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17 March 2018 / 29. Jamaad-Ul-Akhar 1439

First Name: 

Marhum Hassan


Mombasa, Kenya

Hijiri Date of Death: 

06 Jumada ath-Thaniyah 1439

Hijiri Date of Burial: 

07 Jumada ath-Thaniyah 1439

Last Name: 

Alimohamed Jaffer

Date of death: 


Date of Burial: 


Announcement Body: 

We regret to inform you of the sad demise of Marhum Hassan Alimohamed Jaffer who passed away in Mombasa, Kenya on Friday, 23 February 2018, 06 Jumada ath-Thaniyah 1439. The Marhum will be buried there on the Saturday, 24 February 2018,07 Jumada ath-Thaniyah 1439. Mumineen are requested to remember the Marhum in their prayers.


Shabbir Jeraj

May Allah SWT grant maghferat Marhum's soul and abundant sabr to the family and the close ones. His courageous voice and anecdotal writings that held deep insights into the workings of our community and the calls for reform will always reverberate in Halls of Jamaat leadership and be remembered by those who benefited and held him in high esteem.

Africa Federation

A Quintessential Khoja Personality who Exemplified the KSI Community

The Africa Federation mourns the passing away of Murabbi Hassan Bhai Ali Mohamed Jaffer and conveys its heartfelt condolences to his wife, sons, daughters, siblings and his many grandchildren.

Generally, people are known by the community they belong to. And then there are those inspiring individuals through whom a community is recognized. Hassan Bhai Ali Mohamed Jaffer Shariff Devji Jamal was that quintessential Khoja personality who personified the KSI Community. Through his words and deeds, he reminded us all of who we were and should be. His thoughts and words, always inspiring, were direct and to the point, as he did not pull any punches reminding us all of some bitter truths. His passion for the betterment of the Khoja Community matched his candor, to make us self-reflect on our follies and foibles as a people. Above all, his thought leadership has had a major impact on shaping our Community.

As a thinker, writer, historian, scholar, he straddled several generations, both in his span of Community service as well as his unique ability to engage young and old alike. In the sea of service, he stood shoulder to shoulder with towering figures like Alhaj Mohamedali Meghji, Mulla Asgherali M. M. Jaffer, Hajji Abdulrasul Ahmed Lakha to mention just a few.

As a historian, his own history is quite remarkable. Having the erstwhile ancestor like Alhaj Devji Jamal, Hassan Bhai himself was part of our history. Hassan Bhai was born in Zanzibar in 1932 and spent his life in Mombasa from an early age. After completing his secondary school education in Mombasa, he undertook a practical course in agriculture at the Indian school of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania. His journey of community service commenced in 1953 when he was elected Hon. General Secretary of the Jaffery Sports Club, Mombasa. Ever since then his services remained unabated. He was Secretary and Chairman of the Debate and Education Section of the Ithna-Asheri young Men’s Union, Honorary Secretary and the later Chairman of the Ithna-Asheri Education Board of the Alibhai Panju Jaffery Primary school. He was also Vice Chairman of the Mombasa Jamaat. In the Supreme Council, he served on as Executive Councilor from 1965 and was its Hon. Treasurer during 1965/67, under the chairmanship of late Alhaj Mohamedali Meghji and served with Mulla Asgharali M. M. Jaffer who was then the Hon. Secretary of Africa Federation.

“His death is a truly irreplaceable loss not only for his entire family but also for the entire global Khoja Community. His death does lead me to reflect on what makes someone an exceptional person, because to me, Alhaj Hassan Bhai that is what he was. It is difficult to describe him in mere words; he was an exceptional Mentor to me, a man with exceptional qualities and immense knowledge very rare in our Community. He enlightened the Community all along in the last several decades on our history, our roots and championing the Khoja heritage. The legacy of his devotion and gracious service to the Community shall be eminently enshrined in the history of the Khoja Community globally, and particularly in Africa”
Shabir Najafi – Chairman, Africa Federation

His active involvement in the wake of the of the Zanzibar Revolution, the Uganda Exodus or the Somalia evacuation was critical to the success of each of these missions and demonstrated his dexterity at handling Community crisis.

