Aga Khan

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Aga Khan

(ä`gä khän), the title of the religious leader and imam of the IsmailiIsmailis
, Muslim Shiite sect that holds Ismail, the son of Jafar as-Sadiq, as its imam. On the death of the sixth imam of the Shiites, Jafar as-Sadiq (d. 765), the majority of Shiites accepted Musa al-Kazim, the younger son of Jafar, as seventh imam.
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 Nizari sect of Islam, originally bestowed by the Persian shah Fath AliFath Ali Shah
, also spelled Feth Ali Shah, 1762–1834, shah of Persia (1797–1834), nephew and successor of Aga Muhammad Khan, founder of the Qajar dynasty. Most of his reign was spent in internal and external warfare.
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 on Hasan Ali Shah, 1800–1881, the 46th Ismaili imam, in 1818. The first Aga Khan was also appointed as the governor of the province of Kirman, a position he lost as a result of political intrigues following Fath Ali's death. In 1839, he moved to India, where he aided the British during the first Anglo-Afghan war (1839–42) and in the conquest of Sind (1842–43). He was succeeded by his eldest son Ali Shah, Aga Khan II, who died in 1885. In turn, his son, Sultan Muhammad, 1877–1957, assumed the title of Aga Khan III, and played an instrumental role in attempting to secure Muslim support for the British rule of India. A founder of the All-India Muslim League (later the Muslim LeagueMuslim League,
political organization of India and Pakistan, founded 1906 as the All-India Muslim League by Aga Khan III. Its original purpose was to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in India.
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), he served as its president in 1909–14. His international visibility increased when he served as the chairman of the British Indian delegation to the imperial conference in London in 1930–31. He also represented India at the Geneva disarmament conference (1932) and in the League of Nations (1932, 1934–37), where he was president of the General Assembly (1937). Later he played a significant role in the movement to establish the Muslim state of Pakistan. He was succeeded by his grandson, Prince Karim al-Hussayni, 1937–, who as Aga Khan IV has devoted substantial Ismaili wealth to development projects in countries with a significant Ismaili population. He also has instituted (1977) a noted series of awards for Islamic architecture. His uncle, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, 1933–2003, was UN High Commissioner for Refugees (1965–77) and was active in other international humanitarian causes.


See The Collected Works of Aga Khan III (1991); W. Frischauer, The Aga Khans (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
The main projects administered by the AKTC include the Aga Khan Award for Architecture--a flagship endeavour established in 1977--the Historic Cities Support Programme; the Museums Project; the Music Initiative in Central Asia; and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, with its online presence ArchNet.
2) gave a taste of what could have been if the Aga Khan had not failed in two attempts to secure sites for the museum in the British capital.
Nevertheless the Aga Khan has continued to buy discreetly and astutely.
The arts of the various Shia regimes that have ranged from Iran to India are well represented, including the Persian Qajar dynasty, whose ruler Fath All Shah first conferred the title of Aga Khan in the 19th century.
In an interview with Philip Jodidio, published in a new book, Under the Eaves of Architecture--The Aga Khan: Builder and Patron, the Aga Khan describes how his interest in architecture was stimulated by visiting impoverished communities in the 1960s.
At the inauguration ceremony, the Aga Khan explained that the project had given him 'a profound sense of connection with my own ancestors'.
Like the Crusaders, who, though ignorant of the basic facts of Islam, yet claimed to possess reliable information about the secret practices of the Isma ilis, Anne Edwards, too, readily resorts to her imagination in order to enhance the "sensational" appeal of her book - which is, of course, also filled with details about the secret, anonymous mistresses of Aga Khan III and his generous gifts to them.