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Pursuing Admission To Isma'ili Tariqa—Questions?

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Salam y'all,

 

I am pursuing admission into the Isma'ili Tariqa, formerly a practicing Twelver, and I'm open to answer any questions anyone might have. FYI, the Isma'ilis follow the Aga Khan.

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Salam y'all,

 

I am pursuing admission into the Isma'ili Tariqa, formerly a practicing Twelver, and I'm open to answer any questions anyone might have. FYI, the Isma'ilis follow the Aga Khan.

 

What convinced you that the Agha Khan was the Divinely appointed representive of God and inheritor of the prophetic function? 

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Salam,

First off, all Ismaïlis do not follow the Agha Khan, so maybe you have not studied deep enough before entering that path.

Salaam,

Are you trying to insult me, or what is the purpose of your post? You ascertained from my topic title that I'm ignorant in what I profess? Really dude? I guess brevity is out the window.

Cheers!

Edited by Say: I AM

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Salaam,

Are you trying to insult me, or what is the purpose of your post? You ascertained from my topic title that I'm ignorant in what I profess? Really dude? I guess brevity is out the window.

Cheers!

There are ismaili subsects which are not nizari.

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There are ismaili subsects which are not nizari.

Perhaps my thinking was too quick. You see, I thought it was common knowledge that "Ismaili" generally meant those Ismailis who follow the Aga Khan. They are the only Ismaili persuasion of any real global significance and so it seems natural that they should be identified as Ismaili, and if one wants or needs to further clarify he may, but "Ismaili" should be first assumed by the Nizaris. It is the same with Shia, I automatically assume "Shia" as meaning Twelver. Also, Nizari itself has two branches: the Qasim-Shahi line of Imams, who follow the Aga Khan; and the Muhammad-Shahi line of imams, which has since ended (roughly 300 years ago) but retains some remaining adherents in Syria numbering under 30,000 (if I recall correctly.)

That comment just seemed gratuitous.

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Perhaps my thinking was too quick. You see, I thought it was common knowledge that "Ismaili" generally meant those Ismailis who follow the Aga Khan. They are the only Ismaili persuasion of any real global significance and so it seems natural that they should be identified as Ismaili, and if one wants or needs to further clarify he may, but "Ismaili" should be first assumed by the Nizaris. It is the same with Shia, I automatically assume "Shia" as meaning Twelver. Also, Nizari itself has two branches: the Qasim-Shahi line of Imams, who follow the Aga Khan; and the Muhammad-Shahi line of imams, which has since ended (roughly 300 years ago) but retains some remaining adherents in Syria numbering under 30,000 (if I recall correctly.)

That comment just seemed gratuitous.

What did convince you that Aga Khan is the Imam?

Do the ismaili's consider the current age to be 'after the resurrection'? From My brief studies I believe I've read that the Qiyamat was proclaimed at the Alamut & that the laws of the Sharia no longer applies? Is this true? What's the reasoning behind it, if so?

Good luck, follow your heart

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Salam,

Salaam,

Are you trying to insult me, or what is the purpose of your post? You ascertained from my topic title that I'm ignorant in what I profess? Really dude? I guess brevity is out the window.

Cheers!

Not at all brother. I usually start my posts with "with all due respect" when I contradict someone, but I forgot it this time.

Perhaps my thinking was too quick. You see, I thought it was common knowledge that "Ismaili" generally meant those Ismailis who follow the Aga Khan. They are the only Ismaili persuasion of any real global significance and so it seems natural that they should be identified as Ismaili, and if one wants or needs to further clarify he may, but "Ismaili" should be first assumed by the Nizaris. It is the same with Shia, I automatically assume "Shia" as meaning Twelver. Also, Nizari itself has two branches: the Qasim-Shahi line of Imams, who follow the Aga Khan; and the Muhammad-Shahi line of imams, which has since ended (roughly 300 years ago) but retains some remaining adherents in Syria numbering under 30,000 (if I recall correctly.)

That comment just seemed gratuitous.

That's why I thought that saying that "Ismaïlis follow the Agha Khan" was a lack of knowledge.

Whishing you the best on your path to the Almighty.

