Bombay Gazzatter Story


This story, as is only to be expected, has been embellished in the course of many retellings, and in certain versions involves miracles and strange and wonderful happenings. Consider the version presented in the Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, Volume XI, Part II: Gujarat Population: Musalmans and Parsis, published in 1899:

Maulana Abdul Kadir Muhi-yud-din Gilani, the Saint of Saints, died at Baghdad in A.D. 1165 (H.561). On his deathbed he ordered one of his sons, Taj-ud-din, to settle in India and display to its people the light of Islam. In A.D. 1421 (H.838) Sayad Eusuf-ud-din Kadri, fifth in descent from Taj-ud-din, in a miraculous dream was ordered to set sail for Sindh and guideits people into the right way of Islam. When Sayad Eusuf-ud-din reached Sindh, its capital was Nagar-Thatta and its ruler was a chief of the Samma dynasty (A.D. 1351-1521) with the title of Markab Khan who received Sayad Eusuf-ud-din with honour and treated him as his guest. At this time Ma’nekji, the headof the eighty-four nukhs or divisions of the Lohana community was in favour at the court of Markab Khan. Markab Khan became a follower of the Sayad and Ma’nekji with two of his three sons and 700 Lohana families followedtheir ruler’s example. Of the two sons of Ma’nekji who became converts, Ravji ws called Ahmed and Ravji’s sons, Sundarji and Hansraj, were named Adam and Taj Muhammad. Ontheir conversion, the saint changed the name of the community from Mota and Lohana to Mu’amin or Believers and investing Adam with a dress of honour, appointed him hereditary head of the two new community with his seat at Wara near Thatta..

We have said most Memons believe this story. They do. It is even retold in souvenirs published when Memons have their gatherings and meetings, as for instance in the All India Cutchi Memons Federation, Special Number, published in 1983, where Abdul Qadir Moosa Dadani uses the conversion story as told above to provide what he called “A Glimpse into the Past”.