Mewat, February 18 How much the people of Indian origin (PIO) were deeply attached to the land of their ancestors, was demonstrated here today. The occasion was the inauguration of a beautiful mosque at Malab, a qasba of Mewat by Haji Mohamed Ebrahim Hajat and his wife Zoolekha (Julie) Hajat. Emotionally charged, Haji Hajat, a 71 year-old top business tycoon running six petrol stations in South Africa, said at the age of only one year he along with his mother Ayesha left Alipore (Gujarat, India) in 1937 to join his father at Binoni (South Africa). Since then he was living there.
Haji Hajat said his father, Ebrahim Hajat, who hailed from Alipore, near Surat (Gujarat), had gone to South Africa in 1912 to earn livelihood. There he started to sell clothes while hawking. In 1934 he came back to his homeland to get married.
Haji Hajat disclosed when he came to India in 1996, he found no trace of his father’s house at Alipore (Gujarat). It had been sold out by some of his relatives. He said although there existed nothing in the name of a house at the place of his ancestors in Gujarat, his relationship with India continued and he used to visit this country time and again. His entire family too shared his sentiment. His wife accompanied him always during his visit to India. Exclaimed his granddaughter from Binoni on mobile: “We have not gone to India but our heart is there.”
Haji Hajat averred: “The credit to the continuance of relationship with this country goes to late Qari Mohammed Sulaiman, founder of Madarsa Tajweedul Quran, a 61-year-old pioneer seminary teaching Hifz-e-Quran and Qer’at Saba, located at Masjid Takia Wali, Azad Market, Delhi. He used to love me as his own son. Actually, his love and affection won me over and made India again a home to me. So, I got back my home lost years ago. But this time, not in Gujarat, but in the heart of late Qari Saheb. Qari Saheb is now no more but his sons are here to maintain the linkage.”
Haji Hajat was so much attached to late Qari Saheb that he regularly visited his native place in Mewat (Haryana) and Madarsa Tajweedul Quran, Delhi.
Replying to a question by this scribe, Haji Hajat said his father was very poor. So, he could study till 3rd standard only at Binoni (South Africa) and got basic religious teachings at an Islamic seminary there at the age of 14. He got married to Zoolekha in 1956. He had a daughter and five sons.
Haji Hajat joined business in 1960 in an interesting way and today he is known as a foremost business tycoon in South Africa. He is founder and owner of Hajat Group of Companies with its headquarters at Bruma (South Africa).
Prominent among those present on the occasion of the inauguration of the new spacious mosque, known as “Masjid Nurul Islam” were Qari Mohammed Hasan, Qari Mahmood Hasan, Qari Masood Hasan, Anwer Sadat, Khursheed Alam, Rajesh Gour and Chaudhary Lakhpat Khan, Pradhan of Malab.
The occasion had turned out into a festive-like situation in Mewat. Every body was eager to see the “Man of Indian Origin” from South Africa. And, as a star attraction, he was available to them without any ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Haji Ebrahim Hajat left Mewat after a visit to the ‘mazar’ of his mentor, late Qari Mohammed Sulaiman. Said Qari Mahmood Hasan, son of late Qari Mohammed Sulaiman and a moving spirit in carrying out his mission:
“The fact is that India lives in his heart even after losing everything in the land of his ancestors in Gujarat.”
Also see photographs