Inspiration for Aspiration- Sharing Student Stories

Name: Malika Jaffer Mukhtar
Degree: Doctor of Medicine
University studied in: Hubert Kairuki Memorial University
Location of University: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Jamaat: Dar es Salaam

There are few days in human life when one is truly elated.   The first day in college is one of them. When you are getting ready, you feel a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like? What would the teachers be like? Who are my new classmates? – There is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive. That’s how it was for me.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3 year old niece has a million sparks. A little splash toy can make her jump on the bed. She gets thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets her excited. It is same for us all, such that when I was little and my mom would take me to a doctor due to a fever, a few minutes spent in that room with a lovely lady sitting there caring for me and being so kind sparked in me the passion to become a doctor.

As I grew up my grandma told me Islam is all about service to mankind for the sole pleasure of Allah (swt). This made me firm on my direction of becoming a doctor. The verse of the Holy Qur’an, which so comprehensively covers this concept of service to humanity, reads: O people of Islam, "You are the best people ever raised for the good of mankind because you have been raised to serve others; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah." (3:111).

You will remain the best as long as you are service-minded; promote good and welfare of the society. If you fail to do this, you no longer have a right to boast of the superiority of Islam and the Muslim Ummah. A society which is insensitive to the suffering of other human beings and is not always inclined to serve the cause of humanity cannot be described as an Islamic society, no matter how much it adhered to other aspects of Islamic teachings.



Above: On the left is Alhaj Abdulrasul Ahmed Lakha (Africa Federation Chairman), Mulla Asgharali M. M. Jaffer (not facing the camera). On the opposite; seated are from left Alhaj Anver Siwjee (Chairman Tanga Jamaat) Mohamed S.S. Alarakhia (Hon. Secretary - Tanga Jamaat) and Jaffer Dalal. On the right partly seen is Akber Mehta.

In the Above Picture Alhaj Raza Sachoo (Vice Chairman of Tanga Jamaat) can be seen seated on the right side of the table.

Photos Source: AFED Archives Section


Abdulhussein Jusab Sachedina was born in 1911 at Mundra, Cutch in India and lived in Dar es Salaam and Lindi. He was the first secretary of Lindi Jamaat.
Being a writer he had taken the pen-name of 'Azad' and so although his name was Abdulhussein he was popularly known by his pen-name.  He was among the first persons who floated the idea for the creation of the Federation of all KSI Jamaats in Africa and so he is referred to as one of the "Pioneers" of Federation of Africa Jamaats.
In his book on Khoja History, Marhum Mulla Asgherali writes the following regarding Marhum Azad Sachedina:

Among the first thinkers who wrote about the need of a common platform was Marhum Abdulhussein Sachedina "AZAD", editor of the Gujarati monthly, "MUNADEE". "MUNADEE" means 'a herald'. In 1932, this reticent but profound thinker wrote an editorial in his monthly, appealing to leaders of major Jamaats to awaken and rise to the changing times. He can be safely called the first visionary who saw the ailing society, and suggested a remedy with clarity. His powerful pen heralded a new era.
Marhum Azad had a style which was quite appealing. With almost complete command over his subject, he wrote poetically, gracefully and with enviable coherence.
In this editorial which he penned in 1932, he says: "lthna-Asheri Society today is overwhelmed by layers of backwardness and retrogression. These layers have been building up for the last several years, and continue even today. The horizon is bleak and dark, and nowhere is a ray of light to be seen. The ship of our community is drifting aimlessly and helplessly in a vast ocean, and none can predict when it will perish against the rocks. This is not a figment of imagination by a poet, or empty, fictional verbiage by a writer. Those who care to spare a moment or two to make an appraisal will agree that our words portray an exact and accurate picture of the prevailing situation."


The forecast for the Crescent of 1st Jamadi-ul-Awwal is as follows: - (Please note that the forecast is based for Dar-es-Salaam and all timings are Dar-es-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 4.29 a.m. on Sunday 6th January 2019 i.e. 29th Rabi-ul-Aakhar 1440 A.H.

On Sunday 6th January, the age of the New Moon after the Sun has set is:

Sunset 6.44 p.m.
Crescent age at Sunset 14 hours 15 minutes
Moonset 7.07 p.m.
Time Duration 23 Minutes
Crescent Elongation at Sunset             
05.67 degrees
Crescent Altitude at Sunset 04.63 degrees

On Monday 7th January, the age of the New Moon after the Sun has set is:

Sunset 6.44 p.m.
Crescent age at Sunset 38 hours 15 minutes
Moonset 7.55 p.m.
Time Duration 1 hour 11 Minutes
Crescent Elongation at Sunset             
16.56 degrees
Crescent Altitude at Sunset 15.32 degrees


The best time to observe the crescent is when the sun is 5 degrees below the horizon at 7.02 p.m., when the crescent will Insha’Allah be 19 degrees South of West, 5 degrees North of where the sun had set.


Alhamdulillah over 450 students are attending the Shia Ithna’asheri Madressah which caters for a wide range of subjects for boys and girls, also for special needs children. Similarly, there are integrated classes for the toddlers. The aim is to cement Islamic influence at a tender age. There are classes where the mature students are taught teaching methods, so that they may be groomed for the future generations. New classes are being introduced for the New Year, which will change the teaching approach to the elder students.

