Hameed Al Hussein College
HISTORY OF HAMEED AL HUSSEINIE COLLEGE
It is no exaggeration to say that the history of the early beginnings of Hameed Al Husseinie Maha Vidyalaya is the history of the efforts of Muslim leaders to set up educational institutions of their own for the children of their community. This was a problem faced by Buddhists and Hindus too: they did not want their children to be taught in an atmosphere hostile to indigenous culture and tradition and above all their religions. They found a satisfactory solution under the leadership of Col. Olcott and Arumuga Navalar by establishing educational institutions for Buddhist and Hindu establishment of the Aligarh Movement by Sir Essayed Ashamed Khan.
At this period of crisis for Muslim of Ceylon Mohamed Cassim Sid Lebbe appeared as a Proctor in Kandy. He urged his fellow men to expand the horizon of education, then confined only to Qur’anic studies and other allied Islamic subjects. His fight was against heavy odds; the Muslim were suspicious of the motives of the British opening schools for the spread of English education. This was not without foundation for the official patronage given to Christian Mission Schools and the passing of certain legislation led to confusion of beliefs and decay of traditional customs.
However, Siddi Lebbe’s efforts were not to be frustrated; he enlisted the help of Orabi Pasha, the Egyptian exile and Wapche Marikar, one of the most trusted and respected leaders of the Muslims of Colombo, for the promotion of education.
With the inauguration of the Anglo-Mohamedan School on 15th November, 1884 in the school in New Moor Street, Colombo, dawned a new epoch for Muslim education and social awareness. Siddi Lebbe, in his speech at the inauguration ceremony, explained the objectives and made a fervent plea for funds to meet the cost for the maintenance of the institution, which was named Al Madrasathul Khairiyathul Islamia in deference to the wishes of Orabi Pasha. This appeal met with a property worth Wapche Marikar leading the rest with a magnificent gift of a property worth Rs.3000/=, a princely sum then, and Orabi Pasha making his own contribution of Rs.100/= out of his meagre allowance. In a stirring speech, charged with emotion. Orabi Pasha appealed to all Muslim to unite forgetting their petty differences. He quoted copiously from Al Quran and Hadith on the duties of Muslims, their relations with one another and the noble heritage of the Prophet of Allah and his companions, to which they were heir. They were heir. This speech produced an astounding effect on the audience. The people were moved to tears; the leaders of various factions among the Muslims who had resorted to litigation over trivial matter, realizing their folly, sought immediate reconciliation, proferring salaams, embracing one another. Thus, the inauguration ceremony of the school did create something short of a social revolution among the Muslims and produced a climate in which educational backwardness was to be removed.
On this memorable day, besides these personalities viz. Orabi Pasha, Siddi Lebbe and Wapchi Marikar, their was present in the audience a young man, only seventeen years of age who was keenly watching the proceedings. He was I. L. M. Abdul Azeez, one who from his boyhood was inclined to serve his people, and moved by the soul-stirring speech of Orabi Pasha and the affect it had on the leading members of his community, from this day it became a burning passion with him.
This next important stage in the development of Al Madrasuthal Khairiyathul Islamiya was in 1900 when foundation was laid for a new building by then Turkish Consul in Ceylon on 31st August that year (H. 1318), the building was put by I.L.M.H. Noordeen Hajiar, a great philanthropist and a leading member of the committee. In this noble task, he has as ably assisted by Messrs.O.L.M. Ahamado Lebbe Marikkar Alim. S.L Naina Marikkar Hajiar, A L Abdul Kareem and S.L.Mohamed Hajiar J.P .In the year 1901, an event of great significance took place – The silver jubilee celebration of Sultan Abdul Hameed Of Taking, the Khaleefa of the Muslim world and the custodian of the Holy cities of Makkah, Madina and Baithul Muqaddas . The Muslims of Ceylon too, along with the others of the world, celebrated it with a grand illuminations and decorations of houses and mosques. Al Madarasathul Khairiyathul Islamiya was named al Madarasathul Hameediah to commemorate this event.
According to Prof.A.M.M.Makeen, a distinguished old boy of Hameediah, the naming of the school is mentioned in Turkish history books. He had come across this piece of information in the Museum library of Istanbul when doing research for his doctoral thesis.
Noordeen Hajiar who was the Trustee of the Colombo Grand Mosque, took on the responsibility of being the Manager of Al Madrasathul Hameediah.
In 1919, Noordeen Hajiar entrusted the management of the school and its properties to Al Haj N.D.H.Abdul Caffoor, a great philanthropist, a leading gem merchant, The founder of Gafooriya Madrasa and a benefactor of many educational institutions. In 1921, under the management of Al Haj N.D.H.Abdul Caffoor, the name of the school was changed to Hameediah Boys’ English School.
Abdul Caffoor Hajiar continued his good work as a manager of the school till 1930, when he handed over the school to S.L.Mohamed Hajiar J.P., who was also the Trustee of the Colombo Grand Mosque.
The Jemmiyathul Hameediah Society which was in existence since 1900 was reorganized on November 7th, 1937. The Society appointed Mohamed Hadjiar as the Manager, which post he held till his death in 1940.It was during this period that Dr.M.C.M.Kaleel passed out as a medical doctor - the first Hameedian to do so-and was accorded a reception at the school on his return from the U.K. in 1927. In 1937 another success was recorded – a student sitting a public examination conducted by the Department of Education passed successfully the Junior School Certificate school Examination in 1937 in English Language, English Literature, Arithmetic, Latin, Geography and History- That student was Noordeen Mubarak Thaha while the Principal at the time was S.Vandergert.
