Who is the Aga Khan?The title the Aga Khan relates to dignitary and is an inherited one received when one inherits the position as the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. Prince Karim Aga Khan IV is the current spiritual leader or Imam of the Ismailis.
- He is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismailis and a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. As Imam his main role is to guide his community - spiritually and in secular matters.
- The Aga Khan's original name is Prince Karim and he was born on Dec 13, 1936
- He became Imam when he was just a twenty year-old student at Harvard on July 11, 1957 when the previous Imam died
- The Aga Khan places an emphasis on tolerance, dialogue and pluralism and sees this as rooted in the ethics of Islam. He advocates a balance between the spiritual and the material world.
- The Aga Khan is the founder of the Aga Khan Development Network which is the largest private development agency. It spends $400Million/year and through its activities, employs 70,000 people.
- 2007-2008 is the Aga Khan's Golden Jubilee - 50 years as spiritual leader / head of the Ismailis
- The Aga Khan has the sole authority to select the next Imam
- Famous quote: There are those who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their circumstances. Unless they can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will only sink into apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark. (India, 1983)