Our Imam is our Spiritual Father/Mother of Ismailis all over the World
By Abdulmalik J. Merchant
I was among the thousands of Ismailis across Canada who received this tiny object of sublime grace and beauty on the occasion of the 78th Salgirah (birthday) of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, on December 13, 2014. The octagonal pin commemorates last September’s opening of the magnificent Toronto Ismaili Centre.
As a fashion accessory, the lapel pin has been growing in popularity in recent years, and is considered to be more memorable than many other accessories, as part of being “well-dressed!”
The pin is octagonal, a pattern that has become very familiar in Islamic history since the 7th century. Within this octagonal structure are 3-sets of the eight-pointed star, which as a religious symbolism stretches in history to ancient civilizations.  The geometric octagonal design permeates numerous aspects of the new Toronto Ismaili Centre opened in 2014 as well as the first Ismaili Centre built…
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