Well the [installation] ceremony is a public installation of the Imam. The Ismailis pay homage to the Imam and that is when you are recognised by the world at large as the Imam. Officially as soon as one Imam passes away, his successor takes on from the very minute the Imam has passed away.

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Interviewer: Unknown

Interviewer: … just going off to East Africa to be installed as leader of the Ismailis. What exactly happens at the ceremonies there?

His Highness the Aga Khan: Well the ceremony is a public installation of the Imam. The Ismailis pay homage to the Imam and that is when you are recognised by the world at large as the Imam. Officially as soon as one Imam passes away, his successor takes on from the very minute that the Imam has passed away. But this is a public installation. I will probably wear the robes that my grandfather wore during his last jubilee and I will receive a sword which is the sword of justice of the Imamat. I will be given these robes and the sword by the leading members of the community and they will present an address at the same time.

Interviewer: Would you say your position as leader of the Ismailis is similar to that of the Queen in this country or perhaps nearer to say the Pope?

AK: Well it’s hard to compare the position to either of them. The Imam is the descendant of the Prophet, and as such has the religious guidance of his community. At the same time he has to see that in their material life they are happy and that they progress as fast as the countries they are living in progress themselves.

Interviewer: Your Highness, unlike many spiritual leaders in history, you are endowed with a fair share of the world’s riches. Do you think that the possession of great riches is compatible with spiritual leadership?

AK: Yes I think it is, provided that the wealth is used in a manner which will give advancement for the community.

Interviewer: Your grandfather, I believe, used to be weighed from time to time in diamonds. Do you propose to carry on?

AK: Well it’s an Ismaili custom and I think that it should be definitely should be carried on. The Jubilee is not yet fixed and we don’t know when or where it will be, but I think there will most probably be a jubilee. And I hope many!

Interviewer: And the diamonds are given to charity, are they?

AK: They are all given to charity. The money that …

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