Muslim: Imamat Day honors humanitarian Aga Khan IV

Prince Karim Aga Khan IVSUNDAY, JULY 11: For Shi’a Muslims known as Ismailis, today is Imamat Day—a time to mark the anniversary of their present spiritual leader. That’s Prince Karim al-Hussayni, also known as Aga Khan IV.

Shi’a Muslims are distinctive in Islam for honoring the family lineage of the Prophet Muhammad for more than 1,000 years. Within that larger tradition, the millions of Ismaili Muslims around the world regard the Aga Khan as their current authoritative leader in the Prophet’s lineage. On July 11, 1957, Aga Khan IV succeeded his grandfather in leadership, so July 11 is his Imamat Day.

Top leaders in Canada officially honored this Imamat Day. The Aga Khan recently visited Canada to help break ground for the Aga Khan Museum, a major new center honoring Islamic art and Ismaili culture. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper described Aga Khan IV as a heroic advocate of “humanitarian aid and development in countries beset by conflict and poverty.”

ReadTheSpirit Books honors the Aga Khan as an interfaith heroes in the second volume of Daniel Buttry’s popular series of educational books. A biography of the Aga Khan along with additional Web links is part of our ongoing Interfaith Heroes 2 website.

(By ReadTheSpirit columnist Stephanie Fenton)

(NOTE: To see more short articles about upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries, click the “RTS Magazines” tab at the top of this page and select “Religious Holidays.”)

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