KHATEEB SHEIKH OMAR (of Yamani)
(aka Lebbe Sinne Lebbe)
Sheikh Ismail Lebbe Abdul Latiff (Levve Sinna Levve)
Katheeb Hussain Lebbe Muhallam Sheikh Ismail Lebbe of the Colombo Grand Mosque, New Moor Street, had recorded over three hundred (300) marriages of Moors (Muslims), from March 26, 1882 to January 18, 1844. In his "Kadutham" book, he had recorded not only the names of the parties, Wolis, and witnesses but also their addresses.
His son, Abdul Latiff, also known as, Levve Sinna Levve, who was also appointed Katheeb of the Colombo Grand Mosque, had his appointment confirmed by the Governer, His Excellency Lt. General Sir Colin Campbell, Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Military Order of both Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the British settlements and territories in the Island of Ceylon with dependencies thereof, on February 13, 1845.
The following authorty of the Governer was granted for the remains of Abdul Latiff to be interred alongside his father’s grave at the Colombo Grand Mosque.
No 1112. Colonial Secretary’s Office
Colombo, 16 May, 1906
I am directed by the Governor to acknowledge the receipt of your petition dated the 6th April last, and to state that His Excellency has been pleased to grant the request made therein.
(2) His Excellency desires me at the same time to state that he hopes that many years will still lapse before it becomes necessary to make use of the permission granted.
I am Sir,
Your Obedient Servant
for Colonial Secretary
Segoe Ismail Lebbe Abdul Latifue
Muhammadan High Priest,
83, New Moor Street,
In the Ceylon Daily News of Saturday, March 10, 1945, the following reference was made to the centenary celebration at the Grand Mosque in connection with the services as Khateeb of Abdul Latiff and his progeny:-
"A special assembly congregated after the Jumma prayers at the Grand Mosque, Colombo, to commemorate the century of service rendered to the members of the congregation of the Mosque by the house of the first officiating priest, late Khateeb Sheikh Ismail Lebbe Abdul Latiff. The service was continued by his son, the late Khateeb Abdul Latiff Abdul Caffoor, followed by his son, the late Khateeb Abdul Caffoor Abdul Jawad. This is now being continued by the latter’s son, Khateeb Abdul jawad Muhammad Warid. In appreciation of his uninterrupted and unique service to the Jama’ath of the Mosque, glowing tributes were paid by several speakers, reference being made to the special grant by Governor Sir Colin Campbell on February 13, 1845"
Abdul Lateef’s son Abdul Caffoor was subsequently appointed Khatheeb of the Grand Mosque and His other son’s were Abdul Rahman, Abdul Cader, and Muhammad Zakariya. His daughter’s were Azeeza Umma and Jainath Umma.
Abdul Caffoor;s son Abdul Jaward succeeded him. Abdul Jaward’s son Muhammad Warid succeeded him in 1936.
Abdul Lateef’s youngest son was Muhammad Zakariya whose son was Muhammad Lafir. Muhammad Lafir’s children are Muhammad Noor (married to Mazeera Rashard), Fawzie Fathima, Nawaz (married to Shireen Hussain Mohideen), Faizal (married to Yasmin Sahill), Ayeshathul Rila (married to Zameek Hussain), Ireefathul Khair (married to Rumy Rasheed) and Shazmina (married to Mursy Zacky).
Abdul Lateef ‘s grandfather was Khateeb Hussain whose father was Khateeb Hassan and whose father was Khateeb Sheikh Omar of Yamani.
Presently (1995), the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Colombo Grand Mosque is Al Haj Shafee Muhammad who was elected in 1992. His appointment was confirmed by the Ministry of Muslim Religious & Cultural Affairs. He is the grandson of Khatheeb Abdul Caffoor Abdul Jawad and brother of Al Haj Muhammad Hussain Mohideen - former member of the Board of Trustees of the Colombo Grand Mosque during the period 1968 to 1980.
Abdul Lateef’s Great Grandson, Muhammad Shibly Shihabudeen, son of Abdul Rahman Muhammad Shihabudeen, was appointed Administrative Trustee of Ghaneemathul Cassimiya Jumma Masjid at Dematagoda Place, Colombo 9, from 1980 to 1983. He was responsible for the construction of a two storeyed building for the Mosque that facilitated the upgrade of the Mosque to a Jumma Masjid.
The above family trace their ancestry to the Head Moorman, Mahmood Naina Marikar of Sheikh Ma’roofal Karkhee.