Jaffer Ali Muhammad Somji, surnamed Sufi was born at Karachi in 1908, where he took his formal education, both religious and secular. He started his career as a religious teacher as well as a supervisor of Wazir Rahim Boarding School. He also became a regular missionary in Karachi, and then moved to East Africa.
In 1932, Jaffer Ali Muhammad Somji was appointed as a religious teacher of Boys High School in Mombasa, where he also established The Young Ismailia Recreation Club Institute, and also started a periodical, called Gulshan-e-Ilm.
In 1936, he came in Nairobi and worked as a superintendent of Rehmatullah Valji Hirji Boarding for two years. In 1938, he visited Bombay and with Imam’s guidance, he joined Recreation Club Institute.
In 1947, Jaffer Ali Muhammad Somji published the first volume of the Rumi’s mathnawi into Gujrati. He was also well versed in the Ismaili history, the Ismailia Association for India gave him the task to edit “Nurun Mubin” of Wazir Ali Muhammad Jan Muhammad Chunara in 1947 for its second edition. He worked on it for two years and updated the historical accounts from 1935 to 1949. He also updated its third edition till 1951.
In 1954, Jaffer Ali Muhammad Somji was sent to Mombasa, where he served for five years, and then moved to Nairobi. He played an important part in the training of the young waezeens in Dar-es-Salaam with Missionary Ghulam Ali Shah, and returned to Mombasa on October 21, 1954
The Imam deputed Dewan Sir Eboo Pirbhai to Aden, Yamen as his High Commissioner on December 12, 1955 with Missionary Jaffer Ali Sufi. There were only 20 to 25 Ismailis in Aden. Dewan Sir Eboo Pirbhai met the governor to solve the local problems of the Ismailis and succeeded in getting separate plots for the Jamatkhana and a cemetery. Missionary Jaffer Ali delivered his waez in Aden as well as worked as an assistant of Dewan Sir Eboo Pirbhai.
Missionary Jaffer Ali Sufi then came to Karachi with Dewan Sir Eboo Pirbhai. Mukhi Noor Ali Gwadarwala accorded him a tea-party on December 31, 1955 in the Aga Khan Gymkhana. Wazir Dr. Pir Muhammad Hoodbhoy, Varas Sher Ali Alidina, Wazir Ali Muhammad Jan Muhammad Chunara, etc also attended it.
Soon afterwards, Jaffer Ali Sufi proceeded to Bombay for performing waez. He also visited Rangoon and attended All Burma Annual Majalis held on 19th, 20th and 21st April, 1956 and entertained the jamats with his waez.
Missionary Jaffer Ali Sufi died on Monday, March 18, 1963 at 12.10 a.m. in the Platinum Jubilee Hospital in Nairobi at the age of 55 years. The Imam sent following message on his sad demise:-
Gastaad: March 20, 1963
Deeply grieved to hear sad demise missionary Jafferali Sufi. I send my most affectionate loving paternal maternal blessings for the soul of late missionary Jafferali and pray his soul rest in eternal peace. Best blessing late missionary family for courage and fortitude in their great loss.
It may be noted that three eminent individuals passed away within a span of 17 days, who were associated with the Ismailia Association for Pakistan, – Missionary Jaffer Ali Sufi (d. March 18, 1963), Missionary Hamir Lakha (d. March 16, 1963) and Wazir A.C. Rahimtullah (d. April 1, 1963). The Ismailia Association for Pakistan organized a grand majalis on April 7, 1963 for the departed souls in the Garden Jamatkhana, Karachi. Wazir Ghulam Hyder Bandali (1905-1986), the President sent a humble service with a report to the Imam on April 9, 1963. Hazar Imam sent following message on April 20, 1963:-
It may be noted that three eminent individuals passed away within a span of 17 days, who were associated with the Ismailia Association for Pakistan, – Missionary Jaffer Ali Sufi (d. March 18, 1963), Missionary Hamir Lakha (d. March 16, 1963) and Wazir A.C. Rahimtullah (d. April 1, 1963). The Ismailia Association for Pakistan organized a grand on April 7, 1963 for the departed souls in the Garden Jamatkhana, Karachi. Wazir Ghulam Hyder Bandali (1905-1986), the President sent a humble service with a report to the Imam on April 9, 1963. Hazar Imamsent following message on April 20, 1963:- My dear President,
I have received your letter of April 9th.
Kindly convey to the office bearers and members of the Ismailia Association, waezeen and religious teachers my best loving paternal maternal blessings for service, with best blessings for the souls of the late:
Rai Hamir Lakha
Alijah Jafarali Sufi
Vazir A.C. Rahmatoola of Khulna
I pray that their souls may rest in eternal peace. My three spiritual children had rendered truly excellent services to myself and my jamats. They lived fine lives of hard work and service and were exemplary spiritual children.