Zahira College Colombo

Zahira is an Arabic term which means ‘Excellence’ in Arabic.

The very first Private Muslim School in Sri Lanka, Zahira College was founded in 1892, as Al Madrasathul Zahira by two of the most prominent Sri Lankan Muslims of that time, namely I.L.M. Abdul Azeez and Arasi Marikar Wapchie Marikar who were both encouraged by Ahamed Orabi Pasha, a prominent Egyptian who was exiled in Sri Lanka. Today Zahira College is the largest Muslim educational institution in Sri Lanka with more than 4900 students and 250 teachers. The College which is situated in the heart of Colombo was built on the grounds adjoining one of the oldest mosques in Sri Lanka, the Maradana Mosque.

Zahira College Colombo which has been in existence for 121 years is a well established and well known School in Sri Lanka. Under the stewardship of Mr. M. Fouzul Hameed who took over as Chairman of the Board of Governors in 2006, a well co-ordinated programme to improve the standards of education, sports and extracurricular activities within the Islamic environment of the College has been carefully implemented with commendable success.

The present Principal Mr. A.R.M. Trizvi Marikkar has taken it as a challenge to improve the results further in the Year Five Scholarship, O’ Level and A’ Level examinations each year, and for that purpose he and his team have introduced a series of new steps. They are confident now that Zahira has an infra-structure that can compare with any one of the best schools in the Island and with a teacher cadre to match, the future of the current approximately 5000+ boys who are educated at Zahira will be bright.

Zahira College is now relentlessly pursuing a policy in search of excellence.

About Zahira College Colombo

Zahira College, Colombo was founded in 1892 as Al Madrasathul Zahira by two of the most prominent Sri Lankan Muslims of the day, I. L. M. Abdul Aziz and Arasi Marikar Wapchie Marikar, with the active patronage of Ahmed Orabi Pasha of Egypt.

The College which has been in existence for over 125 years is a well established and a renown School in Sri Lanka. Spread over an eleven acre block of land in Maradana in the heart of Colombo, it has over the years been endowed with a number of buildings to house its infrastructure, a competition size Playground, Swimming Pool, Dental Clinic, Hostel, Canteen, Bookshop and Students Counseling Room. Practically all the buildings are well equipped with up to date furniture and fittings.

The college also has one of the oldest mosques in the country in its premises.

“Zahira” means Excellence in Arabic.

Management Structure

The management of the College is now broad based and the Maradana Mosque Committee, the Old Boys Association, the PTA and the Welfare Society are all represented. These bodies have been throughout doing their utmost to ensure the progress and development of Zahira College.

Zahira College Colombo logo

The college logo contains 3 colors, and is an important part of the graphic identity of Zahira College Colombo. Other elements include roses, crescent, star and the words Al-ḥamdu lillāh (Arabic: الحَمْد لله‎‎) or alḥamdulillāh, is an Arabic phrase meaning “Praise be to God”.

You are advised to refer the branding guidelines before using the college logo or the flag. If you have any doubts please contact the branding committee headed by Mr. Mohamed Cassim.


Zahira College - House flags

The students are divided into four houses. The houses are led by House Captains, competing in all major games to win the inter-house games. House colours are awarded to winners. The houses are:

  • Angora : Green color
  • Baghdad : Blue color
  • Cordova : Orange color
  • Istanbul : Maroon color

Contact Details


Zahira College Colombo, Orabi Pasha Street, Maradana, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka

Postal Address

Zahira College Colombo, Post Box No:861, Maradana, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka

Phone : +(94) 11 2695062 Fax : +(94) 11 2687415   |  +(94) 11 2678301

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