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

The Late Haji Muhamadali J Kesani was born in Mikindani (Tanganyika) in 1896 and his father, Haji Janmohammed was born in Kutch Mundra, India. Late Muhamadali resided in Mikindani for many years.

After the demise of his father in 1900, late Muhamadali bhai with his relative's assistance in 1902 he had an opportunity to study Gujarati language in Mumbai Boarding school for 2 years, following this, a famous businessman of that time in Mogadishu, Fazalbhai Hasham found this young man, he was impressed with his abilities and offered him a job and took him Mogadishu in 1908. After working for 15 years, he decided to establish his own business and gradually succeeded. He then started exporting. Later in 1940 he started exporting hides to foreign countries. He was the first Ithna-Asheri to do the hides business.


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Mulla Abdulkarim Gulamhussein Ebrahim Nanji was born in 1899 in British Somaliland in "Zayla". His father was born in Kutch - Kapaya, at the age of 17 he travelled to Aden and worked for Muraj Datoo for 3 years. Later on he went to his homeland married and returned with his wife in around 1892, resided in Zayla- British Somaliland. At that time there were about 7 to 8 families living there, among them were Brother Remtulla Ibahim Nanji, Ali Lalji and Juma Banani.

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At a young age of 14, Haji Dharamsi Ladha together with Kassamali Ladha left India on a voyage by sea via Zanzibar and reached Majunga (Madagascar), where he got involved in business.

His interest in religious affairs was quite deep and as a youth he used to accompany and get guidance from Allama Haji Gulamali Haji Esmail Saheb and Mulla Kader Hussain Saheb. Moreover through Nathubhai Premji's influence Haji Dharamsibhai became a good Zakir and had a good oratory power.

He went for hajj (Pilgrimage) in 1958. On his return he handed over his business to his five sons, and concentrated more on religious activities as well as community services.

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muhammadali_sachedina_kalyanAt a very young age he left India migrated to Mombasa and worked for Ismail Kalyan's company in Lamu.

In 1914 he joined another company of Haji Dawoodbhai Haji Nasser and worked for many years as a Manager, he played a great role in this company.

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AlibhaiHirjiAlibhai Hirji was born in Khakherda in 1880. At the age of 14 years he accompanied his father to Majunga, Madagascar, here he stayed for a while and then moved to Tuleyaar (Madagascar). He joined his father’s business. In 1912 after his father sadly passed away and therefore he had to take up the responsibilities of the business and the family.

Due to many hurdles and facing the challenges of life he did not get the chance of pursuing education. Despite of this, he understood well the value of knowledge thus he took great interest and supported his family’s children to secure best education. He would spend more on education than on any other necessities of life.

In addition to shouldering all the family children education and other responsibilities, he would always take interest towards education development. Alhaj Alibhai was one of the founder members in establishing the first school in Tuleyaar. After the establishment of the school he served for some few years as a Secretary of the school and he was in the forefront to contribute in anything to do with school or education. Moreover, he extended his services in the day to day running of the new Tuleyaar School as well as the funding of the school.

In 1947 he wound up his business in “Tuleyaar” and decided to go and live in “Tananarive”. During his stay in Tananarive, he regularly participated in the community activities.

Alhaj Alibhai has a soft corner for the needy and poor people. As he had experienced a hard times in his childhood, he always made efforts to fulfill the desires of such people.

He was a great support behind the construction of the Imambargha in Tananarive.

After the demise of his two wives, he again married for the third time. From the three marriages he had a total of eight children who by the grace of Almighty (swt) got married in their youthful periods.

Suddenly on 12th June 1959 he passed away in Tananarive, the Indian communities In Tananarive were aggrieved on his demise. He was remembered by many and has left a gap at the time which was difficult to replace.

Translated by; F. Ali.

Extracted from; Community Directory 1964.


Haji Yusufali Fazalbhai Kassam Chinnai was born on 10th February 1909 in Diegoswarez.

He pursued his basic education in Gujrati and French in Deigoswarez and Majunga Schools. He also acquired his religious education over there. Since his childhood he was quite inclined towards religion and as he grew, his interest for religious studies increased. He has the good qualities of his late father Brother Fazal but the quality of religiousness is unique.

After completing his studies he then joined their family business. Later in 1927 he married the daughter of his paternal uncle Muhamadalibhai Kassam Chinnai in Diegoswarez. Yusufalibhai and Kulsumbai have since then been living and supporting each other as husband and wife. As time passed, his experience and wisdom increased. His interest for community services blossomed in around 1930.

1n 1931 he established “Kohi Noor Sports Club” in Majunga. He also served for 3 years as a president of Hindu Library in Majunga. Moreover Yusufalibhai served sincerely as the president of Majunga Jamaat from 1945- 1947.

