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Cutchi Memon Jamat, Bhuj, Cutch, Gujarat, India

Al hamdo lillah, all of us are well conversant, directly or indirectly, with regard to the existence of Cutchi Memon Jamat, Bhuj.  The report below will shed light on our activities and their betterment.

It is a pleasure to note that Cutchi Memon brethren visiting Cutchi Memons for their social activities and using our Jamatkhana are pleased with and appreciative of our services and facilities.

Bhuj has 180 Cutchi Memon families engaged in business activities such as sale of grain seeds, cloth, cutlery, vegetables, and wholesale of general merchandise, pan galla and bidi shops, etc.

Our Jamat’s revenue comes from rental income of shops, laagaa aavak, and donations.  We are proud that a major portion of our income is expended for the benefit of our brethren.  Our notable activities are:

Educational: Our Jamat provides tuition fees to college students, tuition fees and textbooks to higher secondary students and textbooks to primary education students.  Our Jamat also has sewing classes (sewing and embroidery work) without any charge at our Jamatkhana. This naturally helps needy ladies, as they then become providers of financial support to their families.

Religious: Our Jamat conducts a Madrassa for our children’s Deeni Taalim. Regular sharifs of Baarvi and Agyarvi are arranged for all family members. This cultivates an unbelievably good harmony for all.

Our Jamat also invites a Hafiz Saheb to conduct Taraavih prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.  Our Jamat bears the expenses for this invitation.  This is in fond memory of Late Sheth Haji Karim Mohmed Suleman, a well-known philanthropist of our community.  On his death anniversary, our Jamat arranges Dini Takrir for the benefit of all Jamat members.

A dargah just 8 kilometers from Bhuj is that of Trambauwala Hajipur Saheb.  To pay our respects and homage, it is whitewashed, painted, perfumed, and garlanded each year.  An urs is also held.  Food is served to needy persons.

Financial Assistance: Every month an amount of Rs. 75 each is given to 5 widows, and Rs. 60 each to physically handicapped persons. An amount of Rs. 2000 is loaned to our brethren free of interest for business purposes.  This amount it so be repaid is 30 equal installments.

A major portion of our Jamat’s income is spent in the best interests of our brethren.  Cutchi Memons from all over India and abroad visit Bhuj and are witness to our exemplary services.

Arrangements can be made at our Jamatkhana’s two halls to hold engagement ceremony as well as marriage events.  We charge only a token amount, i.e. it is almost free of charge.  

For ziyarat purpose, our Jamatkhana is allowed to be used without any charge.

Majlis Fund & Lawaris Fund:

Our Jamat has a Majlis Fund.   A history of more than 100 years is behind this Majlis fund.  Sabil is erected, and Majlis is held in holy month/s.  Our brethren contribute towards this.  From the funds collected, we also arrange Majlis for ladies in the holy month of Ramadan at the Jamatkhana at convenient times.

Lawaris Fund:  Our Jamat arranges for the last rites of any destitute Muslim. All charges for kafan and dafan are borne by our Jamat.  In 1974, a committee was formed on the initiative and under the Presidentship of Munshi Shahbuddin Bana for collecting donations in a closed box for the Lawaris Fund.

Our Jamat has very close relations with the All India Cutchi Memon Federation since its inception.  Two delegates from our Jamat are on the Federation’s Managing Committee.  One more member is to be co-opted.  Our Jamat is proud of this as well as the fact that the Federation has an office in Bhuj.  The Federation has conducted meetings at our Jamatkhana.

Our Jamat exists for our brethren, and we pray to Almighty Allah to bless us to perform better tasks and do more.

The above report, published in the 1993 Souvenir of the All India Cutchi Memon Federation’s World Conference, was issued by the President of the Cutchi Memon Jamat of Bhuj, Mr. Abdul Shakoor Aboobakar Zariwala.  The said Souvenir also contained names of the office bearers of the Cutchi Memon Jamats of Bhuj, Bharapur and Mandvi.  Hopefully, information in the above Report has remained the same or enhanced by more activities; I am attempting to obtain more information from Abdul Kaderbhai Munshi, an active and eminent Cutchi Memon of Bhuj, who I had the pleasure of meeting in Bhuj in February 2009 at his Muslim Educational and Medical Relief Association’s Late Abdul Sattar Wahedna High School.  Mr. Munshi is the President of the Association
- Arif G. Kadwani, May 2009

Information courtesy: Arif G. Kadwani, Cutchi Memon Jamat of North America

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