1943 – 2013
It was on Friday, 9th August 2013 (1st Shawwal 1434 AH) on the day of Eid ul-Fitr, as we entered the Dar es Salaam Mosque, the voice of Professor Mohsin Alidina, popularly known by the title of Maalim, a familiar voice coming from the inner self echoed throughout the mosque while he was reciting “Dua-e-Nudba”, one could feel the poignant serene of the surrounding as people started to assemble in the Mosque for Salatul-Eid Happy on one hand for the Eid celebrations and sad on the other hand to bid farewell to the blessed month of Ramadhan.
Maalim was born on 10th April, 1943 from a religious and a humble family of Alidina in Zanzibar. During the time before the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, the community were actively involved in religion, secular education and sports was also given prominence in Zanzibar by mostly all Asian communities in Zanzibar, including the Arabs, Persians and Comorians. Maalim was gifted with all the three, religious, secular and also sports.
While in Zanzibar he volunteered and offered his services as a teacher in the Madressah (famously known as School Faize). He also taught at Husseini Madressah in Dar es Salaam, before joining the Dar es Salaam University as a Researcher/Lecturer. He was also a teacher in Shaban Robert and Mzizima Secondary Schools, prior to joining the University of Dar es Salaam.
Maalim Mohsin Alidina was a key player in the establishment of Al Muntazir Islamic Seminary of the KSI Jamaat of Dar es Salaam, he was among the team of committed members of our community who brought up the idea to the Jamaat when the education standard in the country had dropped drastically, he was joined by others, namely Raza Gulamhussein, Mohamed Virani, Hassan Hirji, Dr. Mohamedraza Dungersi, Hussein Dewji, Kermalli H. Kermalli and Pyrarali Champsi who were the prime movers in the establishment of the Seminary. The work started from 1982 and the Seminary was registered in February, 1986 and Dr. Mohamedraza Dungersi was the first Chairman of the Board of the Seminary and Mohsin Nathani was the Hon. Secretary. The Seminary came into stream during Alhaj Aliraza Rajani‘s period of leadership of the Dar es Salaam Jamaat. Today, the community feels proud of the excellent facilities and the high standard of education provided by Al Muntazir Islamic Seminary under the CBE of KSI Jamaat of Dar es Salaam. The seeds sowed by the past members and leaders have obviously bore fruits as the new members continues to raise the standards of the Institution and academic performance to new heights of success. Number of students have thrived since then, and continues to grow each year.
Late Maalim was employed by Al-Khoe Benevolent Foundation in New York, USA, until his departure from this material world; he occupied the position of the Director of Education Services comprising of three schools, they are: A State-accredited Al-Iman Elementary, Junior High and High School from Pre-K to 12th Grade, Al-Iman Saturday School for religious studies and Al-Iman Summer School for academic tutoring and religious courses. He was the overall supervisor and advisor to the Principals of the three schools, overseeing policies, administration and curriculum development. Maalim’s main focus has always been the education; here are some of the information of his career and services:
- Principal/Teacher (Al-Iman Elementary, Junior High and High School)
– Period of his service: January 2010 – Present (3 years 8 months)
- Professor of Swahili Language (New York University)
– Period of his service: September 1996 – Present (17 years)
- Professor of Swahili Language (Hofstra University)
– September 2000 – June 2002 (1 year 10 months)
His quest for community upliftment and a fairer community started in his very young age when he was regular participant at Husseini Madressah in Mombasa and served the Husseini Volunteer Corps with zeal. He always laid an example to others by participating himself in activities like Mountain climbing to Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro 6 times, the last being in September 2002. His involvement in youth activities had no bounds and in 1999 when he was director of Golden Crescent Group, he devoted his time to youth activities.
Br. Mohamed Nathoo narrates – “In the game of cricket, Maalim used to be an opening bowler during the tennis ball cricket days. His bowling action was identical to Fazel Mahmood, hero of the Pakistan team during 50’s and 60′ and he was nick named Fazel Mahmood then. His dedication and love to serving the community commenced at a very young age where he was a scorer of Ithnasheri Gymkhana “A” in Zanzibar. He was quite meticulous in keeping the records that other clubs used to borrow data and records. He also represented the club in cricket in second string of the club”.
Joining Union Sports Club when he moved to Dar es Salaam, he was quite active as a player, committed administrator and a regular spectator, a devoted and a staunch supporter of Union Sports Club – “Come-On Champions” was his pet callout at the top of his voice to applaud the Union Sports Club on the cricket ground. He was instrumental in the restructuring of the Union Sports Club Constitution and introduced Discipline Code (Green Book) in the Club while he was a Chairman of Union Sports Club Selection Committee in 1980 where in that season the club clinched all the trophies of Dar es Salaam Cricket Association tournaments.
Please remember Marhum with a good thought, a good deed and a Sura Al Fateha
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji ‘ un.
Verily, from Allah we came and to him we return