The Khoja Heritage Team in Mumbai Dr. Sadiq Uttanwala, Dr. Nasreen and Asad Virani, have been interviewing seniors of the Khoja Shia as well as Ismaili communities
- Reflection on verses from the Holy Qur'an
- Address by the President of Khoja (Pirhai) Shia Isna Asheri Jamaat
- Address by the President of Federation of KSIJ of Pakistan
- Pakistan Federation Economic Upliftment Presentation
- Key Note Address by The President of The World Federation
- The World Federation Awards
- Question Time with the Community
Reflection on verses from the Holy Qur'an
The Executive Council Meeting was being moderated by Shan E Abbas Hassam, Secretary General of The World Federation.
The program started with the recitation of the Holy Quran.
As Shan addressed the 3rd Executive Council meeting of this term, he applauded the Pakistani Federation for its rich history and it’s impeccable organisation to hold the Exco event.
He explained how the word Pirhai came from a place in Kharadar where azadari was being practiced for number of years.
Introductions were being held for all the respected Office Bearers of the World Federation and the Regional Federations which included: (Left to right in the above picture) WF Assistant Secretary General - Mahmood Dhala, WF Assistant Treasurer - Muntazir Bhimji, COEJ President - Dr Akber Mohamedali, NASIMCO President - Razzak Damani, WF Vice President - Shabbar Dhalla, WF President - Anwarali Dharamsi , WF Secretary General - Shan E Abbas Hassam , Pakistan Federation President - Anver Rajpar, FAC President - Hussein Hussein, Pakistan Federation Hon. Secretary - Abul Hasan Gokal, WF Treasurer - Mohamedkazim Bhaloo
Each councilor went on to introduce themselves and stated their concerns they would like to address over the next two days.
The unanimous sentiments included the following:
• Upliftment of community through poverty alleviation, financial support and empowerment
• The Jamaat should come together in times of happiness as well as grief.
• Inclusion of Youth in the Jamaat along with more participation of women in Jamaat matters
• Upliftment of community in Deen and Dunya, majority of Karachi Jamaat is living under $300 a month, which needs addressing
• Progress but with spirituality and the teachings of Ahlul Bayt (as)
• Most importantly youth empowerment
Mahmood Dhalla spoke on behalf of the Indian Jamaat who were unable to attend despite Pakistan's great efforts. We deeply regret not having the India Federation with us, their absence was felt considerably. Due to this, the India Federation have kindly requested to host the next Exco meeting in Mumbai.
Address by the President of Khoja (Pirhai) Shia Isna Asheri Jamaat
Abul Hasan Gokal spoke on behalf of the KPSIAJ. He mentions it is an honor to cohost this event with Pakistan Federation. And uniquely describes it as each petal in a rose is different but connected at the center they all form a beautiful flower. When all Jamaats come together to serve the cause of the community, service to humanity becomes more fruitful.
The Pirhai started with the 3Ms, Membership, Marriage and Mayyat. The Jamaat now has over 1100 employees.
The Fatimiya Schools and colleges provide education from early schooling to higher levels including a school of nursing. The organisation is right now working on the terms of business and revamping its operations. An important aspect is the benevolence of their individuals in funding the community but they now wish to reduce their deficit. The origin, culture and belonging is losing its currency so there is a need to bring our people together with religion and community identity.
We are now facing attacks from all sides on our faith and we need to be extra vigilant. This community has a rich heritage of business and entrepreneurship, and we must continue in this so that we may become the best in both worlds, the spiritual and worldly so that when the Imam (as) arrives, we may offer him our Jamaats resources and infrastructure.
Address by the President of Federation of KSIJ of Pakistan
President of Pakistan Jamaat Anver Rajpar addressed the conference and thanked the audience for allowing them to host this meeting. Apologiesd to the India Jamaat despite the several assurances given to us by the government of Pakistan.
