The NanoWisdoms Archive of Imamat Speeches, Interviews and Writings wishes all Salgirah Mubarak (click on the image to view the card).

Although birthdays are a time for celebration, they are also a time for reflection. Reflection on what one has accomplished in the previous year, and in life generally. While the accomplishments of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s life are beyond tabulation — almost beyond comprehension, perhaps in that itself there is a lesson for us as we celebrate his 78th birthday.

In his 2006 Aga Khan University speech, Hazar Imam said, of his plans for the university, that “the path we have chosen is not easy to chart — and it is certainly not risk free. But it is both a necessary and an exciting road — filled with the promise of high adventure.” And 7 months later, at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, he said “we must infuse our students with [a] spirit of adventure.” Adventure takes courage. Courage to act. But then acting is where the thrill of life lies, for as Hazrat Ali said “the coward has no enjoyment of life” echoing US President Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote in his book Strenuous Life: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

Whether as young Imams — like Hazar Imam in his 20s planning and developing the billion pound (in today’s currency) project at Sardinia or what would become the future Aga Khan University — or as older Imams, decisive, bold courage, the courage to act, the courage to act on their visions and “dare mighty things” is a consistent hallmark of our Imams. Never for a moment are they nonchalant because, as Hazrat Ali says, “to give yourself up to nonchalance is to lay up regrets” and of regret, at Brown University this year, Hazar Imam said “never regret [mistakes], but correct them.” And so perhaps, on Hazar Imam’s birthday, we should resolve to chart a new course, a course that commits us to act, to “make a dent in the universe” as Steve Jobs said, so on our next birthday we can count ourselves not among those who just dream, but among those who “dare mighty things”. Among those who Dare to Act.

In keeping with the theme of our card, we would like to share with you some of our favourite quotes from the Imamat on confidence, courage and the spirit of adventure:
Click here for the Imamat on confidence, courage and the spirit of adventure

If this is your first visit to the Archive, we invite you to watch our introductory video here.