Guest at Eid Al Fitr celebrations held at Fickling Convention Centre (Three Kings) in Auckland on July 8, 2017 were keen to learn about the ‘Ismaili Community,’ which had organised the event.
The population of Ismail Muslims in New Zealand and Australia is small but they have been pursuing the tenets of their belief, the most significant of which is social development and economic progress.
Shiraz Hajee, an active member of the Community and a successful businessman said that the Community stood for diversity and pluralism.
“Our Leader Karim Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam and stated to be a direct descendant of Prophet Mohammed through his cousin and son-in-law Ali, the first Imam and his wife Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. We will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of his leadership as our Imam on July 11, 2017,” he had said.
Prince Karim Aga Khan, who is addressed with the honorific, ‘His Highness,’ believes that his duties as the Imam are dictated by ‘Social Ethics’ stemming from the core teachings of Islam.
Imam of Ismailis
Born Shah Karim Al Husseini, Aga Khan IV has been the Imam of ‘Nizari Ismailism,’ a denomination within Shia Muslims for the past 60 years. He has his primary residence at Aiglemont Estate in the town of Gouvieux, north of Paris, France.
“Social ethics is a strong principle in Islam and I think that all Muslims would be well advised to respect this as a fundamental ethic of our faith and to live in conformity with it,” he said in a telephone interview given to some media, including AFP.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which he founded, now employs 80,000 people, manages nearly US$1 billion invested every year on a non-profit basis and brings together agencies involved in health, education, architecture, micro-finance and disaster prevention in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and even fully-developed countries.
He has indicated that the Network would contribute to the construction of a new Islamic Foundation in France, which aims to work in the educational and cultural fields.
“The nature of the Imamat in Islam is both theological and secular and has a unique ‘Value System.’ Our commitment in secular matters aims to improve people’s quality of life. Islam is not a confession of “conflict or social disorder, it is a religion of peace,” he said.
- Prince Aga Khan
- Ismaili Community Volunteers at Eid Al Fitr celebrations in Auckland on July 8