Ref: PR/AF/012/2020 Date: September 5, 2020
On 23rd August 2020 (3rd Muharram 1442 AH) the AFED delegation led by the Vice Chairman, Alhaj Aunali Khalfan accompanied by the Central Bilal Board Chairman Alhaj Hussein Karim, the Housing Development Board Chairman Alhaj Akil Hirji, AFED Chief Operations Officer, Br Hasnain Sherally and Zakir-e-Imam Hussain (a’) Mulla Sadik Dewji visited Zanzibar to participate with members of Zanzibar Jamaats in the Aza’a of Imam Hussein (a’) and also meeting officials of the two Jamaats.
It was a good opportunity to attend the Aza-e-Sayyidul Shohadah Aba Abdillah Hussein (a’) at Nai Misid, Juni Misid in the afternoon and at night, and similarly at Mehfil-e-Abbas in the morning. Some members from mainland travelled to Zanzibar for the 12 days of Ashra organized by Juni Misid Jamaat, vividly their presence enlivened the Azadari programs as otherwise our population of Zanzibar is quite small.
The delegation from AFED visited KSI Hujjatul Islam Jamaat (Nai Misid) and KSI Kuwwatul Islam Jamaat (Juni Misid) Mosques and Imambarghas. A visit was also made to check the conditions of the old School Faize, Mehfil-e-Abbas and Taziakhana which are being managed by Juni Misid. The delegation also visited Mehfil-e-Bibi Fatima and Mehfil-e-Ali Makkam, the later has been renovated by the present Juni Misid management to a very good standard of workmanship with splendid decoration and other amenities.
The delegation also visited Bewakhana in Kiponda, a Waqf property of Marhum Haji Mohamed bhai Allarakhia Shivji which is managed by Trustees from Nai Misid, this property is in dire need of major renovations and some structural changes for the convenience of the Bewas and Guests.
During the meeting, it was mentioned that the Waqf properties of the two Jamaats are still under the administration of the Zanzibar Government Waqf Department since mid 60s, and therefore a way forward to repossess them was discussed, this subject requires further deliberation. Both Jamaats showed positive signs in progressing on the Waqf properties for the benefit of their members and for posterity.
Separate meetings were held with Hujjat and Kuwwat Jamaat officials whereby several pertinent issues were discussed, including the closure of the Madrassah which compels some parents to send their children to mainland for attending religious classes.
The meetings delved on the development of income generating projects to make the Jamaats self-sustainable, and generate steady income. Discussions ensued on the general welfare of our members in Zanzibar and the Covid-19 challenges and precautions.
AFED emphasized on the importance of good maintenance and governance of the Jamaats properties and structures, in similarity to preserving the history vehemently pointing out that the Jamaat being the oldest in Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri and the first Mosque established in 1881 is quite significant. The visit awakened a nostalgia that allowed the delegates to connect with the roots of the community and understand the importance our fore-fathers placed upon Tabligh activities and Islamic education, once a prosperous and a vibrant community with huge wealth of knowledge in religious and secular education.
There are some good business and trading opportunities in Zanzibar and would recommend our members from mainland and other places to visit and explore these opportunities.
AFED has stressed on the importance of Madrassah for the children of the community, as this is the foundation for religion and building of Imaan amongst the members of the community, the Jamaats are working together to ensure that the Madrassah is up and running again, AFED has extended its support for a teacher (Muallim).
The delegation had an opportunity to participate in the Azadari of Imam Hussain (a’) in the very place where our elders once held it and had followed suit by extending the same throughout the globe, it was heartwarming and encouraging moment to see the zeal and passion the community holds during these sacred months when we remember the sacrifice of the Imam and it provides a stimuli to keep serving and give our all to the community.
AFED expresses its appreciation and gratitude to both, Kuwwat and Hujjat Jamaat officials for their warm welcome and for their wonderful cooperation. Thanks also to both the Jamaats for facilitating the visits to various sites and properties which has provided much better understanding of the situation in Zanzibar and for planning for the better future of our members in Zanzibar.