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

An amusing account – Kampala 1942

Excerpts from a ten part section of a chapter on the growth of the KSI community in Uganda - from the forthcoming book: “Sustained Struggle” - on the life and times of MohamedJaffer Sheriff Dewji - 1889-1961 - by Hassan Ali M. Jaffer.
(Reproduced with permission of the author)

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In 1961, I was visiting Kampala when I went over to see a friend, Gulamali Manji, who introduced me to his father, Manjibhai Walji. When Manjibhai recognized me, he asked: “How is your grandfather?” Before I could respond, Manjibhai quipped: “Tell him to come back to Kampala. There is Allah in Kampala now!” The words used in Cutchi were:  Toje Dade ke cho, bhale pacha ache. Hane Allah hida achi vyo aae!
 
I was stunned at this comment and did not know how to react. As I stared at Manjibhai in utter disbelief, with a smile, Manjibhai beckoned me to sit down and explained to me what he meant by this comment.
 
‘Your grandfather came here once for the month of Muharram (in 1942). We had our old Imambara then, part of which was used as Baituassalaat, since we did not have a proper Masjid.
 
‘In his Muharram Majalis, for ten days, your grandfather lectured us with stress on one subject only – Salaat. He talked about the importance of Salaat, the need for offering Salaat on time and the importance of offering Salaat in a Masjid. He talked about Sawab for building a Mosque and the ajr of Baaqeatussalehaat for such charity. He also stressed on the importance of paying religious dues, Zakaat, Khums and for making donations for good causes.’ He made a sarcastic remark about Kampala in Gujarati: ‘Imam Hussein che; Khuda nathi!’ - This comment irked.

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The Legendary and Brilliant Star of the Community – Alhaj Mulla Hussein Allarakhia Rahim of Zanzibar


Alhaj Mulla Hussein Allarakhia Rahim was born in Zanzibar in 1900. He was a famous and well-known personality in Zanzibar Island.  He was President of the Kuwwat ul Islam Jamaat (Juni Misit) of Zanzibar for many years. He served many other institutions in Zanzibar including as President of the
Faize Ithna-Asheri which provided various services to the community. After the Second World War he introduced the Ithna-Asheri Volunteer Corps with Alhaj Ebrahim Hussein Sheriff as its Chairman, Ali Ebrahim Jivraj as Secretary and Abbas Tejani as Treasurer.

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Ithna-Asheri Students’ Union of East Africa
at Aligarh Muslim University, India - 1965 to 1974

After the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, about 7 students from Zanzibar with the support of their parents journeyed to India to pursue higher education at the Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, in Uttar Pradesh, India. This was most profound idea. Later on, they were joined by several other students from Lindi, Mombasa, Moshi, Mwanza, Kampala and Zanzibar numbering to about 20 who were encouraged by their counterparts who took key initiatives earlier. Few among them received financial support from Supreme Council. At the time the AFED Secretariat was based in Mombasa, Kenya.
 
Amongst the students who later pursued medical profession degrees at different Medical Institutions were Dr. Asgharali Moledina from Mombasa, who is also the immediate past President of the World Federation, Dr. Hassan Amirali, Dr. Shabbir Karim and Dr. Rafia Yusuf Juma, all from Zanzibar.

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HAJI FAZUL CASSAM CHENAI - THE EARLY SETTLERS OF KHOJA SHIA ITHNA-ASHERI IN MADAGASCAR

 Haji Fazul Cassam Chenai was born in Surat, India on 15th July 1877. Since his father Cassam Hirdjee used to trade in Chinese goods the Nawab (Prince) of Surat used to address him with the nickname Chenai which soon became a family name.

The family of Chenai is among the foremost and well known families of our community which first settled in Madagascar. Fazulbhai had a close relationship with the Nawab of Surat and due to Fazulbhai’s extrovert and amiable nature their relationship developed resulting in joint holiday and hunting trips.
 

