Sunday, July 7, 2013

005 - Afzal Khan - Ahmad Alimi

Afzal Khan
Afzal Khan (d. November 10, 1659).  A seventeenth century general in the service of the sultan of Bijapur.  Afzal was sent with an army of ten thousand men to suppress Shivaji, the rebel leader who would later found the independent Maratha Hindu kingdom.  The Muslim general’s campaign was marked by religious intolerance.  He destroyed Hindu shrines, particularly one dedicated to Amba Bhavani, tutelary guardian of Shivaji’s family.  The campaign stalled when Shivaji retreated to his fortress, Pratapgarh.  A meeting between the two was eventually negotiated for November 10, 1659.  At this meeting Afzal Khan tried either to stab or strangle Shivaji, who, using a concealed weapon called tiger claws, ripped open Afzal Khan’s belly, killing him.  The Bijapur army was then ambushed and routed by Shivaji’s Maratha troops.

Afzal Khan was the most powerful Sardar (Lord) in the court of the Bijapur Sultanate.  He was responsible for the death of Shivaji's elder brother.  He was sent by Ali Adil Shah II to curb the activities of Shivaji in the western Deccan.  He destroyed several Hindu temples in an attempt to lure Shivaji out of the Western Ghat mountains and onto the plains.  Temples destroyed by him include the temple of Tuljapur, Pandharpur and Shikhar Shinganapur.  He slaughtered a cow in the temple of Tuljapur and attempted to destroy the idol of the goddess Bhavani, Shivaji's family idol.  This latter plan was foiled by the Guravs (Kadam) of the Temple, who hid the original idol in their house and placed a fake idol in the temple.

Shivaji was not be lured, and Afzal Khan met him at Pratapgad, a fort near the town of Satara, a location which was strategically advantageous for Shivaji's infantry.  Afzal Khan attempted to garner support from local militarily independent landlords of Pratapgad, who nominally acknowledged the suzerainty of the Adil Shahi.  The powerful nobleman Kanhoji Jedhe, as directed by Shahaji, helped Shivaji to counter these moves and attract their support.

Shivaji and Afzal arranged a meeting at a large tent at the foothills of Pratapgad.  It was agreed that the meeting would be unarmed, and each man was to bring ten personal bodyguards, remaining one arrow shot distance away.  Both were prepared for treachery.  Afzal hid a kataar, a small and sharp dagger, in his coat.  Shivaji wore armor under his clothes, and carried a weapon called a wagh nakh ("tiger claws"), consisting of an iron finger-grip with four razor claws, which he concealed within his clenched fist.

As the two men entered the tent fixed for the meeting, Khan pretended to greet Shivaji with a hug, and stabbed Shivaji in the back with his kataar.  However, Shivaji, due to the armor under his coat, was saved.  Shivaji opened his fist and disemboweled Khan with his wagh nakh.  Afzal managed to hold his gushing entrails and hurtled outside, faint and bleeding, and threw himself into his palanquin.  But Khan was decapitated by one Shivaji's bodyguards shortly down the slope.  Sambhaji Kawaji and Jiva Mahala, two of Shivaji's bodyguards, were instrumental in protecting their king from Afzal's bodyguards.

Shivaji sped towards the fortress as his lieutenants ordered a bugle to be sounded.  It was a pre-determined signal to his infantry, which had been strategically placed in the densely covered valley.  All of Shivaji's generals, includeing his Senapati ("Army chief") Netaji Palkar launched a surprise attack and routed Afzal Khan's army.  Afzal Khan's son managed to escape with help from Maratha generals including Khandaji Khopade.  The severed head of Khan was sent to Rajgad to be shown to Jijabai, Shivaji's mother.  Jijabai wanted vengeance for the deliberate maltreatment of Shahaji, Shivaji's father, in his captivity by Afzal Khan, and for the death of her elder son, Sambhaji, who was treacherously killed by Afzal Khan.

Afzal Khan was buried near Pratapgad.

Agha Khan
Agha Khan (Aga Khan).   Hereditary title of the head of the Nizarite sect of the Isma‘iliyya.  The title was originally bestowed (in 1818) on Hasan Ali Shah Mahallati by a ruler of the Qajar dynasty of Iran, Fath Ali Shah.  Fath Ali Shah also appointed Hasan Ali Shah to the post of governor of Kirman (Kerman).  Etymologically the title "Agha Khan" combines the Turkish military title "Agha", meaning a noble or lord, with the Altaic title "Khan", local ruler.

When the Qajar dynasty weakened, the Agha Khan lost his governorship and went to live in Mahallar, the most important post-Mogul Isma‘ili center in Iran, and a Sufi stronghold.  While crossing into India, Agha Khan provided valued service to the British who were then attempting the conquest of Afghanistan.

Agha Khan ultimately settled in Bombay among an already extensive community of his own followers.  Internal conflicts among the Khojas concerning the leadership of the Imam led to a lawsuit in 1866, which elicited much information about the Nizari Isma‘ilis.  The result of a legal challenge to his religious authority before the High Court of Bombay in 1866 brought a sweeping vindication under British law of his total, personal control over all property belonging to his Isma‘ili sect, thus confirming a source of substantial long-term wealth for himself and his successors in the imamate.  

In 1877, the colonial rulers of India, the British Raj, gave the Agha Khan rank and nobility in recognition of the help in suppressing a regional rebellion against the British, thus the Agha Khan became the only religious or community leader in British India granted a personal gun salute.  All other salute dynasties were either rulers of Princely States, or Political Pensioners holding ancestral princely titles in states abolished by the Raj.

After the death of Agha Khan -- of Hasan Ali Shah -- in Bombay in 1881, he was succeeded as Agha Khan by his son Agha Ali Shah.  Agha Ali Shah died in 1885 and was, in turn, succeeded by his seven year old son Sultan Muhammad Shah.  Sultan Muhammad ruled as Agha Khan III until his death in 1957.  This Agha Khan visited India and east Africa from time to time to meet with his followers, and established himself in Europe during his journeys there.   He acquired a leading position among the Muslims of India and, in 1937, became president of the League of Nations.  His son Agha Khan IV, formerly Prince Karim, was born in 1936.  

Prince Karim al-Hussaini became the present Agha Khan IV upon assuming the Imamat of the Nizari Isma'ilis on July 11, 1957 at the age of 21, succeeding his grandfather, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Agha Khan (Agha Khan III).  In his will, his grandfather stated the conditions that led him to select his grandson as successor to the Isma'ili Imamat:  "In view of the fundamentally altered conditions in the world in very recent years due to the great changes that have taken place, including the discoveries of atomic science, I am convinced that it is in the best interests of the Shi'a Muslim Isma'ili community that I should be succeeded by a young man who has been brought up and developed during recent years and in the midst of the new age, and who brings a new outlook on life to his office.

On July 11, 2007, Agha Khan IV completed 50 years of the imamat of the Ismaili Muslim community.

The Agha Khan, heir to the family fortune and a society figure, is founder and chairman of the Agha Khan Development Network (AKDN), one of the largest private development networks in the world.  AKDN continues to work with a variety of African and Asian countries to improve living conditions and promote education.  For instance, in Afghanistan, the AKDN mobilized over $700 million in development projects.  
Aga Khan see Agha Khan

Agha Khan I
Agha Khan I (Aga Khan I) (Hasan 'Ali Shah) (Hasan 'Ali Shah Mahallati) (1800-1881).  Leader of Isma‘ili Shi‘a Muslims.  He is believed to have been a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.  Agha Khan was governor of the province of Kerman, Iran, until 1840, when he fled to India after an unsuccessful attempt to seize power in Iran.  Agha Khan then helped the British government in India in its attempts to control frontier tribes.  Agha Khan became leader of the Isma‘ilis in India, Pakistan, Africa, and Syria.

Hasan 'Ali Shah was born in Kahak, Iran to Shah Khalil Allah, the 45th Isma'ili Imam, and Bibi Sarkara, the daughter of Muhammad Sadiq Mahallati, a poet and a Ni'mat Allahi Sufi.  Shah Khalil Allah moved to Yazd in 1815, probably out of concern for his Indian followers, who used to travel to Persia to see their Imam and for whom Yazd was a much closer and safer destination than Kahak.  Meanwhile, his wife and children continued to live in Kahak off the revenues obtained from the family holdings in the Mahallat region.  Two years later, in 1817, Shah Khalil Allah was killed during a conflict between some of his followers and local shopkeepers.  He was succeeded by his eldest son Hasan Ali Shah, also known as Muhammad Hasan, who became the 46th Imam.

