The word khanava’dan is derived from the Persian, khana-a’badan, means may the house be flourished. As it is also said, a’badan shudan (to be inhabited), a’badan kardan (cultivate or build) or khanaysh abad (may this house be full and prosperous). The word a’badan is nearly synonymous with abad.
Earlier, the phrase khana-a’badan was used, then shortly khana-a’bad (may your house be prosperous) and now khanava’dan (may your household prosper). Imam Hasan Ali Shah arrived in India in 1842, and addressed the jamat in Persian language and blessed them with the term Khono-obod (may your household prosper). Kamadia Nazar Ali Haji Kadvani translated the Imam’s farman in Kutchhi language. He rendered the term obod as va’dan, meaning increase or enhance. This rendering became so appropriate and common that the Mukhi and Kamadia began to utter Khanava’dan to the jamat, and the Imam also blessed the jamat with the same coinage. It is made of the Persian word khana (household) and the Kutchhi va’dan (enhance), which properly means may your household prosper.
It is said that the blessing of khana-a’badan was firstly coined in the period of Imam Abul Hasan Ali Shah (d. 1206/1792). Historically, there is no indication that it was ever used before the time of Imam Abul Hasan Ali Shah.
In Ismaili practice, the Imam holds sole power to say khanava’dan to his spiritual children. The Mukhi represents the Imam in the Jamatkhana, therefore, he is vested authority to bless with khanava’dan or the Kamadia, including the Mukhi/Kamadia of different majalis.