- Manbai Rahimtoola 1898
Born in 1828
Rahimtoola, who became known by the name of Rahimtoola Kaderbhai, probably accompanied his father Kader to Bombay in 1838, as a young boy of 10. When he grew up, he started businesses in a small way and gradually built it up, so much so that he had made Rs. 10,000,000/- during the great boom in cotton. However, he, along with others, suffered heavy losses when the crash came and his capital fell to Rs. 1,00,000/-. He continued in the yarn business till his death in 1880 at the age of 52.
Rahimtoola led a simple life. He was not educated, except for a little Gujarati. He was a shrewd businessman, charitable, a loyal member of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim Jamat and well-known outside the community.
It is not known whether Rahimtoola took any leading part in the activities of the Jamat. But the Imam of the time, Hazrat Imam Hassanali Shah Agakhan I, the 46th Imam, bestowed upon Rahimtoola a gold brocade shawl which after him went to his youngest son Jaffer and then to Jaffer’s youngest son Suleman. At present this shawl, which is still in good condition, is with Rahemtullah, the younger son of Suleman.
Aga Ali Shah, who in 1881 became the 47th Imam, Hazrat Imam Aga Ali Shah Aga Khan II, visited Rahimtoola during his illness. Rahimtoola died of strangulated hernia on 23rd July 1880 and was buried in a prominent, frontline part of the Ismaili burial ground. Members of the family, since then, have been buried in this part of the burial ground.
Rahimtoola married Manbai, the daughter of Mitha Manji who was either the Mukhi or the Kamadia of Wadi Jamatkhana (now known as Aga Hall Jamatkhana) at Mazgaon, Bombay. Manbai was a very religious lady, attending the Jamatkhana every morning for special prayers. She was one of the few ladies who went to Najaf Ashraf with the coffin of Hazrat Imam Aga Ali Shah Aga Khan II, who was buried there.
Manbai died on 26th July 1898 in the Tandel Street house in Bombay.
"Mr. Hooseinally M. Rahimtoola had round about 1940, prepared some Family Notes. He had also kept, prior to his departure for Africa, some rough notes with his younger brother Suleman and, later on, some more notes with his son Jaffar.
This paper is an attempt to put together the available data for future generations of the family. It is hoped that the younger members of the family will periodically up-date this paper."
Sultanali Rahimtoola, Bombay 1988.