(Last Updated on : 08/04/2009)
The Cutch Memons are one of the most important mercantile communities of the west coast. They number over five thousand many having migrated to Pakistan in 1947. Originally they were Brahmins and Lohanas of Kutch and Sind. But they were later converted by a Sufi saint, Pir Yusufuddin, in about the year 1400 AD. As they sought refuge with the Baluch chieftains they came to be called 'Mamoon.' In Arabic the latter means safe at peace. This word in common usage became Memon.
Groups of this community sprang up in Makran, Sindh and Kutch. Due to famine and social unacceptability they began to immigrate to the port towns of West and South India. There was a mass exodus of the Memons to Mumbai in about 1600 AD who became engaged in trade and commerce there.
About the, same time some Memons from Jamnagar or old Kathiawar emigrated to Sind (now in Pakistan) and settled down at Halai. They formed the other group called the Hala Memons.
The Memons are a prosperous and advanced community. In Mumbai and other places they run their own well-organised and wealthy trusts, hospitals, schools and polytechnics. Apart from industrialists, they have also produced distinguished persons in other fields.