Khan Council for Mombasa initiated and hosted annual Milad event in Mombasa .

Since then, every year there after, Milad-e-Nabi has been an annual event of pride and joy for the community, where Muslim Men and women from all sects and ethnic communities come together to celebrate Milad and reflect on the Life and Teachings of Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) and refresh their understanding and practice of Faith, Peace and Harmony.

It is through this forum as the Milad-e-Nabi, that we try to bring together Both Regional and International Scholars from all Muslim orientations and traditions to one platform where they are able to share their Wisdom and knowledge, relating The Essence Of the Faith of Islam to The Challenges that The Future Beholds In a Global Society of Opportunities.

This year, Milad-e-Nabi was held at The Multipurpose Hall in beautiful environment of The Centre of Excellence, The Aga Khan Academy Mombasa.

It enhanced the brotherhood of Muslim Ummah through the intellectual discourse of the renowned Islamic Scholars representing different geographical locations around the world as well s different sects and schools of thoughts within Islam.

The Theme of this year was ISLAM : Pluralism and Diversity in the Ummah.

The discussions were focused on the reflection and celebration of Pluralism and Diversity of the Ummah.

The messages that came across clearly were, that whilst the different ethnic and cultural backgrounds as well as wide spread geographical locations and political affiliations make the Local and World Muslim Ummah diverse, this plurality is also bound by a unifying factor in the form of Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) and his teachings.

The Speakers covered the concept exceptionally well and the audience was amazed and enlightened by the light of know-ledge shared by the speakers.

Dr. Farouk Topan is a well renowned Islamic Scholar, writer and playwright.

He was Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Department of Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London .

He has published on various aspects of Swahili literature, religion, spirit possession and identity in East Africa .

He has co-edited a book entitled Swahili Modernities.

Dr. Topan served at the Institute of Ismaili Studies from its inception in 1977 until 1993.

He is currently Chair of the Regional Committee of the Madrasa Programme in East Africa . Dr Topan spoke on “Islam and Plurality: Lessons for our times”.

Dr. Gurdofarid Miskinzoda is a Research Associate and Shi‘i Studies coordinator in the Department of Academic Re-search and Publications of Institute of Islamic Studies in London , UK .

Dr Gurdofarid obtained her Doctorate in the History of the Near and Middle East from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London . Gurdofarid’s areas of specialization are the study of Muslim literary and historical tradition, origins and early development of Islam and Shi‘i Islam.

Her topic of discussion was “The Prophet Muhammad: the unifying core in the diversity and pluralism of Islam.”

Professor Mohamed Hyder, a very well respected name in intellectual circles of East Africa and beyond Internationally, was kind enough to grace the occasion and talk on, “Islam: The Religion of People.”

Mr Abdul Rahman Mwinyifaki, is an Islamic Scholar, Assistant Registrar at Kenyatta University Campus in Mombasa .

He spoke on the topic of “Al Quran” and emphasized on the importance of reading and understanding the Book of Allah.

Al Waez Shafin Verani performed the duties of Master of Ceremony.

He trained at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London , UK . and completed an MBA from Karachi University , Pakistan .

He is currently with Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Board Nairobi Kenya .

The Milad was attended by prominent leaders and Members of the diverse Muslim Communities of Mombasa, who co-exist among the other Muslim sects and the wider Kenyan population in peace and harmony.

The event was also attended by many Muslim Business and Professional Men and Women.

The Aga Khan Council for Mombasa envision continuity of such forums.

Source