His services to the wider community are also noteworthy. He served as a member of the Mombasa Municipal Council in 1963 and in 1959/60 he was an elected member of the managing committee of the Mombasa Muslim Association and Secretary of Eid Fete standing committee. In his professional capacity, he served as a member of the Mombasa Port Advisory and Productivity Council and as the Vice Chairman of the Mombasa Ships Agents’ Association.

It is remarkable that Hassan Bhai could contribute so much despite managing a very busy and thriving enterprise under the name of Murtaza Shipping Agency Limited in Mombasa, Kenya.

A key figure in the conceptualization of the Word Federation, he was elected as a member of the very first Executive Council of the World Federation of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities upon its establishment in October 1976. He was known to be close confidant of the founding President Marhum Mulla Asgherali and all the successive World Federation Presidents till today.

“Marhum Hassan Bhai Jaffer was a great pillar of strength for our Community and its leaders. He was always on hand to provide advice to me during my tenure at the Africa Federation or indeed World Federation. He was a strong visionary as well and he worked tirelessly as a Community Worker. Marhum will be remembered as being a beacon of light for our Community, an ardent advocate of our mother tongue – Gujarati which he himself spoke so eloquently. We pray to Allah (SWT) to place him amongst the proximity of our 14 Masomeen.”
Anwarali Dharamsi – President of the World Federation.

With the wealth of experience at his command, Hassan Bhai enchanted and enlightened the audiences during the Africa Federation and World Federation conferences and council debates, by the lucidity and a unique turn of phrase, with which he expressed himself. His interviews and speeches on social media continue to be followed with great enthusiasm.

In his golden years, as an elder statesman his advice and counsel was sought by many generations of leaders and social workers. He was also on the advisory board of the Khoja Heritage Project of the World Federation. His contribution in painstakingly compiling the history of the Khoja Community is unparalleled. His efforts revived the global interest in the heritage of a community, reconnecting us with our past. His feat of writing the Endangered Species - a tome on Khoja History was the first, after almost a century, when the likes of Sachedina Nanjiani and Adelji Dhanji Kaba put pen to paper.

“His seminal work The Endangered Species, is not just a mere narration of Khoja History but paints insightful visage of the Khoja Community as it was then, and as it is now. The epilogue of the book, is worth revisiting. It is a bitter-sweet reflection of who we have become as a people and where should we go”
Hasnain Walji. Chair Khoja Heritage Project - World Federation.

An unwavering champion for the well-being and respect for the Khoja Community he was always at the forefront and steadfast in defending the interests of our community worldwide. He will be dearly missed by us all. The indelible mark of his thought leadership will forever remain etched in the institutional memory of the Community for generations to come and a source of sawabe jaariya for him.

Alhaj Hassan Bhai very graciously accepted a mammoth task to prepare a booklet of the history of the Africa Federation from its inception in 1946, he was to do this work jointly with Dr. Hasnain Walji. Hassan Bhai prepared the framework and had put his thoughts into what would be the contents of the booklet. Insha’allah, Dr. Walji will continue to work on the booklet, which we intend to dedicate to Marhum Alhaj Hassan Bhai Jaffer.

In 2013, Africa Federation bestowed upon Alhaj Hassan Ali Mohamed Jaffer the Haydari Medal – highest Award in Africa Federation for his exemplary and selfless services to the Community.

Please visit these clips of interviews with Marhum Hassan Jaffer by Khoja TV of Reunion.



May Allah (SWT) by His infinite grace and mercy grant Marhum maghferat and a lofty place in the proximity of the Masumeen (AS) - Ameen.

Please recite Sura-e-Fateha for the maghferat of the departed soul and all Marhumeen.

The Secretariat wishes to thank Dr. Hasnain Walji and Alhaj Aunali Khalfan for compiling this brief Obituary of Marhum Alhaj Hassan Ali Mohamed Jaffer.


