Shah Karim Al Hussa

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About Shah Karim Al Hussa Shah Karīm al-Hussaynī, The Āgā Khān IV, KBE, CC, GCC, GCIH (Arabic: سمو الأمیر شاہ کریم الحسیني آغا خان الرابع‎) (born December 13, 1936) is the 49th and current Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He has been in this position and has held the title of Āgā Khān since July 11, 1957, when at the age of 20 he succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan. The Āgā Khān is responsible for the interpretation of the faith for his followers and as part of the office of the Imamate, endeavors to improve the quality of their lives and of the communities in which they live. The Āgā Khān is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad through his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter, and is referred to by members of his community as Mawlana Hāzar Imām (حاضر إمام, "Present Imām"). Since his ascension to the Imamate, the Āgā Khān has witnessed complex political and economic changes which have affected his followers, including independence of African countries from colonial rule, expulsion of Asians from Uganda, the independence of Central Asian countries such as Tajikistan from the former Soviet Union, and continuing turmoil in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Āgā Khān has been particularly interested in the elimination of global poverty; the advancement of the status of women; the promotion of Islamic culture, art, and architecture; and furthering pluralistic values in society. He is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the largest private development networks in the world, which works towards social, economic, and cultural development in Asia and Africa.

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