A personal reflection of an inspiring journey
Updated on 12 March 2018
Key Note Address by the President of the World Federation
Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi at the 2nd EXCO in London
23rd to 25th February 2018
Ulama-e-Qir’am and Respected Scholars
Chairman Council of European Jamaats – Dr. Akber Mohamedali and his office bearers.
President Hujjat Jamaat, Dr. Munir Datoo and his office bearers.
The immediate past President of the World Federation, Dr. Asgherali Moledina.
Chairman Africa Federation, Alhaj Shabir Najafi and his office bearers
Chairman NASIMCO, Alhaj Razak Damani and his office bearers
Chairman India Federation, Alhaj Suheil Bhurani and his office bearers.
Chairman Pakistan Federation, Alhaj Anver Rajpar and his office bearers
Chairman of Federation of Australian Communities, Alhaj Hussein Husseinali
Councillors from the all the Regional Federations
Elected and Nominated Councillors of the World Federation.
Office Bearers of the World Federation
Invited Guests, My elders, brothers, sisters and the youth of our community,
Before I begin, can I request you all to recite Sura-e-Fateha for all our past leaders and volunteers of the World Federation, Regional Federations, and from our host Jamaat (Hujjat) and for all Marhumeen – Al Fateha!!
For the past few days we have been commemorating the sad occasion of the martyrdom of Sayyedah Fatema –Az Zahra (Salaamu Lahee Alayh’a) the beloved daughter of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW).
We send our condolences to the Imam of our Time, Al Hujjah Al Mahdi (Ajalalahu Ta’ala Farajuh Shariff) and to all Momineen on the sad occasion.
We pray to Allah (SWT) to grant us all Tawfeeqat to follow the footsteps of Ahlulbayt (AS) and pray for peace, safety and security for all peace loving people throughout the world.
It is my great pleasure and honour to welcome you all to this 2nd Executive Council Meeting (EXCO) of the World Federation for the term 2017 to 2020.
I wish to thank Chairman of COEJ, Dr. Akber Mohamedali and the host Jamaat President, Dr. Munir Datoo for hosting this meeting.
The EXCO Meeting is an important platform for our Councillors and similarly for the WF office bearers to discuss, debate and exchange views on the way forward for the WF – the Global Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Organization and its members to higher levels of development and progress, in order to build a vibrant, proactive and stronger world body.
This EXCO is important because:
Our team will set out the agenda of work in Islamic Education, Community Affairs and WF AID.
We will present key areas and projections that we endeavour to partner with the Regional Federations during the term;
We can set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Secretariat.
Councillors are welcome to provide their views of the various projects and activities we do and ask questions, this will help us all to improve our performance as without feedback from the Councillors, it would be difficult for the office bearers to appraise its performance, a two-way communication is of vital importance in our organization, as we always work in collaboration and cooperation.
Since taking office in May 2017, I have travelled to various parts of the world on a mission to seek first had information of our organizations and also establish good rapport (working relations) through meeting community leaders, volunteers and elders of our community.
I have travelled to Iraq to visit our Marjae-e-Taqleed, Ayatollah Al Seyed Al Sistani as well as visiting other Marjae of Najaf. These meetings were enlightening and productive.
I am pleased that Ayatollah Al-Sistani has given me, in my capacity as WF President, an Investment Ijaza – This is a unique opportunity for us to utilise Khums funds to make our institutions economically sustainable. A topic I will discuss with the Regional Federations.
On this visit, I saw first-hand the development made from the WF Aid in Iraq and was pleased to witness the progress.
I travelled to Karachi, Pakistan where I saw some of the projects of our Community there. In Pakistan, I noticed that whilst our community is organised and self-reliant, however there may arise a need for the WF to support financially for certain projects those which qualify for the support through the Capital Project Process.
I had opportunity to witness the foundation stone laying of the extension of the existing Fatimiya Hospital in Karachi.
I also visited Hydrabad and met with the Momineen, there I was pleased to see the Blood Bank Clinic which is being managed by our Jamaat.
There is a need to create much stronger bonds between the WF and the Khoja Community in Pakistan. My team is determined to add value to the community there, and we hope to see more interactions between the WF and Pakistan Federation. We hope that rather than mere words we can demonstrate added value to Pakistan Federation and our community members there, inshAllah.
I also spent a great deal of time in the UK visiting Hujjat Jamaat – Birmingham Jamaat and addressed the community members.
I was invited to attend the COEJ Councillor’s meeting in Leicester and had an opportunity to address the Councillors. I also met some Jamaat leaders and community members.
In Peterborough, I visited the on-going projects of the Jamaat, and was pleased to see the progress made so far.
I travelled to North America – visiting Toronto. It was great to spend time with the new team in NASIMCO who are keen to see more developments and provide support to the Jamaats in North America.
The new team are determined to collaborate and support our initiatives to create an even greater co-operation and development.
I also had the opportunity to meet Jamaat leaders and to address our community members in Toronto.
I had travelled to India for medical purposes, unfortunately could not meet with the leaders of India Federation. I have a plan to visit India in the coming months.
India Federation who joined the WF recently continues to strengthen the Federation and make good progress. I am happy to see that India Federation is making efforts to reach out to all the Jamaats and its Members in India.
I attended the Africa Federation Supreme Council Session in Nairobi, Kenya in July 2017; I am pleased to see good progress of the Africa Federation in Housing Projects and Higher Education, especially in Nairobi, Mombasa, Arusha and Dar Es Salaam.
