Zahira College, Colombo

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Zahira College
Zahira College, Colombo - Logo.jpg
Praise be to Allah
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Type Public School
Established 22 August 1892
Founder A. Orabi Pasha, A.M. Wapchie Marikar and M. C. Siddi Lebbe
Principal Mr. Triizvy Marikkar (2013 - present)
Grades 1–13 (English, Sinhala and Tamil Medium)
Gender Boys
Age 6 to 19
Enrollment over 8000
Number of students 5000
Pupils Zahirians

Green, White & Maroon


Zahira College, Colombo ( commonly known as Zahira College or simply as Zahira ) ( Sinhala: සහිරා විදුහල, Tamil: சாஹிரா கல்லுரி, Arabic: Zahira means "Excellence" ) is the very first Muslim school in Sri Lanka and was founded in 1892 as Al Madrasathul Zahira by two of the most prominent Sri Lankan Muslims of the day, I. L. M. Abdul Aziz and Arasi Marikar Wapchie Marikar, with the active patronage of Ahmed Orabi Pasha of Egypt. It is currently the largest Muslim educational institution in Sri Lanka with more than 4000 students studying there. The college is situated at the heart of Colombo city. The college also has one of the oldest mosques in the country in its premises.


Zahira College Mosque, also known as the Maradana Mosque. The mosque was established long before the college was started and was patronized by A.M. Wapchie Marikar.

The idea of school mainly for Muslims was conceived by visionaries at a time, such as Proctor M. C. Siddi Lebbe of Kandy, when circumstances were positively hostile to English education due to the reasons where English education was very much associated with proselytism.[1] At this juncture in history of Sri Lanka almost all the schools in the country were run by Christian missionaries. Because Sri Lanka had not won its independence from the British Empire an almost state aided conversion submerged other communities. Nevertheless Muslim pioneers in education were more than satisfied that Islam would weather assaults at conversion but that education was essential for the Muslim community’s progress if not its very survival. Thus did Zahira make its first small steps on Monday, 22 August 1892.

Factors influencing establishment[edit]

An historic public speech made by M. C. Siddhi Lebbe in 1891 at the Maradana Mosque Hall (which later became to be the college mosque) and his appeal to the Muslim community to unite and promote the educational advancement of the community led to the formation of the Colombo Muslim Educational Society. The first Secretary was I. L. M. Abdul Aziz and Arasi Marikar Wapchie Marikar was the first Treasurer and Head Master. With the help of Ahamed Orabi Pasha, an Egyptian exile in Ceylon and freedom fighter, the long cherished dream of Al-Madrasathul Zahira was established. In 1894 the school was registered as a grant-in-aid school Maradana Mohammedan Boys School.

College song[edit]

The Gafoor Hall, Colleges Main Hall

Zahira Anthem.JPG

College song transliteration[edit]

yaa Rabbal Aalami Val Kawni
yaa Rabbal Aalami Val Kawni

Li Hayaathil Ilmi Vaddeenee
Li Hayaathil Ilmi Vaddeenee

Haiyaka Alaa Kullid Dahri
Liru Joo Ill Madrasathiz Zahira

Haiyaka Alaa Kullid Dahri
Liru Joo Ill Madrasathiz Zahira

Haazaa Hamdullake Ya Allah
Annashkura Fee Kaulil Aa'laa

Haazaa Hamdullake Ya Allah
Annashkura Fee Kaulil Aa'laa

Sala Vaa Thullahi Va Thasleemoo
Li Seyyidina Khairil Basharee

Sala Vaa Thullahi Va Thasleemoo
Li Seyyidina Khairil Basharee


O! Lord of the World and the Universe,
We pray throughout our life and ask that you grant us Knowledge and Piety,
Zahira College seeks your blessing to flourish throughout time,
We praise and thank Thee O! Lord for all that you grant us,
And we thank Thee also for your blessings upon our Prophet, the Exalted One among Mankind.

Swimming pool[edit]

The college Swimming pool project was proposed and funded by the Old Boys Association. and it was officially opened for the School Students, Old boys and for the Public (after school hours). The project was initiated in year of 2010 and successfully completed and opened on 14 th of July, 2012.

Associations & Clubs[edit]

The Umpichy Building across the college ground


  • Old Boys Association
  • Past Prefect’s Association
  • Group of 60
  • Group of 80
  • Group of 70
  • Group of 90
  • Group of 2000
  • Group of 2005
  • Class of 2008
  • Group of 2009
  • Zahira College Old Boy’s Rugby Association (ZOBRA)
  • Old Zahira Tamil Association (OZTA)


Zahira College is generally known as "Kings of School Soccer" in Sri Lanka, due to its major achievements in Football Field. The College has produced Number of talented Football Players who represented the national Team and College Trophy cabinet is full of Silverware's of College Football.

Also College is actively participating in following Sports presently.

  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Swimming
  • Karate


The students are divided into four houses. The houses are led by House Captains, competing in all major games to win the inter-house games and house colours are awarded winners. The houses are:

  • Angora colour : Green     
  • Baghdad colour : Blue     
  • Cordova colour : Orange     
  • Istanbul colour : Maroon     


  • Mr. A. M. Wapchie Marikar
  • Proctor Mr. N. H. M. Abdul Cader
  • Mr. A. S. Abdul Cader
  • Mr. S.J.A. Doray
  • Mr. Abdul Azeez


Name From To
Mr. O. E. Martinus 1913 1914
Mr. J. C. McHeyzer 1914 1920
Mr. T. B. Jayah 1921 1947
Mr. A. M. A. Azeez 1948 1961
Mr. I. L. M. Mashoor 1961 1965
Mr. M. F. M. H. Fakhir 1965 1966
Mr. S. L. M. Shafie Marikar 1967 1982
Mr. R. I. T. Alles (Director of Studies) 1983 1985
Mr. Saheed M. Irshad 1986 1987
Mr. T. D. Hannan 1988
Mr. A. Z. Omardeen 1989
Mr. A. M. Sameem 1990 1991
Mr. A. Javid Yusuf 1992 1994
Prof. M. T. A. Furkhan 1995 1997
Dr. I. A. Ismail 1998
Mr. S. A. R. M. Farook 1999
Dr. M. Uvais Ahamed 2001 2006
Mr. T.K. Azoor 2008 2010
Mr. M. H. M. Jiffry 2010 2012
Mr. Trizviiy Marikkar 2013 Present

Notable alumni[edit]



  • On Orabi Pasha
  • Haji Omar Founder of Brandix Lanka
  • Ibrahim Hameed Former National Rugby Player
  • Mohamed Hilmy Under Secretary, Presidents office of Maldives
  • Mohamed Akash Under the influence

External links[edit]