Varas Sadruddin Hashwani traces his descent from Mukhi Hashu Tharuani (1820-1915) of Lassi Jamatkhana, Karachi. It must be known that Mukhi Hashu married twice and had four sons, viz. Baledina, Jaffer, Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad and two daughters, Hira and Bhanari from his first wife, called Ha'ansi. His other children from his second wife, called Thari were Abdullah, Kassim, Bana, Hussain, Nazar Ali, Ali Muhammad and Ismail; and four daughters, viz. Sharafi, Jena, Chhati and Marium. The community services have always been a quintessential component of the family of Mukhi Hashu.
Varas Karim Ismail Mansawala, the first title holder of Varas among the gupti Ismailis of North Gujrat, was born in 1867 in Mansa, Gujrat and came with his family to Bombay at the age of 6 years in 1873.
He witnessed last 14 years of the Imamate of Imam Hasan Ali Shah, and blessed with the dastboshi. When Imam Hasan Ali Shah passed away, in 1881 and was buried in Hasanabad, he joined with the labourers in the construction of the mausoleum. Varas Karim Ismail Mansawala also present during the ascension of Imam Aga Ali Shah and took oath of allegiance.
Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan (d. 1864), the ruler of Hunza State in the northern area of Pakistan, was succeeded by his son, Mir Muhammad Ghazan Khan I, whose successor Mir Safdar Ali Khan had taken refuge in Shagnan during the British invasion in 1891. The British commissioned his half-brother, Mir Muhammad Nazim Khan as the ruler of Hunza. Mir Muhammad Ghazan Khan II and then Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan followed him.
Karim Kassim was the younger brother of Varas Bandali Kassim (1875-1956). He was born in 1878 in Karachi, where he acquired his formal education from Sind Madresa-tul-Islam School upto fourth class. He held a strong command in English, Gujrati and Sindhi languages. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan was his classmate.
Missionary Muhammad Murad Ali Juma, known as Bapu, a term of respect for an elderly man; was born in Bombay in 1878. His mother expired when he was hardly a year old. His father did not marry a second time for the sake of his son.
Sayed Imam Shah (d. 1520) is said to have launched a brisk mission in Gujrat. He converted a certain Khoja Jiva in Khambat, Gujrat. Khoja Jiva was well rooted in Ismailism and he himself converted large number of Kanabi caste of the Hindus, notably Motilal, Daya Ram Nathu, etc. The descendant of Motilal migrated to Surat during the time of Imam Nizar II (1585-1628), who deputed Sayed Abdul Nabi in India, whose tomb is in Kankara Khadi, near Surat. He was followed by the vakils, Hasan Pir (1652-1715), Sayed Ghulam Ali Shah (d. 1792), etc.,
His forefathers hailed from Lakhpat, Kutchh, and hence they migrated towards Gwadar. His father Bhagat Remu Mawji was a trader of cotton, wool, fish, rice and ghee, and also dealt the business of shark fins and fish maws with the Chinese merchants. Remu Mawji sprang from a family well known for their piety. He visited Bombay several times. He was the Kamadia of Gwadar Jamatkhana since 1892. He and Merali, the father of Alijah Datoo Meru laboured in the construction of the Jamatkhana.
Saboo, the great grandfather of Varas Kassim Ali lived in Jerruk, Sind. His grandfather, Karmali and his family known as the Sabooani family migrated to Karachi and settled in the location of Kharadhar. The father of Varas Kassim Ali was Muhammad Jaffer (1856-1946), served as a volunteer, and supplied the vegetables and fruits daily in the Honeymoon Lodge for Imam's family. In 1920, he generously contributed funds in the building of the premises of the Baitul Khiyal in Kharadhar Jamatkhana.
Count Mulji Nazar Ali was born most probably in 1901 in Moshi, Kenya. Nothing is known of his early life. He was however one of the generous, humane and eminent persons in Kenya. His outstanding services in Moshi seem to have begun with the construction of a new Jamatkhana in 1925, which he built with his own expenses of 40,000/- shillings. During his visit in Moshi on February 28, 1926, the Imam graced him with best loving blessings and said, 'You have built a beautiful Jamatkhana, and I will reward you a bungalow better than it in hereafter.
In 1852, Haji Paroo and Jaffer Paroo, two brothers emigrated from Bhuj, Kutchh and settled in Zanzibar. The son of Jaffer Paroo was Hasham Paroo, whose son was Rajab Ali. The son of Rajab Ali was Count Kassim Ali R. Paroo.
