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Why I left Agakhanism?! Story of an ex-Agakhani

I wanted to tell everyone why I chose to leave Agakhanism.

Dear Agakhanis, I’m not trying to be mean or insult your beliefs, I just want to have an honest conversation with you as an ex-Agakhani myself.

I want to tell you why I went from being a blind follower of Aga Khan to embracing Islam and becoming a slave of Allah. This write-up is intended to address those of you who feel quite devoted to the cult of Aga Khan, because you believe in God and want to serve him well.

Your intention is sincere, but your sincerity has been used against you by your leader. You have been conned badly!

You may have come across some questions or contradictions within the Agakhani Ismaili faith. Most people leave Agakhanism, because of their confusing beliefs in God. This includes their belief in Ali (RA) as Sahi Allah, Dasavatar, Mazhar-e-Khuda, Noor-e-Khuda etc.

Background About Myself

I want to start by giving everyone here a little information about myself that may give you some insight as to who I was before and how significant of a change this new life as a Muslim has been for me.

I grew up very invested in the Agakhani Ismaili faith, in a city which is very populated with a close-knit community of Agakhanis. I spent majority of my childhood volunteering for Jamatkhana events. For this reason, Agakhanism played a large role in my cultural upbringing.

I was very religious (or so I thought) and wished to devote my life to Agakhanism for the sake of Aga Khan, who I thought to be God at that time. I would go to the Jamatkhana everyday. I never missed a single day except for when I or someone in my family was sick or out of town. My free time was spent reading and analyzing the speeches of Aga Khan. I would watch videos and read articles about him and his plans for the future.

Agakhanism was what I considered to be the greatest blessing in my life.

The Quest for Truth

Due to my love for research about religion, I would often ask many Agakhani scholars and teachers different questions. The inconsistency of their answers along with the contradictions in Aga Khan’s speeches would often leave me unsatisfied and confused.

I read many IsmailiGnosis articles to understand the Agakhani interpretations of the Islamic faith, but those articles made me even more confused. I began to realize that the problem wasn’t with the writers of the IsmailiGnosis or their delivery – since they were just conveying cited information from the main scriptures of Agakhanism – rather it was with the Agakhani Ismaili doctrine itself.

It didn’t feel right how all commands of Allah and Allah’s last and final messenger Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were taken metaphorically in Agakhanism. Practically, we didn’t follow any of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Questions That Bothered Me

Here are some questions and follow-up questions that always left me confused as an Agakhani and were never answered by the Agakhani missionaries:

Scenario 1:

My question: “Why do we not fast during Ramadan?”

Missionary’s response: “We take fasting as a metaphor, so we fast everyday with our eyes, mouth, hands, etc.”

My follow-up question: “Okay, then why do we fast on Shukurvari Beech??”

Missionary’s response: “Stop asking too many questions. Just do what you are told to do.”

Scenario 2:

My question: “What is our interpretation of Qiyamat (Judgement Day)?”

Missionary’s response: “Our interpretations of Quranic stories are taken metaphorically, and their explanations are provided through he firmans of the Imam.”

My follow-up remark: “Okay, but I can’t find any firman that mentions Qiyamat.”

Missionary’s response: “That is because the firmans command us to study and discover the meaning behind these stories ourselves.”

My follow-up question: “Then what is the purpose of the imam?”

Missionary’s response: “Stop asking too many questions. Just do what you are told to do.”

Scenario 3:

My question: “Is the Aga Khan seen as God?”

Missionary’s response: “No.”

My follow-up question: “Then why are all of our prayers addressed to him instead of Allah?”

Missionary’s response: “Because our imam encompasses the Noor of Allah.

Me: “If Allah is not physical and is just a Noor, and if our imam is the Noor, then aren’t we turning our imam into God by that logic?”

Missionary: “Yes.”

Me: “Did the Prophet encompass the same Noor as our imam?”

Missionary: “Yes.”

Me: “Then why did the Prophet (pbuh) always say he is just a messenger and that all praise and love is due to Allah?”

Missionary: “Because all praise is due to Allah.”

Me: “If all praise and love is due to Allah, then why do we say “Ya Ali Madad” and “Ya Ali, tu rehem kar, ya maula tu fazal kar” instead of “Ya Allah” after all of our prayers?”

Missionary’s response: “Stop asking too many questions. Just do what you are told to do.”

When I Opened the Qur’an

The Agakhani Ismaili missionaries would always avoid questions. That’s because their imam never spoke about actual topics in Islam and just gave advice about the worldly life.  I began to feel very lost, even though I would proudly proclaim that Agakhani Ismailis were the only ones who were “rightly guided.”

Agakhani Ismaili missionary’s ignorance compelled me to finally study the Qur’an myself and seek answers directly from Allah’s Kalam.

The Qur’an is the Word (Kalam) of Allah and is sent down as the most clear instruction from Him. All Muslims believe that without a doubt. However, when I began reading the Qur’an to find answers to the questions I had, I was shocked to see almost every Verse in the Qur’an was in direct contradiction to the Agakhani Ismaili faith.

If you are truly searching for the truth, there is no other advice for you besides reading the Qur’an. I am posting just a few Verses of the Qur’an for you to ponder:

“The fact is that to every Messenger whom We sent down before you, We revealed this same thing: “There is no other deity than Me: so worship Me alone.” They say, “The Merciful has offspring.” Glory be to Allah! they [the prophets] are His mere servants who have been honored: they do not exceed the limits in their talk before Him and just do His bidding. He knows whatever is before them and also whatever is hidden from them; they “do not intercede for anyone except for the one for whom Allah pleases to hear a plea, and they live in awe of Him. And if anyone of them were to say, “I am also a deity besides Allah,” We would send him to Hell, for this is the recompense from Us for such workers of iniquity.”[Qur’an: 21, 25-29]

Conclusion

Please don’t be blind followers. Ask questions, seek answers, read Allah’s Kalam (Qur’an).

If Aga Khan is not God, then why are all the prayers in Agakhanism addressed to him?! Think about it. If only Allah answers our prayers; if all thanks are due to Allah and if Allah is the only one who can hear us when we pray, then why do you chant “Maulana Hazir Imam Kul Mushkilo Aasan Kare (May our omnipotent, omnipresent imam ease all our difficulties)??!”

When someone dies, why do you say “Maulana Hazir Imam ke Rehmat mein Pohonchay” (May his soul reach the grace of our omnipotent, omnipresent imam)?”

When you ask for forgiveness you say, “Yaa Shah, Tu Gunah Bakhshay, Bakhshindagaar” (Oh, Shah Karim, forgive my sins, for you are the forgiver).

The problem is clear. Agakhani Ismailis see their imam as just a “spiritual leader,” but do not realize that all their Tasbihs and Duas acknowledge him as God, the almighty.

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