In Ismaili tariqah when one enters the Jamatkhana, he in a bold clear voice utters Hai Zinda i.e., “He (Imam) is living.” In reciprocation of which, those assembled within the prayer hall respond by pronouncing Qaim Paya i.e., (We) found (Imam) for ever.” When the prayer is in progress, Hai Zinda is not pronounced aloud, but wished in the mind by those who enter the prayer hall. Pir Sadruddin said, “One who says Hai Zinda, he will be rewarded equal to an elephant given away in charity; and he who says Qaim Paya will get reward as if he has given a horse in charity.” This is an old mode of describing the reward. The Prophet also said, “He who comes early to attend the Friday congregation will get the reward as if he has sacrificed a camel. The one who follows him will get the reward as if he has sacrificed a cow and he who follows him will be rewarded the sacrifice of a ram” (Miskhat, 1291).
These phrases are derived from the Koranic terms hayyiul qayyium (3:2), the synonymous of Persian terms Hazar Na’zar. The word hai signifies the One Who is Alive. This is also one of the names of God, indicating that He is Ever-Living. The word qayyum is derived from qayam, meaning to stand, indicating the One Who stands on His own, and also causes others to stand. The words hayyul qayyum are also used in the hadith for the Imam: “The earth cannot remain vacant without the hayyul qayyum Imam” (kalalan takhalun arzo min imam’mil hayyul qayyum). It means the Light of God is manifest on earth forever in the form of His epiphany i.e., the Imam.