"The Zamana Gallery, dedicated to presenting arts, architecture and culture of the developing world, particularly the Islamic world, is the first of its kind in the west. It was established by the Present Imam and falls unde the auspices of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
"Joan Viscountress Camrose was born on April 22 1908, the eldest daughter of the 3rd Lord Churston and 7th Duke of Leinslter, the descendant of King Edward III of Great Britain. Her father was ADC to the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon from 1902 to 1903, and then to the Duke of Connaught, from 1904 to 1906. She had three sisters, Denise, who married the 5th Lord Ebury, Lydia, who married the 13th Duke of Bedford, and Primrose, who married the 7th Earl Cadogan. In 1946, their mother became the third wife of the 7th Duke of Leinslter.
The word thal means plate and sufra means table-cloth. The Arabic word for thal (tray) is tabaq or siniyya (round tray). The word sufra in Persian means anything on or in which victuals are placed, provisions prepared by men of hospitality, such as the sufra'i dauri (a round table-cloth), sufra'i sham'dan (a lamp-dish), sufra'i fasahat (an eloquent tongue) or sufra nishin (a guest of table).
Children ought to be regarded as a blessing from God and their birth should be celebrated with zest and exchange of greetings. If one has no issues, he must pray for the grant of pious children just as Zachariah prayed for a noble offspring: "God!
Pir Tajuddin was most possibly born in 796/1394 in Uchh Sharif, and got his early education from his elder brothers. He was about 33 years old when designated as the next hujjat, or pir for subcontinent. The tradition relates that he used to put the bud of flower on his robe, making him familiar with the title of shah turrel (the lord of the tura or bud). He made Lahore as his centre because Uchh Sharif had become the ground of quarrel by his opponents. He had also an opportunity at Lahore to direct the descendants of Pir Shams in the mission works.
The word tughra is said to be a Persian and the orthography in Arabic characters became fixed as tughra. Popular Arabic has confounded tughra with turra (border of a piece of cloth or the upper border of a document). The word is also considered as of purely Turkish origin, derived from tughragh, meaning seal. In dialects, tughra is pronounced as tura, which means in Turkish, stick or sinew used for playing on a large drum. The tughra is a calligraphic emblem.
The word wasila (pl. wasa'il) is a noun used twice in the Koran (5:34 and 17:57), means recommendation, the means of access, favourable influence or intermediary means. When one approaches a king or a great man, he says tawassalt meaning I approached. It (wasila) only refers to the highest position. The Koran says, "O ye who believe, be mindful of your duty to God, and seek the means (wasila) of approaching Him, and strive in His way in order that you may succeed" (5:35).
Takhat Nashini means the ceremonial installation of the Imam, which is celebrated soon after the assumption of the Imamate. It indicates that when one Imam dies, his successor manifests as an Imam. The historical celebration was held in great solemnity and the devotion and the enthusiasm of the Ismailis knew no bounds. The first ceremonial Takhat Nashini of the Present Imam commemorated in Dar-es-Salaam on Saturday, October 19, 1957 amid great pomp and splendour, attended by 30,000 Ismailis.
"In Mecca, the news of their defeat in Badr preceded the subdued army, and proclaimed their resolve for vengeance. The aggressions of the Meccans reached their climax. The traders among them set aside a portion of their profits for the expenses of war. In 3/625, three thousand Meccan warriors, of whom 700 were clad in armour, bore down on Medina under the command of Abu Sufian. Their women accompanied them in front to applaud the brave and to chide the craven-hearted. Three miles to the north of Medina, the Meccans encamped at the foot of a hillock, called Uhud.
The Arabic word waswasah (pl. wasawis) means the jingle of an ornament, to speak softly, to speak nonesense, and evil suggestion occurring in heart. In Arabic, the tempting sound is also called waswas.
It must be known that Jibrail (B) brought God's (A) message to the Prophet (C), and this communication is called the wahy. If (A) happens to be not God but Shaitan (devil, demon), then the communication is not called wahy, but waswasah (whispering), vide Koran, 7:19 and 114:5-6.
"The root idea of the verb talaqa means to be freed from a tether (of a camel). Thus, talaq means a camel untethered or a woman repudiated by a man. It also means freeing or the ending of a knot. In the terminology of the jurists, the talaq or divorce is called khul, meaning the putting off or taking off of a thing, when it is claimed by the wife. In the Koran there is one derivation of the root, ikhla, which means take off.
Umar, the son of Khattab was born about twelve years after the birth of the Prophet in Mecca. His father was an educated merchant, who taught his son reading and writing. He was a poet, orator and fond of archery, horse-riding and wrestling. He embraced Islam in the 6th year of the Prophethood.
The term talik means suspension or hanging together. Talik is said to have got this name from its letters being connected to each other, and is in fact a compound of tawki, rika and naskh scripts. The shikasta talik (broken talik) is the result of writing talik rapidly. The letters are written in a more intricate style, which makes shikasta talik difficult to read. It started to appear in 8th/14th century and was developed by Khwaja Taj Salmaniyi Ispahani (d. 897/1491).
"Muawiya followed Ali and his son, Hasan as caliph of the Muslims, having adopted the cry of "Vengeance for Uthman." Muawiya and Uthman were kinsmen, both of them belonging to the Meccan clan of Umayyad or Abd Shams. Later, after the death of Ali, Hasan bin Ali abdicated the power after ruling for 6 months and 3 days in 41/661 in favour of Muawiya, who became an absolute ruler of the Muslim states. There are however numerous instances, where Muawiya is recorded as saying, "I am the first king of Islam." (Bidaya wa'n Nihaya by Ibn Kathir, Cairo, 1939, 8:135).
"The word wuzu is derived from waza, meaning beauty, and in Islamic terminology, it means the washing of certain parts of the body before prayers.
"The early Nizari Ismailis showed a particular interest in the doctrine of the Imamate and concentrated their doctrinal investigations. Thus, Hasan bin Sabbah broached the doctrine of talim (authoritative teaching) to the Ismailis. The word talim is derived from the second form of the root verb alima mean to know. Thus, the talim means instruction or teaching, and the derivative talim has come to be used to denote, in particular, the followers of authoritative, i.e., the Ismailis.
"The word ummah (pl. umam) is derived from amma yaumma, meaning to intend. According to others, the word ummah is rooted from the Aramaic, umma'tha, meaning tribe, nation or community. It occurs 62 times in the Koran including 15 times plural in the following senses:-
The aslam alaikum was a common phrase of salutation in the period of the Prophet. Imam Hussain once said, "Seventy rewards are the share of the one who initiates a greeting, and only one reward belongs to the one who returns the greeting" (Bihar al-Anwar, 78:120). Soon after the battle of Siffin, the Shi'ite became the target of hostility and were persecuted by the Umayyads. The Imams had no option but to impart them the doctrine of taqiya to avoid the danger of being killed.
"Ahmad bin Abdullah, Muhammad al-Habib, or Abul Hussain, surnamed at-Taqi (God-fearing), also called Imam Taqi Muhammad, was born in 174/790 and ascended in 212/828. He lived secretly with his followers as a merchant at Salamia. He is also called Sahib al-Rasail (Lord of the epistles). He however retained the services of Abdullah bin Maymun (d. 260/874) as his hujjat.