Presentation on theme: "HISTORY OF THE KHOJA SHIA ITHNA ASHERI COMMUNITY"— Presentation transcript:
1HISTORY OF THE KHOJA SHIA ITHNA ASHERI COMMUNITY A series of talks on the origins, yearning of faith, current state and future challenges of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Community.Part 1 of 2By:Shan E Abbas Hassam
2BackgroundWhy does it help to understand our Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Community?What sacrifices were made for us to get to where we are today?Can we survive as a Khoja Community?What are our challenges today?What could we do to help face some of these challenges?
3Khoja Population World Population: 6.9 billion Muslim Population: 1.6 billionShia Population (lowest figure): 200 millionKhoja Population (approx): 120,000% of Shia Community = 0.06%.
4Khoja Population (A Snapshot) Pakistan: 40,000 (Karachi and Sindh)India: 21,000 (Kathiawar, Gujarat, Cutch and Mumbai)Africa: 14,000 (Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Mozambique, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe).Indian Ocean Islands: 6,500 (Madagascar, Re-Union, Mauritius)United Kingdom: 10,000Canada: 8,000USA: 3,000Middle East: 2,000 (UAE, Iran, Oman)Rest of Europe: 1,000Australia: 1,000Yemen North and South: 700Misc:
5Khoja Origins Islam came to India in 12th Century. Main Religions: Hindu, Buddhism and later Islam.Indian Class System:Brahmins (Priest Class)Kshatriya (Ruling Class or Warriors)Vaisya (Commoners / Business Class)Sudra (Lower Class – workers).Lohanas – from Vaisya.
6Khoja Origins Armenia – co-incidence or some truth? Cutch, Kathiawar and SindhLanguages: Cuthci, Gujarati and Sindhi (Kojiki).Khojas now are either:Ismaili (follow Agha Khan – approx. 270,000)Sunni (approx. 20,000)Shia Ithna Asheri (approx. 120,000)History in brief:HindusSatpanthNizari IsmailiShia Ithna Asheri JafferiFuture: could be any religion! Once a Khoja always a Khoja!
7Initial Khoja FaithVarious Pir came to India and taught faith to the masses.The most famous – Pir SadruddinDescendent of Imam Jaffer AS Sadiq (AS)14th Century Ismaili Da’I (teacher)Founded Khoja Ismaili SectSatpanth (Blend of Hinduism with Islam).Developed Khojki.Named his followed KhwajaBudh Avatar -9th Incarnation of Vishnu.Das Avatar (most famous book) – 10 Re-incarnations of Vishnu
8Signs of Discord in the Khoja Community…. 18th Century – beliefs more inclined to Nizari Ismaili Faith.1829 – 1st lot expelled.1835 – 1st lot re-admitted.1842 – Aghan Khan 1 – arrives from Iran.1848 – 2nd lot expelled.1848 – ‘Bhar Bhayya’ form their Jamatkhana.
9Reasons for Discord Confused practices in Jamat Khana. Dispute over Dasond (10%)All community assets transferred to Ismaili ImamCourt ruling in favour of Agha Khan.
10Bhar BhayyaFirst Khojas who left the Ismaili faith joined the Ahlul Sunnah FaithKnown as the Bar BhayyaTill today known as the Bar Bhayya Khoja Sunni CommunitySmall number worldwide.
11Affinity Towards Karbala Dewji Jamal and others on way to Hajj.Re-arrange to Karbala after hearing 70 times more Thawab to do Ziyarat.Arrange Meeting with Ayatullah MazandaraniTableegh under Mulla Qadir Hussain of Madras.Persuade Mulla to travel to Bombay or Zanzibar.Note: Only due to Marjae did this change occur. Double affinity towards Karbala.
12Mulla Qader Hussain 1873 - 1905 Khoja owe their faith to this man. Persuaded to go back to Bombay by Ayatullah MazandaraniMarginalised and isolated.Shia Ithna Asheri practices Taqqiya.Threats – bribe – poison – assasniation.Mulla ejected from his house and attendance decline.Major concern: Burial / Social / Economic Boycott.
