Monday, November 2, 2009


By Munir Moosa Sewani

The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims commemorate 132nd birthday of Highness Sir Aga Khan III on 2nd November 2009, all over the world.

Sir Aga Khan III was born on Friday November 2, 1877 at "Honeymoon Lodge" in Karachi. He proved to be an Intellectual asset for the Muslim Ummah. He was among the prominent leaders of South Asia, who helped in laying the strong foundation of Pakistan. He was respected for his extensive knowledge about Islam, for his philanthropy and for his commitment to human dignity. He contributed not only towards the political cause of the Muslims of sub continent, but also promoted education and health sectors for the development of Muslims.

He was one of the founders and the first president of the All-India Muslim League. He led the Muslim delegation to Simla in 1906 where the Muslims, for the first time, put forward their demand for a separate electorate. This man of vision realized that Muslims can only fight for their rights, if they will have proper education. Therefore, he generated funds for Aligarh University, which is still a symbol of fountain of knowledge for the Muslims to date.

He was a great supporter of Khilafat Movement, and he tried his best to resolve conflict between British and Muslims, to gain the power in Turkey. He was made the president of the All Parties Muslim Conference held in 1928-29. He also participated in the Round Table Conferences, held during 1930-33, along with the notable personalities such as Quaid-i-Azam, Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, Allama Iqbal, etc.

Sir Aga Khan III was nominated to represent India at the League of Nations in 1932.
Due to his effective decision making skills and statesmanship qualities, he was elected President of the League of Nations in July 1937.

He had close friendships and affiliations with the Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Queen Elizabeth, Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Mountbatten and numerous other famous personalities.

He wrote two famous books, India in Transition and The Memoirs of Aga Khan. He was honored with the title of Knight Commander of the Indian Empire, Knight Grand Commander, Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire

He died on July 11, 1957. He is buried in Aswan, Egypt. After his death, he was succeeded by his grandson, Aga Khan the IV, who is currently promoting his grand father vision. Prince Aga Khan is leading Aga Khan Development Network, and working on the projects of health, education, poverty alleviation, etc., , which proves to be an asset for the world, particularly the third world countries.

Throughout the life of Sir Aga Khan III, he sedulously endeavored to improve the situation of the Muslim community. The people of Pakistan salute Highness Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III for his strenuous work for the Muslims.

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