The Endangered Species - An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri

The Endangered Species - An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri

$24.00

The second edition of Hassan A M Jaffer’s most celebrated book ‘The Endangered Species: An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community’ is available from Shia Books Australia.

Book Title The Endangered Species - An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri
Publisher Mulla Asghar Memorial
Type Books
Date Published Dec 12, 2018

The second edition of Hassan A M Jaffer’s most celebrated book ‘The Endangered Species: An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community’ is available from Shia Books Australia.

Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris are spread over 5 continents and number just under 125,000. Despite being a small percentage 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. The survival journey taken by this small community although traumatic and extremely difficult, resulted in the Khoja’s prospering and establishing themselves in various parts of the world.

The book presents an interesting analysis of the hardships and challenges faced by the Khojas all while maintaining their identities and values. It has been written in an easy to read style with many illustrations making it simple for the youth to understand.

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. 

 

An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community by Hassan A M Jaffer

An excerpt from the Foreword by Dr Hasnain Walji.

This book, subtitled An Account of the Journey of Faith by the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Community, representing a labour of love, over almost a decade, by a remarkable personality nurtured within the Khoja Community, is very opportune. The author, Hassanbhai Jaffer has had the good fortune of experiencing much of this transition first hand, for the past 75 years. As a keen analytical observer, he is well known for his candid and oftentimes rather acidic analysis of the state of the Community and has migrated many of us into discomfort zones. His ‘out of the box’ thinking about community affairs is also reflected in his unique turn of phrase, not found in manuals of creative writing. When I first started reading the manuscript, instinctively, my red pencil began crisscrossing the double spaced pages. But after a chapter or two, I stopped as I realized that my editing of the characteristic style was sterilizing all the flavours and aromas of an author who had lived in the very kitchen of the KSI house of history.

Hassanbhai hails from a family that has had a significant foundational impact on the evolution of the KSI Community. It was none other than his great great grandfather, Dewjibhai Jamal, who was instrumental in connecting the community with Ayatullah Zainul Abedin Mazandarani in Kerbala in the 1800s, a link that remains strong to this day with the excellent relations the Community enjoys with Ayatullah Seestani. Amongst various historical episodes, most significantly, the title ably presents the visage of the relationship of the Khoja Community and the Marja, illustrates a model of relationship between a Marja and the muqallideen. A demonstration of a century old connection with Najaf or Qum of utmost respect and an unquestioning approach, reciprocated by an acknowledgement by the Maraje of the religiosity and compliance of the Khoja Community as well as its efficient organisation. This aspect has been one of the key factors that have resulted in the institutions of the Khoja Community, epitomized by the World Federation, as some of the best organized and well run in the entire Shia World, serving not just the KSI Community but the Shia Community and humanity at large.

 

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