The Revered Noble Personality of Africa, known as Kamadia Ismail Kassimani was born in Zanzibar in 1853. He was a talented and active since childhood, and he soon became a leading merchant. In 1883, he came to Bombay on a business trip. His kind manner, intelligence and his personality made him an important individual both within the community and outside the Ismaili community in Bombay.
Upon the death of Kamadia Muhammad Choth in Hasanabad, Bombay on October 2, 1892, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah appointed Ismail Kassimani as the Kamadia for Hasanabad Jamatkhana with Mukhi Ladakbhai Haji.
Muhammad bin Zain al-Abidin bin Karbalai Daud Khorasani, was also known as Fidai Khorasani and Haji Akhund in Iran. He was born in 1850 in Dizbad, a village located in the mountains between Mashhad and Nishapur. He traced his descent from Khaki Khorasani (d. 1646), the famous Ismaili poet. Fidai Khorasani took his formal education in Dizbad and studied in Bakiriya Madrasa in Mashhad. He was knowledgeable in religion since childhood and explored rare historical documents on Ismailism.
Mukhi Ramzan Ismail (d. 1910) was a prominent leader. Imam Aga Ali Shah appointed him the Mukhi with Kamadia Hashim for the Kharadhar Jamatkhana, Karachi in 1882. Mukhi Ramzan was also an elected member of Karachi Municipality in 1854. He served the ailing persons in the community with his means and materials during the outbreak of plague in 1897. Mukhi Ramzan Ismail had eight sons, and the best known among them were Mukhi Rehmatullah, Mukhi Teja, Sabzali, Mukhi Nazar Ali or Mukhi Nanda, Ghulam Hussain or Gulu and Dr. Datoo.
Dhamu Chunara also known as Dharamsi Panjuani was an eminent trader in Bhuj, Kutchh. He visited Iran with his wife Mulibai to behold Imam Shah Khalilullah in Yazd in the beginning of 1817. The Imam granted him a sealed letter of patent in Khojki script and also bestowed upon him the title of Dharas. He had two sons, Sumar and Virji. The son of Virji was Rahimtullah, whose son was Ghulam Hussain. The son of Sumar was Premji, whose son was Jan Muhammad, the father of Ali Muhammad.
Lakhpat, an oldest port of Kutchh, lying near the Indus river was a native soil of his family tree. The population dropped from 15000 to 2500 persons in 1851 due to severe famine, and the area became almost desolated. His grandfather, Thavar walked down to Badin, Sind with some Ismaili families. Later on, Thavar is reported to have gone to Muscat, located on the Gulf of Oman coast and isolated by a hill range. Thavar is believed to have worked with Baledina Asani (1802-1896), the Estate Agent of Imam Hasan Ali Shah in Muscat. He made Gwadar as his next home, where he died.
Ramzan Ali (d. 1886), son of Sabzali Hansraj, a dedicated social worker and businessman in Mundra, Kutchh, had six children: three sons: Mahomed Jaffer (1874-1918), Rahim (1880-1929) and Pir Sabzali (1884-1938); and three daughters: Fatimabai, Jainabai and Sonbai.
Soon after the Fatimid Khilafat in 1171, Saladin (d. 1193), the Ayyubid ruler massacred the Nizari Ismailis in and around Egypt. Most of the Ismailis migrated to Syria and settled in the surroundings of Khwabi and Kadmos. With them came the grandfathers of Amir Ismail bin Muhammad, who made Tanitah, a village near Kadmos as their abode.
Virji Kamadia, known as Vira Bhagat was Mukhi of the Junagadh Panjibhai Club. His family's profession was to cut the stones to be sold in the market. He sustained a close relationship with Wazir Ismail Gangji (1788-1883), from whom he acquired religious knowledge, and he gradually became a missionary. Jamal Megji, the son of Virji Kamadia was a brilliant orator. He delivered his first waez in Junagadh and won the hearts of the jamat, including Varas Ismaili Gangji, who said, 'Your status will become too high.'
Varas Amir Chand (1837-1911) sprang from a noble family of gupti Ismailis in Punjab. He was employed in a governmental department in Amritsar and retired in 1880. He inherited land from his forefathers, and became one of the most famous landlords in Punjab. In 1882, Imam Aga Ali Shah appointed him Kul Kamadia for Punjab, Frontiers and few regions near Afghanistan.