Unfortunately, the family was left unprovided for after a conflict between the local Nizaris and Hasan 'Ali Shah's son-in-law Imani Khan Farahani, who had been in charge of the Imam's land holdings.  The young Imam and his mother moved to Qumm, but their financial situation worsened.  The Imam Hasan 'Ali Shah's mother decided to go to the Qajar court in Tehran to obtain justice for her husband's death and was eventually successful.  Those who had been involved in the Shah Khalil Allah's murder were punished and the Persian King Fath 'Ali Shah increased Hasan 'Ali Shah's land holdings in the Mahallat region and gave him one of his daughters, Sarv-i Jahan Khanum, in marriage.  Fath 'Ali Shah also appointed Hasan 'Ali Shah as governor of Qumm and bestowed upon him the honorific Agha Khan.  Hasan 'Ali Shah thus became known as Agha Khan Mahallat, and the title of Agha Khan was inherited by his successors.  Agha Khan I's mother later moved to India where she died in 1851.  Until Fath 'Ali Shah's death in 1834, the Imam Hasan Ali Shah enjoyed a quiet life and was held in high esteem at the Qajar court.

Soon after the accession of Muhammad Shah Qajar to his grandfather, Fath Ali Shah, Hasan 'Ali Shah was appointed governor of Kirman in 1835.  At the time, Kirman was held by the rebellious sons of Shuja al-Saltana, a pretender to the Qajar throne.  The area was also frequently raided by the Afghans.  Hasan 'Ali Shah managed to restore order in Kirman, as well as in Bam and Narmishair, which were also held by rebellious groups.  Hasan 'Ali Shah sent a report of his success to Tehran, but did not receive any compensation for his achievements.  Despite the service he rendered to the Qajar government, Hasan 'Ali Shah was dismissed from the governorship of Kirman in 1837, less than two years after his arrival there, and was replaced by Firuz Mirza Nusrat al-Dawla, a younger brother of Muhammad Shah Qajar.  Refusing to accept his dismissal, Hasan 'Ali Shah withdrew with his forces to the citadel at Bam.  Along with his two brothers, he made preparations to resist the government forces that were sent against him.  He was besieged at Bam for some fourteen months.  When it was clear that continuing the resistance was of little use, Hasan 'Ali Shah sent one of his brothers to Shiraz in order to speak to the governor of Fars to intervene on his behalf and arrange for safe passage out of Kirman.  With the governor having interceded, Hasan 'Ali Shah surrendered and emerged from the citadel of Bam only to be double-crossed.  He was seized and his possession were plundered by the government troops.  Hasan 'Ali Shah and his dependents were sent to Kirman and remained as prisoners there for eight months.  He was eventually allowed to go to Tehran near the end of 1838-39 where he was able to present his case before the Shah.  The Shah pardoned him on the condition that he return peacefully to Mahallat.  Hasan 'Ali Shah remained in Mahallat for about two years.  He managed to gather an army in Mahallat which alarmed Muhammad Shah, who travelled to Delijan near Mahallat to determine the truth of the reports about Hasan 'Ali Shah.  Hasan 'Ali Shah was on a hunting trip at the time, but he sent a messenger to request permission of the monarch to go to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage. Permission was given, and Hasan 'Ali Shah's mother and a few relatives were sent to Najaf and other holy cities in Iraq in which the shrines of his ancestors, the Shiite Imams are found.

Prior to leaving Mahallat, Hasan 'Ali Shah equipped himself with letters appointing him to the governorship of Kirman. Accompanied by his brothers, nephews and other relatives, as well as many followers, he left for Yazd, where he intended to meet some of his local followers. Hasan 'Ali Shah sent the documents reinstating himself to the position of governor of Kirman to Bahman Mirza Baha al-Dawla, the governor of Yazd. Bahman Mirza offered Hasan 'Ali Shah lodging in the city, but Hasan 'Ali Shah declined, indicating that he wished to visit his followers living around Yazd. Hajji Mirza Aqasi sent a messenger to Bahman Mirza to inform him of the spuriousness of Hasan 'Ali Shah's documents and a battle between Bahman Mīrzā and Hasan 'Ali Shah broke out in which Bahman Mirza was defeated. Other minor battles were won by Hasan 'Ali Shah before he arrived in Shahr-i Babak, which he intended to use as his base for capturing Kirman. At the time of his arrival in Shahr-i Babak, a formal local governor was engaged in a campaign to drive out the Afghans from the city's citadel, and Hasan 'Ali Shah joined him in forcing the Afghans to surrender.

Soon after March 1841, Hasan 'Ali Shah set out for Kirman. He managed to defeat a government force consisting of 4,000 men near Dashtab, and continued to win a number of victories before stopping at Bam for a time. Soon, a government force of 24,000 men forced Hasan 'Ali Shah to flee from Bam to Rigan on the border of Baluchistan, where he suffered a decisive defeat. Hasan 'Ali Shah decided to escape to Afghanistan, accompanied by his brothers and many soldiers and servants.

After arriving in Afghanistan in 1841, Hasan 'Ali Shah proceeded to Kandahar which had been occupied by an Anglo-Indian army in 1839. A close relationship developed between Hasan 'Ali Shah and the British, which coincided with the final years of the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838-1842). After his arrival, Hasan 'Ali Shah wrote to Sir William Macnaghten, discussing his plans to seize and govern Herat on behalf of the British. Although the proposal seemed to have been approved, the plans of the British were thwarted by the uprising of Dost Muhammad's son, Muhammad Akbar Khan, who defeated the British-Indian garrison on its retreat from Kabul in January 1842. The uprising spread to Kandahar where the Afghans were in active hunt of the "infidel" Hasan 'Ali Shah. Hasan 'Ali Shah managed to escape and helped to evacuate the British forces from Kandahar in July 1842. The Afghans in Kandahar claimed that they would not rest until they had captured the "traitor of the Ahl ul Beit."

Hasan 'Ali Shah soon proceeded to Sind, where he rendered further services to the British. The British were able to annex Sind and for his services, Hasan 'Ali Shah received an annual pension of £2,000 from General Charles Napier, the British conqueror of Sind with whom he had a good relationship.

Hasan 'Ali Shah also aided the British militarily and diplomatically in their attempts to subjugate Baluchistan. He became the target of a Baluchi raid, likely in retaliation for his helping the British and to whom they considered a traitor and a "kufar" or infidel; however, Hasan Ali Shah continued to aid the British, hoping that they would arrange for his safe return to his ancestral lands in Persia, where many members of his family remained.

In October 1844, Hasan 'Ali Shah left Sind for Bombay, passing through Cutch and Kathiawar where he spent some time visiting the communities of his followers in the area. After arriving in Bombay in February 1846, the Persian government demanded his extradition from India. The British refused and only agreed to transfer Hasan 'Ali Shah’s residence to Calcutta, where it would be more difficult for him to launch new attacks against the Persian government. The British also negotiated the safe return of Hasan 'Ali Shah to Persia, which was in accordance with his own wish. The government agreed to Hasan 'Ali Shah's return provided that he would avoid passing through Baluchistan and Kirman and that he was to settle peacefully in Mahallat. Hasan 'Ali Shah was eventually forced to leave for Calcutta in April 1847, where he remained until he received news of the death of Muhammad Shah Qajar. Hasan 'Ali Shah left for Bombay and the British attempted to obtain permission for his return to Persia. Although some of his lands were restored to the control of his relatives, his safe return could not be arranged, and Hasan 'Ali Shah was forced to remain a permanent resident of India. While in India, Hasan 'Ali Shah continued his close relationship with the British, and was even visited by the Prince of Wales when the future King Edward VII was on a state visit to India. The British came to address Hasan 'Ali Shah as His Highness. Hasan 'Ali Shah received protection from the British government in British India as the spiritual head of an important Muslim community.

