Image (top left): https://www.flickr.com/photos/meanestindian/3325553543/ (CC BY-ND 2.0); Image (top middle): https://www.flickr.com/photos/photocracy/2860934521/ (CC BY 2.0); Image (right): https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshuahsong/2968705635/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0); Image (bottom left): https://www.flickr.com/photos/zuhair_ahmad/7883878492/ (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0); Image (bottom middle): https://www.flickr.com/photos/starsfdn/8405623664/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Q & A: What Does Mawlana Hazar Imam Do with the Religious Dues given by the Community? ~ Ismaili Gnosis, NanoWisdoms

The Question

What does Mawlana Hazar Imam do with all the religious dues and offerings — such as dasond and mehmani — made by the community? Shouldn’t there be financial transparency or disclosure over these funds?

The Answer

We consider these questions from three perspectives:

  1. What is the “appropriate” or “best use” of the Imamat funds?
  2. Mawlana Hazar Imam’s own explanations of how Imamat funds are used.
  3. Some examples of the Imamat’s consistent use of their personal resources to support the community.

1. What is the “appropriate” or “best use” of the Imamat funds?

Purpose of dasond is purification

Firstly, as explained in our earlier article, here, dasond, or zakat, which the community gifts, voluntarily, to the Imam of the Time is not a poor-due or some form of charity, but, rather, according to the Qur’an, zakat is a “purification due” a believer submitted to Prophet Muhammad — and thereafter to the Imam of the Time who inherits and continues the spiritual duties of the Prophet — the spiritual purpose of which is to purify the soul of the believer.

dasond is an unconditional gift

Secondly, the purpose of financial statements, oversight and audit reports is to assure an organisation’s stakeholders that management are using the funds appropriately. This is necessary because management are trustees of those funds, controlling them on behalf of the stakeholders. On the other hand, as the Imam explains below, all religious offerings by the community to the Imam — such as dasond and mehmani — are unconditional gifts we individually offer to the Imam. Gifts we offer voluntarily out of love. And so, just as gifts one offers to one’s loved ones are given and forgotten and one does not seek an “accounting” of them, so too are gifts to the Imam given and forgotten. The gift is given and what the receiver chooses to do with it is entirely at their unfettered, absolute discretion.

All religious offerings by the community to the Imam — such as dasond and mehmani — are unconditional gifts …

There is, like in I think all faiths, a form of religious due which is voluntary …

Mawlana Hazar Imam
CBC Interview (1st), Man Alive with Roy Bonisteel (Canada), 8 October 1986

Interviewer: Tell us how this money is collected? I mean is it a system of taxation or is it really entirely voluntary?

Aga Khan: No — it is entirely voluntary …

Mawlana Hazar Imam
UK Press Interview (London, United Kingdom), 2 May 1958

Michael Charlton: What do, what do these people as individuals contribute? How much of their income? Is it, is it …

Aga Khan: I would not really be in a position to discuss that because what they contribute is entirely at their discretion, in effect you know.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
BBC Radio 4 Interview, Michael Charlton (London, United Kingdom), 6 September 1979

However, it may be asked, how, on the one hand, dasond in particular, can be voluntary while, on the other hand, Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah said clearly, in 1926, in Mumbai, that prayers (dua) and dasond are obligatory in our faith. The two are reconciled by the fact that there is no compulsion in faith, and we choose to follow or not to follow the Imams. But if we choose to follow them, and give them our bay’a (unconditional allegiance), then their farmans (commands) — like dasond and its prescribed amount — become obligatory upon us.

But if we choose to follow them, and give them our bay’a (unconditional allegiance), then their farmans (commands) — like dasond and it’s prescribed amount — become obligatory upon us.

Imam’s word is the most reliable “oversight” of dasond

Nevertheless and thirdly, leaving aside the above, the very notion of oversight — however it may be performed — of the Imam’s management of the religious gifts made to him, is itself a theological contradiction for Ismailis because of who the very person the Imam is to us as Ismailis, by definition. By definition, the Imam is not capable of misappropriating funds offered to him or making mistakes in how they are used because our belief is the Imam is protected from sin and all moral impurity, as per verse 33:33 of the Qur’an, wherein Allah declares that He has purified the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet Muhammad from sin.

