A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

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A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#1

Unread post by Admin » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:35 pm

Signed by two internationally recognized Bohra scholars
Ismail K. Poonawala | Abbas H. Hamdani

Succession disputes, i.e., claims and counter-claims, are a familiar theme in Islamic history. As soon as the Prophet breathed his last in 10 H./632 C. E., the Muslim community was divided on the question of his succession as the leader of the community or of the proto-Islamic Medinan state that had evolved during the last years of the Prophet’s life. In contra distinction to the Sunnis the Shia asserted Ali’s succession both in political as well as in religious spheres. This had grave consequences, at least in theory, such as over the interpretation of the shari’a (religious regulations laid down in the Qur’an and the Sunna) or its alteration if necessary.

Any radical interpretation of the shari’a remained merely at the theoretical level; but, from time to time, antinomian tendencies did surface. The Shii theory of the Imamate with the principle of a clear designation of the (spiritual guide) successor (commonly called al-nass) had crystalized during the lifetime of the Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq. However, soon after the latter’s death in 148 H./765 C.E. his sons claimed the imamate for themselves. Because of this his followers were divided and they came to be known as the Twelvers/Imamis and the Ismailis respectively. This chasm has persisted to this day. It is a fact of history that the Shia, especially the Imamis and Ismailis, despite the principle of nass (designation of the successor), themselves divided several times over throughout their long history. Just to cite one example, the major split among the Ismailis (also called Fatimids) occurred following the death of the imam-caliph al-Mustansir (d. 487 H./1094 C.E.) that greatly weakened the Fatimid empire. It was the origin of the Musta’li-Tayyibi daʿwa (which later on became known as the Bohras) and the Nizari (known as Aga Khani) communities of today.

The chain of the da'is (da’i muṭlaq - with full authority) in Yemen starting with Sayyidna Dhu’ayb in 526 H./1130-32 C.E. and continuing in India, was also not spared of this cancer. In short, the Musta’li-Tayyibi community was split into Sulaymanis, Dawudis and Alawis over the very same issue of succession. Another serious crisis that threatened the Dawudi community occurred in 1256 H./1840 C.E. when the 46th da’i Sayyidna Muhammad Badruddin died without nominating his successor. The four prominent masha’ikh (scholars) of the time led by Abd-e Ali Imaduddin kept the information from the community (for the benefit of its unity), met privately and decided to nominate Abdul Qadir Najmuddin, the then holder of the rank of mukasir as nazim, an adjuster, for administrative purposes only. It was agreed that he would abstain from claiming the spiritual position of the da’i and it title da’i mutlaq. Without going into the ugly details as to how authoritarian rule was imposed on the community by Sayyidna Tahir Saifuddin and his successor Sayyidna Muhammad Burhanuddin, it should be reiterated that Yusuf Najmuddin, the son of Tahir Saifuddin, publicly acknowledged in an interview published in the Karachi English daily the Dawn that his father was simply a da’i nazim.

We the undersigned are intimately familiar with the literature and tradition of the Musta’li-Tayyibi da’wa, and are therefore speaking from a position of authority on the matter of succession and various other issues. There is a formidable extant literature outlining the role and duties of a da’i, from three important periods of Ismaili history: the pre-Fatimid, the Fatimid, and post-Fatimid (Tayyibi) periods. This literature (is edited & translated) defines the refines the da’wa organization’s role and leadership over these critical phases of its evolution, i.e., before the Imam’s appearance, during their rule in the Fatimid period, and after their presence in the period when the Tayyibi da’wa was established. What this literature emphasizes and justifies is a distinctly spiritual role for the da’is in their capacity as most knowledgeable. Therefore, able to interpret the imam’s tradition for the guidance of the community and the administrative duties involved in providing social welfare and officiating over social rites (birth, marriage, and death) of the communal members.

The British colonial period led to another phase in the evolution of the da’wa. It was radically different than the previous ones, and involved a fundamental paradigm shift. Whereas before, the da’wa served an imam in hiding (pre-Fatimid), or a living imam (Fatimid), or an absent imam (Tayyibi phase) through the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt left behind, in the mid-19th century the da’wa under Abdul Qadir Najmduddin assumes a role no longer subservient to the hidden imam, rather the da’wa stands in for the imam, arrogating unprecedented powers to himself. This transformation was achieved with the tacit cooperation of British colonial authorities and upheld in colonial courts as legal. The obvious reason was that the British sought to maintain control of the various communities in the Indian subcontinent through the indirect rule of “native leaders/princes.” Our da’is were thus given princely titles, state privileges, and occasionally subsidies to enforce obedience to colonial authorities by their communal members.

What is striking is that the relationship of mutual benefit that had developed between the colonial authorites and the da’i’s family continued post-independence by Tahir Saifuddin and his son Muhammad Burhanuddin. Strangely enough it was upheld by the Indian Republic. Several colonial laws have remained on the books, the most contentious having to do with communal law. Both the above da’is were happy to exploit the nervousness of the Indian government in countering religious minorities despite many attempts by individuals from the community to appeal directly to the State as enfranchised citizens whose rights under the law were being violated by their communal leaders. The hesitation by the Indian State, and “ignorance combined with blind faith” of the community regarding their own religious tradition have conspired to bring about the idiotic importance of the succession crisis faced by the community today.

