An incredible Saudi-Indian tale

Eminent Saudis of Indian origin evoke nostalgic memories


Saudi Gazette report

Jeddah, the gateway of the Two Holy Mosques, witnessed a historic event during the weekend, with the gathering of eminent Saudis of Indian origin and thus adding a golden page in the annals of history of centuries-old deep rooted Saudi India ties. The interaction titled “Muziris to Makkah”, the first of its kind in the Kingdom, was organized by the Consulate General of India, in association with Goodwill Global Initiative. More than 20 guests were honored on the occasion.

Going down memory lane, they shared with the august audience, including prominent figures from the Indian and Saudi communities, the untold stories of the beginning of migration by their forefathers from the Indian subcontinent to the Arabian Peninsula nearly two centuries ago.

When they spoke in the original slang of the language of their forefathers that they had inherited with showing their keenness to pass on to their younger generation, it was an enthralling experience for the attendees. They interacted with the Indian expatriate community in Jeddah in English, Arabic, Malayalam, Telugu, Urdu and Manipuri languages.

Ahmed Attaullah Farooqui, founder and CEO of Farooqui Group and representative of UN World Human Rights Service Council, recalled that his family’s lineage reaches the second caliph Umar Al-Farooq, and that his forefathers migrated to India during the period of Islamic conquests. “My great grandfather Haji Imdadullah Farooqui emigrated from Jaipur to Makkah 150 years ago and had a role in establishing Madrasa Saulatiya, the first school in the Arabian Peninsula, along with its founder Maulana Muhammad Rahmatullah Kairanavi.

“The school was named after Saulathunnisa Beegam, a rich Haj pilgrim from Kolkata and wife of Bengal nawab, who made the necessary funding for building the school, which was demolished a few years ago for the largest ever Haram expansion.”

In his interaction, Abdullah Mohyadeen Melibary, popular as Kubba, recalled the arduous journey of his father along with many others to escape persecution of British colonial rulers to Makkah and other parts of Arabian Peninsula. “While I was a child, my father died and so I had to work hard to make ends meet. We used to go to school in the morning and do some work in the evening to make a living.”

“After working as teacher and head of a school in Makkah for 34 years, I continued serving Haj pilgrims for more than half a century since childhood,” Kubba said, adding that he learned Malayalam mainly from Haj pilgrims.

Melibary is the finance manager of Madrasa Malaibariya, established in Makkah 92 years ago. At present, the school is running 12 Qur’an memorization centers in Makkah. Adel Bin Hamza Melibari, supervisor of Madrasa Saulathiya and Melibariya, also shared his experiences.

Talal Bakur Melibari, who served as head of schools in Makkah for 36 years, is the supervisor of Nusratul Masakeen Endowment in Makkah since seven years.

“Our ancestors came 120 years ago from the southern Indian state of Kerala and they established three endowments for education, charity and pilgrims’ accommodation. My father Bakur Muhayyaddeen Melibary, along with 10 others, founded Nusratul Masakeen to feed Malaibari Hajis, as well as to handle their transportation in the holy cities besides extending services for the burial of the dead and hospitalize those who fell sick. Keyi Rubat, established by Mayankutty Elaya, first translator of the Qur’an to Malayalam, and Madrasa Malaibariya are other endowments.

Dr. Abdul Raheem Mohammed Moulana, a renowned Islamic scholar, who serves as chief nephrologist in a Makkah hospital, shared his unique experiences as a physician as well as a great scholar. “When we started the dialysis unit in 1978 in Makkah for Hajis free of cost, there was only one dialysis center in India. At that time, we used to provide free dialysis for Hajis. I also started concentrating in learning more about Qur’an.”

A translator of the Holy Qur’an and Qur’an Encyclopedia and Hadith collection from Arabic into Telugu language, Moulana is now working on an Arabic-Telugu dictionary.

Dr. Abdullah Ramizuluddin Ghouth Ali of King Abdulaziz University shared with the audience about the arrival of his great grandfather Barakatullah Khan from the Kingdom of Manipur. He was the chief justice and the second Muslim who performed Haj in 1825. He returned back to India and then Ghouth Ali’s father came to Makkah and settled down there. “Out of 200,000 Muslims of Manipur, four or five families came and settled down in Makkah,” he said.

Musthafa Bakur Melibary narrated the last moments of Sayyid Abdurahman Bafaqi Thangal, a towering Indian Muslim leader and president of Indian Union Muslim League, who died while taking rest at his home in Ajyad close to Haram during the third day of Haj in January 1973.

Those who were honored also included Mohammed Ramizuluddin Ghouth Ali, a retired mechanical engineer, Faisal Al-Saddik, former CEO of Private Aviation, Adil Mohammed Iqbal Sanai, former senior vice president and head of risk management at the National Commercial Bank, Abdulsalam Ramizuluddin Ghouth Ali, head of maintenance department, Savola Co., Abdulgafoor M. Hassan, founder and CEO of Swipe IT Saudi Arabia, Abdul Qadeer Siddiqi, founder and CEO of Modern Gates Company, Ather Anwer Al-Aqqad, CEO of Mantech Systems Company, Abdul Rahman Abdullah Yousuf, chairman of Al Fadul Freight Solutions Company, Jeddah, Mohammed Saied Malibari, managing director of MOSACO, Taqiyuddin Omar Melibary, retired Control Room Operator at Saudi Electricity Company Makkah, Abdul Basit Abdullah Baitan, head of school in Makkah, Mohammed Bakur Melibari, director of SABIC’s Al-Sharq Company Jubail, Saud Bakur Melibari, operation manager at SWCC Shuaibah plant, Jaafar Ali Melibari, students’ dean at Makkah school and supervisor of Madrasa Malaibariya, Hamad Abdurazak Melibary, administrative supervisor of Madrasa Malaibariya, Eng. Adil Mohammed Ali Walanshira, general manager, Savola Foods and Dr. Gadeer Talal Melibari, lecturer at English language center, Umm Al-Qura University.