Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan, A Visionary Muslim Leader (2 November 1877 to 11 July 1957)

Kamran Khamiso Khowaja
The leaders who played a Vital Role in the independence of Pakistan, Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan was one of those. A leader who made all efforts for the progress and advancement of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. He was an illustrious Muslim Leader who was respected and honored by Muslims, Hindus as well as British leaders for his progressive thoughts and a visionary approach. ir Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan was born on 2 November 1877 in Karachi. At the very young age of 8 years, he succeeded his father Agha Ali Shah as the 48th Spiritual leader of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims while their family traces its roots from Ismail IBN-E- Jaffar, ( Jaffar Ibne-Ali was the Sixth Imam of Shia Sect). At a very young age, he met with Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who further elevated his desires for serving Muslim Ummah. Right from the beginning, he believed that only education can change the destiny of Muslims, and Living a balanced life would improve their quality of life. To make Aligarh College a University a strong campaign of fundraising was set into motion by him and he managed to collect substantial amounts during that campaign and eventually Aligarh became a University and the dream of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Came true. Acknowledging his services for Education he was appointed the first chancellor of Aligarh University that played a crucial role in the creation of Pakistan. In 1906 for the separate political identity of Muslims he led Simla Deputation and convinced British Rulers to recognize Muslims as a separate political force of the subcontinent. As a result of that recognition, All India Muslim Leauge came into existence and Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan III was appointed its first President. He also advocated female education and emphasized that if a woman is educated she will educate first a whole family and then the whole society. In an address he said that; “personally if I had two children, and one was a boy and other was a girl, and I could afford to educate only one, I would have no hesitation in giving the higher education to the girl. He represented India in Disarmament Conference in Leagues of Nation and was the Unanimously elected its President, Where he raised voice for the impoverished Muslims of the Subcontinent and made the world realize about the hardships being confronted by them. Besides playing an active role in the field of education he also did exemplary work in the field of Health by establishing Maternity and Child care centers in different parts of the Subcontinent. During the 20th cent ry when the subcontinent came under the onslaught of an infectious disease (Smallpox) he remained on the front to help the poor masses. After the end of World WarII, he made arrangements for the settlement of Afghan Migrants. In 1952 he donated money for establishing the Department of Islamic studies in the Universities of European countries. After independence when the language crisis were sprouting he proposed that Arabic should be made the national language of Pakistan because it would strengthen our ties with Muslim countries and the issue of Language would be resolved once for all. In the initial days,Pakistan was under an acute crisis, but at that time Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah paid a sizable amount of money to the Pakistan Government for procuring Gwadar port that Oman was going to sell to India in case of Pakistan’s Denial to Purchase it. And now everyone is aware of the port,s importance. In his Massage, on the eve of Pakistan,s Independence He Said; that Pakistan Is the Now an Accomplished Fact And It will only Progress if we will Serve it with Unity and Faith in Almighty Allah. His Grandson and Successor Prince Karim Aga Khan like Him has always remained Generous to Pakistan. He has always supported Pakistan in crucial times. A Network of different institutions has been formed by him that is working in more than 25 developed as well as underdeveloped countries of the world to improve the quality of life of the people. Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah was an Eminent Political Figure, A philosopher, A Humanitarian, A Religious scholar, and More Importantly He was a Visionary Leader who made Pakistan,s creation possible with his efforts and commitment. The Muslim Leaders of Today Must Learn from his Contributions for the Ummah.

(-The writer is a Law Student and Columnist .based in Sujawal )

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