Aga Khan III

Aga Khan III was born on November 2, 1877. Aga Khan is a title held by imams of the Nazari Ismaili sect of Islam that was first granted in 1818. He served as the 48th Imam of Shi’a Islam, from 1877 to 1957. He is known for founding the All-India Muslim League and allowing Muslims to express their opinions to the British. He also attempted to create fair relationships between Hindus and Muslims despite the ongoing conflict between the religions. Today, we commemorate his birthday.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III

Birth date:

November 2, 1877

Death date:

July 11, 1957 (age 79)

Zodiac Sign:



5' 7"

Net Worth:

$5 million


Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III, was born on November 2, 1877, in Karachi, Bombay Presidency, British India. He succeeded as an imam after his father Aga Ali Shah, Aga Khan II, died in 1885. Aga Khan III was only seven at the time. His mother was his father’s third wife and the granddaughter of Fath Ali Shah of Persia. His upbringing and religious education were supervised by his mother. He graduated from Eton College and later attended the University of Cambridge. He traveled to many different parts of the world to meet with his followers and settle differences. He also gave guidance to his followers and helped them financially.

He received the Knight Commander of the Indian Empire distinction in 1897 from Queen Victoria and was later promoted to Knight Grand Commander in 1902. In 1906, he became the founding member and the first president of the All-India Muslim League. This political party aimed to create an independent Muslim nation in India. This nation, now called Pakistan, was established in 1947.

He died in 1957 in Switzerland at 79 years of age. He married a total of four times and had three children. The Aga Khan can choose who to bestow the title on, and Aga Khan III stipulated in his will that the title will go to his grandson, Shah Karim al-Husayni (Aga Khan IV). He made this choice as he felt his grandson would have a better grasp on the quickly changing and progressing modern world.

Career timeline

Taking on the Imamate

Aga Khan III succeeds his father as the Imam.


He is awarded the distinction of a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire by Queen Victoria.

All-India Muslim League

He becomes the first president of the All-India Muslim League.

The League of Nations

He serves as a member of the League of Nations.

Why We Love Aga Khan III

  1. He met with his followers

    Aga Khan III met his followers and gave them personal advice and guidance. He also helped them financially.

  2. He was practical

    He realized the world was changing and science was progressing. Because of this, he chose to give the title of Aga Khan to his grandson who would grow up in that world and would have a better grasp of it.

  3. He helped create Pakistan

    He helped create Pakistan. This aided in the conflict between Hindus and Muslims since it allowed Muslim Indians to have their own country, with laws that aligned with their faith.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. He was considered royalty

    Ismaili Imams are recognized by the British government as royals, as they are related to an 18th-century Persian King.

  2. He advocated for education

    He believed Muslims should prioritize education, and he advocated for free primary education and improved secondary education.

  3. He established 200 schools

    He established about 200 schools in Africa and Asia.

  4. He was a published author

    He wrote “India in Transition,” in which he discussed the political situation in India, and also wrote “The Memoirs of Aga Khan: World Enough and Time,” an autobiography about his childhood.

  5. He loved horse racing

    He owned 16 winning horses in the British Classic Races.

Aga Khan III FAQs

Is Aga Khan related to the Prophet Muhammad?

Aga Khan IV claimed the family was related to Prophet Muhammad through the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali.

Who was the first Aga Khan?

The first Aga Khan was Hasan Ali Shah in 1817.

Where was Aga Khan III buried?

He was buried in the Mausoleum of Aga Khan in Aswan, Egypt.

Aga Khan III’s birthday dates

2024November 2Saturday
2025November 2Sunday
2026November 2Monday
2027November 2Tuesday
2028November 2Thursday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.