Passings: Noorunisa Maherali (1929 – 2015) – A Remarkable Ismaili Woman of Faith, Talent and Courage

“…When she was still in her early to mid-twenties,  she was involved in a remarkable rescue operation involving her best friend’s two children who had been forcibly abducted from Singapore to Karachi. Risking her own life, she made her way to Karachi, located the boys and delivered them safely to their uncle’s home…” — 1950’s

“…As is so often the case the Imam of the Time, at an appropriate time, found an opportunity to recognize her entire family during a special audience…” — 1982-83, Silver Jubilee

PLEASE CLICK: Noorunisa Maherali (1929 – 2015)

The late Noorunisa Maherali (1929-2015)

The late Noorunisa Maherali (1929-2015)

Simerg encourages readers to submit tributes or death notices for deceased members of their families. For submission details, please click Obituaries and Tributes.

Date posted: April 8, 2016.

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Passings: Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim

“Throw my ashes
where you will
but lest you err
know this
I want children’s laughter
in my dead ears”
 (Salim Ebrahim, from Epigrams I)

Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim

Salim e-a Ebrahim

It is with deep sadness that we announce the recent passing in Pakistan of Mr. Salim-el-azhar Ebrahim, an epigrammatist, poet, essayist and a friend to Simerg. A prolific and fearless writer, he was the author of Reason! The Measure of Thought, a collection of 500 original epigrams as well as The Hourglass and the Pen – the Measures of Thought, a short booklet of original epigrams and poems, which is now out of print.

Excellence is a never ending journey to understand one’s own hazy and even
fearsome areas of the mind: needs, wants, desires, greed, jealousy, anger,
revenge, power, status, pride, arrogance, intolerance, rigidity, tyranny, violence
and battering, cruelty, sadism and masochism, lying, cheating, hypocrisy – and
the rectifying of those parts of the mind in both thought and action —
Salim e-a Ebrahim from Dialog…, see link below.

We pray that Mr. Salim Ebrahim’s soul may rest in eternal peace. We also convey our heartfelt condolences to all his family members and friends around the world.

We honour Mr. Ebrahim by providing links to numerous pieces that he contributed to this website. His comments and contributions in the formative months of this website encouraged us to create a special category for poetry.

Date posted: January 10, 2016.

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We invite your tributes and reactions to this sad loss. Please click Leave a comment.

If you wish to contribute an obituary or pay a tribute in the loving memory of deceased member(s) in your family who passed away recently or in the past, please visit Passings.

Nazarali Rahim Makani (1883 – 1951), Professional Craftsman, Designed Spinning Wheel for Mahatma Gandhi

“Nazarali Bapa was in the iron trade. He was a tool-maker and had the expertise that was required in this profession. Due to this, his oldest son Gulam Husein Nazarali Makani (my grandfather) received a tender after the British left India to install hand water pumps in all the neighbouring cities of Bombay…Widowed at a very early age with five children, three sons and two daughters, Nazarali Bapa never re-married. He remained single and committed himself to his five children.” — Khurshid Makani

PLEASE CLICK: Remembering Nazarali Bapa: An Iron Craftsman Who Made a Spinning Wheel for Mahatma Gandhi

Legendary Nazarali Rahim Makani (1883 – 1951). Photo: Khurshid Makani Collection.

Legendary Nazarali Rahim Makani (1883 – 1951). Photo: Khurshid Makani Collection.

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Simerg encourages readers to submit tributes or death notices for deceased members of their families. For submission details, please click Obituaries and Tributes: Simerg Invites Ismaili Readers from Around the World to Honour and Celebrate Lives of Family Members Who Have Returned to Their Original Abode

Remembering Alijah Zulfikarali Khoja

By Abdulmalik Merchant

Alijah Zul Khoja: Lifetime Educator

Alijah Zul Khoja: Lifetime Educator and Leader

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of an outstanding educator and leader of the Ismaili Muslim community, (Alijah) Zulfikarali M.A. Velji Khoja, in Ottawa, Canada, on Friday, September 4th, 2015. His funeral and burial ceremonies will take place in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 9.

