Noordeen Hajiar Muhammad Abdul Cader (NHM Abdul Cader)
Noordeen Hajiar Muhammad Abdul Cader was the younger brother of Noordeen Hajiar Abdul Caffoor. He was educated at Wesley College. He continued his studies and qualified as a Proctor & Notary Public in 1907.
Abdul Cader led a full life. He was one of the leading proctors of the day and represented the Muslims in the Legislative Council for fifteen years. He was Senior Municipal Councillor at the time of his death. He was also the President of the All ceylon Muslim League at a critical period of its history. As a businessman he was one of the pioneers of the cinema business in Ceylon.
Abdul Cader succeeded W.M.Abdul Rahman as the Muslim Member of the Legislative Council in 1915. He was in the center of every activity whcih concerned the Muslim community. He was always ready to enter the fray and fearless in expressing his sentiments and feelings.
Abdul Cader entered the Colombo Municipal Council for the Pettah Ward in 1908 and continued to be a member for the next thirty years, and except during the last term in council, He was always returned uncontested. Among his contemporaries were outstanding men like Sir James Peiris, Arthur Alvis, Hector Jayawardena, T.L.Villiers, C.P.Dias and H.L.de Mel. Member Legislative Council 1916-1930. Manager Zahira College 1921-1938.
Both in the Legislative and Municipal Councils, Abdul Cader advocated equal educational facilities for Muslims as was available for the more progressive communities in the Island. He was convinced that there can be no progress without education even if the boys in the families inherited their fathers business. His eldest son, Dr. Marzook Abdul Cader, who passed away at the early age of 49, had a brilliant career in England and qualified as an ENT specialist.
His position as President of the Muslim League was never challenged while he held it. In all negotiations with the Government and with other communities for constitutional reform, the views of the Muslim League commanded respect with a man like him at the helm.
He was also President of the Maradana Mosque Executive Committee for twenty five years, taking over from Aboobucker Lebbe Marikar Ibrahim Lebbe Marikar (uncle of M.L.M.Reyal ex MMC Colombo). In 1921 he became the Manager of Zahira College, the leading Muslim school in the Island. The College progressed rapidly under his capable management and the principalship of Mr. T.B.Jayah.
Schools in Muslim areas received much less Government help than they do today. Abdul Cader introduced a motion in the Legislative Council for an annual grant of Rs. 150,000 towards the promotion of education among Muhammadans. The motion seconded by K. Balasingham was defeated. However the motion succeeded in obtaining a grant of Rs 25,000 from the Government for Zahira College.
Abdul Cader represented the Muslims in the Legislative Council from 1915 to 1931, safeguarding their interests with great care and watchfulness, while undertaking more than his fair share of work in matters pertaining to the welfare of his country.
He was a popular member, noted for his sturdy independence, tenacity and outspoken views. It was mainly due to him that the Muslim marriage Ordinance was enacted. In educational and religious matters he was a tower of strength to his community.
Sometimes his bluntness led him into trouble, as when he was sued for libel after he had denounced, in the legislative Council, a high official for what is believed was an injustice done to a Muslim doctor. He fought the case until the intervention of the Colonial Secretary, Sir Arthur Fletcher, led to a settlement. As a result of the case, Sir Vaitilingam Duraiswamy introduced in the Legislative Council a bill to confer immunity, on all speeches and statements made in the Council, from the process of the Courts.
In all things he did, Abdul Cader showed determination and foresight. He foresaw a successful field of activity for his sons in the cinema business and his sons have more than justified the confidence reposed on them.
Abdul Cader’s statement at an interview to the Ceylon Independent in 1917 is very characteristic of the man,
" among the Muhammadans, they had a very undesirable system of charity, that of giving feasts of Kanduri, with no beneficial results. It would certainly be charity if the poor are fed, but that is not what is done at these feasts. Men like myself, others equally prosperous, are feted. I have not the slightest objection to the feeding of the poor, but my experience has been that the poor are the least thought of at these feasts, so called charity. A portion of the money spent on these feasts may with advantage be diverted to better purposes, such as education".
His demise after an operation on August 30, 1938, came as a rude shock to his many admirers.
His sons are Dr. Marzuk A Cader (deceased), Mohideen A Cader, Jabir A Cader MP, MMC, (former Mayor), Hamza A Cader, Ansar A Cader, Chartered Accountant, Shafeek A Cader, Shuhaib A Cader, Ashroff A Cader (All Ceylon Rugby player), Zachroff A Cader (Dental Surgeon), Huzaim A Cader, Huzair A Cader and Ifthikar A Cader (Cost Accountant). His daughters are Ayesha Cader (wife of HE Mr. M.M.Maharoof High Commissioner in Malaysia), Thufa Cader (w/o Aamir Sheriff) and Aynul Rifa Cader.
Death of Jabir A. Cader a big loss for the community and the nation - AHM Azwer Sat Jun 29 2002
The demise of Alhaj Jabir A. Cader is a big loss for the community and the nation - A. H. M. Azwer, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs states in his condolence message sent from the State of Kerala in India.
Further in his condolence message, the Minister said Alhaj Jabir A. Cader not only touched the hearts of Colombo civilians but hearts of all other communities in the island by his service rendered through the community development projects and social service.
Being a close associate, I have worked with him for 45 years. I greatfully remember the services he rendered to the community being a founder member of All Ceylon Muslim League. He started his political career as Member of Colombo Municipal Council and became Mayor of Colombo, Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister of Health and Rural Industrial Development. He was instrumental in initiating many community development projects and gave good leadership to the youth. When the United National Party was formed at "Palm Court" he represented the All Ceylon Muslim League with President of ACML Mr. T. B. Jayah, Mr. M. H. Amith, ex-MP, and Mr. M. T. Marikkar Bawa. He made use of his political career to serve the community in poverty alleviation and rural upliftment. He also always in the forefront when it came to enhancing social activities. He was also loved by people of all communities who referred to him as leader of the Colombo citizens. He was 86 years at the time of his death. His demise is a great loss for the community.