The vast majority of his Khoja Isma'ili followers in India welcomed him warmly, but some dissident members, sensing their loss of prestige with the arrival of the Imam, wished to maintain control over communal properties. Because of this, Hasan 'Ali Shah decided to secure a pledge of loyalty from the members of the community to himself and to the Isma'ili form of Islam. Although most of the members of the community signed a document issued by Hasan 'Ali Shah summarizing the practices of the Isma'ilis, a group of dissenting Khojas surprisingly asserted that the community had always been Sunni. This group was outcast by the unanimous vote of all the Khojas assembled in Bombay. In 1866, these dissenters filed a suit in the Bombay High Court against Hasan 'Ali Shah, claiming that the Khojas had been Sunni Muslims from the very beginning. The case, commonly referred to as the Aga Khan Case, was heard by Sir Joseph Arnould. The hearing lasted several weeks, and included testimony from Hasan 'Ali Shah himself. After reviewing the history of the community, Justice Arnould gave a definitive and detailed judgment against the plaintiffs and in favor of Hasan 'Ali Shah and the other defendants. The judgment was significant in that it legally established the status of the Khojas as a community referred to as Shi'a Imami Isma'ilis, and of Hasan 'Ali Shah as the spiritual head of that community. Hasan 'Ali Shah's authority thereafter was not seriously challenged again.

Hasan 'Ali Shah spent his final years in Bombay with occasional visits to Pune. Maintaining the traditions of the Iranian nobility to which he belonged, he kept excellent stables and became a well-known figure at the Bombay racecourse. Hasan 'Ali Shah passed away after an imamate of sixty-four years in April 1881. He was buried in a specially built shrine at Hasanabad in the Mazagaon area of Bombay. He was survived by three sons and five daughters. Hasan 'Ali Shah was succeeded as Imam by his eldest son Aqa 'Ali Shah, who became Aga Khan II.

Hasan 'Ali Shah Mahallati see Agha Khan I
Mahallati, Hasan 'Ali Shah see Agha Khan I
Aga Khan I see Agha Khan I
Hasan 'Ali Shah see Agha Khan I

Agha Khan II
Agha Khan II  (Aqa 'Ali Shah) (1830-1885).   The title given to 'Ali Shah (d.1885), the son of Agha Khan.  Agha Khan II served as leader of the Isma‘ili sect for four years after the death of his father.  His reign also emphasized close ties with the British government in India.

Aqa 'Ali Shah was born in 1830 at Mahallat in Iran.  He was the eldest son of Aqa Khan I and the only surviving male child of his father with Sarv-i Jahan Khanum.  Aqa 'Ali Shah was a member of the Iranian royal family, as his mother was the daughter of Fat'h 'Ali Shah, the second ruler of the Qajar dynasty.  His rank as a prince of the royal family was also recognized by Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar when Aqa 'Ali Shah's father died.  Nasser al-Din himself carried out a ceremony performed among Persian princes to mark the end of mourning of deceased relations.  In addition, Nasser al-Din sent a robe of honour and the emblem of the Persian Crown studded with diamonds to Aga 'Ali Shah as a sign of the Shah's relationship with the Aga Khan's family.

On his father's side, Aga 'Ali Shah traced his ancestry to the Prophet Muhammad, through his daughter Fatima and his son-in-law, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib.  He also descended from the Fatimid caliphs of Egypt.  He spent his early years in Mahallat.  However, his father's attempts to regain his former position as governor of Kirman made residence there difficult, and so Aqa Ali Shah was taken to Iraq with his mother in 1840.  There he studied Arabic, Persian, and Nizari Isma'ili doctrine, and soon gained a reputation as an authority on Persian and Arabic literature, as a student of metaphysics, and as an exponent of religious philosophy.  In the late 1840s, changed political circumstances allowed Aqa 'Ali Shah to return to Persia where he took over some of his father's responsibilities.  In 1853, Sarv-i Jahan Khanum and Aqa 'Ali Shah joined Aga Khan I in Bombay.  As his father's heir apparent to the Isma'ili Imamat, Aqa 'Ali Shah frequently visited various Isma'ili communities in India, particularly those in Sind and Kathiawar.  

Aqa 'Ali Shah became Imam of the Isma'ilis upon the death of his father in 1881, also inheriting his father's title of Aga Khan.  Aga Khan II maintained the cordial ties that his father had developed with the British and was appointed to the Bombay Legislative Council when James Ferguson was the governor of Bombay.  This was a noteworthy achievement, given that nomination to the Council in those days was a rare distinction bestowed only on men of outstanding ability and high social position.

Aqa 'Ali Shah also inherited his father's concern for his followers and was well-acquainted with their needs, having been assigned by his father to the duty of visiting the various communities in India.  For example, when confusion had arisen due to the fact that some of his followers in India were governed partly by Muslim law and partly by Hindu law,  he was appointed a member of a commission in 1874 which was constituted to submit proposals for amendment of the law relating to his community.

Being concerned about the welfare of his followers, he also opened a number of schools for them in Bombay (Mumbai) and elsewhere, and provided financial assistance to families in need.  Although his imamate lasted only some four years, he was able to increase contacts with his followers living outside of the Indian subcontinent, particularly those who resided in the regions of the upper Oxus, Burma, and East Africa.  He received much recognition for his work as he discharged his duties in a manner which drew the admiration and approbation of the community.  

Aqa 'Ali Shah's father began the family tradition of racing and breeding horses in Bombay (Mumbai).  The first Aga Khan owned some of the world's finest Arabian horses, which were inherited by Aqa 'Ali Shah.  When Aqa 'Ali Shah died, he left a large and imposing sporting establishment that included hawks, hounds and between eighty and ninety racehorses.

Aqa 'Ali Shah was not only a skillful rider, but also an avid sportsman and hunter, and was particularly famous for his hunting of tigers in India.  He was known to have pursued tigers on foot and to have had such a deadly shot that he bagged at least forty tigers in this manner.

Aga 'Ali Shah died in August 1885 in Pune, India, from pneumonia.  He was succeeded by his son Sultan Muhammad Shah, who became Agha Khan III.

Aqa 'Ali Shah see Agha Khan II
Shah, Aqa 'Ali see Agha Khan II

Agha Khan III
Agha Khan III (Sultan Muhammad Shah) (Sultan Mahommed Shah) (November 2, 1877 - July 11, 1957).  The title given to Sultan Muhammad Shah (1877-1957), the son of Agha Khan II ('Ali Shah).  Born in Karachi, India (now in Pakistan), and educated in Europe, Agha Khan III became the head of the Isma‘ili sect in 1885 after the death of his father.  During World War I, Agha Khan III persuaded his followers and other Muslims to side with the Allies.  In 1932, and from 1934 to 1937, Agha Khan III headed the Indian delegation to the Assembly of the League of Nations and was president of the League in 1937.  He was a noted sportsman, and his extreme wealth enabled him to maintain the most valuable racing stables in the world before World War II.  He also contributed generously to the Aligarh Muslim University in India.  Agha Khan III wrote India in Transition (1918) and Memoirs (1954).

Sultan Muhammad Shah was born in Karachi, in British India (now Pakistan), to Aga Khan II and his third wife, Nawab A'lia Shamsul-Muluk, who was a granddaughter of Fath 'Ali Shah of Persia (Qajar dynasty).  Under the care of his mother, he was given not only that religious and Oriental education which his position as the religious leader of the Isma'ilis made indispensable, but a sound European training, a boon denied to his father and paternal grandfather. This blending of the two systems of education produced the result of fitting this Muslim chief in an eminent degree both for the sacerdotal functions which pertained to his spiritual position, and for those social duties required of a leader which he was called upon to discharge by virtue of his position. He also attended Eton and Cambridge University.

In 1885, at the age of seven, Sultan Muhammad Shah succeeded his father as Imam of the Shi'a Isma'ili Muslims.  Sultan Muhammad Shah (Agha Khan III) traveled to distant parts of the world to receive the homage of his followers, and with the object either of settling differences or of advancing their welfare by pecuniary help and personal advice and guidance. The distinction of a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire was conferred upon him by Queen Victoria in 1897 (and later Knight Grand Commander in 1902 by Edward VII) and he received like recognition for his public services from the German emperor, the sultan of Turkey, the shah of Persia and other potentates.

In 1906, Aga Khan III was a founding member and first president of the All India Muslim League.

In 1934, he was made a member of the Privy Council and served as a member of the League of Nations (1934-37), becoming the President of the League of Nations in 1937.

He was made a "Knight of the Indian Empire" by Queen Victoria, a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire by Edward VII (1902), and a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India by George V (1912). He was appointed a GCMG in 1923.

