Ameer Kassam Janmohamed (1931-2014): Leader, Humanitarian and Man of Letters Passes Away in London, UK

REMEMBERING AN ISMAILI MAN OF LETTERS

Born in Kisumu, Kenya, to Rabhiabai and Kassam Janmohamed on June 6, 1931, Ameer Kassam Janmohamed was kind and generous and true to the responsibilities he had to his family and friends, his faith and the noble causes he undertook in public life from his youthful days. His long time service to the Rotarians was particularly significant.

Please click on Ameer Kassam Janmohamed (1931-2014) or photo for tribute.

Ameer Kassam Janmohamed (1931-2014), lived his life to the fullest. Please click on photo for tribute.

Ameer Kassam Janmohamed (1931-2014), lived his life to the fullest. Please click on photo for tribute.

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21 thoughts on “Ameer Kassam Janmohamed (1931-2014): Leader, Humanitarian and Man of Letters Passes Away in London, UK

  1. Dear Abdulmalekbhai,

    The family of Late Amirbhai, relatives and friends have lost a real person who was associated with them in one way or other but in my case he was my true colleague. We were born a few months apart in 1931 – him in June and myself in November – and we were both 82. At the age of 13 in 1944 we were in the Agakhan Scouts Group in Mombasa. Some time ago he had given me a photo and we remembered all the 14 names and he commented “Rajab, luckily we are the only survivors.”

    He was a very bright student and we were in competition in Gujarati as well as in debates, the arts, drawings, but I could not complete my ambition which my younger son did. His name is Minaz and he is employed with Aiglemont for nearly last thirty years as Graphics Designer & we are very proud. Amirbhai and I had chatted about this and he had mentioned his sons of whom he was proud.

    He had a vast knowledge in Ginans like me. There are endless talks about him, and in the end we have certainly lost a master knowledgeable person. We all pray to Mawla for His Batuni Deedar, and rest his soul in eternal peace ameen, ameen.
    P.S. I was living in Uganda, but had gone to Mombasa at my uncle for studies.
    With Ya Ali Madad,
    Rajabali Nanji Nathwani

  2. Readers around the world have reacted to the news of Mr. Ameer Janmohamed’s passing away through condolence messages and tributes. One couple has decided to celebrate the life of the deceased by sharing the following loving message that they sent to him on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

    June 14, 2011.
    Dear Ameer,

    We were not in Vancouver on June 6th [2011], but during our holiday break, we thought of your big celebration and composed the following special message for you:

    Whether it is a “big one”
    Or a really big one
    Or the Enormous Eighty
    It is only a number

    The real test is
    How many hearts have been touched
    How often was the shoulder accessible
    For friends and strangers alike.
    Did the less endowned
    And the less fortunate
    Receive a hand up
    Unconditionally, unceremoniously?
    Did compassion and care
    And genuine love
    Flow out naturally, in abundance?

    For enlightened souls
    Sheer Being is to be Doing
    As naturally as breathing is to living

    Who else to exemplify this better
    Than our dearest Ameer Bhurio
    At each moment of his life
    In each circumstance
    Whatever his role or responsibility
    Needing no reminder of any test
    And hence the number eighty
    Is as meaningless and irrelevant
    As sixty or forty or twenty

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, Ameer.
    With very best wishes and much love,

    Shamshad and Jalal

  3. We pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace. Our heartfelt condolences to Zeenat and the family for their loss.

    Ahmedmama and Yasminmami

  4. A man of incredible determination and vision. A great Murid. So much achieved, a full life lived. May he be received in Jannah.

  5. Tribute to Ameeraly Kassam Janmohamed.

    I was born in Mombasa in 1950 but went to live with my grandparents and Aunty in Zanzibar. In 1964, we all went to Mombasa to visit my parents and were going to go back to Zanzibar when we heard that our ship Khalifa left to meet sister ship Salama carrying Sultan of Zanzibar who just had time to flee from the Revolution.

    Therefore we decided to settle in Kenya and from 1964 to 1973, while I was in Mombasa I became an Active Member of Aga Khan Volunteer Corps and also an Honorary Member of Aly Khan Band during the time Marhum Ameeraly was Mukhisaheb of Chief Jamat Khana in Kuze Road where we also lived. He had already known my family as my father and my late elder brother – Sadruddin – were also active in varies Jamati services.

    As a Mukhisaheb, he took keen interest in the youth and encouraged all young Volunteers towards Mawla’s and Jamati Sewa.
    In very short time, I became youngest Lieutenant in Volunteer Corps and also youngest member of Ismailia Association in Charge of Religious Reference Library, a Member of Welfare Society and Gusal Committe – some of them that I continued with few more in UK.

    At every point, he in his capacity as Mukhisaheb or President of Mombasa Provisional Council never took his eyes off me or few others – always telling us that the best is yet to come. Just as he was Mukhisaheb who could build rapport with the jamat – he had the same spirit in his new capacity. He blended well with every community regardless of gender, colour, caste or nationality. His work in Rotary Club was well known.

    In 1973, I came to London and once again our paths crossed which later reflected in the varies e-mails and personal contacts we had – much to my joy and his to see we are still active in UK as well. His work at Ismaili Institute and Zamana Gallery had meant us meeting at Ismaili Centre and at varies functions – but with same polite greeting and of course how proud he was to see me and few others from Kenya still active in UK.

    His last e-mail stated he wanted me to have his book – “A Regal Romance and Other Memories” – which he personally posted to me in November 2013. This will now be my greatest gift and treasure from him to me. It will always remind me of the great days we had both in Mombasa and London.

