Wapu Marikar Hassim
Wapu Marikar Hassim, affectionately known as W.M. Hassim, son of Sheikh Marikar, was born on January 26, 1880. His birth was registered by C.L.M. Abdul Majeed (son of Shekadi Marikar Cassim Lebbe Marikar), who was his mother’s sister’s husband. Hassim attended Wesley College, Colombo, and was preparing to appear for the Notary’s examination when his elders recommended that he take up to trade and business. His eldest brother, W.M.Abdul Jabbar, was, at this time, the Manager of his uncle’s (I.L.M. Noordeen Hajiar) hardware business.
Another brother W.M. Thaha was also involved in the same establishment. Abdul Jabbar assisted his younger brothers, Thaha and Hassim to start a separate business, in 1906, at No. 77, Main Street, Pettah. Being an netreprising young man, Hassim’s buisness flourished. Thaha left Ceylon in search of greener pastures in the Far East.
On December 14, 1907, Hassim married the third daughter of O.L.M.A.L.M.Alim, on of the successful businessmen and landed proprietor of that time.
Another successful businessman, S.L. Naina Marikar Hajiar, who was a relative of Hassim, also gave him much encouragement in his new business venture.
Hassim’s charity knew no bounds for both Muslim and non Muslim causes. The state, acknowledging his philanthrophy and educational activity, honoured him with the title of Justice of the Peace on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the accession to the throne of His majesty King George V. The maligawatte Denham School was supported by Hassim being the largest individual contributor of funds for its management. His ancestors had, previously, contributed magnanimously to the Maradana Mosque and the Grand Mosque in Colombo.
Hassim was a founder member and first Vice President of The Moors’ Islamic Cultural Home. he also held the position of Vice President of The All Ceylon Moor;s Association. In the latter capacity, W.M. Hassim, together with, Mohammed Hussain Alim, Katheeb Maradana Mosque, Y.M. Khalid, B.D.M. Cassim, A.L.M. Lafir, H.A.S.M. Raffiudeen, A.M.A. Caffoor, A.I.L. Marikar, M.M. Sulaiman, M.C.M. Fuard, and I.L.M. Thowfeek, proprietor Hotel Bulgari, succeeded in forestalling the notorious Fatwa Meeting held at the Colombo Town Hall under the Chairmanship of Yaseen Moulana to erase the term "Sonahar", "Yonagar", and "Ceylon Moor", describing the race and to substitute the term "Ceylon Muslim" instead.
His sons are Mohammed Thaifoor, Mohammed Kamil, Ahmed Jameel, Mohammed Mohideen, Mohammed Ameen and Mohammed Sulaiman, who were all devotedly engaged in their father’s business and have lived up to his bountiful acts of charity.
One of his grandsons, Omar Kamil, son of MHM Kamil, was the Mayor of Colombo and subsequently the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Iran in 2005.
W.M. Hassim passed away peacefully on July 6, 1960