Home >> Encyclopedia-britannica-volume-01-a-anno >> African Languages to Agricultural Machinery And United >> Aga Khan Iii

Aga Khan Iii


AGA KHAN III. (1877— ) (Aga Sultan, Sir Mohammed Shah), only son of the foregoing, succeeded him in 1885. He was born in 1877, and, under the care of his mother, a daughter of the ruling house of Persia, was given not only that religious and oriental education which his position as the religious leader of the Ismailiahs made indispensable, but a sound European train ing. The Aga Khan headed the Muslim deputation in 1906 to the Viceroy, Lord Minto, which submitted the case for encourag ing abandonment of the studied aloofness of their community from Indian political life; and he was president of the All-India Muslim League, thereupon formed, during its first constructive years. He initiated the fund, for raising the Mohammedan college at Aligarh to university status, which was effected in 192o. In the immediate pre-war years he did much to soothe Indian Muslim sentiment in respect to the Turco-Italian and two Balkan wars. He was touring amongst his followers in East Africa, when the World War broke out, and immediately cabled to the jamats or councils of the millions of Ismailiahs within British territories and on their borders directing his followers to place themselves unreservedly at the disposal of the British authorities. When Turkey was drawn into the struggle the Aga Khan issued a stir ring manifesto showing that the Allies had no overt designs on Islam, and calling upon the Muslims of the empire to remain loyal and faithful to their temporal allegiance. His immediate followers provided a solid phalanx of whole-hearted support of Britain, which had a most steadying influence in sterilizing the efforts of impatient headstrong elements. His influence was reinforced by his close and intimate contact with leading Allied statesmen and the breadth and liberality of his outlook on the problems of reconstruction. His study of Indian and Middle Eastern affairs in India in Transition (1918) was not without considerable effect in the final shaping of reforms under the India Act of ' 919, and was consistent in broad principle with his post-war criticisms of the British Government's Mesopotamian and Arabian policy.

The Aga Khan joined in many representations, public and pri vate, both at the Peace Conference and subsequently, as to the immense importance to Great Britain, the ruler of the greatest aggregation of Muslims in the world, of not depriving Turkey of a real independent existence. To the G.C.I.E. and the G.C.S.I. already conferred on him there was added in 1916 a salute of II guns and the rank and status of a first-class chief of the Bombay Presidency, the only previous instance of the grant of a salute outside the Indian territorial ruling families being that of the first Salar Jung. The Aga Khan represented India at the World Disarmament Conference at Geneva in 1932.

indian, muslim, followers and india