Mulla Asghar Memorial Library and Islamic Resource Centre strives to foster community cultural life by hosting exhibits, housing historic, fine arts, and literary collections, and providing spaces that attract scholars, students, and the general public to read, study, and browse to enhance learning, personal enrichment, and literary quest of peopel of all ages


The recently held Khoja Heritage Symposium held at MARC in Toronto, brought together, young and old, men and women for a lively and candid conversation on the history and evolution of our community to help us plan for the days to come. It was a rare occasion for the eminent academics, historians and community elders form across continents to gather under one roof to define our rich heritage, and help us to better understand where we come from as well as provide moments of introspection to envision our future.

Introductory Remarks by Presidents of ISIJ, NASIMCO & MARC
Khoja Symposium Part1 – Preamble

Articulating his expectations of the symposium, Al Hajjj Shabbir Jeraj envisioned that we need also conduct a candid assessment of where we stand today. Al Hajj Gulam Abbas Najafi, appreciated the endeavors of MARC to have had the vision of establishing this Institution in Toronto, which has become a Center of Learning as well a platform forex changing ideas for the benefit of Community. Dr. Hasnain Walji stated we should indeed have a frank conversations about the state of the Community and not be afraid of moving ourselves out of our comfort zones

The Impact of Gujarati Quran on the Khoja
Khoja Symposium Part 2 – Prof Iqbal Akhter

Prof Iqbal stated that Khoja identity is constantly evolving. Key to understanding its development is how language is tied to culture and identity. Language is more than simply a way toc ommunicate. Embedded within in it are values, narratives, and the wisdom of the ancients.

The Khoja Identity in the 21st Century
Khoja Symposium Part 3 – Dr Sibtain Panjwani​

Dr Panjwani observed that very institutions that have played a vital role in our development as a community -namely the Mimbar, Madrasah and Family units, now need to be critically reviewed to understand how well are they are helping us shape our Khoja ShiaIthnaAsheri Muslim identity in a meaningful, spiritual, humanitarian and universal manner.

Changing the Khoja Mindset
Khoja Symposium Part 4 – Alhajj Hassan Jaffer

Alhajj Hassanbhai Jaffer opined that we should not be bashful of our heritage, which had much to offer, and lamented on the fact our identity has been put to question by some internal and external forces. The principle of our collective community ownership, and democratic working system tend to send jitters in certain quarters.

The Impact of Marjaiyya on the Khoja Community
Khoja Symposium Part 5 – Dr Hasnain Walji

Having traced the “Impact of the Marjiyyah on the KSI Community” by meticulously outlining the positive foundational relationship of the Khoja Community with the Maraje, Dr Hasnain walji observed that of late the “Marjaiyyat by proxy” meant that the communication between the Community and the Maraje is increasingly seen through the prism of representatives, which tends to distort the reality of our Communities needs. Hence the community needs to ponder on the transition in the days to come.

Khoja Symposium Part 6 – Q & A

The participants strongly felt that preserving our cultural heritage and language unquestionably engenders a positive feeling of communal support. Indeed, the hall mark of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Community, ever since its evolution as a distinct Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Community has been to help each other during trials and tribulations on our journey from the ports of Porbandar and Mandvi to almost 40 countries today.

Khoja Symposium Part 7 – Closing Remarks Inspirational Closing Remarks by Alhajj RazAaly Hiridjee

Our Community, in particular in North America and Europe is slowly losing its sense of belonging to its heritage. One factor is the loss of Gujarati and associated dialects. Citing the Community in Madagascar and examples of his own family, he stated that the Madagascar Community had largely been successful in maintaining Gujarati as a medium of Communication at home and the mosque.

THE KHOJAS – A People’s History through the Journey of Faith

In this presentation you will watch how the Khoja community evolved and progressed through the journey of faith . The formation of the African Federation in 1945, The World Federation born in 1976, NASIMCO in 1980, Gujarat Federation in 1984, and finally COEJ in 2005 and more.

The KHOJAS – A Journey of Faith
An Inspiring 650 year Account of a People who Nurtured and Preserved their Faith in the Crucible of Culture

Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris, (KSI) numbering less than 150,000 pale into insignificance in the context of 200 million Shia Ithna-Asheris worldwide. Yet they are perceived to have a presence and influence that far exceeds their size. With their genesis from a Hindu heritage, to a hotchpotch mystic faith called Satpanth which combined Sufi ideas with traces of Hindu belief and their subsequent conversion to the Nizari Ismaili path and eventually to follow the Ja’fari school of thought is a fascinating story of a journey of faith. This film tells this story of this journey of faith over five centuries. Many of our elders expressed that the full story, of who the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheris are, must be told for future generations to glean an understanding and appreciation of their ancestors’ struggles, trials, tribulations as well as successes