by Akberally Meherally
1. Views of Aga Khan III on The Qur’an
The scanned image below expresses the view of the Late Aga Khan III on the Glorious Qur’an. The image is of a Religious Pronouncement (Farman, also called Rahemat [mercy]), Number 11 made during the Late Aga Khan’s first visit of Africa. The city was then known as Zungbar, Zanzibar. The Religious Pronouncement was made on 30th, July 1899 and was later published in a Hard Cover Book entitled Baher-e-Rahemat. The script is called the Old Khojki Sindhi. There are a few elderly Ismailis from India and Africa living today, who can read this text. This Farman No. 11 is continued from page number 25:
Translation of the paragraph that relates to the Qur’an:
Khalifa Oosman has omitted some portion of the Qur’an, and, he has inserted some portion. If I was to copy the Original Qur’an-e-Sharif it will take me six years. That too I will send you, so that you will come to know what has been omitted and what has been changed (by Khalifa Oosman). Year 1899 – 48th Imam.
Note: Needless to add that the followers of Aga Khan who were eagerly waiting for the authentic Copy of Qur’an from their Imam never ever got that Original Qur’an, but the doubt implanted by the Late 48th Imam (died in 1957) lives on in their minds. The reality is there only one Qur’an in Arabic – the language of its revelation to mankind, codified and circulated by the 3rd Caliph. The Sunnis and Shia’s both read and recite that Arabic Qur’an.
“It is for Us to collect it (Qur’an) and to promulgate it. But when We have promulgated it follow thou its recital (as promulgated):” Qur’an 75: 17-18.
“Praise be to Allah Who hath sent to His Servant the Book and hath allowed therein no Crookedness”. Qur’an 18: 1.
“(It is) a Qur’an in Arabic tongue without any crookedness; in order that they may guard against Evil”. Qur’an 39: 28.
2. Views of Aga Khan IV on The Qur’an
On June 23, 2002 at the inauguration of Ismaili Jamatkhana, Prayerhall and Center, Houston, Texas, USA, Aga Khan IV – the 49th Imam, affirmed before his own community leaders, Governor Perry, Mayor Wallace and other dignitaries; “Word of the Qur’an is the Word of God”.
Note: Recently, I met in Vancouver a couple of Ismailis from USA. When I quoted before them the above passage from their 49th Hazar Imam – Karim Aga Khan’s speech, they were surprised because this important passage about the Qur’an was not mentioned in their Jamatkhanas in USA. Hence, I suggested them to visit the website of The Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, England. Here is a direct link to that speech of 2002 by Karim Aga Khan – the 49th Hazar Imam.
In 1986, Karim Aga Khan on the Canada’s National TV CBC replied; “The only miracle in Islam is the Qur’an”, that was in response to the question by the TV interviewer Roy Bonnisteel; If his religious authority was Divine?
The question that neither Karim Aga Khan nor his predecessor the Aga Khan III has ever answered as to why they have NOT asked their own followers – Ismaili Muslims, TO OPEN the Doors of their Prayer Halls (Jamatkhanas) for the FRIDAY Congregational Prayers as Commanded by Allah in Qur’an 62: 9. What is good for them is not good for them?
Both Aga Khan III and Aga Khan IV have been to Sunni Mosques and have offered their own Friday Prayers under the Sunni Imams. Should they not be Leading the Friday Prayers of their own Followers in their Ismaili Jamatkhanas? Is there any sect of Islam that keeps the doors of their prayer halls closed?