The Africa Federation (AFED) delegation led by the Chairman, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi accompanied by the Vice Chairman, Alhaj Shabir Najafi, the Hon. Secretary, Alhaj Aunali Khalfan and Chairman of AFED Tabligh Board (AFTAB) Seyed Hassan Naqvi made a two days’ visit to Bujumbura Jamaat in Burundi from 5th to 6th March, 2015, after enlightening visits to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi Jamaats in DRC.
This was the first visit by the present AFED office bearers to Bujumbura.
Bujumbura Jamaat is a well established Jamaat which came into being in 1940. The Imambargha was built in 1940-1945 and the Mosque in 1991. The present Cemetery (Kabrastan) has been in use since 1947 and the land registration was finalized in 2001. The population of the Jamaat stands at 225 heads – 95 gents, 73 ladies and 57 children, out of which there are 50 registered members. The Jamaat is working to entice more members to register. Jamaat intends to carry out Census exercise of its members before end of this year.
The Haidery Madressa as it is known has 24 students in total – 12 boys and 12 girls. There are 6 teachers, mainly ladies volunteers from the Jamaat; the head of Madressa is Sis. Shelina Murtaza Roshanali Alidina. There is a need for a qualified Maalim to teach Qurán classes. The Madressah is located within the Imambargha complex.
The economy of Burundi is gradually improving and more opportunities are opening up, especially for young people who are seriously determined to undertake business ventures and develop themselves economically. The ratio of the current members in Bujumbura is about 70% employed and 30% self employed (businessmen).
The visit program started after Isha prayers with Sura-e-Yasin for Ithale-Thawab of all Marhumeens, marsia and majlis which was recited by Maulana Syed Muhammad Reza Rizvi followed by a welcome address from the President of Bujumbura Jamaat, Alhaj Mohamedraza Habib Jaffer, thereafter Africa Federation Chairman, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi addressed the community members, he provided a synopsis of the various activities of the Africa Federation and the projects being undertaken presently by AFED. He emphasized on the Unity and building good relationships and cooperation with other communities and other sects.
On Thursday, 5th March 2015 a meeting was held in the afternoon with the Managing Committee and the Trustees of Bujumbura Jamaat. Similarly, AFTAB Chairman also met the head and teachers of the Madressah. The meeting was informative and on the same token, various useful suggestions were brought up concerning the future developments particularly under the current prevailing economic situation and the social environment:
- AFED Chairman emphasized on Secular and Religious education, he stressed upon the students from our community to seriously pursue higher education to acquire academic professionalism and develop new skills. The higher education loan system known as ZAKMEF and its criteria were explained.
- The Jamaat intends to develop new buildings by demolishing the three old buildings in Kitega town which is about 100 Kms from Bujumbura city; it is a developing town in commercial activities. The purpose is to generate more income from the new commercial outlets for the Jamaat to sustain itself and use the income to support its long term development programs. AFED has requested the Jamaat to provide the feasibility study and details of the plans for the redevelopment of these old buildings.
- The Jamaat has a plan to renovate the Imambargha to provide better facilities for the gents and ladies, with other essential facilities including Madressah classes.
- AFED Chairman explained on the subject of Hukook funds and the need for its centralization so that Jamaat can receive assistance for capital projects that falls within the ambit of the Ijaza – examples are Mosque, Imambargha, Madressah developments.
- Good foundation of Islam, spiritual well-being and higher religious studies for children was stressed, AFTAB Chairman explained on the initiatives of the WF Federation in collaboration with the Regional Federations in developing a holistic program – The Madressa Centre of Excellence (MCE), which encompasses most of the needs of the Madressahs across all the Jamaats in Africa and other regions.
- Good and reliable medical facilities locally is a big challenge; those who require major treatment have to fly out to India, South Africa, Nairobi and other nearby countries where good medical facilities are available. AFED emphasizes Health Insurance for Jamaat members, as medical cost is ever rising and low income earners will find difficult to manage in the future. The Hon. Secretary explained on the services available in Ahmedabad, India which is in collaboration with CHB and Husseini Medical Committee.
- The need for regular communications and sharing of information was stressed as an important element. Also, Jamaat’s full participation in the events and programs being organized by AFED was emphasized, this would provide good opportunity also to build stronger bonds and networking between members and youths of our community.
- AFTAB Chairman explained about the forthcoming Holy Qurán competition in Mwanza which is taking place in August, 2015, details were sent to all Jamaats in Africa to start preparing the boys and girls to participate in this annual program.
The external Tabligh activities are carried from 7 Centres in Burundi by three registered Institutes, the Centres are managed by them; they are Communaute Islamique Shia Ithna Asheri du Burundi (CISIABU), the Ahlulbayt Assembly of Burundi (A.A.B.) and Ja’afari Welfare. All Centres have Madressahs and masjids where prayers are conducted daily. The Ja’afari Welfare manages Nursery School in their Centre; they also run stitching classes for women and conducts literacy classes for the elderly and young people. There are about 12 Muballigheens who assists in the Centres.
These Centres are in several provinces; there are about 340 Madressah students, 75 Nursery School students – boys and girls. The Az Zahra Mosque in the North of Bujumbura has a hawza for girls only, there are about 20 students.
The Chairman and members of Africa Federation delegation wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Bujumbura Jamaat President, Executive Committee, Trustees and members of the community for their kind hospitality and warm welcome.
We also wish to thank the Asst. Hon. Secretary, Alhaj Mohamed Abbas Habib Jaffer who accompanied the delegation on a visit to Kitega and for organizing the logistics.
We pray to Allah (swt) to shower His choices blessings for continuous peace, tranquility and prosperity in the country and for the well being and prosperity of all the people– Ameen.
We pray to Allah (swt) to give the Jamaat officials, Trustees and Volunteers the strength and tawfeeqat to continue with the noble work they do for the community and grant them greater success in their future plans of development, Insha’allah.