KONKANI MUSLIMS: AN INTRODUCTION

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KONKANI MUSLIMS: AN INTRODUCTION
By OMAR KHALIDI

Introduction

Muslims of the Konkan and Malabar coasts represent the oldest Islamic
settlements in India. The most obvious characteristic of these Muslims
is the common origin as maritime mercantile communities. In addition
to their status as the vanguards of Islam in India, they are
especially interesting to students of Islam in South Asia, because
they evolved in areas of continuing upper caste Hindu political and
social dominance. Muslims first arrived in the Konkan in 699,
according to Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, less than 70 years after the
death of Prophet Muhammad in circa 632. In other words some Muslims
were already present in India a decade before the invasion of Sindh by
Muhammad ibn Qasim in 711. Thus Konkani Muslims, along with the
Moplahs are the oldest Muslim communities in India. In the 1300 years
of their existence, they have been acutely conscious of being Muslim
as well as being perceived as such by others. Throughout their long
history, the Konkani Muslims have overcome the triple challenges of
surviving the assimilative power of syncretistic Hinduism, the
crusading zeal of the Portuguese Backed by their armed invasions in
the sixteenth century, and the subsequent challenge posed by
westernization as represented by the British colonial power. Surviving
as a distinct Muslim community is no small achievement particularly
when seen in the light of the fact there were no Muslim political
powers to protect them when they first landed, nor when the power of
Muslim sultanates waned in the eighteenth century. The story of the
Konkani Muslims despite its antiquity and success is a mystery to most
outsiders. Among the Konkani Muslims, the community’s history is not
known in a clear, systematic manner either. A Review of Literature on
the Konkani Muslims Beyond the scattered and occasional references to
the Konkani Muslims in the writings of travelers and geographers,
there is no detailed account of the Konkani’s in sociological or
anthropological literature. Indian sociologist Victor S. d’Souza,
author of The Navayats of Kanara informs us that he had “made a
detailed field study of the cultural traits of the Navayats of the
Deccan and the Konkani Muslims too,”, though it appears to have
remained unpublished. The late Professor A.R. Saiyed (1931-89)
conducted research entitled “Muslims of Konkan: An Explorative [sic]
Study,” but it never materialized beyond an investigation of purdah
among the Konkani women. Some years (1989-94) later Muhi al-Din Mumin
received a grant from the Indian Council of Historical Research to
study the Konkani Muslim communities in the medieval period. However,
I have not been able to see it as a published work. A.R. Momin did a
comparative study of the social mobility among Muslims in Bhiwandi
comparing the Konkanis and the weavers called Momins. So far as I have
been able to locate, no other studies of the Konkani Muslims are
available. What follows then is my own research based on published
materials dispersed in various writings and also on personal
interviews conducted with community activists, field observations in
Mumbai, and informed journalists in the Konkan.

Konkan: A Geographical Overview

The Konkan is the coastal plain of Maharashtra state, in western
India, lying between the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats
on the east. It stretches approximately 330 miles from the Daman Ganga
River north of Mumbai (Bombay) to the Terekhol River between
Maharashtra and Goa. Between 28 and 47 miles in width, the Konkan
today (1999) is divided into the five administrative districts from
the north to south of Thane, (Thana), Mumbai (Bombay), Raigadh
(formerly Kolaba), Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg.
1) The topography of the Konkan coast is congenial to settlement. In
this area, bays, peninsula, estuaries and capes coexist, and the
combination of the influences of the land and the sea is seen. The
narrow and broken coastline causes creeks and inlets in the Arabian
Sea, whose tides thereby deeply penetrate into the country. This
favors the growth of a number of littoral ports which are naturally
protected. This is one of the few areas of the sea-boards of India
that is sheltered from the sea. The settlement pattern in this region
is intimately connected with both littoral and estuary ports. Together
with the towns in the estuaries at points where the tides carry in the
boats are formed two, sometimes even three lines of settlements
corresponding to two or three degrees of marine penetration. At no
other part of the western coast is this parallelism so obvious.
Mountain passes through the Sahyadri connect the littoral region with
the extensive interior. Moreover, some of the rivers issuing out of
the Sahyadri range carry some amount of regional trade towards the
Arabian Sea. The area is thus suited to commercial activities, whether
inland, coastal or overseas.

Early Muslim Settlements

From time immemorial there had been traffic between the Red Sea,
Persian Gulf and India. India’s west coasts of Gujarat, Konkan, and
Malabar traded with countries of the western Indian Ocean. The Arabs
had shown themselves to be brave and skillful seamen; the term
‘Arabian Sea’ was no misnomer for the western part of the Indian
Ocean. Long before the Greeks first entered the Asian world, the Arabs
had crossed the ocean to India and had penetrated the countries of
south-east Asia. Much before the Portuguese appeared in Asian waters,
the Arabs had made themselves familiar with the eastern coast of
Africa almost as far as its southern tip. They came to trade and not
to conquer. But like the Christians in later times, they had their
coastal settlements, and had intermarried with the local inhabitants.
In circa 699, a group of Arabs in Basra left the province to escape
the tyrannical Ummayad Governor Hajaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi. These
refugees evidently found welcome on the Konkan coast. The region from
Khambayat in Gujarat to Chawl in Konkan came under the control of the
Rashtrakutas who ruled for some two centuries between 733 to 975 from
Malkhed. Although they were ‘infidels’ as the Arab traveler Masudi
says, “Amongst the kings of Sindh and Hind none treat the Muslims who
are established in their domains with more distinction than the
Ballahara (i.e. the Rashtrakutas). In the cities of the Ballahara
kingdom the Muslims ‘were honored and protected’ and they were allowed
to erect their own mosques. Masudi writes that the largest settlement
was that of about 10, 000 in the district of Saymur; [Chawl] these
were a permanently established group by the tenth century, with
ancestors who had come from Siraf (Persia), Oman, Hadramawt, Basra,
Baghdad, and other cities in the Middle East, now ‘wearing the same
dresses and having their beards grow in the same manner as the
infidels.’ Masudi refers to them as bayasira (singular baysari),
explaining that this means they are ‘Muslim born in al-Hind of Muslims
parents. From among the merchants of great distinction, one was
customarily appointed by the Ballahara as the head (Hamza) of the
Muslim community. Consequently, even though Muslims were excluded from
political power, ‘none but Muslims ruled over them on the part of the
Ballahara (min qibali Ballahara) The Persian traveler Buzurg ibn
Shariyar of Ram-Hurmuz was familiar with a man from Siraf. Abbas ibn
Mahan, who was the chief of Saymur. More information is available in
the writings of classical geographers such as Yaqut Hamawi (d. 1229)
in his Mujam al-buldan written in 1154 and in al-Idrisi’s (d. 1166)
Nuzhat al-mushtaq in 1224. The Arab geographers’ account of Muslims is
confirmed by Sanskrit epigraphic evidence in the tenth century. This
occurs in a grant of Rashtrakuta monarch, Indra III (reigned 915-28),
found at the seaport town of Chinchani in Thana. The Chinchani
inscription records the recipient of a land grant whose name is
Madhumati, which a modern scholar David Pingree identifies as the
Sanskritization of Muhammad. Ranabir Chakravarti, another scholar
familiar with Sanskrit epigraphy, has arrived at the same conclusions.
What is clear from the scattered writings of the early medieval
travelers and geographers is that Muslims of Arab extraction were
present in clusters from the close of the seventh century on the
Konkan coast, and kept arriving until the middle of the tenth century.
They enjoyed religious freedom to build and worship in mosques, and
the local rulers granted them a degree of internal autonomy to the
extent that a Muslim ruled his coreligionists on behalf of the raja.
The fact that some Arab merchants settled in India meant that at least
some of the profits of the overseas trade remained in the country. A
Dutch factor Pieter van der Broecke encountered Arab merchants settled
in India wherever he turned in the Red Sea-Hadramawt area in early
17th century.

