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


“Nothing will make me happier than to know that you are regular in attendance in Jamatkhana, and nothing will hurt me more than to know that you are irregular in attendance. I want to make this very clear indeed. This is for all my spiritual children all over the world.”

Mawlana Hazar Imam: Bombay, 8th November, 1967

“It is most important that you should be regular in prayers and I insist on this because I know my jamat will understand this, and that they will get from prayers and from observance of their religious duties that happiness which cannot be found anywhere else nor be replaced by anything else.

Mawlana Hazar Imam: Lahore, 25th November, 1964

“I become happy when you come to Jamatkhana. I am always present in the Jamatkhana.”
Mawlana Hazar Imam: Karachi, 1970)


By: Mumtaz Ali Tajddin S.Ali

There are three types of the Imam’s didar: jaheri, batini and ruhani. The jaheri didar represents exoteric beholding of the Imam. The batini denotes esoteric beholding being perceived in Jamatkhana. The ruhani signifies spiritual didar one seeks in midnight worship. Physically, the Imam may be out of our country, but he is ever present in Jamatkhana, which is called a batini didar.

Suppose you have borrowed a book from me. When completed reading, you have to return me. I will tell you,
You come to my house and return my book
You go to my house and return my book.

It ensues my presence in above first sentence, using the word come; while second sentence denotes my absence in house; applying the word go

One must have clearly followed “come” for presence & “go” for absence. Mawlana Hazar Imam several times emphasized on the attendance in Jamatkhana by saying, “When you come to Jamatkhana” explicitly indicates Imam’s esoteric (batini) presence in Jamatkhana.

In Medina, the Prophet’s Mosque was frequented by rich and poor. The clothes of the destitute class were dirty, unclean and drenched in perspiration. The rich Arabs of the Koraish tribe resolved to build their own mosque. This was a time when the Prophet needed support of the rich Arabs and did not like that they form their own mosque. Hence, the Prophet has a last option to prevent the poor. In the meantime, the Koranic verse revealed: “Do not turn away those (poor) who call upon their Lord in the morning and evening, seeking His face. You are not accountable for them in the least, nor they for you at all” (6:52).

It means the Divine presence in prayer-hall, where the people perceive His face, and this is the philosophy of Imam’s presence esoterically in the Jamatkhana, where we utter Shah’jo Didar means, “Be blessed with (batini) didar of the Imam.”
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah said, “If you want to have a didar, then come to Jamatkhana daily to offer Dua. When you offer Dua, I give you didar at that time. I am present all the times in Jamatkhana during Dua, therefore, you keep coming in Jamatkhana all the times.” (Gwadar, 10th December, 1894)

“I am present all the times before you in Jamatkhana, not far from you. I am much nearer than your own hands. When you recite my name in Jamatkhana, I am present before you. If you have love, I am near you despite being far. I don’t forget you.” (Bagamoyo, 21st September, 1899)

“You attend the Jamatkhana regularly. I am present all the times in Jamatkhana.” (Zanzibar, 17th September, 1905)

Gat’ma gurnar dev’na didar, bhai gur vina kem utarasho pa’r? (ginan)
“In the congregated jamat is the didar of the Shah-Pir. O’brother! Without the Guide, how you will be redeemed?”

“Prayer is not only the practice of the presence of God, it is a realization of His presence.” (Joseph Fort Newton)

“Prayer opens our eyes that we may see ourselves and others as God sees us.” (Clara Palmer)

“Prayer is conversation with God.” (Clement of Alexandaria)
Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah said, “I am in Jamatkhana all the times during Dua timing to give my batini didar, therefore you should absorb in the Dua by understanding so.” (Bombay, 30th March, 1908)

Eji nito nit gat mahe’n milo mara munivaro, Jiya’n gurnar behi mili av’e. (ginan)
“O’my believers! Make all the times congregation in the jamat, where both Shah and Pir come together.”
Mawlana Hazar Imam said, “And remember that although I leave you physically, I am with you all the time, in every Jamatkhana, all the time.” (Dar-es-Salam, 11th October, 1988)

It is heard from a waez of an Indian missionary that a person called Nizar retained punctuality in Jamatkhana in Chicago. He was working in the Insurance Company. He started his side-business with his friend. It procured sizeable profit. Later, Nizar left his company and ventured all alone in business field. He became so occupied that he missed Jamatkhana once to thrice in a week, and ultimately he did not attend continuously for three months.

