Islam in the modern age

Daily Times: His Highness Aga Khan-IV, the hereditary imam of the Ismaili Aga Khani community, is on a visit to Pakistan. To my mind he represents the true spirit of Islam: progress, humanity, education, and economic progress as ethical imperatives and dictates of Islamic doctrine. As a religious leader can there be a greater contrast that what he is to the mad mullahs who have taken this nation hostage and who want to burn down things in the name of great faith. His Highness Aga Khan-IV founded Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, which is by far the best hospital in Pakistan. His Aga Khan Development Network has done great work sustaining communities in need of help by providing much needed humanitarian assistance in remote areas of Pakistan and other countries in the world. This assistance is provided without regard to religion, sect or ethnicity.

The contributions of this industrious community to this land date back to the time that the present Aga Khan’s great great grandfather Aga Khan-I settled in Jhirk, the town on the bank of Indus in Sindh in the mid 19th century. Following in his footsteps came his followers from Gujarat. Among them was the father of a young merchant called Poonja Jinnah bhai. The significance of this should not be lost on those of us who are familiar with history. Aga Khan-III Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, the grandfather of the present Aga Khan, was the founder-president of the All India Muslim League and the first chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. Without these institutions, Pakistan would not have been possible. Ever since the founding of this country, the Aga Khani Ismailis have played a significant role in health, education and business. The contributions made to this country by Aga Khani Ismailis like Sadruddin Hashwani are second to none.


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