The Institute of Ismaili Studies
The Muslim calendar is enriched by festivals observed by the umma as a whole, such as Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. Some occasions, like Eid al-Ghadir, are commemorated by the Shia in particular, and others, like the Salgirah of the Imam-of-the-Time, are celebrated expressly by the Ismailis.
In this unique and personal account, Shiraz Kabani takes us on a journey of celebration and self-reflection. Relating accounts of festivals from his own lived experience as an Ismaili, the author shares some of his most compelling memories, questions and insights. We learn about his days as an inquisitive schoolboy in Pakistan, as well as his more recent experiences as a well-travelled alwaez, including late-night contemplative drives across Texas on Laylat al-Qadr, and vibrant Imamat Day festivities in the heart of London. Through these lively stories and reflections, Ismaili Festivals presents a novel approach to these auspicious occasions and their traditions, highlighting just how powerful they are in uniting and reaffirming the identity of the diverse global Jamat.
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1. Nawruz and the Celebration of Diversity
2. Eid al-Adha and the Spirit of Sacrifice
3. Expressions of Piety in Ramadan and on Eid al-Fitr
4. Honouring the Prophet’s Life and Legacy on Milad al-Nabi
5. Laylat al-Qadr and the Search for Enlightenment
6. Mir‘aj and the Quest for the Divine
7. Yaum-i Ali and the Alid Tradition
8. Commemorating the Event of Ghadir Khumm
9. Imamat Day and the Spiritual Leadership of Hazar Imam
10. Celebrating the Life and Work of Mawlana Hazar Imam on his Salgirah
List of Illustrations
Note on the Text
Dr Shiraz Kabani is Head of the Department of Community Relations at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. A social scientist by academic training, with a doctorate in Management, he has served in various senior leadership roles across the Ismaili community institutions, including the Ismaili Council for the UK and ITREB USA. In his capacity as an alwaez for the last 35 years, Dr Kabani has engaged extensively with Ismaili audiences spanning more than 20 countries worldwide.