Fi imanillah

Edited by realizm

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@realizm:

My apologies brother (or sister). I misunderstood.

What did convince you that Aga Khan is the Imam?

It's complicated, I'm working on an answer right now.

Do the ismaili's consider the current age to be 'after the resurrection'? From My brief studies I believe I've read that the Qiyamat was proclaimed at the Alamut & that the laws of the Sharia no longer applies? Is this true? What's the reasoning behind it, if so?

From my understanding Qiyamat was a symbolic resurrection of the flesh and that sharia (the fleshly outward form of sacred law) was from then on understood as a means to an end, Allah being the end. I think of sharia as a finger pointing at the moon, the body attached to the finger is the Present Living Imam and the Moon is Allah, but instead of following the finger it was sucked for comfort, and the Imam disclosed this fact. The Imam was Hasan 'Ala Dhikri-his-Salaam. Edited by Say: I AM

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The Imam was Hasan 'Ala Dhikri-his-Salaam.

I thought it was Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah that was the Qa'im al-Qiyamah. It was he that abolished the zahir shariah. The incident at Alamut where everyone stopped fasting and proclaimed the Qiyamah was sort of brushed under the rug and the shariah resumed. It wasn't until Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah that the Qiyamah has totally been abolished.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Anyways, have you seen the website Ismaili Gnosis? Its a blog by Khalil Andani and its absolutely fascinating. Its about Ismaili philosophy mostly.

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I thought it was Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah that was the Qa'im al-Qiyamah. It was he that abolished the zahir shariah. The incident at Alamut where everyone stopped fasting and proclaimed the Qiyamah was sort of brushed under the rug and the shariah resumed. It wasn't until Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah that the Qiyamah has totally been abolished.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Anyways, have you seen the website Ismaili Gnosis? Its a blog by Khalil Andani and its absolutely fascinating. Its about Ismaili philosophy mostly.

It seems the Qiyamat of Imam Hasan II revealed that physical ritual was a guise to the truth and merely a method for presenting concepts to the layman believer. And it seems the Qiyamat of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah was different in that it established a new ritualistic tradition based on the knowledge that was revealed by Imam Hasan II. The new tradition appears to have two aspects, the Holy Du'a (which fulfills Salat) and Dasond (which fulfills Khums and Zakat).

I love that website! :-D it's so interesting.

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Interesting. As far as I understand the Nizari's are the only Isma'ili group that still allows "converts" to enter their community, yes? But for outsiders to join is pretty difficult. Can you explain more why this is and what you have to do?

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Interesting. As far as I understand the Nizari's are the only Isma'ili group that still allows "converts" to enter their community, yes? But for outsiders to join is pretty difficult. Can you explain more why this is and what you have to do?

That would makes sense about the denial of converts since they each believe their imam is concealed but represented by someone with authority. Perhaps they believe a person must give bay'ah to the imam himself, I don't know.

What I do know is for Ismailis, bay'ah to the Present Living Imam is a weighty thing and a person must thoroughly understand what's at hand. Like early Muslims giving bay'ah to the Prophet and later the Shi'a to 'Ali, so too Ismailis give bay'ah to the Imam of the Time in the tradition of their forefathers. Bay'ah is a sacred covenant and the foundation of Islam.

"O Messenger, convey what has been revealed to you from your Lord. If you do not, you will not have passed on His message; and God shall protect you from mankind." [5:67]

Right now I am composing a Letter of Intent.

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It seems the Qiyamat of Imam Hasan II revealed that physical ritual was a guise to the truth and merely a method for presenting concepts to the layman believer. And it seems the Qiyamat of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah was different in that it established a new ritualistic tradition based on the knowledge that was revealed by Imam Hasan II. The new tradition appears to have two aspects, the Holy Du'a (which fulfills Salat) and Dasond (which fulfills Khums and Zakat).

I love that website! :-D it's so interesting.

Thanks so much for explaining, its very interesting. One thing I don't understand, though, is how Hasan II is considered a Qa'im al-Qiyamah. I thought that the Qa'im had to be one of the 7s. For example, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah was the 49th (48 when you don't count the deputy Imam- Hasan ibn `Aly) which is the 7th 7. Hasan `ala Dhikris Salaam was the 23rd/24th; not a 7th.