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Mohamedali G. R. Hansraj of Soroti, Uganda
(1923-2009)


“He had a passion and thrived in the service to Humanity”


Mohamedalibhai was born on 10th June 1923 in Soroti, Uganda. After completing his basic education in Soroti he joined in Allidina Visram High School in Mombasa. In 1940 he joined his father's business, married in 1942, and then went to Mbale to open a branch of his father's business.

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REMEMBERING OUR PAST LEADER – A GREAT PERSONALITY
WHO INSPIRED MANY AND MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE SOCIETY

 Nurmohamed Kalyan travelled to the Island of Zanzibar from India in 1880 at the age of 10. He had two brothers Esmail Kalyan and Sachedina Kalyan. The Kalyan family is one of the first families to settle in East Africa. After 10 years in Zanzibar, the family moved to Kenya.
 
Murrabbi Abdulhussein was born in Zanzibar in 1901. He obtained his primary school education in Zanzibar and moved to Mombasa in 1913. After two years in Mombasa, he established the famous A H Nurmohamed & Co Ltd. which later had several branches in East Africa.

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MARHUM HAJI ABDULLA KHIMJI AND MARHUM MOHAMED ABDULLA KHIMJI OF DAR ES SALAAM

Haji Abdulla Khimji was born in Kera, Kutch, India and migrated to Africa at a young age. Our community in Pangani and Tanga area vividly remember the generosity and leadership of Haji Saheb. During the heydays of Pangani, he commanded deep respect with the German Government authorities.
 
He was a resident of Dar es Salaam for many years. Due to his public services and integrity, the Tanganyika British Governor, Sir Cameron appointed him as Asian community representative in the Legislative Assembly.
 
Marhum’s wife Kulsumbai established Madressa and recited majalis in Kutchi. They had two sons Mohamed and Gulamali and seven daughters: Zainab Hussein Dharamsi, Maryam Gulamali Remtulla Manji, Shirin Gulamali Abdulrasul, Sakina M K Mithani, Fatma Janmohamed Dhirani, Zehra Akberali Mohamedtaki Kanji and Amina Gulamabbas Mohamedtaki Kanji. 

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A UNIQUE OCCASION OF THE NEW MOSQUE AND IMAMBARA FOR SONGEA

The opening ceremony of new Mosque and Imambara was done with great fanfare on 24 Zilhaj 1384 (April 1964). The mosque and Imambara were constructed through generous donation from the families of Marhum Ladhabhai Dinani and Marhum Jadavji Dhanji. The Honorary Secretary of Songea Jamaat, Alhaj Fidahussein Haji Mohamed Khaki spoke on this occasion. He said the community had finally been able to fulfill the need for these institutions, after having settled in Songea 35 to 40 years ago.

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Chronicle of Moshi KSI Jamaat



Brief information about Moshi Town, Coffee & Sugar Plantations:

 
Moshi town in the Kilimanjaro region with a population of about 200,000 is about 59 Sq. kilometers situated on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, which is 19,341 feet above sea level. Moshi is the coffee producing centre of the country. All around the town and on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, there are vast plantations of coffee. Moshi is one the cleanest and growing towns in Tanzania, with well-maintained roads and greenery in the town with bursting business outlets and fresh vegetables and fruit markets.

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The Genesis of World Federation – Part 2

A Personal Reflection of an Inspiring Journey

By: Hasnain Walji (Former Secretary General, Vice President and President 1978 – 2003)
 
‘Let me begin at the beginning. The concept of the World Federation dawned upon us by the events in Uganda.’ So began Marhum Mulla Asgherali M. M. Jaffer’s inaugural address at the First Constitutional Conference. (First page of the minutes, on page 4 below) Interestingly, of the three-day Constitutional Conference, almost a day was spent on a noteworthy debate. “To call ourselves Khoja or not - that was the question” Hours of passionate discussions took place on the merits of identity, closed membership and the scope of service.
 
The seasoned African delegation, joined by similarly pragmatic UK delegates leaned towards keeping it within the Khoja, while the enlightened North American delegation wanted to open it to the entire Shia world.

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