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History of Parajiya Muslim Sonis
Mr. NoorMohamed Haji Elias, born in Zanzibar nicknamed by the locals as “Budha Sonara” meaning (indirectly) “the wise goldsmith”, inherited his skills from his father, Mr. Haji Elias, a merchant, who first stepped his foot to East Africa during the late 19th century from India.
This was the time when dhows were used for transportation of goods by the merchants and transportation of labourers by the British to build the Kenya-Uganda Railway line, which itself has its own history.
Photo of Aman Haji Elias (Muslim Soni) with Parajiya Pattnis click Parajiya Pioneers
Muslim Parajiya Soni
Pattni Connection spreading its wings across all Parajiya’s.
As mentioned in our history section, Hakamibandha was the first person to become a Parajiya Soni. Many joined him and this group later became known as a Parajiya Soni. This Parajiya Soni Samaj stayed united for the next 1000 years. It then split into three Communities: Parajiya Pattni, Parajiya Girnaras and Parajiya Kutchi Sonis. There was also a fourth split. This breakaway section converted themselves to Muslims. The internet website technology is now again bringing back together Parajiya Community that got split 800 to 900 years ago.
We are pleased to be contacted by a fellow Muslim Parajiya – Mohammed Zakariya.
Several e-mails were exchanged. Following are the excerpts from these mails ---- Editor
From Mohammed Zakariya:-
I was searching the web for our history and came across this site and was really happy to find a link to my origins. I did not know that I too was a Parajiya until I came across this site especially the "History" section.
Noor Mohamed Haji Elias
I am glad to see my forefather's name Mr Elias mentioned in the
I was very well aware there is some kind of a historic link between the Pattnis of Mombasa and us but I don't know how and where. I will be very pleased to provide any information you need about our community in
Please find my profile with a photograph of myself taken at the Nairobi National museum with my great grandfather's Mr. Noor Mohamed Haji Elias photo (wearing a cap) and some of the early settlers of
It was nice to know our fellow Muslim Parajiya!
Do you know your ancestral family name? Parajiya community was our origin. Many of those who changed their religion have still kept their original surnames - Sagar, Dhanak, etc.
I shall be glad to receive whatever history you have from your roots. Since I also study history of Parajiya, we can combine both to get a comprehensive Parajiya history and the circumstances as to how when many of our ancestors changed their religion.
We are still in jewellery business by the name Sonara Budha Jewellers, if you've heard of it. I have a family tree which was prepared by a relative from
I use the surname 'Jafferani' which is derived from 'Jaffer' (obviously a Muslim) and have no clue about the Hindu surname. As a matter of fact, I heard the word 'Parajiya' for the first time as I was discussing about this website with my dad yesterday! He said, we too are Parajiyas, and I'm sure most of my age mates in our community are still not aware of that.
The 'Cutchi Muslim Sonara Jamat', as we know of ourselves, consists about 5,000 members worldwide, out of which over 3,000 are in Karachi, about 200 in Mombasa, about 200-300 are in Dares salaam, Tanzania, a family or two are in the U.K. and the U.S.A each, a handful are in Moroni in the Comoros islands, and a few are still in Cutch.
I hope those facts were helpful.
Best Regards to you and your family
If I am right, Digo used to be called
Yes Sonara Budha sounds a familiar name. Are you at the corner of Digo and
As for the history, if you know the last Hindu Parajiya in your family, then I have the history of the last Parajiya Hindu who became Muslim. Since your family names have been changed over the last 800 years, it’s a question of finding your family's ancestral Hindu name and we can then have the full Parajiya history.
I have the chart here with me. I am the eight generation down from Jaffer (descendants of whom are so known as the Jafferanis). Jaffer was the son of Malut; Malut was the son of Somji and Somji, the son of Virji. That’s all I have. Now I leave the steering with you to continue.
Malut, an Ismaili Khoja, had three sons who converted to be Sunni Muslims: Jaffer (Jafferani), Kasam (Kassmani), and Isa (Issani).
The corner shop on
Eight generation is around 150 - 160 years of history. You need to go at least 30 generations to meet in the Parajiya family tree.
If you can let me know the last Hindu in your family then we may be able to link. Ask you family elders who may be able to give you more info - Pranbhai
Virji Somji WAS the last Hindu in the family tree
To get your full family tree and roots, you need to find more info. May be your relatives in
I'll try to do some research on that. I'm sure there must be someone who might know. I'll get back to you as soon as I find something.
Anyone who can add further to this history are welcome to join in this discussion -
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