Dar Jamaat History and Present
Source: 1967 Jamaat Report
It is believed that our community started settling in Dar es Salaam around 1875. In 1900, there was an Imambara made of corrugated iron sheets at the plot which is currently occupied by Pirbhai Jiwa Bharwani bldg. Majalis were held at this place but due to inconveniences and upon advice from the German authorities, it was transferred behind Telephone House.
The German governor knew that our community was facing problems and were in need for a place of worship. Once in 1904, when he was passing by our current masjid plot, he found Marhum Sachoo Peera and Suleiman bin Nasser Lemky were standing on the plot. The Governor asked Marhum Sachoo Peera whether he needed the plot on which he was standing. Marhum replied positively and was asked to visit him in Government House the next day when the plot was given to Jamaat.
Marhum Sachoo Peera laid the foundation stone in 1904. He started construction along with Versi Advani and Nasser Mawji of the mosque under their personal supervision. However in 1906, he passed away and his sons, Noormohamed and Abdulrasul continued supervising the construction work. Due to their intense efforts, the mosque was ready in 1908 and the brother of the Aga Khan, Shah Kuchak, conducted the opening ceremony. At that time there were 9 families.
Despite having 9 families, they had constructed a colossal mosque, which we used until 1968 when a new mosque was built in its place. During those days, the practice was to hold the roof with wooden poles called Boriti. However Noormohamed Sachoo imported steel to use for the mosque.
Due to increasing population, the Jamaat decided to construct a new mosque and Imambara in 1968. Marhum Mohamedali Janmohamed was instrumental in encouraging collecting contribution from members for the two projects. The new mosque was four times larger than the old mosque.
The collection of funds for the mosque started with donation of Shs 5,000/- by Marhum Mohamedali Meghji, President of Africa Federation. Marhum Mulla Asgharali M M Jaffer made an appeal from the pulpit for contributions for the project and Marhum Mohamedali Janmohamed together with Jamaat officials started visiting shops to collect the funds. Marhum Mohamedbaker Somji provided a lot of assistance.
The approved tender for the construction was Shs. 375,000/-. Marhum Noormohamed Jessa laid the foundation stone on 24 Zilhaj 1387. Maulana Aqa Haider of Zanzibar blessed the opening with duas.
Today, Dar-es-salaam Jamaat boasts a population of 8,500 members with a state of the art school system, a full-fledged hospital, a classy Musafir Khana, a fully functional gym and several projects under construction. Dar-es-salaam Jamaat is getting ready to hand over 2 apartment complexes, a parkade and a recreational center with an Olympic sized swimming pool.
Progress is in the air!