At this juncture, I would like to thank the WF Executive Councillor, Alhaj Ahmed Daya for his support in the housing projects, economic development and higher education has been invaluable.
The needs in Africa for housing, education and economic development are huge. WF are keen to partner with AFED on the inward investment programmes and are heartened by the ambitious plan of the current AFED office bearers.
I was pleased to attend the Madagascar Regional Council Assembly in January, 2018. Sadly, the political situation is still not stable. Madagascar Regional Council is keen to pursue its housing project. Similarly, the Antananarivo Jamaat is keen to start the school project for secular education, as the standards of education in the Government schools are poor.
Overall since the 1st EXCO I have visited every Region apart from the Federation of Australian Communities (FAC). I intend to visit them at the earliest opportunity.
I am delighted that the Chairman of FAC, Al Haj Hussein Husseinali is present at this EXCO. This is the 1st time an Office Bearer from FAC is attending since they joined the WF
I understand that FAC has been greatly impressed by the MCE work – and, they continue to develop many more programmes with the WF.
In this meeting we will set out key priorities of the term (2017-2020) in the field of Islamic Education, Community Affairs and WF AID.
For Islamic Education (IE), I was pleased to announce the appointment of Sheikh Murtadha Alidina as the Head of IE.
Sheikh Alidina is a renowned scholar from our community and a high intellectual with deep knowledge of the religion of Islam and Madh’ab of Ahlulbayt (AS). Islamic Education Section have a robust strategy which has taken months to develop – it will be presented later today insha’allah.
Momineen, our community is in great need of Islamic Education and Spirituality (as reported in PNS report) and this is something we are determined to help deliver upon.
Madressah Centre of Excellence (MCE)
MCE is growing from strength to strength. Sayyid Ali Naqvi is doing a wonderful job with Teacher Development Programme (travelling to every Region – with 2-3 TSPs per month).
We are looking to build capacity within the Regions so they can develop this further. The Tarbiya Curriculum roll out has gone well and I have heard encouraging feedback from parents here at Stanmore – where the Tarbiya curriculum has been rolled out since January.
Thank you to the team for their efforts.
On Community Affairs we are happy with the progress of the Khoja Heritage team and that plans for creating khojanews.com are underway.
The recent Khoja Heritage trip to India was well organized and well received, thanks to Dr. Hasnain Walji, Sheikh Kumail Rajani and the team; this program has helped us to reconnect with our roots. Plans are to organize more trips in the future; many positive feedbacks have been received.
On WF AID – we are pleased by the start we have made on inward investment.
I want to thank Al Haj Ahmed Daya for his sincere efforts in this area.
We have helped AFED to develop their housing projects.
We have also helped in microfinance projects with India Federation.
We are also looking forward to support the Khoja community from Pakistan Federation.
I am focussed on inward investment as our strategic priority as we must help our own.
The challenges here are huge – the need for education, the need for more microfinance and housing – in Africa, India and Pakistan means we have to do much jointly with the Regional Federations concerned.
On WF AID humanitarian projects we were delighted to open our office in Syria as well as continue to conduct humanitarian work worldwide.
I am keen for us to ensure we are fully compliant in our work (an issue for all Muslim Charities in the UK).
Sister Madiha Raza, our new WF AID Head, is well experienced in this sector and is leading a Conference hosted by the WF in Iraq (in partnership with Iraqi Red Crescent) inshAllah in the coming months.
Overall, I would like to thank the team for the excellent start made to this term but there is a lot of work still to do.
I hope this meeting allows for open and frank discussion so we can take these issues forward and help even more our community in need.
We will continue to help humanity in need (we are providing humanitarian support in Iraq, Lebanon, Far East, Africa, India & Pakistan, working in collaboration with the Regional Federations where they exist.
It is very important to build Unity and Brotherhood so we can keep our community progressing and cooperating with each other for generations to come. With the launching of Khojanews.com this will help even further.
Spirituality & Public Relations:
I would like to emphasise on the importance of Mimber and Madressahs. My request to the Councillors and to the Jamaats is that we are passing through a turbulent time, never have we experienced this kind of turbulence before.
Preachers, both Zakirs & Zakiras who visit our Jamaats to be ultra-careful in their lectures, speeches and majalises not to undermine or abuse any other sects or religion.
I appeal to all community members who attend the majalises and Azadari to avoid using slogans which dis-respects other sects and faiths in our Mosques and Imambarghas.
Our enemies are trying to penetrate into our Community in different ways and forms, please caution our community and especially our youth to be alert and conscious to safe-guard our faith and our community.
Our leaders must be careful not to allow anyone to preach hate or abuse any sects or religion from the pulpits or in the gatherings at our Centres.
I wish to re-emphasise to community to build bridges of friendship, goodwill and cooperation with other religions and sects whereby collectively we can achieve a lot.
Recently we met our Marja-e-Taqleed, Ayatollah Al Uzma Al Seyed Al Sistani in Najaf, Iraq (May Allah (swt) give him good health with long life and protection). He has conveyed Salaams to you all. He has very high regard of our Khoja Community for our good Organization, Unity and Harmony.
Please let us pray for all the people throughout the world who are undergoing difficulties, persecutions and violence for no apparent reason, let us pray for them and for their safety and security.
Wa Salaamun Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
The “Journey of faith” was produce as a result of labor of love by the Mullah Asgher Memorial Library and Resource Center (MARC) in association with The World Federation of KSIMC.
Read more to find out how a small Khoja Family cemented their place in Kenyan History!