Question for Dawoodi bohra brothers overseas

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Question for Dawoodi bohra brothers overseas


Unread post by Human » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:58 pm

I wanted to ask this as I've always wondered about this. Maybe some brothers from the US or Canada or UK can reply this.

1. When a baby is born in a dawoodi bohra family who lives overseas, do they still do the 'akiko' ceremony? More of a question here is, do they still sacrifice the goat or the sheep? I've heard that meat is very expensive in foreign countries and so what about those who cannot afford? Is it something that can be skipped? (This question I guess can be answered by mainstream bohras and progressive bohras who live overseas)

2. How does the above happen if the father or mother of newborn baby are against the aamil or had an argument or are progressives for example. Also, how would it happen if the parents of the newborn were hiding from the community in the foreign country i.e. they stayed hidden because they could not afford the exhorbitant zakaat and did not appreciate the unwanted attention and gossip that goes with our community. (I guess this question can only be answered by progressive brothers)

I have more questions about other ceremonies too. But I want to keep the post simple and not overly complicate it with too many questions. I'm looking for genuine answers please. No ortho vs. progressive and shia vs. sunni bashing please.

Thank you.

PS: When I say overseas, it includes all the western countries outside the Indian sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh).

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Unread post by SBM » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:40 pm

I can tell you from my experience. when my child was born, we had no Jamaat so we did Aqiqa in Mumbai and thru latest technology of telephone, we shaved the hair at the same time Aqiqa was done by our family members in Mumbai thru an Aamil there.
The meat is not that expensive in USA. But some of my Ortho friends after doing the Aqiqa bury the whole goat since the local butcher would not be able to follow NOT BREAKING THE BONES unlike in India/Pakistan.

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Unread post by porus » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:46 pm

Aqeeqah is a Sunnat of Rasulullah. It is performed by all Muslims when a child is born. In most metropolitan areas in the US and the UK with sizable Muslim populations, facilities for dhabihat are available. Most parents opt to take advantage of these facilities.

If the facility is not available, it can be arranged by proxy in other locations.

It is not exclusively a Bohra custom and you do not need raza; no more than you need raza to pray.

Al Zulfiqar
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Unread post by Al Zulfiqar » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:49 am

bro. human,

in a lighter vein, if kothar can find innovative ways of slaughtering bohras in the west, then surely bohras can also find ways of slaughtering goats for akiko...?? no?

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Unread post by mumin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:46 pm

slaughtering a goat and keeping its bones intact is a general muslim custom and can easily be carried out here in the states and in u.k. one healthy goat can range anywhere from u.s. $35 to $85. If you are moula, moula, type then you can incur a situation where you might want the dai to give name to the new born child. In this case you may have to approach the local amil and then as you know it, money talks. About 20 years back the priveledge of naming the new born was the phopi (faiji) thing. she also gave akamat in the child's ear. now a days to make certain that your child's name is in accordance with the child's date of birth, time of birth, etc there is the sahifa which can guide you and a lot of internet sites that, for a nominal fee can give you a list of best suited muslim shia names for the new born. wake up. This is the age of information abound. you do not need amil or mulla for naming the child and putting his own two pennies worth to screw you out of your money. This is a very happy occasion and should be left alone for the family to decide in naming the child with a name of their choosing rather than the clergy. Also know that the child may be given a name by the mulla now and then 20 years down the line the name may be changed.

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Unread post by Human » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:54 pm

Thank you for all your responses.

Now another question for dawoodi bohra brothers overseas.

What about when someone passes away? How and where does the burial and the ceremonies happen, if the person that passed away or his family are anti-kothaar. Meaning they refused to pay zakaat or had a tussle at some point in time with the aamil and then later on that family were declared to be non-dawoodi bohras. Or the family was not present (non-existent) according to the e-jamaat database as they didn't register or didn't pay their taxes (zakaat,etc)

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Unread post by SBM » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:04 pm

Again in USA, Sunni Masaajids do not discriminate when it comes to burial and Namaze Janaza
As a matter of fact Tampa Jamaat uses Sligh Ave, Mosque which is a Sunni Mosque for Ghusul and then take the body to Markaz for Namaz. Sligh Ave Mosque does not charge them anything and are very accommodating. If anyone needs to verify they can call Dr. Sultan who is the Imam at Sligh Ave Mosque also known at ISTABA (Islamic Center of Tampa Bay)

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Unread post by mumin » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:51 pm

