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    Yes, I know that you guys have had several threads dedicated in discussing Ismailis/Aga Khanis. I searched this forum and looked through a few of the old threads.

    One thread in particular, was specially informative. There were several posts in it by bubble buster and wowyi that I found interesting. In one of his posts, bubble buster wrote the following:



    Every Ismaili (man or woman) had but to FACE the Photo of his/her Beloved Spiritual Father and Mother -- Karim Aga Khan, while reciting the three Daily Prayers.
    Today, there are only two small photographs on the two side walls. Hence, an Ismaili will tell you with a firm voice and absolute confidence:
    "It is a LIE. We DO NOT FACE the photos of Aga Khan, while we recite our Du'a (Ismaili Prayer) in Jamatkhanas."
    BUT... he/she will not tell you to whom they DO FACE...

    HOLY DU'A ~

    The "BATINI" & "ZAHERI" Muslims...
    The Agakhani Ismailis do not recite the obligatory ritual Islamic Prayer (Arabic; Salaah - Persian; Namaz ), five times a day. In lieu thereof, Ismailis recite in their Jamatkhanas a ritual prayer called "Holy Du'a", three times a day. Ismaili Jamatkhanas are closed during the noon hours, even on the Fridays. One does not hear the sound of universally recognized Islamic call to prayer (Adhan), emerging out of a Jamatkhana. The obligatory Islamic ritual of performing an ablution (Wadhu), before reciting a ritual prayer, is not a prerequisite for the Agakhani Ismailis. They consider themselves Momeenins or the Batini (esoteric) Muslims, who are absolved of the rituals of physical cleaning, as well as of physical fasting. The followers of Aga Khan firmly believe, they are a step above the rest of the Ummah (the Brotherhood of Muslims), who are regarded by them as the Shariyatis or the Zaheri (exoteric) Muslims. For a Shariyati Muslim, the physical rituals are of primary significance and of greater consequences than the inner most spiritual ones. Ismailis are advised by their elders to hide their inner practices and secret beliefs. Hence, ISMAILI Muslims are not allowed to enter their prayer halls. Ismailis are also told not to discuss their faith with other fellow Muslims. The reason being; the rest of the Ummah is not yet matured enough or ready to comprehend or digest their philosophy of Marifat (the highest level of spiritual understanding). The leaders are apprehensive that their Batini Ismaili community may be unjustly labeled as "the apostate" after such dialogues by their contenders or by everyday inquisitors, for the lack of their own knowledge and understanding for the inner values of true Islam.

    One Can Pray Facing Any Direction...
    Since Allah is every where, Agakhani Ismailis feel themselves totally comfortable reciting his/her Holy Du'a, facing any direction or even with their backs to the Ka'bah. Some of the recently constructed multi-million dollar Jamatkhanas in North America are so built that the main congregation has their backs facing Mecca. That need not necessarily be an act of deliberate anti Islamic or rebellious expressions for the Shariyati Laws. But, these designs have not been considered as "faulty planning" by Karim Aga Khan, his brother Amyn Muhammad and the members of the Aga Khan's committee who have endorsed the building plans, for these most modern Jamatkhanas.

    It is customary in each and every Jamatkhana that a row of Jamati (community) Leaders and the Title Holders (male and female), should sit facing the rest of the congregation, even while praying and prostrating. There would be a row of individuals, sitting with their backs to the side wall, in the male as well as the female section. Both these sections are kept side by side in one big hall. Hence, a row of males would face and prostrate that of the females and vice versa.

    Here is what the Holy Quran Declares as "the truth" on the subject of facing Qiblah while praying and also Reveals about those "who are bent on wickedness" by refusing to follow this Command, after having known it. If this does not prove that the Farmans of Aga Khan have supersede the Verses of the Holy Qur'an, in this Unique Tariqah of Islam, what can?

    Holy Qur'an 2:149 "From whencesoever thou startest forth turn thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; that is indeed the truth from thy Lord. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do."
    Holy Qur'an 2:150 "So from whencesoever thou startest forth turn thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque; among wheresoever ye are turn your face thither that there be no ground of dispute against you among the people except those of them that are bent on wickedness; so fear them not but fear Me; and that I may complete My favors on you and ye may (consent to) be guided."

    "...they Bow (Ruku) not down!" the Qur'an
    The members of the 1.3 billion Islamic Ummah, begin their ritual prayers while standing in rows after rows, facing the direction of the Ka'bah (the Qiblah). Thereafter, they go into the Ruku (the Bowing position), and the Sujood (the Prostration). The members of the community of less than 1.3 million Batini Ismailis, recite their entire Holy Du'a - from the beginning to the end - in a sitting (the squatting) position on a carpeted floor. This Du'a has been ordained personally by the late Aga Khan and is rigidly adhered to. The Holy Qur'an Reveals; what is the Truth in this matter and who are "the Rejecters of Truth".