Aga Khan initiated into freemansonry, December 1951, and was given Masonic burial services on July 30, 1957.[3]

Under the leadership of Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III, the first half of the twentieth century was a period of significant development for the Isma'ili community. Numerous institutions for social and economic development were established in South Asia and in East Africa. Isma'ilis have marked the Jubilees of their Imams with public celebrations, which are symbolic affirmations of the ties that link the Isma'ili Imam and his followers. Although the Jubilees have no religious significance, they serve to reaffirm the Imamat's world-wide commitment to the improvement of the quality of human life, especially in the developing countries.[4]

The Jubilees of Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III, are well remembered. During his 72 years of Imamat (1885-1957), the community celebrated his Golden (1937), Diamond (1946) and Platinum (1954) Jubilees. To show their appreciation and affection, the Isma'iliyya weighed their Imam in gold, diamonds and in platinum, respectively, the proceeds of which were used to further develop major social welfare and development institutions in Asia and Africa.

In India and Pakistan, social development institutions were established, in the words of the late Aga Khan, "for the relief of humanity". They included institutions such as the Diamond Jubilee Trust and the Platinum Jubilee Investments Limited which in turn assisted the growth of various types of cooperative societies. Diamond Jubilee Schools for girls were established throughout the remote Northern Areas of what is now Pakistan. In addition, scholarship programs, established at the time of the Golden Jubilee to give assistance to needy students, were progressively expanded. In East Africa, major social welfare and economic development institutions were established. Those involved in social welfare included the accelerated development of schools and community centres, and a modern, fully-equipped hospital in Nairobi. Among the economic development institutions established in East Africa were companies such as the Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust (now Diamond Trust of Kenya) and the Jubilee Insurance Company, which are quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and have become major players in national development.

Sultan Muhammad Shah also introduced organizational forms that gave Ismāʿīlī communities the means to structure and regulate their own affairs. These were built on the Muslim tradition of a communitarian ethic on the one hand, and responsible individual conscience with freedom to negotiate one's own moral commitment and destiny on the other. In 1905 he ordained the first Ismā'īlī Constitution for the social governance of the community in East Africa. The new administration for the Community's affairs was organized into a hierarchy of councils at the local, national, and regional levels. The constitution also set out rules in such matters as marriage, divorce and inheritance, guidelines for mutual cooperation and support among Isma'ilis, and their interface with other communities. Similar constitutions were promulgated in South Asia, and all were periodically revised to address emerging needs and circumstances in diverse settings.

Following the Second World War, far-reaching social, economic and political changes profoundly affected a number of areas where Isma'ilis resided. In 1947, British rule in South Asia was replaced by the two sovereign, independent nations of India and Pakistan, resulting in the migration of 14 million people and significant loss of life and property. In the Middle East, the Suez crisis of 1956 as well as the preceding crisis in Iran, demonstrated the sharp upsurge of nationalism, which was as assertive of the region's social and economic aspirations as of its political independence. Africa was also set on its course to decolonization, swept by what Harold Macmillan, the then British Prime Minister, aptly termed the "wind of change". By the early 1960s, most of East and Central Africa, where the majority of the Isma'ili population on the continent resided (including Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda, Malagasy, Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire), had attained their political independence.

He was an owner of thoroughbred racing horses, including a record equalling five winners of the Epsom Derby, and a total of sixteen winners of British Classic Races. He was British flat racing Champion Owner thirteen times. According to Ben Pimlott, biographer of Queen Elizabeth II, Aga Khan III presented Her Majesty with a filly called Astrakhan, who won at Hurst Park Racecourse in 1950.

In 1926, the Aga Khan gave a cup (the Aga Khan Trophy) to be awarded to the winners of an international team show jumping competition held at the annual horse show of the Royal

Dublin Society in Dublin, Ireland every first week in August. It attracts competitors from all of the main show jumping nations and is carried live on Irish national television.

Sultan Muhammad Shah married Shahzadi Begum, his first cousin and a granddaughter of Aga Khan I, on November 2, 1896, in Poona, India.  He married for a second time, in 1908 (Mutah form of marriage) and 1923 (legally), Cleope Teresa Magliano (1888-1926), a dancer with the Ballet Opera of Monte Carlo. They had two sons: Giuseppe Mahdi Khan (d. February 1911) and Ali Solomone Khan (1911-1960).  He married for a third time, on December 7, 1929 (civil), in Aix-les-Bains, France, and December 13, 1929 (religious), in Bombay, India, Andrée Joséphine Carron (1898 - 1976). A former saleswoman in a candy store and a co-owner of a hat shop, Andree Josephine became known as Princess Andrée Aga Khan.  However, she did not convert to Islam. By this marriage, Sultan Muhammand Shah had one son, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, in 1933-2003. The couple were divorced in 1943.
He married for a fourth time, on October 9, 1944, in Geneva, Switzerland, Yvonne Blanche Labrousse (February 1906 - July 1, 2000). According to an interview she gave to an Egyptian journalist, her first name was Yvonne, although she is referred to as Yvette in most published references. The daughter of a tram conductor and a dressmaker, Yvonne was working as the Aga Khan's social secretary at the time of their marriage. She had been "Miss Lyon 1929" and "Miss France 1930". She converted to Islam and became known as Umm Habiba ("Little Mother of the Beloved"). In 1954, her husband named her "Mata Salamat."

The Agha Khan III wrote a number of books and papers two of which are of immense importance namely (1) India in Transition, about the pre-partition politics of India and (2) The Memoirs of Aga Khan, his autobiography.

The Aga Khan III was succeeded by his grandson Karim Aga Khan, as Aga Khan. At the time of his death on July 11, 1957, his family members were in Versoix. A solicitor brought the will of the Aga Khan III from London to Geneva and read it before the family:

"Ever since the time of my ancestor Ali, the first Imam, that is to say over a period of thirteen hundred years, it has always been the tradition of our family that each Imam chooses his successor at his absolute and unfettered discretion from amongst any of his descendants, whether they be sons or remote male issue and in these circumstances and in view of the fundamentally altered conditions in the world in very recent years due to the great changes which have taken place including the discoveries of atomic science, I am convinced that it is in the best interest of the Shia Muslim Ismailia Community that I should be succeeded by a young man who has been brought up and developed during recent years and in the midst of the new age and who brings a new outlook on life to his office as Imam. For these reasons, I appoint my grandson Karim, the son of my own son, Aly Salomone Khan to succeed to the title of Aga Khan and to the Imam and Pir of all Shia Ismailian followers."

As Agha Khan III, Muhammad Shah enjoyed an unusually long and prosperous reign, which featured a decided turn away from a strictly Muslim and Asian culture toward integration into European society.  Educated in both traditions, the third Agha Khan, urbane and affluent, became an important fixture of post-World War I high society.  Four marriages produced two sons, Aly Khan and Sadr al-Din Khan.  After Sultan Muhammad Shah’s death in 1957, the imamate passed, by his own choice of successor, to his grandson Karim al-Hussain Shah (b. 1936).  

He is buried in Aswan, Egypt at the Mausoleum of Aga Khan.

Sultan Muhammad Shah see Agha Khan III
Shah, Sultan Muhammad see Agha Khan III
Sultan Mahommed Shah see Agha Khan III

Agha Khan IV
Agha Khan IV (b. December 13, 1936). Title given to Karim al-Hussain Shah, the grandson of Agha Khan III.  Agha Khan IV was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and educated in Switzerland and at Harvard University.  Agha Khan III nominated his grandson to head the Isma‘ili sect, rather than a son, in the conviction that the Agha Khan should be “a young man brought up in the midst of the new age.”  

The Agha Khan IV is the 49th Imam of the Isma'ili Muslims. He has been in this position, and held the title of Agha Khan, since July 11, 1957 when at the age of 20 he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan. The Agha Khan is responsible for the interpretation of the faith for his followers and as part of the office of the Imamate, endeavors to improve the quality of their lives and of the communities in which they live.

The Agha Khan is referred to by members of his community as Mawlana Hazar Imam ("Present Imam"). Since his ascension to the Imamate, the Agha Khan IV has witnessed complex political and economic changes which have affected his followers, including independence of African countries from colonial rule, expulsion of Asians from Uganda, the independence of Central Asian countries such as Tajikistan from the former Soviet Union, and continuing turmoil in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Āgā Khān has been particularly interested in the elimination of global poverty; the advancement of the status of women; the promotion of Islamic culture, art, and architecture; and furthering pluralistic values in society. He is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the largest private development networks in the world, which works towards social, economic, and cultural development in Asia and Africa.

