Hamid Ali Bhojani (Karachi Jamat President)
SHAHEED HAMID ALI BHOJANI - A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
وَ لا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذينَ قُتِلُوا في سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْواتاً بَلْ أَحْياءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ
Do not suppose those who were slain in the way of Allah to be dead; rather they are living and provided for near their Lord (Qur’an 3:169)
It was 7:10 am of the 24th of the holy month of Ramazan, 1415 (25th of February, 1995) when Shaheed Hamid Ali Bhojani along with his 13 friends and community members were martyred in Mehfil e Murtaza, PECHS, Karachi. The hideous crime was committed by Sipah e Sahaba on these noble souls who were committed to His servitude through fasting and various welfare activities.
Born on 13th September 1945 in Bombay, Shaheed has spent a significant amount of his life in community service leaving a long life legacy for the Karachi Khoja community. The passion for the community dragged him into the jamaat affairs at a tender age of 20 and it was in 1968 when he contested the election for the first time. Since then he engaged in various community affairs until 1988 when he assumed the position of the President of the Karachi Jamaat, by far the largest Jamaat in the history of Khoja community.
Karachi Jamaat was back on the map after many challenging years of the post-partition. His relentless efforts and dynamic leadership proved to be a pivotal force in the drastic reformation of the Jamaat. The Jamaat geared to an overhaul, focusing on democratic norms, education and a sense of belonging and participation. His relentless and committed efforts translated into the construction of Fatimiya School of Karachi. His charismatic attitude could mobilize the potentials and bring a fresh impetus in the areas of faith, education, and welfare of the community. He has to his credit the construction of Anjuman e Khuddamul Qur’an and Bagh e Zehra in Kharadar and Zainab Punjwani Memorial Hospital in Soldier Bazar. It was during his tenure when the mammoth undertaking of the census was conducted and computersied membership was issued, a long overdue project for most of the Jamaats in East and West. He attended the triannual conference of the World Federation of KSIMC in London in 1988 and took the initiative of the membership of the WF.
His excellence did not sum up in community affairs but he also accomplished many big projects in his personal life. He was elected as the Chairman of the Travel Agents Association of Pakistan after an incredible experience in Pakistan International Airlines and Syrian Arab Airlines and later establishing his own travel agency.
His legacy prevails till today, providing guidance and momentum for moving ahead. The vibrant Khoja community at large reflects his spirit and endeavours and a physical tour of a section on Britto Road provides the glimpse of his contribution towards the prosperity of the community. His life and his martyrdom will be cherished as a beacon for upcoming generations.
يُريدُونَ لِيُطْفِؤُا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْواهِهِمْ وَ اللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَ لَوْ كَرِهَ الْكافِرُونَ
They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah shall perfect His light though the faithless should be averse (Qur’an 61:8)
The article relies mainly on the information provided by:
Hassan Ali M. Jaffer (including references to his articles and personal collection)
Compiled and uploaded by the Khoja Heritage Project (KHP) of the WF-KSIMC