History of Memon Community
Origin of the community:
According to popular legend, the origin of the community lies in the lohana group of a prominent hindu business community of sindh, which was converted to islam during the 15th century. Initially, they were known as mo’mins – but later, the word gradually changed to memons. Sometime after their conversion to islam, the ruler of kutch invited the memons to develop business in his newly found capital of bhuj. From bhuj they spread first to the rest of the kutch peninsula and then to kathiawar-which remained for the immigrants, their primary abode over the centuries. The active pursuit of business took them to all parts of the indian sub-continent. They also spread to other asian countries and later to the middle east and africa-particularly east and south africa. Their achievements in the commercial field reached a high point in a number of countries by the end of the 19th century. Early in this century they started to encourage education, a field in which they had lagged behind. The result is that today memons can be found not only in business and industry, but also in practically every sphere of the professional field. Members of the community are now well established not only in asia and africa, but also in europe, canada, usa, latin america and australia. The memons who continued to live in sindh are known as sindhi memons. Those who migrated and made kutch their home came to be known as kutchi memons. Those who settled in kathiawar and made that their home are called halai memons and those who settled in rajasthan are known as tharade memons.
Memons in the field of philanthropy:
Memons have been highly active in the field of philanthropy for many generations. They have been responsible for the establishment of some of the finest social welfare institutions, such as hospitals, maternity homes, charitable dispensaries, rest homes and orphanages. In addition they have constructed innumerable mosques and financed many institutions of religious learning. In the field of education they have built schools and colleges, financed higher education and granted local and foreign scholarships to memons and non-memons alike. The total contribution of the community to various charitable and altruistic pursuits in different parts of the world runs into billions of dollars. The philanthropic activities of the community continue to grow with an increasing volume of funds.