Right now I am composing a Letter of Intent.

This is the first step, right? Then you will be instructed in Ismaili philosophy and taught the Du'a. Eventually you'll need 2 Ismaili letters of recommendation and then you can give bayat. Am I correct?

Speaking of the D'ua, I have a quick question. Part of the kalima recited in part of the Du'a goes "Aly ameer al Momineen `Aly Allah". Most shias say wali Allah but from what I've heard, Ismailis say Aly Allah (Aly the God). Is this correct and how is it reconciled with tawhid? Most "shirky" Ismaili concepts such as the Imam being the mazhar of Allah can be properly explained and I agree with them. But calling `Aly (`a) God doesn't seem to be reconciled. Do you know of a good explanation?

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Thanks so much for explaining, its very interesting. One thing I don't understand, though, is how Hasan II is considered a Qa'im al-Qiyamah. I thought that the Qa'im had to be one of the 7s. For example, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah was the 49th (48 when you don't count the deputy Imam- Hasan ibn `Aly) which is the 7th 7. Hasan `ala Dhikris Salaam was the 23rd/24th; not a 7th.

Possibly it's mentioned by some Ismaili literature but I personally don't think its a principle of Ismailism. The mysticism of the number 7 has been around since prehistory and it plays no real part (taking place in reality) in our earthly lives. Past Ismailis may have been intrigued by the number 7 and developed concepts around it but that's their opinion and related to their time in history. Numerology is now limited based on advances in science.

This is the first step, right? Then you will be instructed in Ismaili philosophy and taught the Du'a. Eventually you'll need 2 Ismaili letters of recommendation and then you can give bayat. Am I correct?

I don't know, I guess I will find out.

Speaking of the D'ua, I have a quick question. Part of the kalima recited in part of the Du'a goes "Aly ameer al Momineen `Aly Allah". Most shias say wali Allah but from what I've heard, Ismailis say Aly Allah (Aly the God). Is this correct and how is it reconciled with tawhid? Most "shirky" Ismaili concepts such as the Imam being the mazhar of Allah can be properly explained and I agree with them. But calling `Aly (`a) God doesn't seem to be reconciled. Do you know of a good explanation?

Here is the full portion of the Du'a:

"Lā ilāha il-lal-lāhu

muham-madur rasālul-lahi

‘Alīy-yun—amīrul-mu’minīn—‘Alīy-yul-lah

Mawlāna Shah Karīmul-Husaynī al-Īmamul-hadirul-mawjūd."

It seems that Çaly-Allah in this context means "Çaly is of God" and not "Çaly is God" because it's respective passage addresses the chain of authority. It roughly goes, from Allah is given His Prophet and His Commander (who is also divinely appointed) and their efforts have raised Shah Karim in this present day. I think in context it's clear Çaly-Allah demonstrates his authority was God-given.

Edited by Say: I AM

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I forgot to add that the Qur'anic verse when commencing this raka'ah is "O believers, obey God and obey the Prophet and those set in authority over you.” [4:59] This further demonstrates the context—authority.

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What convinced you that the Agha Khan was the Divinely appointed representive of God and inheritor of the prophetic function?

My approach to Islam is Shiism, and my approach to Shiism is perhaps unique. I believe in an Imamat established by the Prophet (2:124) and continued by Çaly (20:25-35), and Fatima their link who received their seed (father and husband) and carried on their lineage (2:248). Those Çalids who arose in defense of their belief as the then-present living imam were all saints so long as they obeyed God's commandments (2:124). Therefore, in my view the Twelve Imams were in their entirety true divinely appointed leaders of their day and righteous and pure. They each served their community in true Shi'i fashion. However, a lineage of saints also existed simultaneously and they also served their community in Shi'i fashion, and I believe this lineage has been chosen by God because of its continuation and the fact that today Shah Karim remains the only living claimant to Imamat. In addition, the Prophet revealed that no community would exist without a witness; the Prophet and his community were witnesses to mankind, and so the Çalid Imamat would always retain a corporeal presence, whether publicly or privately. I passionately believe, based upon what Shah Karim has demonstrated through his network of institutions, that he is al-imaminal haqqul mubin and the sign of God's authority on earth (2:248). His principles seem to be:

1. Tawhīd: The transcendence of God.

2. Nubuwwa and Imamah: The appointment of caretakers of God's community.

3. Rahmā: The compassion/mercy toward God's community, and all beings.

4. Sufferance: The willingness to sacrifice everything personal for God's community.

These are not all inclusive but rather give a general sense of the Ismaili Imamat (according to my knowledge). This is why I believe in Shah Karim's Imamat and how I interpret the concept of imamah.