In 1940, S.L.M.Sheriff Hajiar assumed duties as Manager. His son Mohamed Jabir is now serving the school as a member of the Tutorial Staff.
The Management of the school was taken over by the Colombo Grand Mosque Educational Society on 1st September, 1955. Al Haj M.Ghouse Mohideen, Trustee of the Mosque was appointed Manager on August 1st 1957.
Permission to Conduct Senior School Certificate Classes was granted on 9th December, 1953.This was largely due to the efforts of the Vice Principal of the school, Moulavi N.D.Abdul Razzak (Jamali) and the Principal M.H.Amit. It was again, Moulavi Abdul Razzak who encouraged sports and personally in charge of soccer and wrestling; and the school won fame as a leading school in soccer.
The 1st Batch of students for the Senior School Certificate Examination was presented by the School In December, 1955.One of them, M.L.A.Fazil passed the L.L.B.and was enrolled as an Attorney–at-Law. He passed away on 10th January, 1984 while serving as a member of the staff of Hameeed Al Husseinie Maha Vidyalaya.
One of the first to be enrolled as a student of Hameediah was M.L.M.Reyal, A Veteran trade union leader and a Municipal Councilor for St. Sebestian. Two other well-known persons of this time were Al Haj M.I.L.Mohamed Nuhman and Al Haj Dr.M.C.M.Kaleel, who is still happily with us, as the Chairman of the centenary celebrations committee.
In 1961, with the take-over of the schools by the state, the tradition of Management schools came to an end. Hameediah School was amalgamated with the sister school, Husseinie Maha Vidyalalya In 1963 and is now known as Hameed Al Husseine Maha Vidyalaya.
At this stage, It is proposed to put on record some of the distinguished old boy of this school. Mention has already been made of a few of them. Among others were M.J.M.Mushin,C.C.S who rose to become the Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Dr.A.M.M.Mackeen, who has gained international repute as a scholar on Islamic jurisprudence and Mr.Shibly Cassim,an International civil servant, now In Geneva, M.J.M.Lafir, the world billiard champion, who brought fame and honor to his country was also a product of Hameediah. There are also a host of others holding Managerial Posts in the mercantile sector, being directors in state departments and Corporations and heading social Organizations ,rendering immense service to the community and to the country. As this article would not be complete without a brief account of Husseinie School, It is proposed to give a brief history of the institution here.
The Ceylon Moslem Educational Society Ltd. was founded in 1919 with the noble objective of looking after the educational needs of the Muslim Community. The first school founded by the society was in Hulftsdrop Street, at the present Victoria Building and called Akbar school. Justice M.T.Akbar was a founder of the society and devoted himself whole-heartedly to the cause of Muslim education. The share-holders of the society contributed and bought the property No 45 Kuruwe Street and the school was shifted there 1919 and named Husseinie Boys’ English school.
The first Batch of students for the senior school Certificate Examination was presented from this school in 1954.Two of the candidates who passed served Husseinie Maha Vidyalaya as teachers - M.S.M.Shaheed and A.R.Jainul Abdeen.
Sir Mohamed Macan Marker, Hon.W.M.Hanifa, Advocate, Sir Razik Fareed and A.H.Macan Markar,as members of the society, took a keen and abiding interest in the progress of the school. Advocate Haniffa rendered invaluable service as the manager till his death in 1960. Sir Razik Fareed who succeeded him brought many changes for the betterment of the school. During this period, A.L.M.Lafir J.P. was the Acting Manager the school. With the handing over the school by the society, it became a Director-Managed school and later Government school.
Among the principals who served the institution were Abdul Cader of Jaffna, S.M.Ishak and M.A.C.A.Rahuman.
With the amalgamation of the two schools under the name Hameed Al Hussienie Maha Vidyalaya, it has made immense progress. Provisions were made for new buildings for the expanding school population. Mr.Rahman made representations to the two M.P’s of Colombo Central, Mr.Faleel A.Caffoor and Mr.R.Premadasa, the present Prime Minister and succeeded in getting two buildings.
On his retirement in 1970, he was succeeded by M.F.M.H.Fakhir, an old boy of Hameediah and who had also served as Deputy Principal and later as a Principal of Zahira College, Colombo. During his term of office, many innovations were made. The School Band was introduced. Foundation was laid for the five-storeyed classroom building and a Science Laboratory. Then minister of Education, Dr. Al Haj Badi-ud-din Mahmud and Peter Keuneman M.P., Colombo Central and Minister of Housing and Construction acceded to the requests of the Old Boys and Parents led by Mr. Fakhir as Principal. The writer had the honour of serving as the Secretary of this PTA and its delegation. Thus the foundation was laid in the early 70’s and the present day students are able to enjoy the fruits of those endeavors.
In 1973, Mr.Fakhir relinquished his duties as Principal due to ill health and recommended the present Principal as hi successor- Mr.S. A. M. M. Ahrooff. Mr.Ashrooff has the unique distinction of having started his teaching career in the school in 1953 and serving here without a break and rising to be the Principal. It is in the fitness of things that the Centenary Celebrations take place during his tenure of office.
The school in existence of hundred years was built up noble ideas and rich traditions and the present set of students are the inheritors of this great heritage. We are confident that they will uphold and maintain this great tradition onto posterity the same tradition, made nobler, greater and richer.
May the almighty Allah help Hameed Al Husseinie to be a beacon to all those who seek enlightenment and knowledge through education and guide them along the Straight Path – Sirath-Al-Muthakeem.
We crave the indulgence of the readers for any sign of omission or commission inadvertently made.