Nawayats and Konkani Muslims

The various Muslim communities that sprang up on the Konkan coast of
India in the seventh century share three common characteristics: the
first is a common origin in the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf
region, second is a common adherence to the Shafi’i madhab, or school
of Islamic law, (founded by Imam Shafi’i, d. 819) and finally the
common descent from Arab mariners and merchants. Among these
communities at least three groups came to be called Nawayats. The name
appears in a variety of forms in Arabic, Urdu and English, including
Nait, Naiti spelled with the letters ta ( ) or te ( ). The mariners
among the Arabs and Persians of the time were no doubt called
Na-Khuda, a combination of naav=boat and khuda (lord), both words of
Old Persian. The composite word thus means “boat-lord”. The Arab and
Persian na-khudas have been translated into English as mariners,
sailors, sea-farers, ship captains, ship owners, and the like. There
is controversy among the Nawayat scholars and academic researchers
regarding this term. Based on a detailed and sophisticated
philological analysis D.V. Chauhan has concluded in his important
study that “the term Navait in the Arabo-Iranian historical sources
and also in Indian languages is in fact the Prakritisation of the
Arabo-Iranian term navakidh, ship owners.” The term “navakhidh”
(correct transliteration nawakhid) is most likely to have become
“Nawayat” as persuasively argued by D.V. Chauhan. Regardless of the
origin and meaning of the term Nawayat, it is clear that there are
three groups of Muslims who are descended from the Arab immigrants and
their progeny and dispersed to various parts of western and southern
India. The first groups of Nawayats are those who live predominantly
in the town of Bhatkal, in North Kanara district in the southern state
of Karnataka. The second groups of Nawayats are those who live, among
other places, in Chennai (Madras) and Hyderabad. The Chennai and
Hyderabad Nawayats are closely linked with ties of kinship and
intermarriage. According to the Gazetteer of the Bombay City and
Island “the Muslims of the coast of Bombay State now styled Konkanis
were formerly known as Naitias or Navayats Our concern heretofore is
with the third group of historical Nawayats who were initially called
Nawayat but are now known as Konkani Muslims inhabiting the region of
Konkan as described earlier.

Muslim Conquest of the Deccan and Konkan

The Muslim position was further transformed in 1294 with the invasion
and eventual annexation of the Deccan by Sultan Ala al-Din Khilji of
Delhi. Although the conquest of the Deccan was no more than a looting
expedition in the beginning, it sowed the seeds of territorial
occupation and the subsequent inroads into Konkan itself when Dabhol
(not to be confused with Dabhel, further northwest on the Sindh coast)
was overrun by Malik Kafur, the trusted general of Ala al-Din Khilji
in 1312. The Khiljis were overthrown by the Tughluqs, and they in turn
by the disgruntled amirs who founded the Bahmani Empire in the Deccan
in 1347. As recorded by Firishta, a medieval Persian historian, the
two major ports of Konkan, Chawl in the north and Dabhol in the south
became part of the Bahmani Empire and upon its breakup at the dawn of
the sixteenth century; the ports came into the possession of
Ahmadnagar and Bijapur kingdoms respectively. The Konkan ports
flourished under Muslim rule and carried on multiple trade exchanges
with other coastal and overseas ports, and with inland trade centers.
In the early sixteenth century the busy port of Chawl attracted a
“great concourse of ships,” and served as an alternate Centerport for
the textiles of Cambay in Gujarat; the spices, coconuts, and areca
nuts of Malabar; and grain and cloth of the Deccan. Dabhol thrived on
trade not only with Cambay and Malabar, but also with the Red Sea and
the Persian Gulf. Bassein, Thana, Danda, Rajpur, and Sangameshwar were
other active coastal ports. Although the Konkan ports handled a far
smaller volume of trade relative to that of Gujarat, Malabar, and
Coromandel ports, they formed a convenient mid-way point on the sea
route from Southeast Asia to the Red Sea. Most of the Konkan ports had
a substantial trading population of Muslims as noted by the Portuguese
Barbosa in the sixteenth century. In addition to the ship-building and
commercial activities at the ports, some Muslims acquired positions at
Bijapur’s Adil Shahi court, exemplified by the case of Mulla Ahmad
Naita and the appointment of Gazis and Pesh-imams by Adil Shahi
authorities in Konkan. Archaeological research reveals traces of
Muslim presence in the medieval period through Arabic and Persian
inscriptions (from 14th century) in mosques, forts, and tombs dating
from the mid-seventeenth century.

