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).

Canadian Senate foils Sayedna's plans - Part 1
In summer 1992, a notice by the Clerk of the Canadian Senate appeared in various Canadian Newspapers advising the citizens that the Sayedna had petitioned to the Senate to pass an Act (Bill S-13) to incorporate the Dai al-Mutlaq as a corporation sole in Canada. more
On the Dawoodi Bohra Reformist Struggle: Interview with Abid Adeeb
The Dawoodi Bohras, ethnic Gujaratis, are a roughly million strong group of the Mustalian branch of the Ismaili Shia Muslims. They are controlled by an elaborate hierarchy of priests, headed by the dai-e mutlaq, who claims to be the representative of the 21st imam of the community, who is believe to have gone into seclusion or ghayba in the eleventh century. Faced with stern Sunni opposition, the 24th dai of the community shifted to Gujarat in the twelfth century. The present dai, Syedna Burhanuddin, is the 52nd dai of the community, and this year he will celebrate his 100th birthday. 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.

Religion and poverty
I got an invitation from Union Theological Seminar, New York to participate in a seminar on 'Religion and Poverty' whose convener was Paul Knitter on the occasion of his installation as the Dean of the Seminary, a noted scholar in his field, yet very humble person with a pleasant personality. more
Moinuddin Chishti: A model of Sufi Islam
Sufi Islam, as pointed out by us repeatedly is the most tolerant Islam which is highly compatible with multi-culturalism and pluralism. It flourished in India precisely for this reason. Not only that it produced many great Sufis of indigenous origin but many great Sufis were attracted to India from Persia, Arabia and other countries, especially Central Asia. India has been pluralistic for centuries. It never witnessed any period which had only one religion, or one language or one culture. It was always multi-cultural and multi-religious. more
Ghalib was a beacon of secular, liberal values
Last year (2011) in April Justice Markandey Katju suggested that Ghalib be given the Bharat Ratna and it appealed to me and several of my secular friends and so I initiated an online petition to collect signatures. It got quite a favourable response but few friends disagreed although their secular credentials are as impeccable as of those who readily supported the petition. more
The unsung hero of reform movement
It was small hours of the morning. A boy of 16-17 was poring over his books, engrossed in his studies. There is a knock on the door. A man in a simple Muslim garb enters, tells the boy that Hazur-e-aali wants to see him. They exchange a few words, and the boy is driven to a grand house where Hazur-e-aali is sitting on a chair in a large room. The boy is directed to sit on the floor before him. Hazur-e-aali commands him to look him in his eyes and begins to talk about the glorious history of the Dais, how they never die; about the infallible Imams and their resplendent past; about Fatimid history and its vicissitudes; about Islam and its Ismaili inheritance and about the Dawoodi Bohras who opposed their Dai and how they were ruined (halak thayaa). more
  • News & Events
    Features
    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.

    more
    Islamic perspective
    Religion and economic justice
    It is usually thought that religion is on the side of establishment and vested interests – economic as well as political and it can never become a resource for justice. more
  • Bohras and Reform
    Karbala and its relevance to Dawoodi Bohras: 3
    This is the third part in a series discussing the relevance of Karbala to our community. Saifuddin Insaf argues that our present-day priesthood is completely out of step with the principles for which Imam Hussain sacrificed his life. more
    Fighting on
    At the KC College public meeting (last month), they came with black masks. On Saturday (March 4, 2000), at the Kalina campus, though their faces were uncovered, they refused to give their full names. Yet, it is their steadfastness that keeps the Bohra Reformist movement alive. 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