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History Events

YEAR YYYYEvent Title
YEAREVENTDESCRIPTION
1957Accession to Imamat of H.H. Prince Karim, Agakhan IV -1957-07-11

H.H. Prince Karim, Agakhan IV became the Spirutual leader of the worldwide Ismaili community at the age of 20, on July 11, 1957

1958 Portrait of H.H. the Aga Khan
1952Evian Conference - 1952-07-04 to 08

Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah had called a Conference in Evian, France known as the Evian Conference between July 4, 1952 and July 8, 1952 to discuss various economic and social problems confronting the African Ismailis and also to make necessary amendments in the Constitution of the African Councils.

1952-07-Evian-Conference.jpg
1936Birth of Imam Shah Karim al-Husayni Hazar Imam - 1936AD

Imam Shah Karim Al-Husayni was born on Sunday, the 13th of December, 1936, in Geneva, to Aly Solomone Khan and Princess Tajudowleh. From early on, him and his brother were under the care and training of their illustrious grandfather.

1885 - 1957Imamate of Imam Sultan Muhammed Shah - 1885-1957AD

The Imamate of Imam Sultan Muhammed Shah is witness to a glorious period in Ismaili history, as portrayed by the illustrious presentation of the Jubilees, where the followers weighed their Imam physically against gold, diamond and platinum respectively, and subsequently placed these in humble submission to the Imam. The Imam graciously returned these in the sole endeavour of uplifting the economic and educational conditions of His Jamat.

1881 - 1885Imamate of Imam Shah Aly Shah - 1881-1885AD

Mowlana Imam Aly Shah had married five wives one after another, the third of which promised the Imam his successor, Sultan Muhammed Shah. Within a span of less than one year, his two eldest sons died, and the Imam himself fell sick and died also in the same year, vesting the Light of Imamate in his young eight-year old son, Aga Sultan Muhammed Shah (Aziz, 1974).

1877Birth of Imam Sultan Muhammed Shah - 1877AD

Imam Sultan Muhammed Shah, the Aga Khan III, was born on Friday, the 2nd of November, 1877, in Karachi, Pakistan during the Imamat of his grandfather Imam Aga Hasan Aly Shah. He went to Europe in 1897, and spent most of his life there (Aziz, 1974).

1830Birth of Imam Shah Aly Shah - 1830AD

Mowlana Imam Ali Shah, the Aga Khan II, was born in 1830AD, in Mahalat, Iran. During the Imamate of his father, he himself had been appointed the Pir. During this time, he had travelled alongside the Imam and had visited the jamats all over India.

1817 - 1881Imamate of Imam Shah Hasan Aly - 1817-1881AD

After the death of the King, Imam Hasan Aly Shah continued to enjoy the good pleasure of the newly enthroned grandson, much to the chagrin of the other political bodies. After such envy turned into rising political tension and armed conflict, the Imam was forced to leave Iran for good and travelled through Afghanistan to Sind, Pakistan, and finally choosing to settle down in Bombay, India. In due course, Imam Hasan Aly Shah was conferred the title of His Highness by Queen Victoria of Britain.

1805Birth of Imam Shah Hasan Aly - 1805AD

Mowlana Imam Hasan Aly Shah was born in Mahalat, Iran, in 1805AD. He would succeed his father, who had been murdered by a group of fanatics, at the young age of thirteen years. King Fatehali Qachar sentenced the assassins and their leader and became a great source of comfort to the young Imam and his followers. He gave the Imam his daughter in marriage and bestowed upon him the title of Aga Khan, meaning Lord of the Chiefs. He became known as Aga Khan I (Aziz, 1974).

1780 - 1817Imamate of Imam Khalilillahi Aly - 1780-1817AD

Shah Fatehali ascended the throne of Iran in 1798AD. Imam Khalilillahi Ali had four sons and two daughters. He was murdered at the age of eighty years by some Ithnasheri fanatics in Yezd in 1817AD. He was buried in Najjaf, and was succeeded by his son Agha Shah Hasanali. His Imamat had lasted a period of thirty-nine years.

1749Birth of Imam Khalilillahi Aly - 1749AD

Imam Khalilillahi Aly was born in Kerman in 1749AD. At the age of two years he joined his father in Mahalat, and was brought under the care of his uncle Pir Mirza Muhammed Baqir. He would marry his uncle's daughter, Bibi Maryam Khatoon, by whom he would have his son, Agha Hasanali Shah (Aziz, 1974).

