Obituary: Alikhan Hasham (Jeraj), 1950-2019

By Zahir K. Dhalla

December 5, 2019

Alikhan Muradali Alibhai Hasham [Jeraj], a well-known Tanga, Tanzania boy, was born in 1950 at the Jeraj residence on School Street, opposite New Hotel. He was the youngest of the Muradali brood of three sisters and two brothers.

Grandfather (biological) Kassamali and grandfather (adoptive) Alibhai had migrated from Cutch province of India to Zanzibar towards the end of the 19th century, Alibhai later settling in Tanga (by way of Pangani, a port at the mouth of the long Pangani River, some 50 kilometres south of Tanga), where he served as the first president of the local Ismaili Council and later as the Mukhi in 1919.

Alikhan’s mum, Dolatkhanu (nee Vali Jamal of the well-known family in Mombasa, some 200 kilometres north of Tanga, in Kenya), taught us toddlers at the Aga Khan Nursery School. All her daughters – Roshan, Gulzar and Khatun – went on to teach! On the male side, the common thread was music, as in playing the harmonium (Alikhan’s dad Muradbha), the accordion (brother Ami), percussions (Alikhan) and – singing (Alikhan; below is a precious photo of a 10 year old Alikhan leading his class in Stuti, a praise-hymn). Alikhan’s other passions were tennis, cross-country running and later, golf.

 
Alikhan Hasham

Listen to Alikhan beautifully sing a simple Ginan

Alikhan did all his schooling up to the end of high school in Tanga, earning very good grades which got him admission to the University of Nairobi, Kenya, in its surveying and mapping program, a field that he became very good in, becoming an Alberta Land Surveyor, a lifetime career. And it was at university that he met his future wife, Naznin Damji of Dar es Salaam, an architecture student.

Alikhan was a likeable lad of Tanga. He was tall, at 6 feet, the tallest in the class (along with Meherab, as seen in the above photo), yet gentle, but determined. [This determination was well-captured in an essay, titled “Determination” about a runner determined to pursue long distance running, which he wrote for a competition in which he was declared the overall winner!]

Throughout his life, he served his Ismaili community, in a variety of ways e.g. as a bus driver of our JK’s Volkswagen Kombi at the University of Nairobi, shuttling us students to Majlises at Darkhana, Parklands, Pangani and Eastleigh JKs. The culmination of his lifelong service was his appointment as Mukhi of Edmonton West JK.

Alikhan sadly passed away in Edmonton AB, on Friday, November 8, 2019. He is survived by wife Naznin, son Faizal, daughter Farrah and three beautiful grandchildren Khaleem, Zahaan and Nashaan.

Alikhan’s beaming smile [see Alikhan’s FaceBook Page] will always be with all those who got to know him.

RIP, friend. You will never be forgotten.

 

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

One thought

  1. That was wonderful to see, for a cousin of mine, son of “Dolatkhanu (nee Vali Jamal of the well-known family in Mombasa, some 200 kilometres north of Tanga, in Kenya)”. Well, that’s my fuima – father’s sister and nice to see the reference to our grandfather as head of a well-known family. He was the first president of the Kampala Council at mid-1910s and mukhi twice of the Mombasa jamatkhana in the 1920s. The family of fuima and fuima herself were brilliant – as teachers and musicians. As we learn “Dolatkhanu taught us toddlers at the Aga Khan Nursery School. All her daughters – Roshan, Gulzar and Khatun – went on to teach! On the male side, the common thread was music, as in playing the harmonium (Alikhan’s dad Muradbha), the accordion (brother Ami), percussions (Alikhan) and – singing. Alikhan’s other passions were tennis, cross-country running and later, golf.”
    May Allah grant his soul a choicest place in Janat al Firdous. Am writing from Kampala Uganda.

    Like

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