Sultan Mohamed Shah Aga Khan Iii

Topics: Aga Khan IV, Shia Islam, Nizari Pages: 6 (2289 words) Published: November 17, 2011
Sultan Mohamed Shah, the only son of Aga Ali Shah became the 48th imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims at the young age of 7. He was known as the Aga Khan, a title he inherited from his father. He grew up under the care of his mother who took a great interest in his education. Until the age of 18 years, Aga Khan III received education in Bombay and Poona. He was later given the title “His Highness” by the British Government. The Aga Khan believed that the poor status of Muslims in India was illiteracy, and therefore, education was the greatest solution. He felt that education should be a medium of service to others and a tool for modernization. Sultan Mohamed Shah, along with some of his close colleagues donated a significant sum of money to the Aligarh University. At the age of 29 the Aga Khan realized the poor political conditions for Muslims in India and formed the All India Muslim League, of which he was elected permanent president. Sultan Mohamed Shah was unanimously elected the president of the League of Nations in 1939. In 1948, the Aga Khan III completed seventy years of Imamat which is the longest period in the history of all the 48 Imams. In this time he was married to four different women. Sultan Muhammad Shah passed away on July 11, 1957. In accordance with his last will, his grandson, Prince Karim was succeeded to the Imamat as the 49th Imam. Sultan Mohamed, also known as Sultan Mohamed Shah, Aga Khan III, was born on November 2nd 1877 in Karachi, Pakistan. His birth was a very happy occasion for his grandfather, Hazrat Imam Hassanali Shah, Aga Khan I, who named him "Sultan Mohamed”. He grew up under the care of his mother, who belonged to the Persian Royal Family. As a child he took a keen interest in animals, particularly horses. At the young age of seven, Sultan Mohamed Shah’s father passed away, and he was appointed to the throne of Imamat. As such a young child, the Imam was surrounded by many advisors who helped guide him along the way to make the decisions his father once had to make as a leader. A year after his father’s death, the Aga Khan was bestowed with the title “His Highness” by the British government. His mother, Lady Ali Shah made sure he was given the best of education, in which time he learned many languages like Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Hindi. He also became fluent in English, French and German. Alongside Islamic education, he also studied sciences, metaphysics, astronomy and mathematics. In 1893, he was called upon to help resolve conflict between Hindu’s and Muslims, using his influence over his Ismaili followers he was able to help restore peace and order in India. In 1897 he married his cousin Shahzadi Begum. Sultan Mohamed Shah met the Queen in 1898, at which time she honoured him with the title “Knight Commander of the Indian Empire”. In 1899 he was awarded with the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar, the Star of Persia, and the Star of Turkey upon visits to those countries. At the passing of Queen Elizabeth, the Aga Khan was promoted from “Knight Commander of the Indian Empire” to the “Grand Commander of the Order of Indian Empire” by King Edward VII. The Aligarh Muslim University was founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, an educator and politician in India in 1920. He felt it important for Muslims to gain modern education and become involved in the political affairs of the country. The Aga Khan saw this as a great opportunity for his followers and fellow Muslims to be able to obtain a quality education like he once did. He convinced his colleagues to help raise funds and donate money for improving the school and providing financial support. After the death of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Sultan Mohamed Shah was named president of the university, and used this position to raise the importance of quality education, and the Muslim university at Aligarh. During his presidential speech he said “If, then, we are really in earnest in deploring the fallen condition of our people, we must unite in an effort for...

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