Egregious usurpations of enormous powers have enabled this family to function as pseudo-imams, and as a state within a state. Morarji Desai, the chief minister of Bombay and then the Prime Minister of India, was the first to use this expression for the Bohra Mullaji. Hence, the various permissions and fees that amount to a separate legal regime, and taxation administration oftentimes in direct contravention of Islamic principles and of state law and taxation regarding freedoms of behavior and declaration of charitable contributions, and hence the use of excommunication a punishment, in the same manner that a state judges certain crimes to constitute treason, jail or kill individuals so deemed.

According to reliable reports in English newspapers and various rumors and gossip circulating on social media and internet, the community is made to believe that Khuzemabhai Qutbuddin is a liberal while al-Mufaddalbhai Saifuddin is an authoritarian autocrat. In our view this is merely a smoke-screen and the contestants have not come out with any clear manifesto supporting such claims.

The central message of the Qur’an is socio-economic justice which is bluntly violated by the Bohra religious establishment. It would be helpful if the effort to counter the trend set up by Nujmuddin, whose descendants are currently vying for power began the process of arrogating unprecedented powers to himself, by first marginalizing the scholarly elites of the community whose historical role had been to vet the most knowledgeable for the position of the da’i. His successors continued this effort, and through seminal court cases, such as the Chandabhai Gulla Case and the Burhanpur Dargah Case, argued that they had sole and non-transparent control over communal properties and funds. Thus equipped with both money and legal justification, the da’is were able to monopolize knowledge, preoccupy the community with new rituals, obligations, and realign the community away from learning and trade. For example, Mufaddal has put “roti-making” and the pursuit of professions that while profitable enough to tax would not allow the growth of financial empires that would allow Bohras to challenge the resources of the da’i’s family or kothar (administration which resembles medieval fiefdom).

It really does not matter who the da’i-nazim is, but what is important is that a new charter about his (after the precedent established by Sayyida Arwa, founder of the Tayyibi da’wa in Yemen) jurisdiction, as it were, needs to written. Therefore, for the future prosperity and progress of the Bohra community we cannot support either candidate for the position of a nazim unless they pledge publicly the following short list of overdue reforms in social and religious spheres. These demands and forcible collection of all the taxes are fully documented and enumerated in the Nathwani and Tewatia Commission Reports. We think that the following should be kept in mind.
  • that he is only a Nazim Da’i (administrator) and not a Da’i Mutlaq (with full powers)
  • that he is prepared to accept all past and future charities as waqf properties of the community with an independent authority and financial transparency, and that he should not claim to be the sole trustee as claimed by Sayyedna Tahir Saifuddin and his successor;
  • that he would accept democratic constitution of all the local jamats and for the Central Jamat Board to be elected directly by the community, and that this body should be consulted by him in all matters affecting the welfare of the community;
  • that he will abolish all non-Islamic collection of taxes called wajebat and several other taxes at the time of death, such as ruku’ chiththi (recommendation letter that the deceased has paid all his dues and should be welcomed to paradise), etc.;
  • that there should be no baraat (excommunication) of an individual member or a family of the community, which is a form of religious tyranny… membership of a community is a voluntary thing;
  • that he will put an end to conferring honorary titles based solely on payment of large sums of money;
  • that he should abolish restrictions on dress, both for men and women;
  • that there should be no payment of so-called deposits for men to grow beards;
  • that the crude rules of iddat be reformed bringing it in accord with the Islamic principle;
  • that there should be an end to feminine khatna (circumcission) which is a form of female genital mutilation is therefore un-Islamic;
  • that a council of scholars and a database of da’wa literature be established; the community scholars should have easy access to da’wa collection of manuscripts both in Surat and Mumbai and that it is a community property; acquisition of religious knowledge is not a monopoly of the clergy or a specific group; all the manuscripts need to be properly catalogued and special steps be taken for their preservation;
  • that a fund/trust be set to support future generation of young Bohras pursuing the study of Tayyibi Ismailism and related fields, or to pursue legal advocacy and revision of detrimental statues and laws that serve as justification for the da’is hold on power;
  • that reforms in the educational institutions (madrasas, and the seminary at Surat) should be carried out and for that purpose a committee of highly qualified scholars be established;
  • that the custom imposed by Tahir Saifuddin to obtain raza (permission) for each and every petty matter is against the teachings of Islam and should be abolished;
  • that he should declare his predecessors’ claim to have authority over the jan (soul) or mal (property) of a member of the community as totally against the basic Islamic teachings and bring it to an end;
  • that he should be easily accessible to any member of the community and listen to his/her complaint and access should not be controlled by a coterie of henchmen around him, in short, there should not be either an iron or bamboo curtain around him;
  • that efforts should be directed towards building a civil society that not only includes the admirable charitable, educational, and social welfare organizations, but also an alternative religious or scholarly elite to prevent the attrition of Bohras to other branches of Islam, and provide the progressive spiritual guidance that is sorely needed.
All the above are basic human rights and supported by the long tradition or sunna and many precedents of the Dawudi Tayyibi Ismaili da'wa. They should constitute the charter of the community and constitution of its organization or da'wa. A duly elected Central Council should be authorized to add more stipulations as it deems fit. As nazim, the Da'i should provide enlightened spiritual (rather than religio-political) leadership, based on knowledge acknowledged by the scholars of the community, communal harmony, and tolerance within the community. He or she (in keeping with the precedent set by the founder of the Tayyib Ismaili da'wa, Sayyida Arwa) should furthermore seek the acceptance rather segregation of the community from non-Ismaili Muslim and non-Muslim communities, and the states which govern them, which should be allowed to govern members of the community directly as individuals rather through the da'wa as it currently functions as a state within a state.

