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Cutchi Memon Markazi Jamat, Karachi, Pakistan

    The province of Sindh has historical importance to us.  The barren land of Sindh was honored by the arrival of great saints and divine personalities such as Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Pir Yousufuddin, Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, etc.  Memons have been devout Muslims, and they bow and have bowed their heads in gratitude to Hazrat Pir Yousufuddin through whom they could find the divine path to Almighty Allah.

         Soon after their mass conversion, the new Muslims came to be known as “Momins”, which, with the passage of time, changed into “Memons”.  Memons, being enterprising, soon started relocating from Sindh to other parts of India, particularly the Western part, and were known as Jetpur Memons, Halary Memons, Bantva Memons, Cutchi Memons depending on the place of their permanent location.

         Like other Memons, Cutchi Memons always looked forward.  Their success and progress could be attributed mainly to the guidance provided by the holy personality, Barhwala Peer Saheb.  They became devout Muslims through his spiritual guidance.  When the Peer Sahib departed this earth, his successor continued to lead Cutchi Memons towards an enterprising life. Confirming themselves within the framework of Islamic ideology, Cutchi Memons relocated themselves to distant Indian cities such as Bombay, Madras, Poona, and Calcutta; some families moved into Sindh to settle in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, and Karachi with a determination to earn their living through business and trade.  Evidently, their determination met with success.

            A look into history will reveal that Memons are among the oldest inhabitants of Sindh.  They have been in this area since the middle of the 19th century as is seen from the following masjids built by them:

  • Gulzar Masjid of Ghas Ganji built in 1856
  • Memon Masjid of Gari Khata built in 1857
  • Cutchi Memon Masjid of Ratantalao built in 1865
  • Cutchi Memon Masjid of Saddar built in 1893

            The Cutchi Memons also built schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc through various charitable trusts, which continue to this day.  The Cutchi Memon settlement in Sindh continued even after the formation of Pakistan. Cutchi Memons have been at the forefront to help build the nation.  In order to have an effective presence in society and to continue welfare activities, Cutchi Memons formed seven separate Jamats in Bhimpura, Gari Khata, Saddar, Chakiwara, Ghas Ganji, Society and Kalri. 

  • The Bhimpura Jamat khana was built in 1889,
  • The Saddar Jamatkhana in 1894,
  • The Ghari Khata Jamatkhana in 1904. 

These Jamatkhanas were helpful in providing accommodation to travelers as well as for celebrating marriages.  To further the cause of and to promote unity, Cutchi Memon elders formed a Jamat named “Gari Khata Cutchi Memon Jamat” in 1930.  This Jamat’s formation was the beginning of a new era of unity and centralization of Cutchi Memons.

After Partition and the formation of Pakistan, Cutchi Memons increased in population.  On November 23, 1975, Cutchi Memon students formed an association.  They named it the Cutchi Memon Students’ Federation.  Its objective was to provide a healthy atmosphere of educational and extracurricular activities. The Federation youth provided young and energetic blood to the ideology of Cutchi Memon brotherhood.  The Federation also helped in the formation of new “Cutchi Memon Central Co-ordination Council”, which emerged as the “CUTCHI MEMON MARKAZI JAMAT“.

            Soon after its establishment in1985, the Council elected a body of seventeen members from the several Jamats to run the affairs.  This Central Jamat comprises participants of six different Jamats, the total number being one hundred and two.  Each Jamat nominated 4 members towards forming a Central Managing Committee of twenty-eight members.

            The Central Jamat’s Working committee has six office bearers (officers) namely, the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Finance Secretary, and Secretary (Information).

            In addition and according to the Central Jamat’s constitution, the Chairman and Secretary of the Cutchi Memon Student Federation will be ex-officio members of the Markazi Jamat.

            The Central Jamat’s constitution defines limits of each of the six components. Accordingly, an adult Cutchi Memon can reside in any of the six defined boundaries, and can obtain membership of the respective Jamat.  As each of the six components has its own resources/earnings from schools, institutions, hospitals, trusts, buildings etc it is supposed to contribute towards the budget of the Markazi Jamat.