Archaeological Remains of the Muslim Era

Writing toward the end of the nineteenth century historian A.K. Nairne
observed that “the remains of Musalman buildings in the Konkan are few
and unimportant. Dabhol was so frequently burnt by the Portuguese, and
Chawl so thoroughly destroyed by Shivaji that there is little more
than enough to show that they were once great places. At both there
are a number of tombs scattered about, but none of great pretension.
At Dabhol there is a fine mosque with dome and minarets standing close
to the water’s edge, and now almost buried in coconut trees. It is of
considerable size, and its situation is striking, but is should not be
thought very much of in Gujarat or any other district rich in Muslim
remains. The site of the Muslim city of Chawl is even more covered by
coconut gardens than Dabhol. The most striking ruin is a hammam khana
or bath, containing one large central chamber and two smaller ones,
all octagonal and each lighted by a circular opening in the cupola
which covers it. At Kalyan formerly called Islamabad, there is a large
Musalman population and several mosques in use. There is however
nothing either old or remarkable except one mosque, which would be
very fine if it had a dome in proportion to its other parts. This
stands on the edge of a noble pond, round which there are many tombs
and other indistinguishable remains, as well as one considerable
building said to be the tomb of a governor named Mohrtada Khan, on
which is the date H. 1108.
This is probably the person called by the Portuguese Mortada Khan,
Nawab of Bhiwandi, who ravaged their territories at various times
about 1690. The absence of other buildings is due to the ravages to
which this district was subjected in the early days of Shivaji. [John]
Fryer, who traveled in India from 1673 to 1676, speaks of the remains
of the Musalman city of Kalyan, then only recently destroyed, as noble
and striking, and goes so far as to call them “the most glorious ruins
the Mahommedans in the Deccan ever had occasion to deplore.” At
Kharepatan, there are the foundations of a large Musalman town in a
fine situation and a great number of tombs, but no building remains
standing. At Rajpuri near Janjira, now a wretched looking village,
there are the tombs of four of the [Siddi] Nawabs situated in a pretty
glen and close to the creek. There are, of course, tombs and mosques
of an ordinary description in many places, but none architecturally
remarkable. The tomb of a saint at Bhiwandi, said to have been
previously a Diwan of Bijapur, and that of a princess at Lana said to
have been the daughter of one of the Bijapur kings, may be mentioned.”
Speaking of the various forts, Nairne says, “at Vijaydurg, the most
massive of the buildings within and in the fort walls are evidently
Musalman. At Avchitgad, the crenellated battlements of the outer wall
seem to prove the same origin. The island fort of Arnala near the
mouth of the Vaitarna appears to be entirely Musalman, with domes,
Saracenic arches, octagonal recesses, and other features never seen in
Maratha forts, though there are also marks inside of its Hindu
occupation. But there is scarcely any mention to be found of any of
the Konkan forts in the records of the Musalman time… The
picturesque bridge at Nagothna … is said to have been built about
1582 by… Kazi Alauddin of Chawl and as this date is between the
siege of Chawl during the alliance of Musalman kings against the
Portuguese and the activity of Nizam Shahi troops at the same place
twenty years later, it may without improbability be assumed that the
bridge was built to facilitate the march of the troops from Ahmadnagar
to Chawl… The chief peculiarity of the bridge is its narrowness, the
space between the parapets being only nine feet nine inches. Villages
with Musalman names are often met with, of the origins of which
nothing can be heard. Two small districts, close to Dabhol retain the
names they received from the Mahommedans, though everywhere else the
ancient Hindu names of prants and tarafs have been preserved. These
are Haveli Jaafarabad containing thirty seven villages, and Haveli
Ahmadabad containing twenty-one, and the probability is that when
Dabhol was first taken by the Musalmans these villages were assigned
for the support of the governor and his establishment.”

Konkani Muslims Since the Nineteenth Century

According to a British colonial official Arthur Crawford “The Konkan
Mahommadan occasionally settles in the Deccan; he is to be found at
Poona, but is to be seen at his best in a comparatively small region,
to wit, the Khed and Dapoli talukas, sub-districts of Ratnagiri. There
will be found a few small clusters of villages, situated not only on
the borders of the Jogabarree and Vashistee rivers, but lying well
inland also, which, with the exception of just enough Maratha
cultivators to carry on farm labor, and a few Mahars to act as
watchmen, guides and messengers, are entirely populated by
Mahommedans, who at once impress the observer as worthy of special
study.
Their dress to begin with, is remarkable, in as much as they surmount
the usual Mahommadan jacket, shirt and pyjamas, with a large
Brahminical turban, casting a scarf or shawl round their necks, very
much in the fashion of that worn by Brahmins in gala dress. Somehow
the costume, incongruous as it may appear from this description, goes
exceedingly well with the grave demeanor, handsome features, and
dignified bearing of the wearers. They are usually rather above
average height and always well built, with small, well-proportioned
hands and feet; their profiles are clear cut, the nose generally
aquiline; full frank eyes, and massive foreheads; the whole betokening
their descent from the best Mahommadan blood in India. Their presence
as superior landowners in this out-of-the-way part of western India is
very difficult to account for; but probably their ancestors received
grants of their lands for services performed during the Bijapur and
Mogul dynasties. Judging from the number of ruined mosques and
“peer’s” (saints) tombs scattered about, there must have been rather a
large Mahommadan population in that neighborhood at some time or other
before the Peishwa’s raj. Large numbers of them, however, abandoned
their lands and villages as they became surrounded by Brahmin and
Maratha Khots (middlemen or farmers of revenue). A few of the
wealthier of the best of the old families only remain now, and many of
these are dying out or have been driven by adverse circumstances to
seek a livelihood elsewhere.
Mahommedans are invariably kind and liberal landlords, but they are
shockingly bad farmers and cultivators, and their personal expenditure
is lavish and extravagant compared with that of their Hindu neighbors.
As a natural consequence, they fall an easy prey to local usurers, who
are the real owners of most of their villages now. Great numbers of
these Mahommedans flocked to the service of the British government
during the settlement of the Konkan after the overthrow of the Peishwa
[in 1818]: they were largely employed in the Customs Department, and
many of the first mamlutdar and mahalkarees (middlemen or farmers of
revenue) were taken from the old Mahommadan families at and near
Bankot and the Khed sub districts, where the Parkars, Potrocks,
Sajanees and others were very influential and very deservedly
respected. The chief revenue official in 1820 was a splendid old
gentleman, the head of the Parkars of Bankot, who despite his advanced
age, insisted on leading the stormers at the capture of several forts
by Colonel Prothero and other commanders. Several of his descendants
rose to high official rank in various departments, and one of them was
very many years ago, State Karbharee (prime minister) to the late
Nawab of Janjira. When I first went to Ratnagiri in 1859-60, Mr.
Turquand’s chitnis (secretary) was a Mahommadan: there were also two
Mahommadan mamlutdars and several mahalkarees. Gradually the Brahmins
have shouldered them out of every post: impoverished and apathetic,
their families have been indifferently educated, so that they have
never qualified for government service, except in the lower grades of
the police. Its a thousand pities! For the Konkanis Musalman is
intelligent, resolute, faithful, and thoroughly to be depended upon in
an emergency.”

