OUR KEY STRANDS OF WORK
MARC works to make Islamic knowledge accessible by maintaining an Islamic library that is available 7 days/week, having seminar space available for Islamic classes and discussion groups, hosting various children’s programs, producing exhibitions that promote Islamic learning, and making links to resources for further Islamic studies available on its website.
MARC works to preserve and promote learning about the heritage of the Khoja community through the collection and preservation of heritage texts, hosting a permanent wing dedicated to Khoja history as well as short-term exhibitions highlighting aspects of Khoja heritage, and the publication and production of literary and multimedia materials about Khoja history.
MARC works to improve relations between people of different faiths by hosting interfaith events, opening its doors to visiting school groups and others who would like to learn more about Islam and the Shia faith, and creating exhibitions and multimedia that encourage learning about different religions and interfaith dialogue.
More About Us
What is the history behind MARC’s establishment?
The genesis of the Mulla Asghar Memorial Library and Islamic Resource Centre (MARC) was an aspiration by the then WF President Dr. Hasnain Walji to initiate centres or libraries in the Memory of Mulla Asgharali M. M. Jaffer in all major Khoja Jamaats in the world.
At the time, London, Dar es Salaam, Karachi, Bhavnagar, Toronto and Mombasa were all considered as potential venues. The first such project that came to fruition was the Mulla Asgher Memorial Hall in Mombasa in 2002. MARC is the second such memorial project to be established. It was made possible in 2009 when the work at Bathurst was re-initiated after a pause.
The first phase was finished and an opening ceremony was held on Saturday, October 24th, 2009. The facility was finally complete in April 2011 and this was inaugurated with the Quran exhibition which was open for 16 months. Through the good offices of the World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities, the total cost of establishment was donated by the Hiridjee Family Foundation. We gratefully acknowledge their renowned philanthropic services and thank them for the continued support in maintaining the Centre. We also thank Al Hajj Raza Alybhai Hiridjee for his guidance and assistance in the establishment of this Center. We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Alhajj Razzaq Damani the then President of ISIJ Toronto and Al Hajj Arif Asaria, the then General Secretary, for their assistance in the planning and construction of the ultra modern facility.
Who was Mulla Asghar?
Mulla Asgharali M. M. Jaffer was a scholar and leader of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Ashari community.
Born in Mombasa, Kenya in 1936, he later migrated to London, U.K. where he established the headquarters of the World Federation of the Shia Ithna Ashari Communities and became its first president. His love for the community led him to dedicate a lot of effort towards uniting the Khoja Shia communities worldwide and also to launch numerous charitable initiatives though the World Federation.
Mulla was a self-taught man, recognized internationally for his depth of religious knowledge and personal piety. Mulla had a deep insight into many subjects including Fiqh, theology, philosophy, theosophy and contemporary issues. He was a brilliant communicator and used his elocution skills to present the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt to the masses. He has left behind many thought provoking writings and inspiring publications.
A more detailed synopsis of his life and achievements can be found here (external link).
Mulla left this world on March 21, 2000 and is dearly missed by those he left behind. Please recite a prayer of Surah Fatiha for his soul.
Can you tell me more about MARC's services?
MARC strives to foster community cultural life by hosting exhibits, housing historic, fine arts, and literary collections, and providing spaces that attract scholars, students and the general public to read, study, and browse.
MARC continues to expand its multi-lingual library, manuscripts on Islamic literature, bibliographical information for research purposes, digital access to ahadith and tafseer literature, multimedia resources from around the world, Khoja community archives, permanent exhibitions on Islam and works of Muslim scientists, scholars and artists. It has been developing media facilities, under the name MARC Media to offer a rich multimedia experience during exhibitions.
- Khoja History Project
- Over 80 manuscripts on the Khoja History permanent display
- An entire wings has displays on the History of the Khojas
- Book published – The Endangered Species – A journey of faith
- Khoja Journey of Faith Documentary
- PR and Media facilities – Media Resource Room
- Video Production – Broadcast on TV – Islam in Focus
- Digitizing Quran Exhibition to offer as a Mobile Exhibition to other museums/centers
- Lectures and Workshops: MARC is now a popular venue for short courses, workshops and seminars on a regular basis.
We are proud that within its short operational history, MARC has already started to make a major impact.
Who is on MARC's management team?
- Dr. Asghar Moledina
- Raza Aly Hiridjee
- Dr. Hasnain Walji
- Habib M Habib
- Salma Alibhai
- Naqiya Abdulrasul
- Muhammad Ali Jessa
- Murtaza Panju
- Mohamed Walji
- Shabbir Jaffer
- President : Dr Hasnain Walji
- Hon Secretary: Naqiya Abdulrasul
- Hon Treasurer: Muhammad Ali Jessa
Human Resources & Teams
A dedicated team of individuals helps manage the Organization
- Exhibitions – Content and Creative team Comprises a core group of Volunteers led by Naqiya Abdulrasul, Salma Alibhai, Fatima Jessa and Fatima Alibhai
- Interfaith Team – is led by the Hasnain Walji and assisted by Shabnees Siwjee and Fatima Sajan
- Public Relations Team is led by Shafiq Ebrahim
- Media Team is led by Hasnain Karim
- Finance Team is led by Muhammad Ali Jessa and Murtaza Panju
- Library Team consists of Sukaina Panju, Zehra Jaffer, Hasnain Karim and Bahareh Mojab
- After School Activities Program (ASAP) Team – is led by Tahera Jessa
- Fundraising Team is led by Mohamed Walji, Aliraza Rajani, Murtaza Panju and Shafiq Ebrahim
The late Marhum Aunali Moledina, who passed away in August 2018, was also an active part of MARC management, a leader of the Public Relations Team, the ASAP Program and the Fundraising Team. You can access his obituary here.
In addition, the operations of MARC are assisted by a number of other friends of MARC for whose dedicated support we are most grateful.
Who supports MARC financially?
MARC’s activities are supported by generous patrons. If you would like to contribute to financing MARC, please contact us.