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Hashambhai Dewji

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Brief Profile

Murabbi Hashambhai Dewji was very hard working since his childhood and had maintained his health by actively participating in different activities.

Life Journey

At the age of 18 in 1902, he travelled by sea voyage from India to Zanzibar. He worked for three and a half years for Ismailbhai Sumar and two and a half years with Hasham Hirji in Zanzibar. In 1907 he migrated to Pangani and worked for Ahmedbhai Shermohammed for one year. He then joined into a partnership for 2 years with him. In order to verify the accounts of upcountry branches, Hashambhai used to travel by foot quite often to the interior. It was very normal for him to walk a distance of up to 50 miles a day.

In 1909 he travelled by dhow from Pangani to Dar es Salaam, boarded a train to Morogoro then to Kilosa and would take care of all the branches of that area. In 1910 he left the partnership of Ahmed Shermohammed in Kilosa and opened his own shop in "Kitete" and let his brother run the shop. In 1911 he went to Pangani got married and left for Dodoma to establish a business. He stayed in Dodoma up to 1918. Later he went to Dar es Salaam and used to deal with retail sales of different goods for three years. In 1922 he moved to Zanzibar and continued with the similar business. In 1925 he shifted to "Machoni", established a shop and took two of his brothers in partnership namely, Br. Fazal and Br. Gulamhussein. After about three years, he left the partnership in 1930 and started a shop of food crops in Singida. There were only 2 families of our community residing in Singida during that time. The religious sermons were held at Hashambhai's residence. After the demise of his mother, Hashambhai together with his two brothers decided to build an imambargha from their late mother's fund. Thus in 1935, the Imambargha was constructed. Due to an increase of our community population space was not enough hence a new imambargha was built in 1950 for which Shillings 10,000/= were contributed each from Mombasa and Dar es Salaam community members, some funds were from the Singida Jamaat and the deficit was raised by the Singida Jamaat members. The new Imambargha was sufficient to meet the needs for many years thereafter.

Later in 1940, all the residing Indians united to establish a school which benefitted many, later the Ismaili community opened their own school in 1945. In 1944 Hashambhai was blessed to perform the Holy Pilgrimage and later in 1958 he got an opportunity to perform the "Ziyaarat" (pilgrimage of the holy shrines)

  • Please remember Marhum Hasham bhai Dewji and all Marhumeens with Sura-e-Fateha for their Maghferat.

Translated by F. Ali.

Extracted from Community Directory 1960