Rise of Bombay and Konkani Muslim Migration

When the English, French, and other European East India Companies
opened their direct trade with India in the seventeenth century, their
activities centered on the rich commercial provinces of Gujarat,
Bengal, and peninsular India along the Malabar and Coromandel coasts.
On the west coast the commercial magnet was Surat, the chief Mogul
port, where the English utilized the existing commercial
infrastructure, availability of merchandise, shipping facilities, and
access to its inland and oceanic communication network. By contrast,
the Konkan coast attracted only minor and sporadic European contact in
the form of smaller factories at Rajapur (English and French), Malvan
(English) and Vengrula (Dutch) with the major exception of Bombay.
Among other reasons, the Mogul ban on foreign fortifications in their
territories compelled the English to look for an alternative site, and
Bombay became that site after it was ceded by the Portuguese to the
English in 1661. Gradually Bombay emerged as the center of trade and
commerce. The spread of western education in the mid nineteenth
century coupled with the introduction of industrial technology in the
fields of cotton textile manufacture and railway construction
accelerated Bombay’s growth. Thus in the latter half of the nineteenth
century, Bombay emerged as the cotton mill center of India and as a
major terminus on the extensive railway network which spanned the
entire subcontinent. Bombay’s oceanic communications improved vastly
with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which made it the chief
Indian port city closest to Britain. The Konkan port towns, usually
smaller than the inland towns were completely dwarfed by Bombay. With
the emergence of Bombay as the industrial, educational, and economic
and communication center of India, the people of Konkan were attracted
to the city in search of job opportunities.
The shrine and tomb of the saint Sheikh Makhdum Faqih Mahaimi, also
known as Ali Paru dates from 1431, indicating Muslim presence in
Bombay centuries before it became the great metropolis. The better
known shrine and tomb of Hajji Ali on an island in the little bay that
was once the mouth of the Great Breach does not appear in any account
or map of the city until late nineteenth century.
The influx to Bombay included the Konkani Muslims too. Muslims began
settling in Bombay as early as the beginning of the 18th century, in
Mahim, the northernmost of the seven original islands making Bombay.
They were attracted to Bombay by the maritime nature of its European
occupants, settled there and amassed wealth first as ship’s masters
and sailors, and then as merchants and ship owners The great success
stories of Bombay magnates are those of the Parsis, Marwaris, and the
Gujaratis, but “similar riches were made by those Konkani Muslim
families, such as the Kurs, the Roghays, and the Ghattays, who entered
the China trade and also traded in pearls with Madras. Muhammad Ali
Roghay, who earned the title Nacoda (nakhuda) because of the large
number of ships he owned, traded in China in partnership with one of
the [Parsi] Ready moneys. The Konkani Muslim shetias (magnates) had a
considerable advantage in the trade, because, like the Parsis, their
community had long been associated with shipbuilding.
Konkani Muslims later on settled in the eastern part of the native
quarter of Bombay, near where the Jama Masjid was built around Dongri
fort on a tank and gardens belonging to a Konkani Muslim. This Konkani
Muslim was none other than Muhammad Ali Roghay, who also enlarged and
repaired the Jama Masjid in 1830s. Construction of this mosque began
in 1775 and completed in 1808. The Jama Masjid is Bombay’s most
important mosque and lies in the commercial center. Located at the
junction of Sheikh Memon Street and Janjikar Street, it forms the most
important landmark on this important road. A symphony of domes and
minarets with ornate entrances, the mosque has a two storied prayer
hall, which is a recurring feature in all Mumbai mosques. The second
story has a tiled sloping roof designed to take into account the heavy
rainfall during the monsoons. A special feature of the Jama Masjid is
its large pool on which the prayer hall is built. Water is pumped up
to the ablution area.

Urdu Language, Education and Identity

Konkani Muslims are fluent in Konkani, an Indo-Aryan language
grammatically and structurally close to and written in Marathi script.
Konkani is the official language of Goa, a neighboring state. The
Konkani dialect spoken by Muslims is heavily infused with words of
Arabic and Persian origin. But Konkani was not used by the Muslim
intelligentsia for scholarship, barring a handful of religious tracts
transcribed in it using the Urdu letters.
Konkani remains the common language of public communication in the
rural area, and in semi-urban and urban areas Urdu is often an
alternative language. Children are taught to learn and memorize the
Qur’an for use in the five prescribed daily prayers. The knowledge of
Arabic is restricted to a very small class of people who have had
access to schools of higher Islamic education. Many Konkani ulema
wrote scholarly works on Qur’an and Islamic studies, exemplified by
the cases of Ahmad ibn Abdu al-Qadir Konkani, (d. 1320.) and Sheikh
Abdu Allah Konkani (d. 1325.) and the better known Sheikh Makhdum Ali
Mahaimi (1372-1431) in the medieval period, and the case of Sheikh
Abdu al-Samad Sharaf al-Din (1901-1906) in our own time.
Leaving aside this small group of scholars, common Konkani Muslims,
like their coreligionists in the 19th century Bombay Province lagged
far behind Hindus and Parsis in education, as noted by the government
reports of the time. The difficulties facing Muslims in acquiring
modern education were recognized by the more enlightened members of
the faith. One of the original members of the Bombay Board of
Education, a Konkani Muslim named Muhammad Ibrahim Muqba, had been
successively munshi to the East India Company cadets, interpreter to
the Supreme Court and magistrate of the Court of Petty Session. He was
very much aware of the need to create an interest in higher English
education among Muslims, and had himself founded an Urdu school in
Bombay and prepared books for it. Although the school did not prosper,
it produced at least one pupil who continued his education until 1840
at the Elphinstone Institution. This was Ghulam Muhammad Munshi, the
grandson of an Ahmadabad Muslim who had prospered in Bombay as a
laundryman for washing Europeans’ clothes. Munshi sought and received,
after initial hesitation, the cooperation of Muslim commercial
magnates of Bombay to establish educational institutions for children
of the community, his efforts accelerated after a visit to Aligarh and
contacts with Sayyid Ahmad Khan there. The first to lend a hand was
the Tayyibji family of Sulaymani Bohras, headed by brothers Qamar
al-Din and Badr al-Din. The Tayyibjis had already formed an
organization of their own to feed, clothe, and educate boys of their
community who managed to get to Elphinstone High School. Their
endeavors in assisting Munshi attracted the interest and friendship of
Muhammad Ali Roghay, (1852-1910) the man who had helped build the Jama
Masjid. Roghay though in his early twenties, was a landlord of great
wealth and position.
Roghay had been well educated and was influenced by the ideas of
Sayyid Ahmad Khan, to which he advanced his even more liberalism. ‘His
ideas were all of the most modern type,’ remarked the Victorian
traveler and Islamophile Wilfred S. Blunt, after meeting him 1883,
‘far too modern on some point to please me. Roghay’s interest in
Sayyid Ahmad Khan brought him into contact with Ghulam Muhammad Munshi
when the latter returned to Bombay from a visit to Northern India. He
called on Roghay and described to him the anjumans that had been
established to help Muslims in several cities, Roghay consulted the
Tayyibjis, and in March 1876 the Anjuman i Islam of Bombay was
founded. The Anjumans aim was “the amelioration of the Mohammedan
community and to effect some improvement in their education, and moral
and social state.” 43 From 1874 to 1880 Qamar al-Din Tayyibji was its
President and Roghay its Vice-President. In 1889, Roghay rose to be
the President of the Anjuman remaining in office until 1890. When the
first school of the Anjuman opened, Roghay rose to the occasion with a
princely donation of 10,000 making him the largest single donor. The
Anjuman, which celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 1986, is the
premier educational institution founded by Muslims for Muslim
education in Maharashtra today.
In addition to imparting modern education, its role in the spread of
Urdu among Konkani and other Muslims is clearly crucial. The language
of instruction of the Anjuman schools is Urdu, and it runs as many as
25 schools in Mumbai, Pune, and several towns of Konkan. The example
of the Anjuman was replicated in other neighboring towns, in Bhiwandi
for instance by the Kokan Muslim Education Society (KMES) founded in
1927 with a number of schools. In late 1999 the KMES was in the
process of establishing a medical school.
A detailed study of Urdu schools in the region from 1903-95, entitled
Konkan main Urdu taalim, by Abdu al-Rahim Nishtar shows the growth of
Urdu schools in the area. The Konkani Muslims today are equally at
ease in Urdu as well as native Konkani. Their socialization with the
Urdu speaking Deccani and North Indian Muslims resident in Mumbai and
elsewhere accelerated familiarity with Urdu. As Urdu is the richest
repository of literature in Islamic studies, and since it is
associated with the aristocratic culture of Deccan and North India
through its status as the language of power, authority, and law
courts, it began to be widely adopted by Bombay Muslims such as the
Konkanis and the Tayyibji family as far back as the nineteenth
century.
In the twentieth century, the spread of Urdu, particularly through
poetic symposia called mushairas and mystical music called qawwali
performed at the Islamic shrines further intensified the familiarity
with Urdu. Movies produced in the Bombay studios erroneously certified
as Hindi films, with high content of Urdu songs and dialogs played
their own role in the popularization of Urdu. The advent of radio and
television quite literally brought Urdu programs to homes almost
everywhere in the region.
The Konkani intelligentsia is now thoroughly Urduized. In this process
of Urduization, defined as the learning of Urdu, its use in formal
education and mass communication, the role played by the monthly
journal Naqsh-Kokan, published since 1962 is crucial. The Naqsh is a
virtual chronicle of the Konkani Muslim society and its institutions
for more than three decades. Led by its energetic founder Dr. Abdu
al-Karim Naik, its publications in Urdu on Konkani history and culture
are the primary source of information indispensable for any
understanding of the Konkani Muslim community today.
The efforts of the Naqsh is supplemented by other literary
associations such Konkan Urdu Writers’ Guild, which publishes a
quarterly journal Tarsil since 1994.
The wholesale adoption of Urdu by the Konkani Muslims has brought the
group into the mainstream of Urdu culture of the Deccan and North
India, in the same manner as it has the Panjabi, Kashmiri, Memon, and
Meo Muslims of India and Pakistan, in contrast to the indifference of
the Bohras and Khojas toward Urdu. If several generations of Kokanis
receive their basic education in Urdu, it is likely that most will be
homogenized with the Urdu speakers in the rest of India.