13Pressure on the Ithna Asheris Social BoycottEconomic BoycottExcommunication from Khoja JamaatPublic Announcement – Humiliation.Refusal to bury in Khoja QabrasatanPhysical threats – MurdersOpposition to Build Mosque – India + Zanzibar.
14Mulla Qader Hussain’s Students (Left): Haji Gulamali Haji Ismail ( )(Right): Dewji Jamal ( )
15Burial Ground Saga Disgrace not to be buried in Khoja Cemetery 1876 Khalfan Rattansi daughter died – refusal to bury her.Khalfan Rattansi and Dewji Jamal offered transport to bury in Karbala.Mulla Obtains consent to bury in Irani Qabrastan.
16Bombay, Zanzibar and Karachi Three main places where the early Khoja Population settled.Zanzibar – lot of trading with India. Some pioneers settled there such as Dewji Jamal.Karachi – sizeable Shia Ithna Asheri Population mixed around a larger Shia Ithna Asheir Populaiton.Karachi - Main preacher was Lalan Alidina. He had 4 sons and all 4 followed the footsteops of their father.
17Assassinations1876 – Karachi – Ithna Asheri Lalan Alidina attacked and in 1878 shot and killed. Khojas shocked/gripped with fear.1877 – Bombay – Hassan Mukhi (Ismaili Killed)1878 – Killi Kathau – convicted / hanged.1901 – Hirki Alarakhia and Lalji Sajan killed.1901 – Abdulla Lalji and Alibhai Nanaji injured.Tension – huge!
18AssassinationsLalji Sajan Hirji Alarakhia Abdulla Lalji Kassam Alibhai Lalji Miyani
19Lalji Alidina (Photo of son) Regrettably photograph of Lalan Alidina is not available. Body later transferred to Karbala for permanent burial.Reproduced here is the photograph of his son Nurmohamed Lalan, who is believed to have the likeness of his father Lalan Alidina.Lalan Alidina had four sons and all of them followed the footsteps of their father in serving the community and enthusiastically promoting tabligh work.
20Agha Khan Prediction 13th July 1899 Late Aghan Kan III (Sir Sultan Mohammed Shah) issued Farman Issue in Zanzibar predicted:Within ten, twenty or thirty years the Ithna Asheri will be worn out. After 100 years the Ithna Asheri religion will not exist at all. It will not exist in Iran either because the religion’s base is not on Aql. Our religion is based on Aql.
21Khoja Early Migration Phase 1: Within Cutch, Gujarat, Sindh Phase 2: (1750) Bombay to KarachiPhase 3: ( ) – Iran Coast, Yemen, Oman, Burma.Phase 4: (1820 – 1860) – ZanzibarPhase 5: (1860) – Mozambique, MadagascarPhase 6: (1860) – East Africa
22Zanzibar (Early Days) 1820 – 450 Khojas sending ‘Dasond’ 1838 – Khoja Jamatkhana Built1840 – Sultan shifts from Muscat to Zanzibar invites Indians.1844 – Matam Bahraini
23Early Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Mosques Nossibe – 1865.Kuwwatul IslamBagamoyo – 1889Karachi – 1892MarubeHujjatulBombay Mosque – 1901Majunga – 1906Then spread across Cutch, Kathiawar, Sindh, East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.
24Mumbai MosqueExternal View of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Mosque – Palagali 1901Internal View of the Mosque from the Sahan
25Part 1 Bibliography ‘The Endangered Species’ by Hassan M Jaffer Special thanks to Hassan M Jaffer for leading this area, his advise and continual support.‘The Agha Khans’ by Mihir BoseKhoja Vrtant: 1892History of the Khojas: 1905Khoja Kaum ni Tarikh: 1912 (Adelji Dhanji Kaba)John Hollister and Farhad Daftary