1730 - 1780Imamate of Imam Abyl Hasan Aly - 1730-1780AD

Imam Abyl Hasan Ali moved to Shahr-i Babak in Kirman, mainly to ensure the safety of the Ismaili pilgrims from the plundering tribesman who had thus far posed much difficulty to the pilgrims as they were on their way to the Anjudan and Mahallat regions where the Imam had previously resided. Sayed Fateh Ali Shah who had visited the Imam in Shahr-i Babak alludes to the Imam's location in northern iran ('sehentar deep') in one of his ginans. Mowlana Imam Abyl Hasan Ali passed away in Mahallat and was buried in Najaf, Iraq (Sadik Ali, 1997).

1695 - 1730Imamate of Imam Qasim Aly - 1695-1730AD

Imam Qasim Ali appointed his teenaged son Sayyid Abul Hasanali as the Pir. The latter, also known as Pir Shah Hasan Baig, was the forty-second Pir of the Ismailis, and at his father's death, was appointed as the next Imam in the succession of the Holy Imams (Aziz, 1974).

1675Birth of Imam Qasim Aly - 1675AD

Imam Qasim Ali, also known as Agha Jafer Shah, was born in Kahek in 1675 AD, and succeeded to the Throne of Imamat at the age of twenty years (Aziz, 1974).

1661 - 1695Imamate of Imam Hasan Aly - 1661-1695AD

During the Imamate of Imam Hassan Aly, Ismaili dawat spread to Turkey, Armenia, and Crimea (Aziz, 1974). According to his will, he was buried in Najjaf, Iraq, after ruling as Imam of the Time for thirty-five years. He was followed in succession by his son Imam Qassim Ali (Aziz, 1974).

1629 - 1661Imamate of Imam Sayyid Aly - 1629-1661AD

Mowlana Sayed Ali, also known as Shah Ismail, Agha Hasan Shah and Shah Abul-Hasan Baig, shifted his primary residence from Kahek to Kerman, after being offered governorship of the province by the Safawi court (Aziz, 1974). After appointing his son, Hasan Ali, to the Throne of Imamate, Imam Sayed Ali passed away in Kerman in 1661 AD (Sadik Ali, 1997).

1585 - 1629Imamate of Imam Nizar - 1585-1629AD

Mowlana Imam Nizar rebuilt the city of Kahek and shifted his residence hereto from Anjudan (Aziz, 1974). An Ismaili dai, and a descendent of Pir Sadirdeen, by the name of Sayed Abdul Nabi, lived during this period in India and preached mostly in Gujrat. Imam Nizar passed away in Kahek, his body buried in his palace, which served as a mausoleum also for other members of the Imam's family. (Sadik Ali, 1997).

1550 - 1585Imamate of Imam Khalilillahi Aly - 1550-1585AD

The last Imam to live in Anjudan, Imam Khalilillahi Ali remained aloof from the political instability which prevailed throughout Iran at this time. During this time, Pir Naseer Mohammed was followed by Pir Agha Hashem in the line of Piratan. Sayyid Daood, an acclaimed vakil, was appointed by the Imam to govern the religious affairs in the jamats of India. The Imam was followed in succession by his son Sayyid Nizar Ali in 1585.

1518 - 1550Imamate of Imam Nooriddeen Aly - 1518-1550AD

After the death of his father, Pir Qasim Shah bin Pir Alauddin, Pir Naseer Muhammed was appointed to Piratan by Imam Nooruddin Ali. He was the 33rd Pir of the Ismailis. During the Imamate of Imam Nooruddin Ali, the devout Ismaili poet, Khaki Khorasani was imprisoned by the Mogul king Humayoon of India, and died in prison (Aziz, 1974). The Imam passed away in Anjudan and consigned the office of Imamate to his son, Khalilillahi Aly.

1516 - 1518Imamate of Imam Zilfiqar Aly - 1516-1518AD

The Imamate of Imam Zilfiqar Ali lasted a short while, a period of two years alone. The Safavids lost their foothold in Iran during this time, allowing the Ismailis to enjoy a greater sense of religious freedom and expression (Aziz, 1974). A famous Ismaili poet, Khaki Khorasani became a devout follower of the Imam as early as age seven, with his poetry bearing testimony of the piety and devotion of the Ismailis to their Imam (Sadik Ali, 1997).