He mentions it’s a great thing to be appreciated and recognised for all the infrastructure and projects that are run in Pakistan are financed internally. Trust in societies are important in uplifting communities and thus the work of each individual Jamaat should be recognised. Anver Rajpar stated that they are thankful to them for working in an individual capacity and together are able to enhance the community.
A brief presentation was given to the audience on the introduction of the largest Khoja jamaat in the world the KPSIAJ serving the community for 126 years. Multiple aspects of the KPSIAJ projects were discussed such as the Khoja Family Park, the Community Center, the Gymnasium and three graveyards.
Children as young as 2.5 years come into the Fatimiya Education Network (FEN) and the child graduates from their network at post graduate level. They have 3200 students in total. They run a hospital with all major facilities, as well. The first census was conducted in 2009. They have a donation system where the donor does not know the deserving family who received the donation.
The Pakistan Federation has around 50,000 members in total with 30,000 members registered with the Jamaat at the ratio of 56% male and 44% female.
They are also working on Capital Expenditure Projects to enhance the current community projects in the near future such as medical equipment enhancements for Fatimiya Hospital and the Solar Energy project for FEN.
Pakistan Federation Economic Upliftment Presentation
A presentation on the Al-Murtaza school showcased the progress that the school has made over the years. The school has around 2500 students and its own teacher training institute. They run the Agha Khan syllabus which is recognized by the government of Pakistan. A shield of recognition from the KSIAJ of Pakistan was given to Jamil Yousuf for his 30 years of service to the Al-Murtaza School as Hon. Secretary.
Zainabiya Trust was introduced as the trust which was formed to provide housing to the community. It now provides housing facilities to up to 3000 families. Bagh e Zehra trust which is the successor organization is now working on another housing project for the community. Haydari Benevolent Trust has given around 3 million USD to the community for economic upliftment and is now disbursing around 5 million USD with the partnership of WF which is a momentous task. HBT trust acts as agents of the Pakistan Federation for economic upliftment in the community.
710,000 USD has been raised for SME loans for the coming year. The capacity of the organization needs to be built which will require 80,000 USD and some donors have come forward for the same.
The major priority is the eradication of poverty in the community not only in Pakistan but also all over the world. They can also share their experience from HBT with the community worldwide. They also need to uplift the community not only financially but also in housing and education. A documentary portraying the role HBT Trust has played in uplifting the community was also presented.
Friends Education and Medical Trust provides financial support to students and schools such as Ghulaman e Abbas (as) and Al-Murtaza School and also provides loans for higher education to all Khoja Shia Isna Asheri Jamaat members. Amir Ali Patel, representative of Friends received a plaque of recognition from the Secretary General of WF for his service to the community. Hussaini Foundation is also working with the Jamaats and disburses around 1 Million USD to the community. A plaque was presented to Hasan Abullo by the KPSIAJ on behalf of philanthropic services rendered for the community.
Lastly, it was announced that on Sunday, a Federal Minister will visit the Exco meeting and receive a cheque of 1 crore from the community for the Chief Justice’s Dam Fund.
Key Note Address by The President of The World Federation
Our President Al-Haaj Anvarali Dharamsi started his inaugural address by welcoming all the delegates and hosts. He thanked the Pakistan Jamaat and KPSIAJ for hosting such a great meeting. He said a lot of positive changes have happened since the community last met for the Exco meeting in 2007 in Karachi.
He said that the current council has visited all the countries except India and Australia to consolidate and discuss progress of the Jamaats.
The President states The Tarbiyya curriculum has been rolled out in the UK, NASIMCO and Australia. The feedback received so far has been exceptional and we will continue to work on improving our services to the community.
The Khoja Heritage team has been working along with community and visited India to uncover our history. They will be making more efforts to create documentation of our history. They are now preparing for our second annual Khoja Heritage tour which people of all ages will be attending.
He also touched on the importance of Economic Development: We want to provide people with long term support. We are working on Drinking Water (wells) projects and Askari Housing initiative in Dar-al-Salaam which is close to his heart, providing people with long term housing.