Born Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Aga Khan IV was the eldest son of Prince Aly Khan, a Pakistani leader of independence (1911–1960) and his first wife, French-born Princess Tajuddawlah Aly Khan, formerly the Honorable Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller (1908–1997).  The Agha Khan IV was born in Geneva, Switzerland on December 13, 1936. The Agha Khan's brother, Prince Amyn, was born less than a year later. Their parents divorced in 1949 and Prince Aly Khan later married American actress Rita Hayworth, with whom he had a daughter, Princess Yasmin Agha Khan, half-sister of the Agha Khan.

The Agha Khan IV spent his childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, where his early education was done by private tutoring. His grandfather, Agha Khan III, engaged Mustafa Kamil, a scholar from Aligarh Muslim University, for both Prince Karim and Prince Amyn. The Agha Khan IV later attended the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland for nine years. He graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts honors degree in Islamic history. Notably, the Aga Khan IV skied for Turkey and Iran, respectively, in the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games.

The Agha Khan IV married English fashion model Sarah (Sally) Croker-Poole, titled HH Begum Salima Agha Khan, on 22 October 1969 (civil) and 28 October 1969 (religious), at his home in Paris, France. The couple were married for 25 years, during which they had three children: Princess Zahra Agha Khan (b. September 18, 1970), Prince Rahim Agha Khan (b. October 12, 1971), and Prince Hussain Agha Khan (b. April 10, 1974). Their marriage ended by divorce in 1995.

The Agha Khan IV married his second wife, HSH Dr. Gabriele Princess of Leiningen (née Gabriele Thyssen), in Aiglemont on 30 May 1998. Prior to the marriage, the bride converted to Islam, and the couple jointly chose the bride's new Muslim name "Inaara" (derived from Arabic nur, meaning "light"). She became the HH the Begum Agha Khan. By her, the Agha Khan IV had a son, Prince Aly Muhammad Agha Khan (b. 7 March 2000), and a stepdaughter, HSH Princess Theresa of Leiningen, who was 114th in line to the throne of the United Kingdom.

The Āgā Khān's personal wealth was estimated as exceeding $1 billion. His annual income was estimated to be $300 million. Business interests included hotels and airlines, and he also invested in a tourist complex in Sardinia. The Aga Khan IV was also the richest non-land owning royal in the world. His main source of income was through horse racing and investing in stocks, companies and material goods.

Following the death of his grandfather, Sultan Muhammed Shah Agha Khan, Prince Karim, at the age of 20, became the 49th Imam of the Shi'a Isma'ili Muslims, bypassing his father, Prince Aly Khan, and his uncle, Prince Sadruddin Agha Khan, who were in the direct line of succession.

In his will, the Agha Khan III explained the rationale for choosing his eldest grandson as his successor:

"In view of the fundamentally altered conditions in the world in very recent years due to the great changes that have taken place, including the discoveries of atomic science, I am convinced that it is in the best interests of the Muslim Ismaili community that I should be succeeded by a young man who has been brought up and developed during recent years and in the midst of the new age, and who brings a new outlook on life to his office."

In light of the sentiments expressed in his grandfather's will, the Agha Khan IV was sometimes referred to by Isma'ilis as the Imam of the Atomic Age.

Upon becoming the Imam, the Agha Khan IV stated that he intended to continue the work his grandfather had pursued in building modern institutions to improve the quality of life of the Ismaili community. Takht nashini (installation) ceremonies occurred at several locations over 1957 and 1958. During this time, the Agha Khan IV emphasized to his followers the importance of fostering positive relations amongst peoples of different races.  Such a message was highly appropriate given the racially tense atmosphere in East Africa. During the installation ceremonies in the Indian subcontinent, he stressed his commitment to improving the quality of life of Isma'ilis and encouraged cooperation with individuals of other faiths and races. The main themes that the Agha Khan emphasized during these first few months of his Imamat were development, education, interracial harmony, and faith in religion.

The Agha Khan has described his role as Imam as being a guide to Isma'ilis in the daily practice of Shi'a Islam, a duty which requires an understanding of Isma'ilis and their relationship with their geographic location and their time. He elaborated on this concept in a 2006 speech in Germany stating, "The role and responsibility of an Imam, therefore, is both to interpret the faith to the community, and also to do all within his means to improve the quality, and security of their daily lives. This engagement is not limited to the Isma'ili community but also extends to the people with whom the Ismailis share their lives, locally and internationally."

July 11, 2007 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Agha Khan's reign of Imamat. On this occasion, leaders representing the Isma'ili Community from all over the world gathered at the Aga Khans residence to pay homage. As part of the Jubilee Year, His Highness made visitations to various countries. The countries visited included:  Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, Mozambique, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, India, Bangladesh, West Africa, United Kingdom, Portugal, Syria, Tajikistan, Canada, Singapore and France.

In 1977, the Agha Khan established the Agha Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA), an award recognizing excellence in architecture that encompasses contemporary design and social, historical, and environmental considerations. It is the most lucrative architectural award in the world and is granted triennially. The award grew out of the Agha Khan’s desire to revitalize creativity in Islamic societies and acknowledge creative solutions to needs for buildings and public spaces. The recipient is selected by an independent master jury convened for each cycle. In 1979, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) both established the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA), which is supported by an endowment from the Aga Khan. These programs provide degree courses, public lectures, and conferences for the study of Islamic architecture and urbanism. Understanding contemporary conditions and developmental issues are key components of the academic program.

The Agha Khan was founder and chairman of the Agha Khan Development Network (AKDN), one of the largest private development networks in the world. Its partners include numerous governments and several international organizations. AKDN agencies operate in social and economic development as well as in the field of culture, with special focus on countries of the Third World.  The network includes the Agha Khan University (AKU), the University of Central Asia (UCA), the Agha Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), the Agha Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), the Agha Khan Foundation (AKF), the Agha Khan Health Services (AKHS), the Agha Khan Education Services (AKES), the Agha Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS), and the Agha Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM).

Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the AKDN, is responsible for emergency response in the face of disaster. Recent examples include the massive earthquake in Pakistan (AKDN earthquake response) and the South Asian Tsunami.

The Agha Khan IV has expressed concern about the work of the AKDN being described as philanthropy. In his address to the Tutzing Evangelical Academy in Germany, he described this concern:  "Reflecting a certain historical tendency of the West to separate the secular from the religious, they often describe [the work of the AKDN] either as philanthropy or entrepreneurship. What is not understood is that this work is for us a part of our institutional responsibility -- it flows from the mandate of the office of Imam to improve the quality of worldly life for the concerned communities."

At his Aiglemont estate, at Gouvieux in the Picardie region of France, about 4 kilometres west of the Chantilly Racecourse, the Agha Khan IV operates the largest horse racing and breeding operation in the country. In 1977, he paid £1.3 million for the bloodstock owned by Anna Dupré and in 1978, £4.7 million for the bloodstock of late Marcel Boussac.

The Agha Khan owned Gilltown Stud near Kilcullen, Ireland and Haras de Bonneval breeding farm at Le Mesnil-Mauger in France. In March 2005, he purchased the famous Calvados stud farms, the Haras d'Ouilly in Pont-d'Ouilly and the Haras de Val-Henry in Livarot. Haras d'Ouilly had been owned by such famous horsemen as the Duc Decazes, François Dupré and Jean-Luc Lagardère. In 2006, the Agha Khan IV became the majority shareholder of Arqana, a French horse auction house.

Karim al-Hussain Shah  see Agha Khan IV
Shah, Karim al-Hussain see Agha Khan IV

Agha Muhammad Shah
Agha Muhammad Shah (Mohammad Khan Qajar) (1742-1797).  Founder of the Qajar dynasty of Persia (r. 1779-1797).  In 1785, he made Tehran his capital and, in the following year, he re-established Persian authority over Georgia.  He was crowned shah in 1796.  