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Mr. Khoja was a skilled trainer, facilitator, educational consultant and mediator. His experience and training was diverse: with a post-graduate degree in Radio Chemistry from Carleton University, Ottawa, and professional designations from the Universities of Birmingham, Queens, Ottawa, Windsor and the London School of Economics, he travelled worldwide on many consulting assignments as a Mediator. These included: The Canadian Human Rights Commission, Better Business Bureau, Ottawa-Carleton Dispute Resolution Centre,and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

This visit to the Aga Khan School in Dhaka took place during Mawlana Hazar Imam's four day stay in Bangladesh in 1993. During the school visit Hazar Imam was accompanied by a Government Minister, The President of the Council, school board members. In this photo, Zul Khoja, the principal of the school from 1992-1994 is seen showing a curricular activity implemented to introduce creative and critical thinking among the students. Mawlana Hazar Imam took immense pride in this activity, known as the Mind Benders Club, and turned to his guests to explain the accomplishments in his school. Zul notes that when Mawlana Hazar Imam introduced him o the guests, it was done with a

This visit to the Aga Khan School in Dhaka took place during Mawlana Hazar Imam’s four day stay in Bangladesh in 1993. During the school visit Hazar Imam was accompanied by a Government Minister, The President of the Council, school board members. In this photo, Zul Khoja, the principal of the school from 1992-1994 is seen showing a curricular activity implemented to introduce creative and critical thinking among the students. Mawlana Hazar Imam took immense pride in this activity, known as the Mind Benders Club, and turned to his guests to explain the accomplishments in his school. Zul noted that when Mawlana Hazar Imam introduced him to the guests, it was done with a “full bio!” Mr. Khoja said that when he escorted the party into the school, it took the Imam less than 30 seconds to fully understand what was being accomplished in the school. One of the areas that the late Zul Khoja specialised in was the education of bright and gifted children. Please click on photo for Zul’s piece, Ismaili Penmanship. Photo: Zul Khoja Collection.

As an administrator, educator and trainer, Zul worked at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. He was also headmaster, educator and trainer (Professional Development) to The Aga Khan Development Network, both in Bangladesh and Kenya. Zul’s voluntary service with the Ismaili Community and its institutions included several countries (South Africa, Kenya, Bangladesh and Canada). The services in Canada included training Management Auditors and conducting Management Audits. He also served as a Baitul Ilm teacher and held leadership positions with both the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board and the Aga Khan Council since his settlement in Ottawa in the 1970’s. Most recently he  served as the Convener for Donor Services for the Aga Khan Foundation committee in Ottawa, where he resided with his wife, Khairunissa. He also leaves behind two children, a son, Sherali, and a daughter, Rozmin.

We pray that Allah may rest Alijah Zul Khoja’s soul in eternal peace, and that He may bless his entire family with courage and fortitude at this difficult time.

The late 48th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, seated on a wheelchair with members of his family with his successor, the present Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan, standing at extreme right. Others in the photo (l to r), grandson Prince Amyn Muhammad, and the late Imams two sons, the late Prince Sadruddin and Prince Aly Khan, who is seen holding his daughter Princes Yasmin Aga Khan Photo: Zul Khoja Collection, Ottawa.

The late 48th Ismaili Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, seated on a wheelchair with members of his family with his successor, the present Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan, standing at extreme right. Others in the photo (l to r), grandson Prince Amyn Muhammad, and the late Imams two sons, the late Prince Sadruddin and Prince Aly Khan, who is seen holding his daughter Princes Yasmin Aga Khan. This rare photo was provided to Simerg by Alijah Zul Khoja.

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Mr. Khoja had contributed to this blog in numerous ways including writing a memorable piece  Ismaili Penmanship in 1906 for this website’s special series, I Wish I’d Been There.

Date posted (from Halifax, Nova Scotia): September 8, 2015.

Hope, and not Despondency, in the Wake of Misfortune and Tragedy

LETTER FROM PUBLISHER
Yellow Tulips - Hope amidst Tragedy
“Despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! None despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk.” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 12, Verse 87).

The recent tragedy in Karachi, where dozens of innocent Ismailis were the subject of wanton violence is extremely disquieting. Besides questioning the humanity of our fellow citizens, it may serve to bring to the fore the insecurities of a people who have been subject to religious persecution in the past and are today, without exception, minorities in every single land they live in. As the Ismailis of Karachi (and of Pakistan in general) reflect on the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, perhaps it would natural for them to give in to despondency. This, however, should be cautioned against, for the following reasons.

Today, Ismaili Jamats globally unite in prayers and solidarity with their brethren of Karachi sending a strong message that their brethren are not just a forgotten minority in a big state, but an indivisible part of a strong global brotherhood. Equally, and no less significant, is the Imam’s global work and name, which has resulted in condemnation across the globe by world leaders, and which will ensure that this tragedy will not end up as just another footnote in an unending series of attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan. As K. N. Pandita says in a recent article:

 “But given the international influence and reach of Prince Aga Khan and the great humanitarian works that his Foundation is doing in many parts of the world including Karachi, the massacre is bound to cause ripples in Pakistan politics. This is the reason why the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Army chief both lost no time in flying into Karachi to take stock of things”. [1]

There is reason to hope that from this tragedy, and from the blood of innocents, a reaffirmation of the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan will result, Inshallah.

