"In 1897, a terrible famine broke out in Bombay and Poona. Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah made not a little distinction of caste or creed while distributing grain, money and clothes during famine. He built a palace in Poona with a view to provide job opportunities and a means of livelihood to the famine stricken people. The site covered an area of 65 acres in the location of Yeravada in Poona. It construction had been made under the care of Lady Aly Shah. It cost over twelve lac rupees. It became known as the Yeravada Palace or the Aga Khan Palace.
"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 English word voluntar is borrowed from Latin, voluntary-ius or French, voluntaire means freely undertaken. It is a feeling arising or developing in the mind without external constraint having a purely spontaneous origin or character. Voluntary service refers to a work done with an intention of assisting others without expectation of its reward. Voluntary service is a universal concept and not confined to a specific culture, group or region. It is probably as old as mankind.
The Sanskrit word yoga is derived from the root yuj means to bind together, hold fast or yoke, which also governs the Latin iungere and iugum, and the French joug and so on. Yoga signifies a union of the individual soul with the Supreme Spirit. It is an old Indian practice, imparting that the man's bondage results identification of the soul with the body and that his liberation is attained through the knowledge of their separateness.
The Sanskrit word kar means hand, and krit means deeds of hand. Thus, the word sukrat or sukrit means the good deeds conducted by hand. Sukrit is however physically a soft-dish, and its little bit is served during the rites of Ab-i Shafa to the adherents in the Jamatkhana, but it contains rich symbolic meaning for the believers.
"His name was Muhammad Sultan, also known as Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, the Aga Khan III, born at Honeymoon Lodge in Karachi on Friday, the 25th Shawal, 1294/November 2, 1877 at 5:30 pm. When the news of his birth was routed to Imam Hasan Ali Shah in Bombay, he said: "Name him Muhammad Sultan. He will be a Sultan (emperor) in the world. His period will witness wonderful events, and will earn distinguished position in the world."
Sunnah literally means a way or rule or manner of acting or mode of life. Sunnah was a word in vogue in pre-Islamic Arabia. The Arabs used it for the past customs and exemplary conduct left by their ancestors. The Koranic verses indicate that the term sunnah denotes practice or behaviour (35:43, 48:23).
The word sunni literally means one who is a traditionist. They are called the "people of custom and community" (ahl al-sunnah wa'l-jama'a). The Sunnis number majority of the total Muslim population of the world, in which the Hanafis being the largest. They recognized the first four caliphs and accept the legitimacy of the Umayyad and the Abbasid caliphates. The Sunni emphasized the teaching of the Koran and the Sunnah of the Prophet along with the collective judgment of the Companions as authoritative source of Islamic legislation.
The Koran is divided into 114 chapters, each of which is called sura. The word sura (pl. suwar) is derived from sur, meaning a boundary wall of a city, thus sura means a part or chapter of the Koran separated by other. The word sura occurs 9 times in the Koran in singular and once in the plural form. Sura Baqara is the longest sura and Sura Kawthar is the shortest. Each sura contains a specific name.
The Koranic Sura Bara'at (or Sura Tauba) was revealed towards the end of the year 9 A.H., Abu Bakr was consigned its first forty verses to be read before the people in Mecca. After a few moments, the Prophet provided Ali bin Abu Talib a speedy camel, called Ghuzha and instructed to go ahead and overtake Abu Bakr and take away those verses from him and proceed to Mecca.
It is also pronounced as sebha, means rosary. The English word rosary is derived from the Latin, rosarium, meaning rose garden. In Persia and India, the rosary is known among the Muslims as tasbih, in Egypt, subha, meaning to praise or exalt. Among the Indians, it is called japa-mala, meaning muttering chaplet, or samarani, meaning remembrance. It is a string of beads or knotted cord, designed as an aid to the memory, providing convenient method for counting the recitation of the attributes of God.
"Apprehensive of Muawiya's designs against him, Ali considered Kufa suitably situated to check any encroachment in Iraq, therefore he made it his capital in 36/657, as topographically it was in the centre of his dominions. In Syria, disorder and incitement to commotion continued unabated. Uthman's shirt, besmeared with his blood and the chopped-off fingers of his wife, Naila, were exhibited from the pulpit. In this manner, Muawiya raised the entire country of Syria against Ali.
The word sirat means path, occurring 45 times in the Koran. The word sirat is said to be a loan word from Latin, strata. The word mustaqim means straight, is more frequent in the Koran, being used either with sirat for 21 times or with tariq means path. The way of God is also termed as sirat sawiyy (19:43, 20:135) or in the genitive phrase, sawa al-sirat (38:22) or sawa al-sabil (28:22, 60:1).
"It is also called Sirat al-Jahim. It is a bridge of hell. In the world to come, the sirat is the bridge stretched over hell, which all human beings are said to traverse in order to reach paradise. The Koranic word aqabatun (pl. aqabat) is translated as a mountain-road difficult of access. It means the difficulties or obstacles, which men will have to encounter stage by stage before the actual entry into paradise or hell.
The true meaning of the word sufi has been much discussed and many books has been composed on the subject. The word sufi is derived from safa means purity, because the foremost need in Sufism is to purify the heart. Another view suggests that the Sufis are in the first rank (saff'i awwal); others say that the Sufis claim to belong to the ashab'i suffa (the Companions of the Prophet). Some assert its derivation from suf (wool) because of wearing woolen garment (jama'i suf).
What was at first a fairly private movement of like-minded people in the early Islamic centuries eventually grew into a major social force that permeated most Muslim societies. In the theorical manuals of the 10th century was followed by the growth of many circles of teaching, initially in the central areas in Iraq and Persia, but soon reaching to the frontiers of Spain, East Africa, Central Asia and India. List of eminent Sufi Orders is given below: -
Mushariyya Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 778) theoretical
Malamatiyya Abu Yazid al-Bistami (d. 874) theoretical
Kharraziyya Abu Sa'id al-Kharraz (d. 890) theoretical
Junaydiyya Junayd al-Baghdadi (d. 910) theoretical
Hallajiyya Mansur al-Hallaj (d. 972) theoretical
The Koranic word suht means illicit gain: "And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people's property" (2:188) and "(They are) listeners to lie, devourers of the illicit gain" (5:45).