    O, ye who believe! Bow down (Ruku) and prostrate (Sujood) yourselves and worship your Lord.... Holy Qur'an 22:77
    Woe unto the Rejecters of Truth on that Day! and when it is said unto them: Bow down (Ruku), they bow not down. Qur'an 77:47

    "Shah-jo-Deedar" (Glimpse of Aga Khan)
    A Muslim, while in Ruku, recites: "Subhaanna Rabbiyal Azeem" (Glory to my Lord the Great) and "Subhaanna Rabbiyal Aala"
    (Glory to my Lord the Highest) in their Sujood. Ismailis do not recite the above two phrases. They glorify Hadrat Ali and his sword "Zulfiqar" in their Dua. They recite "La fata illa Ali la saifa illa Zulfiqar" ("There is no Hero except Ali, there is no sword except Zulfiqar"). An individual is meant to be in communication with his Creator in his ritual prayers. Are Ismailis trying to communicate to Allah (SWT) who was Ali?

    At the end of their Dua, Ismailis shake hands with the persons (male or female) sitting on either side of them, saying "Shah-jo-Deedar", meaning "May you have Deedar (Glimpse) of Shah (Hazar Imam - the Aga Khan)". Whereas, a Muslim worshipper turns his face to the right saying "Assalamu allai kum wa rahmattu Allah", meaning "Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy"; and then turns his face to the left saying the same words. Thereafter he raises his hands, seeks forgiveness, etc., etc., and concludes his prayers by reciting "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds". The highest aspiration that a devout Ismaili harbors in his/her heart is to have the "Noorani/Ruhani Deedar" (Spiritual Glimpse) of their Mawla (Aga Khan) before his/her death. I have yet to meet an Ismaili who has had that fortune! I have met hundreds who have tried their level best to have that Glimpse, but with No Luck!


    An individual of any gender and of any age, who has memorized the Du'a, can lead the Congregational Daily Prayer. In other words, any male or female child can become a Pesh Imam. This individual, irrespective of his or her age, would join the rank of the Title Holders and face the congregation. The multicolored photographs of their Hazar Imam - Karim Aga Khan, which only a couple of decades ago used to hang from all the four walls and the pillars of the prayer halls of the Ismailis Jamatkhanas, are now placed on the side walls. There are a few occasions when the special "guided tours" of the prestigious multi-million dollar modern Jamatkhanas are conducted. Usually these tours are for the State dignitaries and the media, but strictly during the off prayer hours. The multicolored photographs of Karim Aga Khan are quickly removed and placed in a drawer of the pulpit by the volunteers, while the tours are being conducted. Again, for not to be labeled
    "the apostates" by the media, for their lack of knowledge of the inexplicable inner spiritual values.

    These are some of the reasons, why the admission to the Ismaili Jamatkhanas are RESTRICTED. These restrictions equally apply to members of the Islamic Ummah. The Agakhani Ismailis call themselves Muslims, but when it comes to standing "shoulder to shoulder" with their Brothers for the Daily Prayers, they part company and sit down in a secluded quarter and recite their own supererogatory prayer.


    Every visitor to the Jamatkhana is asked to remove his or her shoes before entering the prayer hall of the Jamatkhana. Karim Aga Khan enters the prayer hall with his shoes on. He conducts the various religious ceremonies, such as, of forgiving the sins of his followers by sprinkling the Holy Water on their faces and whispering in their ears: "your sins are forgiven", with his shoes on. I know this with certainty, since he had whispered that in the ears of my wife and me.

    Recently in Pakistan, before the High Court of Sind at Karachi, it was declared by the Ismailia Council's President and Secretary that:

    "inherent right of devolution of ownership of Jamatkhanas
    (is) in the Imam. ...Jamatkhanas are not dedicated as Masjids (Mosques) ...(they are) additional places for religious practices, other than Masjids, for supererogatory prayers."
    Such a Declaration, before a Court of Law, demonstrates that the Islamic Mosques are the Houses of Allah (SWT), and the Ismaili Jamatkhanas are the Houses of the Aga Khans. The prayers that are recited in the"Houses of Allah" are the Obligatory Prayers, Commanded by Allah. The Holy Du'as that are recited in the "Ismaili Jamatkhanas owned by the Aga Khan" are Supererogatory Supplications, Commanded by the Aga Khan.
    The synonyms to be found in a dictionary for the legal/technical term "supererogatory" are; "superfluous, nonessential, uncalled-for".


