Reformists renew call for struggle against clergy
The two-day 15th All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference concluded in Udaipur on March 12, after a successful convention attended by reformist Dawoodi Bohras from all over the country. This event, held at Lok Kala Mandal, was organized by the Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community (CBDBC) with support from the Bohra Youth Jamaat and Bohra Youth Association, Udaipur. more
Ismaili Tawil of the Qura'n

Ismailis make a fundamental distinction between aspect of religion, the zahir (exterior) and the batin (interior). The former aspect consist of exterior aspects, such as knowing the apparent meaning of the Quran and performing the obligatory acts as laid down in the sharia, the religious law. The latter aspect is comprised of knowing the hidden, inner, true meaning of the Qrua'n and the sharia. They further maintain that it is the natiq (lawgiver-prophet) who receives revelation (tanzil) and promulgates the sharia, while it is his associate and deputy, the wasi (plenipotentiary), who expounds the batin through the science of ta'wil. The zahir, therefore, varies from prophet to prophet in accordance with each epoch, whereas the batin remains unchanged and is universally valid. Despite this twofold division of religion into exoteric and esoteric aspects, Ismailis stress that both are not only complementary to each other, but that they are also intertwined with each other like body and soul. One without the other, therefore, cannot exist.

Ismaili Tawil of the Quran. (Scanned PDF).

The wretched of the Bohra commumity
The Bohra community at present is passing through a period of turmoil. (It was true in the early 80s when the book was written as it is now in the late 90s.) Many members of this community, especially those who have taken part in the rebellion against the authoritarian Bohra priesthood, are undergoing intense suffering and mental torture. more
The problems of the Bohra community
Modernisation and change has brought many problems in its wake. The change is hardly ever smooth though we often like it to be one. Many religious communities have gone or have been going through turmoil in this process of modernisation and change. more
Bohra issues: archive of eye-opening articles and posts

This website and Forum have many interesting and thought-provoking posts submitted by various members over a period of many years, and which are difficult to locate. We have gathered this material in one place to provide easy access, and a starting point. Do yourself a favour, read this today.

Muslims, modernity and change
It is generally assumed that Islam is opposed to change and rejects modernity. Those who think like this are found both among Muslims as well as non-Muslims. In fact this debate has been raging among Muslims since nineteenth century i.e. since colonial experience began. more
To the Islamic orthodoxy science is still dangerous
I cannot quite decide which is the more dangerous of the two: George Bush and his obsession with ensuring U.S. global military dominance or the exploding power of brutal fundamentalist religious forces in countries such as mine. more
Bohra scholar who speaks truth to power
On a cool December morning I knock on the door of a house in a posh Los Angeles county. A diminutive man opens the door. He is Ismail K. Poonawala, former professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at UCLA. There is renovation going on in the house, Prof. Poonawala apologises for the mess. We make small talk as he gives me a tour of his study, it is lined with books on three sides, the fourth is held up by glass doors overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a distance. more
An artist true to himself, true to his soil
Every morning after breakfast you will find Abbas Batliwala in his studio communing with his canvas. “It’s the best time of day,” he says. A time to reflect on inner universe. From its unknown depths emerges an insistent creative urge that has defined his destiny and given him his true calling. If not for this urge Abbas would have been just another shopkeeper. “I’m no more than a salesman,” he says. Not for him the airs of an artist. He makes light of his talent and fame. more
  • News & Events
    Features
    An artist true to himself, true to his soil
    Every morning after breakfast you will find Abbas Batliwala in his studio communing with his canvas. “It’s the best time of day,” he says. A time to reflect on inner universe. From its unknown depths emerges an insistent creative urge that has defined his destiny and given him his true calling. If not for this urge Abbas would have been just another shopkeeper. “I’m no more than a salesman,” he says. Not for him the airs of an artist. He makes light of his talent and fame. more
    Islamic perspective
    A new approach for the Islamic world
    The world of Islam is in turmoil today. The events of 11th September in New York have given it a new jolt. The Muslim world was far from stable even before that. It had experienced many crises, conflicts and revolution. The post-colonial phase in whole of Africa and Asia that way has not seen long lasting stability. more
  • Bohras and Reform
    Sir Adamji Peerbhoy Sanatorium case
    The Bohra clergy's animosity with Sir Adamji Peerbhoy is well known. But community will soon know the outcome of this animosity. The clergy has committed several crimes in order to wipe out Sir Adamji's name from his charity known as Sir Adamji Peerbhoy Sanatorium. more
    Dawat-e-Hadiyah (England) Act 1993 (c. x)
    An Act to incorporate the Dai al-Mutlaq as a corporation sole; and for related purposes. [1st July 1993] WHEREAS His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin is the fifty-second incumbent in the office of the Dai al-Mutlaq, having been duly appointed by an act of designation in accordance with the canons and principles of the mission known as Dawat-e-Hadiyah: more
    Multimedia
    Interviews and talks
    Few people understand what the reform movement is about. They think reformists are against the Dai. This is not true. Check out a series of long-ranging interviews and talks to understand why reformists are fighting and what they are fighting for. more
    Your story
    › Tell us your story, write to us.
    How can we stop Kothar’s juggernaut?
    I was born in 1939 in a Dawoodi Bohra family. Having been brought up in a traditional Bohra household and later having migrated to North America I ensured that my children were raised in the same tradition. I taught them to read, write and recite Arabic, how to perform wudhu and offer prayers, explained Islam and its sects down to what we are as Dawoodi Bohras. more