Zehra Cyclewala: Taking on the high and mighty
Zehra Cyclewala: Taking on the high and mighty
Tell the auto rickshaw driver to drop you off at the Red Tower in Zampa Bazar, that is the only tower in Surat, he will know, she said. Fifteen mintures later I arrived in a busy street swarming with people and traffic, a typical late-morning rush of any mid-sized Indian city. There she was, standing across the street:  A bespectacled middle-age woman wearing a cotton shalwar-kameez. We greeted, and made small talk as we took a short walk to her house through the narrow, claustrophobic lanes. more
The legacy of Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin
Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, the 52nd Dai ul Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohras passed away early Friday morning of January 17, 2014. Tens of thousands of Bohras from all over India – and abroad - converged on Mumbai for the funeral procession. The great crush of people overwhelmed the logistics it seems, and the stampede that followed reportedly killed 20 Bohras. This public frenzy, this mass hysteria, this great gathering and these needless deaths are a fitting legacy of Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. His life’s work was on full display on his death: a community transformed into a hero-worshipping mob. more
Vying for power: Old habits Dai hard
As if one Dai were not enough for Dawoodi Bohras. Now they are burdened with two. The dust on Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s grave has hardly settled and his family is at each other’s throats, vying for power. For the past two years there was the Mansoos (successor designate) Mufaddal Saifuddin. He was apparently conferred the Nass (investiture) by Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. But following his death his younger half-brother and deputy Khuzema Qutbuddin has also staked a claim to Daiship. That he was in the running for the post was always suspected. But it is the timing of his announcement that has sent the Bohra world into a tailspin. more
How the 51st Dai was undermined by his sons
The year 1967 was a memorable year for Bohras in East Africa. That was the year when plans hatched by late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin and his brother late Yusuf Najmuddin were finally enacted. That was the year when they would replace the 1955 Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat of East Africa Constitution with their own. The 1955 Constitution was developed with consultations with Syedna Taher Saifuddin and was adopted at meeting of East African Jamaats on 17 April 1955 in Dar-es-Salaam. The Constitution was subsequently sanctioned by Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb (A.Q.) as 51st Dai-el-Mutlaq. In the preamble to the 1967 Constitution, it states: more
A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community
Succession disputes, i.e., claims and counter-claims, are a familiar theme in Islamic history. As soon as the Prophet breathed his last in 10 H./632 C. E., the Muslim community was divided on the question of his succession as the leader of the community or of the proto-Islamic Medinan state that had evolved during the last years of the Prophet’s life. In contra distinction to the Sunnis the Shia asserted Ali’s succession both in political as well as in religious spheres. This had grave consequences, at least in theory, such as over the interpretation of the shari’a (religious regulations laid down in the Qur’an and the Sunna) or its alteration if necessary. more