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Thank you so much for your explanations! I have always been interested in Nizari Ismailism and its super exciting to know somebody that is going to enter the Tariqah. I'm going to learn so much from you haha.

I just thought of another explanation for the `Aly Allah issue. My Arabic is not good at all and maybe someone will correct me, but perhaps `Aly Allah means "Aly of Allah". For example, Ibrahim (`as) is known as Khalilullah which means friend of God, not friend the God. Just a thought.

Anyways, I have another question about the Du'a. Right before the last sajda you turn to both sides and say "Shah jo didar" to the person on your right and on your left. What if you're praying by yourself? Do you still say Shah jo didar twice or do you omit it? And if you do say it, do you still turn to both sides or does it matter?

I hope my questions aren't bothering you! I had the great pleasure of knowing Khalil Andani on Facebook and he was always willing to answer my questions but his answers were sometimes too deep for me to understand lol. So yeah, its pretty exciting to know another Nizari Ismaili. If my questions annoy you, please let me know and I'll stop.

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There are ismaili subsects which are not nizari.

Yes but in general usage Ismaili refers to Aga Khanis despite the existence of other Ismaili sects. Likewise, in general usage, Shia refers to twelvers even thouhh there are other sects such as Ismaili, Waqifi, & Zaydi. Likewise, in general usage, Bohra generally refers to the Dawoodi Bohra even though there are other Bohra sects such as Alavi Bohra & Sulaymani Bohra. Likewise, Nizari generally refers to Aga Khanis despite the fact that there was another group of Nizaris (can't remember their name).

I hope this makes sense. You can be highly technical but it is difficult to hold a conversation that way. Clarification should be given where its needed, not in places where everybody already understands what it being referred to.

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`Aly Allah means "Aly of Allah". For example, Ibrahim (`as) is known as Khalilullah which means friend of God, not friend the God.

My Arabic is also terrible but from what little I know I believe you are right.

Anyways, I have another question about the Du'a. Right before the last sajda you turn to both sides and say "Shah jo didar" to the person on your right and on your left. What if you're praying by yourself? Do you still say Shah jo didar twice or do you omit it? And if you do say it, do you still turn to both sides or does it matter?

I hope my questions aren't bothering you! I had the great pleasure of knowing Khalil Andani on Facebook and he was always willing to answer my questions but his answers were sometimes too deep for me to understand lol. So yeah, its pretty exciting to know another Nizari Ismaili. If my questions annoy you, please let me know and I'll stop.

Your questions don't annoy me at all. I like talking about it, and that's why I'm here :-)

I haven't been taught the Du'a but instead I learned it on my own and I pray alone. I say "shah-jo dydar" twice to either side like salams. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think it really matters whether once or twice. The Ismaili Tariqa doesn't really concern itself with specifics from what I can tell. It's more about the concepts behind the acts.

In my mind there is no better spokesman for Islam than Mawlana Hazar Imam, just listen:

http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/29372

When I listen to this I know he is Çaly.

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Speaking of the D'ua, I have a quick question. Part of the kalima recited in part of the Du'a goes "Aly ameer al Momineen `Aly Allah". Most shias say wali Allah but from what I've heard, Ismailis say Aly Allah (Aly the God). Is this correct and how is it reconciled with tawhid? Most "shirky" Ismaili concepts such as the Imam being the mazhar of Allah can be properly explained and I agree with them. But calling `Aly (`a) God doesn't seem to be reconciled. Do you know of a good explanation?

 

Third part of Kalima of Nizari Ismailis (Aliyun Ali-Ullah) differs from Twelvers (Aliyun Wali-Ullah).

