On the Progressive Movement

The one and only free public forum for Bohras. The focus of this forum is the reform movement, the Dawoodi Bohra faith and, of course, the corrupt priesthood. But the discussion is in no way restricted to the Bohras alone.
Biradar
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

On the Progressive Movement

#1

Unread post by Biradar » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:09 pm

I have often been a harsh critic of the Progressive Movement (I mean Progressive with a capital "P" to distinguish the actual organization rather than the general progressive ideals it espouses). This criticism is not because I think the movement itself is bad or the ideals it promotes are bad, but because of a general failure to achieve these goals in the broader Bohra community. This failure, I want to clarify, is not due to any individual or the organization itself, but due to the general incapacity of the Bohras to counter their mullahs in any meaningful way. Hence, despite the valiant efforts, often at great personal cost, made over decades, the mafia Iblisi toli "won" in the sense that they made the Progressives out to be some sort of evil fiends, while in reality they were the most liberal open minded people around.

Part of the issue here was that after India's independence there was idealism that all sorts of oppression, both colonialist as well as priestly, could be countered by protest movement backed by strong intellectual foundations. The intellectual foundations were strong, with giants like Dr Engineer and the Hamdani family, Zahid Ali family, Ismaili Poonawala and numerous other scholars opening up a vast area of scholarship hitherto hidden from view. Their efforts were so tremendous that a handful of these men essentially set the tone for Ismaili scholarship for over a century. Yet, the general Bohra population were unable to build on these intellectual foundations and were unable to put their clergy under control. They got bamboozled by wealth and splendor of the clergy. Meanwhile, the Progressives were humble men and women going about their life, sometimes in great poverty and deprivation. In the narrow and mean sighted way, the Bohras thought the rich mullah to be of greater value than the humble khaki kurta and jacket wearing man who appeared a hold-over from pre-Independence India. That tells you something about Bohras mentality and not about the movement itself.

Ironically, when the four ustads were removed from Jamiaa they sought shelter amongst the Progressives, though these mullahs were just another manifestation of the fanaticism of the mainstream clergy which the Progressives opposed. The Progressive in the kindness of their hearts and through their progressive vision gave shelter to them, though they were philosophically on the opposite spectrum. Sometimes this unfortunate enmeshing of these two opposition movements to the da'i's administration are conflated as the same. However, they are not at all the same. The question of nass which so animated the four ustads never was a major issue for the Progressives.

However, in a deeply personal sense the Progressive movement won, though the clergy became materially stronger. The Progressives showed that a life outside the Bohra box was possible. They showed that many customs we inherited were not as sacrosanct as the clergy made out to be. One could oppose the clergy and still not fall outside the fold of Islam. They showed that there really was no basis to the central claim of the da'is that they and only they were the arbiters of heaven and hell. No, heaven and truth was not with them and the light Progressives shone on the clergy showed the horrible way the clergy treated their followers, exploited them and milked them for their own profit. In a sense, the Progressives showed that in reality heaven was not with the clergy at all, in fact nothing but a Yazidi lifestyle all acquired on the back of hard working and poor Bohras.

Now, no one, not even the most timid and spineless Bohra can deny that the clergy live a life of enormous luxury. SMB was in love with luxury and a good life, going from one vacation spot to another. Towards the second half of his rule he became an insane and malignant megalomaniac who though he was god on Earth. Of course, his kids and brothers were happy to feed his megalomania as it meant a good life for them too. Literally thousands of SMB's family members became rich due to funds collected from the community, including SKQ and his children. The outcome of this terrible era was the arrival of Muffy on the scene, a man whose fanaticism and lust for control knows no bound. The FD movement was essentially formed as Muffy usurped the nass which likely had happened on SKQ, but SKQ himself had watered his soul and his family's finances from the same corrupt fountain. He too was in love of luxury and being fawned upon by adoring masses.

