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
Humanism in Ismaili thought: The case of the Rasail Ikhwan al-Safa

Cultural historians are divided as to whether the term "humanism," a product of the Graeco-Roman humanitas ideal, can be applied to the world of medieval Islam. In his chapter entitled "al-Naza al-insaniyya fi'l-fikr al-'arabi" (The Humanist Trend in Arab Thought), 'Abd al-Ral:rman Badawi, reflecting on humanism in Arab thought, states that Greek culture was not unique in creating a humanist ideal. Every high culture, he asserts, produces this phenomenon in its own way. A number of other scholars, such as Louis Gardet, and Mohammed Arkoun have discussed and elaborated on humanism as a feature of Arab-Islamic civilization. In The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West, George Makdisi has covered all aspects of Islamic learning and rendered the Arabic term adab as humanism.

This article appeared in Universality in Islamic Thought: Rationalism, Science and Religious Belief, Edited by Michael Morony, London: I.B.Tauris, 2014.

Humanism in Ismaili thought: The case of the Rasail Ikhwan al-Safa. (Scanned PDF).

Sayedna Taher Saifuddin in court: recollections
The longest case with which I was ever connected was a suit filed by me as Advocate-General against the Mullaji, or High Priest of the Dawoodi Borah Community, and certain of his followers. more
Nikah according to Islamic and Isma’ili Shari’ah
According to Islam and the books of Ismaili faith, Ikhwanus-Safa, Rahatul-Aql, Da'aim-ul-Islam, Mjalis-e-Moiyyadiya and Kitabul-Fiqah, Nikah is a Marriage Contract (a Civil Contract not Sacrament) between an adult Muslim woman and an adult Muslim man, an agreement mutually signed by the bride and the groom in the presence of two male witnesses. 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.

The soul of the world order: Islam and scientific fundamentalism
A crisis of knowledge of immense proportions overwhelms the contemporary Muslim civilization: The erstwhile “Civilization of the Book” is humbled today under the intellectual thatch of the West. This is an indictment made, paradoxically, in good faith! more
Role of women in Karbala
These days we find lot of restrictions on women. In many cases they cannot even venture out of homes and are required to restrict themselves to household chores. Very few Muslim women have public roles, much less participating in tumultuous events of our times. And all this is being done in the name of Islam. However, if we cast a glance on early history of Islam we find women taking part in various events along with men.  The Prophet (PBUH) had four daughters from Bibi Khadija and brought them up as model women participating in Islamic revolution. 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
    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
    Islamic perspective
    The concept of ijtihad in Islam
    Change is inevitable in human life and society. Dr Allama Iqbal, the noted poet, also says that “it is only revolution which is permanent” and everything else keeps on changing. In the event of constant change, can religion and religious law remain unchanged? more
  • Bohras and Reform
    Making a tamasha of Moharram in Mumbai
    The month of Moharram in the Islamic calendar commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (A.S.), the grandson of the founder of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). Imam Hussein is widely revered by all Muslim communities without any exception. more
    The Bohras: Religion and spirituality
    The Bohras are convert from Hinduism to the Shi'ah Isma'ili sect of Islam. The conversion took place mainly in the twelfth century A.D. in Gujrat in India. more
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    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