For 30 years now I have wondered about the sect in Kenya that call themselves “The Aga Khan”. They have many wonderful hospitals and schools here in Kenya. I had always assumed that they were some sort of off-shoot of Hinduism. But today at breakfast I sat down with a professor who teaches at a prominent university in London and he was more than eager to tell me all about the Aga Khan and I was more than eager to listen because I believe that it helps to know what people believe if you want to effectively share the gospel with them.
Turns out that the Aga Khan are Muslims! They are from the Shia side of Islam and they call themselves “Ishmaelite’s” because of God’s promise to “make Ishmael a great nation.” He told me that over 1000 years ago Islam broke into two groups: the Sunnis and the Shiites. The Sunnis believe that Muhammad was the last prophet and there are no others who have followed him. But the Shiites believe that each generation from Muhammad has it’s own “Supreme Prophet who is a descendant of Muhammad. The Aga Khan are a sect that broke off from the Shiites and have their own “Supreme Leader”. If you Google, Aga Khan, you will see that the current Aga Khan is a billionaire philanthropist who has gone through several European wives. They have both divorced him for his extra-marital affairs. He owns a vast amount land and hotels and he is one of the largest breeders of race-horses in the world. I’m a little puzzled how 15 million people can call this man “Lord” and believe that he is “infallible”. He must be infallibly fallible!
After hearing his passionate speech about how the Aga Khan believe that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all acceptable paths to God and that love and acceptance are the ultimate virtues, I found an opening to give him my testimony. Arguing Doctrine in this situation would have been pointless. But you just can’t argue with a testimony. I told him about my own encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, how it changed my life and how much I love Him. He listened intently so did his 14 year old son who was sitting at the table with us.
I won’t go into any more about what they believe, but I am glad to know it so that I can wisely engage these people in conversation about the beauty of Christ.
He did say an interesting thing, that I will use in the future. He said “Every man has two Gods; the one who created Him and the one he creates for himself.” How true is that?
More adventures to come!
We love you all,
Richard and Valerie
P.S. We’ve been at the airport for 4 hours waiting for our flight back to Nairobi. The plane burst a wheel so they are trying to find another one. Please feel sorry for us!