January 28, 2014
Signed by
Professor Emeritus Ismail K. Poonawala,
Professor of Arabic & Islamic Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Professor Emeritus Abbas H. Hamdani,
Professor of Near Eastern History, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA

A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

Al Zulfiqar
Posts: 4609
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#2

Unread post by Al Zulfiqar » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:23 pm

An Excellent Document! It covers every conceivable issue that all reform minded bohras have been clamouring for since decades with the backing of Bohra Shia history.

Whether the demands outlined in this manifesto will ever be achieved is another matter altogether. As clearly mentioned in this manifesto, the vote-bank and politics of convenience indulged in by successive governments in India post-independence have given a clear chit to our clergy to increase their strangle-hold on the bohra community. With the simultaneous deprivation of deeni knowledge and our past history, it has become even more difficult to convince the ordinary bohras who have come to believe that the prevalent customs, traditions and religious regulations they are perforce conforming to, are all fraudulent and unislamic.

The time has come when only a change of state govt laws dealing with minorities occur along with the changing of guard at the helm of the bohra clergy. It is always good to hope, but practically the situation remains beyond reach of reform as envisaged by these 2 eminent scholars.

WellWisher
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:38 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#3

Unread post by WellWisher » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:44 pm

Seriously, this branch of Islam is headed toward worst kind of Idol worship. Wait till Abdes start putting sandalwood garland on picture of 52nd in their houses and house of worship. Out of this drama, only few will be reformed. The rest will be subjected to more forceful servitude and un-Islamic practices. A big regret on the day of Qiyamat.

MusaKarimji
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:29 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#4

Unread post by MusaKarimji » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:41 pm

Very well written and I support all of these points completely.

this also reminds of of this post.

http://dawoodi-bohras.com/forum/viewtop ... f=1&t=8458

* Mithaq shud be strictly for IMAM (who ever he is, and where ever he is)

*no sajda on graves and individual shud be permited.

*more concentration and importance shud be given on ALLAH and AHLULBAYT and none else.

*every city and town jamaat shud take there own matters in there hand and it sshud not be centralized. because sathiyas of town knows who is needy and who neeeds help more then any kothari sitting in badri mahal air condition office.

*immediate translation of QURAAN shud be done in ENGLISH,GUJARATI and HINDI.

*jamiya library shud be kept open for every one.

*properties of dawat shud be left free of charge or atleast minimum charge for use of common bohras.

*no one shud be given fake tiles of mullah and sheikh unless they posses ilm and ability to lead namaaz.

*even family member of dai shud not be given any scholarly job unless he qualifies from arabic universities and passes certain exams.

*no hate speeches against any sect in mosque, this will reduce threats on bohras in different countries.

*amil's power shud be limited to mosque.

*immediate cancellation of ejamaat card and ITS cards, we dont need any surveillance on our head.

*no shehzadas and shehzadis, they are all normal human being so call them by there own names.

*after every project accountability shud be done.

** panel of highly educated and religious scholars shud be constituted, and fatwas shud just come out from this commitee.

Ozdundee
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:57 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#5

Unread post by Ozdundee » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:39 am

I fully and whole heartedly support the proposed Manifesto drafted by IP and AH.

Khurshid Ali D K
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:50 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#6

Unread post by Khurshid Ali D K » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:16 am

Given the entrenched power and extent of superstition and blind following of both the claimants of da'ai's position, it would be next to impossible to have such public pledge and declarations mentioned above. These guys have tested blood. Both the power centers are inured to power and privileges and unquestionable submission of their body and soul by these unmindful zombies. On top of it these religious Gurus have state politicians in their pockets, who in quest of vote banks would prostrate before these charlatans .
But given the enormous following both sides have been claiming and with no sigh about any possible rebellions in either camp, it is left to the like minded people in different countries such USA, UK, Canada, Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanks, to file a public interest petition in their court of law preventing either camp from taking "wajibaats', issuing any religious "fatwas", coercing them into the submission, obtaining a pledge of allegiance "missaq' etc.

Until they are made to face full face of the law, these seasoned thugs will not budge an inch and would only dig their heels further. This could be gauged by the recent events where Mufaddal Bhai Saheb made the gullible masses of Udaipur and Dahod to cough up around 35 and 17 crores respectively in a short period. This shows how easy it for them to fool these spineless guys all the time.

It is the time that scholars, executives, professors, journalists and all those capable personalities took action available to them in terms of legal action against these claimants of having connection to the "Ahle-Bet" and loot the community and keep them in perpetual darkness and illiteracy.

