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Rival Syedna buried at Thane home but succession battle will continue
TNN | Apr 10, 2016, 10.47 PM IST
Mumbai: More than a week after his death in the US, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, claimant to the 53rd Dai-al-Mutlaq or spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohras, was buried at his Darus Sakina residence in Thane on Sunday. Nearly 500 followers, including women and children, attended the burial and mourning session.
Qutbuddin's eldest son and successor, Taher Fakhruddin, led the namaz-e-janaza (funeral prayer), accepted condolences and addressed the matmi majlis (mourning session) after the burial. While extolling his father's virtues, Fakhruddin said Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin was the successor as the nass (succession) on him was done by the late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. He also announced a 40-day mourning for the departed leader. Fakhruddin's office said Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin's body was taken by helicopter for ziyarat (visit) of Roza-e-Tahera, the mausoleum which houses graves of Qutbuddin's father, Syedna Taher Saifuddin, and half-brother, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. The helicopter made seven round of the mausoleum.
Printouts of a Qaseeda (panegyric poem) in Arabic for Qutbuddin by Fakhruddin were distributed among the mourners. "The family is mourning. A detailed press briefing will be held soon," said Taher Khorakiwala, a follower of the breakaway faction of the Dawoodi Bohras.
If there were doubts about whether Fakhruddin would continue the fight for the Syedna's post, they were cleared when he declared that fatah mobeen (sweet victory) would be his. "It was a clear attempt to send a message to the supporters of incumbent spiritual head Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin that the battle for the highest post in the community is not over. Fakhruddin will challenge Saifuddin's position as the community's spiritual head in courts," said a follower of Fakhruddin who attended Qutbuddin's janaza and burial.
Qutbuddin had walked out of the family's bungalow in Malabar Hill on January 17, 2014, after Syedna Burhanuddin's death and claimed the late Burhanuddin had secretly appointed him successor in 1965. But Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's group said the late Syedna had done nass (succession) on Mufaddal Saifuddin in 2011. The issue reached the Bombay HC, which said last week that Qutbuddin's claims to be declared spiritual head had "abated" after his death but Fakhruddin could file a suit.