December 22, 2022

Secret world of Aga Khan; Origin of the Agakhanis

Hello and thank you for joining me once again on Diary of a Common Man, my name is Salim Lalani.
This week we will begin the journey or exploration into the secret world of Aga Khan, who is globally known for many reasons. One of them is his multiple, mysterious and ambiguous identities. In public, he is a Shia Imam, and a descendant of the Prophet of Islam. Behind closed doors however, he is God. Not only the God of Islam, but Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. In this blog, we will begin by clearing some smoke around his identity as the Prophet of Islam.

Ismaili Constitution And origin of the Shia community
Ismaili Constitution is a public document. In it’s preamble, Aga Khan identifies himself as Mawlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Husseini, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, in direct lineal descent from Holy Prophet through Maulana Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Bibi Fatima, is the 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
In short, descendant of the Prophet via Shia Imam Ali. Ambiguity starts right here. To unravel it, first we'll need to understand the relationship between the Prophet, Imam Ali and his progeny. To do this will have to go to Arabia 1400 years ago.
After spreading the message of Islam for 19 years, the Prophet Muhammad, eventually passed away in 632 AD. He leaves behind, the Quran and his own tradition as his legacy. His absence, however, created a massive leadership vacuum. Who could possibly fill his shoes? After a few rounds of deliberations and negotiations, Muslim community in Makkah chose Abu Bakr Siddiqui as Prophet’s successor. He becomes the first rightly guided Caliph of Islam. Whilst Abu Bakr would be Prophet’s successor, he could not be the Prophet. Prophet had both secular and religious authority over Muslims. Caliph Abu Bakr’s authority was limited to guiding and administering the Islamic State. All msulims, would rely on the Quran and the tradition of the Prophet to be guided on the right path. All was well so far. But then a minority Muslims rejected Abu Bakr’s appointment as Caliph. They believed the prophet had actually nominated his cousin and son in law, Ali as his successor, both secular and religious!! Ali would be referred to as Imam, the Guide. These minority came to be known as Shia tun Ali, party of Ali. Today we know them as Shia muslims. Shia doctrine further asserted that Ali’s progeny would carry the same authority over time enjoyed by the Prophet and Imam Ali. They would be present physically to guide people on the straight path.

The majority of Muslims are known as Sunni muslims, who follow the Sunna (tradition) of the Prophet.
Let's quickly summarize.
Imam Ali is Prophet's cousin and son in law. Upon Prophet’s death the Muslim community splits between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Shia Muslims believe that an Imam is required to guide people according to the correct meaning of the Quran, both exoteric and esoteric. This divine authority is personified by Imam Ali and his progeny in the Ismaili constitution.
By ordaining the Constitution, Agakhan asserts his authority as a divine guide by virtue of being the descendant of the Prophet and Imam Ali. Imagine a chain with a pendant and 49 links. Pendant is the Prophet and each link is an Imam. Ismailies claim that this chain linking Imam Ali is and the current Aga Khan is unbroken.
However, recorded history does not agree. It suggests the chain of 49 Ismaili Imams does not exist. Only the first five Imams on Agakhan’s list are linked to the Prophet.
Let's substantiate this.
29 years after the Prophet passed away, Imam Ali was assassinated in Kufa. As per the Shia doctrine his eldest son Hassan became the Imam but he was soon poisoned to death. His younger brother Imam Hussain takes over as the next Imam but unfortunately he was killed under very tragic circumstances in Karbala, Iraq. Next in line, Imam Hussain's very young son, Zain becomes the 4th Imam, followed by his son Muhammad Bakir, followed by his son, Imam Jafar Sadiq. At this juncture, supposedly unbroken Ismaili chain breaks!!
Imam Jafar’s designated successor, his eldest son Ismail is missing!!
The year is 765 AD. Imam Jafar Sadiq is poisoned to death. His passing creates a few issues for Shia muslims. Firstly, the Shia community splits in two parts. Secondly, his designated successor, Ismail is missing.
So what is the problem if his designated successor is missing?
The problem is Shia doctrine, which asserts that an Imam is a divine guide who is always present physically in this world to guide people according to the Quran.
Some say Ismail was hiding due to Sunni persecution, others say Sunnis killed him way before Imam Jafar’s death. But the fact remains that Imam Ismail never appeared in public after his father’s death.
Shia muslims who believed Imam Ismail was alive and took over from his father as the next Shia Imam are known as Ismaili muslims, popularly known as Agakhanis.
But this belief was going nowhere!!
Aga Khan found Institute of Ismaili studies in 1977 to research Islam and ismailism. So far it has not been able to find one piece of evidence to put Imam Ismail on the scene!!
Recorded history nor Agakhan himself has been able to prove Imam Ismail’s Imamate. Hence, we will infer that Aga Khan could not be related to the Prophet of Islam.

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