In 1942 he established a Madrassa and took the responsibility of giving religious education and teaching Gujrati. He continued running this Madrassa up to 1949. He came across many hurdles and challenges but he remained strong and focused on his aim. He faced such problems and difficulties that only he can express it. These are his words; “As our community children were lacking in Gujrati, under my supervision a Madressa was established in 1942, this Madrassa was running smoothly until in 1949 when I went to perform Hajj. Despite of our own community children studying in a community owned warehouse under the guest house, (Musafirkhana) the Madrassa was charged to pay rent. The Jamaat was not sufficiently funding it thus the students had to pay fees and my paternal uncle Mohammedali Kassam from Diegos used to contribute on monthly basis. Furthermore the well wishers from town to town would contribute but the rivals would write to the well wishers and stop the donations. One person’s late wife whose insurance was given on such conditions that the Madrassa should not run under my supervision instead it should be handled by the Jamaat for which I disagreed because I was certain that  the  Madrassa if handled by the Jamaat, it  will be closed down which actually  happened in my absence. In 1949 when I left for Hajj I warned my brother Alimohammed about the Madrassa but unfortunately within no time, after my departure my brother was brainwashed and many rumors spread that due to the Bohora teacher who used to teach  Gujrati, the pronunciation of our children is spoilt and he has no knowledge of Diniyat. Moreover the salary he gets can suffice to pay 4 Comorian Maalim thus the Bohora teacher was terminated within a month and the Madrassa closed down. When I returned in 1950 I got all the news and I was advised by the parents to restart the Madrassa once again to which I responded in the negative as I was disheartened and informed them that I have no benefit in running this Madressa! Neither do I have any of my own children who are educated nor do I benefit from this Madrassa.  If this is how you value my services then I am very much displeased about it. Every year the same complain was brought, finally in 1960 I once again re-started the Madressa”.

The son’s etiquette is known from his upbringing, brother Yusufali’s personality was well known since his childhood.

In 1930 when the first time the maiden flight began from France to Majunga, brother Yusufali and Yusufali Nathoo were the only amongst the Indians to have the opportunity to be included in this flight.

For not having the “Waqf act” in Madagascar, so many properties of the community could not be registered on the Jamaat’s name. Long ago whilst registering the properties, some of the community elders unanimously registered them on a “Res Posa Billiteli Society Ltd”which was registered on the names of Nathoo Premji, Brother Kassam Kachra, Brother Merali Bhallo and Brother Hasham Rajpar. The people on whose names these properties were registered had all passed away thus the properties remained without owners. Brother Yusufali who was concerned, struggled through advocate’s assistance to regain all these properties officially and registered them on the society’s name.

In 1949 Brother Yusufali was awarded by the Late Saed Ali Bin Sultan’s heir Prince Saed Ashwal Zaki, a title of “Shewaalie dhe letwaall Dhela Grant Comorona” in lieu of arranging and preparing for all the pilgrims to go for the annual Hajj ritual.

Later in 1954 the same monarchy presented him with a second title “Commodher dhe letwaal Grant Comor”.

In 1960 Brother Yusufali was re-elected as the president of Jamaat. During his term, due to his socializing nature and devotion a historical event took place in Majunga Jamaat. In 1961 all the Madagascar Jammat’s conferences were held in Majunga which earned it a good name.

The delegation of the Federation of Khoja Shia Ithnasheri Jamaats of Africa visited Madagascar on the invitation of Majunga Jamaat. Due to the hard work and effort of the deputation and of the Jamaat , Madagascar united with the Africa Federation and strengthened itself. Brother Yusufali had tirelessly worked with sincere efforts and he always accompanied the delegation throughout their trip. By the Grace of Almighty he used to succeed in all his endeavors.

Brother Yusufali was the main initiator of building the guest house in Tananarive and the first person to contribute for this project was none other than his spouse Begum Saheba.

The religious quality in Brother Yusufali was inherited from the Chinnai family which can be proved from the collection of religious books found in his personal library.

Brother Yusufali’s spouse Begum Saheba was invocating to Bibi Sakina for bearing a child and had vowed to visit the shrine once the wish is granted and Alhamdulillah a baby girl was born to her on 6th of August 1950 and named Shamimunnisa.

Translated by; F. Ali.

Extracted from; Community Directory 1964.ED

MurrabiShariffJiwaSurtiIn 1865 Sheriff Bhai Jiwa Surti at a young age of 18 travelled to Zanzibar from India and worked in the famous Nasser Nurmuhamad’s branch in Nosibe. (Madagascar).

Due to his hard work, loyalty, sincerity and generosity he was well respected within the city and by his employer.

