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KUL KAMADIA

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The Persian word karsazi means religious dues, which was collected by the authorized persons from each region in India. During the post-Alamut period, the musafir was the tithe-collector in the time of Pir Shams. In Sind, the tithe-collector was called khiyto, in Gujrat the bawa and the vakil in Kutchh. In the time of Pir Taj al-Din, two eminent brothers had embraced Ismailism, viz. Shah Kapur and Shah Nizamuddin. Shah Kapur and his descendant executed the role of collecting religious dues in India and transferred to the Imam in Iran. Later on, the ministry became known as the darga'hi, and the ra'hi was the travelling minister stationed at the dharkhana town. Ra'hi Ram Kunwer died in 1916 and with it the office of the ra'hi was abolished.

In the time of Imam Shah Khalilullah II, the collection and maintaining of the religious dues assigned to the Kamadia of each Jamatkhana. Soon afterwards, an office of the Kul Kamadia was created in each province. The word Kul Kamadia means "the (head) of all the Kamadias." He was the Treasurer of a province, and collected the religious dues from the Kamadias of each district and province and deposited to the main treasury, known as the Itmadi Department in Bombay. The Provincial Councils functioned in the localities like Kathiawar as the province of Kathiawar. The province was broken into sub-divisions. In this set-up and fabric, there was a Kul Kamadia in action, who also appointed his assistants for the divisions under his jurisdiction. The safe in each Jamatkhana was known as Sarcar Sahibi Tijauri, whose one key remained with the Mukhi and other with the Kamadia. Once in a month it was opened in presence of Mukhi, Kamadia and the praganna kamadia (divisional kamadia). The amount was delivered to him, who gave them a receipt. The praganna kamadia was allotted a division, who transferred the funds to the Kul Kamadia of the province or state, who sent the accumulated funds to the Itmadi Department in Bombay on 15th and 27th of each month. This system enforced from October 30, 1913. In sum, the term Kul Kamadia was not a title, but an office of great responsibility.

After migrating to India, Imam Hasan Ali Shah appointed Bandali Parpiya (d. 1881) in Bombay as the Kul Kamadia, who was followed by Ismail Kassimani in 1899. In Junagadh, Wazir Ismaili Gangji had also executed the functions of Kul Kamadia. His son, Kassim Ismail Gangji was the Kul Kamadia of Kutchh and Kathiawar, and his brother Ibrahim Ismail Gangji (d. 1897) also performed the same service.

The famous Kul Kamadia in the time of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah in India were Ibrahim Ismail (d. 1897) and Habib Ibrahim in Junagadh, Haji Kamadia in Tando Muhammad Khan, Rai Juma and Muhammad Ladha in Hyderabad, Sind, Varas Kassim in Junagadh, Itmadi Ibrahim in Junagadh, Itmadi Ghulam Hussain Varas Kassam in Junagadh, Varas Amir Chand Mukhi Pindidas in Punjab, Hussain Ismail in Sind, Juma Jan Muhammad and Varas Ismail Wali in Bombay in 1920, Master Motti Jala in Karachi. In Junagadh, also Varas Habib, the son of Varas Kassim, then his son, Varas Ghulam Hussain Kassim. Chief Wazir Kamadia Kassim Ali H. Javeri was also the Kul Kamadia in Bombay in 1948. Ratansi Ibrahim in Kutchh, Jethabhai and Nasir in Bhavnagar. Kamadia Haji Nazar (d. 1916) was appointed in Kathiawar.

In 1920, Wazir Rahim Basaria had been assigned in Bombay to act as a Kul Kamadia, and gradually, his post became a central office for all Kul Kamadia. It may also be known that there were many centers in India, where the title holders of Itmadi were functioning the role of Kul Kamadia.

When the Ismaili Council established with the Provincial Councils in India, the Estate Officer of the Imam was maintaining the accounts of receipt of the funds in Bombay, and the Imam began to appoint his Estate Officer in different countries, and as a result the office of the Kul Kamadia came to an end in 1950.

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