ZANZIBAR JAMAATKHANA

 

<<Refer to the Khoja Ismaili website.>> 

Rahim, thanks for the website. My particular interest was on the information provided about the Jamat Khanas(JK) in Zanzibar in those yester years. I was aware of the Sateni and Pemba JKs but not the Chwaka and Bumbwini ones. The write up there states that the Darkhana at kipond/Hurumzi was built in 1905 which i'm keen to verify. To the best of my knowledge the JK in question was perhaps renovated and refurbished in the year 1905. The initial structure must have already existed on the same site long before 1905. On the other hand if this JK was built in 1905 then there must have been a JK or JKs already existing at other locations in the stone town(probably the 'Musafirkhana' at 'Barza Tharia' beside 'Topiwala' and the one at Malindi were earlier JKs). 

By the way I'm a Khoja Ithnashri and writing in my personal capacity. Upon doing a bit of research on Zanzibar Khojas an interesting fact remains that the Khoja Ithnashri mosque was built by Khoja Ismaili converts in 1881. This is a known historical fact. The assumption thus is that JKs existed prior to 1881 or else where would a Khoja perform his daily ritual? Interestingly the Khoja Ismaili Musafirkhana opposite Amir Gonziís house on Malindi was established by Khoja Esmail Ramji in December, 1892 as indicated by the plaque inscribed there. If a Musafirkhana could exist as far back as 1892 then a jk must have been there much earlier. 

Therefore to relate the year 1905 with the establishment of the first ever JK in Africa would be misleading. Chronologically one can establish that Khoja settlement and Khoja JK existed prior to the year 1881. The point of fact also is that in the year 1905 the said JK was inaugurated by H.H.Sultan Mohamed Shah. 

To many of us keen on history it is worthwhile finding out when the original JK was built in Zanzibar and its whereabouts. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                


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