Charting Out A Road Map For The Future Of Our Community Members
Brief History of Mozambique:
Bantu speakers migrated to Mozambique in the first millennium, and Arab and Swahili traders settled in the region thereafter. It was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and first colonized by Portugal in 1505. By 1510, the Portuguese had control of all of the former Arab sultanates on the east African coast. The city was named Lourenço Marques for the Portuguese trader who first explored the area in 1544.
Struggle for independence from Portuguese colonial rule began in 1963, and became effective by 1973. A cease-fire was signed in Sept. 1974 after having been under Portuguese colonial rule for 470 years; Mozambique became independent on June 25, 1975 and the late Samora Moisés Machel became the first President of Mozambique.Mozambique stretches for 1,535 miles (2,470 kms) along Africa’s southeast coast. It is nearly twice the size of California. Tanzania is to the north; Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to the west; and South Africa and Swaziland to the south. The country is generally a low-lying plateau broken up by 25 sizable rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean. The largest is the Zambezi, which provides access to central Africa.
Mozambique population based on 1997 survey is 22.9M (growth rate: 2.4%). During the colonial era, Christian missionaries were active in Mozambique, and many foreign clergy remain in the country. According to the 2007 census, about 56.1% of the population is Christians (including 28.4% Catholics), 17.9% are Muslim, 7.3% adheres to traditional beliefs and 18.7% do not associate with a specific religion. It is believed that the Northern provinces are predominantly Muslim populated.
During Portuguese colonial rule, a large minority of Portuguese settlers lived permanently in almost all areas of Mozambique, and Mozambicans with Portuguese blood at the time of independence was about 360,000. Most of these left the region after its independence in 1975, returning to Portugal. Compared to the European population, there is a higher mestico minority of Mozambicans with mixed Bantu and Portuguese heritage. The remaining Caucasians in Mozambique are Indians in Mozambique, primarily known as Indo-Mozambicans, Pakistan, Portuguese India and Arab countries. There are various estimates for the size of Mozambique’s Chinese community, ranging from 1,500 to 12,000 as of 2007[update].
In Nov. 1995, the country was the first nonformer British colony to become a member of the British Commonwealth. The Government’s disciplined economic plan was highly successful, winning the country foreign confidence and aid. Notably, Mozambique posted some of the world’s largest economic growth rates in the late 1990s.
Nampula city has a population of about 0.5M, located in North East of Mozambique. It is an agricultural trade center, located on the railroad connecting the seaports of Lumbo and Nacala with Malawi.
The Nampula Jamaat was registered in Mozambique on 29th May, 1984 under the name of The Mozambican Muslim Community Mosque Shia Ithna Asheri, The community has been in existence for more than 200 years in Mozambique. Presently there are 365 registered members. Sayyid Rahat Abbas Naqvi is the Resident Aalim in Nampula who leads prayers, recites majalises, and teaches at Madressah etc.
Nampula Jamaat in actively involved in external tableegh work. It is very encouraging to note that the Jamaat is reaching out to the Muslim population in interior areas. The Jamaat is undertaking construction of a Mosque in Nacala, which is nearly completion.
The President of the Jamaat is Alhaj Razahoussein Gulamo; following are the Office Bearers of the Jamaat:
Alhaj Ikbal Piaraly Merali – Vice President
Alhaj Iqbal Heidaraly – Hon. General Secretary
Alhaj Nauchad Molu – Hon. Treasurer
Alhaj Zulficar Jutha – Information & Public Relations
Maputo city has a population of about 1.2M, capital of Mozambique, a port on the Indian Ocean. It is Mozambique’s largest city and its administrative, communications, and commercial center. The economy is dominated by the modern port, on Maputo Bay; coal, cotton, sugar, chrome, ore, sisal, copra, cement and hardwood are the chief exports. People of Indo-Pakistani background play an important role in retail trade.
The Maputo Jamaat operates under the registration as a chapter of Nampula Jamaat. The Jaáfri Islamic Centre (Jamaat) premise is located on AV.24 De Julho-No. 2039 along Bairro Central Street in Maputo where all functions of the Jamaat takes place; there is also a flat for the Resident Aalim at this rented premise. Presently there are 35 registered members of the Jamaat. The Resident Aalim, Sheikh Muhammad Abbas leads prayers, recites majalises and runs the Madressah once a week. The Maputo Jamaat was established in the year 2001.
The Jamaat is presently headed by Alhaj Parvez Husainali Merchant; and the following are the three Ad-hoc members of the “Interim Sub-Committee” of Jaáfri Islamic Centre who are responsible for the day to day activities of the Centre:
Alhaj Sayed Hasnain Abidi
Alhaj Sayed Tanveer Hussain
Alhaj Aliraza Sacha
Brief Report of the Visit to Mozambique, Maputo Jamaat:
A visit to Mozambique took place from 16th to 20th November 2011; the program was to spend 2 days in each Jamaat of Maputo and Nampula. However towards the end, all 4 days were spent in Maputo at the request of the Jamaat to attend to some important matters. As a result, the AFED delegation could not visit Nampula Jamaat as planned.
