Documents Show That
Previous Nizari Ismaili Imam's
Own Mother Was a Twelver
This will take some reading to get through.
The current Imam of the Nizari Ismailis, who is the 49th Imam, is called Aga Khan IV.
His predecessor, the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismailis, was Aga Khan III.
Aga Khan III was taken to court in the High Court of Bombay in 1908 by a relative of the Aga Khan III named Haji Bibi. I've mentioned this case in earlier posts in this thread. But, to recap, Haji Bibi was suing the Aga Khan for not getting a share in the tithes that the Aga Khan is given by his Nizari Ismaili followers. The case was presided over by Judge Justice Russell
and became known as the "Haji Bibi Case
." Ultimately, the Aga Khan won the case and obtained sole authority over all of the tithes given to him.
The Aga Khan III wrote a book later in his life called Memoirs of Aga Khan
(can be read online here
) where he made mention of the case:
My mother gave evidence on my behalf and was complimented by the judge, who said that she had "displayed an extraordinary memory." I was fortunate in my counsel, Mr. Inverarity, a keen and able lawyer. When at length the hearings ended and the presiding judge, Mr. Justice Russell, summed up, his judgment proved to be a classic example of its kind -- a masterly, lucid, wide-ranging survey of Islamic history, religion, custom and law.
The actual court documents from the Haji Bibi Case are now available online through the High Court of Bombay (click here
to see them).
In the court documents, we come across a startling passage by Judge Justice Russell regarding Aga Khan III's mother, whom he had said had testified on his behalf in the court. This passage by Judge Justice Russell also makes mention of an interesting controversy surrounding Aga Khan III (keep in mind that "defendant No. 1" refers to Aga Khan III
There can be no doubt that the mother of defendant No. 1 [mother of Aga Khan III] and some of his [the Aga Khan III's] relatives are Asna Ashris. He himself frankly admitted that he had been present on an occasion when the Ziarat to the 3rd, 8th and the 12th Imams was said but he did not repeat it (p. 198). As a great deal has been attempted to be made of the faith of defendant No. 1 [Aga Khan III], I think it desirable to read his exact words (p. 214, line 22 to p. 216, line 4). To my mind it is impossible to believe that defendant No. 1 [Aga Khan III] believes in a faith, the result of which belief would be that he was no longer entitled to his position of Hazar Imam, that he was no longer entitled to receive offerings from his followers from all over world, and, in short, as Mr. Inverarity put it, that he was practising a gross imposture. I cannot believe that if he [Aga Khan III] really were an Asna Ashri, he would allow his followers to repeat in all reverence and on their knees in the Bombay Jamatkhana three times a day the Doowa, D. H. 132, set out at length below, a prayer in which inter alia all the 48 Imams are recited, and obeisance is made' when the name of the Imam for the time being is uttered.
I think the above speaks for itself. Rather amazing that a Nizari Ismaili Imam's own mother (along with "some of his relatives") didn't believe her son was actually an Imam, and instead chose to follow the Twelver Shia faith.
Who knows a man better than his mother? Furthermore, why in the world is Aga Khan III attending Ziarat for Twelver Imams at an Imambargah or at a Twelver masjid? Let me repeat: the actual court documents from the Haji Bibi Case are now available online through the High Court of Bombay (click here
to see them).
The Judge further adds:
Shia Imami Ismailis hold Ismail, the 7th in descent from Ali, to have been the last of the revealed Imams, and they also hold that, until the final manifestation of Ali, who as an Incarnation of God, is to come before the end of all things to judge the world, the musnud of the Imamate, or in Latin idiom the office of Supreme Pontiff, is rightfully held by an hereditary succession of unrevealed Imams, the lineal descendants of Ali through Ismail.The revealed Imams, according to the Ismailis, are these seven:(1)Ali, (2) Hasan, (3) Husein, (4) Zenalabadeen (this was that son of Husein who survived the massacre of Kerbala), (5) Mahomed Bakar, (6) Jaffar Sadak, (7) Ismail (who died before his father, and is called from his father's name Ismail bin Jaffar Sadak). But the Khojas regard the 2nd one, namely Hasan, merely as a Pir (see the Doowa). But the unrevealed Imams continue down to defendant 1 [Aga Khan III], who is the 48th. Their names are set out in Ex. D.H. 132, the Doowa.
This was the real, true faith of the Nizari Ismailis - at least in the 19th century and up until about 1955-56, pretty much any historical material you find says that Nizari Ismailis believed that their Imam and God are one and the same. As discussed in previous posts in this thread, it is only really since about 1956, when the "Holy Du'a" or "Doowa" was changed to become less extreme / heretical and less full of shirk, that more and more Nizari Ismailis are saying that their Imam is no different from the Imam of any other Shia group in terms of status. The Aga Khan IV, also, does not openly claim to be Allah like his predecessor so candidly and frankly did. Rather, the Aga Khan IV instead says that he is the "bearer of the Noor of Allah"
(which to me doesn't sound much different from claiming to be Allah, anyway...it's a lot like the difference between the Father and the Son in Christianity). Let me add that there are still large portions of Nizari Ismailis today that consider their Imam to be the same as Allah - although some of them will not talk about it publicly. I've given links in prior posts in this thread from a Nizari Ismaili forum showing that many Nizari Ismailis still believe that their Imam is an incarnation of Allah, and here are the links again:
Ismaili Thread of Shirk - 1
Ismaili Thread of Shirk - 2
Ismaili Thread of Shirk - 3
Edited by Ruwayd, 08 May 2012 - 04:04 AM.