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22. Ashad Ali Haji - page 68

Virji Kamadia, known as Vira Bhagat was Mukhi of the Junagadh Panjibhai Club. His family's profession was to cut the stones to be sold in the market. He sustained a close relationship with Wazir Ismail Gangji (1788-1883), from whom he acquired religious knowledge, and he gradually became a missionary. Jamal Megji, the son of Virji Kamadia was a brilliant orator. He delivered his first waez in Junagadh and won the hearts of the jamat, including Varas Ismaili Gangji, who said, 'Your status will become too high.'
In 1892, the Imam visited Jamnagar and blessed him with the title of Bodh Kamadia. The Imam also enjoined the district Kamadia, Thavar Ladha, to work as his assistant. Jamal Megji visited every district and spread the Ismaili faith. He is reputed to have started the tradition of the annual majalis in Jamnagar, Vancaner, Rajsitapur, Kotada Sangani, Nigar, Panderkavada, Jam Jodhpur, Vardha, Dholera and Poona. When he started the annual majalis in Goga, the Imam said, 'This majalis is the mother of all majalis.'

On April 15, 1900, the Imam said to the jamat in Jamnagar that, 'I have sent some farmans for you to Wazir Kassim and wrote two names. These two persons will visit the villages and organize the majalis and will impart you the meaning (of the ginans & farmans). The names of these two persons are Jamal Megji and Thavar Ladha. I appoint them, and they will exhort you the meaning. It is incumbent on you to accord them due respect when they return. You must respect them as if they were special guests. You must concentrate when they interpret ginans.'

Alibhai Jamal, known as Ashad Ali Haji was the elder son of Missionary Jamal Megji, who was born in Junagadh on March 4, 1885. He had gone to Europe early in the century and established his business in France. He also served as Kamadia in the Paris Jamatkhana with Mukhi Murad Ali.

During the First World War, he proceeded to Spain in 1914, where he also found some Ismaili businessmen. He was a social worker and devoted like his father, therefore, the Imam appointed him Mukhi of the Spain Jamatkhana. He was a true Ismaili and those who loved him treasured religious knowledge.

His most noble service was to help the unemployed Ismailis till their settlement in Spain. He also encouraged the employed Ismailis to venture into the business field.

Mukhi Ashad Ali Haji died on July 3, 1958 and was survived by his wife and seven children.

Ashad Ali Haji

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