On this visit, the AFED Chairman was accompanied by the Vice Chairman, Alhaj Shabir Najafi, the Hon. Secretary, Alhaj Aunali Khalfan and Alhaj Sibtein Asaria. Sibtein bhai was appointed by the AFED Chairman to be a liaison person and to assist AFED/Maputo Jamaat in connection with the Mozambican statutory and local council requirements for acquisition of property, documentations etc. having vast knowledge of Mozambican system and good command of Portuguese language.
Upon arrival at the airport in Maputo, the delegation were welcome and received by the Maputo Jamaat members, they included; Yunus bhai Merali, Ghulam Abbas bhai Bawa, Parvez bhai Merchant, Tanveer bhai Shah, Hasnain bhai Ahmed, Wasim bhai Abbas, Mehdi bhai Rizvi and Reza bhai Riazhoussein.
Several meetings were held with the Jamaat leaders to discuss on the present and future plans of the Jamaat. The present population of the Jamaat, which stands at about 120 heads, including men, women and children are comfortable with the facilities that are presently available at the Jaáfri Islamic Centre (JIC), which is centrally located in the area whereby many community members can conveniently attend Namaz, Majalises and other social functions.
The Chairman, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi addressed community members at the Jaáfri Islamic Centre on the eve of the wafat of the sons of Hazrat Muslim Ibn Aqil (AS) and again during the function of Eid-e-Mubahila on Sat. 19th Nov. 2011 when the attendance was at maximum. This coincided with the Jamaat General Body meeting whereby the Vice Chairman and the Hon. Secretary of AFED were requested to address the members.
In his address, the AFED Chairman emphasized on importance to create a strong, vibrant and united community in Maputo. He urged the Jamaat leaders to attend the Supreme Council Sessions/Conferences regularly as this will provide good opportunity to establish relationships with fellow councillors and build rapport with members of various Jamaats from Africa, including members from the Regional Council of Madagascar.
He explained that there are great opportunities for our community members to develop further their businesses in Mozambique; he pointed out that other communities have made great strides and thriving in Mozambique, since last two decades. This he said was due to cooperation, good understanding and guiding each other. He challenged the Jamaat to work towards helping our brothers whilst the opportunity in Mozambique still exists.
Alhaj Anwarali explained to the members on the reason for the centralization of Hukook Funds which the AFED/WF are entrusted with. He reminded members that he is the Ijaza holder granted by His Eminence, Ayatollah Al Uzmah Al Sayyid Ali Hussaini Al Sistani by virtue of his position as the Chairman of the Africa Federation which encompasses and embraces all Jamaats under the Africa Federation; he urged the Jamaat leadership and members to follow the system which is in place to remit their Hukook obligations through AFED. He explained the intricacies of how the system works.
The AFED delegation also visited the property on Nr. 43 located at Salvador Allende Avenue in Maputo which JIC had the intention to acquire since April 2011 for the future development thereby shifting from the present rented premise. Unfortunately, due to the legal complications which surfaced concerning the property acquisition, the Jaáfri Islamic Centre has temporarily suspended the project to acquire this property along with the land. The Jamaat are looking at making a fresh start in a few months time. Thanking the AFED for the monthly monetary assistance offered to the Jaáfri Islamic Centre, they requested AFED to keep the subject of property acquisition on hold until all issues which are currently hindering the project are amicably and legitimately resolved.
For any information or enquiries concerning the above mentioned project, opening of business and settlement in Mozambique mo’omineen may contact directly Mr. Parvez Merchant on 00 25882 3155490; Mr. Ghulam Abbas Bawa on 00 25882 3160900 or Mr. Hasnain Ahmed on 00 25884 5009000 or e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
Community members in East Africa and from other neighboring African countries are encouraged to contact the above for more information regarding the business opportunities, jobs, settlement and about the Maputo Jamaat membership etc. (Details can also be obtained from the AFED Secretariat; e-mail: email@example.com
We sincerely appreciate for the efforts made by the Chairman of Nampula Jamaat, Alhaj Razahoussein Gulamo, his Vice Chairman and the Resident Aalim to meet us at Nampula Airport during the transit stop.
It is with regret that the visit to Nampula had to be postponed at the last minute, more so when they had made all the arrangements for the visit. We hope to visit Nampula soon, insha’allah.
The Chairman, Alhaj Anwarali and the Office Bearers wish to record their sincere appreciation to Maputo Jamaat for their warm reception and for the pleasant hospitality accorded to the AFED delegation during their stay in Maputo.
Special thanks also to Yunus bhai Merali, Parvez bhai Merchant, Ghulam Abbas bhai Bawa and Seyed Hasnain Abidi for for being wonderful hosts during the visit to Maputo.
We wish to record our profound appreciation to Alhaj Sibtein Asaria for accompanying the delegation to Maputo, for providing his valuable time and assistance to AFED.
The visit has opened up new avenues to the Africa Federation and the most significant of all accomplishments was the establishment of relationships with the Jamaat committee members and meeting various people in this small but vibrant Jamaat of Maputo.