Since severing the umbilical cord with the mainstream Aga Khani Khojas which propounded Nizari Ismaili faith, the new splinter group of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris in India were busily engaged in several fronts to identify, consolidate, and strengthen the infant community. The rivalry and confrontation between original and splinter group was rampant, occasionally violent and very often showed its ugly head in social mercantile activities of both the communities. The first pressing task of the leader of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri community was to establish and widen network of Jamaats and with it Mosques, Imambarghas, and Madrassahs had to be acquired or built. To an acceptable degree this was achieved between 1880 and 1933. Under this climate the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri community labored with a dream: to establish a federation that would unite the community. This was the vision of Seth Dawood Haji Nasser who created the Cutch Federation but due to the War, it was still-born and picked up its root in Africa where it flourished progressively. 

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After a long sea journey from India, Nasserbhai Pardhan arrived in Zanzibar in 1900. He lived there for four years followed by 18 months in Pemba and 18 months in Tanganyika before opening a shop at Changamwe, a suburb of Mombasa. After spending four months at Changamwe, he travelled to Kisumu by train and onwards to Jinja by boat.
In 1908 Jinja was a very small town. The houses were of two types, those made of iron sheets and those made of mud with thatched roofs. Our community members who had shops in Jinja were Walji Bhanji, Haji Merali, Abdulla Nathoo and Juma Muman. Nasser Pardhan joined in the employment of Haji Merali. Another employee was Suleman Esmail. Mohamed Manek was an employee of a famous entrepreneur Alidina Visram. Our community consisted of 7 families. 
Abdulla Nathoo had constructed a special room made of iron sheets in the compound of his house to be used for majlis. A famous Sunni Aalim Molvi Abdulla Shah used to recite majlis. Haji Tamachi Turk, a famous Sunni brother who had very friendly and cordial relations with our members used to sponsor nyaz and majlis. The Nyaz on 12th Muharram was regularly sponsored by him. His departure from Jinja in 1958 resulted in changes in our regular programme. There were four Bohra families who were close to our community. The nyaz on 9th Muharram was regularly sponsored by a Bohra community member Abdulhussein Kadarbhai. After 1958, the Bohra community started having their own programmes due to increase in their population.

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The late Gulamhusein Mohamed Valli Dharsi who later became famous by the use of the pen-name of “SALSABIL” was the eldest son of Mohamed Valli Dharsi and was born in Zanzibar in 1887. He was brought up by Janab Saleh Hassan, his maternal grandfather. After finishing his studies, he joined his father’s booming textile business, together with his two younger brothers Habib and Kassamali.

Mohamedbhai Valli Dharsi passed away in Zanzibar in 1923 after returning to Zanzibar from Ziyarat in Iraq, Gulamhuseinbhai and his two younger brothers managed their father’s business until 1930 when it was wound up.

Gulamhuseinbhai received his early education at Sir Euan Smith Madressa, (a famous Gujarati and English educational institution in Zanzibar, renamed Haile Selassie School after the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964). With his vast studies he could speak Urdu, English, Farsi, Gujarati, Arabic and Kiswahili. His fondness for reading and writing was remarkable. He soon built up his own private library which, at the time of his demise consisted of some 2000 (two thousand) books which included some rare and valuable collections in English, Gujarati, Urdu, and Arabic. His private Library also contained several important literary and classical works which he had won as prizes in school competitions.

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Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

Each year, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program sends 1 to 3 Tanzanians to the United States to attend a 12-month non-degree professional development program.  This program is for professionals and administrators with a minimum of five years’ experience in their field. 

Additional information on the Hubert Humphrey Program, including application requirements, can be found here:

Tanzanians do not apply through the U.S. Embassy, but instead directly through the Hubert H. Humphrey  website at

The application deadline is June 30, 2017.

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CIRCULAR NO: JMT/62/17                                                    


The forecast for the Crescent of 1st Shabaan 1438 A.H. is as follows: - (Please note that the forecast is based for Dar-es-Salaam and all timings are D’Salaam local time, other towns in the West should make necessary adjustments depending upon the time of sunset).
The birth of the Astronomical New Moon is at 3.17 p.m. on Wednesday 26th April 2017 i.e. 28th Rajab 1438 A.H.
On Thursday 27th April 2017, the age of the New Moon after the Sun has set is:

Sunset 6.17 p.m.
Crescent age at Sunset 27 hours 00 minutes     
Moonset 7.24 p.m.
Time Duration 1 hour 07 minutes
Crescent Elongation at Sunset      15.41 degrees
Moon Altitude at Sunset 14.43 degrees


The best time to observe the crescent is when the sun is 5 degrees below the horizon at 6.34 p.m., when the crescent will Insha’Allah be 16 degrees North of West, 2 degrees North of where the sun had set.

Ref: PR/AF/2017/21                                                    

The Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaats of Africa (Africa Federation) was formed in 1946 for the purupose, mainly of bringing together all the Jamaats in Africa representing the KSI community under one federal organization. The aim was to ensure development and progress in the Jamaats through unity and collective efforts in the formulation of  vision and planning to achieve the common aims of the individual Jamaats. By the Grace of Allah (SWT) and through the visions and endeavours applied by the successive leadership of the Africa Federation and the co-operation from the Jamaats, the Federation has  succeeded in advancing its Aims and Objects through the vissitudes of times.

Development and Progress in the religious, socio-econmic andeducational spheres through unity has been the hallmark of the Federation. The famous slogan of “EK Bano, Nek Bano” introduced by the President Alhaj Ebrahim Sheriff Dewji during his term; 1958 – 1964 reflected the core mission of the Federation which is UNITY of  Purpose and Service.

After 50 years of its successful Mission and Services, the Africa Federation is now launching and introducing a new LOGO for itself replacing the current one as a mark of the Federation continuing ahead in its journey of history.

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