28th February 2018
11th Jamadi-ul- Aakhar 1439 AH

Ramzanali Parvana

Marhum Hassanbhai is beyond description in any language for words are yet to be formulated that could probably just manage to scratch the surface of describing who he was and what rich legacy he has left behind.....not to forget his shoes that will be virtually impossible to fill for a long time to come. His departure is a setback of a kind not only to the Muslim ummah as a whole but to the entire Khoja world and the Mombasa Jamaat in particular. The icy hands of death has once again robbed us of a true Khoja son!

His rewards are surely with Allah swt. May he rest in peace and may Allah swt place his soul in the closest proximity to our beloved Chaharda Masumeen (AS) and may the family of the Marhum be blessed with fortitude such that they can sustain this irreplaceable loss with courage and dignity. Amen.

Wassalaam and Fateha.

From the Secretariat of the World Federation

Remembering a community stalwart who reinvigorated pride and enthusiasm within the Khoja community.

Hassanbhai Ali Mohamed M Jaffer
1932 - 2018
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilyahi Rajeoon

The World Federation expresses its deep sorrow at the passing of Hassan Ali Mohammed Jaffer. Sadly, this marks an end of the era of towering leaders with whom Hassanbhai served for almost seven decades. He was amongst the last of the illustrious figures such as Marhum Mohamedali Meghji, Marhum Abdulrasul Lakha, Marhum Mulla Asgher not to mention his own father Alibhai Mohamed Jaffer amongst others, who were instrumental in shaping the modern KSI Community. As their close confidant, they sought his wise counsel then and over more than half a century he continued to remain the most sought-after sage and savant for many succeeding leaders until today.

"Marhum Hassan Jaffer has been a tower of strength for this community and its leaders. I fondly recall his detailed and often quite direct advice. He was always on hand to provide frank, clear and honest feedback with a unique level of incisiveness. His work the Endangered Species book has set alight a reinvigoration of Khoja pride and cultural enthusiasm.” - Shan E Abbas Hassam, Secretary General of The World Federation

There are many words to describe this remarkable personality. None will be eloquent enough to do justice to this multifaceted individual who encompassed so many rare qualities. A voracious reader, he was at the same time a prolific writer. An outstanding intellectual, he was also a down to earth outspoken farsighted member of the community. He was a profound thinker exuding wisdom and at the same time adept at envisioning paradoxes. He enjoyed poetry and prose but eschewed small talk, preferring straight talk. He was an insightful historian but skillfully linked the past with the present. As a Khoja stalwart, his words were polite and respectful, but when needed was not afraid to call a spade a spade. He was of the pre-baby boomer era but his engagement with all generations, from baby boomers to the millennial generation was seamless. As a keen analytical observer, he was well known for his candid and oftentimes rather acidic analysis of the state of the Community and has migrated many of us into discomfort zones.

“I can never forget the lesson he imparted upon learning of my bid for the presidency of The World Federation. His advice was blunt: “Don't ever try to wear someone else's shoes. Wear your own. They will be more comfortable and you will take greater strides.” Later he shared that this manner of straight talk was from his shipping experience: “When space is asked in a cargo ship and none is available, there is only one way to say it: NO!" Hassan Bhai’s grasp of the community’s contemporary challenges, his lucid way of analyzing the situations and his art of proffering remedies without embellishment have all left a deep mark on me.” Ahmed Hassam, Former President of The World Federation.

Born in Zanzibar in 1932, Hassan Bhai spent most of his life in Mombasa. His services to the Community span almost seven decades, and commenced when he was elected Honorary Secretary of the Jaffery Sports Club, Mombasa in the early fifties. He went on to serve as Chairman of the Debate and Education Section of the Ithna-Asheri Young Men’s Union, Hon Secretary and Chairman of the Education Board of Alibhai Panju school. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Mombasa Jamaat and Hon. Treasurer of the Africa Federation in the mid-sixties under the Chairmanship of late Alhaj Mohammedali Meghji and the late Mulla Asgher as Hon. Secretary of Africa Federation.

