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Obituary – Marhum Abdulhussein Gulamali Jaffer (Sheni)

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To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.
(Holy Qur’an, Surah Al Baqarah 2:156)

Alhaj Abdulhussein Gulamali Jaffer (Sheni) 

A Social Worker and a Philanthropist bids farewell from this world


(1946 – 2019)

The Secretariat of the Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaats of Africa received with deep grief and sorrow the sad news of the death of Alhaj Abdulhussein Gulamali Jaffer which occurred on Friday, 25th January 2019 (18th Jamadil Awwal 1440 A.H.) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA and was buried there on the same day.

Marhum was a dedicated social worker of Allentown Jamaat from its inception when the Centre was established at 1335 Chew Street in Allentown, from where the Jamaat grew gradually making it one of the renowned Jamaats in North America, presently with a beautiful Centre known as Al Ahad Islamic Centre (SIJPA) located on 1500 Ridgeview Dr. Allentown, PA 18104, USA.

In Memory of Abdulhussein Jaffer (Sheni) by a family friend:

Seldom in life have you met people who are so remarkable that you can’t help but want to be his friend, want to know him and once you do – you don’t want to leave his company.

From his humble beginnings in Africa to helping countless people settle in North America to his lasting legacy of building Masjid al Hayy at Sanford in Florida, USA – Abdulhussein Jaffer fondly known as Sheni was a larger than life character.

That everlasting smile, sense of humour and big heart were just some of the qualities he possessed. He loved to talk to people, loved meeting them and loved to invite them home, rarely would a stranger venture into Allentown without having visited the Jaffer household.

Born at a place called Malindi in Zanzibar on 11th March 1946, he completed his secondary education in Zanzibar.  The political turmoil of 1964 forced our entire community to leave their motherland and move to the mainland, Tanganyika which later became Tanzania following the union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika. Having settled in Dar es Salaam he set about on a new adventure by coming over to the United States of America to Long Island in 1970. Being one of the first to settle it was here that he was given the nickname – Sheni Long Island!

When he first moved to the US he initiated and helped and raised funds in order to open our first Centre in Allentown, PA. This became a common theme and a vision throughout his life. No matter what the situation Marhum was always available and willing to help. On his arrival into the US he made sure his extended family made it to the US as well. Anyone who came to the US would seek out Marhum and he in turn would make sure that they would be comfortable and settled into their new surroundings back in the early days. His passion was charity and his love was his community and his family. Throughout his life he would continue to help the needy in such a discreet manner and with so much respect, this was a man who could not see anyone suffering and went out of his way to assist them in a most humble way.

His lasting legacy, which was his lifetime dream, was the building and opening of Masjid Al Hayy – “Everliving Mosque” in Orlando, Florida in July 2017. A place where people felt they were entering God’s House. A truly magnificent Centre for a community that was close to his heart and one that will continue to prosper from his everlasting generosity. Masjid Al Hayy was donated and handed over to Husseini Islamic Centre of Orlando, Florida currently managing the Masjid.

Condolence Message from Africa Federation to Sheni’s elder son, Gulamali

– “It is with deep sorrow and grief that we have received the sad news of the death of your beloved father Marhum Abdulhussein Gulamali Jaffer (Sheni), which occurred in Allentown, PA on Friday, 25th January 2019. 

The family lost its pillar and the community has lost one of its dedicated and passionate member whose contributions in various sectors in the community and outside the community have been enormous. Masjid Al Hayy stands out profoundly as a testimony of this great Philanthropist and Lover of Ahlulbayt (AS). The Masjid is a landmark of Marhum’s devotion and contribution for hereafter.

We pray to Allah (SWT) to grant Marhum’s family solace and strength to bear this irreparable loss, May Allah (SWT) grant Marhum a lofty position in the proximity of our Aeema-e-Tahireen (A.S.), Ameen.

On behalf of everyone at the Africa Federation, we convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, to the members of Allentown and Orlando Jamaats. 

Shabir Najafi – Chairman, The Federation of KSI Jamaats of Africa.

Marhum has left behind his wife, Fatma bai, two sons; Gulamali and Shiraz and two daughters; Maliha and Shaina.

We request Mumineen to remember Marhum with Sura-e-Fateha for the maghferat of the departed soul.

Secretariat