21st April 2023 / 30th Ramadhan 1444

We mourn the loss of a legend, Aunali bhai Salehmohamed, who was affectionately known as ‘Shere Kutch’. His unwavering dedication to serving the Khoja Shi’a Ithna-Asheri Community has left a lasting impact on us all. From a young age, he demonstrated a strong commitment to community service, serving as a volunteer at the Hujjatul Islam Jamaat Zanzibar, and later as an officer of the Ithna-Asheri Gymkhana and a troop leader in the Zanzibar Boy Scouts. He continued to broaden his involvement in the field of Islamic education through the Husseini Society and Madrasah in Dar es Salaam, where he served in various leadership roles for nearly a decade. Throughout his life, Aunali bhai showed unwavering dedication and passion to serving the global Khoja Shi’a Ithna-Asheri Community, and his tireless efforts have left a lasting impact.

He then had a brief but formative time in the life of the Dubai Jamaat, where he became one of the earliest Committee Members of the Jamaat that had just been formed.

However, Aunali bhai was perhaps best known for his decision to return to his roots in India and serve the KSI Community, particularly in Gujarat. His move to India was a transformative factor in the development of the Khoja Community, which had been separated by the vastness of the Indian Ocean for almost a century. Aunali bhai played a key role in, along with Marhum Mulla Asghar and Marhum Haji Ghulamali Bhanji, in reconnecting the Khojas in Africa with those in the Sub Continent, working tirelessly to fight poverty, ignorance, and disease.

Through his unwavering commitment and tireless efforts, Aunali bhai Salehmohamed embarked on a challenging journey to help the underprivileged. Together with his fellow service-minded Community leaders at the time, he encountered a plethora of unknown obstacles, yet his persistence never faltered. His call to address poverty in Gujerat at the London Conference was a defining moment that led to a transformational impact on the poor in Gujarat. For over 35 years, his vision and drive have resulted in the establishment of numerous houses, schools, and education for countless children in Kutch, Kathiawad, Bihar, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. His unparalleled devotion to the welfare of the Khoja community and his heartfelt concern for the less fortunate set him apart as a true hero.

For over five decades, Aunali bhai was a beacon of hope for those in need, often at great personal financial and emotional cost. His untiring passion for community service was an inspiration to those who knew him, and his intricate personal knowledge of past projects in India could prove useful for future work in the country. Despite his achievements, Aunali bhai remained humble and focused on serving the community.

Aunali bhai was recognized for his exceptional contributions to the Khoja Community and was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades from various institutions. One of his most distinguished honors was receiving the Late Mulla Asghar Ali M. M. Jaffer Memorial Award from The World Federation during their 25th Anniversary celebrations. As the last surviving member of the trio responsible for reuniting the Khojas in Africa with those in the Subcontinent, including Late Mulla Asgharali M M Jaffer and Late Haji Gulamali bhai Bhanji (Bapu), Aunali bhai’s passion for preserving their legacy and carrying on their work was unparalleled.

In times like these, the words of the wise resonate deeply “ગણા છે ઉપકાર, ગણા છે ઉપકાર, આભાર બાકી છે” (The good deeds of others are infinite, infinite, and gratitude remains.) Aunali bhai’s selfless service to the poor, homeless, widows, and orphans is nothing short of remarkable. His relentless dedication to The World Federation’s work is a true inspiration to many. The entire Community mourns the loss of this legendary figure, whose contributions will always be remembered. His undaunted passion for Community service continues to inspire us all, and we are forever grateful for his unmatchable service to humanity.

May Allah (SWT) shower him with his infinite Mercy and a place in the proximity of the Masumeen (a).