Notable Kokni Muslims of Mumbai
The Kokan is the coastal plain of Maharashtra state, in western India, lying between the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats on the east. It stretches approximately 330 miles from the Daman Ganga River north of Mumbai (Bombay) to the Terekhol River between Maharashtra and Goa.
Kokni Muslims are natives of Konkan region in Western India, who practice Islam, the population is mainly concentrated in the Maharashtrian districts of Mumbai city and suburb, Raigad (formerly Kolaba), Thane, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. They speak the Kokni language.
Distinguished Personalities of the Kokni Community
Late Sir Nakhuda Mohammad Ali Mohammad Husain Roghay
One of the most distinguished personality of the kokni community is Late Sir Nakhuda Mohammad Ali Roghay, a prosperous business man & great philanthropist who is known for his generous contribution to various educational religious institution. The word Nakhuda is equivalent to English language word “Navigator or Captain” of the ship. This title probably came from his ownership of a fleet of ships engaged in sea trade. The Juma masjid of Bombay (Mumbai), the largest mosque of Mumbai city which is, an architectural marvel in its design and construction in its present shape, is reportedly the result of renovation and enlargement carried out and financed by Late Sir Nakhuda Mohammad Ali Roghay in and around 1837. The large burial ground at Queen’s Road, opposite Marine Lines Railway Station on western Railway is his endowment for the entire muslim community under the administration of Juma Masjid Trust.
One of his descendants carrying same name of Nakhuda Muhammad Ali s/o Mohammad Amin Roghay also proved equally generous & philantrophist. He financed repair , expansion , renovation of Juma Masjid in 1874. Many other mosques namely Nakhuda Mohalla mosque, Jamli Mohalla mosque are constructed from his contribution. He is associated with establishment of institution of Anjuman-e-Islam (in 1897) with Tayyabjis and also contributed for construction of its first building at Victoria Terminus (commonly known as Bori Bunder Station and now named Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.)
Late Saaduddin Qoor
He was a businessman of reputation. It is said that in 1797, he made a donation of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees ten thousand) for restarting the work of construction of Juma Masjid in initial stages which was held up on account of financial and technical difficulties. As a result of this the work of construction was completed in 1802 with contribution from other donors. More information on him is solicited.
Late Khan Bahadur Mohammed Ismail Kartay
He was born in 1876 in Mumbai and lived in Curtay Manzil, Null bazaar. He was Municipal Councillor for a long period of 22 long years on account of his popularity among the citizens comprising many communities. For his illustrious services, he was given the title of “Khan Bahadur”, and was also made a “Justice of Peace”. He took active part in the famous Khilafat Movement against British Rule in India.
He was the first Chairman of Ismail Yusuf College, belonging to Ismail Yusuf Trust, now under State Government of Maharashtra.
Late Maulvi Mohammad Yunus Haindaday (BA, LLB)
He was a scholar in Arabic , Persian and Urdu languages. He authored a four volume book named “Khanka-e- Azal” in the Persian language. He was also a poet with JALIL as title (takhallus). Even today beautiful couplets in persian language written by him decorate many Shafi mosques of Mumbai city which poetically describe date and year of construction of these mosques. The Shafi mosques of Kazi Street (Mohalla), Islampura, and Jamli Mohalla bear these couplets engraved on marble slabs.
He was a leading legal luminary of his time and one of the few leading legal advisors/consultant on Muslim Personal Law during Pre-Partition days. Late Moahmmad Ali Jinnah and other prominent judges, advocates, muftis, clerics would seek his opinion on Islamic matters.
He was also a Unani Medicine practitioner called Hakim. Many political leaders have taken treatment from him notably Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. He was offered post of Governor of Sindh after partition in index entries found in 1947, which he declined.
He was born in Mumbai and lived in Haindade House in Ali Umer Street (Tukri Mohalla) Mumbai. He lived a simple austere life. He used to travel from his home to to the H’ble High Court, using the popular public transport i.e.Tram Car running in Mumbai that time. His attire was a black Sherwani ( long coat), Turkish cap, with an umbrella in his hand.
Late Mohammad Yusuf Khatkhatay (MA, LLB)
He was born in Mumbai and lived in Khatkhatay House in Chakla Street (Crawford Market) Mumbai. He was an elite and scholar with MA degree from University of Mumbai. He earned the title of Moulvi on account his knowledge of HADITH. He was academically associated with famous scholar Moulana Shibli Nomani, Khawaja Hasan Nizami. He had academic exchanges with famous urdu scholar Moulvi Abdul Haque. His scholarly work included; Majmooa-e- Halaat-e- Shah Alvi, Makhdoom Ali Mahimi, Kokni Mas- ale Aur Maslehat, Tarikh-al-Kokniya.