Social Stratification among Konkani Muslims

The Konkani Muslims are divided into at least two major categories,
namely those who are the progeny of Arab intermarriages with the women
of the cultivating castes, and those who are converts to Islam. The
former are known as the Jamaatis, and the later as Daldis; the later
however, resent this term and prefer being called Mahigir (fishermen),
another indication of the desire of some Konkanis for Arabic/Persian
terms instead of Indian, which can be interpreted as another instance
of homogenization with the Urdu speaking Muslim communities. The
Jamaatis are conscious and proud of their Arab ancestry and constitute
the elite group. The Mahigirs are the descendants of the Kolis, the
Konkan fishermen. The Mahigirs continue their traditional occupation
even in the late 1990s. The two Konkani groups are spatially
differentiated due to occupational differences. Mahigirs live in the
fishing villages by the creeks, whereas the Jamaatis are mainly
concentrated in the inland villages as agriculturists and as those
involved in forestry and mango orchards.
The Konkanis possess most of the important attributes of an ethnic
group. Like the Moplahs of Malabar, they are the progeny of Arab
immigrants and Indian women; they speak the same dialect of Konkani
language, and marry among themselves, in anthropological terms they
are generally endogamous. Yet, according to A.R. Momin, “the Konkani
Muslim community has a well defined system of ranking and
stratification. Topmost in the hierarchy are those who distinguish
themselves from the rest on account of purity of descent and ancestral
nobility. Families with surnames like Faqih, Farid, Khatib, Patel,
Burbere, Narvil, Hani, Qazi, Tase, [among others] and Muallim belong
to this category. Next come people with surnames like Chivne,
Bolinjkar, Bhoje, and Jairumi. They are considered to be lower down in
the hierarchy on account of differences in occupation and family
background.
Some of them are believed to have married or kept Hindu women in the
nearby villages and so their families carry a stigma.
Lower than these two are the Wazah (or Wajas as they are locally
known). The Wazahs were traditionally a weaving sub-caste. Some of
them formerly used to sell dried fish which is considered to be a
lowly occupation in the Konkani Muslim subculture. Until quite
recently, the Wazahs were supposed to be next to the lowest in the
hierarchy, almost to the extent of being outside the group. They used
to live in separate localities. Until a few years ago, there used to
be no intermarriage between the Wazahs and other Konkani Muslims. Till
very recently, the Wazahs did not observe purdah which the Konkani
Muslims of Bhiwandi consider to be a mark of backwardness.
Of late the Konkani Muslims have started giving their girls in
marriage to the Wazahs as a consequence of the impact of
industrialization, Islamization and the spread of modern education.
However, this privilege is restricted to those Wazah boys who have
acquired wealth and education and have thereby raised their status in
the social hierarchy. At the lowest rung of the hierarchy are the
Telis. The Telis are oil-pressers. They came to Bhiwandi from the
neighboring villages. Though settled among the Konkani Muslims, they
were barely considered a part of the group. Their dialect, rituals and
customs are the same as those of the Konkanis, but there is no
intermarriage between them and the latter”.
Finally, a group of Muslims known as “Chorvad” (in Raigadh district)
are considered to be the illegitimate offspring of Konkani Muslim
landlords and Koli peasant women.
The expansion of communication network leading to ease, frequency, and
decreasing cost of travel led to greater socialization between and
among various sub-groups of the Konkani Muslims. Spread of modern
education universally tends to level the ground between various
groups, and the Konkanis are no exception. The leveling of ground is
greatly aided by accelerating Islamization (defined in our context as
the rejection of beliefs, customs, rituals, and structures originating
from non-Islamic sources and the adoption of the Islamic notion of the
equality of believers, (female and male) further decreasing the
boundaries between Konkani sub-groups. However, marriages are still
arranged by the parents, although independent mate selection commonly
known as “love marriages” through contacts at college and work place
is not uncommon. Most middle class Konkani Muslim families prefer
marriage within their own group, failing which second preference is
given to the Deccani Muslims, followed by other Urdu speaking Muslims.
Considerations of education, occupation, and wealth are always present
in negotiations for marriage, as is the case in any other ethnic
group, thus A.R. Momin reports Konkani intermarriages with upwardly
mobile Momins of Bhiwandi.
Divorce and remarriage is rare among the Konkanis, but it is likely
that both may increase as a result of expanding modernization and
westernization. Marriage age for women has increased as a result of
longer years spent in college education. An inadvertent outcome of
large scale male migration is the relaxation of purdah among Jamaati
women in Ratnagiri as women are forced into roles and responsibilities
held previously by men, according to A. R. Saiyed.

