Sunni Bohra

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Sunni Bohra or Vohra
Total population
1,038,000 [1]
Regions with significant populations
 India Pakistan United Kingdom South Africa
Languages
GujaratiSindhiHindiUrduKutchiEnglish
Religion
Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
Gujarati MuslimsMemonKhojaBohra

Sunni Vohras or Sunni Bohras, (Arabic: سنی بوہرہ‎) are a Sunni Muslim community found in the province of Sindh in Pakistan and the state of Gujarat in India. Sharing a large number of cultural similarities with the Dawoodi Bohras, they are often confused with that community. However, they are different in the fact that they are Sunni following the Hanafi fiqh. The community in Pakistan uses the surname "Vohra" and not Bohra and are commonly known as Sunni Vohras. A very small number of families use the slightly different spelling of "Vora" as their surname. Another common surname is Patel. An overwhelming majority of the Gujrati speaking Vohra community of Pakistan, lives in the port city of Karachi in Sindh province. They are well organized and carry out their activities through their own Karachi based Association named Charotar Muslim Anjuman, Charotar being the name of the region in the Indian state of Gujarat where their ancestors are originally from.

History and distribution[edit]

In the 15th century, there was schism in Bohra community of Patan, Gujarat as large number converted from Mustaali Ismaili to Hanafi Sunni fiqh. The leader of this conversion movement to Sunni was Syed Jafar Ahmad Shirazi. Thus this new group is known as Jafari Bohras and Patani Bohras. In 1538, Syed Jafar Ahmad Shirazi convinced Patani Bohras to cease social relations with Ismaili Bohras. The cumulative results of these pressures resulted in over one million Dawoodi Bohra converting from Ismaili Shia Fiqh to Sunni Hanafi Fiqh.[2]

Traditionally, they have been traders and most of them have the suffix wala in their last name to designate either their ancestral trade or their ancestral village. Many Sunni Bohras/Vohras are educated professionals with a large number of bankers, doctors and engineers among them.

Sunni Vohras/Bohras have large communities in the major cities of Gujarat such as Ahmedabad and Surat as well as in smaller towns such as Patan, Himmatnagar, Visnagar, Bhavnagar, Mahesana, Kadi, Kalol, etc. and in Saurashtra, in Una, Veraval, Junagadh, Jetpur, Porbandar, Mangrol and Diu. There is a large community also based in Mumbai. After independence in 1947, many members of the community moved to Pakistan from India and there is a 215,500 strong community in Karachi. Recently, many Sunni Bohras/Vohras from Ahmedabad, Surat, Karachi and Bombay have migrated to the United States, Canada, Australia and the Persian Gulf countries forming small pockets of communities throughout many cities (numbering upwards of 500 people in Chicago, Illinois, US).[3]

Organizations[edit]

  • Gujarat Patni Sunni Jamaat Qaume Bawahir Federation, Himmatnagar
  • Sunnat Jamaat Qaum-e-Bawahir (SJKB), Ahmedabad
  • Patni Sunnat Jamaat, Surat
  • Jamaat-e-Gujrati Saudagaran Pakistan
  • Kathiawar Sunni Vohra Jamat
  • Charotar Muslim Anjuman, Karachi
  • Charotar Sunni Vahora Community, Anand, Mahemdavad, Petlad, Umreth, Chicago, New Jersey, London, Sydney

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]