Archives

A regularly updated collection of historical records and  from the Africa Federation archives.

DOWN THE MEMORY LANE
 
MESSAGE FROM HAJI AHMED DUNGERSI - HON. SECRETARY - HUSAINI SHIA ISLAMIC CENTRE
 

I am grateful to Allah (S.W.T.) for granting me tawfik and good health which made it possible for me to serve this community for the past 6 years (1983 to 1989). This meagre contribution of mine is entirely for the pleasure of none but Allah (S.W.T)

When we embarked on the mammoth task of acquiring a property and building a multi- purpose centre many eyebrows were raised and in all honesty even our sanity was questioned. The whole project was treated as one big joke.

Today, Alhamdulillah our dream has come true. Husaini Shia Islamic Centre has come to being and is now used extensively for religious and social activities.

A project of such enormous magnitude would not have been achieved without the involvement, commitment and sacrifice of the members of the Community. I can only say (Ahsante sana) to all those who have sacrificed their time, expertise and wealth. Only Allah (S.W.T) can reward them here and in the hereafter. Ameen

A project of such enormous magnitude would not have been achieved without the involvement, commitment and sacrifice of the members of the Community. I can only say (Ahsante sana) to all those who have sacrificed their time, expertise and wealth. Only Allah (S.W.T) can reward them here and in the hereafter. Ameen

MESSAGE FROM HAJI HABIB JAFFERALI MULJI THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERATION FOR KHOJA SHIA ITHNA- ASHERI JAMAATS OF AFRICA

 
I feel very much honored and delighted to have been asked to contribute a message for the Commemorative Souvenir marking of official opening of the Husaini Islamic Centre, Stanmore in U.K.

When reviewing the Stanmore Project, one is constrained to give due cognizance to its multi-dimensional function. This very fact speaks volumes for those who conceived the idea and prepared the groundwork.

On the one hand, the Husaini Islamic Centre is able to cater for the multifarious activities of the London Jamaat, which now has adequate facilities necessary for the provision of services related to its religious and social activities.

On the other hand, by housing the Secretariat of the World Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna- Asheri Muslim Communities, the complex becomes the headquarters of our Community Worldwide. The importance of the World Federation cannot be under-rated; Necessity of permanent and adequate facilities for a Secretariat can also therefore not be undermined. The Centre has succeeded in meeting important communal needs. The existence of the Madressa Syeed al-Khui in the complex is another important dimension of the project managed by the World Federation.

The Madressa will, Insha’allah, meet a religious obligation of immense proportions.

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FOND MEMORIES BY ALHAJ ANVER M RAJPAR
PRESIDENT, MEHFIL-E-MURTAZA



Though I now live in Karachi (Pakistan), my connection with the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri community of London dates back from my student days in the 1950s.

In 1958, together with my other student friends, we decided to form an organization to attend to the needs of Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri of East African origin residing in London. A committee was formed to draft the constitution in which I took an active part. Within four months, a   constitution was produced and the East African Ithna Asheri students’ union came into existence. The members gave me an opportunity to serve the community electing me, as Secretary (1959-61) and then as president (1960-61). This body, however, was dissolved upon the formation of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri community of London.

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OPENING CEREMONY OF HUSAINI SHIA ISLAMIC CENTRE, STANMORE – U.K.
MESSAGE FROM ALHAJ MUSTAFA H. CHANDOO - THE FIRST PRESIDENT


 

All praise and thanks be to Allah (SWT) who made it possible for me to be in the team which started the Husaini Shia Islamic Centre popularly known as “The Stanmore Project”.

Alhamdulillah, this Centre which is now complete, is a milestone in the history of Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Community of London. The foundation for the development of our community in London was laid in 1960s mainly by students from East Africa and it has been a privilege and honour to be associated with its development culminating - as far as I am concerned - to serve as its President from 1983 till to date.

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MARHUM POPAT BHAI RAWJI


Popat bhai Rawji arrived in Dar es Salaam in 1904 from India after a long sea voyage. He explained briefly on the development of our community in Dar es Salaam, as follows:
 
The two main people who contributed in the construction of Dar mosque were Sachoo Peera and Nasser Mawji. Nasser Virji had funds from the Hemani Trust which was used for construction of the Musafarkhana in 1913.
 
The opening of Dar mosque was done by Agha Kuchak Shah who arrived from Zanzibar with other dignitaries for the opening ceremony in 1942.
 
The old Imambara was constructed mainly by efforts of Versi Advani. From 1907 to 1918, children were taught Quran recitation by Musa Ali Hussein of Maswa.