Date posted: May 18, 2015.

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[1]  http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/tragedy-descends-on-ismailis/

In Memoriam: Mohammed Ibrahim Ali (1925 – 2014) by Enoo

PLEASE CLICK: In Memoriam: Mohammed Ibrahim Ali

 A SON’S TRIBUTE TO A LOVING FATHER

Renowned Ismaili musician and composer, Enoo, pictured with his beloved dad in 2005 before the Vancouver  mulaqat with Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo: Enoo archives.

Renowned Ismaili musician and composer, Enoo, pictured with his beloved dad in Vancouver in 2005 before the mulaqat with Mawlana Hazar Imam. Photo: Enoo archives.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Simerg invites obituaries/in memoriam pieces honouring deceased family members. Please see submission guidelines and examples by clicking Obituaries and Tributes.

Obituaries and Tributes: Simerg Invites Ismaili Readers from Around the World to Honour and Celebrate Lives of Family Members Who Have Returned to Their Original Abode

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
“Surely we belong to God and to Him we return.” — Holy Qur’an

Did you know that Simerg offers to all its Ismaili readers around the world an opportunity to submit memorials to honour and celebrate the lives of beloved members of their families who have physically departed this world?

The 48th Ismaili Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877–1957), wrote in his Memoirs that “Life is a great and noble calling, not a mean and grovelling thing to be shuffled through as best as we can but a lofty and exalted destiny.”

It is the individual’s celebrated life that we are asking you to reflect and write about, in the form of a short notice or a longer tribute, whether the member of your family passed away recently or in the past. Examples of  different types of obituaries and how to submit them are stated below.

Honouring Lives Lived

By Malik Merchant
Publisher-Editor, www.simerg.com

Top portion of image shows plaque commemorating Ismailis who were killed in a WWII raid in Burma. Bottom half is a surreal image by Sarite Sanders of Aswan’s Fatimid cemetery.

Simerg offers all its Ismaili readers around the world an opportunity to submit memorials to honour and celebrate the lives of beloved members of their families who have physically departed this world recently or in the past. The memorials may be submitted in the form of (1) a simple short notice or (2) a tribute of up to 500 words.

Substance of the Notice and Tribute

1. The simplest kind of tribute is a notice about the passing of the person. The notice will contain some information about the who, when, and where of a person’s death. It may be one paragraph, which includes the name of the parents or spouse(s) of the deceased, the children of the deceased, sibling or close relatives of the deceased, place of residence, the Jamatkhana or funeral home where the last rites were carried out and where the deceased was finally laid to rest. This short notice may be followed by a longer tribute at a later date as described in (2) below. The following is an example of a notice:

“[Name of Deceased], author and playwright, died peacefully at home in [city], on [date]. He was the much-loved husband of [spouse name], father of [children], guardian and grandfather. The last rites were held in [name of Jamatkhana] on [date] and he was later buried on [date] at [name and city of cemetery]. Post funeral religious ceremonies were conducted at [name of Jamatkhana]. It was the wish [of the deceased or the deceased family] that monetary contributions in his honour be made to [organization, hospital, cause etc.].”

2. The purpose of the longer tribute will be to celebrate the person’s life. It will start with the same basic information you put in the notice (1, above), and goes on to add details about the person’s life: hometowns, education, jobs, family members, and personal interests and activities. Anecdotes may be included from the person’s life to help family members, readers and future generations to reflect on the life of the individual. The universal tale, as is well-known, lies in specific examples, and for this reason we are inviting you to write a tribute of up to 500 words in length.

For examples of obituaries/tributes please see your local newspaper, click The Globe and Mail. or What to Write. They are excellent resources to assist you in constructing appropriate obituaries.

Submission Rules

The obituary may be for any Ismaili person or a non-Ismaili by marriage or birth to an Ismaili who has passed away recently or at any time in the past.

Each submission must specify your relationship with the deceased person, as well as include your full name, mailing address and the phone number where you may be contacted. Anonymous pieces will not be accepted for publication, although the editor may at his discretion allow author anonymity once the tribute has been approved for publication. Please submit the notice or tribute in Word or PDF format, or include it in your email message. The tribute can be in English or French

Notices and tributes will appear on a cumulative basis, once a month (frequency is subject to change). They should be submitted to simerg@aol.com with the subject of the email reading “Celebrated life of [name of deceased].” There is no charge whatsoever for this initiative being offered by Simerg. The editor will contact you with the draft copy once the notice or tribute has been finalized for publication. Along with your short notice or tribute, we ask you to submit the celebrated person’s photo. For long tributes, we invite you to submit additional photos which have a direct relevance to the person’s life that you have described. Images should be in JPG format.

