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).
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.
News & Events
- Breaking new ground with Ziyarat tour
- A tour of 40 cities Ziyarat by reformists Bohras is jointly organized by Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community (CBDBC), Bombay, Bohra Youth Association (BYA), Udaipur and Fuli Bai and Zehra Cyclewala Charitable Trust, Surat. The Tour includes Ziyarat at Surat, Ahmadabad, Khambat, Jamnagar, Godhara, Sidhpur, Patan, Jawra, Ahmadnagar, Morbi, Rampura, Ujjain, Burhanpur, Aurangabad and Mumbai. On 23rd May 2014 morning Bhai Tayyebi Zamindar, senior reformist and staunch Gandhiwadi from Ahemdabad and I, Saifuddin Insaf, General Secretary of CBDBC, reached Surat in the morning. 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
- Islam's concepts of ethics
- Every religion lays great emphasis on ethical aspects of human conduct in its own unique way. Generally there is great commonality between different religions as far as moral and ethical questions are concerned. In fact to mould a moral character is the most fundamental function of religion. more
Bohras and Reform
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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