"The passing away of Hassanbhai Alimohamed Jaffer is indeed an irreplaceable loss for the entire Khoja Shia community.
He was an academician, a historian, a social worker and above all an intellectual with a zeal for humanitarian work. He always searched for an opportunity to serve and always found these and delivered to perfection!
His academic interests kept him in touch with many leading universities both in the west & Islamic world. He would always share many interesting and aspiring work with his friends and colleagues. He read extensively and was an author extraordinaire, as exemplified in his books that he wrote!
Above all his humble advice whenever and wherever required was delivered with courtesy and the highest level of humility!
He will be sadly missed by all of us! - Dr Asgarali G K Moledina, Former President of The World Federation.

He was instrumental in the formation of The World Federation, having participated in many preparatory meetings as well as a key advisor to Mulla Asgher at the first Constitutional Conference in 1976. He was elected as a member of the first Executive Council of The World Federation and continued his engagement with the world body in many capacities. His presence and eloquent submissions at the meetings of The WF were always memorable and got the audience thinking out of the box, as he reframed the conversation to be relevant to the times. On the global scene, while he espoused interactions the wider Shia Muslim causes, he always reminded the Community to focus on its own priorities first.

“Murabbi Hassanbhai withstood the test of the time to amplify his voice, loud and clear, that we, as a Khoja community, have an equal share in the wider Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim community. Deploying the analogy of his shipping business, he captivated Ayatullahs of Qum and Najaf by his unique style of narrating the history. His unwavering commitment and dedication to the Khoja community compelled him to caution community leaders and religious scholars alike when the legacy of KSI was compromised or underestimated.” Shaykh Kumail Rajani, Former Head of Islamic Education and Current Deputy Chair of the Khoja Heritage Project.

Of late, he was also on the advisory board of the Khoja Heritage Project of The World Federation. Remarkably, having an erstwhile ancestor like Haji Devji Jamal made Hassan Bhai very much an integral part of our history as the Shia IthnaAsheri Community. His lifelong labour of love, The Endangered Species was the first comprehensive book of Khoja history in almost a century, when the likes of Sachedina Nanjiani and Adelji Dhanji Kaba put pen to paper in the mid 19th century. His ‘out of the box’ thinking about community affairs is also reflected in his unique turn of phrase in this book, not found in manuals of creative writing.

“His seminal work The Endangered Species is not just a mere narration of Khoja History but paints insightful visage of the Khoja Community and it’s arc of history demonstrating the past and comparing it with the present. It is an insider’s look at the opportunities and challenges of keeping faith and culture in balance on the path of progress. The epilogue of the book is worth revisiting. It is a bittersweet reflection of who we have become as a people and where should we go” Hasnain Walji, Former President of the World Federation and current Chair Khoja Heritage Project.

When elder statesmen like Hassan Bhai pass away, they leave a colossal vacuum in the Community, and much valuable knowledge, memories and experience is interred with them. The paradox is: only after their passing we wish we had recorded these memories and experiences. Perhaps, acutely aware of this, he ensured that his thoughts, knowledge and guidance remain after him in the form of books, lectures and interviews. Thankfully many of his works, interviews and speeches have been preserved. All these will be invaluable for many generations to come to learn to form his into the past and the present state of the Community. His contribution to the preservation of the history of the KSI Community is truly monumental and without a parallel.

The World Federation coveys its heartfelt condolences to his wife, sons, daughter, siblings and his many grandchildren. May the Almighty (swt) bless him with His Mercy and a place in the proximity of the Masoomin (AS).

The World Federation thanks Dr. Hasnain Walji for compiling this obituary of Marhum Alhaj Hassan Ali Mohamed Jaffer.

Husseinali Datoo

I have known Murabbi Hassanbhai since a long time when I was to hear his interesting remarks in AF meetings on so many occasions.
His insight into Khoja history is impeccable.
A man who had vision for the community.
As Editor of Federation Samachar I was in constant touch with him and he guided me in writing history of the Khoja community.
His demise Indeed is a great loss to our community.

Allah bless his soul.AMEN...
Al Fateha..

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