Not only has the Madressah flourished within its four walls, but more importantly, its teachings have brought about the awareness. Students are now asking what measures they can take to ensure that their hijab is maintained outside our own environment. The influence of the Madressah has stirred interest in the children to take part in all aspects of the mosque programs. To help volunteer, public speaking and to recite qasidas. The workshops organized by Madressah have helped instill better understanding in the youth, demonstrating how they can maintain and practice good behavior and Akhlaq.
It was the cooperation of the parents and teachers and their keenness to ensure that the children derive the most benefit from the few hours available, which has constantly improved.
With this spirited legacy, my only hope is that the cooperation and assistance shown in the past will continue so that the future will produce a generation ready and awaiting the call of the 12th Imam (A.T.F.S.)


The school was started in the outhouse in April 1986 as a Playgroup to care for the children between the ages of 3 to 5. 14 children enrolled by the end of the first year. Progress since then has been continuous, culmination in conversion from the play group to a fully-fledged Montessori School in January 1989.
The curriculum is based on Dr Maria Montessori Education theories which inter alia state that young children have an unborn will and desire to learn provided that they are given the right surrounding. The children are encouraged to explore the environment to develop self-discipline, orderliness, concentration, coordination and self-control.
A selection of specially designed Montessori apparatus assist in the basic learning process in History, geography, arithmetic, geometry, biology, reading and writing. In addition, Islamic education by way of recitation of the Holy Quran, Salaat, Ahadith of the Holy Prophet etc is included in the school curriculum.


The Africa Federation Capacity Building Group (CBG) in collaboration with Africa Youth Network (AYN) and Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat (KSIJ) Dar es Salaam organized a Youth Self Development programme (YDP) on the weekend of 24th and 25th November 2018.

YDP aims at empowering Youth by understanding themselves better, building self-confidence, understanding emotional intelligence (E.Q.) and believing in their vital role for betterment of community, family and humanity at large.

The programme was facilitated by Br. Shabbirhussein Khalfan, Sr. Shama Dewji and assisted by developmental facilitator Sr. Sophia Bharwani.

The YDP workshop was attended by 14 youths of the community who are keenly involved in community social and religious services.

A newly introduced component of the YDP session includes providing these youths with an opportunity to not only voice the challenges they face in their community but to also come up with workable solutions and plans of action how to overcome these challenges.

The youths were encouraged to turn their unified ideas into a reality with the help of mentors and the leaders of their community.

We believe that they greatly benefited from the workshop as well as the various discussions and activities conducted over the course of two days which was conducted by experienced and dedicated facilitators.


The Africa Federation Secretariat had the honor to welcome long-serving Lindi Jamaat Hon. Secretary, Alhaj Mahmood Razahussein Dhalla who is on a visit to Dar es Salaam. During his visit a meeting was held with the AFED Vice Chairman, Alhaj Aunali Khalfan and the Assistant Hon. Secretary, Br. Alihassan Kassam and various topics were discussed.




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


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.


A delegation of the Africa Federation led by the Chairman Alhaj Shabir Najafi accompanied by the Hon Treasurer Alhaj Mohamed Hemani, the Hon Secretary Alhaj Hussein Karim and the AFED Housing Board Chairman Alhaj Akil Hirji visited Nairobi from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th November 2018.
The AFED Chairman addressed the community members after Milad un Nabii function at the Imambargha, he felicitated members on the grand occasion of the Birth Anniversay of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) and the 6th Holy Imam (A.S.) and also briefed members on the progress of the project.
During the visit, a joint meeting was held with the SAAJ Managing Committee and the Housing Project Committee (HPC) to get an update on the Housing Project under construction. 




Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raji'un
We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.

One of the longest dedicated and renowned member of Mombasa Jamaat has bade farewell to this world on Saturday 08th December, 2018, and was laid to rest on the same day. Marhum was born on 14th November 1931 in Mombasa, Kenya.  
Alhaj Mohamedjaffer bhai entered into the communal service at a very young age by enrolling as a member of Volunteer Corps of Ithna Asheri Young Men’s Union which was founded in 1945.  He also served a member of its managing committee for several years and also became the Chairman of the Union.
Marhum served as a Trustee of Africa Federation for nine years, and in the same capacity served the Mombasa Jamaat for several years as well as the Ithna Asheri Sports Club later known as Jaffery Sports Club besides serving as the managing committee member of these two organizations.  He also assumed the Chairmanship of Jaffery Sports Club and encouraged youth to excel in the field of sports. As a Trustee he is reputed to keep up-to-date record of Jamaat’s documents, minutes, and other records and was known to be a repository of the history of Mombasa Jamaat.   
Marhum had a passion for education and for several years served as a member of the Board of Governors of Alibhai Panju Jaffery Primary School, Jaffery Academy and Coast Girls High School. He was highly respected by the people of Mombasa.  At an advanced age when he tendered his resignation from the Board of Governors of Coast Girls High School, the resignation was not accepted on the ground that his wisdom and his dedication in promoting the cause of education were considered to be invaluable by the parents as well as by the Board of Governors.


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