Hatim Mulla Ali bin Esmail

Pious and religious he served the community well

Hatim Mulla Ali bin Esmail passed away on July 3, 2013 surrounded by his wife Khadijaben, and family members after a short illness. Hatimbhai was a learned, pious and religious person.

My best memory of Hatim Uncle (as I have known him) was him reciting marsiyas  in the masjid at a very young age in Nairobi, Kenya, especially on the 10th of Moharrum . The marsiyas group would gather at the entrance of the masjid and walk in reciting “Aa je wavella” marsiya to start  the 10th of Moharrum.  He was also an active committee Member of the Bohra jamaat in Nairobi until we moved away from the mainstream jamaat. I also had pleasure of working with him as a member of the Nairobi Group Charitable Society. He enjoyed good food and always insisted that at all our functions there should be a variety of dishes and in plentiful.

Hatimbhai’s  father Mulla Ali Bin Esmail was the  Waali el Mulla of the Nairobi Jamaat in the 1960’s, and served the jamaat well and without any authoratian manner. If you happened to meet him in the street and requested Razaa it was granted straight away without any condition.

The moment the “chithi” was introduced some of the prominent families never bowed down to get the “chithi” and Hatimbhai’s family was one of them.

Hatimbhai took over all the duties of religious aspect of our society after our split from the main jamaat. When the Bohra mainstream realized that we could do without them, they approached Hatimbhai to join them. Hatimbhai’s answer to them was that “if you want me and my family to join the main stream, then take us all en mass without any conditions or forms to sign”.

In 1987 Hatimbhai together with his family immigrated to Canada. In Canada he also performed all the religious duties. During the period when we were in the process of buying our own APDBO centre and were going through the teething problems, he was there to guide and back us up. There are lots of young people in the Centre whose nikka and mithak have been performed by Hatimbhai.

Hatimbhai’s loss will not only be missed by Khadijaben and the family, but by the community at large. In front of Allah there is nothing we can do but pray to Allah to rest Hatimbhai’s soul in eternal peace. Ameen.