Konkani Muslim Economy and Society Today

As a minority within a minority, the Konkani Muslims do not exhibit
political preferences greatly different from Muslims of other ethnic,
linguistic, or sectarian backgrounds. Thus in the 1930s and 1940s,
many supported the Muslim League, exemplified by the cases of Aziz
Abdul Ghaffar Kazi (MLA 1937-46) and Waziruddin Ahmad Parkar (MLA
1946-52) just as men like Muin al-Din Haris, (1907-83) a member of the
Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly remained a firm supporter of
the Indian National Congress.
His example has been followed by men like Ghulam Mustafa Faqih,
(1909-94) (Minister in Maharashtra state cabinet), Husain Dalwai,
former MLA, as well as Rafiq Zakaria. Born in 1920, Zakaria is the
author of several books on Islam and Muslims in India. He held
Maharashtra state cabinet posts for a number of times (minister for
public health, in 1960s and 1970s) as well as the inspiration behind
founding of Muslim educational and charitable institutions such as the
Maulana Azad College in Aurangabad and Maharashtra College in Mumbai.
Politically the most successful Muslim to date has been Abdu al-Rahman
Antulay, (b. 1929) becoming Chief Minister of Maharashtra (between
June 1980 and January 1982) and later on elected to Lok Sabha, the
lower house of Indian parliament in 1996 from the Kolaba constituency
on a Congress Party ticket, though defeated in 1998 elections.
He also served as minister for health during the prime minister ship
of Narasimha Rao, 1995-96. The integration of the Konkani Muslim
society within the larger Maharashtrian society no doubt played a part
in Antulay’s election as Chief Minister of India’s most industrialized
state, besides his own superior organizational skills and the
leadership qualities, although he claims to have been victimized in a
bribery case due to his being a Muslim.
The long era of Congress Party rule from 1947-95 was generally one of
peace in Bombay except for two major riots in Bhiwandi (1970) and
Bombay (1984). The major outbreak of anti-Muslim violence in January
1993 shortly after the Babari Masjid demolition in Ayodhya on December
6, 1992 was the worst since independence. However the coming to power
of the blatantly anti-Muslim Shiva Sena party has sent shock waves
among Muslims communities of all categories in Maharashtra.
There is a concerted attempt by the Shiva Sena government to erase
aspects of Muslim culture in the state including those associated with
the sufis, as exemplified by the attempt to claim the dargah of Hajji
Malang in Kalyan as one belonging to a Hindu Macchindranath.

Economy and Migration Pattern

The main occupation of most Konkanis is agriculture, followed by
animal husbandry. Barring Mumbai, the greater portion of Konkan is
generally backward industrially and agriculturally. For instance, the
Ratnagiri district, the heart of Konkan is generally hilly, with
several creeks. The hilly terrain does not give much scope for
cultivation, though rice is grown wherever possible. There is some
forest wealth. The district is the home of the alphonso variety of
mango, renowned and exported worldwide. Harvesting and marketing
mangoes is a lucrative, though only a seasonal business. There is
plenty of sea food such as shrimps, prawns, and a variety of fish. In
the last several decades, the mechanization of fishing has brought
prosperity to some families. The amendment of the Bombay Tenancy and
Agricultural Lands Act of 1956, giving the tiller the right of the
land ownership deprived some Konkani Muslims of some privileges
relating to rice cultivation. Subsequently the legislation regarding
the allotment of forest resources to cooperative societies as opposed
to individual owners curtailed the wealth of some Konkani families.
Some consequently took to the power loom industry in Bhiwandi. But on
the whole the region remains undeveloped and its natural resources yet
to be exploited. As a result the entire Konkan belt became a satellite
society to Bombay, with both Hindus and Muslims seeking jobs in the
great metropolis and elsewhere. A demographer has found simultaneously
depletion of Muslim population in Ratnagiri and manifold increase in
Bombay and Thane, so it can be inferred that Ratnagiri’s loss has been
Bombay and Thane’s gain.
In the nineteenth century, the career of Sardar Abdu al-Haq, (1853 -
96) shows a meteoric rise and fall. Coming from Konkan at the young
age of 20, he entered the Nizam’s civil service, and received the
title of Dilayr Jang, ending his career as the Agent of the Hyderabad
State Railways in London before a mining scandal led to his fall.
Konkani Muslims have sought careers beyond the country’s shores in
significant numbers. Several Konkanis found jobs or businesses in the
oil rich Arab sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf, (estimated numbers
between             3000-4000      ) East Africa (5000) South Africa, (40,000-50,000)
Britain (7000, of which a majority came into Britain via East Africa),
North America (            3000-5000      ), Southeast Asia and Australia (1000),
according to Abdullah Muqaddam of Kokani World Muslim Federation. When
Mukhtar Mohiuddin of Blackburn, U.K., a native of Borli Panchattan,
won a huge lottery, the media focused attention on the Konkanis in
England.
The existence of Konkani Muslim Club, in Nairobi, Kenya, and the
Konkani World Muslim Federation in London are indications of an
emerging Diaspora. Following the footsteps of some of their
forefathers, large number of Konkani Muslims can be found in the
Indian and foreign merchant navies.

Conclusion

The Muslim community of the Konkanis have survived thirteen hundred
years in India. As the oldest surviving Muslim community, their
history is truly fascinating. Sea-faring commerce demands exchange of
capital and enterprise among peoples of difference races, religions,
and cultures. This probably explains why, despite the advent of
foreign immigrants –Persians, Arabs, Jews, Christians of various
denominations, and the Parsis in the coastal areas of Gujarat, Konkan
and Malabar– the local societies did not undergo ethno-religious
strife, so common a feature of upper and peninsular India. Since the
early Arabs were either refugees or traders and not contestants for
power as in the Deccan and North India, the integration but not
assimilation of the Arabs and their progeny was a smoother process in
Konkan. Trade in goods and services involves exchange, unlike
extraction of revenues by the force of arms. Thus trade contributed to
the harmonious relations between the Muslims and the local
communities.

Acknowledgments:

I am grateful to Professors Theodore P. Wright, Jr. (SUNY-Albany) and
Michael N. Pearson of University of New South Wales, Australia for
comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Husain Dalwai, a former
chairman of the Maharashtra Minorities Commission and Abdullah
Muqaddam of the Kokani World Muslim Federation in London answered many
questions to me during the course of writing this paper. My sincere
thanks to Masud Taj and Suhail Fakih of Mumbai who helped me in
contacting the descendants of Muhammad Ali Roghay Nakhuda and the
Charity Trust named after him to obtain critical information on this
important Konkani.

NOTES

1. Kashf al-ansab, Arabic text in Aziz Jang, Tarikh al-Nawayat,
(Hyderabad: Wila Academy, 1904, reprinted in 1976, pp. 275-79.
2. Victor S. D’Souza, The Navayats of Kanara: A Study in Social
Contact, (Dharwar: Kannada Research Institute, 1955); and his article
“Mother Right in Transition,” Sociological Bulletin 2, no. 2
(September 1953): 135-42.
3. See “Purdah, Family Structure and the Status of Women: A Note on a
Deviant Case,” pp. 239-64, in Family, Kinship and Marriage among
Muslims in India, edited by Imtiaz Ahmad, (New Delhi: Manohar, 1976).
4. A.R. Momin, “Muslim Caste in an Industrial Township in
Maharahstra,” pp.117-40, in Caste and Social Stratification among
Muslims in India, edited by Imtiaz Ahmad, (New Delhi: Manohar, 1978).
5. For an excellent description of the medieval trade of Konkan see
Ranabir Chakravarti,” Coastal Trade and Voyages in Konkan: The Early
Medieval Scenario.” The Indian Economic and Social History Review 35,
no. 2 (1998): 97-123.
6. Kashf al-ansab, op. Cit.
7. Translated as The Meadows of Gold, by Paul Lunde and Caroline
Stone, (New York: Kegan Paul, 1989);
8. For baysira, see J.C. Wilkinson, “Baysirah and Bayadir,” Arabian
Studies 1 (1974): 75-85.
9. Masudi, Muruj al-dhahab, op cit.
10. Buzurg ibn Shahriyar, Kitab ajaib al-Hind, translated as The Book
of the Wonders of India by G.S.P. Grenville, (London: East-West, 1981)
11. Yaqut Hamawi, Mujam al-buldan, (Beirut; Dar Sadir, 1993)
12. al-Idrisi, Nuzhat al-mushtaq, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970)
13. D.C.Sircar, “Rashtrakuta Charters from Chinchani,” Epigraphia
Indica             32 1957-58      ): 45-60.
14. David Pingree, “Sanskrit Evidence for the Presence of Arabs, Jews,
and Persians in Western India, c. 700-1300 ” Journal of the Oriental
Society of Baroda 31, no. 2 (1981): 172-82.
15. Ranabir Chakravarti, “Merchants of Konkan,” Indian Economic and
Social History Review 23, no.2 91986): 207-15.
16. See references to Pieter van der Broecke’ account cited in Ashin
Das Gupta, “Indian Merchants and the Western Indian Ocean: The Early
Seventeenth Century,” Modern Asian Studies 19 , no. 3 (1985): 481-99,
citation on p. 491.
17. Prof. C.M. Naim, University of Chicago in a personal
communication, March 24, 1999 helped me understand the term. In modern
Kuwait, the term Nawakhid is applied to boat captains according to
George F. Hourani, Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and
Medieval Times, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 19510, p.
113.
18. See the authors in chronological order: Aziz Jang, op. Cit. 1904;
Alex A. Pais, “The Navayats: An Account of Their History and Their
Customs,”Quarterly Journal of Mythic Society 10, no. 1 (October 1919):
41-58; Muhammad Murtaza, “Sawahil- Hindustan par Musalmanon ka
tawattun,” Majallah I Taylisanin 6 (1942): 18-52 Hashimi, “Mawlawi Abd
al-Qadir, (Hyderabad, 1963; Muhammad Yusuf Kokan, Khwanwadah Qazi Badr
al-Dawlah, (Madras: Dar al-Tasnif, 1963; Muh al-Din Mumin, Tarikh-I
Kokan, Bombay: Naqsh-I Kokan Trust Publications, 1969; D.V. Chauhan,
“The Problem of the Navaits in India,” Oriental Institute Journal of
Baroda 21, no. 2 (June 1972): 357-63; Zakira Ghause, Baqir Agah’s
Contribution to Arabic, Persian and Urdu Literature, M.litt.
dissertation, University of Madras, 1973; Muhammad Afzaluddin Iqbal,
Tazkirah Sa’id, (Hyderabad: Saeedia Library, 1973; Sylvia Vatuk,
“Identity and Difference: Or Equality and Inequality in South Asian
Muslim Society,” pp. 227-62, in Caste Today, edited by C.J. Fuller,
(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996.
19. D.V. Chauhan, “The Problem of the Navaits in India,” Oriental
Institute Journal of Baroda 21, no. 2 (June 1972): 357-63.
20. Gazetteer of the Bombay City and Island, vol 11, p. 24, (Bombay:
Gazetteer Dept, Govt of Bombay, 1977-78): II, p. 24.
21. Lotika Vardarajan, “Kokan Ports and Medieval Trade,” Indica 22,
no. 1 (March 1985): 9-16.
22. Lotika Vardarajan, op cit. P. 10.
23. M. Longworth Dames, The Book of Duarte Barbosa, (London: Haklyut
Society, 1918), pp. 151-67.
24. Shah Nawaz Khan Samsam al-Dawla, Maathir al-umara, vol. 3, Urdu
translation by Muhammad Ayyub Qadiri, (Karachi: Markazi Urdu Board,
1970), pp. 468-70.
25. Muhi al-Din Mumin, Tarikh-I Kokan, (Bombay: Naqsh-I Kokan Trust
Publications, 1969)
26. Z.A. Desai, Arabic, Persian and Urdu Inscriptions in West India: A
topographical List, (New Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan, 1999), inscriptions
numbers 609, 618, 791-93, 796, 1185-87, 1305-1308, 1678, 1914,
2069-70, 2100, and 2167; and A.K. Nairne, “Musalman Remains in the
South Konkan, “The Indian Antiquary 2 (October 1873): 278-83; 2
(November 1873): 317-22; 3 (April 1874): 100-02; 3 (July 1874):
181-82.
27. Nairne, History of the Konkan, (Bombay, 1894), p. 41.
28. Nairne, op. Cit. P. 42.
29. Arthur Crawford, Our Troubles in Poona and the Deccan, (London:
Archibald Constable, 1897), pp. 155-58.
30. Encyclopedia of Islam, II ed. S.V. Bombay City, (Leiden: E.J. Brill,
1960-)
31. Census of the City and Island of Bombay, 1881, (Bombay, 1883), pp.
46-47.
32. Christine Dobbin, Urban Leadership in Western India: Politics and
Communities in Bombay City, 1840-1885, (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1972), p. 15.
33. Gillian Tindall, City of Gold: The Biography of Bombay, (London:
Temple Smith, 1982), p. 125.
34. Gillian Tindall, op. Cit. P. 126. See also Monisha Ahmed, “Sacred
Muslim Sites, “pp. 176-80, in Bombay to Mumbai, ed. By Pauline Rohatgi
and others, (Mumbai: Marg, 1997)The Jama Masjid and Haji Ali Complex
are listed as buildings of historical, aesthetical, and architectural
value in 1995 by the State. See Heritage Regulations for Greater
Bombay, 1995, (Mumbai: Urban Development Department, Govt., of
Maharashtra, 1995), pp. 37, 44.
35. Muhi al-Din Mumin, op cit, see the chapter “Bhant Bhant ki
Boliyan,” pp.300-333.
36. See Abd al-Hayyi al-Hasani, Nuzhat al-khawatir bahjat al-masami wa
al nawazir, (Hyderabad: Dairat al-Maarif al-Uthmaniya, 1947-68, and
reissued as al-Ilam bi man fi tarikh al-Hind min al-ilam, (Lucknow:
Majlis-I Tahqiqat was Nashariyat-I Islam, 1995.
37. Abd al-Rahman Parwaz Ilahi, Makhdum Ali Mahaimi: hayat, athar wa
afkar, (Bombay: Naqsh-I Kokan Trust Publications, 1976) Aftab-I Kokan
by Fakhr al-din Munshi, (Bombay: Matba’a Karimi, n.d.) which the
present writer has not seen, is probably related to a Konkani saint.
38. See Abd al-Wahid Narvil, “Mawlana Abd al-Samad Sharaf al-Din,”
Maarif (Azamgarh) 157, no. 4 (April 1996): 313-14.
39. Christine Dobbin, op. Cit., p. 239.
40. Roghay’s life span and some of the information about him were
supplied by the late Nakhuda’s descendant. I am grateful to Masud Taj,
the Mumbai architect who put me in contact in May 1999 with Suhail
Fakih, a young architect. Fakih contacted the Roghay family and the
Charity Trust named after him. According to Roghay’s descendants, the
late Nakhuda donated land for the buildings of such premier
institutions of Mumbai as the J.J.Hospital, St. Xavier’s College, and
the maidan at Mahim. According to Lutfullah, Roghay built a
caravanserai at Karanja, near Bombay. See Autobiography of Lutfullah,
(New Delhi: International Writers Emporium, 1995; a reprint of 1857)
p. 360.
41. Wilfrid S. Blunt, India under Ripon: A Private Diary, (London: T.
Fisher Unwin, 1909), p. 82. Roghay’s liberalism may be due to his
travels to England and Turkey in the late 1880s.I am thankful to Prof.
Syed Tanvir Wasti of the Middle East Technical University, Ankara for
bringing to my attention the autobiography of Abdulhak Hamid, the
Ottoman Consul in Bombay in the 19th century. Wasti translated
relevant passages in his diary about Roghay for me, personal
communication dated August 1, 1998. See Syed Tanvir Wasti, “The Indian
Sojourn of Abdulhak Hamid,” Middle Eastern Studies 34, no.4 (October
1994): 33-42, where Hamid speaks favorably of Roghay.
42. See Shaykh Farid, “Anjuman-I Islam Bombay aur Aligarh,” Nawa-I
Adab 36 (April 1986): 94-113. Roghay established a scholarship at
Aligarh for Muslim students named after his father Amin Roghay with an
amount of 5000 rupees in May 1889, according to Selected Documents
from the Aligarh Archives, edited by Yusuf Husain, (Bombay: Asia
Publishing House, 1967), p. 387
43. Sayyid Shahabuddin Desnawi, Anjuman-I Islam ke sau sal, (Bombay:
The Anjuman, 1986)
44. Fuzail A. Ghazali, “A District Awakened from the Slumber of
Illiteracy, “Saudi Gazette 24 April 1999: 8.
45. Bombay, 1997.
46. Husain B. Tyabji, Badruddin Tyabji, (Bombay: Thacker, 1952), pp.
14-15.
47. See the profile of ” Dr. Abd al-Karim Muhammad Naik,” by Sharaf
Kamali in Naqsh-I Kokan (August 1996): 23-26.
48. Anjum Abbasi and Ismail Shaykh, Kokan ke suput 2 vols. (New Delhi:
Modern Publishing House, 1986)
49. Momin, op. Cit. Pp. 119-20.
50. Momin, op. Cit. Pp. 124-36.
51. Saiyed, op. Cit, p. 251-53.
52. Telephone conversation with Husain Dalwai May 18, 1998.
53. Interview with Mir Ayoob Ali Khan, “Truth Can be
Complicated…Antulay, “Saudi Gazette, 12 November 1995: 3.
54. See Theodore P. Wright, Jr. and Omar Khalidi, “Majority Hindu
Images, Stereotypes and Demands of the Minority in India: The
Backlash,” Journal Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs 12,, no. 2
(July 1991): 321-34; and Theodore P. Wright, Jr. “The B.J.P.?Shiv Sena
Coalition and the Muslim Minority in Maharashtra: The Interface of
Foreign and Domestic Conflict, “Journal of South Asian and Middle
Eastern Studies 21 , no. 2 (Winter 1998): 41-50.
55. Asad B. Saif, “Attack on Syncretic Culture: Case of Haji Malang,
“Economic and Political Weekly (10 August 1996): 2131-32. In addition
to the Haji Malang, several mosques and shrines have been targeted. As
a beginning a list of such structures is given in Arun Shourie and
others, Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them, (New Delhi: Voice of
India, 1990), pp.146-47, with reference to the Konkan region.
56. Harish R. Srivastava, “Muslims in Maharashtra: An Analysis of
Their Growth, Concentration and Redistribution, 1951-81,” Indian
Journal of Social Work 49, no. 4 (1988): 394-407, see particularly p.
404.
57. Vijay Rana, “Mukhtar’s Millions,” India Today (15 January 1995):
132-33. Borli Panchatan is the village where a South African woman
lived in the 1940s after marriage to a Konkani. See Brenda Kidman,
Once upon a Far Hillside: The Life and Times of an Indian Village,
(London: Century Publishing, 1985)
58. Tabassum S. Parkar, “Kokani Muslim Community in Luton,” Kokan Link
5th Anniversary issue (1991): 18-19; iv.

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