He was known as Brigadier General Amir Ass'ad Shah Khalili, and was born in 1915. He took up a military career in Iran and became an officer in army of His Imperial Majesty the Shahanshah of Iran. He rose to his rank very soon and served as Adjutant in the Defence Ministry. As his services were required in the Police Force, he was seconded to the Police of the State and retired as a Chief Police. He had many medals and decorations to his credit.
Piredina was born in Hyderabad, Sind. He migrated near Muscat with his family. His son Ahmed Nizari was born in 1886 and became known as Ahmed Nizari or Nizari Piredina.
Vali, the grandfather of Varas Bandali Kassim was originally from Bhuj, Kutchh. He took up his abode at Karachi with his eight years old son, Kassim and resided in Kharadhar, Karachi. Kassim joined his father's firm, dealing in leather and made steady progress. Kassim had five sons, Merali, Bandali, Muhammad, Rashid and Karim.
He was born in 1859 it Porebandar and came to Bombay at the age of 15 years. He worked in a furniture store and gained sufficient experience to become one of the leading furniture merchants. He maintained the quality and standards of his furniture so well that he received large orders several times from the Indian rulers. The Amir of Afghanistan once ordered for new furniture on February 1907, for the decoration of his newly built palace in Kabul. His firm was known as M/S Ahmed Devji Bros.
Aloobhai, the grandfather of Bandali Muhammad Ladha was a dedicated servant of the Imam in Kutchh. He visited Iran to see Imam Hasan Ali Shah. His son Muhammad Ladha migrated to Karachi with his family, and became the third Mukhi of Garden Jamatkhana in Karachi in 1905. In those days, the Ismailis from Kutchh flocked in Karachi, making the population of Garden area over 1500. The existing premises of the Jamatkhana became too small to accommodate the Ismailis; therefore, Mukhi Muhammad Ladha donated a piece of plot, adjoining the Jamatkhana, where a new Jamatkhana was built.
Mukhi Alarakhia Sumar was originally of Mulla Katiar, Sind, but his family came to settle in Bombay. He was an eminent merchant of cloth and sugar. He became Mukhi of the Bombay Jamatkhana soon after the death of Mukhi Alibhai Padamsi in 1848.
The Ismailis possessed a graveyard near Dongri, Bombay since 1790, measuring 12706 sq. yards. He and Kamadia Khaki Padamsi extended the site by purchasing an adjoining plot of 6978 sq. yards from Nilaji Lakshamji for Rs. 11500/- in September 1856.
Basaria I, the ancestor of the later Basaria family was a devoted person in Bhuj, Kutchh. His son was Fadhu, who travelled on foot to behold Imam Shah Khalilullah in Iran, where Fadhu died. Fadhu had three sons, Ghulam Ali, Basaria II and Jaffer. The most shinning figure among them was Basaria II, known as Basaria Fadhu.
Ali Muhammad Jessa Bhaloo was born on July 21, 1917 in Zanzibar, where he got his early education. Later on, he proceeded to London for a higher education. He also qualified as F.I.C. (Fellow of the Institute of Commerce) and F.R.Econ. S. (Fellow of the Royal Economic Society) in England.
He formed his business soon after he terminated his education, which flourished financially. He was a leading dealer of radio spare parts and some electronic items. He was also the manufacturer's representative and insurance property, etc.
Kassim Mitha Budhwani's father Mithabhai Ratansi Budhwani was born in Dhoraji, India in 1844. He was the Kamadia of Dhoraji Jamatkhana till his last breath. Kamadia Mithabhai, who was also lovingly called as Ad or Bata, was the President of the Dhoraji Local Council and the Khoja Panjibhai Club. He was a devoted and dedicated social worker. Truth, love and honesty all the times sprouted in his speech. His oft-spoken words were, 'One who works is a Kamadia.' He prepared tea at daily at midnight in the Jamatkhana. He always felt proud when the known or unknown persons visited his house.
Rahmatullah Mulji Macklai was born in Kera, Kutchh in 1843, but came to Bombay for business purposes. He was a self-made man, whose business of gold and silver flourished due to his efforts. He was the first merchant to introduce the gold bars, bearing the seal of the royal mint to save the people from buying imitation gold. His services in the religious field were incredible. In 1913, he retired and consigned his business to his sons. He died in 1928 at Versova at the ripe age of 85 years and was buried in Bombay.