In some cities of u.s. the ghusul is given in a church and the body is also buried in a church cemetary. There are many a bohris ,that have been buried in church cemetaries. Whether it is a bohri kabrastan or any other , in U.S., one cannot directly bury a person in the soil. there has to be a coffin(box) in which the dead is layed down and this is done for hygenic reasons. So, you see , to be buried in bohri kabrastan does not mean you would have some special favours from Allah. I know of many a bohris who drowned in the sea, and many whose bodies were burnt in the famous fire of saddar bohri bazar. The clergy has completely brainwashed the innoscent into thinking that if the dead are buried without raza the person's burial is illegal. It is one of the cruel tactics of the kothar to exploit the situation to screw the marhoom's family of big bucks. I know of families whose loved ones were sick and passed away in the hospital. The bereaved family could not pay a huge amount demanded by the goondas of the jamaat committee for burial expenses , salams, etc. The hospital took care of the burial in a christian cemetary.
Believe and have faith that One's deeds in life will take one to hell or heaven and not the seal of approval of the local amil, for he himself is uncertain about himself.

Sajid Zafar
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Unread post by Sajid Zafar » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:20 pm

Human Bhai:

I am not sure about the intent of your questions. Anyway, I live in central New Jersey which has a kind of decent bohra population from North American standard. I don’t know any progressive bohra who lives in the vicinity. The general demography of bohras includes a large but silent majority (liberal & progressive minded, feed up with high handedness of local jamaat and Abdes but don’t have the courage to leave the community for one reason or another like me) and a minor but vocal Abdes.


In US & Canada, qurbani is only permitted at state/provincial designated slaughter houses. NJ jamaat has negotiated with a local animal farm owner and have made them familiarize with bohra customs & traditions for slaughtering animals (goat or sheep) for different rituals like Aqiqa, etc. The price is about $250 to $300 which includes de-skiing & de-boning of animal and burial of skeleton at farm house. The meat is generally handed over next day. One can go to the farm at pre-arranged date. The date is arranged through the jamaat if the family is registered, and have all dues paid and an appropriate payment is made as ‘laga & amil’s salaam’ which ranges anywhere from$150 & up depending upon how an individual handles the situation & his social standing within the community ranks. Madarsa moalam accompanies the family to make sure that all so-called rituals are performed in accordance with bohra traditions & customs (moalam never forgets to receive a hefty salaam at the end of the ceremony). Father (who has come to the point by the time after paying all salaams and gonda taxes, has morally so depressed that feels no more proud parent) slaughters the animal. The head shaving is performed by the father, By the meanwhile farm butcher present the blood of slaughtered animal for ‘teeka ceremony’.

Kafan Dafan

Again, there are no separate cemeteries for bohras or Muslims in US & Canada. Local jamaat buys a piece of land from private cemetery owners. NJ jamaat don’t have ‘maiyat ghoosal facility’ and use shias ‘Al-Khoei Center’ for ghoosal and janaza. Jamaat charges about $5,000 to $7,000 for burial, if family meets all other pre-cursors.

A sister of one my friend died of Cancer in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada some 7 years back. Husband of the deceased lady had left the jamaat for last many years. The deceased sister flew from Karachi to finalize burial arrangements per bohra traditions. She requested for raza and safai chitthi from Toronto amil to bury her sister as they were paying all jamaat dues back home. As expected, local amil refused to grant burial raza in cemetery land designated for bohras. The deceased body was kept in the morgue for several days till raza was given though she made several trips to Toronto amil. After lot of haggling and paying a hefty amount, burial raza was finally given with pre-cursor that burial will be supervised by low rank mullah and no jamaat members will attend burial or janaza except the family of deceased lady.

So, those who have left jamaat normally attend either ‘Shia’ or ‘Sunni’ mosques (who are still within the Islamic faith). Please note that despite of hate uttered by our clergy on these communities, bohras are treated with open arms by these communities.

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Unread post by Right » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:05 am

I just want to ask a question, that when the Aqiqa is done, why do we put the blood tika on the child's forehead like Hindus, also why the father soak his palm in blood and put as a stamp at the entrance wall of the house ? I dont think so except bohra other muslims sect must be following this.

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Unread post by Maqbool » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:23 am

The following article is published in the "last_rituals" Page no. 24, published in PDF format by This PDF can be downloaded here

Note that this is written by a bhai saheb but he has not mentioned Ruku Chitthi in this article. Also notice the coloured sentences.