    Over the period of nearly 1400 years, the Islamic Salaah and the Shahadah have not been revised. Within a period of half a century, I have observed the Ismaili Du'a and the Ismaili Shahadah, each being revised three times. The present Du'a in Arabic, replacing the old Du'a in Gujrati, was formulated and officially pronounced by the Farmans (Holy Commands) of the late Aga Khan in 1956. Since he was suffering from lumbago, sciatica and the cancer, he sent his grandson - the present Aga Khan, to introduce the "New Du'a" in the Eastern Africa. The "New Du'a" introduced officially in Africa had an ending:

    "al-Imamul haziril maujood li zikrihis sujood." meaning:
    "the present Imam, to whose name prostration is due."

    When the same "New Du'a" was introduced in the Islamic State of Pakistan,the above mentioned phrase was changed to read:

    "Allahumma laka sujoodi wa ta'ati." meaning:
    "O Allah, to Thee is my prostration."

    Again, the same old apprehension of being labeled "apostate" by those Pakistani Muslims, who the lack knowledge and true understanding of the inner Ismaili gnostic, which is not so easy to comprehend.

    Though it may sound strange, the Karim Aga Khan himself has never lead the Ismaili Du'a (new or old), or joined the congregation in any of the Ismaili Jamatkhana. He has often attended the Sunni Mosques and recited the customary Islamic Salaah, behind Sunni Pesh Imams. I am told that he was once asked to lead a Friday noon prayer, by an Imam of a Mosque in India, but he declined the offer. Several written requests from the Ismaili leaders and the everyday "Khane-goers", made to Karim Aga Khan in the last two decades, to re-introduce the Islamic Salaah which was originally being recited four to five generations ago by their ancestors, remain to this day "unacknowledged", which can be translated as "declined".

    ** FOUR FACES**
    Here are the Specially Designated Titles of
    to whom the Congregation FACES everyday and every night,
    while praying in the Jamatkhanas, instead of the Qiblah.
    The word Qiblah means; The direction the Muslims face
    when performing their daily Salah "ritual prayer",
    the Ka'bah in Mekkah. See Qur'an 2:150.
    Are these the **FOUR QIBLAS**
    appointed by the Aga Khan
    for his followers
    to FACE
    for a specific term, by Karim Aga Khan.
    During their Terms of Office they,
    during all the religious ceremonies and prayers
    in the name of SHAH-PIR (Karim Aga Khan)
    by sprinkling the Holy Water on their Faces
    Collect donations, Zakat (Dasond), etc.,
    without giving any receipt
    in lieu of the Islamic Nikah Ceremonies,
    the couples Prostrate to them and receive their Blessings

    Is there anything written above that is false? If so, which part is false?

    Also, wowyi(he said was was Ismaili himself) posted:

    The Ismailis follow the Five Pillars of Islam by obeying the Farmans
    (official teachings) of the Imam of the Time. Their interpretation of Islamic
    doctrines and practice can change according to the time and place in which
    they live; this change can only be brought about by the Imam of the Time.

    So does this mean that Ismailis don't use Prophet Mohammad(pbuh) as an example? They ONLY follow the advice/example of the person who is "Imam of the time"?

    wowyi also posted:

    Ismailis perform their hajj (pilgrimage) by seeking a Deedar (glimpse) of the
    Imam of the Time. Since the Noor (Light of the Imam) is present in every
    Jamatkhana, going to Jamatkhana each day is equal to performing hajj. In the
    Prophet's time, to go on hajj was to be with the Prophet. Therefore, to be
    in his successor's (the Imam) presence is the modern hajj.

    So considering the above, does Mecca have any meaning at all to Ismailis? Or is it just another city to them? Which way do they face while praying?

    Are there any sites where I can go and learn what Ismailis believe when it comes to drinking alcohol, pre-marital sex etc.? Do they have any "guidelines" for women when it comes to dressing(ex. hijab etc.)? Are Ismailis ONLY allowed to marry other Ismailis? Do they perform wudoo before praying? Do they also cover up while praying? How does a person "convert" to Ismailism?

    And no, I'm NOT thinking of converting to Ismailism or to anything else. I've met a few people this past year who are Ismailis and since then, just have been very curious. I have found sites that talks about the history of it, talks about Aga Khan's family, their numerous achievments etc. BUT I'm curious about their beliefs on specific things.

    Any info. is appreciated.