Furthermore, leaving aside, also, that financial audits or statements are themselves not infallible, like the Imam, and therefore such reports may have errors, all they can do, at best, is document where the funds went. They cannot comment on its appropriateness or if that use was the best use because that requires a judgement, and reasonable people may differ in that judgement. What one may think is appropriate and best, another may not. Therefore, the most reliable assurance — leaving aside such insisting on assurance itself nullifies the funds as unconditional gifts, as explained above — that dasond and other funds we give to the Imam are not only used appropriately, but also put to the best possible use, is the word of the Imam himself.

The very notion of oversight — however it may be performed — of the Imam’s management of the religious gifts made to him, is itself a theological contradiction for Ismailis because of who the very person the Imam is to us as Ismailis, by definition.

And so, if we have doubts about the Imam of the Time — that is, if we have doubts as to whether or not he is free of moral imperfections, and thus trustworthy and truthful — then we are, in effect, doubting the very definition of the Imam and perhaps a re-examination of the evidence from both the Qur’an and history that confirm the authenticity of the Imamat would be of benefit to us. Whether the Imam uses the funds given to him for his personal needs or to help the needy or to support the Ismaili community — whatever the Imam deems as the appropriate use is, it will always be, by definition, the appropriate, righteous and first, best use of his funds.

The Imam perceives only what God makes him perceive. If he thinks that the zakah should be distributed according to the shares that are enumerated by God, he may do so. If the Imam considers that one of these classes is more needy than the others, he may give [it all] to them. There is no objection in [the Imam] giving a portion of the zakah to a person who has a house and a servant and 200 dirhams.

Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq,
(Qadi al-Nu‘man, The Pillars of Islam, tr. Poonawala, p324)

Perhaps we can best understand all these aspects from the following anecdote, when some Ismailis sought to instruct Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah on how to use the Diamond Jubilee offerings:

The final preparations for the weighing were completed. Dr Johnson was giving his patient a last check-up when an attendant told the Aga Khan that a number of people wanted to see him to tell him how best to use the collected funds: “The Aga Khan was livid,” Dr Johnson recalled. “He stamped his foot and refused to go on with the ceremony until he received a written assurance that this was a free and unconditional gift.” As a small concession he sent a message to say that these people could indicate how they thought the money ought to be used but added pointedly that this did not mean he would necessarily obey their wishes: “I may agree to spend the money one way,” he said, “or I may change my mind and spend it another way!”

Willi Frischauer, (The Aga Khans, The Bodley Head, 1970, p164)

Offerings are also made for the Imam’s personal benefit

We should also remember, many of the offerings that the community gives, such as mehmani and food offerings, are specifically submitted with the intention for the Imam to enjoy and benefit from, personally. Mehmani itself means to invite the Imam to one’s home and host him with a meal. Similarly, food offerings, such as kada khoraki, are submitted to the Imam with the hope that he will eat from them. In this regard, Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah said that the offerings made with love and trust and devotion he uses for his personal food and clothing. However, as explained in more detail below, in modern times, both Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah and Mawlana Hazar Imam have elected — as opposed to it being required — to separate their personal assets and expenses from those of the office of the Imamat and so the community’s offerings are only used to in relation to the office of Imamat and not personally. Thus, in contemporary times, the Imam’s personal affairs — such as his bloodstock activity — are kept separate from the Imamat’s financial affairs.

Many of the offerings that the community gives, such as mehmani and food offerings, are specifically submitted with the intention for Imam to enjoy and benefit from, personally. Mehmani itself means to invite the Imam to one’s home and host him with a meal.

Nevertheless, and notwithstanding their choice to separate their personal finances from Imamat finances, the Imam himself is traditionally entitled to a percentage of the Imamat funds given by the community, as he explains himself:

Aga Khan: [I]n Shia Islam, and this is true of the Twelvers and of the Seveners, the Imams or the Ayatollahs, as it would be in Twelver Shi’ism, are allowed or authorised to retain certain percentage of the Imamat revenue [given by the community].

