Pray for Ismailis

Ismaili’s are a sect within Shia Islam who follow a living imam (spiritual leader) who is descended from Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. They believe these hereditary imams offer moral and spiritual guidance to their community.

In the 7th century, there was disagreement among Shias about the correct successor. Ismailis formed to follow the leadership of the hereditary line that is currently led by His Highness the Aga Khan IV.

There are 15 million Ismailis, mainly living in Central and South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Australia. They highly value education, believing that the search for knowledge benefits both self and society. Ismailis are also known to live peaceably alongside others, and work to build a better life for the communities they live in as a whole.

They are often visibly engaged in efforts to help others, with others. For example, last year the Ismaili community in Edmonton hosted a pancake breakfast and Covid-19 vaccination clinic on Canada Day, where they partnered with the city, local indigenous leaders, and a Christian shelter for the homeless.

Very few Christian workers focus on Ismailis. It is easy to talk about faith with them, as they are interested in learning and may readily engage with Scripture, agreeing with another perspective, but often not accepting it for themselves.

How to Pray

  • Ismailis honour Jesus and share many Christian beliefs about Him. Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal further truth about Him. (John 14:6)
  • As a minority sect, Ismailis can face persecution and discrimination from other Muslim communities who do not see them as real Muslims. Pray for their safety and freedom. (Psalm 82:3-4)
  • Ismailis are esoteric in their approach to faith, with an emphasis on hidden meanings, and spiritual understanding beyond human understanding. Pray that they will have experiences with God that lead them to Jesus.

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