At the age of six Agha Muhammad was castrated on the orders of Adil Shah to prevent him from becoming a political rival, but this disability did not hinder his career. Despite being a eunuch, he became the chief of his tribe in 1758. In 1762, he was captured by a rival tribe and sent to Shiraz as a prisoner to Karim Khan's court. Agha Muhammad spent the next 16 years as a hostage, until he escaped in 1779. That same year, the death of Shah Karim Khan Zand plunged the country into a series of civil wars and disputes over the succession, with many members of the Zand dynasty acceding to the Peacock Throne in the space of only ten years. Agha Muhammad took the opportunity to launch a rebellion which, in 1794, succeeded in capturing Lotf Ali Khan, the last Zand ruler. Two years later he proclaimed himself Shahanshah (King of Kings).
Agha Muhammad restored Persia to a unity it had not had since the fall of the Safavid dynasty. He was, however, a man of extreme violence who killed almost all who could threaten his hold on power. In 1795, he ravaged Georgia, a kingdom to the north of Persia, which was formerly part of the Safavid empire. In the same year, he also captured Khorasan. Shah Rukh, ruler of Khorasan and grandson of Nadir Shah, was tortured to death because Agha Muhammad thought that he knew of Nadir's legendary treasures.

In 1796 Agha Muhammad moved his capital from Sari to Tehran. He was the first Persian ruler to make Tehran, then only a village, his capital. Although the Russians took Derbent and briefly occupied Baku during the Persian Expedition of 1796, he successfully expanded Persian influence into the Caucasus, reasserting Iranian sovereignty over its former dependencies in the region. He was, however, a notoriously cruel ruler, who reduced Tbilisi to ashes and massacred its Christian population, as he had done with his Muslim subjects.

Agha Muhammad was assassinated in 1797 in the city of Shusha, the capital of Karabakh khanate, after about 16 years in power. Legend has it that at the night of his death, Agha Muhammad Khan ordered his servants to bring him a melon cut into slices. He finished half, ordered the other half to be put away and vowed to his servants, that if even one slice of the melon was missing in the morning, all three servants would be beheaded by him. Later on that night one of the servants forgot and ate a slice. The servants then killed Agha Muhammad Khan with the dagger because they were afraid he would kill them in the morning.

Agha Muhammad was succeeded by his nephew Fath 'Ali Shah.
Shah, Agha Muhammad see Agha Muhammad Shah
Mohammad Khan Qajar see Agha Muhammad Shah

Agung (Sultan Agung) (Sultan Agung Anyokrokusumo) (Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo).  Sultan of Mataram (r. 1613-1645).  Sultan Agung or Sultan Agung Anyokrokusumo or Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo (Ha and A is the same character in Javanese letter) was the constructor of the Karta Palace, and the Royal Graveyard of Imogiri.  He is considered to be the greatest ruler of the Mataram dynasty of Java.  Sultan Agung (called “the greatest sultan,” a posthumous appellation) succeeded his grandfather Senapati Ingalaga (r. c. 1584-1601) and father, Seda ing Krapyak (r. c. 1601-1613), who had laid the foundations for hegemony in the Javanese speaking heartlands of Central and East Java.  Agung completed the conquest of this area by defeating a coalition led by the great city of Surabaya, which itself fell to Agung in 1625.  This war caused much death and devastation.

Agung then turned to deal with the Dutch East India Company (the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie -- the “VOC”), which had established its headquarters in Batavia (now Jakarta) in West Java in 1619.  In 1628 and 1629, Agung’s armies besieged the VOC post but failed to take it.  Minor hostilities between Mataram and the VOC continued for several years, but neither Agung nor any other Javanese king ever again attacked Batavia.

Batavia’s defeat of Agung encouraged some of his vassals to reassert their independence, but Agung responded by brutally crushing these attempts.  Some of these were led by religious figures.  About 1636, Agung therefore destroyed the most important center of religious opposition to him, a shrine located at Giri, the holy grave site of one of the putative walis (apostles) of Islam, near Surabaya.  From 1636 to 1640, Agung conquered the Eastern Salient of Java, which had previously been under Balinese rule.  Finally, Agung’s conquests came to an end, and the last years of his reign saw peace.  

Agung was a brilliant general, a ruthless and brutal king.  Yet he paid attention to the legitimation of his rule, seeking consensus, constructing a new court, and taking the title of sultan in 1641.  Javanese tradition also remembers him as a pious Muslim.

Sultan Agung which means 'the Great Sultan', has attracted a substantial literature due to his legacy as a Javanese ruler, a fighter of Dutch colonialists (in the form of the Dutch East India Company), and his existence within a cultural framework where myth and magic are as intertwined with verifiable historical events and personages. Agung was responsible for the great expansion and lasting historical legacy of Mataram due to the extensive military conquests of his long reign.

Sultan Agung attacked Surabaya in 1614, and also Malang, south of Surabaya, and the eastern end of Java. In 1615, he conquered Wirasaba (present day Mojoagung, near Mojokerto). In 1616, Surabaya tried to attack Mataram but this army was crushed by Sultan Agung's forces in Siwalan, Pajang (near Surakarta). The coastal city of Lasem, near Rembang, was conquered in 1616, and Pasuruan, south-east of Surabaya, was taken in 1617. Tuban, one of the oldest and biggest cities on the coast of Java, was taken in 1619.

Surabaya was Mataram's most difficult enemy. Agung's grandfather, Senapati, had not felt strong enough to attack this powerful city, and his father, Seda ing Krapyak, attacked it to no avail. Sultan Agung weakened Surabaya by capturing Sukadana, Surabaya's ally in southwest Kalimantan, in 1622, and the island of Madura, another ally of Surabaya, in 1624 after a fierce battle. After five years of war Agung finally conquered Surabaya in a siege in 1625. With Surabaya brought into the empire, the Mataram kingdom encompassed all of central and eastern Java, and Madura, except for the west and east end of the island and its mountainous south (except for Mataram, of course). In the west Banten and the Dutch settlement in Batavia remained outside Agung's control. He tried in 1628-29 to drive the Dutch from Batavia, but failed. On August 27, 1628 he led the Siege of Batavia, which was unsuccessful.

By 1625, Mataram was undisputed ruler of Java. Such a mighty feat of arms, however, did not deter Mataram’s former overlords from rebellion. Pajang rebelled in 1617, and Pati rebelled in 1627. After the capture of Surabaya in 1625, expansion stopped, while the empire was busied by rebellions. In 1630, Mataram crushed a rebellion in Tembayat (southeast of Klaten) and in 1631-36, Mataram had to suppress rebellion of Sumedang and Ukur in West Java.

In 1645 Sultan Agung began building Imogiri, his burial place, about fifteen kilometers south of Yogyakarta. Imogiri remains the resting place of most of the royalty of Yogyakarta and Surakarta to this day. Agung died in the spring of 1646, leaving behind an empire that covered most of Java and stretched to its neighboring islands.

The development of the sacred dance bedhaya, and important developments in gamelan and wayang are attributed to the court of Sultan Agung. However, there is almost no historical evidence for the claims of high artistic achievement, and there is little information at all about the arts in the court. Some written evidence comes from a handful of mentions in Dutch accounts, which can be difficult to interpret.  

Sultan Agung is also attributed with the founding of the unique Javanese calendar - a calendar which is still in use.

Pilgrimage to graveyard complex of Sultan Agung is considered to be significant to many Javanese pilgrims, who make considerable effort to go to Imogiri at appropriate times and days in the Javanese and Islamic calendars.

In the Sukarno era, Sultan Agung was nominated and confirmed as a National Hero of Indonesia (Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia).

"The Greatest Sultan" see Agung
Sultan Agung see Agung
Sultan Agung Anyokrokusumo see Agung
Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo see Agung

Agus Salim, Haji
Agus Salim, Haji (Haji Agus Salim) (October 8, 1884 - November 4, 1954).  Indonesian political leader who was one of Indonesia's founding fathers and prominent diplomats.  He was born in Kota Gadang, West Sumatra.  Before becoming prominent in the Sarekat Islam (PSII), an Indonesian nationalist party, he was employed at the Dutch consulate in Jeddah.  He joined the Sarekat Islam in 1915 and represented it in the Volksraad (“people’s council”) from 1921 to 1924.  During his Sarekat Islam years, Agus Salim was editor of such periodicals as Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad, Neratja, Fadjar Asia, and Moestika and was active in the labor movement.  In 1937, he was expelled from the party when, dissatisfied with its policy of non-cooperation with the Dutch, he founded the Barisan Panjedar PSII (“movement to make the PSII conscious”).  In 1945, he helped draft the Jakarta Charter.  From 1946 to 1949, he served as the vice-minister and later as the minister of foreign affairs.

Salim, Haji Agus see Agus Salim, Haji
Haji Agus Salim see Agus Salim, Haji

Ahidjo, Ahmadou
Ahidjo, Ahmadou (Ahmadou Ahidjo) (Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo) (August 24, 1924 - November 30, 1989). First president of Cameroon (1960 -1982).  