    He endorsed the book with following loving remark:-

    “Dear Sultanali
    Join me on a trip down memory lane, through the pages of this book.
    Warm regards
    Ameer janmohammed
    London
    25/11/2013”

    The book contains historic pictures and events of not only his personal or family life but a moving story of our Ismaili Community in East Africa and of course United Kingdom. I was amazed at how many people I recognised in those photos – most of whom I had privileged to work with in one form or the other.I would sincerely request that all Ismailis should read and see these iconic events through his eyes.

    Today, we may mourn his physical passing away but it is also time to celebrate his life. It is my sincere prayers that this path should be continued via his son and grandsons. I also wish to pray for his wife, Zeenat, who was a pillar during Marhum’s life and, as always, a smiling face whenever we met. Ameen

    Huzur Mukhi Sultanali Hassanali Kassam Jivraj – Khoplo

  6. Dear Malik,
    Thank you. You have captured the essence of this great man and humanitarian. He will be missed by all.
    Bobby Valli-Hasham

  7. I was a young boy growing up in Mombasa. I remember Ameer Uncle as he was the Mukhi of Kuze jamatkhana. I do remember him reciting the ginans. He was a pioneer that touched a lot of lives.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult period. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace. Amen

  8. Dear Mr. A J. Merchant and All,
    Ya Ali Madad ,
    I think we have lost one such Ismaili , Shri Ameer Janmohammed, who was like a bridge between generations with two Imams. I had only recently only gone through his writings on this website — which proves to be a valuable treasure of our community — from which I found out a very special pearl in the collection of Alijasaheb: the group photograph of eminent missionaries in India, with Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah. When I provided feedback and congratulated Mr. Abdulmalik J. Merchant, the Editor, the comment turned into a letter and he graciously replied. Our community has great bright stars who will always be in the hearts of all Ismailis. I pray for the eternal peace of Ameer bhai’s soul. The murids of the Imam such as him go directly to the Noor only. May Hazar Imam bestow his blessings on his family.

    Mansoor Noorani
    India

  9. My sincere condolences to his family. I had the pleasure of meeting Ameerbha whilst I was in London. The very little time I spoke with him, he really touched my heart. I felt like I had known him for years. I enjoyed his book The Regal Romance.
    May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace. Amen.

  10. Although I did not live in Mombasa nor do I live in London to have known this great man who started his own website just a couple of years ago, I share his loss with his family, the entire Ismaili community and humanity at large. I shall forward this to a few friends from Mombasa and have a great empathy for Alijah Ameer Kassam Janmohamed for his love of Ginans especially the meanings that he must have explained to all he came in contact with.

    Lastly, Malik’s tribute to him through his website http://www.simerg.com is much appreciated. Alijah’s contributions on Simerg have immensely enriched our own knowledge and wisdom that we otherwise would lack.

    May the Ruhani’s soul rest in Eternal Peace and may it be rewarded by Allah with all the blessings for the service he did when in the Duniya that we live in, Ameen

  11. Mr. Janmohamed was a very impressive and distinctive man in Mombasa. When I became the Mukhi of the boys and girls majlis, he was in the Mombasa council. He was very encouraging and talked to me about the firmans I read to the Jamat. He said that I did a great job and for a student like me, it meant a lot. Overall, I just admired the man for his service to the community.

    My heartiest condolences to the family.

  12. Ameer has paid wonderful tributes to both my parents and people that I’ve known who have passed away. My one concern was that someone has to write one for him and I was overjoyed when this piece was sent to me by my Uncle Amir Rashid. Malik, you’ve described him well. He was all that and much more to my family and his passing away is a great loss. It brought back wonderful memories of our Mombasa days.

    May his soul rest in eternal peace and his journey forward is smooth.

  13. Pingback: Ameer Janmohamed (1931 – 2014): A Man of Letters | Ismailimail

  14. Dear Malik
    Ameer has been a very special person in our lives. He was our closest family friend our mentor and had such wealth of wisdom which he shared with us and today we feel so enriched. We never had a moment without humour in his company and as neighbours we were so privileged to share very special moments with him and Zeenat. He is not only a loss to the humanitarian world but the world has lost a great person who shared such wealth of knowledge and wisdom. He touched the lives of many people with such humility and love. He will be greatly missed by many and most of all by my husband, my 2 daughters who held very special place in his heart. I shall miss him the most as we had a deal that he would explain the meaning of every ginan sung during the early morning prayers. I have lost a great soul mate. May he rest in eternal peace and his soul is with the light of Allah.

    Nasim & Mahmood Allibhai

  15. بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
    ( In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the Merciful)

    Innalillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raaji’oon – To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return. (Al-Baqarah 2:156).

    “And He it is Who in the heaven is God, and in the earth God. He is the Wise, the knower” (Holy Quran; Az-Zukhruf; XLIII:84).

  16. Dear Malik
    We were glad to be able to recall all Ameer’s achievements, his contribution to his community, to community at large, to the Rotary World.

    For me personally, Ameer was a friend, a mentor and someone I could turn for advice, wisdom, most of all a humourous aspect to each situation as it arose
    Shariffa

  17. Malik, thank you for such a wonderful piece on my father-in-law, Ameer Janmohamed. He was a delightful man, an avid historian with a wicked sense of humour and a great father to son, Quassim; grandfather to Imran and Salim, who has left a large void in our lives.

    May his soul rest in eternal peace, Amen.

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