To enlarge his business, he went to Toronto, Canada on 18th October, 2010. He heard that Hazar Imam was in a hotel just opposite to his own hotel. He resolved to have a glimpse of the Imam’s face. He came down and entered hotel. He stood in the row of the Ismailis who were waiting for the Imam. After few moments, the Imam came down and approached to Nizar and said, “How are you Nizar? You were coming daily to see me. What’s matter that you did not come to see me during last three months. I hope you must come to see me. Khanavadan.” The Imam’s words touched him deeply, and became once again punctual in Jamatkhana.

Thoda’ne karann’ne bahot na chhodiy’e, Ruda rikhisar shahji’su neh na todiy’e (ginan)
“Don’t forsake more at the cost of small. O’ true believer! Don’t disconnect love with Lord.”

Eji moman hokar na mil’e gatmahe’n, Prit duniya’su jod’e. (ginan)
“Being a believer, one does not gather in prayer-hall, but casts lust in the world.”
When we leave our house for Jamatkhana, we must ingrain an intention in hearts that we are going to see the Imam.

The Koran says, “And rely on the Mighty, the Merciful, Who sees you when you stand up. And your turning over among those who prostrate themselves before God.” (26:217-219) And also, “And wait patiently for the judgement of your God, for surely you are before Our eyes, and celebrate the praise of your God when you rise.” (52:48)

Eji jikar karo vira gatma’n he’ ja’i, baire’ gat ma’n he’ gurnar bahesht lutain (ginan)
“Come to Jamatkhana to perform dhikr. The Lord disposes off (blessings of) paradise lavishly in the Jamatkhana.”

In 1970, there were about 150 Ismailis in the south Vancouver, Canada. They took a suite on rent for Jamatkhana and Mr. Barkat Ali discharged duty of the Mukhi, because there was no Council in Canada in those days. It had a floor, which was used as a Jamatkhana, attached by a kitchen. They appointed a Mexican guard to look after it and prepare coffee in the kitchen at midnight.

The Ismailis were regular in Jamatkhana at midnight. Once the electricity’s fuse switched off at midnight. Its switch-board was behind the main door of Jamatkhana. The guard knew its repairs, thus Mukhi Barkat Ali took him at first floor and opened main door of the Jamatkhana. The guard restored electric line, but surprised to see its interior look. He saw two wooden stands (pa’t) and a hanging chandelier (zumar) in middle. The most surprising thing to its extreme was the photo of Hazar Imam. He came near and saw it minutely and asked, “Mr. Barkat, who is this gentleman?” He was replied that he was his spiritual father.

He once again saw the photo and said, “Are you sure?” Mukhi Barkat Ali said, “Of course, no doubt about it.” Both came down by the stair. He once again asked, “Are you sure that he is your spiritual father?” The Mukhi once again convinced him. The guard said, “If he is your spiritual father, then he is that very person who daily comes here few minutes before 4.00 a.m., and it is my duty to prepare coffee at that time. He and I went up to prepare coffee in kitchen. He helped me in its preparation, then I came down and he entered into the door without opening and goes across. If he is your spiritual father, I will inform my priest in the church.” Before the guard informed the priest, he died at 11.00 am. It denotes that the Imam did not like that the guard publicize what he had experienced.

Jin sach’e yar’e jikaraj mandiya, gurnar gat gat jova’ne awiya. (ginan)
“The true believers, who are engrossed in the zikr; the Shah Pir (Imam) comes
to see them in every jamat.”

Imam Mustansir billah II said, “Whosoever in his sincerity has firm faith, with a pure heart and a pure mind, and will search for the didar of the Imam, with that desire disregarding all other earthy desires, the Imam will give him the chance of the didar, wherever he may find himself in the world.” (Pir Pandiyat-i Jawanmardi, tr. by W. Ivanow, Holland, 1953, p. 22)

Lastly, have a close look on the following two holy farman of Mawlana Hazar Imam:-
“And I have had spiritual children who have come to me and they have said, “Hazar Imam, we have been practicing bandage for years, we have failed.” And I have said to them, “You talk to me about failure? There is no failure in bandage.” (Montreal, 2/11/2017).

“Sometimes, murids come to me and they say to me, “Hazar Imam, we have failed.” And I tell them, “There is no failure in this matter.” (Karachi, 16/12/2017).

Is it possible that these spiritual children physically have ever asked the Imam? Does one dare to ask? I am physically of an opinion that it is not possible, because the Imam said, come to me.

What does it mean? It was asked individually in batin in Jamatkhana, because the Imam is present in Jamatkhana.
Gaya jin paya nahi, angai te duri, jin gaya biswas gahi ta’ke’ sada hujur (Kabir)
“One who glorifies, he does not find the Lord, but is far away from Him who has never glorified the Lord. One who glorifies with a faith, the Lord is always present for him.”

Karachi: February, 2022

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