Ahidjo was born in Garoua, a major river port along the Benue River in northern Cameroun, which was at the time a French mandate territory. His father was a Fulani village chief, while his mother was a Fulani of slave descent. Ahidjo's mother raised him as a Muslim and sent him to Quranic school as a child. In 1932, he began attending local government primary school. After failing his first school certification examination in 1938, Ahidjo worked for a few months in the veterinary service. He returned to school and obtained his school certification a year later. Ahidjo spent the next three years attending secondary school at the Ecole Priamaire Superieure in Yaoundé, the capital of the mandate, studying for a career in the civil service. At school, Ahidjo also played soccer and competed as a cyclist. In 1942, Ahidjo joined the civil service as a radio operator for a postal service. As part of his job, he worked on assignments in several major cities throughout the country, such as Douala, Ngaoundéré, Bertoua, and Mokolo. According to his official biographer, Ahidjo was the first civil servant from northern Cameroun to work in the southern areas of the territory.  His experiences throughout the country were influential in helping Ahidjo to foster his sense of national identity and in providing him the tools to handle the problems of governing a multiethnic state.

In 1947, Ahmadou Ahidjo was elected to the advisory territorial assembly and was re-elected in 1952 and 1956, when he was made its president.  During this time, the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) was founded to agitate for re-unification of the territory, a former German colony administered partly by the British and partly by the French as a United Nations Trust Territory.  Led by Reuben Um Nyobe, the UPC brought its case to the United Nations, but met with French repression and was forced to go underground.  The UPC began guerrilla operations, which continued after Reuben Um Nyobe was killed in 1958.

Ahidjo chose to work within a political party which eschewed militancy and when, in 1957, France permitted the formation of Cameroon’s first African government, he was made vice-premier.  The premier, Andre-Marie Mbida, called in French troops to suppress the rebels, but was accused of using excessive violence and refusal to negotiate, and was forced to resign in 1958.

Ahidjo formed the new government and continued to use French troops, but at the same time offered amnesty to the terrorists, many of whom accepted.  At the end of the year, Cameroon was granted autonomy within the French community, although it remained a United Nations trust territory.  

In 1960, full independence was granted to Cameroon, and after a referendum, Ahidjo became president.  In that year, guerrilla activity decreased sharply after the death of Felix Roland Moumie, the major rebel leader.

In 1960, Ahidjo discussed unification with John Foncha, prime minister of British Southern Cameroon.  The next year, Southern Cameroon voted to unite with Ahidjo’s nation and the Federal Republic of Cameroon was created.  Ahidjo ended the federal system in 1972.

Ahidjo broadened Cameroon’s diplomatic base to lessen reliance on the West, and he worked to reduce ethnic tensions between the largely Muslim north and non-Muslim south.  Though his abolition of the federal system and his tight control of the government were unpopular, he was easily re-elected in 1975 and 1980.

In 1982, after twenty-two years in office, Ahidjo retired in favor of his prime minister, Paul Biya.  Ahidjo remained head of his party, hoping to continue to influence events, but soon clashed with Biya.  After an abortive coup attempt, the government convicted Ahidjo, in absentia, for his suspected role and sentenced him to death, but Biya commuted the sentence to life imprisonment, while Ahidjo remained in France.  

Ahidjo resigned, ostensibly for health reasons, on 4 November 1982 (there are many theories surrounding the resignation; it is generally believed that his French doctor "tricked" Ahidjo about his health) and was succeeded by Prime Minister Paul Biya two days later. That he stepped down in favor of Biya, a Christian from the south and not a Muslim from the north like himself, was considered surprising. Ahidjo's ultimate intentions are unclear.  It is possible that he intended to return to the presidency at a later point when his health improved, and another possibility is that he intended for Maigari Bello Bouba, a fellow Muslim from the north who succeeded Biya as Prime Minister, to be his eventual successor as President, with Biya in effectively a caretaker role. Although the Central Committee of the ruling Cameroon National Union (CNU) urged Ahidjo to remain president, he declined to do so, but he did agree to remain as the leader of the CNU. However, he also arranged for Biya to become the CNU vice-president and handle party affairs in his absence. Additionally, in January 1983, Ahidjo travelled across the country in a tour in support of Biya.

Later in 1983, a major feud developed between Ahidjo and Biya. On July 19, 1983, Ahidjo went into exile in France, and Biya began removing Ahidjo's supporters from positions of power and eliminating symbols of his authority, replacing Ahidjo's portraits with his own and removing Ahidjo's name from the anthem of the CNU. On August 22, Biya announced that a plot allegedly involving Ahidjo had been uncovered. For his part, Ahidjo severely criticized Biya, alleging that Biya was abusing his power, that he lived in fear of plots against him, and that he was a threat to national unity. The two were unable to reconcile despite the efforts of several foreign leaders, and Ahidjo announced on August 27 that he was resigning as head of the CNU. In exile, Ahidjo was sentenced to death in absentia in February 1984, along with two others, for participation in the June 1983 coup plot, although Biya commuted the sentence to life in prison. Ahidjo denied involvement in the plot. A violent but unsuccessful coup attempt in April 1984 was also widely believed to have been orchestrated by Ahidjo. Few images remain of President Ahmadou Ahidjo, and it is often said that the Biya regime made an active effort to erase any visual or audio references to Cameroon's first head of state.

In his remaining years, Ahidjo divided his time between France and Senegal. He died in Dakar. Senegal.

There is a stadium named for him in Yaounde.

Ahmadou Ahidjo see Ahidjo, Ahmadou
Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo see Ahidjo, Ahmadou

Ahikar (Ahiqar).  Ahikar was one of the wise men of antiquity, in whose name proverbs were handed down from generation to generation.  As counsellor to Kings Sennacherib and Esarhaddon of Assyria, he chose his nephew Nadan to succeed him in his old age.  After Nadan took his uncle’s place, he accused Ahikar of betraying Assyria.  Ahikar was saved from death by a faithful friend, and restored to the King’s grace when Assyria was in dire need of his advice. Nadan was chastised and put to death.  The proverbs are presented in the tale as lessons and admonitions to Nadan, whose failure to heed them and base ingratitude brought him to a bad end.

“Ahikar the counsellor” is referred to in a late neo-Babylonian tablet from Erech.  The tale and proverbs are preserved first in Aramaic among the Elephantine papyri.  Ahikar is mentioned in the book of Tobit, as is also Nadan, and some of the proverbs are repeated there.  Democritus (c. 460 B.C.T.) is said to have used the works of an Akikaros in his writings and Theophrastus (c. 370 B.C.T.) is said to have written a book called Akicharos.  Material from Ahikar also entered the Aesopian corpus.  Versions of Ahikar, preserved in Syriac, Armenian, Slavonic, Turkic, and neo-Aramaic, attest to the great popularity of the tale, which was also known to the writers of the Qur’an.

Ahiqar or Ahikar was also an Assyrian sage known in the ancient Near East for his outstanding wisdom.

The Story of Ahikar, also known as the Words of Ahikar, has been found in an Aramaic papyrus of 500 B.C. among the ruins of Elephantine. The narrative of the initial part of the story is expanded greatly by the presence of a large number of wise sayings and proverbs that Ahikar is portrayed as speaking to his nephew. It is suspected by most scholars that these sayings and proverbs were originately a separate document, as they do not mention Ahikar. Some of the sayings are similar to parts of the Biblical Book of Proverbs, others to the deuterocanonical Ecclesiasticus, and others still to Babylonian and Persian proverbs. The collection of sayings is in essence a selection from those common in the Middle East at the time, noticeably preferring those in favor of corporal punishment.

Achiacharus is the name occurring in the Book of Tobit as that of a nephew of Tobit (Tobias) and an official at the court of Esarhaddon at Nineveh. There are references in Romanian, Slavonic, Armenian, Arabic and Syriac literature to a legend, of which the hero is Ahikar for Armenian, Arabic and Syriac. It was pointed out by scholar George Hoffmann in 1880 that this Ahikar and the Achiacharus of Tobit are identical. It has been contended that there are traces of the legend even in the New Testament, and there is a striking similarity between it and the Life of Aesop by Maximus Planudes (ch. xxiii-xxxii). An eastern sage Achaiicarus is mentioned by Strabo. It would seem, therefore, that the legend was undoubtedly oriental in origin, though the relationship of the various versions can scarcely be recovered.