Being_Bohra
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:39 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#7

Unread post by Being_Bohra » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:17 am

Excellent summarisation of most things that any rational bohri would agree. However, a mere word of the pen is clearly not enough to bring this sea of change. For one, we are dealing with a huge number here; most of whom are blind followers.

I strongly feel that our community today, needs Islamic reforms more than societal reforms. I strongly feel if these are corrected everything else will slowly fall in place. But how? How do u educate a normal bohri, let alone bring up this topic in the first place.

This events so far have already started a thought process but soon these will be forgotten. The reform movement which is simmering now will once again plateau. Submitting this manifesto, is no doubt a great idea. But, what is its reach? How many people have access to it?

Why not challenge these people directly? Why not have an open debate about their random practices? This sure will be a great crowd puller if nothing else.

kseeker
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#8

Unread post by kseeker » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:25 am

Another serious crisis that threatened the Dawudi community occurred in 1256 H./1840 C.E. when the 46th da’i Sayyidna Muhammad Badruddin died without nominating his successor. The four prominent masha’ikh (scholars) of the time led by Abd-e Ali Imaduddin kept the information from the community (for the benefit of its unity), met privately and decided to nominate Abdul Qadir Najmuddin, the then holder of the rank of mukasir as nazim, an adjuster, for administrative purposes only. It was agreed that he would abstain from claiming the spiritual position of the da’i and it title da’i mutlaq.

Can anyone tell me, did Abdul Qadir Najmuddin keep his word or did he claim to be Dai Mutlaq.. if yes, who was the first da'i afterh im to claim to be al mutlaq?

bohri
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:12 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#9

Unread post by bohri » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:48 am

The manifesto echoes the wishes of most ordinary Bohras, who want to live in peace and harmony, practice their religion and not be bullied. It is an ask for a most basic need, and not a dream of living in Utopia. In truth, Bohras enjoyed such communal lives throughout their history and up to the time when Mr. Taher Saiffudin's coup d'état.

Ironically, majority of Bohras live in democratic countries, often having fled there to enjoy greater freedom, yet they are forced into abdehood in their own communities.

My fellow Bohras, make this your manifesto, take back control of your lives. You deserve it.

Shafakat
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:16 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#10

Unread post by Shafakat » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:25 am

Excellent write up by Mr. Poonawala and Mr. Hamdanis. I fully support this manifesto. This should be published as an Op-Ed article in times and other influential papers in India, so other bhorahs and non bhorahs know the reality.

Mazakyo
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 5:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#11

Unread post by Mazakyo » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:47 pm

Shafakat wrote:Excellent write up by Mr. Poonawala and Mr. Hamdanis. I fully support this manifesto. This should be published as an Op-Ed article in times and other influential papers in India, so other bhorahs and non bhorahs know the reality.

Yaar mujhe ye PDB ki samjh nahi atti. Ye SMS or SKQ ka leader hona zaroori hai?? Meri suggestion yeh hai kai Ismail uncle Dai bun jain or Abbas uncle Mazoon. Jhagra khatam. Sub khush rahange.

Sujud
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:16 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#12

Unread post by Sujud » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:04 pm

Well written

Kaka Akela
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#13

Unread post by Kaka Akela » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:26 pm

The two people who wrote the Manifesto are not even Bohras or even Progressive bohras, and even if all their suggestions were adopted, they will not become bohras. There were some people who asked Rasulullah (SWA) to show us a miracle and make that tree talk and we will bring Iman, and Rasulullah (SWA) did show that miracle and still they refused saying it was magic. Do you think these two scholars will join back into the Bohra fold eveen if all their conditionswere met?? I think not.
So what right these 2 eminent scholars have to tell us what our Manifesto should be??

1) My take is that the Muffy group needs to do only two things and that is to give up the habit of constantly demanding money under myriads of excuse that sound so religious to make non-givers feel very very guilty, to the point they starve their family to give that money to be in their good books. This has to stop,Period.

2) All other atrocities they do on momeneen start once you take the misaq, and misaq conditions need to be relaxed, and dai should not claim milkiat of the jaan maal aulaad and all worldy possessions of the misaq taker. La ikraha fid deen is only applicable before misaq, once you take the misaq, then they can do with you as they please. May be all the people in the West should not allow their young boys and girls to take misaq, because taking the oath of misaq is like signing your own death warrant under slavery.

Once these 2 things are revised and refined, we can pretty much live in peace as Dawoodi Bohras.

anajmi
Posts: 13403
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#14

Unread post by anajmi » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:34 pm

2) All other atrocities they do on momeneen start once you take the misaq, and misaq conditions need to be relaxed, and dai should not claim milkiat of the jaan maal aulaad and all worldy possessions of the misaq taker. La ikraha fid deen is only applicable before misaq, once you take the misaq, then they can do with you as they please. May be all the people in the West should not allow their young boys and girls to take misaq, because taking the oath of misaq is like signing your own death warrant under slavery.
Kaka,

The restrictions imposed by misaq are only in the bohra abde brain dead head. There is no law that can enforce any item laid out in the misaq. The dawoodi bohra misaq has no leg to stand on either here or in the hereafter. It is all in the bohra head which is under the feet of the Kothari mafia. It is like you see in Bollywood movies. Take sholay for eg. the fear of gabbar singh which causes the village people to give him all kinds of wajebaat. All we need is a guy with no hands and veeru and jai!!

