Aga Khan III

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Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III

Aga Khan III, PC (November 2, 1877 - July 11, 1957), also known as Sultan Mahommed Shah, was the only son of Aga Khan II, and succeeded him on his death in 1885, becoming the head of the family. Under the care of his mother, a daughter of the ruling house of Persia, he was given not only that religious and oriental education which his position as the religious leader of the Ismailis made indispensable, but a sound European training, a boon denied to his father and grandfather. This blending of the two systems of education produced the happy result of fitting this Muslim chief in an eminent degree both for the sacerdotal functions which appertain to his spiritual position, and for those social duties required of a great and enlightened leader which he was called upon to discharge by virtue of his position.

The Aga Khan travelled in distant parts of the world to receive the homage of his followers, and with the object either of settling differences or of advancing their welfare by pecuniary help and personal advice and guidance. The distinction of a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire was conferred upon him by Queen Victoria in 1897, and he received like recognition for his public services from the German emperor, the sultan of Turkey, the shah of Persia and other potentates. In 1934 he was made a member of the Privy Council.

He was also an owner of thoroughbred racing horses, including five winners of the Epsom Derby.

Bypassing his son Aly Khan, he was succeded by his grandson Aga Khan IV

  • He married, in 1893, Shahazda Begum.
  • He married, in 1903, Teresia Magliano.
  • He married, in 1929, Andrée Joséphine Carron.
  • He married, in 1944, Yvette Blanche Labrousse, elected "Miss Lyon 1929", then "Miss France 1930", named Om Habibah September 10, 1944, and later called HH Begum Mata Salamat (Mother of the Peace)

See also: Aga Khan IFatimids

Additional reading

  • Naoroji M. Dumasia, A Brief History of the Aga Khan (1903).
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