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Ismaili History 835 - Death of the Aga Khan III

Sultan Muhammad Shah, the Aga Khan III, the 48th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims died at his villa in Versoix, near Geneva on 12th Zilhaja, 1376/ July 11, 1957. His son Prince Aly Khan recalling the last days of his father, said: 'Often he would ask me to play the gramophone records containing recitation of the Holy Koran. With the recitation of the Koran, I could see his lips move in silence, repeating the verse of the Koran.' He was buried in a permanent mausoleum at Aswan, overlooking the Nile in Egypt. Labib Habachi writes in 'Aswan' (Cairo, 1959, p. 76) that in 1947, the Aga Khan III visited Aswan, and decided to live some time each year in Aswan, choosing it as his last resting-place. The Begum Aga Khan, in her interview to 'Al- Ahram' (Cairo, April 23, 1992) had however said that, 'We had been coming in Aswan since 1935 when the place was not a touristic location. He (the Aga Khan III) used to say that Egypt was the flag of Islam, and he wanted to be buried there.'
In accordance with his last will, his grandson, Karim was succeeded to the Imamate as the 49th Imam. A fitting tribute was paid to him by daily English 'Dawn' of Pakistan on July 12, 1957 that, 'With the passing away of the Aga Khan, we witness the end of an era.' According to 'New York Times' (July 12, 1957), 'The Aga Khan III's death leaves our contemporary world just a little less colorful than it was.'


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