The activities of the Markazi Jamat are as follows:

  1. Zakat Fund

            To provide relief and assistance to the needy of the Jamats, all seven components Jamats would collect zakat and deposit it with the Markazi Jamat.  Funds thus collected are to be distributed among the poor with due consultations with all seven components.

  1. Medical Aid Fund

            The Markazi Jamat has spent a substantial amount of money on providing medical aid either directly or through its agencies.

  1. Educational Fund

            The Markazi Jamat has established Seth Ismail H.M. Atlas Memorial Scholarship Fund with an investment of Rs. 100,000/- in government bonds. Profits from this investment are distributed to deserving students in the form of scholarships.

  1. Burial Fund

            The Markazi Jamat formed a sub-committee with the responsibility to look after the burial needs of members and supervise the 10 acres Cutchi Memon Qabrastan (graveyard) at Ghas Mandi. The sub-committee also looks after the masjid school located in the qabrastan.

 The Cutchi Memon Academy has kindly donated a plot of land measuring 1.5 acres at Moach Goth for its use as a kabrastan.

  1. Employment

            The Markazi Jamat helps educated youth in finding suitable employment with the coordination of the Cutchi Memon Student Federation.

  1. Cutchi Memon Markazi Credit Society

            The Markazi Jamat has formed a Fund, through the sale of shares of Rs. 100/- each, to encourage business among members.  This society offers loans on easy terms.


            The Markazi Jamat publishes from 1986 a bi-monthly magazine, ‘NAYAPO” offering information regarding all Jamat activities including births, marriages, and deaths, and articles of interest.

  1. Residential Facilities

            In order to promote best residential facilities, the Markazi Jamat has endeavored, in coordination with are Jamats, either to create Trusts or to reconstruct existing Trusts. About 150 families are thus sheltered.  The contributions of the Saddar and Gari Khata Jamats are commendable.

  1. Coordination and cooperation

            Generally, the area Jamat itself solves members’ disputes but sometimes the Markazi Jamat also provide amicable resolution of disputes.


Traditions and compulsions must be within the reach of the common man.  Simplicity is advocated and encouraged in all spheres of life, particularly marriage celebrations.

            The Markazi Jamat encourages that a marriage be solemnized (nikaah) in a masjid. 

            The Markazi Jamat wishes to place the following on record:

  1. Bhimpura Jamatkhana was renovated at the cost of Rs. 400,000/-.
  2. Cutchi Memon Diagnostic Center was established in 1988 and is being looked after by the Cutchi Memon Friends Society.
  3. Sabwani Masjid was built in 1912.
  4. Cutchi Memon Jamatkhana Chakiwara was built in 1958 and later renovated at a considerable cost.
  5. Khateeja Bai Hall was built atop the Cutchi Memon Jamatkhana Kalri on 1982.
  6. The Cutchi Memon Jamat of Ghas Ganji rebuilt the Gulzar Masjid in 1985, and also established the Haji Ramjoo Adam Parwani Dispensary.
  7. The Cutchi Memon Jamat of Gari Khata established a multipurpose Khata Bai Technical Institute in 1984.
  8. The Cutchi Memon Jamat Saddar constructed five buildings out of seventeen to offer low-cost residences to Cutchi Memons.  The Saddar Jamat also improved facilities for worshippers at the Cutchi Memon Masjid Saddar, Cutchi Memon Masjid Ratan Talao and the Aisha Bai Dossul Madrasa Taleemul Quran.  The Saddar Jamat also bears expenses from its own trusts for scholarships to students, monthly pensions to widows, and distribution of new garments and shoes to orphans and destitute on the occasion of Eids.  The Jamat also sells sewing machines, TV sets, and washing machines in easy installments.
  9. A Cutchi Memon directory was published in 1992.

 In conclusion, we very proudly bow our heads before Allah for the success and achievements that He has accorded our community members, and we pray that unity, sincerity, and courage continue to exist among all Cutchi Memons forever.

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