The below speech was given by the Chairman of Seniors Desk of CoEJ Alhaj Ramzanbhai Dhanji on 11th July 2010 at a thanks giving party was given by The Council Of European Jamaat at the Dar-es-Salaam Imambargha on 4th floor.
This event was Attended by Local and visiting Seniors from UK, President of Africa Federation Alhaj Anvarbhai Dharamsi, President of Dar es salaam Jamaat Alhaj Mohamedbhai Nathoo and many distinguished guests.
The total attendence Ladies And Gents was around 240. Dinner was served after Zohrein Namaz.
Alhamdulillah the majority of our seniors are now back in the UK.BIsmillahir rahmanir rahim
I begin in the name of Allah (SWT), the All-Merciful, the All-compassionate and all forgiving and salaam be upon His final Messenger (PBUH) and his progeny .With their blessings by requesting the salwat.
Resident Alim Shiekh Safder Razisaheb , Presidennt of Africa Federation Alhaj Anwerbhai Dharamshi, Alhaj Mohamedbhai nathoo President of dar-es-salaam Jamaat, Senior citizens of Dar es salaam together with the visiting seniors from overseas, Invited Ladies and GentlementAsalaamunaleikum warahmatullahi wabrakat
The Senior Citizen organization was started in London about 20 years back. Soon it spread to about 6 to 7 other cities within Europe under separate Chapters.The membership within these Chapters adds up to 500 members. All the Chapters are handled under SND (Senior Network Desk) of COEJ (Council of European Jamaats). So I will take this opportunity to introduce myself the Chairman of SND COEJ and my name is Ramzan Dhanji.
I have come with 40 seniors from different Chapters and we arrived in Dar es salaam on 28th of June 2010. I am also fortunate to have Chairmen of various Chapters like Hydery, Milton Keys, Birmingham, Leicester, and Peterborough who graciously accepted to accompany us to Tanzania.
From 28th June to 3rd July we visited various Islamic institutions like all the Mehfils,Ebrahim Haji Dispensary , Al Muntazir School ,Bilal Muslim Mission School , Cemetery to pay our respects ,Jamat Office etc.
Is it necessary to have a senior citizen organization? I think YES .As we grow older it is natural takes its toll and with various weaknesses we start to feel lonely. Since with age our activities are curtailed hence we sit at home .This takes its toll in boredom and creating an inferior complex within oneself resulting in depression and various other sicknesses.
I have observed and put the people in two types of category:
The first one being that they accept that we have become old, be miserable, keep away from active life and community, and surrender to this attitude.
The second being they accept the age ,but hesitate to recognize themselves as seniors and pretend to show that they are able while struggling yet are reluctant to join the Senior citizen organization.
In my opinion both of them are misguided and joining the seniors is actually a matter of respect.
During my visit to various cities in Europe I maintain that “WE SENIORS ARE TO CHANGE THE MIND SET OF OUR KHOJA SHIA ITHANA ASHERI COMMUNITIES TO ACCEPT US SENIORS AS A VERY VALUABLE SOURCE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL.GIVE THEM A SIGNIFICANT SAY AND CONTRIBUTION ACROSS THE WORLD BY MAKING THEM PART OF THE STRUCTURE”
I say this because we are a valuable part of our community especially our age and experience. To believe that we are in transit lounge and awaiting the visa from ALLAH (SWT) is wrong in fact we should be part of the community and where possible utilize our talents, experience and age for the benefit of the community. Let the community feel we are not a LIABILITY but an ASSET to them.
It is my belief that aged person must believe in his human right and with respect and dignity live the rest of his life like any normal human being.
It is equally important for those who are not still old that sooner or later they are going to become old in fact there is no doubt about that as it is a natural process hence they should respect the seniors with dignity and look after their requirements. This is the vision of SND .
The Prophet (PBUH) has mentioned that respecting your elders is like respecting ALLAH (SWT) and those who are disrespectful to ELDRS are not from me.
Keeping the above in mind SND’s priority task is to establish a section within all the Jamaats of Senior Citizens with an aim of reducing loneliness and improve quality of life by fulfilling the requirements of Senior Citizens. This is very important and part of our duty.
I will now elaborate on our 14 days trip.
2nd July we went for the sight seeing of Dar es salaam city and remember our old days .At night we were treated to a lavish dinner hosted at Delhi Darbar by Alhaj Shirazbhai Jessa. We say Jazakallah Shirazbhai and ahsant.
3rd July we attended the lunch organized by Mustafa Jaffer SABODO. During the meal Mustafabhai stated that the entire occupancy at Musfirkhana by the visitors Senior Citizens from Europe will be met by him. This alone amounts to five and half million shillings. We appreciate this gesture.
4th we had a day trip to Bagamoyo by bus .We were joined by community members and senior citizens thus making a group of about 180 .We reached just before zohr time and prayed in the oldest mosque built by our community had a good lunch .After sight seeing we returned back in the evening. On behalf of SND COEJ we thank Alhaj Anwerbhai Dharamshi for comfortable arrangements of busses and Alhaj Anwerbhai Rajpar for the delicious lunch.
From 5th To 7th July all 40 of us went to Zanzibar by speed boat .We stayed one night at Makunduchi resort and the balance one night and two days that we spent in Zanzibar was organized by Alhaj Zulfikarbhai Habib of Digital Planet. The A1 hospitality accorded to our group by him will be cherished by us .Alhaj Zulfikarbhai ahsante sana and may Allah (SWT) bless and reward you ably.
On 8th we had a day trip to Kibaha to visit the WIPHAS at the invitation of Haji Saheb .The group witnessed the whole set up and commended him for activities in medical, religion, education and dispensary. The group records its appreciation both for the hospitality accorded during the visit and the noble work done by Haji sahib.
Finally on behalf of COEJ SND, on behalf of the group and myself , we would like to record our appreciation as follows:
Alhaj Anwerbhai and Muslimbhai Dharamshi for organizing our transport from beginning of our trip when we landed at the airport till our departure .The buses were at our disposal as and when required together with whatever was necessary to make our stay comfortable.
DSM Jamaat Ithnasheri Union volunteers together with Musfirkhana committee shall remain in our hearts with fond memories .The strong team which came to receive us at the airport and were available at any given time during 14 days of stay .It is appropriate that we mention a few
Arif Dhirani , Gulam Mandan , Rizwan Shivji , Pyarali Dewji , Ali Chandoo and Mohamedjawad Kassam
Musafirkhana facilities Arafat Esmail , Sukaina Kara , Shafiq Abdulrasul , Akil Hirji , Mahmood Walji
The above have served us whole heartedly and there are others whom we have not mentioned .On behalf of COEJ SND ,the visiting group and myself we thank you for this selfless assistance and service and we pray to Allah (SWT) that all your prayers are fulfilled and to reward you ably.
The intended trip to Tanzania has been highly successful and we hope to reciprocate the same when you will visit us in London.
Finally the group shall leave here for London on Monday morning .Each and every member of this group have sought for pardon for any misunderstandings or action as it might have come up unknowingly and unintentionally. Kindly remember us in your duas .Wa amiru dawana Wal hamdulillahi rabil alamin
Alhaj Ramzanbhai Dhanji
Chairman - CoEJ Seniors Desk