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Aga Khan III

Datum narození: 2. listopad 1877
Datum úmrtí: 11. červenec 1957

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III was the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili religion. He was one of the founders and the first president of the All-India Muslim League . His goal was the advancement of Muslim agendas and protection of Muslim rights in India. The League, until the late 1930s, was not a large organisation but represented the landed and commercial Muslim interests of the British-ruled 'United Provinces' . He shared Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's belief that Muslims should first build up their social capital through advanced education before engaging in politics. Aga Khan called on the British Raj to consider Muslims to be a separate nation within India, the so-called 'Two Nation Theory'. Even after he resigned as president of the AIML in 1912, he still exerted major influence on its policies and agendas. He was nominated to represent India to the League of Nations in 1932 and served as President of the League of Nations from 1937–38.

„The subject should always disappear in the object.“

—  Aga Khan III

Memoirs of Aga Khan: World Enough & Time (1954)
Kontext: Life in the ultimate analysis has taught me one enduring lesson. The subject should always disappear in the object. In our ordinary affections one for another, in our daily work with hand or brain, we most of us discover soon enough that any lasting satisfaction, any contentment that we can achieve, is the result of forgetting self, or merging subject with object in a harmony that is of body, mind and spirit. And in the highest realms of consciousness all who believe in a Higher Being are liberated from all the clogging and hampering bonds of the subjective self in prayer, in rapt meditation upon and in the face of the glorious radiance of Eternity, in which all temporal and earthly consciousness is swallowed up and itself becomes the eternal.

„Even a little knowledge of Islam will show that its religion is not only tolerant of other Faiths, but most respectful, and indeed, fully accepts the divine inspiration of all theistic Faiths that came before Islam.“

—  Aga Khan III

In response to an article in the TIMES, London, which had labelled Islam as an "intolerant" religion, and held it responsible for some of the problems of the Middle East.
Kontext: Even a little knowledge of Islam will show that its religion is not only tolerant of other Faiths, but most respectful, and indeed, fully accepts the divine inspiration of all theistic Faiths that came before Islam. It does not only teach tolerance to its followers, but goes a step further and enjoins on them all to create the godly quality of "Hilm" that is, tolerance, forbearance, patience, calmness, and forgiveness. It is due to the spirit of tolerance of Islam that even the smallest Christian and Jewish minorities survived and kept all their doctrines during the thousand years of Muslim rule. Nothing like what happened to Muslims in Spain after the Christian conquest has ever happened to a non-Muslim Faith in any Islamic dominion. How, can Europeans be so ignorant as to have forgotten that in the first century of Islam the Khalifs ordered that all that was best in Greek and Roman cultures should be assimilated; that not only the philosophy, medicine and science of Greece, but its poetry and drama, were carefully translated into Arabic and were generally sought not only by the learned but also by the pious! The Muslim attitude towards the absorption of ideas was based on the principle of Islam which enjoins to acquire knowledge wherever available, and there is a well-known and authentic saying of the Prophet that "his followers should seek learning even if they have to go to China."

„It is said that we live, move and have our being in God.“

—  Aga Khan III

Memoirs of Aga Khan: World Enough & Time (1954)
Kontext: It is said that we live, move and have our being in God. We find this concept expressed often in the Koran, not in those words of course, but just as beautifully and more tersely... when we realize the meaning of this saying, we are already preparing ourselves for the gift of the power of direct [spiritual] experience.

„Islam is fundamentally in its very nature a natural religion.“

—  Aga Khan III

In a letter dated 4th April, 1952 to Dr. Zahid Husain, President of Arabiyyah Jamiyyat, Karachi.
Kontext: Islam is fundamentally in its very nature a natural religion. Throughout the Quran God's signs (Ayats) are referred to as the natural phenomenon, the law and order of the universe, the exactitudes and consequences of the relations between natural phenomenon in cause and effect. Over and over, the stars, sun, moon, earthquakes, fruits of the earth and trees are mentioned as the signs of divine power, divine law and divine order. Even in the Ayeh of Noor, divine is referred to as the natural phenomenon of light and even references are made to the fruit of the earth. During the great period of Islam, Muslims did not forget these principles of their religion.

„Imam Hassan has explained the Islamic doctrine of God and the Universe by analogy with the sun and its reflection in the pool of a fountain“

—  Aga Khan III

Memoirs of Aga Khan: World Enough & Time (1954)
Kontext: Imam Hassan has explained the Islamic doctrine of God and the Universe by analogy with the sun and its reflection in the pool of a fountain; there is certainly a reflection or image of the sun, but with what poverty and with what little reality; how small and pale is the likeness between this impalpable image and the immense, blazing, white-hot glory of the celestial sphere itself. Allah is the sun; and the Universe, as we know it in all its magnitude, and time, with its power, is nothing more than the reflection of the Absolute in the mirror of the fountain.

„It is for the Indian patriot to recognise that Persia, Afghanistan and possibly Arabia must sooner or later come within the orbit of some Continental Power — such as Germany, or what may grow out of the break up of Russia — or must throw in their lot with that of the Indian Empire, with which they have so much more genuine affinity. The world forces that move small States into closer contact with powerful neighbours, though so far most visible in Europe, will inevitably make themselves felt in Asia. Unless she is willing to accept the prospect of having powerful and possibly inimical neighbours to watch, and the heavy military burdens thereby entailed, India cannot afford to neglect to draw her Mahomedan neighbour States to herself by the ties of mutual interest and goodwill … In a word, the path of beneficent and growing union must be based on a federal India, with every member exercising her individual rights, her historic peculiarities and natural interests, yet protected by a common defensive system and customs union from external danger and economic exploitation by stronger forces. Such a federal India would promptly bring Ceylon to the bosom of her natural mother, and the further developments we have indicated would follow. We can build a great South Asiatic Federation by now laying the foundations wide and deep on justice, on liberty, and on recognition for every race, every religion, and every historical entity … A sincere policy of assisting both Persia and Afghanistan in the onward march which modem conditions demand, will raise two natural ramparts for India in the north-west that neither German nor Slav, Turk nor Mongol, can ever hope to destroy. They will be drawn of their own accord towards the Power which provides the object lesson of a healthy form of federalism in India, with real autonomy for each province, with the internal freedom of principalities assured, with a revived and liberalised kingdom of Hyderabad, including the Berars, under the Nizam. They would see in India freedom and order, autonomy and yet Imperial union, and would appreciate for themselves the advantages of a confederation assuring the continuance of internal self-government buttressed by goodwill, the immense and unlimited strength of that great Empire on which the sun never sets. The British position of Mesopotamia and Arabia also, whatever its nominal form may be, would be infinitely strengthened by the policy I have advocated.“

—  Aga Khan III

India in Transition (1918)

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