Alidina Ali Muhammad Asani

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Rai Alidina Ali Muhammad Asani
Honorary Titles Alijah, Khan Saheb
Place of birth Karachi
Country of birth Pakistan
Date of Birth March 4, 1884
Date of Death August 1952
Place of Death Nairobi
Education Name of institution of highest education achieved Sind Madressa School, Karachi
Family tree List | Extended

Born in 1884 Karachi

Ali Muhammad Alidina, the son of Mukhi Alidina Asani (1793-1881) was an eminent contractor in Karachi. In addition, his brothers and himself managed a business of hides and skins. They extended their mercantile activity as far as Burma.

Ali Muhammad was an influential person, sharing a close friendship with the British officers in Karachi. He was also in good terms with Muhammad Rawjee (1830-1897), Sir Karim Ibrahim (1840-1924), and some other eminent persons of the Persian Gulf. Upon the visit of emperor George V in Karachi in 1905 when the monarch was only Prince of Wales, Ali Muhammad lodged him in the Panjibhai Clubhouse, located in the Garden area at his own expense. The Commissioner of Sind expressed officially his gratitude for his great hospitality by making an announcement in the 'Gazette of Sind' in 1905. In addition, he hosted a warm reception for the Prince of Wales with 500 guests in Karachi on March 19, 1908. He also took a leading part in community affairs.

He was popularly nicknamed 'Alu Seth' and died in 1910.

Ali Muhammad married thrice. His son Alidina was born on March 4, 1884, in Karachi from his first wife. He had a son and a daughter with his second wife. Abbas and Hasan Ali were the sons whom his third wife gave birth to. Alidina received his early education in Sind Madressa School, Karachi and then joined his father's business.

Alidina Ali Muhammad married to Zainab, the daughter of Dr. Datoo Mukhi Ramzan Ismail (d. 1939) in 1900 in the presence of the Imam.

He possessed an open heart and a generous hand like his father. He also promoted secular education amongst students and awarded them prizes every year in loving memory of his father. With the help of his friends, he built the top floor of the Kharadhar Jamatkhana in Karachi in 1918. When the Imam visited Karachi on May 15, 1918, Alidina Ali Muhammad designed a plan to enlarge and build a second floor to the Kharadhar Jamatkhana, which cost was Rs. 45000/- to which he contributed Rs. 15000/- . He himself supervised the construction works. It was opened on June 30, 1919.

His wife Zainab and his daughter were social workers. She practiced during the world war for the Sind Women Branch for Relief Fund. In 1916, for the first time, the governor of Bombay, Mr. and Mrs. Wilmington visited Karachi. The Sind Women Branch hosted a reception for Mrs. Wilmington at the Frere Hall, Karachi.

On January 18, 1919, Alidina Ali Muhammad laid the foundation of the top floor of the Garden Jamatkhana, Karachi. The two brothers, Itmadi Bhula Khimani (1860-1922) and Merali Khimani (d. 1941), donated Rs. 30,000/- for its construction. Alidina Ali Muhammad laid the foundation stone in the presence of about 700 Ismailis. He supervised the whole construction process until its completion and donated required materials.

Varas Bandali Kassim (1875-1956) and Alidina Ali Muhammad were famous generous persons in Karachi. A certain Rajan Dossa was highly touched with their towering generosity and dedication in rendering services. He composed a poem to pay them a well-deserved tribute, which was published in the 'Ismaili Satpanth Prakash' (Bombay) on August 27, 1919.

He was also honored with the title of Khan Saheb by the British government on January 1, 1921. In view of his meritorious civil services, the road between the old Light House Cinema and the K.M.C. Building at M.A. Jinnah Road, Karachi was named as 'Alidina Ali Muhammad Road' by the Sind government in 1921.

Varas Bandali Kassim hosted a banquet at Garden on August 26, 1921 to glorify his invaluable services. It was presided by Dr. S.G. Haji (d. 1924). British India also appointed him First Class Honorary Magistrate in 1925. It appears through different reports that his business went bankrupt. The Imam is reported to have advised him to proceed to Nairobi to regain his fortune. In August 1935, he left Karachi with his family members and arrived in Nairobi with the Imam's letter, addressed to the governor, to whom Alidina Ali Muhammad was related.

It was his endeavor that the African Provident Funds Society Ltd. came into existence in Mombasa on October 1935. He also laid the foundation stone of the house of Hasham Ismail Lakhani in Kisumu on October 28, 1935.

He started his fresh business in construction works in Nairobi. He also served the jamat in different fields.

He died at the age of 68 years in Nairobi on August, 1952. He left behind two sons, Jaffer Ali and Sultan Ali. Jaffer Ali had four sons, Muhammad, Amin, Mirza and Karim; while Sultan Ali had three sons, Ali, Muhammad and Karim.