2.4.1 Dawoodi Bohra Shia Ismaili
Community Rituals
by Mustafa bhai Saheb Vijayuddin
The Dawoodi Bohra Shia Ismaili Community is a community within Islam that has a slight variation of the general Islamic rituals. Islam promotes the ideology that death is a departure from the life of this world, to the world of eternity, and we pray for Allah's mercy to be with the departed so that they may find peace and happiness in the life hereafter.
Care for the Dying:
When a Muslim nears death, the ritual of ehdul ehsan is performed by a priest i.e. the recital of
verses from the Qur'an, so that they give him physical comfort, and encourage the dying one to recite words of remembrance and prayer. The dying one should also be encouraged to recite the names of Auliyah (chosen ones). He/she is given khaak e shifa (dust from the holy shrine of Karbala). Upon death, those with the deceased are encouraged to remain calm, pray for the departed, and begin preparations for burial. The deceased’s body upon his death is placed in a way that when standing he faces the qiblah

The eyes of the deceased should be closed, and the body covered temporarily with a clean white sheet. It is forbidden for those in mourning to excessively wail, or scream. When the Prophet Muhammad's own son died, he said:

"The eyes shed tears and the heart is grieved, but we will not say anything except which pleases our Lord." The deceased should be buried as soon as possible after death, avoiding the need for embalming or otherwise disturbing the body of the deceased. An autopsy may be performed, if necessary, but should be done with the utmost respect for the dead.

Washing and Shrouding:
In preparation for burial, the family or other members of the community will wash and shroud the body. The deceased will be washed thrice with respect, reciting verses of prayer. With clean and scented water, in a manner similar to how Muslims make ablutions for prayer. The body will then be wrapped in sheets of clean, white cloth (called the kafan).
Funeral Prayers:
The deceased is then transported to the site of the funeral prayers (salat-l-janazah). The community gathers, and the imam (prayer leader) stands in front of the deceased, facing away from the worshippers towards the qiblah. The funeral prayer structure is different from five daily prayers & there is no bowing or prostration. First the nida (calling on) is done & then the imam recites verses from the Qur’an prior to which the shahdat is recited. The namaz is prayed with 5 Takbiras (an act in which the hand are held in line with the ears for a moment) where in prayers are said for the prophet (pbuh), his progeny, the deceased & those who have gathered.

The deceased is then taken to the cemetery for burial (al-dafan). While all members of the community attend the funeral prayers, only the men of the community accompany the body to the gravesite. It is preferred for a Muslim to be buried where he or she died, and not be transported to another location or country (which may cause delays or require embalming the body). If available, a cemetery (or section of one) set aside for Muslims is preferred. The deceased is laid in the grave (without a coffin if permitted by local law) on his or her right side, facing Mecca. At the gravesite, it is discouraged for people to erect tombstones, elaborate markers, or put flowers or other monuments. Rather, one should humbly remember Allah and His mercy, and pray for the deceased.

Loved ones and relatives are to observe a 3-day mourning period. Mourning is observed in Islam by increased devotion, receiving visitors and condolences, and avoiding decorative clothing and jewelry. Widows observe an extended mourning period (iddah), 4 months and 10 days long, in accordance with the Qur'an 2:234. During this time, she is not to remarry, move from her home, or wear decorative clothing or jewelry.

When one dies, everything in this earthly life is left behind, and there are no more opportunities to perform acts of righteousness and faith. The Prophet Muhammad once said that there are three things, however, which may continue to benefit a person after death: charity given during life which continues to help others, knowledge from which people continue to benefit, and a righteous child who prays for him or her. While many people of the Dawoodi Bohra Shia Ismaili community follow the above rituals, please keep in mind that there are variations of these last rites depending on what the Decedent’s family and/or friends feel comfortable doing and appropriate for the person they are honoring. As with this whole process, there is no specific ritual or practice, social or religious, that you have to do; you should do what you feel will honor the memory of your loved one and what will help you cope best.

Sajid Zafar
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Unread post by Sajid Zafar » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:15 pm

Aqiqa is actually 'sadaqa' for new born. So the meat shall be distributed among poors. The rest is all innovations introduced by bohra clergy like 'tilak', 'deboning of meat' & 'skeleton burial'. These all innovations perfectly makes no sence and their legality can't be proved from either from 'sharia' or holly prophit (pbuh) sayings & acts. Kothari idiots always argue that 'bhai hamara tareqa ma kethni ahtiat aney barkie chey'.