Zahira College, Colombo
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(Praise be to Allah)
|Established||22 August 1892|
|Founder||Ahmed Orabi, A. M. Wapchi Marikar and M. C. Siddi Lebbe|
|Grades||1–13 (English, Sinhala and Tamil Medium)|
|Age||6 to 19|
|Colour(s)||Green, white & maroon|
Zahira College (commonly known as Zahira) (Sinhala: සහිරා විදුහල, Tamil: சாஹிரா கல்லுரி) is an Islamic school at Colombo in Maradana, Sri Lanka and was founded in 1892 as Al Madrasathul Zahira by notable Islamic lawyer and educationalist, Muhammad Cassim Siddi Lebbe, with the active patronage of Ahmed Orabi Pasha of Egypt. The college also has one of the oldest mosques in the country in its premises.
The word Zahira means "excellence" in Arabic.
The idea of school mainly for Muslims was conceived by prominent individuals at the time, such as Proctor M. C. Siddi Lebbe, when circumstances were positively hostile to English education due to the reasons where English education was very much associated with proselytism. 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, due to this and many other pertaining factors,[specify] Zahira was established on Monday, 22 August 1892.
Factors influencing establishment
During a public speech made by M. C. Siddhi Lebbe in 1891 at the Maradana Mosque Hall (which later became to be the college mosque), he appealed to the Muslim community to unite and promote the educational advancement of the community. This 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, Al-Madrasathul Zahira was established. In 1894 the school was registered as a grant-in-aid school Maradana Mohammedan Boys School.
The College has produced a number of football players who represented the national team.[who?]
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 2010 and successfully completed and opened on 14 July 2012.
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.
- Angora colour : Green
- Baghdad colour : Blue
- Cordova colour : Orange
- Istanbul colour : Maroon
- A. M. Wapchie Marikar
- N. H. M. Abdul Cader
- A. S. Abdul Cader
- S. J. A. Doray
- Abdul Azeez
|O. E. Martinus||1913||1914|
|J. C. McHeyzer||1914||1920|
|Tuan Burhanudeen Jayah||1921||1947|
|A. M. A. Azeez||1948||1961|
|I. L. M. Mashoor||1961||1965|
|M. F. M. H. Fakhir||1965||1966|
|S. L. M. Shafie Marikar||1967||1982|
|R. I. T. Alles (Director of Studies)||1983||1985|
|Saheed M. Irshad||1986||1987|
|T. D. Hannan||1988|
|A. Z. Omardeen||1989|
|A. M. Sameem||1990||1991|
|A. Javid Yusuf||1992||1994|
|Prof. M. T. A. Furkhan||1995||1997|
|Dr. I. A. Ismail||1998|
|S. A. R. M. Farook||1999|
|Dr. M. Uvais Ahamed||2001||2006|
|M. H. M. Jiffry||2010||2012|
|V. Anandasangaree||Member of Parliament - Kilinochchi (1970–1983), Jaffna (2000–2004)|
|A. H. M. Fowzie||Member of Parliament - National List (2015–present), Colombo (1994–2015), Mayor of Colombo (1974–1977)|
|Mohammed Abdul Bakeer Markar||Member of Parliament - Beruwala (1960–1988), Governor of Southern Province (1988–1993)|
|Mujibur Rahman||Member of Parliament - Colombo (2015-present)|||
|Saleem Marsoof||Supreme Court Judge (2005–2014)|
|S. Z. M. Mashoor Moulana||Senator - Senate of Ceylon|
|A. J. M. Muzammil||Mayor of Colombo (2011–2016)|
|Rezvi Sheriff||academic, physician|
|Karthigesu Sivathamby||emeritus professor (Tamil studies), author|
|Hasen Ali||Member of Parliament - National List (2004-2015)|||
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.