In 1885 he went to Bhavnagar to get married and returned to Nosibe with his spouse. After staying for a short period he then went to Diegoswarez to start his own business. There were only 2 Ithnasheri families living in Diegoswarez namely Bachoo Bhai Hasham and Molu Kanji Bhai.

Shariff Bhai was a staunch Shia. The religious activities in Madagascar were not being actively undertaken at the time, so he used to increase his religious knowledge by communicating regularly with Alama Haji Gulamali Esmail (Haji Naji).

Due to his business principles and sincerity he became famous thus all the French Army contracts were given to him.

In Zanzibar there cropped up a long misunderstanding between the community members and many people tried to intervene and resolve the problem but in vain, finally in 1908 Shariff bhai went to Zanzibar and because of his wisdom, he succeeded in resolving the long time misunderstanding. All the members were satisfied by his wise decision. In appreciation of his services the Zanzibar Jamaat awarded him a token of appreciation in a silver casket. (The photocopy of the same has been reproduced herein).

Sharifff bhai was very generous, frank and used to host guests of other communities too.  The religious scholars as well as any other community members would be hosted by Shariff bhai at his home.

The good qualities he possessed and his attributes earned him a renowned name of “Bapa Shariff”.

The land on which the masjid and imambarghah of Diegoswarez were built was donated by Shariff bhai as “Waqf”.

The wonderful market through which the Government benefitted is the generous donation of Shariff bhai. He had built it personally and after the 30 years’ lease expired, he gave away the land as well as what was built on it to the Government.

Shariff bhai’s generosity did not stop here; he contributed far and wide in different towns, cities and countries. He was being mentioned and appreciated every now and again in the local papers. He also used to receive letters regularly from abroad for the generous contributions he extended.

There were many instances whereby Haji Shariff Jiwa of Mombasa used to receive many appreciation letters erroneously from abroad which he used to forward them to Shariff bhai Jiwa Surti.

He passed away peacefully leaving behind a widow, four sons and four daughters, Shariff bhai departed from this world leaving behind a legacy which shall be remembered for long time.

Huge number of residents of Diegoswarez participated in the funeral ceremony of late Shariffbhai and expressed their condolences to the family for the loss of such a sincere, generous and a pious person.

Since 1925 the eldest son of Shariffbhai, Gulamhusseinbhai had been doing business in Majunga, the second son Hashamalibhai is running his business in “Annawalla,” Muhammadalibhai in “Anchui” and the fourth son Ismailbhai is settled in Majunga.

Shariffbhai’s eldest daughter was married to the famous Fazalbhai Chinnai, the second daughter Kulsumbai married to Abidbhai of Tuleyaar, the 3rd daughter Rehmatbai is the wife of one of the businessman of Majunga Brother Kassamali Mohamadali and the fourth daughter Fatmabai is the wife of Jafferali Muhammadali Chinnai of Tananarive.

Commentary by AFED Archives Section:

Today we feel very proud to re produce this article to the members of our community worldwide so that we all can learn from these great leaders and elders of our community, the community that had established deep roots, religion and infrastructures in many parts of Africa, it is an eye opener for the new generations who enjoy the fruits of their forefathers.

Let us remember them all with Sura-e-Fateha.

Translated by; F. Ali.

Extracted from; Community Directory 1964.


The photocopy of the token of appreciation awarded to Shariffbhai Jiwa Surti by Kuwwaltul Islam Jamaat of Zanzibar.

hassnali_fazal_jaffer_khatawHassanalibhai Fazal Jaffer Khataw was born on 23rd September 1908 in Makalla. He was just one year old when his father who used to work for Haji Lalji left the job and moved his hometown in Kutch, India.Hassanalibhai had the opportunity to get the basic education in Kutch. 

At the age of 17 he worked for Hajibhai Laljibhai in Makalla. After working for 4 and half years, on his employer’s advice he worked as a treasurer in Aden’s branch. He lived in Aden for 4 years. This branch of Aden was managed by Hassanlibhai’s paternal uncle, Brother Abdallabhai Jaffer Khataw who has been managing it since then. 



It is with profound regret we take note of the sudden demise of our goodfriend, colleague and the community's popular personality, Alhaj AbbasAlloo.

Abbas was born in Zanzibar on March 5, 1936. When he was still a young boy,he moved to Dar-es-Salam with his parents.He joined his father's business and involved with community affairs in hisearly twenties.

When he was only 25, he was appointed as a Councilor of theAfrica Federation where he served for several terms.

In Dar-es-Salaam, Abbas originated the project of Bilal Muslim Mission Charitable Public Dispensary. Hepurchased a property adjacent to the Mission complex and donated it in his mother's name, which is nowknown as Mrs. Leilabai S. Alloo Dispensary. He was one of the earliest supports of the Mission and served onits committee.


