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AMYN MUHAMMAD, PRINCE

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

Prince Amyn Muhammad, the younger brother of the Present Imam was born on September 12, 1937 in Geneva. His mother Princess Tajudawla (d. April 26, 1997) was the daughter of Lord Churston and the 7th Duke of Leinslter, the descendant of King Edward III of Great Britain. The early days of his infancy with his elder brother, were spent in Europe under the care of his parents and the personal supervision of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah. During the second world war, he with his brother, accompanied his mother to the trip of Nairobi, where they stayed for four year. He also participated in a large Eid prayer at Nairobi, where his elder brother led the prayers at the age of seven years.

When the world war was over, he returned to Europe and joined Le Rosy School, Switzerland with his elder brother. Both brothers then proceeded to United States for further education at Harvard University in 1953. Both brothers used to visit Europe during the vacations to spend the holidays with their parents and grandfather.

In 1954, Prince Amyn Muhammad and his elder brother, in compliance with the instructions from their grandfather, paid first visit to the Ismaili community of Pakistan, India and East Africa. The Ismailis were overwhelmingly jubilant on having a first glimpse of these two brothers.

As an under-graduate at the Harvard, he majored in History and Literature, which entailed the study of three countries in three languages. In the summer of 1960, he received his master degree in Literature and Economics with the distinction Magna cum Laude. In the end of 1960, he entered Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to work in the Department of Comparative Literature, towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

In 1962, Prince Amyn Muhammad obtained the degree of master of Arts and was awarded a teaching fellowship, and remained engaged in Harvard for some time as a professor of French. It implies his intellectual caliber and tremendous academic faculty. His appointment in this young age as a professor is unprecedented in the history of the Harvard University. In 1963, he passed his exams for the doctoral degree and set to work on his doctoral thesis.

In the end of 1964, he left Harvard and joined United Nations and associated with the program of implementation of development program in the under-developing countries. In March, 1965, he began to work as an Advisor on the Economic Division in UN Secretary General U Thant's office, and then started to share his services in the socio-economic affairs of the Ismaili community.

Since 1969, Prince Amyn Muhammad is working in the field of economic planning and development of the Ismaili community, and assisting his elder brother in the Agricultural Promotion Services in East Africa. He is also the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and of its subsidiary, Tourism Promotion Services (T.P.S.).

Prince Amyn Muhammad was taking keen interest in the semi military organizations of the Ismaili community wherever he was on his routine tour in Pakistan, India and East Africa. He was a symbol of inspiration to the Volunteers, Rovers, Scouts, Cubs, Bands, Orchestras, Girl Guides and Blue Birds. He always exhorted them to follow adamantly, the noble concept of service to the humanity and to ever remain in preparedness to respond to the call of country and nation at the time of need. His love for the scouts organization can be revealed from his unfailing visit to these organizations, and even at occasion when he was greatly embarrassed by his densely knit program of engagements, he always acceded to their requests and graced their important occasions of Ceremonial March Past, Torch Light Tattoos and Rallies by his august presence.

The Ismailia Scouts Association of Karachi and other relevant world organizations have earnestly urged to the Imam to appoint Prince Amyn Muhammad as Chief Scout of Ismaili world and the Imam graciously pleased to accede to this humble request following confirmation by Prince Amyn Muhammad to accept this exalted position.

The Aga Khan Association for Ismaili Scouts has declared him as the Chief of World Ismailia Scouts. The investiture ceremony was held at Karachi on December 7, 1974, where he took oath as Chief World Ismailia Scouts on this grand occasion.


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