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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).

The Melbourne Pipe Band performs at the annual Australia Day breakfast hosted by the Melbourne Lions Club and the White Horse Council.

Music plays a vital role in culture and society alike, not only for expressing ourselves but also for promoting and uplifting physical and mental wellbeing. Music allows people from all different backgrounds to come together to appreciate and engage with their traditions, while also forming connections with one another.

Young volunteers from Kampala work together to repaint the Kyanja Muslim Nursery School.

In Uganda, volunteer communities have come together in numerous ways to create positive change — a cornerstone of civil society. In a small township in the northern part of Kampala, more than 50 volunteers between the ages of 11 and 15 put their hands to work repainting the Kyanja Muslim Nursery School in late April. 

Seniors in Atlanta’s Matki Band performing at the Diamond Jubilee Opening Ceremonies on July 11, 2017.

Recreation plays a key role in the physical and mental wellbeing of everyone, young and old. For seniors especially, involvement in recreation has a number of benefits in enhancing cognitive and motor skills, and provides an opportunity for socializing and developing new talents. For a group of seniors in the USA, a passion for music has shown that age is no limit to composing and performing for themselves and others.

Alaudin Bhanji with former NASA administrator, Charles Bolden, at the Mars Science Laboratory  “Curiosity” Entry Descent Landing event.

It is a rare and historic honor to have an object in space named after an individual. This is usually reserved for someone who first discovers the object, generally after years of painstaking observation of the night sky. So to be recognized in this manner is indeed an occasion worthy of note. This is precisely what happened for Alaudin Bhanji at the end of 2018.

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