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REVIVAL OF BAGAMOYO MAJLIS AND THE RENOVATION OF THE MOSQUE THE FIRST KHOJA SHIA ITHNA ASHERI MOSQUE IN MAINLAND OF TANGANYIKA IN 1889 (PRESENTLY TANZANIA)


In late 19th Century during German rule, Bagamoyo was the administrative and commercial capital of Tanganyika. There were about twenty two families of Khoja Shia Ithna Asheris and Khoja Shia Ismailis combined. In the year 1883, it was decided to build a mosque and Imambargha. Alhaj Saleh Jagsi, (the grandfather of Mohamedsaleh Gulamali Jagsi) and the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheris members of Bagamoyo Jamaat raised the funds from Zanzibar and Bagamoyo. Nasser Virjee & Company also contributed. With the supervision of Alhaj Saleh Jagsi the mosque and Imambargha construction was completed in the year 1889.

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MARHUM GULAMALI BHAI JIVAN PANJWANI
Sharing the Dar es Salaam experience of the early 1900’s

 Gulamali bhai Jivan Panjwani was born on 18th March 1882 in Hadiana, Gujarat, India. He arrived in Mombasa in 1902 after a sea journey from India. At Mombasa he stayed at the home of Walji Bhanji for 22 days. He then travelled by ship to Dar es Salaam. He has narrated the following details regarding Dar es Salaam.
 
The Jamaat of Dar es Salaam was small and the Imambara was made of corrugated iron sheets. It was German rule and the tiny town was surrounded by thick jungle all around. The wild animals would frequently enter and move around in town. One of the smooth roads in Dar es Salaam was called Ring Street but later on due to collection of water upto 4ft deep during rains, the area came to be known as Mchafukoge.

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REMEMBERING THE ELDERS OF OUR COMMUNITY AND THEIR SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS



MARHUM GULAMHUSSEIN KALYAN OF LINDI

 Marhum Gulamhussein Kalyan was born in 1903 in Kutch Mundra. He learned Quran and Dinyat from Mulla Haji Mohammed Khaki in Kutch. Then he went to Bombay to study at Khanmohamed Habib School. He stayed at Sir Karim Ebrahim Baronet Orphanage. In 1922 he travelled to Zanzibar with Bande Khoryo and worked at Ladha Meghji. In 1924 he accompanied Marhum Rashid Versi to Lindi where he worked at Marhum Razahussein Pardhan business.
 
When he came to Lindi, Marhum Haji Hamzaali Noormohamed was the President of Lindi Jamaat and Abdulhussein Sachedina was the Hon. Secretary. The membership fee at that time was Sh. 1.00.

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THE ITHNA ASHERI UNION HUSAINI SHIA ISLAMIC CENTRE STANMORE-LONDON (REVISITED)

REPORT BY THE THEN CHAIRMAN ALHAJ KASSIM MANJI

This report was presented during opening ceremony of Husaini Shia Islamic Centre Stanmore London on Saturday 2nd December 1989 / 4th Jamadi ul Aakhar 1410 AH:

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF TUNDURU JAMAAT

Tunduru is situated in Ruvuma Region in southern Tanzania. In 1950s Ruvuma, Lindi and Mtwara regions were all called the Southern Province. The distance from Dar es Salaam to Tunduru by road is 520 Kms.

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REMEMBERING AGHA MOHAMMED MEHDI HASSAN MARASHI

In his cricket sweater and white flannels Agha Mehdi looked every inch an elegant cricketer. His smooth run up and the momentum that he gathered as he came in to bowl his right arm fast medium deliveries at Mnazi Moja’s first pitch or Khalifa ground enlivened the Zanzibar cricket scene and is still etched on memory.
 
A man of few words and always smiling Marhum Agha Mehdi was calm, cool and a gentle person. Never one to throw tantrums or indulge in any form of controversy, he was sportsman personified.
 
Agha Mehdi was always among wickets and spearheaded Zanzibar’s opening attack with Akber Dedhar. Both had splendid bowling action.

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THE LEGENDARY - MOHAMEDRAZA VIRJEE


Mohamedraza Virjee, famously known as Raza Virjee, was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 17th July 1935. He is the son of Abdulrasul Gulamhussein Virjee and Shirinbai (daughter of Suleman Daya Walji).  His father Abdulrasul was born in 1914 in Mombasa, Kenya. Abdulrasulbhai was a great sportsman and played cricket for Kenya. He was a right arm fast bowler who opened the bowling for Mombasa Jaffery in 1930's.

He moved to Dar es Salaam in 1933 and got married and was blessed with six children, four sons and two daughters namely; Ali, Mohamed Raza, Mohsin, Hasnain, Kanize Fatema and Raziya.  He led the first ever Ithna-Asheri team in the DSM League Cricket. After retiring from active cricket, he served the Dar es Salaam Cricket Club in various capacities being its first Chairman in 1952 and he also took active interest in coaching the youngsters.

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