JUMA BHAI HAJI – A PHILANTHROPIST, A PATRON WITH A FAR-SIGHTED VISION

Murrabbi Haji Juma Bhai Haji’s simple living and dressing style would deceive anyone into believing that he is owner and director of one of the major business entity in Tanganyika, called Messrs Juma Haji & Co Ltd.

Murrabbi Juma Bhai Haji was born in Lalpur, Kathiawad, India in 1890. He married Jena Bai, Mohammed son of Ebrahim Haji was his adopted son.

After completing primary education, he travelled to Dar es Salaam at the age of 18 and worked in a clothing shop of his uncle.

In 1910, he started his own business selling clothes. In 1921, he opened branches at Kindu and Albertsville in Congo.

His business grew very fast owning several rice mills, sisal plantation and cotton ginneries. Haji Juma bhai has recorded a notable impact in public service.

He was the Honorary Secretary of Dar es Salaam Jamaat in 1930. He worked as Jamaat Trustee from 1938 to 1956. He was the first President of newly created Tanganyika Education Council in 1953 and held the post until after the completion of construction of Boarding House in 1957. He is now the trustee of the properties of Educational Council. He also held the position of Vice-President of Indian Chamber of Commerce for two years.

Haji Juma bhai has a record and legacy of generosity in various fields. One of his several contributions is the donation of a dispensary building in Dar es Salaam in memory of his brother, now called Ebrahim Haji Charitable Dispensary. He also gave a huge donation of Shs 42,000 to the Supreme Council for the construction of a Hall, now called Ebrahim Haji Ithna-Asheri Assembly Hall in memory of his brother. He also donated a residential plot to Dar es Salaam Jamaat located at Maweni St, Upanga. In 2013, the Jamaat built a 12 storey residential apartment building called Juma Haji Residency on the donated plot.

Juma bhai Haji left Dar es Salaam for Karachi after the sisal estate that the family had developed and the rental buildings that had been constructed were nationalized by the Government of Tanzania in early 1970s.

He laid the foundation stone of Mehfile Murtaza in Karachi in 1976. He passed away in Karachi in 1977, and he is buried there. (As recorded in 1960 AFED Directory/Family source)

EBRAHIM HAJI

Murrabbi Ebrahim Haji was the younger brother of Juma bhai Haji and was born in Lalpur, Kathiawad, India in 1892. After obtaining his primary education in India, he travelled to Dar es Salaam in 1910 and joined his elder brother’s business. He played an important part in establishing branches of their business in the Congo. Due to extremely difficult living conditions at the time in the Congo, people were reluctant to start a new life over there.

However Ebrahim bhai was able to do this because of his perseverance, adventurous and enterprising nature. As a result, some families followed him and settled in the Congo.

Ebrahim bhai had an important contribution in the establishment of the Africa Federation. He was President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat from 1943 to 1946 and also previously held the position of Hon Secretary. He was the Vice-President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce at its establishment.

Ebrahim bhai Haji had the dream of moving to Pakistan and visited Pakistan before partition, but he died before Pakistan was created.  His children established a business in Pakistan, where most of them lived and died.

Ebrahim bhai Haji died in Dar es Salaam in 1947 leaving eight children, all of whom are now deceased. The children are Rubab bai, Mohammed, Fidahussein, Habib, Banoobai, Nazmabai, Shokat and Hussain (Sheny).

Hussain Haji (Shaney), among his children was instrumental in building the first Khoja mosque in Toronto in 1980 with funds donated by the community members and the Ebrahim Haji and Juma Haji family. (Source: 1960 Trade Directory/Family source).

The grandchildren of Marhum Ebrahim Haji continue to support the community in various projects and developments.

We are very fortunate and grateful to have had the Philanthropists and Patrons like the late Juma Haji and Ebrahim Haji in our Community who played pivotal roles in the development of the Jamaats and in the infrastructure which the Community benefits till today and Insha’allah will continue. May Allah (SWT) by His infinite mercy and grace grant maghferat and bless the souls of the Marhumeens of Juma and Ebrahim Haji family for their services and contributions. Please recite Sura-e-Fateha for the maghferat of their souls and for all the Marhumeens.


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19th August 2016 (15th Zilkaad 1437 AH)

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