Chairman Late Abdulhussein Noormohamed’s Address

After about three and half years (3 ½) we are meeting for the 2nd Conference. I appreciate the Mombasa Jamaat’s effort of hosting this conference with a warm welcome.

The first time we met in Dar-Es-Salaam in 1945, we established the provisional council to unite different Jamaats under one roof.

In 1946 we once again met in Dar-Es-Salaam to set the constitution and I can see the support, encouragement and enthusiasm from the Community.

In that conference we established the Federation and the Council’s central body, we laid a foundation for brotherhood among our Community members, we created East Africa’s one community and continued the society’s business and religious activities.

I am here to inform you about the developments as well as the problems faced within this period. This will help us in our future plans.

The Central Council had introduced the following:-

  1. The Census - Community population.
  2. Birth and Marriage Certificates.
  3. Higher education grant and scholarship (studying abroad)
  4. Scholars for Tabligh.
  5. Grant to acquire religious courses.

Other main programs which have not yet been followed up especially the “levy” and other despite of all the effort in 3 years, we have not been able to achieve it - the boarding house in Uganda could not be established like the one in Tanganyika.

According to our census records we are able to give you the figures for the Jamaat and their strength under the Federation. However according to my understanding every year this report has to be updated so the Council should have the account of the increased population. Whilst introducing the birth and marriage certificate we faced a tough discussion against it although the community then realized its importance, after the introduction of 1947 new immigration bill. In future it will be necessary and it is my sincere request to the community to register all their children and acquire the marriage certificates.

For higher education from 1946 up to date we have given a total of 7 scholarships and they have been pursuing good courses. At the end of 1952, two students will Insha’Allah complete their MBBS degree and on return to Zanzibar they will start practicing, the community will realize its importance.

As for the Tabligh project, Maulana Zaminhussein Saheb’s travel report has been received by every Jamaat and by the grace of Almighty it has been a success, the required information is also available.

Arusha’s Aalim Maulana Sayyid Razahussein has submitted his report but due to the load of work it is not completed.

Furthermore we are giving a grant for Arusha’s religious scholar’s salary. We have also granted a student from Kilwa teaching in Arusha’s Government’s school and another from Arusha studying in Mwanza.

A request from some Jamaats has been submitted to grant their resident scholars which will be discussed by the new Council’s committee.

Despite of several reminders through circulars the Council has not yet received any request for higher education in religious courses, if there would be any, the Council would have definitely presented it. I don’t find it very important to present all the communication of the Central Council’s secretariat but whoever is interested to know about it the letters are in the file.

Comments: One will observe that Higher Education was give (since 1946) the same importance in the past by our Leaders, like what is presently the case, it is really amazing to see the far sightedness and the vision of our forefathers – May Allah (s.w.t.) grant them maghferat and rest their souls in the proximity of our fourteen infallibles – Masumeen (a.s.)

Translated by F. Ali

Extracted from “Rehbar” October 1949

Africa Federation – Archives Section 

Past leaders of the Africa Federation and the Supreme Council Sessions in Mombasa and Dar-Es-Salaam.

Late Al Hajj Mohammedali Meghjee (Chairman of Afed), Mulla Asgharali M. Jaffer (Hon. Secretary).
Late Al Hajj Karim and Late Al Hajj Mohammedali Shariff Jiwa.

Council meeting in Dar-Es-Salaam:
Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat President Late Al Hajj Alibhai  welcoming  Late Mulla Asgharali, Chairman of the Africa Federation outside the Dar-Es-Salaam Mosque, looking on is Late  Al Hajj Abbas Alloo and Late Hussein Jaffer Hirji.

From left: Maulana Sayed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, Al Hajj Haiderali Khimji, Late Al Hajj Bashir Peera (Administrative Secretary of Afed ), Late Mulla Asgharali  (Chairman of Afed), Late  Al Hajj Alibhai  (President of Dar-Es-Salaam Jamaat), Late Al Hajj Abudlrasul Lakha (Vice President of Afed) and Sayed Aqa Haider Saheb (resident Alim of Dar-es-Salaam Jamaat). Photograph taken during one of the Supreme Council Sessions which was held in the Gents Imambargha in Dar-Es-Salaam in 1977.

Urafiki Golf Competition Moshi Tanzania

I am pleased to inform you all that we have received an overwhelming number of entries for the above competition that is taking place in Moshi on Saturday, 26th and Sunday, 27th February 2011. I do hope that the remaining members from other Jamaats will send in their entries shortly, before the deadline.

Following participants have so far confirmed:



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