ISMAILI TEMPLE WEDDING
in LISBON, PORTUGAL
The Ismaili Muslims are a community of diverse culture that is spread around more than 25 nations. For more than 1400 years, Ismailis have been following Shia traditional values which can be observed in a promise to keep seeking knowledge for self and societal improvement; advocating pluralism via creation of bridges of understanding, brotherhood, fraternity, and peace; and wholeheartedly sharing one’s wealth, skills, and time for betterment of their community’s quality of life as well as of the society as a whole.
The Ismailis follow and align themselves to a living, hereditary imam (spiritual leader) from Ali, the son-in- law and cousin of Prophet Mohammad. They follow the hereditary line of succession from Ismail, the eldest son of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq, to the current and 49 th Imam His Highness the Aga Khan (also known as Mawlana Hazar Imam), who is a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad.
What are Ismaili Centres/Ismaili Temples?
Over the course of several centuries, the Muslim landscape has prominently featured different kinds of places where followers gather and co-exist in harmony. These spaces, including masjids, have also served as a space for different kinds of social, educational and reflective institutions. The Ismaili Centres are also such spaces of gathering and are symbolic of the permanently present core Ismaili values and traditions. The Ismaili Centers via their way of functioning and architecture are a reflective of a modern outlook, humility, dialogue, fraternity, and friendship. The offer an avenue for the encouragement of educational, social, and cultural programs from all possible perspectives that fall within the boundaries of the ethics ingrained in Islam.
One of the main aims of Ismaili Centers is promotion of understanding and mutual exchange between communities of varied faiths. They are thus not just temples for assimilation of spiritual knowledge, but also centers for fostering increased sense of pluralism and augmentation of intellectual limits.
Ismaili Temple in Lisbon Portugal
During the early 1970s, Ismailis in Portugal built areas where people could gather for social and cultural activities, in different parts of the country where they settled. They also developed offices for purpose of charity organizations supported by them. The gradual growth and expansion of these small spaces in different towns and cities resulted in increased involvement of Portuguese people of other faiths and institutional associates.
A comprehensive and permanent facility was therefore purchased in 1986 for the purpose of meeting the increased needs of the Ismailis, the wider community, and the institutions. This place was located in the prime locality of Palma de Baixo, close to major hospitals and universities, and with easy access to all regions of Lisbon.
The third Ismaili Temple/Ismaili Centre was launched open by Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Sampaio in 1998. The structure of the temple drew influences from different places, including Portuguese Muslim heritage and designs of Moorish architecture. The juxtaposition and unique mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces gives this temple a distinctive aesthetic ambiance which is a reflection of the local society as well as of different facets of Islamic architectural traditions.
Photography by Sapo LifeStyle