Marhum Bachoo Suleman Shivji

Bachoo Suleman Shivji



Marhum Bachoo Suleman Shivji hailed from Nagalpur (Mandvi) – a small village in Kutcch district in the state of Gujrat, India. It comes under Mandvi taluka. With a coastline of 352 km boasting nine ports, this area in northwest Gujarat is located in the state’s arid tract and seven of its nine talukas are rated drought-prone. The frequency of droughts in Kutch is once every two and a half years.  The drought of 1899 can be classified as meteorological as well as hydrological and was the most severe documented drought India has ever experienced to date. 

It was during one such spell of dryness that a young Haji Bachoo Suleman Shivji set out in search of greener pastures in East Africa.

He married Zainab Gulamali Alarakhia and sired two sons with her who passed away in their infancy and were later followed by their mother.  He then married Sakina Esmail Bhalloo from whom he had nine children as follows (order of seniority) – Marhuma Nargis Abdullah Gulamhussein, Marhuma Fatma Mohamed Gulamhussein, Hussein Bachoo Suleman (UK), Mohamed Bachoo Suleman (Tanzania), Fatema (Yasmin) Rustam Fazal (Tanzania), Gulzar Hussein Habib Jivan (Canada), Rozila (Rozmin) Menon (UK), Marhuma Zeenat (Kaniz),  and Marhuma Sabira Roshanali Mulani.

One of the most difficult decisions he had to make in his lifetime was to convert from his Ismaili background and embrace the madh-hab of Shi’a Ithansheri, and that is something for which his children have remained very grateful..  He was an ardent follower of Ahlulbcayt (AS)

During his time in Tabora, he was an ardent follower of the Ahlul Bayt (AS) and regularly hosted zaakireen who would come for majalis to the city in its glory days.  The aalims would put up at his modest home and would stay the whole period of their trip.

Marhum also used to look after travellers who were making their journey from Kigoma enroute Tabora and heading to Mwanza or Dar es Salaam.  He would have special food prepared for them and then deliver them at the railway station during cold early morning hours when the trains were stopping by.  At the same time, he voluntarily made nyaz at the imambada for special holy nights, without fail.

He also gave service as an office bearer to the Jamaat for very long periods of time and was mainly responsible for rebuilding the old Imambara with a new and expanded structure with the help of other Mumineens.

Marhum moved to Morogoro in 1967 when Tabora town was being re-developed and he was laid to rest in Dar es Salaam cemetery in 1991.


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.

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