He was the Nazir of Juma Masjid of Mumbai Trust and also in charge of Madrass-e-Muhammadiya, a school cum Boarding House being run in the premises of Juma Masjid. During his time he made valuable contribution to the Kutub Khana-e-Muhammadiya, a library consisting of rare, precious books and original manuscript. He left for heavenly abode in 1930.
Late Abdul Azim MOhammad Saleh Khatkhatay (BA, LLB)
He did his schooling from Ismail Beg Muhammad High School, Mohammad Ali Road and his graduation from St. Xaviers College (Dhobi Talao). He obtained a degree in law (LLB) from Government Law College, Churchgate, Mumbai. He was on the Editorial Board of the magazine “Karwane Adam” edited by the well known professor of Urdu Janab Dadarkar, St. Xaviers College. He was first among few citizens of Mumbai who took a bold decision of shifting his residence to newly promoted twin city of Vashi (New Mumbai) across Thane Creek which initially had multiple civic problem of transport and connectivity to Mumbai.
In 1960, he took the responsibility of Nazir Juma Masjid of Bombay Trust and rendered valuable service. He was also an elected trustee of Juma Masjid multiple time. He was a practicing advocate in High Court and was authority on matters related to Charitable organization & Trust.
He was elected as Joint Secretary on the Board of Anjuman-e-Islam, the prestigious Muslim Educational Institution running educational establishment which includes Saboo Siddik College of Engineering. He was elected as General Secretary post he held till his demise in the year November 2001.
Late Moulvi Abdul Kadir Chorghay
He was born in Mumbai and lived in Kambekar Street. Late Moulvi Abdul Kadir Chorghay was a teacher of Arabic, Persian and Dinayt 1926-1956. He was an eloquent orator on Islam. He was a poet of Urdu language with “LUTUF” as his title (takhallus). The couplet written by him are visible at the entrance of Dargah of Shaikh Makhdoom Saheb Mahimi and at the Dargah of Peerwadi Saint in Uran. He was given the title of “Guardian” of Muslim High School by the late Ziauddin the then principle of Anjuman-e-Islam High School, Mumbai VT and also by Late Syed Shabuddin Dasnavi, of Saboo Siddik Polytechnic, Byculla.
Late Mohammad Ibrahim Maqba (MA)
He was an scholar of repute in Urdu, Persian, & Arabic language. He was selected as a teacher to teach the British military personnel these languages at the Military Cadet School, Mumbai around 1803. He was known as Munshi in the School. He also rendered service as official Translator in Mumbai High Court.
His literary contribution is three volumes of “Taleemnama”. He also wrote simple books for the benefits of children on religious topics known as “Wuzu Namaz” and “Noorul Imaan”. He established a madrassa in Qazi Street, Mumbai -400003 known as “Dada Maqba Ka Madrasa”. He financed two schools one in Kalwa and one in Rabodi, town of Thane District of Maharshtra.
Late Shaikh Mohammad Khatkhatay (BA,LLB)
He was born in Mumbai and lived in Khatkhatay House in Chakala Street ( Crawford Market). He held BA, LLB Degree and was a solicitor.
He was trustee of Juma Masjid of Mumbai Trust for about 6 years. He was also Nazir of Juma Masjid Trust & his tenure as Nazir is remembered as the best administered period. He was highly respected in Kokni Community for his administrative capabilities.
He was Chairman of Islam Gymkhana during 1954 -1959. A large size photo frame with his photograph as above is displayed in the reception lobby of Islam Gymkhana, Marine Lines, Mumbai along with other past Chairmen. He was also elected member of Cricket Club of India and was acquainted with many cricket players of fame like Vijay Merchant, Mustaq Ali, Vijay Hazare, Polly Umrigar, Vinoo Mankad.
He was founder member and one of the Director of Mumbai Mercantile Co-op. Bank, with Mohammad Ali Allahbux and Yahya Jasdanwala.
His famous attire was Black Sherwani (long coat) and Turkish cap which he donned for all occasions including public gathering, ICI and Islam Gymkhana Board Meeting.
Late Abdul Hamid Khan Buberay
Fathers Name: HAJI MALANG KHAN
Qualification: P.S.C., P.T.C.
Professionally a Teacher and Journalist. Founder of Urdu Literary Magazine from Bombay called as “Subh-e-Ummid”. He was brought up in Mohammadia Orphanage, Mumbai and received his primary school certificate from there. Later on he did his PTC from Raichand Premchand Training College, Ahmedabad and started teaching in a Bombay Municipal Corporation school. To make the both ends meet he had to take tuitions but soon became the librarian of Khatri Library and was relieved of his financial constraints. His association with the Education Department of Bombay Municipal Corporation was spread over a span of 25 years.
