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Mawlana Hazar Imam and Portugal’s Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Rui Machete, sign a landmark agreement establishing a formal Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal, on June 4, 2015.

The internal divisions of the Shi‘i community - as highlighted in the first part of this article, which was published in the last edition of The Ismaili USA - can be traced to the dispute over the succession to Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (d. 148/765 CE). After his death, the majority of his followers eventually recognized his son Musa al-Kazim (d. 183/799 CE) as their next Imam. However, the other Shi‘i groups acknowledged the Imamat of Musa’s eldest half-brother Isma‘il, the eponym of the Isma‘ili Shi‘ia, or his son Muhammad b. Isma‘il as successors to the Imamat. Little is known about the life and career of Muhammad b. Isma‘il, the seventh Imam of the Isma‘ilis, who went into hiding, initiating a period of concealment (dawr al-satr) in early Ismaili history. This period of concealment lasted until the foundation of the Fatimid caliphate when the Ismaili Imams emerged openly as Fatimid Caliphs. Henceforth Imam Muhammad b. Isma‘il acquired the epithet al-Maktum (the hidden one), in addition to al-Maymun (the fortunate one).

"Islam: An Illustrated Journey"

Lavishly illustrated and written in a style accessible to all, Islam: An Illustrated Journey tells the story of Islam. Beginning in the world of late antiquity and the pre-Islamic period, the book takes the reader through Islam’s formative era and early development in the Arabian peninsula, the rise and decline of its major dynasties, including the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Mughals, Safavids, Ottomans and finally up to its place in the modern world.

In January 2019, an independent Master Jury reviewed hundreds of nominations for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. A rigorous process in which a team of experts investigate each of the 20 shortlisted projects is now underway.

Sirojiddin Juraev performing along the Gulbenkian Orchestra conducted by Pedro Neves.

On 29 March, the Gulbenkian Orchestra, led by maestro Pedro Neves, performed new works with Master Musicians of the Aga Khan Music Initiative from Tajikistan, Syria, and Afghanistan, in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family.

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