Wealth and Poverty in the Qurʾān, Ḥadīth and the Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ
The central message of the Qurʾān besides the concept of One God (tawḥīd), during the Meccan phase, is socio-economic justice. Both concepts are intertwined and one cannot be separated from the other. The doctrine of charity, in terms of alleviating suffering and helping the needy, constitutes an integral part of Islamic teachings. In the earliest passages of the Qurʾān one finds expressions of severe hostility towards wealth, recommending the rich to make worthy use of their possessions, and the threat of harsh chastisement by God. The remedy applied to the evils caused by the inequality of wealth is the taxation (zakāt, i.e., obligatory alms) of the rich. It sets forth the precept of the good circulation of wealth among the poor and needy, not from the rich to the rich. The Qurʾān makes constant admonitions and demands for zakāt/Ṣadaqa. more
Ramzan, iftaar and nostalgia
During the Cold War American presidents had a handy way to manipulate the masses. All they had to do was cry out “Russians are coming, Russians are coming” and the gullible Americans would be spooked out of their wits. Similarly, there is a way to spook the Muslims? No, it’s not “the Americans are coming”, although that is more terrifyingly true than one can imagine. I’m referring to something closer to home, something integral to their faith. more
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
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
A Manifesto on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra Community
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. more
Who will save Dawoodi Bohras from themselves?
The expectation and longing for a Saviour is found among many communities. The Jews still await the Messiah. The Christians expect Christ to come again. The Hindus hope for an avatar of the Lord to destroy adharma and establish dharma. The Bohras also await the reappearance of the Imam in the progeny of lmam Taiyyeb who went into seclusion about eight hundred years ago. It's been a long wait. These yearnings are more articulate in times of acute distress and despair. The Saviour, however, in unlikely to succour a people who have despaired and resigned themselves to their fate. more
Vying for power: Old habits Dai hard
As if one Dai were not enough for Dawoodi Bohras. Now they are burdened with two. The dust on Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s grave has hardly settled and his family is at each other’s throats, vying for power. For the past two years there was the Mansoos (successor designate) Mufaddal Saifuddin. He was apparently conferred the Nass (investiture) by Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. But following his death his younger half-brother and deputy Khuzema Qutbuddin has also staked a claim to Daiship. That he was in the running for the post was always suspected. But it is the timing of his announcement that has sent the Bohra world into a tailspin. more
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.
Fearless intellectual activist like no other
I vividly remember the day, some 30 years ago, when the cover story by Asghar Ali Engineer was published in the Illustrated Weekly of India. With Sayedna Moahammed Burhanuddin’s picture on the cover and the title “A Law Unto Himself”, the article created a sensation. Nobody had dared to challenge Sayedna Saheb so openly so publicly before. It gave us young Turks a new sense of mission and energy. Instinctively, we knew this man was on to something. Bohras, who are generally meek and tend to mind their own business, are not quite used to this kind of dynamic personality rising in their midst. more
Imam Hussein: A martyr in the cause of justice
The tenth of Muharram is a day of mourning for all Muslims, and for Shia Muslims in particular. It marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein,the grandson of the Prophet, which took place in the 61st year after the Prophet's migration from Mecca to Madina.
Bohras and Reform
Canadian Senate foils Sayedna's plans - Part 1
In summer 1992, a notice by the Clerk of the Canadian Senate appeared in various Canadian Newspapers advising the citizens that the Sayedna had petitioned to the Senate to pass an Act (Bill S-13) to incorporate the Dai al-Mutlaq as a corporation sole in Canada.
No separation please, we are Dawoodi Bohras
Anyone who has tried to argue the
Bohra reformist case is sooner or
later met with this response: if you have
problems why don't you separate and start
your own 'religion'. This response is typical
of a mindset that's best captured by the
cliché: "If you can't stand the heat, get out
of the kitchen."
- 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
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Lust for community's property
Performance of religious marriages in East African countries was denied to a number of reformers. About a dozen persons were involved and inspite of repeated representations and requests, the priestly class did not budge an inch from their position.