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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.

Faith and Ethics

Shi`i Ismaili Muslims are unique in following a living, hereditary Imam (spiritual leader), whom they believe to be directly descended from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). The Imam's duty has been to guide his community with Islamic principles that apply to the needs of the time. In this insightful book, M. Ali Lakhani examines how the ideas and actions of the current Ismaili Imam, and fourth Aga Khan, Prince Karim al-Hussaini, provide an Islamic response to the challenges that face Muslims in the modern era. 

Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa arrive in Gahkuch, Punial Valley, Ghizer District in Gilgit-Baltistan. During their stay in Gahkuch, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa visited the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Gahkuch, which is operated by the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES).

Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa travelled to Pakistan for a six-day working visit in late October 2018, which included stops in several districts of Gilgit-Baltistan as well as in Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, along with the capital city of Islamabad and the southern city of Karachi. 

Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa with students and teachers at the Diamond Jubilee School in the village of Darkut, Silgan Valley, Ghizer District, in Gilgit-Baltistan. The school is operated by the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES).

During their visit to Pakistan in October 2018, Prince Rahim and Princess Salwa examined approaches to poverty alleviation and development, and visited a number of AKDN institutions and projects aimed at improving quality of life.

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