Jamali
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:05 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#15

Unread post by Jamali » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:40 pm

Kaka Akela wrote:The two people who wrote the Manifesto are not even Bohras or even Progressive bohras, and even if all their suggestions were adopted, they will not become bohras. There were some people who asked Rasulullah (SWA) to show us a miracle and make that tree talk and we will bring Iman, and Rasulullah (SWA) did show that miracle and still they refused saying it was magic. Do you think these two scholars will join back into the Bohra fold eveen if all their conditionswere met?? I think not.
So what right these 2 eminent scholars have to tell us what our Manifesto should be??

1) My take is that the Muffy group needs to do only two things and that is to give up the habit of constantly demanding money under myriads of excuse that sound so religious to make non-givers feel very very guilty, to the point they starve their family to give that money to be in their good books. This has to stop,Period.

2) All other atrocities they do on momeneen start once you take the misaq, and misaq conditions need to be relaxed, and dai should not claim milkiat of the jaan maal aulaad and all worldy possessions of the misaq taker. La ikraha fid deen is only applicable before misaq, once you take the misaq, then they can do with you as they please. May be all the people in the West should not allow their young boys and girls to take misaq, because taking the oath of misaq is like signing your own death warrant under slavery.

Kaka Akela: I dont think these guys are writing this to join the `club`or to be in the good books. They are spreading knowledge and also not blindly but with clear supporting evidence as it happened in history. Do you really want to continue to remain subservient to someone other than Almighty Allah??? All the points noted are for the betterment for you and your future generations? Do you want to continuosly bow down to another human being? Seriously you guys shouldnt even be schooling your children as based on the blind beliefs you really dont need education to learn something. ..Continue being in Maula and he will miraculously show you how to count and read and write...I am assuming you are an elder who has had experience with life but you really need to start using your head!!!
Once these 2 things are revised and refined, we can pretty much live in peace as Dawoodi Bohras.

Kaka Akela
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#16

Unread post by Kaka Akela » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:00 pm

Bro Jamali:
Do you really want to continue to remain subservient to someone other than Almighty Allah???
yes, I am an elderly person and have seen life for over 6.5 decades and have seen the times of 3 doats now, and i do use my head all the time. The quote of yousr above is very interesting because we all are subservient to many human and non-human things. I get in my car and get to the first traffic light and it tells me to stop and being subservient I do stop and I am sure you do to. We are also subservient to elected humans and their man-made laws. So what is wrong in being subservient to a human who is a designated religious leader by an imam from the progeny of Rasulullah (SWA). Problem is that this designated person has turned very materialistic and world-loving and dictatorial, and these are the things that i mentioned need to change. We don't need the Manifesto provided by some one who is never going to follow it anyway.

Jamali
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:05 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#17

Unread post by Jamali » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:25 pm

Bro KakaAkela,

There is seriously no comparision with religious issues and the traffic lights :) You read the Quran and NO WHERE there is stated to be subservient to any Human Being! Now unless you dont believe that the Quran is a word from Almighty Allah (SAW), then please tell me why even read something you dont follow and assume otherwise.
On another note; am sure you are aware of SHIRK and its meaning. Ever wondered how and why that word came about? Again I am sure you would bend the meaning to suit your convenience.

The point I am making is that despite your experience in this life unless you actually use your head to rationalize something that you are doing, you are basically a blind follower. Again the reason you stop at traffic light is to ensure your safety and safety of other road users. It does not mean that you are subservient of the light. kaka Akela you are an elderly man but do you seriously also want your Kids and all their generations to continuously bow down to unislamic practises. Remember the important thing is to please Almighty Allah (SAW) not a Dai.

alam
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:15 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#18

Unread post by alam » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:48 pm

Jamali wrote:Bro KakaAkela,

There is seriously no comparision with religious issues and the traffic lights :) You read the Quran and NO WHERE there is stated to be subservient to any Human Being! Now unless you dont believe that the Quran is a word from Almighty Allah (SAW), then please tell me why even read something you dont follow and assume otherwise.
On another note; am sure you are aware of SHIRK and its meaning. Ever wondered how and why that word came about? Again I am sure you would bend the meaning to suit your convenience.

The point I am making is that despite your experience in this life unless you actually use your head to rationalize something that you are doing, you are basically a blind follower. Again the reason you stop at traffic light is to ensure your safety and safety of other road users. It does not mean that you are subservient of the light. .


Simple-

Traffic signals malfunction. When that happens, community is accident prone.
Human brains jump in to fix them then.

Improvisator
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:37 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#19

Unread post by Improvisator » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:18 pm

@op
Seriously? You call this man a scholar. Who ever he is (Actually i am aware who he is) is seriously misinformed. The fact that he considers dai as Nazim (with fake and preposterous evidences) is sufficient proof that this man has nothing to do with the DB community and knows very little about it. And this fool goes on to write a manifesto on behalf of our community? He doesnt belong to DB and hence he will never understand. And what is more amazing is that people on this forum appreciate such articles. That is because you people are equally ignorant and detached.

SBM
Posts: 6334
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 4:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#20

Unread post by SBM » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:30 pm

Improvisator
Can you define who is Dawoodi Bohras?
Do you consider SKQ and his family as Dawoodi Bohras?
And one more thing just because some one is not as Brain Dead as you are it does not mean that they are not Dawoodi Bohras

Mkenya
Posts: 428
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:16 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#21

Unread post by Mkenya » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:32 pm

Kaka Akela wrote:
Problem is that this designated person has turned very materialistic and world-loving and dictatorial, and these are the things that i mentioned need to change. We don't need the Manifesto provided by some one who is never going to follow it anyway.

Kakaji, I have affinty with you in that I am in the early 70s and like the Gujarati saying: "Mene pan ghani Diwali joy che". I feel I can contribute towards this post.

I remember my grandparents telling me many times that they have witnessed times when 51st Dai Taher Saifuddin Saheb and before borrowed money on interest from Surti Bohras. Kothar was so poor during those times. The turn around came gradually when the Bohra community became a little prosperous and the Dai's children got educated. Bohras have always been meek and dutifully religious. Din and Maula were always in their forefront when undertaking any venture. The Dai and his children very effectivekly turned this 'blind allegiance' in their advantage. Before 1960, in East Africa, wealthy Bohras had built mosques, kbrasstans, musafirkhans, homes for the poor, provided medical aid, bequethed buildings to provide scholarships to needy students, etc. When the Dai visited the above countries in 1962 and witnessed the effluence he decided rein in the individual jamaats. On his return to India he dipatched Yusuf Najmuddin to whip up Bohras against the rich. Villifying them as 'Mudai' and self-serving he turned the community upside down. He organised protests, parades, and of course, 'lanat'. This was the first step of taking control of the adminstration and money. We know the rest.

Kothar of today is entrenched so deeply that nothing can shift it. The duel between the two Dais is a battle over the money and no less. The two have left the Din as as side topic. Whoever gets to be the Dai will also control the money. The Bohra community is destined to its fate for the foreseeable future!

Kaka Akela
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#22

Unread post by Kaka Akela » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:55 pm

Bro Jamali:
You read the Quran and NO WHERE there is stated to be subservient to any Human Being! Now unless you dont believe that the Quran is a word from Almighty Allah (SAW), then please tell me why even read something you dont follow and assume otherwise.
I have no idea which quran you read , the Quran that I read in Arabic and in English translation of Abdullah Yusufali, there is an Ayat which says (and I am not giving the exact Arabic or English words, just paraphrasing) Atiullah, va Ati ur Rasul SWA, va ulul Amr minkum" So you according to you Rasulullah and his ulul amr (Imam of the time) are not humans, Naozobillah. the word ita'at means being subservient or following his orders, When Imam of the time is in seclusion he appoints a Dai who is ulul amr for us. Now I am wondering why you read same thing and not get the same meaning out of it as me??

Like I said Earlier, and Bro MKenya also agrees with me that in the past 100 years the Dai(s) have become worldly, greedy, dictatorial and too remote from common man and their Misaq has become very oppressive and these are the things that needs to change. obedience in any religion is a must, it is never a democracy and always has been a benevolent dictatorship, but currently benevolence has gone out the window in Dawoodi bohras and benificial dictatorship has replaced it.

Jamali
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:05 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#23

Unread post by Jamali » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:53 pm

Bro Kaka akela:

Firstly, itaàt does not mean being subservient to the `person` but to his ways of beliefs of Almighty Allah because at the end of the day then there would never be a difference between us and Idol Worshippers. The Rasulullah and the ulul amr brought us what teachings? What did they preach? None of them have claimed a ticket to Jaanat. None of them have claimed to follow them but rather their ways of living as they were trying to please one supreme being. If you look at the basis of Karbala and Imam Hussein, his sacrifice was for Almighty Allah and no one else. Correct me if I am wrong, but was there Wajebaats and Rukhu Chithis in their times? The Prophets and the Imams used to collect Zakat as required by the religion. Again I have never heard FORCE being used to collect this only legal tax or not be allow to be buried or be allowed to enter the Masjid to pray to Almighty Allah. In your opinion, A Dai who excommunicates a person not because he is not praying to Allah but does not believe in him the Dai or his following is on the right path? You think he has that power to stop him from following the teachings of all the prophets and the his Imams just because he does not believe in him. This person is really a follower of the Imam????

