By SAEED HAMEED
MUMBAI: The Haj Committee of India was born in Mumbai .It was formed by Police Commissioner of Bombay during British period .
It was formed in 1927.
British Police Commissioner of Bombay was founder as well as first President of haj Committee .Many prominent and rich Muslims were nominated as members of this first haj Committee ever formed in India.
Bombay was then a main embarkation point for not only Indian Muslims but also for the haj pilgrims of many Asian countries .Bombay was a big port and almost all big Haj ships sailed from Bombay city then .
In 1927 , the British Police Commissioner of Bombay Mr. D. Healy decided to form a committee of Muslim citizens to help him see over the arrangements of Haj pilgrimage .He became the President of first Haj Committee.
Office of Commissioner of Police Bombay was entrusted with the responsibility to make arrangements for the departure and arrival of Indian and other haj pilgrims of British Empire .
As the number of Haj pilgrims going to Hejaz and coming back in Bombay increased every year, the then Police Commissioner formed the first Haj Committee to assist the Police Commissioner and Bombay Police Immigrants department in the arrangements of Haj.
Apart from Mr. Healy , the then Police Commissioner as President following respectable Muslims of the city were nominated as members and other office bearers of the Haj Committee:
Mohammed Ali Allah Bux ( Vice President )
Ismail haji Kasam Rokadia ( Member )
Sardar sahib Sulaiman Qasem Mitha (Member)
Hussaini Bhai Abdullah Lalji ( Member )
Hussain Ali Mohammed Rehmatullah ( Member)
Abdul Kader Khatkhate (Member)
Haji Bachu Ali (Member)
Hasan Ali P Ebrahim ( Member )
(A British officer was appointed as secretary in the Committee.)
F.E.Sharp (Secretary )
Bombay and Kolkatta were two big ports then .
But Bombay was a major and popular transit point for Haj pilgrims .Therefore Mumbai city had a number of Haj Musafir Khana or Haj House for providing lodging and boarding facilities to haj pilgrims.
This was the beginning the formation of first Haj Committee which was advisory and voluntary in nature .British Police Commissioner handpicked rich Muslims from the local community who had wish and passion to serve Haj pilgrims .
On October 1st , 1932 ,British government enacted Port Haj Committee Act to form a legal and all India level haj Committee of India by an act which was amended from time to time till date .