Abbas Sherali Alloo
Source: Shia International Summer 1993 Issue No 8
Compiled by Marhum Murtaza Ramzanali Jivraj
Marhum Abbas Sherali Alloo was born in Zanzibar on March 5, 1936 to Sherali Kassamali Alloo and Leilabai Gulamhussein Dhalla. When he was still a young boy, he moved to Dar es Salaam with his parents and later joined his father’s business.
His service to the Community began in his early twenties. He was appointed as a Councilor of the Africa Federation when he was only 25 years old and served for several terms.
In Dar es Salaam, Abbasbhai initiated the project of Bilal Muslim Mission Charitable Public Dispensary in Temeke District of the Dar es Salaam region of Tanzania. He purchased a property adjacent to the Mission complex and donated it in his mother’s name, now known as Mrs. Leilabai S. Alloo Dispensary for ‘Mother & Child Care’. He was one of the earliest supporters of the Mission and served on its committee.
During his presidency of the Ithna-Asheri Union of Dar es Salaam in the mid-70s, he moved the Ithna-Asheri Union Nursery School from the city centre to the Boarding House on United Nations Road for further expansion. The Boarding House at the time was under the management of the Tanganyika Education Council (TEC) and was grossly underutilized except for some sports games that were played by the youth and children from our community.
Among his numerous contributions to the community was his vision for forming a world body to centralize the affairs of the Khojas under one Federation in 1966-67. This concept materialized in 1976 with the establishment of The World Federation.
Abbasbhai moved to Toronto in 1982. He took leadership of the ailing NASIMCO and turned it into a respected body and an active member of the World Federation.
He took a leading role in forming the International JIBA and organized the Ontario Chapter of JIBA.
He kept himself well informed about our communal affairs and institutions worldwide and was always available to advise and serve whenever a need arose.
After achieving admirable success in Tanzania and then Canada, Abbasbhai took early retirement to pursue his other interests in life. Chief among them was compiling a book on the history of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris in the world. This project was in its advanced stage and glimpses had appeared in issues of Shia International Unfortunately, he could not complete this noble task. Abbasbhai was on the advisory board of Shia International and also a regular contributor to the magazine. His columns Vatan Se Dur and Zar-Mar were popular with the readers.
Abbasbhai has left a permanent place in the hearts of those who had the privilege of close association with him. He passed away in Toronto on Thursday, July 1, 1993 (Ashura Day) at about 10 a.m.
May Allah SWT repose the departed soul in the abundance of His mercy and rest him amongst the chosen ones – Ameen. We request our readers to remember marhum and all the Marhumeen with Sura-e-Fateha.