Yesterday, my uncle told me about your website concerning various issues about Islam and its components. It is a great website for one who wants to learn more about Islam and different aspects of it.
My question is why do Ismailies, the ones who follow Aga Khan, pray to him.
To be honest, I am an Ismaili too, but I have got this religion through my tradition. I don’t really worship Ismailism. I think, it’s shirk (to include someone in worshiping besides God) to pray to him. Because, as I go to our jamat khana, many people believe that Aga Khan is nearly same as God. I mean, they really don’t discriminate between God and Aga Khan. That’s really messed up.
Also, I have seen in many years that Ismailies pay Zaka’h, which they call “Dussond“, they pay it 12%. Is this the way it’s supposed to be?
And lastly, why Ismailies pray three times a day and non-Ismailies do five times a day. When I asked one Ismaili that question, he replied that in Qur’an, it has been mentioned that you should pray three times a day and never in the whole Qur’an has been mentioned five times a day. I know that’s not true. There must be something that needs to be added to it in order to answer that question. So please, reply me back as soon as possible.
Even though giving any person even a shade of the rights that are exclusive to God (as worship) is against the basic teachings of Islam, yet I am not adequately aware of the beliefs and the practices of the Ismaili sect to be able to comment specifically on it. I would, therefore, like to avoid any comments or criticisms on these beliefs and practices. However, if you still desire me to comment on these beliefs and practices, I would suggest that you address these questions to one or more Ismaili scholars and ask them to clarify the bases of their referred beliefs and practices. Subsequently, you may send me the bases stipulated by these Ismaili scholars. I would, then, be able to give you my opinion about the correctness or otherwise of the bases stipulated by these scholars.
As far as my understanding of the law pertaining to Zaka’h is concerned, I would request you to refer to my previous responses on the topic1.
As far as the timings of the five prayers or the reference of the number of prayers is concerned, I would suggest that you ask a reliable Ismaili scholar to provide you the bases of his opinion. In the mean time, to understand my opinion on the topic, you may also refer to my previous answers to similar questions.
26th June 2000
- These responses may be seen in the section of ‘Economic Issues’ [↩]