He was keenly interested in reading and writing and started translating articles and stories from Marathi, Gujarati and Persian and getting them published in the journals like Taleem and Rahnuma-i-Taleem and news papers like Khilafat and Ajmal which were widely read and respected in the Urdu world. He started his own monthly magazine ‘Subh-e-Ummid’ in 1936. Along with this journal he also started a weekly named ‘Naee Roshni’ that later on became a daily but could not survive beyond 1965. However ‘Subh-e-Ummid’ continued to come out with special issues on Jigar, Iqbal, Ghalib, as well as Africa, Maharashtra , Gujarat and National Integration. These special issues or “Numbers” as they are called in Urdu, created milestones in the history of Urdu literary journalism.
He has written the following booklets on social and cultural aspects as well as a biography of Mahatma Gandhi. (1) Tazkira-i-Qaum-e-Kokani (2) Islam Aur Gadagari (3) Tark-e-Sharab (4) Mahatma Gandhi etc. (5) Safar Nama-i- Hijaz. He expired on 16th October 1982.
Late Muhammad Husain Effendi
At the time when the social milieu within the Kokani community was unpretentious and simple, the morale was high and the faith was pure and sincere as a result of which the community had presented selfless and devoted people who had done a lot for the community as well as for the people of Bombay in general. One of such persons was known by the name of Muhammad Husain Effendi.
Muhammad Husain Effendi son of Fakhruddin Effendi (Qatari) was born probably in the year 1892 A.D. in the island of Bombay. His father viz. Fakhruddin Effendi Qatari was originally an Arab merchant who hailed from Qatar and who had settled down in Bombay along with his entire clan. Fakhruddin had married to Ms. Fatima who belonged to kokani Okaiye family of Bombay. Muhammad Husain Effendi’s wife was also Fatima, who was the daughter of Muhammad Izhaq Effendi Qatari and her both the parents hailed from Qatar.
Muhammad Husain Effendi had joined the Bombay high court as a Translator and Interpreter and retired as the Chief Translator and Interpreter in the year 1950. He was a linguist who had command over English, Arabic, Persian and Urdu and was much commended and praised by his superiors and by the then Judges of the Bombay High Court for his services till the time he retired. By the dint of his sheer endeavor and profundity he was asked to continue as the authorized Translator of the Bombay High Court and was given the official seal by the Chief Justice and consequently he had rendered his services till the time of his demise. He was not only profound in his knowledge of the aforementioned languages but was also well versed in the Islamic Laws and its jurisprudence. His uprightness, diligence to his work and integrity endeared him to judges of H’ble high Court and also to many eminent lawyers.
Late Mohammed Ibrahim Fitrat Tungekar
Late Mohammad Ibrahim Fitrat Tungekar was born in Tungekar family of Kokni Jamat affiliated to Juma Masjid of Mumbai. He lost his father Mohammad Ali while very young. He was brought up by mother and uncles with great hardship. When grown up he took up the job of Librarian in the library of Juma Masjid (Kutub Khane Mohammadiya), where he worked for 18 long years. In 1965 he resigned from this post and entered into the field of journalism. Meanwhile he established a welfare organization “Markaze Arbabe Talim”. In Qazi Street in 1950 which was helping poor students with text books and notebooks. This organization was active till 1985. He started his carrier with famous urdu newspaper “Inquilaab” daily and also with evening newspaper “Hindustaan”. After twenty years of his experience in journalism, he started his own monthly magazine “Safeer-e-Kokan” from Panvel city with the support from the distinguished personality of Panvel Mr. Ahamad Khatib. However its publication lasted only for few years.
Thereafter he started a weekly newspaper “Nav-jawan” from Mumbai. He also took active part in political activities. Before partition he was an active member of Muslim League. After partition he alongwith late Abdul Qadir Hafizka established “Fourth Party”, which later on merged into Indian National Congress. He contested in an election of Mumbai Municipal Corporation for the first time as Municipal Councillor but lost. He later resigned from Congress party & joined Indian Union Muslim League formed by Haji Noor Mohammad Ahmad, with Gulam Mehmood Banatwala as Secretary. In 1972 he contested again from Panjrapol constituency of Central Mumbai & was elected. He served as member of Education Committee of Municipal Corporation for five long years. He was deputy leader of Muslim League party in the Municipal Corporation. In 1980, he started weekly newspaper “Aawaze Vatan” and then daily newspaper “Qayadat”. He left for Heavenly abode in 1994.
Note from Governing Council – If any of your family members or ancestors has made any notable or significant contribution towards the Kokni Community in the past, kindly send the relevant information and photograph of the person on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be delighted to publish it on the website