We are also working in Syria providing amenities to over 2000 families in coordination with UN. We are doing this in the name of Sayyida Zaynab (sa).
Development Projects: In the last 2 -3 years, there has been a decrease in financial support from the communities for welfare projects which needs to be addressed.
Training to the Mimbar meaning Scholars and Zakirs needs to be done especially in the light of the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt and the instructions of his eminence Ayatullah Ali Sistani (blessing). There is a major need to build bridges with our brothers across the Muslim World. Social Media needs to be used effectively to encourage this engagement.
May Allah (swt) extend the life of His Eminence Ayatullah Ali Hussain Sistani and keep his guidance and leadership with us. Let us pray for our success and guidance from Allah (swt).
The World Federation Awards
The World Federation presents awards to the following members of our community for their services:
Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, ‘Allah said, ‘(My) Creatures are my dependants, the most beloved ones to Me are those who are the kindest to each other and strive to fulfil others’ needs.’ [al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 199, no. 10]
(Award for Contributions (within the KSI Community) either voluntary efforts and philanthropy)
Al-Hajj Mustafa Kassamali Gokal
The Gokals have been a renowned family within and outside Khoja Community for more than a century since their roots in India, and subsequently in Iraq and Pakistan.
There will hardly be any Zawar who performed Ziarat in Iraq during the time the Gokals lived there who did not come across the hospitality of this family.
The Gokal family are renowned philanthropists and, have generously donated to a number of Khoja institutions when called upon. Not restricting themselves to Pakistan only, other Khoja institutions outside Pakistan have also benefited from their kind generosity.
Mustafa Bhai, on migrating from Iraq to Pakistan, continued serving the Khoja Community in one capacity or another. Also served as a Vice President of Khoja (Pirhai) Shia Isna Asheri Jamat of Karachi.
He also is a Trustee of Al-Khoei Foundation and a benefactor of Al-Kauthar Islamic University of Islamabad. At one time, you were appointed as a Minister in the Federal Government of Pakistan.
Following success in shipping and trading, he took retirement a few years ago.
In recognition of his noble services to the Community and Humanity, The World Federation of Khoja Shia-Ithna Asheri Muslim Communities hereby bestows upon you Al Nur Award for philanthropy.
(Award for Youth Voluntary Contribution to the Community to Humanity)
Dr Sajida Hassan Abdulhussein
Sajida is a Clinical Psychologist, a double gold medallist from Karachi University and additionally has a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. You also completed your PhD in Child Psychology from the University of Leicester, UK under the supervision of Professor Panos Vostanis. Furthermore, you currently hold an honorary visiting fellow position at the Department of Psychology, Greenwood Institute of Child Health University of Leicester (UK).
Sajida has been working at the Child and Adolescent Development Programme under Hussaini Foundation, Pakistan since 2010. The project consists mainly of training programmes for parents and teachers to raise awareness about early identification of common child mental health problems and their management amongst primary school children. The certified training programmes are officially collaborated with the Greenwood Institute of Child Health. Ms. Sajida has been working actively with Professor Panos Vostanis in the development and evaluation of the training programme.
Sajida has also written various other papers published in the national and International journal on topics related to child psychology in Pakistan.
Your significant achievement in Child and Adolescent Development Programme is not only for you and your family but for the whole community and hopefully will inspire others in the community to emulate your success. Sajida, you have made the community proud.
In recognition of Sajida's noble services to the Community and Humanity, The World Federation of Khoja Shia-Ithna Asheri Muslim Communities hereby bestows upon you Al Najm Award for voluntary contribution to humanity.
(Award for Contribution to Wider Society)
Nadira is an excellent and remarkable social worker. Nadira is the Founder and Managing Trustee of the Panjwani Charitable Foundation and Trusts, Managing Trustee of the PANAH Shelter Home for Women and All Pakistan Women’s Association and Founding Director of the Pakistan Human Development Fund.
