Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.


Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word shah didar or shah'jo didar means may (you bless with) Lord's glimpse. It is a taslim in the Ismaili tariqah, the believers greet each other at the end of the prayer, beholding face to face, both pronounce shah didar by shaking hand. This is an act of humble wish to refresh their spiritual relation. The Koran says, "Whosoever surrenders his face to God, being a doer of good, has verily grasped the firm hand-hold" (31:22)

The taslim in the salat is pronounced, first turning to the right hand and then to the left, i.e., as-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah (peace be on you and the mercy of God), has a close resemblance of shah didar.

In Medina, the Prophet's Mosque was frequented by rich and poor. The clothes of the poor were dirty and drenched in perspiration. The rich among the Qoraish tribe resolved to build their own separate mosque. This was a time when the Prophet required support of the rich Arabs and also did not like that they form their separate mosque. In the meantime, the Koranic verse revealed: "And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord in the morning and evening, desiring His face; neither are you answerable for any reckoning of theirs" (6:52). This is the philosophy of shah didar. The Prophet said, "The believer is the mirror of the believer" (al-mu'min mir'at al-mu'min). Maulana Rumi said, ""If you wish to have special tajalli (radiation of Divine Light), you look at the human, in which God clearly is seen smilingly."

Back to top