Mustapha Amir Ghaleb was born in 1923 in Salamia, Syria. He came from a family well known for their piety in Syria. The leadership of the Ismailis in Syria was hereditary in the family of Amir Ismail bin Muhammad (d. 1896), the first estate agent of the Imam, whose grandson was the uncle of Mustapha Ghaleb.
He got educated in Roman Catholic College and Lloyd Franans College at Beirut and had an aptitude for journalism. He acquired considerable proficiency and obtained a diploma in journalism from Egyptian College of Journalists in 1952.
Khuda Baksh Talib's forefathers came from Talhar, Sind who migrated to Lasbela via Karachi, then Ormada and made Gwadar finally as their home. His grandfather Karami had four sons, namely Talib, Pir Baksh, Fazal and Datoo. Talib's main source of income was in the dealing of dried fish. He had five sons, Nasir, Ghulam Hussain, Fakir Mohammad, Abdul Hussain and Khuda Baksh. Khairibai, the mother of Khuda Baksh was a renowned lady missionary.
The Ismailis of Sheikh Raj, a village between Bela and Uthal in Baluchistan migrated towards Karachi in 1852. The Ismaili caravan travelled on camels mostly comprised of the famous families of Shalu and Hashu. The sons of Shalu were Hood, Kassim, Khatau, Vali, etc. The name Shalu is the corrupt form of Saleh, who professed the business of wool and goat-hairs and his flourishing business was continued by his elder son, Hood or Hoodbhoy.
Ladakbhai Haji came from the Haji Bhalu family, and was born in Kera, Kutchh in 1827. He came to Bombay with his father due to a terrible famine in Kutchh at the age of 6 years in 1833. His father was a wood-cutter. In 1835, his father returned to Kutchh, where he died in the beginning of 1836.
Soon after the death of his father, Ladakbhai Haji led a destitute life. He came to Bombay at the age of nine years. He lived and worked with his maternal uncle for 12 years free of charge. In 1840, he returned to his native land and got married.
He was born most probably in 1896. Nothing is known about his early life, except that he was known as Pir Muhammad Virji Hajiani in the prime of life. His appearance in the arena of the community services began in 1910, when he dwelt in Kandi Mola, Bombay, and found there not a single religious school. Master Ghulam Hussain Muhammad came forward and prepared a scheme for imparting religious education to the wandering children. But his scheme could not be materialized. It was Pir Muhammad V. Madhani to shake hand with this noble cause and started the school.
Abdullah Jaffer's grandfather belonged to Lakhpat, Kutchh and migrated to Bombay in search of livelihood. His father Jaffer was an agent of properties and estates in Bombay, and was a devoted social worker of the Khoja Panjibhai Club. He was better known as Jaffer Dalal, and Abdullah was his elder son.
Wazir Rahim Basaria traced his lineage from Basaria I, who was a devoted person in Bhuj, Kutchh. The son of Basaria I was Fadhu, who had travelled on foot to see Imam Khalilullah in Iran, where he died. Fadhu left behind three sons, Ghulam Ali, Basaria II and Jaffer. Basaria II (1848-1918) was the third Estate Agent of the Imam for Karachi and Sind and was invested the title of Varas. He married to Rani (d. 1927) in 1883, who gave a birth of a son, Rahim.
He was born in 1842 in the village of Kapaya, Kutchh. His name was Lalji and his father Devraj came to Bombay when he was hardly few months old. The loss of his mother in 1844 forced his father to hire a woman to nurse the 2 year-old child.
Mukhi Laljibhai Devraj learnt Gujrati upto grade four, and acquired little knowledge of English. He was betrothed to Lailabai in 1860. Two years after his marriage, his father Lalji died in 1862.
Among the predecessors of Wazir A.C. Rahimtullah, Piru Dewani deserves special attention. He was a devout Ismaili in Kutchh in the period of Imam Abul Hasan Ali (1730-1792). His son was Fadhu who followed the footprint of his father. His son Mukhi Rai Rahimtullah was a famous social worker in Kutchh in the time of Imam Shah Khalilullah II and Imam Hasan Ali Shah. In 1825, he immigrated to Muscat when plague epidemics broke out fiercely in Kutchh followed by a severe famine. He started his small business in Muscat. Captain W.F.W.
He was born and raised in Vaghnagar, Kathiawar in 1883. He was a persuasive religious since childhood. His father, Ghulam Hussain Padamsi was once a famous hostage of Imam Hasan Ali Shah, who died on September 15, 1927.