As soon as Maulvi Hafiz Ghulam Muhammad, B.A. (the first Ahmadi missionary to Mauritius) arrived in Mauritius, he began praying separately and with his own congregation at the Rose-Hill Sunnee Musjid (Mauritius), this led to a huge disturbance and which led to a court case. Ahmadi’s had illegally occupied the Rose-Hill Sunnee Musjid (Mauritius) for 3 years (1916-1919), wherein the Muslims had to use a different location. The British government forcibly deported 2 Muslim imams who were objecting to the occupation of the Rose-Hill Sunnee Musjid (Mauritius) and were thus threatening all Muslims of Mauritius. In June 1916 the split occurred between Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis: some of whom from the first appear to have had misgivivings as to the wisdom of allowing the Maulvi Hafiz Ghulam Muhammad, B.A. gradually to take an ascendency in the Mosque and in June 1916, non-Ahmadis remonstrated with and tried to obtain redress from the President of the Mosque, Hajee Ibrahim Sulliman Atchia and his
son Ahmode Ibrahim Atchia (known under the name of “Major”) both of whom had become or were on their way to become Ahmadis; another son of the Hajee Atchia (known under the name of Mota) remaining a staunch non-Ahmadi. The non-Ahmadi Mahomedans having been warned by the Police Authorities against creating any disturbance during war time, reluctantly left the Rose Hill Mosque and used a building on the property of one Mowlah Baccus as Mosque, pending further developments; permission having been applied for from the Government under letter to the Colonial Secretary, dated 10th August 1916. The Muslims decided to leave the Rose Hill masajid in late 1916 and moved voluntarily to a place of worship at 34 Hugnin road, Stanley, in the western outskirt of RoseHill.
The Ahmadi’s of Mauritius lost the court case, however, they seem to have been compensated with a piece of land and free construction, thus, in 1923, the famous Ahmadiyya temple Dar-us-Salam – Rosehill Mauritius (See Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosques Around The World – A Pictorical Presentation. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; Khilafat Centenary Edition. 2008. ISBN 978-1882494514).
Interestingly, the courts of British-Mauritius referred to a judgement in Patna, India (1916) wherein Ahmadi’s were praying separately. court decision_mauritius 1920.
The Muslims decided to leave the Rose Hill masajid in late 1916 and moved voluntarily to a place of worship at 34 Hugnin road, Stanley, in the western outskirt of RoseHill.
In September 1918, MIP and three dukanwallahs acting as plaintiffs issued an injunction on AIA and the Ahmadis to vacate “The Mosque”. As the latter resisted this request, MIP lodged the case at the Supreme Court .The first sitting was on 26 February 1919 and the case lasted till November 1920 with a sharp break in Aprilto July 1919 due to the outbreak of Spanish flu. Chief justice Sir A. Herchenroder and puisne judge T.E Roseby presided over the debates.
Rose-Hill Sunnee Musjid (Mauritius)
Hajee Ibrahim Atchia
This article delves into the first 50 years(1863-1913) in the history of the Rose-Hill Sunnee Musjid and, to certain extent, the local Muslim Community. The history of our musjid starts on the 16 June 1863 i.e 148 years ago, when two dukanwallahs (Gujarati Muslim speaking people from the district of Surat, India whooperated shops in rural areas) Ismael Jeewa and Ibrahimjee Teelee Baheima bought a piece of land fromAndre Gallet at the corner of Remono and Price of Wales streets ”pour le culte Mahometan” with subscription money ,’de deniers provenant de souscription’ to the amount of 1,500 piastres, according to the notary deed at J.A.Giblot Ducray. Ismael Jeewa collected money mostly from the dukakan wallahs, specially from the Atchias and the merchants in Port-Louis. He was helped by DowlutKodabaccus,who had been living in Rose-Hill since the late 1860’s. Most probably the later targeted the local indentured Muslim population.
Jeewa and Baheima were two Gujarati dukanwallahs, who had opened a small shop somewhere on the main Rose-Hill to Mahebourg Road at the junction with Moka Road (opposite the Police Station, today) in the late 1850”s.At that time, Rose-Hill was a hamlet with some big properties and some small houses covered with thatch. There were some sugar estates such as Stanley, Beau Sejour, Roches Brunes and few others around Rose-Hill. There were also some former indentured Muslim population in Rose-Hill and on the sugar estates.They were Bihari and South Indian Muslim lndentured labourers.
Ismael Jeewa had been on the island since 1852.He was involved in the setting up of the Port Louis Jummah Musjid in 1852. He had a shop in the area of Tamarin according to a notarial deed. Baheima seemed to have migrated to Mauritius in early 1860 as revealed in his papers enclosed in the inventory carried by the notary public Poupinel de Valence at his death on 21 June 1876. Most propabably both hailed from the small agricultural village of Barbodhan, some 10 miles from the port city of Surat. They are referred to as Surtees. They were the first Surtees to open shop in Plaines Wilhems on the Central Plateau.
following the purchase of 1863 by Ismael Jeewa, two adjacent portions of land were purchased by Ibrahim Sulliman Atchia, the first Defendant’s father and various buildings have been erected thereon by him and the first Defendant, Ahmode Ibrahim Atchia. 14º. – The value of the said land and buildings is approximately Rs. 20,000, of which only Rs. 5,000 represent subscription money, the balance having been contributed by the said Ibrahim Sulliman Atchia and the firm Atchia Bros of which Amode Ibrahim Atchia was the leading partner.
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