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
Translability of the Quran: Theological and literary considerations

It seems that Muslim Orthodoxy's objection to translation mainly stems from doctrinal consideration. Literally problems, on the other hand, remain formidable. The Qur'an has its lexical subtleties, its perplexities of grammar, its cadences and rhymes, its metaphor and poetry. All these qualities not only tax the ingenuity of the translator but make it almost impossible to avoid interpretation. No translation can do justice to the original, and the unique quality of its i'jaz is lost in translation.

Translability of the Quran: Theological and literary considerations (Scanned PDF).

Doctrine of infallibility in Islamili tradition
There is great deal of misconception about the doctrine of 'ismah (infallibility) and its precise meaning among the Isma'ilis, in general, and among the Dawoodi Bohras, in particular. The doctrine of 'ismah i.e. infallibility applies only to the Prophet in Sunni Islam and to the Prophet, his legatee (wasi) and imams in Shi'ah Islam. more
Violations of rights: The Bohra case
The concept of perfect democracy can rarely be achieved in practice. In fact if perfect form of democracy could be realised in practice the concept of religious or linguistic minority-majority also would be superfluous. Many scholars argue that in democracy there could be nothing like religious minority or majority, but only political minority or majority. 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.

Islam and modernity
What is the relation between Islam and modernity? Generally it is thought to be negative. But it is very superficial approach. In fact one has to go deeper both into Islamic theology and history as well as into the meaning and significance of the term ‘modernity'. more
The Prophet and the terrorist: A dialogue
The events of 9/11 nine years ago changed the face and character of the world. In retaliation to the Trade Centre attacks, as the US and its allies rained death and destruction on Afghanistan and Iraq, Muslims everywhere were made to feel guilty and Islam was turned into a pariah religion. more
Three great Bohra scholars of 20th century
Dawoodi Bohras  are not used to reading "Borha" and "scholar" in the same sentence. So it may come as a surprise to learn about these three great Bohra scholars (two Dawoodi and one Suleimani) of the 20th century. Many of us have not heard about them because independent studies and research into religious knowledge is actively discouraged by the Bohra priestly class. It considers religious knowledge as its exclusive domain, and as such zealously controls all our great Ismaili and Fatimid literature. Those who show any sign of indpendent scholarship are ex-communicated and banished as heretics. more
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 minutes 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.

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  • News & Events
    Features
    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
    Islamic perspective
    Muslim women and maintenance
    With the recent judgement of the Bombay High Court the controversy about the maintenance of a Muslim divorcee has been revived. Similar judgement by the Apex Court in mid-eighties popularly known as the Shah Bano case had caused much turmoil in the Muslim community. more
  • Bohras and Reform
    The issues in the Bohra reform movement
    Many questions often arise about the aims and objects of the Bohra reform movement. Some even go to the extent of saying that there are contradictory views and confusion. more
    Dai and his qualifications
    It is generally believed that a Da'i is as infallible as an Imam. Such a belief is certainly wrong. As far as the Ismaili beliefs go, there is no such belief about the infallibility of a Da'i. Only an Imam after Nabi and Wasi is believed to be infallible. 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