I totally agree obedience in any religion is a Must and never a democracy and thats why we have the Quran and teachings of the Prophets to guide us. A person who in your own words is greedy,dictatorial and too remote for the common man is a person you want you and your children to perform Sajda and follow when he himself is going against the basis of the teaching of his own Imams and prophets???Definitely the Prophets and Imams were not greedy, dictatorial or too remote...Also please guide me to when has the Prophets or Imam Ali ever done a Baarat against anyone. If a Dai is a descendent of the Prophets and the Fatemi Dawat and a religious man who is following the teachings of Islam, who in every manner supposed to guide the Umma with his teachings and mannerisms able to give Laanat on his Uncle who remember isnt a non-muslim but a until 10 days ago a follower of the Dawat????? I would love to hear your answers to my questions

Kaka Akela
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#24

Unread post by Kaka Akela » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:53 pm

Bro Jamali :

Thank you for coming to concensus, we both agree on many things, but what you elaborate in 2 long paragraphs I summed it up in few words by saying that after you take the oppressive misaq, you are fair game to get s--t upon with all the atrocities that you have detailed.

Jamali
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:05 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#25

Unread post by Jamali » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:58 pm

Bro Kaka Akela and Mkenya;

Disregarding for a moment, the above documents title for a moment; if it was presented with an alternate title like maybe the way forward for the Community - Members suggestions then how would react to all the following points:

that he is only a Nazim Da’i (administrator) and not a Da’i Mutlaq (with full powers)

Considering that the Dai follows the below points then he would definitely not have full powers so he would still be called Dai who in essence is an Administrator

that he is prepared to accept all past and future charities as waqf properties of the community with an independent authority and financial transparency, and that he should not claim to be the sole trustee as claimed by Sayyedna Tahir Saifuddin and his successor;

None of the Prophets and Imams claimed ownership of the Jumaat and their properties and the Dai is a religious leader who is here to guide the community in religious matters as his predecessors so anyway not in his job description so shouldnt have a problem to accept this

that he would accept democratic constitution of all the local jamats and for the Central Jamat Board to be elected directly by the community, and that this body should be consulted by him in all matters affecting the welfare of the community;

Again as a religious leader whose job is to spread the word of Allah and guide them to the right path as per the Muslim teachings (Dawoodis are Muslim right?) so should have no problem accepting this.

that he will abolish all non-Islamic collection of taxes called wajebat and several other taxes at the time of death, such as ruku’ chiththi (recommendation letter that the deceased has paid all his dues and should be welcomed to paradise), etc.;

Never there during the Prophet and Imam Alis time (Please Zakat is different here) so again being a follower and descendent of them should not have a problem accepting this

that there should be no baraat (excommunication) of an individual member or a family of the community, which is a form of religious tyranny… membership of a community is a voluntary thing;

True. Yes dont invite me to all your personal weddings but when I want to come and pray to Almighty Allah as the Dai himself asks all Bohras to do, should not have a problem to this. Markaz and Masjid are houses of Allah and not wedding halls or Dais own Houses.

that he will put an end to conferring honorary titles based solely on payment of large sums of money;

No Brainer here as when you and your children go to college, they learn something and then are given a degree or title. Unless of course all these colleges also except one fee payment and the degree conferred immediately after. A sheikh or Mulla should be worthy of their title based on their merit towards Kidzmat of the Dawat and not because I have a Cheque!

that he should abolish restrictions on dress, both for men and women;

Controversial. Again no force. Identity is a good thing and growing a beard is Sunnat even in the prophets time. (Remember Sunnah not Fard. No Force) Rida is good although currently beats the purpose of why its worn as Bohri women are fully colourful and hence attract the eyes of people as a result anyway.. Purpose of a Rida should be used to cover the modesty of a woman unless Bohris like their women oogled over by all other Men......

that there should be no payment of so-called deposits for men to grow beards;

Was it there in the Prophets or Imam Alis time?

that the crude rules of iddat be reformed bringing it in accord with the Islamic principle;

Bohras are muslims right?

that there should be an end to feminine khatna (circumcission) which is a form of female genital mutilation is therefore un-Islamic;

Bohras are muslims right?

that a council of scholars and a database of da’wa literature be established; the community scholars should have easy access to da’wa collection of manuscripts both in Surat and Mumbai and that it is a community property; acquisition of religious knowledge is not a monopoly of the clergy or a specific group; all the manuscripts need to be properly catalogued and special steps be taken for their preservation;

Dont you want you children to learn about their History? Let this also be used to spread the word and convert more people from outside then to just breed them? In my opinion, spreading the word of Allah is the Dais responsibility and what better way then making it public. If an outsider from the royal family or anyone who wants to learn about Dawat, why not give him or her access to these literatures

that a fund/trust be set to support future generation of young Bohras pursuing the study of Tayyibi Ismailism and related fields, or to pursue legal advocacy and revision of detrimental statues and laws that serve as justification for the da’is hold on power;

Anything wrong here? If the Dai isnt doing anything wrong then he should be more than willing to accept this. Isnt this an enhancement of the community?

that reforms in the educational institutions (madrasas, and the seminary at Surat) should be carried out and for that purpose a committee of highly qualified scholars be established;

Enhancing the education of the community members

that the custom imposed by Tahir Saifuddin to obtain raza (permission) for each and every petty matter is against the teachings of Islam and should be abolished;

Was there Raza done during the Prophets or Imams time? (Advice yes but not Raza!) Seriously you need to ask what to name your child, whether he should go to a particular school, do a particular course etc? Common guys!!!

that he should declare his predecessors’ claim to have authority over the jan (soul) or mal (property) of a member of the community as totally against the basic Islamic teachings and bring it to an end;

