It is part of Hong Kong history that the Indian Muslims were in Hong Kong as a division of the British Army at the time of the founding of the Colony in the 19th century. They were followed by and augmented in numbers by the arrivals of traders soon after.
It was mainly for their religious worship that mosques were built in Tsim Sha Tsui and Ho Man Tin on the Kowloon Peninsula and Stanley on the Hong Kong Island, while the Jamia Masjid at Shelley Street was built by an Indian businessman and philanthropist from Bombay, Haji Mohammed Eshaq in 1905.
The partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 all but obliterated this small, active and illustrious Indian Muslim Community, at least on paper and in statistics, since most of these Muslims acquired a new nomenclature with the establishment of a new Muslim Nation.
The Indian Muslim Community was reborn in the mid-fifties with the arrival of more Muslim traders from the Indian Republic as well as from Indochina, Singapore, Malaya (now Malaysia), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Burma etc. The beginning of the 60s saw the nucleus of these Muslims, most of them settling down in the Tsim Sha Tsui district and a few of them in Happy Valley area on the Hong Kong Island.
These Muslim businessmen with international dealings were conservative and orthodox by nature. They arranged activities such as the conducting of Rathib, Zikr and Maulud; the initiating of the recital of the entire Holy Qur’an at Taraweeh prayers by eloquent Hafiz; the arranging of Iftar during the whole month of Ramadan in conjunction with the local Chinese, Pakistani and Sri Lankan Muslims, contributed in attracting more Muslims to visit the Mosque more frequently. Two learned Imams, Moulvi Haji Yusuf Baquavi (the present Imam) and Haji Syed Yasin Moulana (who passed away in H.K. in 1981) were brought down from India, to lead the five times daily prayers, to hold Qur’anic classes for children and to deliver Tarjumathal Qur’an, Hadith, Bayaan etc. Initiatives were also taken in organizing the celebration of the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad S.A.W., and in arranging Eid gatherings.
When the idea of reconstructing the Kowloon Mosque was mooted, the Indian Muslims took major part in this noble cause through the Kowloon Mosque Reconstruction Committee and the Fund Raising Committee; they also contributed generously and wholeheartedly to this cause, individually and collectively. They were also instrumental in collecting substantial funds from various Middle Eastern Countries.
All this time, the Indian Muslim community did not have any formal organization of their own. Many were in fact, members of the Islamic Union of Hong Kong. But soon the occasion arose for such an official body and THE INDIAN MUSLIM ASSOCIATIQN (JAMAATH) LIMITED was founded and incorporated under the Companies Ordinance in September 1979 as a non-profit making organization. The contribution of the Indian Muslims to the cause of Islam in Hong Kong was duly recognized by brother Muslims and were honoured by being invited to join the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong.
The main objectives of the Indian Muslim Association are: To promote Islamic Brotherhood among all Muslims of Hong Kong and abroad; to unite and promote better understanding among the Muslims of Indian origin; to promote Brotherhood with all Indians in Hong Kong and abroad; to assist and co-operate with other organizations like the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong, the Islamic Union of Hong Kong etc.; to lend support to all Islamic bodies on religious and educational matters; to help the needy people in distress from natural causes or otherwise whatsoever and where so ever regardless of colour, religion or nationality; to promote Islamic and other modern teachings among Muslims; to help set up schools etc., and to help establish scholarship funds for studies where so ever; to set up free or subsidized clinics for all Hong Kong people; to hold Eid celebrations and any other Islamic functions.
The affairs of the Indian Muslim Association are managed by the Governing Committee which consists of 15 members: a President, three Vice-Presidents, an Honorary Secretary, an Honorary Assistant Secretary, an Honorary Treasurer and 8 other Committee members who are elected annually. The Governing Committee meets once a month to plan, deliberate and execute its stated objectives. The Association, though young, has proved itself once and again to be one of the main pillars of the entire Muslim community of Hong Kong, and will continue to extend its support for the welfare of the Muslims at all times.
Mention must also be made of all local Muslims, as well as Muslims from Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who have stood shoulder to shoulder in all activities in which the Association has been involved in, without any difference or reservations, proving that Islam does not recognize man-made national boundaries and that our Brotherhood is universal. Thus the Indian Muslims have become an indivisible part of the Hong Kong Muslim Community and will strive with other brethren for the betterment of Muslims, the propagation of Islam and above all, for maintaining the unity of the Brotherhood. Insha Allah.