Michael Charlton: Can you tell me how much that is?

Aga Khan: In Ismaili tradition, because there is nothing which I have seen in writing, it is 10% at the present time, but the interesting thing is that, in effect, I would say easily 98% of those funds, and in fact at times much more than 98%, in fact probably of the order of 150%, goes back to the community.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
BBC Radio 4 Interview, Michael Charlton (London, United Kingdom), 6 September 1979

2. Mawlana Hazar Imam’s own explanations of how Imamat funds are used

Since becoming Imam, Mawlana Hazar Imam has been, time and again, asked by the press about the sources and uses of Imamat funds, which include dasond and other dues, and he has consistently stated that:

  • Just as there is a distinction between the President of a country, personally, and the Office of the President, the Presidency, that he occupies, similarly a distinction must be drawn between the Imam personally and the Imamat, which is an Office or institution.
  • On becoming Imam, Hazar Imam personally inherited what was left to him personally, while the Imamat continued to own its own assets.
  • Religious dues — such as dasond or mehmani — are voluntary donations and are not personal funds but belong to the Imamat.
  • Imamat funds are used exclusively for the benefit of the community — and for the expenses the Office of the Imamat incurs in this work. And even though the Imam has a right to a portion of those funds, personally, in fact the reverse happens and the Imam supplements Imamat funds from his personal resources, sometimes by an additional 150%.
  • Besides religious dues and personal contributions by the Imam, the Imamat also obtains funds from various partners and donors.
  • The Imam is responsible for ensuring all Imamat funds are used appropriately and funds from donors are “subject to rigorous audits” as required by the donors.

From his interviews, we quote and cite below Hazar Imam’s actual statements and remarks in respect of the above.

These funds are offered to the Imam because he is the Imam, and he uses these funds for the benefit of the community.

Aga Khan: I think that affluence is perhaps the wrong terminology. I do not seek to do things, in fact I have stayed away from things which did not seem to me to be good sense, where it was affluence for the sake of affluence. I’ll give you an example. I have a private aircraft, but that aircraft today is flying between 450 and 600 hours a year. You take 600 hours of time — that translates into approximately two months of working days. I cannot afford, nor can people who work in my organisation, to eliminate two months of working time … if you have to run an organisation in as diverse areas as I do there are certain things you’ve got to do to be efficient. When you talk about extremely poor people … I think they would ask whether the Imamat as an institution was helping them as best as it could and I think it would be true to say that the Imamat is assisting them.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
The Age Interview, Geoffrey Barker (Melbourne, Australia), 14 July 1979

Aga Khan: A lot of stories have been told [about funds]. My grandfather’s jubilees were events which the Western media thought were very spectacular. The impression was given that very substantial amounts of money went straight into his personal wealth. These funds are offered to the Imam because he is the Imam, and he uses these funds for the benefit of the community. My grandfather left me some wealth which I use for my own living. I have some institutional expenses. If I didn’t occupy the office of Imam, I wouldn’t fly on a private aircraft, I wouldn’t have a secretariat of some 100 people. You really should apply to the Imam the same criteria you would apply to any public office. But that’s never been done, because there has been a sort of inheritance of gloss…. I have felt that the area of the world I work in has not had the misperception; that’s much more a Western misperception.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
Life Magazine Interview, Margot Dougherty and Richard B. Stolley (New York, USA), December 1983

ITV: You have immense wealth, both private and institutional. Where does all that wealth spring from?

Aga Khan: Well, the institutional wealth is that which comes from people who practise the faith. It comes from the institutions themselves which, if they are successful develop their own wealth in the economic field. Personal wealth I inherited from my father and my grandfather. And the institutional wealth is used exclusively for institutional development. And this I think has been demonstrated by a lot of what has been done in the recent years.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
Independent Television (ITV) Interview (2nd), Andrew Gardner (London, United Kingdom), 4 June 1985

CP: So how do you spend the community’s money?

