History of Memons

Here is a book by Mr. Anwar Motan

History of Memons

By Mr. Anwar Motan

The question of Memons has always been close to my heart, and I have delved deeply into its origin. There has been some controversy as to the veracity of various versions. There have been attempts by many historians to lend unnecessary scholarly elaboration and color to the debut of our modest, magnanimous and devoutly religious society. The research is undoubtedly very thorough and verifiable, so much so, that it becomes complex and awkward for the layman. The reason for the investigation is undoubtedly to establish the fact that the advent of Memons was much earlier than the date propounded. However, this misguided scholarship merely confuses and obscures the whole issue by the introducing the Bohras, the Khojas, varieties of Ismailis, the Ishnasaries, the Shias and the whole issue of the propagation of Islam into the sub-continent of Indo-Pakistan, tracing it to Muhammad Bin Kasim.

The widely accepted version is that this community of Memons might have originated around the year 1422 C.E at a place called Nagar Thatta, then a capital, in the province of southern Sindh, then in Indiaand, what is now Pakistan. It seems such a modest claim, not needing a great deal of ado and glorification. Even if it is sucked from the thumb, as the saying goes, the passage of time has lent it a degree of authenticity, despite its record of somewhat questionable origin. The converts were first called Momins, and with the passage of time, the term changed to Memons. This is revealed in a book entitled Abraazul Haq, by Syed Ameeruddin Nuzat, under the guidance of one Peer Buzrug Ali, published in Bombay in 1873. The story related therein states that some 700 Lohanas families, (inclusive, perhaps of some earlier converts and neo-Muslim converts) comprised of some 6178 individuals, accepted Islam at the hands one Syed Yusufuddin Gilani. Finding themselves banished by their erstwhile Hindu brothers, they were eventually forced to migrate. This version has persisted over decades, to the extent that it was reiterated by one Hussain Kasim Dada at the first ever All India Memon Conference in Rajkot in the year 1931, and is in vogue even to this day.

About Amin H. Karim MD

Graduate of Dow Medical College Class of 1977.
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