Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:58 pm Post subject: SOS Khojki
Why a special section on Khojki? In fact many Ismaili documents have been preserved thanks to this secret scripts of the Ismailis. Most of these documents are in Indic languages but we also have Khojki documents in Persian (Farsi) and Arabic.
Put in this section all information related to Khojki scripts and documents (theology, history, others) preserved through the ages.
Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:51 am Post subject: Khojki Inscriptions on Ismaili Tombs of Lassi Kabrastan
There are few tombs in Lassi cemetery of Karachi, Pakistan with Khojki inscriptions . These are obviously very old and the inscriptions are not perfectly legible. here is the link to some pics of the inscriptions and the tombs
Here is a catalogue of Khojki Manuscripts in the Collection of the Ismailia Association of Pakistan in 1971
The catalogue was prepared by Zawahir Noorally and covers 114 manuscripts which were sent with subsequent arrivals to the IIS in London. These manuscripts were later scanned at the same time as other Khojki manuscripts received from institutional and private sources.
Here is a partial list of the Table of Content of some of the manuscripts in the collection of the Heritage Society. This list was prepared 25 years ago and is nw been completed within the project to soon put online all of the scans of the complete collection.
Catalogue of Khojkî Manuscripts available through the Heritage Society
The Landa family of scripts. These were Brahmi derived scripts that were in use in North Western India to write the languages there (Punjabi, Seraiki, Potohari, Hindko, Sindhi etc.). Sharada script was the parent of these family of scripts. The only surviving script of this family today is Gurmukhi, which has come to be a standard script for Punjabi in India. All the others have either gone extinct due to large scale adoption of Perso-Arabic variants or in some cases Devanagari and Gurmukhi.
Why am I writing about these scripts today? Because there is a very interesting script among these – Khojki. What is interesting about this script?
Before telling that, let me tell you an impact that the spread of Islam has had on the world of scripts. Islam has decimated a lot of writing systems across the world, wherever it spread. The Pahlavi script, which was in use when Islam entered Persia has gone extinct. Iran uses the Arabic script for its language today. Sarada and It’s descendants, the Landa scripts, were widely used in North West India, even inside Afghanistan. The whole area is now using the Arabic script. We all know how Hindi itself was written in the Arabic script, which only changed about a century ago due to rise of nationalism in North India. Many people may not know, there are even medieval works written in Tamil by Muslims in a variant of the Arabic script. The Jawi script, another variant of the Arabic script was widely used in South East Asia for writing languages there. The Roman Alphabets have since taken over there due to western colonization. The Turkish language also was written in the Arabic script for over 1000 years, before being Romanized after the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate. The central Asian Turkic languages too (along with Tajiki, one of the standard registers of Farsi) were written in Arabic script, before Soviet Union changed their scripts to Cyrillic. The Turkic language of the Muslim Uyghurs is written in the Arabic script even today. Etc. In short, the spread of Islam also led to the spread of the Arabic script, as new converts were arabizing their languages everywhere. A very interesting exception is the Khojki script – the subject of this post. This was a Brahmic script and a descendant of Sharada as I mentioned before. And most interestingly, it was exclusively used by a Muslim community – the Ismaili Khojas, after whom the script is named. Not only that, they actually used the script to write their liturgy! This is the only case where I have come across, where a Muslim group had accepted a Brahmic script for liturgical purposes.
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