Thank you

Malik Merchant
Publisher-Editor
www.simerg.com
simerg@aol.com

CANADA.

Date updated: April 9, 2016.

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Published tributes:

The editor welcomes tributes to the deceased. Please send them to simerg@aol.com. Each submission must carry with it the contributor’s full name, address and phone number where he/she can be reached for authentication purposes. Anonymous submissions will not be acknowledged or replied to.

Sign-up for blog subscription at top right of this page.

2014 Simerg Collection: Passings, Achievements and Historical Reminiscences

PLEASE CLICK: 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.~~~~~~~

PLEASE CLICK: “Conversations on Three Continents”

Please click on image for book excerpt.~~~~~

PLEASE CLICK: Rediscovering a Lost Piece of Ismaili History — First Steps in the Migration of Tanzanian Ismailis to Canada

Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, blessing Vazier Rajabali Meghji Visram during his visit to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in October 1957. Photo: Sadru Meghji Collection, Toronto.  Please click on photo for article.

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PLEASE CLICK: To the Memory of Roshan Thomas and Zeenab Kassam

The deaths of Roshan and Zeenab in Kabul at the hand of terrorists have touched the hearts of thousands around the world.

PLEASE CLICK: Roshan Thomas – Acting in the Path of God By Jalal Jaffer

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PLEASE CLICK: Simerg’s Exclusive Interview with Mirza Ali and his Sister Samina Baig Who Became the First Ismaili and Pakistani Woman to Reach the Summit of Mt. Everest

Samina Baig climbing Mt. Everest. Photo: Mirza Ali. Copyright.~~~~~~

PLEASE CLICK: A True Account of How Three Ismaili “Shaheeds” Lost Their Lives in a Tragic Accident in 1925 Near Kilosa, Tanganyika

Portraits of the three Shahids, Karmali Dahya, Lalji Ladha and Missionary Khudabaksh Talib (right), who died when their lorry slid into a ditch near Kilosa in 1925. The photo was displayed in the lobbies of jamatkhanas around East Africa at the instruction of the 48th Ismaili Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957). Photo: Anverali Talib Family Collection, Montreal, PQ, Canada. ~~~~~~

PLEASE CLICK: Remembering Rai Hussein Khanmohammed of Burma

Rai Hussein Khanmohamed (1932 - 2013)

Date posted: December 31, 2014.

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Shaheeds Khudabaksh Talib, Karmali Dahya and Lalji Ladha: An Account of their 1925 Tragic Accident in Tanganyika by Sadru Meghji

“This account of a Jamati tragedy that occurred almost ninety years ago, in 1925,  is based on an authentic Gujarati narrative that was prepared by an officer  of the Aga Khan Council in Dar-es-Salaam, just four days after the accident that took the lives of three Ismailis, namely Khudabaksh Talib, Karmali Dahya and Lalji Ladha, who were bestowed with the title of Shaheeds….” — Sadru Meghji

Please click: A True Account of How Three Ismaili “Shaheeds” Lost Their Lives in a Tragic Accident in 1925 Near Kilosa, Tanganyika

Portraits of the three Shahids, Karmali Dahya, Lalji Ladha and Missionary Khudabaksh Talib (right), who died when their lorry slid into a ditch near Kilosa in 1925. The photo was displayed in the lobbies of jamatkhanas around East Africa at the instruction of the 48th Ismaili Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957). Photo: Anverali Talib Family Collection, Montreal, PQ, Canada.

Portraits of the three Shaheeds, Karmali Dahya, Lalji Ladha and Missionary Khudabaksh Talib (right), who died when their lorry slid into a ditch near Kilosa in 1925. The photo was displayed in the lobbies of jamatkhanas around East Africa at the instruction of the 48th Ismaili Imam, Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957). Photo: Anverali Talib Family Collection, Montreal, PQ, Canada.

Passings: Rai Hussein Khanmohammed of Burma (1932 – 2013) – A Tribute by Hasan Essa

Hasan Essa pays a tribute to his close friend and mentor, Rai Hussein Khanmohammed, who passed away peacefully in Los Angeles on September 23, 2013 just as he was about to turn 81. Ismaili institutions in Pakistan recognized his contributions to the community in a well-organized condolence and memorial meeting.

Please click: Remembering Rai Hussein Khanmohammed of Burma

Rai Hussein Khanmohamed (1932 - 2013)

Rai Hussein Khanmohamed (1932 – 2013)