WIB Salgirah

Video: Why do Ismailis celebrate their Imam’s birthday?

This short video in our What Ismailis Believe series explains why Ismailis celebrate their Imam's birthday every year.

Birthdays are generally seen as a time to celebrate and be thankful for those whom we care about. In this spirit, Ismailis celebrate the birthday of the living Imam-of-the-Time as a way of expressing their love, devotion, obedience, and gratitude to him. 

As Shia Imami Muslims, Ismailis follow an unbroken line of hereditary Imams descended from the family of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). The Imams lead the Ismaili community in both the interpretation of faith and seeking to improve their quality of life, as well as the lives of those among whom they live.

Ismailis pledge their allegiance (bay‘ah) to the Imam-of-the-Time, which is the acceptance of the permanent spiritual bond between the Imam and his followers. The Imam’s birthday is an opportunity for Ismailis to reflect on this unique spiritual bond, and to celebrate and express thanks for the Imam’s love, guidance, leadership, and all that he does for the community and the world at large. 


  1. Salgirah”, The.Ismaili.
  2. The Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.