NO ONE has this right except Almighty Allah (S.A.W) None of the Prophets or Imams who have even had a higher Rutba in the eyes of Almighty Allah ever claimed this and he is supposed to be their descendant! It again comes down to the basis of your belief. If this is the case, then in essence Dai is branding himself as God! because only the creator has authority or ownership over his creation! Conflict again because in one instance Dai himself prays to Almighty Allah and asks the momineen to pray to Allah but lets them know that their soul is his? Why not pray to Dai then?

that he should be easily accessible to any member of the community and listen to his/her complaint and access should not be controlled by a coterie of henchmen around him, in short, there should not be either an iron or bamboo curtain around him;

Dont you the common man want to meet your Dai? A person who you believe in but cant access albeit after giving money...He is your leader after all...Gharib Manas will never be able to get his blessings?

that efforts should be directed towards building a civil society that not only includes the admirable charitable, educational, and social welfare organizations, but also an alternative religious or scholarly elite to prevent the attrition of Bohras to other branches of Islam, and provide the progressive spiritual guidance that is sorely needed.


Dont you want the Bohra community to grow and prosper?

Kaka Akela
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#26

Unread post by Kaka Akela » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:56 pm

Bro Jamali:

Answering your long list of questions (you did not number them) is beyond my capability as I don't have unlimited time, I have to keep working to pay to my bohra Masters with the whip of baraat in their hands.

My basic gripe starts and ends with the oppressive misaq document. If we can translate it in English language and submit it to U N and all other nations like UK, Canada and USA State Depts. and Human rights organizations to show them that total slavery is not only existing today but thriving and spreading all over the world as we move around. And put brakes to their influence with embassies and politicians.

One more gripe I have is the Kothar and people who are trained in Jamea these blokes have no brains of their own and think what they are told to think and spread. Jamea under the Najmuddin Saheb was a factory of communist type thinking which says you are nothing and Dai and Dawat is everything, and these teachings are taught even today as todays jamea teachers were all trained by Y Najmuddin. these Jamea educated people are doing such a good job of hammering people that they keep opening more and more jameas, 3 are in operation and one more coming up. what are we going to do with all these graduates?? They will be posted one in each mohalla to make sure we all become robots and zombies ( this reminds me of the movie Stratford Wives), they will spy on our domestic affairs and disposable incomes and demand we give everything to Maola and just eat what is provided to us in Dabba scheme.

Ozdundee
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:57 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#27

Unread post by Ozdundee » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:45 am

Can we please get clarity on the official position of the PDB management with respect to this Manifesto.

The proposed ideals raised in the manifesto needs to be incorporated into the PDB constitution and mission statement. This should be the overarching charter and framework for governance. If this happens we can demonstrate sincerity and I will be happy to support the PDB to be the vehicle for change.

The 2 eminent scholars need to be hailed and congratulated to have very transparently presented the background and provided visionary guidance to the community members during this difficult times.

juzerali
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:11 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#28

Unread post by juzerali » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:55 am

This puritanical approach is unlikely to bring about any change of heart in abdes or in their masters. Reform has to be brought about slowly and steadily. For those who are sleeping, it should look like an improvement over the older methods. This manifesto is good for us to reaffirm our conviction in reform movement, but in real world will not matter much. Having said that, I am humbled by seeing such figures of authority speaking over the matter.

Gulaame Islaam
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:06 pm

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#29

Unread post by Gulaame Islaam » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:56 pm

Kaka Akela wrote:Bro Jamali:
Do you really want to continue to remain subservient to someone other than Almighty Allah???
yes, I am an elderly person and have seen life for over 6.5 decades and have seen the times of 3 doats now, and i do use my head all the time. The quote of yousr above is very interesting because we all are subservient to many human and non-human things. I get in my car and get to the first traffic light and it tells me to stop and being subservient I do stop and I am sure you do to. We are also subservient to elected humans and their man-made laws. So what is wrong in being subservient to a human who is a designated religious leader by an imam from the progeny of Rasulullah (SWA). Problem is that this designated person has turned very materialistic and world-loving and dictatorial, and these are the things that i mentioned need to change. We don't need the Manifesto provided by some one who is never going to follow it anyway.
This is a classic way to stop any argument to continue and come to a clear conclusion and truth. Just call someone a racist, or call someone a muslim terrorist and all arguments about poor job performance or palestinion rights come to an end. To call a learned Bohora making a learned argument, a non Bohora, reflects a mind afraid of change or simply ignorant.

Ozdundee
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:57 am

Re: A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

#30

Unread post by Ozdundee » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:11 am

Is it time to accept that there will be many Bohras who will want to continue their religious ideology and be subservient to SMS. Fighting SMS and abdes is wasteful of energy, resources and time.

I think it is time to consider creating a new reformed community where as contributors to creating the current wealth and assets such as Masjids and facilities we have joint access where division of assets is not possible or equitable distribution.

If courts are to be involved then the court needs to help provide access to reformists and their leadership access and appropriate use of historical places of worship. The courts needs to ensure discrimination and excommunications is banned so if families and individuals are free to decide where to be faithful without consequence.