Aga Khan:…However, it must be made quite clear that the resources of the Ismaili Imamat as an institution should not be put in the same category as my family assets, in the same way that it would never occur to Catholics to confuse the wealth of the Church with that belonging to the Pope as an individual.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
Paris Match Interview (4th), Caroline Pigozzi, ‘The Confessions Of The Aga Khan’ (Paris, France), 3 February 2005

I would say easily 98% of [the Imamat revenue], and in fact at times much more than 98%, in fact probably of the order of 150%, goes back to the community.

[M]y grandfather left, according to the Shia law, his secular property to the heirs but the Imamat property stays with the actual position of Imam…. Imamat property is something which the Imam controls.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
UK Press Interview (London, United Kingdom), 2 May 1958

There is a great difference between wealth which comes from the faith and is used for the faith and personal wealth used for the individual. The Imam has responsibility for significant resources but they in no way cover the needs we have, and never will.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
Financial Times Interview, Rachel Morarjee (London, United Kingdom), 26 September 2008

Roy Bonisteel: That your leadership wasn’t just spiritual it was also financial support there too — tell me, does the community still tithe to you?

Aga Khan: There is, like in I think all faiths, a form of religious due which is voluntary, which is institutional income. It is given within the context of the link between the Imam of the Time and the individual, or the family, and I think that it is been a source of strength both to the community and to the institution so long as those resources are used in a manner which is appropriate to the role of the Imam as an institution and is understood as such.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
CBC Interview (1st), Man Alive with Roy Bonisteel (Canada), 8 October 1986

[I]nstitutional wealth is that which comes from people who practise the faith…. Personal wealth I inherited from my father and my grandfather. And the institutional wealth is used exclusively for institutional development.

Michael Charlton: How is your institution organised, the Imamat of the Ismaili sect? For example, is your own property inseparable from the property of the Imamat itself?

Aga Khan: The Imamat revenue is given by the community to the Imam. He has a responsibility to manage the Imamat revenue…. I would say easily 98% of those funds, and in fact at times much more than 98%, in fact probably of the order of 150%, goes back to the community. The reason for this is that, it is extremely difficult for the Imamat to programme development the way it should be programmed. I will give you an example: the situation like the war between India and Pakistan, and the creation of Bangladesh, Uganda. Situations like that are extremely difficult to handle….

Michael Charlton: And what are the obligations placed upon you when it does come to redistribution? How do you interpret it, because as you realise too, in the contemporary world, you must seem to many people discreditably rich.

Aga Khan: I think that if representing an institution which has an income and which manages that income in the interest of the people which it represents is discreditable, then I think practically every institution in the modern world is discredited, because there is no institution in the modern world which does not have its income. The question is, is that income used appropriately? I think the Ismailis today would say that, if you look at the last twenty years of development, there has been more development than ever before. At the present time [1979] and in recent years, we have made an enormous effort in health, education, housing. There is a $300 million teaching hospital coming up in Karachi; there is a 5-6 million pound Ismaili Centre in London; there is a teaching college which we are envisaging in India, and in fact, as I said, the Imamat is spending on many occasions more than it actually has …

Mawlana Hazar Imam
BBC Radio 4 Interview, Michael Charlton (London, United Kingdom), 6 September 1979

[T]hat aircraft today is flying between 450 and 600 hours a year. You take 600 hours of time — that translates into approximately two months of working days. I cannot afford, nor can people who work in my organisation, to eliminate two months of working time …

Aga Khan: There are multiple sources for funding. Among of the most important are the direct contributions in the work of the Imamat, the partnership with the big national and international development agencies, the local state subsidies, and naturally our own revenues from our enterprises and endowment funds. The money is divided among the diverse types of programs which are subject to rigorous audits for the donors….

Caroline Pigozzi/Jean-Claude Deutsch: Why does it displease you so much when you see your name ranked among the names of the richest men in the world?

