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Oduma (Uthman) Lebbe Marikar Sheikh Abdul Cader "SHEKHADI" Marikar & Avudu Candu Marikar

From very early times the Moors of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) had maintained detailed genealogical tables with a great degree of accuracy. One such family tree begins with one Prince Jamaldeen, a Turk from Konya, who arrived in the island in 1016.

"During the closing stages of the Dutch regime in Ceylon, a leading Ceylon Moor family lived in that block of land where house premises Nos. 263, 265, & 269, and the tenement garden No. 263 in Dam Street, Colombo, are today situated (Dam Street = reclaimed from the swamps). The descent of this family begins from the 16th line from Prince Jamaldeen. This block of land belonged to, and was occupied by, Mahudoom Kandu Marikar, nicknamed "Mapulay" (bridegroom) for his handsome features and personality. His son was Oduma Lebbe Marikar (d:1800 and buried at Maradana Mosque grounds). Oduma Lebbe Marikar had two sons

1. Muhammad Haniffa Marikar, nicknamed 'Kodiporta Marikar' (Marikar who flew the flag), of whom little is known; and,

2. O.L.M. Sheikh Abdul Cader Marikar, popularly known as 'Shekadi Marikar', born during the last quarter of the 18th Century.

This is the starting point of our family 'history'. Shekadi Marikar's progeny were men distinguished in various spheres of life, during a time when the Moors were backward in leadership and education. For example, by his second marriage, his eldest son, Cassim Lebbe Marikar, was appointed in 1867 as Mudaliyar of the Governor's Gate; and his second son, Idroos Lebbe Marikar, served the Government as Shroff in several departments. He, himself, was the Trustee of The Maradana Mosque. This Mosque was, at that time, but a small and dark hall surrounded by shrubs and wild plants. Shekadi Marikar summoned the congregation and his friends and collected funds. As a joint effort, this Mosque was thus built. The foundation stone was laid on 10th Dhul Hijjah 1256 Hijra Year (approx 1840 Gregorian) in the presence of a large Festival gathering. The building was completed on June 14 1840. He appointed his father-in-law, Ossen Lebbe, as Trustee, succeeded later by his eldest son, Casie Lebbe Marikar."

Very little is known about Shekadi marikar's educational background. "But yet, here was a man who was one of the Moor leaders whom Sir Alexander Johnstone consulted to obtain information about the Moors of Ceylon - their laws, customs, and culture - for submission in his famous Report of 1806 to King George III. On Sir Alexander's advice, the Moor leaders elected him as their choice to be consulted soon after by Colonial Governors on any matter relating to Ceylon Moors. He was thus appointed Head Moorman of 1818. He was re-appointed to this same office by Sir Edward barnes on May 22, 1824. In 1825 he was also appointed as a Notary Public for attesting deeds of Muslim women."

Shekadi Marikar also functioned as a Moor Commissioner to assist in the framing of laws relating to the Moors. In 1820 he was appointed by the Government as Arbitrator in the Eastern Province, where he trained his eldest son, Casie Lebbe Marikar, in his official duties.

"He was such a commanding personality, it is related that in any family dispute, his word prevailed and conciliation was effected at once. In any public matter, he consulted his people before reporting to the Government. It is unfortunate that a portrait of this grand old man is not available or traceable. After a life of usefulness to the country and community and having produced children of his calibre to succeed him, Shekadi Marikar died on June 14,1847, when he was in his seventies."

By his first marriage, where his wife's name has never been traced, Shekadi Marikar had a son named Othman, alais Oduma Lebbe Marikar who was born in 1799. By his second marriage to Khadija Umma, daughter of Ossen Lebbe (Coppodeyar), he had three sons and two daughters.

Oduma Lebbe Marikar, whose wife's name has also not been traced, had three sons and four daughters. His eldes daughter whose name is not known, married Hassen Lebbe Marikar ("Ossen"), the eldest son of Avudu Candu Marikar, another leader of the Moor Community and one of the Moor Commissioners (Comister) appointed by the British Government of Ceylon to frame special laws for the Moors - came into force on Aug 5, 1806. Avudu Candu Marikar was a contemporary of Shekadi Marikar.

Hassen Lebbe Marikar, was in his own right a prominent Moor of that period. He was associated with the management of the Grand Mosque at New Moor Street. When the burial gorunds attached to this Mosque was closed under the Sanitary Ordinance, Hassen Lebbe Marikar set about finding an alternative site. He raised the funds required to purchase an extent of 37 acres of land at Maligawatte. A plaque at the Maligawatte Muslim Burial Grounds commemorates the name of Hassen Lebbe Marikar.

He was appointed the First Turkish Consul in Ceylon (1864-1891). He had two sons; Oduman Hajiar and Abdul Majeed. His second son Abdul Majeed succeeded him as Turkish Consul (1891-1903). After the death of his wife, Hassen Lebbe Marikar married her younger sister Ummu Hany. This union had five daughters. A picture of Hassen Lebbe Marikar was published in "Olde Ceylon" by John Capper in 1877.

Abdul Majeed was succeeded as Persian Consul by Sir Muhammad Macan Markar (1903-1915). In 1900 Consul majeed took an active part in the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Sultan of Turkey. On that occasion he also laid the foundation stone of the Hameediah School, in honor of Sultan Abdul Hameed Khan or Turkey.

Abdul Majeed married Ummu Hany, the grand-daughter of his father's youngest sister (his niece). They had two daughters: Fathima and Zubaida aka "Zofie". Fathima married M.A.C. Muhammad and had six children. See Family trees #11, #22, #90, & #106 in the Muslim Family Genealogy Section of this site.

Extracted from "Glimpses from the past of the Moors of Sri Lanka" and "Personages of the Past" by Muhammad Sameer bin Haji Ismail Effendi bin Sahib Dorai (family #20)