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MUKHI AND KAMADIA

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

Every mosque has a mutawalli (guardian), who is charged with its management and internal affairs. He has the right to appoint the man who leads the prayers. In the Ismaili tariqah, the guardian of each Jamatkhana is called mukhi, a word derived from mukhiya means foremost. Since the Imam physically is not present all the times in the Jamatkhana, the Mukhi acts tangible symbol of the Imam's authority. In the big jamat, the Mukhi was assisted by a caretaker called tha'nak. Later, the office of kamadia (from kamdar means accountant) was created. The Mukhi and Kamadia are the traditional titles going back to the pre-Aga Khan period when they enjoyed considerable local power. Their responsibilities include officiating over the daily rituals in the Jamatkhana, but they are primarily lay officials. Since the wholesale reorganizations undertaken by the Imams, the local committees are now tied into an elaborately hierarchical administrative structure of boards and councils.

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