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1. Foreword

FOREWORD (posthumous) 'MEMORIES OF GREAT ISMAILI HEROES'By late Wazir Ghulam Hussain S. Thavar (1907-1963)


The Ismaili community has produced a great number of fidais, whose incredible services gave rise to the prosperity that we enjoy today. It is most important to perpetuate their memories to instill the religious fervour of their sacrificial feats in the minds of the growing class, and also induce the youths to render like meritorious services.

It is a natural inspiration, which prevails in all countries and peoples to preserve the memories of their great heroes. The Hindus still safeguard the memories of their ancient gods, such Ram, Krishna, Prahalad, etc. in the form of different festivals and implant in the new generation to keep it up. The Christians have as well steadily kept alive the memories of Lord Christ, Saint Mark, Saint Paul, Saint Joseph, etc. In the Islamic world, the memories of the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Ali, Imam Hussain, Hasan, etc. are commemorated. These great people were martyred in obedience to God, and gleaned the noble illustrations of their obedience and sacrifice,

Through the ages, the heroes took birth in the world, and their memories were kept alive. Had the culture of preservation not existed, the present generations would have been absolutely void of this great heritage. Every individual will admit that it is necessary to keep memories of the fidais for the betterment of the community. The educated class is well acquainted, and is stirring to revive the memories of the forgotten personages, who with their matchless services have immortalized their eminence in all the religious and social fields. Miranbai, Akho and Nazir glorified the infinite phenomena, and enlightened their inner feelings in the world. Gokhale, Dadabhai and Sir Sayed Ahmed exhorted the lessons of patriotism to the people. The Hindus kept the memories of these great persons along with their inner spirit. The memories of the courageous persons execute cardinal role in building a brighter future for the generations ahead.

Hasan bin Sabbah, the great fidai flourished in our community. Remembrance amongst the Ismaili community is alleged to him for bringing Imam Hadi to the Alamut fort and getting him ascended to the office of Imamate. His selfless sacrifice, courage, and loyalty inspired by the farman of the Imam, pushed him to risk his life. His numerous qualities have inspired acts of loyalty and dedication by various people.

Pir Satgur Nur, Pir Sadruddin, and Pir Hasan Kabiruddin, the great Ismaili missionaries entered the Indian territories foreign to them and preached inexpressible philosophy of the true path and redeemed us. We shall always cherish them in our heart with thankfulness.

Nasir Khusrao, another great missionary wandered in the awful forests and unknown lands on foot to spread Ismailism. He promulgated in all length and breath and persevered his journey without food and water, depended solely on roots and grass. The fidais and mawlais of Badakhshan, Samarkand, Khorasan, and Pamirs still retain his memory in reverence.

Known as the Lion of Kathiawar and considered as a crown of the whole Indian Ismaili population, late Wazir Ismail Gangji's sacrifice to the Imam and services to knit the community, are still glorified among the elders, who were associated with him. When they relate his biography, a fresh ripple in their bodies penetrates with wonderful light glittering in their eyes. Wazir Ismail Gangji exhorted the philosophical aspects of the great Pirs' ginans. He elaborated its depth by using his charming oratory skills in such a manner that the listeners became true lovers of the Imam. The Junagadh jamat, the lovers of the Imam are the live testimony for it.

Who is not acquainted with the memory of late fidai Jamal Mukhi? His sweet oratories, smoothened with ginans, have made Ismailis of every village he visited reinforce their loyalty towards the Imam.

Who is not familiar with great fidai, late Hashim Master Bogha, who led entirely an astute life? With his extended knowledge, he translated Arabic and Persian books into Gujrati, including the translation of the dua composed by Pir Sadruddin along with its commentary. He destitued his opponents using the Holy Koran, Hadiths, and countless other evidences as his foremost weapons.

It is necessary to draw the attention of the Ismailis to revive and perpetuate the memories of so many great fidais. The younger generation will indulge itself in its essence by hearkening the noble achievements of their services, hence applying this philosophy to their lives.

Before making other arrangements, it is necessary to celebrate their anniversaries every year. On these occasions, famous scholars and thinkers must highlight the marrow of their biographies, their meritorious devotion, and the principal features of their services that have lofted their names. They must exhort the lesson worthy to follow and inspire the people to accomplish great works, hence contributing to the community's prosperity.

The thinkers, scholars, leaders, and writers of the community must elucidate the gist of this subject, to therefore express their individual views and stimulate the growing interest of the community.

Quarterly 'Fidai' (Bombay, January, 1928, 1:4, pp. 221-222)

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