The inaugural Western Indian Ocean Studies workshop entitled 'Rahe Najat (The Path of Salvation): Religious and social dynamics amongst mercantile communities of the western Indian Ocean' was hosted by the department of religious studies from 12-13 November 2015 at the Florida International University in Miami.
Posted on Mon, 2016-03-21 13:28
16 years on, the fragrance of Marhum Mulla Asghar M.M. Jaffer Lingers On...
Marhum Mulla Asghar M. M. Jaffer fondly known as Mulla Sahib passed away 16 years ago today 20 March 2000. A man whose legacy even today, continues to transform people’s lives through his archived lectures.
He was a man of distinction, a visionary, a friend, a confidant, a devoted family man, an Alim and highly regarded as a Fakhee by many a Marja of his time. Ask anyone who knew him and he will attribute a different quality to him. According to Sajjad Varteji, he was a ‘Gem’ and in his tribute to Marhum Mulla Sahib he writes ‘Once in a decade we come across a Gem, A PRECIOUS GEM in the form of a human. Though, we can preserve the Gem physically in our treasuries, the human gem is preserved in our memories, in our heart, in our breath and in our thoughts till our last breath.
One of the rarest of the rare Gem, an angel in the form of a human being was the late Mulla Asghar, he was the gem with devotion, dedication and commitment to render selfless social service to the members of Shia community with absolute transparency especially in the field of education. The late Mulla Saheb, as he was fondly called with utmost love and affection by one and all associated with him found him to be the man of vision. His predictions and thoughts are coming true today as if he read the future aspects dictated to him step by step by none other than the Imam of our time.’
Aunali Salehmohamed, while reminiscing, writes ‘Whenever he (Mulla Sahib) visited India, hundreds of people would flock to meet him and sit with him and listen to his lectures and discuss various issues with him, including politics, charity , and religious matters. He seem to have knowledge of all the issues and would give very deep insight into topics being discussed. Amongst the people who visited him, there were many Aalims and Molvis who used to visit and discuss and debate with him. After his passing away, there have been no such gatherings’.
Ahmed Dungersi, in his tribute to Marhum Mulla Sahib writes ‘The Stanmore mosque we call our foundation was facilitated by his enthusiasm and love that he always showed for his people. He was always available for the people, whoever you were and treated everyone with the same respect and dignity. His charity work was incredible and the fruits of all his hard work is visible for all to see, until today. He had a mission to unite the Khoja communities all over the world and undoubtedly achieved this through the world federation. He taught us how to behave with each other and how to have empathy and humbleness’.
Hasnain Walji wrote the following tribute: 'As we mark yet another death anniversary of Marhum Mulla Saheb, I am reminded of his timeless words on the timely need to understand the need of the times to recognize the goals of this community:
“Time has come” he said, “that we recognize our goal. What do we need? We need a society where every act of good-will is propelled and driven by the sincere intention to please Allah and none else.”
At the same time, demonstrating a commitment to excellence in the Community, he stated that “…… we rise above the mean and the mediocre to that which is high and sublime.”
In order to achieve this he boldly opined as early as 1975 that “Unless the youth of this community are prepared and have girdled their loins to serve the community to the best of their abilities, this community left in the hands of the hardcore traditionalists will not be able to take any strides ahead.”
We remember the man endowed with a big heart that had no place for hate in it, only love for his community. May he rest in peace and may the world, especially the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri fraternity, thank The Creator for allowing Mulla Asghar M. M. Jaffer to live amongst us in this world and to emulate his character and inspirations. Let us all work together to strengthen our community - the very community Marhum Mulla Asghar devoted his life to serving.
Please recite Surah Fateha for Marhum Mulla Asghar and all marhumeens.
To read the full tributes from Sajjad Varteji, Aunali Salehmohamed, Ahmed Dungersi and Hasnain Walji, please click here.
In October 2015, the Imam Ali (as) mosque was officially opened in Copenhagen in Denmark. This is now the largest Shia mosque in the country and has space for over 1,500 worshipers.
To mark the death anniversary of our founder, Marhum Mulla Asgherali M M Jaffer, The Khoja Heritage Project of WF took the opportunity to speak to his son, Shaykh Abbas Jaffer, to find out more about what Marhum Mulla Asghar was like at home with his family and how he divided his time between his job as an optician, his community work and his family.