“We can let our path be lit by the candle of wisdom, for only ‘with INTELLECT, we can seek out all the hows and whys.” Aga Khan IV
The Ismaili view of prophecy and the Imamate is based on belief in the permanent need of mankind for a divinely guided, impeccable leader and teacher to govern it justly and to direct it soundly in religion. In the absence of a prophet, this is the function of the Imam. The Imamate thus is part of the prophetic chain which spans the history of man from the beginning to the end.
The religious evolution of man is consummated in seven eras, each one inaugurated by a Messenger Prophet or Enunciator (Natiq). In the first six eras, the Messenger Prophets, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, each brought and proclaimed a revealed message, a scripture containing in its apparent and exoteric (Zahir) aspect, a religious law. Each one was succeeded by his Legatee (wasi), or who charged with responsibilty to reveal the inner, esoteric (batin) truths which lay concealed in the Scripture and the Law. These esoteric truths are, in contrast to the changeable nature of the Law, eternal and unchanging throughout all eras.
The esoteric truths (haqa’iq) which the divinely guided Imams dispense are essentially gnostic. They are based on revelation and transcend human reason, though they give the rational soul its perfection and thus lead man to his ‘second creation’ (khalq thani). The human intellect cannot not reach them by its own independent efforts. Only by initially turning to the guidance of the Prophets and the Imams can man partake of the divine support (ta’yid) through which their teaching will become a salvatory revelation.
His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.
Philosophy & Theology>>
Ismaili philosophical tradition has been the most enduring and intellectual tradition of Islam, that has focused mainly on use of Intellect for seeking path of knowledge.
Islam is Allah’s final message to mankind, the Holy Qur’an His final Book, and Muhammad, may peace be upon him, His last and final Prophet.These are the fundamental principles of faith enshrined in the Shahada (La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah)