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Being Muslim in South AsiaDiversity and Daily Life$
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Robin Jeffrey and Sen Ronojoy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092063

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092063.001.0001

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The Making of a Diasporic Muslim Family in East Africa

The Making of a Diasporic Muslim Family in East Africa

(p.116) Chapter Six The Making of a Diasporic Muslim Family in East Africa
Being Muslim in South Asia

Salim Lakha

Oxford University Press

For many centuries Gujarati Muslims were actively engaged in the Indian Ocean trade which encompassed the mainland of Africa as well as islands off the coast such as Zanzibar. Following the setting up of British and German administrations in eastern Africa from the late 19th century onwards, migration from Gujarat increased substantially. Those migrating to eastern Africa from Gujarat included Hindus from various caste groups and Muslims belonging to different religious communities. Among the Muslims, individuals belonging to the heterodox Khoja Ismaili community had a prominent role in trade even before the setting up of British administration on the mainland. This chapter will examine how trade, community, and empire provided the channels for social and economic mobility in the case of a diasporic Khoja family that originally migrated to eastern Africa from Kathiawad (Gujarat) around the time of the famine in late nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Gujarat, Khoja, Ismaili, East Africa, family history, diaspora

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