1513Birth of Imam Nooriddeen Aly - 1513AD

Imam Nooriddeen Aly was born in 1513AD in Anjudan, and succeeded his father to the Throne of Imamate in the year 1518AD at the age of five years.

1511 - 1516Imamate of Imam Murad Meerza - 1511-1516AD

Because of his mother Sabra Khatoon, a Safawi princess, Imam Murad Meerza enjoyed cordial relations with the royal Safavid family. The Imam was extremely respected and loved, and as such, a world of opportunities were offered to the Ismailis in small trade, farming, military and civil services (Aziz, 1974). Imam Murad Meerza passed away in Anjudan and was succeeded by his son Zilfiqar Aly (Sadik Ali, 1997).

1498 - 1511Imamate of Imam Abizzar Aly - 1498-1511AD

During the Imamate of Imam Abizzar Aly, the rise of the Safavid Empire in Iran posed significant risk to the lives of the Ismailis. Announcing Shiism as the state religion, the Safavids sought to set themselves apart from the neighboring Sunni Ottamans. However, this adoption was far from tolerant, and Sufis, Ismailis, and other smaller sects of the Muslim faith found themselves prey to execution by the Safavids. Hence, in these turbulent times too, the Ismailis practiced taqiyah, often assuming the cloak of Twelver Shiism (Sadik Ali, 1997).

1494 - 1498Imamate of Imam Ghareeb Mirza - 1494-1498AD

Soon after the ascension of Imam Ghareeb Mirza, the headquarters of the Imamate shifted to Anjudan, a move that would prove to be beneficial to all Ismailis all over Iran. The Imam kept himself out of the sphere of politics, and lived a private life until his death in 1498 AD.

1476 - 1494Imamate of Imam Abdis Salaam - 1476-1494AD

Sharing the authorship of the book Pandiyate Jawanmardi with his father, Imam Abdus Salaam continued to advise the Jamat to practice strict taqiya due to the preponderance of enmity towards the Ismailis in surrounding communities. The book given by the Imam to the Jamat of India as a blessing of pardon was given the title of Pir. The Imam passed away in Shahr Babak in the year 1494 AD.

1464 - 1476Imamate of Imam Mustansiribillah II - 1464-1476AD

The period of Imamate of Imam Mustansirbillah saw the demise of Pir Hassan Kabirdeen and also that of Pir Tajuddin, the latter's death recorded as a consequence of assault by some unsrupulous followers in India. The literary text of Pandiyati Jawanmardi was written by Imam Mustansirbillah, during a time when many Ismailis had to once again observe the practice of taqiya.

1456Birth of Imam Abdis Salaam - 1456AD

Imam Abdus Salaam was born in Shahr Babak, and would spent most of his life here, succeeding to the Throne of Imamat at 21 years of age.

1423 - 1464Imamate of Imam Muhammed Ibni Islam Shah - 1423-1464AD

Born in Kahek and residing mostly in Shahr-i Babak in Kirman, Imam Muhammed Ibni Islam Shah is believed to have been about the age of 17 when assuming the Throne of Imamate. Upon his passing in 1464 AD, his son Ali Shah, surnamed Mustansirbillah, became the next hereditary Imam of the Time.

1368 - 1423Imamate of Imam Islam Shah - 1368-1423AD

During the lifetime of Imam Islam Shah the headquarters of the Ismaili Imamat shifted from Azerbhaijaan to Kahek. The Ismailis once again fell prey to the cruelty of the Mongols, this time at the hands of Tamerlane, a descendent of Genghis Khan (Aziz, 1974). At this historic time in Ismaili history, the Pirs, renowned of which were Pir Sadirdeen and Pir Hassan Kabirdeen, converted mass numbers of Hindus in Sind, Gujrat, and Kathiawar - converts who would come to be known as the Khojas. An important historical artifact of this time is the treatise of Das Avatara (Sadik Ali, 1997).

1310 - 1368Imamate of Imam Qasim Shah - 1310-1368AD

As his father had done, Imam Qassim Shah lived in Azerbhaijaan under an assumed identity (Daftary & Hirji, 2008). Under his 60-year rule, the Ismailis lived peaceful lives by continuing the practice of taqiya. Imam Qassim Shah sent Pir Shams to India, where he converted a significant number of inhabitants to the Ismaili tariqah of Islam. During this time also, even thousands of Mongols had embraced the faith (Aziz, 1974).

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