In 1994 you established the Zainab Panjwani Memorial Hospital as a tribute to the loving and cherished memory of your late mother. The objective of this hospital is to provide high quality health care to all members of the public at subsidised rates and also on free basis. This hospital is also a postgraduate teaching hospital for doctors recognised by College of Physicians & Surgeons of Pakistan.
Your dedication to serve the humanity is incomparable. Since 1996 Nadira has been teaching at the Bahria University, as an honorary lecturer at the post graduate level and has arranged for a large number of scholarships for deserving students for pursuing studies at different levels.
Nadira has served as a member at several leading institutions including Board of Governors of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Syndicate of the Dow University of Health Sciences, Board of Governors of the National University of Modern Languages, Syndicate of the NED University, Executive Board of the ICCBS University of Karachi, Board of Governors of the Bahria University and Board of Governors of Hisaar Foundation, to name a few from a very long list.
In the year 2000, you established the Dr Panjwani School/College for the Blind, which was inaugurated by the President of Pakistan. This is a modern, purpose-built training complex providing education from nursery to Master's level for visually-handicapped students. This school complex, affiliated with the University of Karachi, is the largest academic center for visually handicapped people in Pakistan. It is functioning under the management of the Ida Rieu Welfare Association, Karachi of which you are its Vice President.
Nadira is an outstanding Pakistani philanthropist and a former caretaker, Provincial Minister of Sindh serving in the 2007-2008 caretaker ministry.
Your contribution in public service has been recognised by being a recipient of the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest civilian award in Pakistan. In 2004, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf conferred that Nadira is Pakistan’s second highest civilian order Hilal-i-Imtiaz.
In recognition of your noble services to the Community and Humanity, The World Federation of Khoja Shia-Ithna Asheri Muslim Communities hereby bestows upon you Al Shams Award for voluntary contribution to wider society.
The following is a list of observations addressed to the Exco delegates.
Councilor Sibtain: Words need to be converted into action. Eradication of Poverty is not only necessary in Pakistan but also in other communities. Stats and numbers need to be shared in this Exco meeting.
Arif Bhai: There is lots of great work being done in Karachi. We need to have a sense of community to spread this across the federations of the world. How can this work be shared with the other federations? Publishing and marketing of this good work needs to be done.
Councilor Saeeda Jiwa: Social Media and social vices are present. What is the community doing about it? How many women are there in the executive role? So far we only have 2 women in the executive role. How are we trying to make this more inclusive?
Reply to Councilor Saeeda Jiwa:The exco is meeting with people who have expertise on these issues and more will be shared on the same in the coming days.
Safdar Bhai: Eradication of poverty needs to be looked at holistically. We need to look at our modus operandi and see if we are addressing every aspect or not.
Arif Bhai: Africa Federation work is not coming out in the public. We need to discuss this as we have done great work as well.
Asghar Shaheedi: This is the first time Islamic work being done is getting exposure. For the first time we have seen the inculcation of religion in our schools as we are close to the Marjiyya. We need to work together to increase our level especially through the Council of our Ulema.
Anver Bhai Rajpar: Agrees we need to market the work we do. We need to have an editorial board to share this information. It is the responsibility of the councilors to disseminate this information to everyone.
Aun Ali Bhai Khalfan VP Africa Federation: I would like to congratulate everyone on this success and hope we can make a project from HBT in Africa.
Shabbir Bhai, Chairman Africa: Marketing is essential and sharing this information with everyone is very important. If we have a serialized writing on this would be great.
Habib Bhai: As a result of cutting off funding in some areas such as Toronto and London, elderly will not be able to receive government support and we need to do something about this.
End of Day One
Shan e Abbas adjourned the meeting for the day and requested the people to join for dinner which was sponsored by Dawood Ali family. The Sec. Gen thanked them for their contribution
We ended with the Regional teams showing support to the young scouts who work tirelessly for their community! Keep up the good work!
Find out through pictures what the Khoja Heritage participants have been getting up to in their January 2020 tour.
On 29 November, the Islamic Community of Afghans in Canada is hosting an event titledYouth Engagement in Community Prosperity, an intercultural and multicultural community programme.