Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, Aga Khan III GCSI GCMG GCIE GCVO PC (2 November 1877 – 11 July 1957) was the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili community. He was one of the founders and the first president of the All-India Muslim League. His goal was the advancement of Muslim agendas and protection of Muslim rights in India. The League until the late 1930s was not a mass organisation but represented the landed and commercial Muslim interests of the United Provinces (today's Uttar Pradesh). He shared Syed Ahmad Khan's belief that Muslims should first build up their social capital through advanced education before engaging in politics. Aga Khan called on the British Raj to consider Muslims to be a separate nation within India. Even after he resigned as president of the AIML in 1912, he still exerted major influence on its policies and agendas. He was nominated to represent India to the League of Nations in 1932 and served as President of the League of Nations from 1937–38....LESS
This book explores the evolution of a Shia Ismaili identity and crucial aspects of the historical forces that conditioned the development of the Muslim modern in late colonial South Asia. It traces the legal process that, since the 1860s, recast a Shia Imami identity for the Ismailis, and explicates the public career of Imam Aga Khan III amid heightened religious internationalism since the late-nineteenth century, the age of 'religious internationals'. It sheds light and elaborates on the enduring legacies of questions such as the Aga's understanding of colonial modernity, his ideas of India, restructured modalities of community governance and the evolution of Imamate-sponsored institutions, key strands in scholarship that characterized the development of the Muslim and Shia Ismaili modern, and Muslim universality vis-a-vis denominational particularities that often transcended the remits of the modular nation and state structure.