Aga Khan: Because that immediately creates the image of an inconceivably large mass of money wasted in any which way. The Western world has enough trouble defeating the simplistic and unoriginal image of the prince of the Thousand-and-One Nights. I carry the responsibility of certain institutional activities of the community — in the matters of social, cultural and economic development — which certainly requires the use of many institutional resources. I also have separate, private family investments, and some members of the media cannot stop themselves from considering the whole collection of funds that I manage as one figure, from which they make estimates that are way out of proportion.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
Paris Match Interview (1st), Caroline Pigozzi and Jean-Claude Deutsch (Paris, France), 15 December 1994

About my own personal wealth a great deal of nonsense has been written. There must be hundreds of people in the United States with a larger capital wealth than mine; and the same is true of Europe. Perhaps not many people, in view of the incidence of taxation, even in the United States, have the control over an income that I exercise; but this control carries with it — as an unwritten law — the upkeep of all the various communal, social and religious institutions of my Ismaili following, and in the end only a small fraction of it — if any — is left for members of my family and myself.

When I read about the ‘millions of pounds a year’ I am supposed to possess, I know only that if I had an income of that size I should be ashamed of myself. There is a great deal of truth in Andrew Carnegie’s remark: ‘The man who dies rich, dies disgraced.’ I should add: The man who lives rich, lives disgraced. By ‘lives rich’, I mean the man who lives and spends for his own pleasure at a rate and on a scale of living in excess of that customary among those called nowadays ‘the upper income group’ in the country of which he is a citizen. I am not a communist, nor do I believe that a high standard of private life is a sin and an affront to society.

Mawlana Hazar Imam
Chapter 2: Islam, The Religion of My Ancestors, The Memoirs of Aga Khan III — World Enough and Time., Publisher ??, 1954)
Chapter 2: Islam, The Religion of My Ancestors

Aga Khan III increasingly utilised the offerings submitted to him, including the tithes and the funds collected at the jubilee celebrations, for the implementation of socio-economic policies and projects that would benefit his followers. At the same time, he created a number of financial institutions which acted as vehicles for the realisation of his multi-purpose programmes. In East Africa, he founded an insurance company in 1935, and an investment trust company in 1946. The latter body and its subsidiaries provided loans, at low rates of interest, to Nizari traders and cooperative organisations and to those needing financial assistance for building their own houses … The Imam was deeply concerned with the housing problems of his followers and aimed to provide an adequate number of dwellings for the Nizari Khojas. For this purpose, he established a number of housing societies in the major Nizari centres of East Africa. He also paid special attention to the health and education standards of the community. Thus, he created and maintained a network of schools, vocational institutions, libraries, sports and recreational clubs, hospitals and dispensaries for the benefit of his followers in East Africa India and Pakistan.

Farhad Daftary, The Ismailis: Their History and Doctrines, (Publisher??, Year??, p488-89)

As instructed by their Imam, the Nizaris launched a programme of building a school in every Ismaili village in Khurasan. The first school, constructed in 1932 in Dizbad, was named after Nasir-i Khusraw, who is particularly revered by the Nizaris of Khurasan. Later, Dizbad became the first village in Khurasan to have also a secondary school. The schools were built with local funds under the supervision of the trusted members of each village. Aga Khan III had permitted his followers to set aside 80 per cent of their tithes for this purpose and only the remaining 20 per cent was to be sent to the Imam. The Nizaris were also encouraged to form special groups for undertaking communal ventures, including agricultural extension projects. Soon, the Ismaili villages of Khurasan attained high rates of literacy, with a growing number of the province’s Ismaili students attending the institutions of higher learning in Mashhad and Tehran.

Farhad Daftary, The Ismailis: Their History and Doctrines, (Publisher??, Year??, p493)

3. Some examples of the Imamat’s consistent use of their personal resources to support the community

Earlier, we cited Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 1979 remark, to the BBC, that 150% of the community’s religious dues are returned to them, in other words, the Imam, himself, supplements the religious dues returned with additional funds from his personal resources. Imams of the Time have consistently used their own funds for the Ismaili community and related development, activity like that of Aga Khan Development Network agencies. Listed below are just a few — very, very few just for illustrative purposes — such examples, going back to the 1890’s.

Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah returns all Mumbai Diamond Jubilee funds (approximately £640,000) back to the community … “Not a penny went into his own pocket.” 5

Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah (1890-1954)
  • 1890s: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah “put up half a million rupees to build Yarovda Palace in Poona for no other purpose than to provide employment for his followers.”1
  • 1890s: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah “took a sympathetic interest in the Untouchables, many of whom were converted to the Ismaili faith, educated at his expense and given employment — long before Mahatma Gandhi took up their cause.”2
  • 1936: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah returns all Mumbai Golden Jubilee gold, valued at £25,760, back to the community, saying “To accept with great pleasure the gold that my dear spiritual children have offered me, and give them my loving and paternal spiritual blessings …” Adding that he had “decided to use the gold for their benefit [for] important projects such as scholarships, transfers of followers from congested districts to better accommodation, infant care and the community’s general welfare.” 3
  • 1936: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah returns all Nairobi Golden Jubilee gold, £23,000 back to the community, ordering “the funds to be used to his followers’ best advantage … He instructed the Council to form a Gold Grant Committee to distribute the money to young Ismailis for scholarships to advance their education abroad.” 4
  • 1946: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah returns all Mumbai Diamond Jubilee funds (approximately £640,000) back to the community and “announced that he was creating a trust fund for the community’s economic and educational welfare. Not a penny went into his own pocket.” 5
  • 1946: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah returns all Dar es Salaam Diamond Jubilee funds (£684,000) back to the community saying “I do not wish to take this money for myself but want to use it as I think best for my spiritual children.” [H]e announced the creation of a trust, the Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust, to which he was giving the money as an absolute gift, the greater part of it to go towards a new financial structure for the community” and adds a “personal contribution of over £300,000” to bring the funds to £1,000,000. 6
  • 1950s: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah “put[s] up funds for a hundred and fifty huts for homeless refugees [in Karachi]” and “gave permission for Honeymoon Lodge to be used as a convalescent home for ailing Ismailis– the only convalescent home in Pakistan” 7
  • 1954: Mawlana Sultan Muhammad Shah returns all Far Eastern Platinum Jubilee funds (three million rupees), from the Karachi celebrations, back to the community ordering that “This must not be frittered away. It should be the beginning of something like the Investment Trust in Africa to be built up so that by a target date, say 1960, you will be able to build up a position by which Ismailis both in East and West Pakistan can be sure of employment.” 8 “The project arising from the Jubilee which helped to spread
    benefits more widely among the community than any other was the Platinum Jubilee Finance and Investment Corporation. ‘It owed its existence entirely to the Aga Khan’s generosity …'” 9

“Go back there and start something!” the Aga Khan told his experts. “Start a hotel or a small factory!” They protested: “There is no market, Your Highness, it will not pay. You will never get your money back.” The Aga Khan insisted: “Never mind, my spiritual children expect me to help them — whatever the cost, help them I shall!” 14

“I shall provide £200,000 in foreign exchange,” the Aga Khan said. “I want to use as much as possible of my money for the benefit of the community” He was not as yet married, he remarked, his expenses were much smaller than his grandfather’s. 11

