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76. Muhammad Ali G. Fazalbhoy, Wazir - page 308

He was born on August 12, 1916 and educated in the English High School, Bombay. His father, Alijah Ghulam Ali Fazalbhoy was a dealer of estates and properties. His son, Muhammad Ali also took up the estate business after his schooling.
He was an Honorary Secretary of the Religious Educational Department of the Ismailia Association for India in 1950. The Imam appointed him the President of the Ismailia Association between 1952 and 1958.

In June, 1956, the Imam also appointed him as his Special Commissioner for Sidhpur for some important jamati works. He also presided the All Malaya Ismailia Conference in Singapore in 1956, which created for the first time the All Malaya Ismailia Council.

He left Bombay for Europe on June 25, 1957 and stayed three days in Geneva, where he had an audience with the Imam. He then proceeded to Paris and London and returned back to Geneva on July 9, 1957. He went to Barkat Villa on July 10, 1957. He once again went to Barkat Villa on next day at 11.30 a.m. The Private Secretary of the Imam arranged to bring him inside the bungalow and said with tears in eyes that, 'The condition of His Highness has become much serious. The eminent doctors are on the duty, but frustrated. Only disappointment is seen today and nothing else.' He could not talk any more and wept like a child. He became motionless like a body without soul. He returned to his hotel, but was anxious to go back to Barkat Villa once again. Meanwhile, the news spread in the city at about 1.30 p.m. that Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah was expired at 12.30 p.m.

He was exceedingly shocked with sudden nervous tension. He hired a taxi and reached Barkat Villa, where he found a heavy rush of press reporters outside the Villa. He arranged to enter into the bungalow and found Prince Aly Khan with tears in eyes. After few minutes, Prince Aly Khan told him, 'The holy body is in that room. Go for its didar.' He entered the room and paid solemn homage.

He returned and came back on July 12, 1957, where other leaders were also gathered. Mata Salamat (1906-2000) told them that, 'The declaration of 49th Hazar Imam will be made on tomorrow before you.' On that night at 8.30 p.m., he was in Hotel Buerevej, where the official copies of the Will of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah were distributed among the press reporters. The news spread within 45 minutes in the world press that Prince Karim was designated as the next Imam.

On Saturday, July 13, 1957, he came to Barkat Villa at morning. The Ismaili leaders gathered in the room where Imam breathed last, and a chair was placed. Mata Salamat entered the room with Prince Amyn Muhammad in first appearance. Prince Karim as the next Imam followed them with a radiant face at 10.30 a.m. and sat on the chair. The leaders recited 'Amen.' Imam Prince Karim Aga Khan said, 'According to the Will of my beloved grandfather, I am your Hazar Imam from today. I am your 49th Mawla Mushkil Kusha.' The room echoed with the utterances of 'Amen! Amen!'

The leaders took the bayt from Hazar Imam, then came out for a group photograph. They returned back into the room and performed the dastboshi. The Imam gave them paternal maternal loving blessings and it was followed by the recitation of the munajat, Ya Ali Khub Majalis.

Wazir Muhammad Ali Fazalbhoy once again had the last glimpse of the mortal remains on July 16, 1957, which was taken to Aswan on July 17, 1957. He also accompanied the leaders in the chartered plane and reached Cairo on next day. The burial ceremony of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah was performed on Friday, July 20, 1957. Mawlana Hazar Imam led the funeral prayers.

Hazar Imam also gave the didar to the leaders on the same day in Semirames Hotel in Cairo at 11.30 p.m. The Imam told them that it touched him deeply for the love, devotion and loyalty demonstrated for his beloved grandfather. The Imam also said that he would go to Geneva on the next day and after offering the memorial services of his grandfather in London on August 21, 1957 and in Paris on August 22, 1957, he would come to see the jamats. The Imam also gave best loving blessings to all the jamats.

Wazir Muhammad Ali G. Fazalbhoy also became J.P. on January 1, 1958. The Imam appointed him the member of the Federal Council on September 30, 1958

Besides, he was the Hon. Secretary of Masalawala Cooperative Bank Ltd., the member of the Diamond Jubilee Trust, Education Committee, Al-Ismailia Helping Society, Aga Khan Health Centre, Diamond Jubilee Celebration Committee, Platinum Jubilee Investment Ltd., District School Board Bombay Suburban District for four years, Ex-Officio member of the Panjibhai Committee, etc.

He was the President of the Ismaili Society, Cosmopolitan Consumers Cooperative Society Ltd., Parle-Andheri Vepari Maha Mandal and the founder President of Andheri Market People's Cooperative Credit Society. He was also the Chairman of Market and Garden Committee of Andheri in 1950, Flag Day Committee for Andheri District and was awarded a trophy for two consecutive years. He was also the Councilor of Parle-Andheri Borough Municipality (1949-1950).

He also served as the President of the Housing Colony Committee of the Federal Council, and the President of the Fidai Girls Educational Institute, Andheri Residence Association, the Hon. Secretary of the Bombay Bihar Relief Fund Committee and the Rotarian of Bombay West Rotary Club, etc. He was also the Chairman of the Housing Colony Sub-Committee.

As is evident from the list of the institutions with which he was associated, his activities as a social worker are not confined to the narrow circle of the community. With his modesty, genial temperament, cosmopolitan outlook, he had made himself universally popular. He had also travelled in England, Japan, France, Switzerland, Germany, Egypt, Burma, Sri Lanka, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beirut, Pakistan, etc. He had also launched several trips in all parts of India.
He also served as the Honorary Presidency Magistrate for five years.

He merited the title of Alijah in 1950 and Wazir on April 15, 1956 in a message of the Imam through the Supreme Council for India as under:-

Cannes : 15th April, 1956

My dear President and Members,

With pleasure I have given the title of Wazir to the President of Ismailia Association Mahomedali Fazulbhoy for his devoted services and I give him my best loving blessings.

On June, 1968, he became the member of the Society of the Justice of Peace & Honorary Presidency Magistrate. He died on December 3, 1981 in Bombay.


Muhammad Ali G. Fazalbhoy, Wazir

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