One of the distinguished personalities among the Malay/Muslim community in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was the late Mudliyar Ahmed Ibrahim Jainudeen, born in Katukele on 14th August 1864 and died aged 59 years 11 months in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 14th July 1924.

His father was Ibrahim and mother Sithi Athija. He had a brother and a sister. He married Miss Nooranie Bappoo, one year older to him, at the age of 22+ years and had thirteen (13) children. Mudliyar Jainudeen took to business at an early age when he was only sixteen years! By his merit and hard work he became Superintendent of St James Estate, Badulla in 1904 and later was a Visiting Agent (VA) as well. He owned two tea estates, viz. Craigmore at Hali-ela and Deensland at Ettampitiya, both in the Badulla district of Uva Province.

From among several shops he was owning, he dedicated three shops in 1910 to the then Arabic School (Madrasa for Quran classes) in Badulla so as to utilize the income derived therefrom in order to educate Muslim children in Arabic, free of charge, and to this date this noble and spiritual service is continuing under the eagle eyes of the Wakf Board!

Mudliyar Jainudeen was the first Malay tea planter of Uva Highland Estate, Ettampitiya who was in charge from 1915 to 1924. Earlier he was the life blood and backbone for some structures that were erected, mostly out of his own funds, at the Rifle Green, Colombo 2 for the

Colombo Malay Cricket Club (CMCC) which is today the oldest cricket club in Sri Lanka situated at Jalan Padang (old Kew Road) where stands the Pavillion and the Jainudeen Memorial Hall. CMCC not only caters to the cricketers, but to hockey players and other sports persons as well.
The two other organizations – Sri Lanka Malay Association (SLMA) and Rupee Fund (RF) are also housed in the Padang complex, thanks to his generous initial contribution.

At the age of 47 years he was appointed a Justice of the Peace (JP) and an Unofficial Police Magistrate (UPM) from 26th February 1912 onward for Badullla, Haldumulla, Hatton and Nuwara Eliya districts by virtue of his wholehearted contribution to society. He was made a Mudliyar on 22nd June 1912. Legend has it that Mudliyar Jainudeen toured Switzerland and Egypt. He also had the rare and great honour of being presented to the then King George V and Queen Mary at the House of Windsor when he visited England in 1924. In the same year too when he performed ‘The Hajj’ he had the rare distinction of being honored by an invitation from the then King Abdul-Aziz bin Saud of Saudi Arabia to see for himself the ‘inside’ of Kaaba (the miraculous Black Stone) towards which all Muslims the world over direct themselves when observing their daily prayers!

Sender: Sdr. Geoffery Meedin
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