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By: Ibrahim Machiwala
Hashim Gangji was a native of Bhuj, Kutchh but migrated to East Africa in 1871. His son Abdullah was however born in Zanzibar in 1906, where he did his early schooling and subsequently went into business. He was an eminent clove merchant.

Prince Aly Khan arrived in Bombay on December 3, 1934, whereas the Imam set foot on January 4, 1935. Lucky was Count Abdullah Hashim for he was visiting India at that particular time period. Before his departure on December 15, 1934, he was given a warm farewell party by the Central Panjibhai Club. In his speech, he said, “It is the duty of every man to serve his community.” On that occasion, he donated a large amount to the Central Panjibhai Club. Mukhi Ibrahim Ladha, Chairman of The Helping Society, garlanded him and threw him a party in the hall of the Aga Khan School.

During his visit to India, he went to Bhuj, Kutchh, where he arranged a ruhani majalis for his late father on February 26, 1935. He sent a mehmani to the Imam along with presents for Prince Aly Khan and Prince Sadruddin. In his telegraphic message through Mukhi Rashid Kanji, the Imam graced him with Best Paternal Blessings.

In 1937, he was appointed the Hon. Secretary of the Aga Khan Supreme Council for Africa. He had an honour to give a stupendous reception to the Imam on January 30, 1937 at the Aga Khan’s Panjibhai Club. It was attended by 1400 distinguished guests, and was so magnificent in appearance that none amongst the guests had ever seen such a lovely decorum.

He was appointed as a member of the Aga Khan Executive Council for Africa (1957-1962), and then became its President and Chairman in 1946. In addition to his previous mentioned function, he was also the Chief Financial Minister of H.H. The Aga Khan Ismaili Council in Zanzibar, President of Aga Khan Legion in Africa for Platinum jubilee, member of Zanzibar Legislative Council, Indian National Association, Muslim Association and Milad-e-Nabi Association. He was also the Director of the Jubilee Insurance Co. (1940-1947) and the Diamond Jubilee Trust Ltd. (1946-1950).

On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee in Africa in 1946, he was awarded a gold moon, a diamond ring, and a watch for his meritorious services. He was also appointed an Advisor of the Ismailia Association for Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika.

He was bestowed the title of Itmadi in 1952, Wazir in 1954 and Count in 1964. He died on September 26, 1982.

Mumtaz Ali Tajddin S. Ali is an popular Ismaili Scholar, He has written biography of ismaili heroes such as Abdullah Hashim Gangji in 101 Ismaili Heroes,

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