Aliyun Ali-Ullah = Ali is Exalted of God

Aliyun Wali-Ullah = Ali is Friend of God

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My approach to Islam is Shiism, and my approach to Shiism is perhaps unique. I believe in an Imamat established by the Prophet (2:124) and continued by Çaly (20:25-35), and Fatima their link who received their seed (father and husband) and carried on their lineage (2:248). Those Çalids who arose in defense of their belief as the then-present living imam were all saints so long as they obeyed God's commandments (2:124). Therefore, in my view the Twelve Imams were in their entirety true divinely appointed leaders of their day and righteous and pure. They each served their community in true Shi'i fashion. However, a lineage of saints also existed simultaneously and they also served their community in Shi'i fashion, and I believe this lineage has been chosen by God because of its continuation and the fact that today Shah Karim remains the only living claimant to Imamat. In addition, the Prophet revealed that no community would exist without a witness; the Prophet and his community were witnesses to mankind, and so the Çalid Imamat would always retain a corporeal presence, whether publicly or privately. I passionately believe, based upon what Shah Karim has demonstrated through his network of institutions, that he is al-imaminal haqqul mubin and the sign of God's authority on earth (2:248). His principles seem to be:

1. Tawhīd: The transcendence of God.

2. Nubuwwa and Imamah: The appointment of caretakers of God's community.

3. Rahmā: The compassion/mercy toward God's community, and all beings.

4. Sufferance: The willingness to sacrifice everything personal for God's community.

These are not all inclusive but rather give a general sense of the Ismaili Imamat (according to my knowledge). This is why I believe in Shah Karim's Imamat and how I interpret the concept of imamah.

 

 

Thank you for that. I like your explanation, except that the Nizari's dont regard al-Hassan [as] as an Imam, nor do they believe in the Twelver Imams after al-Sadiq. So this is a personal belief of yours and not one shared by the Ismaili community? 

 

 

I'll listen to the link later on. Hmm, so Imam of 1.5 billion Muslims owns 600 odd race horses?  :wacko:

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So this is a personal belief of yours and not one shared by the Ismaili community?

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim,

In my sincerest and most humble opinion, if you are Shi'a and happen to affirm a fixed number and order of imams then you are doing yourself a disservice. By cutting yourself off, your knowledgebase, you limit yourself by stunting your growth in education which ultimately hinders your prosperity. The key to success is knowledge, and without it one is truly lost. By affirming this you're not drawing from the wisdom fostered by these Çalid pedigrees and even at times take a hostile stance against them. It's not a specific pedigree that's important but rather the pedigree in general of the Prophet's decision to nominate Hussayn b. Çaly (as has been recorded in tradition), and this would include every Hussaynid pedigree under the condition they follow the core principles of Islam.

I think of earth like a petri dish wherein was placed some organisms, and these organisms multiplied. But before being placed in the petri dish the pretense was not to further stress the organisms in their harsh environment but rather allow them to substantiate. It seems the Prophet understood the environment into which he was sending his family, but had no foreknowledge as to there safety and success. Therefore, it's likely he fostered a unique perspective of reality within his family, as outlined by the Qur'an, and enduring this perspective was the motivation for his efforts.

As it happens, the only present living (verifiably) imam is Aga Khan, and in him I have faith. It's not that martyred pedigrees are somehow unworthy of appreciation for their contributions. It's that Aga Khan is the present-day result of the Prophet's efforts, and modern science has contributed to his knowledgebase, and that knowledgebase retains the connection to Imamah and operates according to the influence of knowledgable forefathers. He is the Living Wisdom. From our study of the sciences and according to our collective knowledge we now presume that organisms absent for an extensive span of time, that is to say beyond logical assumption, means they have passed away. May God bless them for their efforts.

God bless the Martyrs!

God bless MHI !

Ya Çaly Madad

Hmm, so Imam of 1.5 billion Muslims owns 600 odd race horses? :wacko:

Please don't insult, your statement seems derogatory.

According to the Imam, who speaks about it in that link I shared, says it was a tradition practiced by his forefathers and when inheriting the horse-racing establishment he saw no reason to discontinue it.

It brings him and his family joy and their joy leads to the community's prosperity. Human happiness translates to better overall effectiveness.

Edited by Say: I AM

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