Mawlana Hazar Imam (1960-1969): over £10,000,000 in various projects
  • 1960: Mawlana Hazar Imam personally injects £300,000 into Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust when it suffered a shortage of liquidity. 10
  • 1960: Mawlana Hazar Imam goes on a “spending spree”, remarking that “I want to use as much as possible of my money for the benefit of the community.” He provides £200,000 for two textile factories, 50 auto-rickshaws, equipment for a canvas factory whose profit supported the Girls Academy. He donated funds to create the Prince Aly Khan Library at Karachi University and approved plans for a huge new jamatkhana in Garden district of Karachi. 11
  • 1960: Mawlana Hazar Imam starts discussions to launch an East African newspaper for which he was prepared to invest £1,000,000. 12
  • 1963: Mawlana Hazar Imam starts planning to launch I.P.S. “The amount needed to launch three East African I.P.S. companies — in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika — was £1 million but when, even at this late stage, doubts were raised, the Aga Khan simply said: ‘I will finance it!’ and — proof of his confidence in ultimate success — put up nearly the whole amount.” 13 When a project under consideration by I.P.S. was not financially viable and local officials said “There is no market, Your Highness, it will not pay. You will never get your money back.” Mawlana Hazar Imam replied, “Never mind, my spiritual children expect me to help them — whatever the cost, help them I shall!” 14
  • Late 1960s: Mawlana Hazar Imam committed to fund the £4.5 million to £5 million required for the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College in Karachi, but agreed to let others have the opportunity to participate. 15
  • 1965: Mawlana Hazar Imam was considering “investments of two or three million pounds in individual African countries” because, he said, “I would put money in if I also felt it would help the community that’s living there. But this would be my own investment, a personal thing.” 16
  • 1969: Mawlana Hazar Imam marries, remarking that the community would still come first: “I hope to re-organise my life so as to have a little more time to be with my wife — and my children — though not at the expense of the community.” 17
Mawlana Hazar Imam (2003): Donates his personal, 44.73% share of Nation Media Group (NMG) to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED)
  • 2003: Mawlana Hazar Imam gives his personal share of 44.73% — a 2003 value of approximately US$14.4 million and a current value of approximately US$43.0m — of Nation Media Group to AKFED. 21
Mawlana Hazar Imam (2007-2012): $140 million of personal funds poured into just the Aga Khan University over just 4 years
  • 2007: Mawlana Hazar Imam covers $25.8 million of the Aga Khan University’s $26.2 million operating deficit for 2007. 18
  • 2008: Mawlana Hazar Imam covers the Aga Khan University’s $27.1 million operating deficit for 2008 plus an extra $5 million. 18
  • 2008: Mawlana Hazar Imam covers the $46.2 million cost, entirely, of the Heart & Cancer Centre, Nairobi. 19
  • 2011: Mawlana Hazar Imam covers $17.0 million of Aga Khan University’s $20.0 million operating deficit for 2011. 20
  • 2012: Mawlana Hazar Imam covers $17.0 million of Aga Khan University’s $19.0 million operating deficit for 2012. 20
Credits

Article: Ismaili Gnosis and NanoWisdoms Archive.

Image (top left): https://www.flickr.com/photos/meanestindian/3325553543/ (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Image (top middle): https://www.flickr.com/photos/photocracy/2860934521/ (CC BY 2.0)

Image (right): https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshuahsong/2968705635/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Image (bottom left): https://www.flickr.com/photos/zuhair_ahmad/7883878492/ (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Image (bottom middle): https://www.flickr.com/photos/starsfdn/8405623664/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Footnotes
  1. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p58)
  2. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p59)
  3. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p122)
  4. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p130)
  5. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p155)
  6. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p158)
  7. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p180)
  8. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p193)
  9. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p195)
  10. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p236)
  11. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p241)
  12. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p243)
  13. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p253)
  14. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p255)
  15. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p258)
  16. The Sunday Times Interview, Part II, Nicholas Tomalin (London, United Kingdom), 19 December 1965
  17. Willi Frischauer, The Aga Khans, (The Bodley Head, 1970, p268)
  18. 2008 Aga Khan University Annual Report, p72
  19. 2008 Aga Khan University Annual Report, p73
  20. 2012 Aga Khan University Progress Report, p83
  21. 2003 Calculation: NMG’s June 2003 share price: KShs 45 and the exchange rate about 75 per US dollar. (23.9m x 45)/75 = US$14.4m. 2015 Calculation: NMG’s August 2015 share price: KShs 180 and the exchange rate is KShs 100 per US dollar. (23.9m x 180)/100 =US$43.0m. 22, 23, 24, 25
  22. 2009 Nation Media Group Annual Report, pp. 3-4, p.11
  23. Central Bank of Kenya
  24. Foreword to the Daily Nation 50th Anniversary Special Supplement (Nairobi, Kenya) 18 March 2010
  25. Google Finance
Further readings

4 thoughts on “Q & A: What Does Mawlana Hazar Imam Do with the Religious Dues given by the Community? ~ Ismaili Gnosis, NanoWisdoms

  1. Excellent and thank you for your contribution in demystifying as Imam says we must. In this context, I also read the Khoja case and the Haji Bibi case (regarding the role, practices, incarnation, authority and lineage reaffirmed in court). Also the Ismaili Constitution ordained by Imam of the time in 1905. The latest being the Constitution ordained in 1998.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s