In the story, Ahikar was chancellor to the Assyrian kings Sennacherib and Esarhaddon. Having no child of his own, he adopted his nephew Nadan/Nadab/Nadin, and raised him to be his successor. Nadan/Nadab/Nadin ungratefully plotted to have his elderly uncle murdered, and persuades Esarhaddon that Ahikar has committed treason. Esarhaddon orders Ahikar be executed in response, and so Ahikar is arrested and imprisoned to await punishment. However, Ahikar reminds the executioner that the executioner had been saved by Ahikar from a similar fate under Sennacherib, and so the executioner kills one of his (innocent) eunuchs instead, and pretends to Esarhaddon that it is the body of Ahikar.

The remainder of the early texts do not survive beyond this point, but it is thought probably that the original ending had Nadan/Nadab/Nadin being executed while Ahikar is rehabilitated. Later texts portray Ahikar coming out of hiding to counsel the Egyptian king on behalf of Esarhaddon, and then returning in triumph to Esarhaddon. In the later texts, after Ahikar's return, he meets Nadan/Nadab/Nadin and is very angry with him, and Nadan/Nadab/Nadin then dies.

The Story of Ahikar see Ahikar
“Ahikar the counsellor” see Ahikar
Ahiqar see Ahikar

Ahmad, Ahmuadzam Shah
Ahmad, Ahmuadzam Shah (Ahmuadzam Shah Ahmad) (c. 1836-1917).  First sultan of Pahang (1882-1914), then a province of old Johor.  A strong and resourceful leader, Ahmad possessed the “softness of voice” and refined manners that the Malay appear to value in their leaders.  In 1863, after a six year civil war, he became bendahar (chief minister) of Pahang and sought to consolidate the independence of Pahang from Johor.  In 1882, he assumed the title of sultan and established a court on the old Johor model.  He reluctantly accepted a British resident (a so-called adviser) in 1888 and supported him, with little enthusiasm, in the revolt that followed (1891-1895).  When convinced of British determination, however, he adapted ably to the colonial presence.
Ahmuadzam Shah Ahmad see Ahmad, Ahmuadzam Shah

Ahmad al-Badawi
Ahmad al-Badawi ([1199?]1200-1276).  A Sufi saint of Egypt and the founder of an order -- a tariqa -- which is known as the Badawiyya.  Born in Fez, Morocco, of a Sayyid family, Ahmad al-Badawi made the pilgrimage -- the hajj -- to Arabia and later visited Iraq before a vision impelled him to travel to Tanta in Egypt, where he remained until his death.

The behavior of Ahmad al-Badawi was both ascetic and eccentric.  He ate little, sometimes fasting for forty days.  During one period, he would remain completely silent while, at another time, he would scream continuously.  From the roof of his house, al-Badawi was said to have gazed directly at the sun until his eyes became red blotches.  Throughout the night, al-Badawi would stay awake, reciting the Qur’an.  He also worked numerous miracles, and elicited both absolute loyalty and fierce hostility from many Egyptians during his lifetime.

Despite a meager literary testament, Ahmad gained enormous posthumous fame due to the powers associated with his tomb.  No less than three well-attended celebrations of the anniversary of the saint’s death take place in different parts of Egypt.  Numerous accounts have been written of the miracles resulting from that hallowed event.  

Badawi, Ahmad al- see Ahmad al-Badawi

Ahmad al-Bakka'i
Ahmad al-Bakka'i (Ahmad al-Bakka'i al-Kunti) (1803-1865).  Leader of the rebellion in which the Tukolor revolutionary al-Hajj ‘Umar ibn Sa‘id Tall was killed in 1864.  A Kenata Moor of Timbuktu, Ahmad al-Bakka‘i was an important figure in the Qadiriyya Islamic brotherhood, a rival of the Tijaniyya brotherhood to which ‘Umar belonged.  He joined Ba Lobbo and 'Abdul Salam of Macina in leading the rebellion which was only temporarily successful.  Despite the death of ‘Umar, Macina was soon reconquered by ‘Umar’s nephew, Ahmadu Tijani.  

Ahmad al-Bakka'i al-Kunti (born in 1803 in the Azawad region north of Timbuktu –  died in 1865 in Timbuktu) was a West African Islamic and political leader. He was one of the last principal spokesmen in precolonial Western Sudan for an accommodationist stance towards the threatening Christian European presence, and even provided protection to Heinrich Barth from an attempted kidnapping by the ruler of Massina (Ahmad Ahmad ibn Muhammad Lobbo). In a letter to the ruler, which was rather a fatwa he denied the former's right to have Barth arrested or killed and his belongings confiscated, as the Christian was neither a dhimmi (a non-Muslim subject of a Muslim ruler) nor an enemy of Islam, but the native of a friendly country, that is Great Britain. He went as far as to deny Ahmad Ahmad ibn Muhammad Lobbo the right to proclaim the jihad and called him "the ruler over a few huts at the outskirts of the Islamic world".

Al-Bakkai was also one of the last Kunta family shaykhs, whose prestige and religious influence were interwoven with the Qadiri brotherhood and the economic fortunes of the Timbuktu region. His voluminous correspondence provides a rare, detailed glimpse into political and religious thought in 19th century West Africa regarding the primary concerns of the nature of the Imamate/caliphate in Sahelian and Sudanese communities, issues surrounding the encroaching Christian powers, and the growing politicalization of Sufi tariqah affiliation.

Bakka', Ahmad al- see Ahmad al-Bakka'i
Ahmad al-Bakka'i al-Kunti see Ahmad al-Bakka'i

Ahmad al-Hiba
Ahmad al-Hiba (Ahmed al-Hiba) (1876-1919).   A religious leader of southern Morocco, and an ephemeral pretender to the Sharifian throne.

Ahmed al-Hiba was a leader of armed resistance to the French colonial power in the Western Sahara, and pretender to the sultanate of Morocco. In English texts he is usually referred to simply as El Hiba, meaning "the stork."

He was the son of Ma al-'Aynayn, a religious leader in the region of Smara, a town in the Western Sahara close to the Moroccan border. Ma al-'Aynayn led an armed uprising against the French in the first decade of the twentieth century. Shortly after his death, in 1912 the French imposed the Treaty of Fez on the Moroccans and took virtual control of the country. Ma al-'Aynayn's son al-Hiba then decided that this effectively vacated the position of Sultan of Morocco, and proclaimed himself Sultan at Tiznit, as his father had done before him.

A general uprising in the south of Morocco saw al-Hiba recognized as Sultan in Taroudant, Agadir and the Dades and Draa regions. He gained a powerful ally in Si Madani, head of the Glaoua family who were then out of favour with the real Sultan. With his tribal army he entered Marrakech on August 18, 1912 and was proclaimed Sultan there also.

A decisive battle with the French took place at Sidi Bou Othman near Marrakech on September 6, 1912.  Al-Hiba's forces were defeated by the French commanded by Charles Mangin, with the loss of some 2000 tribal warriors. In January 1913, the Glaoua family, now allied with the French, drove al-Hiba back to the Sous.

Al-Hiba did not give up the struggle and continued to harass the French in his own area until his death on June 23, 1919 in Kerdous (Anti-Atlas). His struggle was carried on by his brother Merebbi Rebbu.

Hiba, Ahmad al- see Ahmad al-Hiba
Ahmed al-Hiba see Ahmad al-Hiba
El Hiba see Ahmad al-Hiba
"The Stork" see Ahmad al-Hiba

Ahmad Alimi
Ahmad Alimi (d.c.1808).  Ruler of the Kanuri state of Bornu (Nigeria) (c.1791-1808).  Around 1807, the Fula in the Bornu province of Deya responded to ‘Uthman’s call to join the jihad (holy war) and attacked the governor.  Ahmad counter-attacked the Fula there and ordered an anti-Fula campaign throughout the state.  He then began a correspondence with ‘Uthman and his son Muhammad Bello, demanding to know why Bornu, an Islamic state, was being threatened by a fellow Muslim.  The exchange of letters did not halt the hostilities and the Fula won a number of victories against Bornu.  In 1808, they occupied the capital, forcing Ahmad to flee.  Old and blind, Ahmad decided to abdicate in favor of his son, Dunama, and died a few months later.  

Alimi, Ahmad see Ahmad Alimi

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