Platinum Jubilee Of Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan

The word jubilee is derived from the Hebrew yobel, meaning ram’s horn. In the ancient time, the jubilee was announced by the blowing of the shofar, a trumpet of ram’s horn, and as a result, the occasion came to be known as yobel, or jubilee. The Arabic word for jubilee is also yobel, and Turkish ellinci. Jubilee is a momentous occasion, denoting the celebration of a period of time, anniversary or other special occasions.

Platinum is a soft, ductile and silver-white metallic element. The Spanish scientist Antonio de Ulloa discovered it in gold-bearing deposits in Columbia in 1735. The English chemist William Wollaston first obtained pure platinum in 1803; and was also the first to devise a way to produce platinum in a workable form suitable for commercial purposes. South Africa, Russia and Canada produce almost all of the world’s output of platinum. Its production began about in 1925, but it began to be used for jewelry in significant amounts in 1905. World production of platinum increased strongly in 1960 and in the beginning of 1970, reaching 2 million troy ounces (62 tons) per year. Since then, production has been spurred by greater demand for platinum.

To mark the completion of his seventy years of Imamate, the Ismailis decided to weigh the Imam in platinum. The Platinum Jubilee was celebrated in Karachi on 3rd February, 1954 in presence of 50,000 Ismailis.

The Imam appeared in a ceremonial high-walled black cap, a white tunic and a brown, embroidered robe. Sitting between Mata Salamat Umm Habibeh and his own wife, the Prime Minister Mohammad Ali recorded the whole ceremony with his 3-D camera, frequently shooting back at the photographers. After the recitation of the Holy Koran, the Imam rose and raised his hands in prayer before resuming his seat. The afternoon sun was blazing down and a servant of the Governor General’s household was holding a sunshade over the Imam.

Platinum is a costly metal and the Imam did not like to spent more funds in its purchasing, and insisted to use the platinum only tenth part of his weight. According to the adjustment of the scale, one ounce of platinum was to indicate a weight of 14 ratls. Thus, Wazir Ibrahim Manji, the President of Platinum Jubilee Association began to place the pieces of platinum one after another and the scale showed the weight of the Imam for 215 ratls, to which about 15 ounces platinum were used. The whole ceremony ended within ten minutes. The sum gifted to the Imam was returned to his followers to set up Finance and Investment Corporation.