Most Ismailis – also known also Nizari Ismailis – live in African and Asian countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.
There are also sizeable communities in the United States, Canada, and Britain.
A multi-million-dollar horse-racing and breeding operation is believed to be one of the main sources of the Aga Khan's income beyond donations by his followers.
The 75-year-old Aga Khan, who is believed to be a direct descendant of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, is the 49th Imam or spiritual leader of the Ismailis. Ismaili Imams style themselves and family members as princes and princesses – a title the family inherited from their royal ancestor, Fath Ali Shah, an 18-century Persian king.
Ismaili followers reportedly donate at least 10 percent of their gross annual income to the spiritual leader.But it remains unclear whether the Imam personally benefits from the donations.