The Endangered Species - An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community – 2nd Edition


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Mulla Asghar Memorial Library & Islamic Resource Centre

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The Endangered Species - An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community – 2nd Edition

Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris, (KSI) are spread over five continents and number just under 125,000. Despite being a miniscule percentage of the 200 million Shia Ithna-Asheris worldwide, their perceived influence and fame belies their numbers- hence the title, The Endangered Species. The author, Hassan A M Jaffer, deftly delves into a narrative based on the characteristic migratory patterns of the Khojas, hailing from Kutch and Kathiawad, who ventured towards the then unknown continent of Africa during the 19th century and beyond to the West in the past 4 decades.

This book, subtitled An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community, represents a labour of love over almost a decade by a remarkable personality nurtured within the Khoja Community. Hassan Jaffer has had the good fortune of experiencing much of this transition first hand, for the past 75 years. He offers answers to some burning questions, while weaving a unique tapestry of personalities, events and ideas that has shaped the KSI community.

The book illustrates how, upon their arrival in Africa, beginning the late 19th Century, the Khojas coped with the daunting prospects on a vast unexplored tract of land within the milieu of African and Arab cultures. Through the prism of real life Khoja experiences, the book highlights the challenges of these pioneers who were subjected to German, British, French Italian, Belgian and Portuguese colonial rules, and yet against all odds managed to emerge with their identities virtually intact. The book also illustrates how in the wake of the partition of the sub-continent, (led by a Khoja – Mohamed Ali Jinnah) how the Indian and Pakistani Khojas developed under different influences and cultures.

All in all this is an interesting analysis of five generations and five continents later, what factors contributed to help retain its identity and optimized its social capital. Equally importantly, the book addresses the dispersal of the community and what future lies ahead for it.

Publisher: Mulla Asghar Memorial Library & Islamic

Author: Hassan Ali. M.  Jaffer

Pages: 560

ISBN: 978-1-77136-027-2

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We are a community that was established in Hammersmith, London about 40 years ago, to cater for the religious and social needs. Since those early days, we have grown to a nearly 5000 member community now based in Stanmore, providing religious, social and educational needs of the community. Eimaan is belief with the heart, acknowledgement with the tongue and action with the limbs. Imam Ali (as)

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