SMB in many ways failed to bring the Bohras into modernity. In fact, he took them back to a primitive tribal cult that has now become the laughing stock. Consider SMB's insane opposition to jobs and his insistence that people do petty business. He completely missed the great globalization that occurred due to free employment from a solid education. He opposed working in banks, despite having hundreds of bank accounts and investments himself and having just fronted his own candidates in Bombay Mercantile bank. How can this be the actions of a sane man? Many hundreds of lives were destroyed just by SMB's anti-bank edicts. His other edicts on strict obedience caused untold harm and misery and the whole accounting of this is yet to be done, though several commissions wrote very serious and negative reports on his mafia like behavior.

The Progressive by projecting a voice of liberalism and rationalism, despite their weak financial position managed to show the world the serious crimes of the clergy. They made it possible for people to at least secretly oppose the clergy, and many times even openly despite the risks and dangers of doing so. The Progressives realized the importance of education and local charitable organizations and set many such up in various places, specially in Udaipur. Unfortunately, the clergy did the opposite. They seized the thriving local charities run by individuals and converted them into centralized sinecures for the da'is kids.

A great and tremendous damage that SMB (and also his father, grandfather and great-grandfather) did was the complete and utter destruction of the class of learned clerics. Previously, this class was a counter balance to the power of the da'i and put a check on him. However, under SMB specially, even the most distinguished scholar was made to grovel and fawn upon the least kid from the so-called "Royal family" and even the local mullahs. The damage from this was tremendous. Now the da'i and his family were free to do anything they wanted and there would be no opposition at all. And they took great advantage of this, usurping all power and wealth and imposing unprecedented control over their follower's lives.

Under these circumstances the fact that pockets of resistance existed against such gargantuan odds is truly impressive and a great testament to the Progressive Movement's fundamental strength. Moreover, it gave Bohras an outlet and possibility they never had experienced before. This forum was (and in a weakened form still is) the only place where open discussions can be had about these issues. In a literal sense mullahs are terrified of appearing here to debate as they know their cause is of Iblis and and not of Ali. No other place like this exists anywhere. The Progressive Movement also made people realize a life outside the clutches of the clergy was possible and not only that, was Islamically justified and valid. Islam in it's fundamental sense is anti-clergy and revolutionary. That now we have a family who controls everything (and another family who wants to control everything) is fundamentally opposed to the essence of Islam which is a religion of egalitarianism and equality in the true sense. This realization that dawned on many Bohris is a gift of the Progressive Movement and it's brave and courageous stalwarts.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I want to clarify that often one criticizes the thing one loves the most for the simple reason that one feels strongly about it. Yes, the Progressive Movement failed in a material way, but it succeeded in another and far more important spiritual way. So though perhaps we concede hayula to the Iblisi toli, the spiritual battle has been won. Even the clergy knows this and so focus only on self-aggrandizement and enriching themselves here-and-now. Yet, despite the beach-front property in Sri Lanka the jet-setting between Thane and Bakersfield, and the thousands of fawning fan-boys, they have lost.

juzer esmail
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:24 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#2

Unread post by juzer esmail » Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:01 am

Very well enumerated, thanks for sharing this!

zinger
Posts: 2086
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:40 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#3

Unread post by zinger » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:45 am

Here are my 2 cents to people who doubt what exactly has the reformist movement done in so many years

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond araz and salam and kadambosi and ziafat

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond jamat and jaman

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that you dont need someone to teach you to be a good Muslim. it comes from within and from self introspection

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond celebrating Urus and Milads everyday. there is a life that is to be lived for ones self too

now, a third cent, before everyone's hackles get raised... more power to all mumineen who feel life is just araz and salam, kadambosi and ziafat, jamat and jaman, Urus and Milads. if that is what makes you happy, by all means, go ahead, more power to you

a fourth cent now... even if not hundreds and thousands, it certainly opened my eyes to all that is wrong

and finally, before i sign off, my fifth and last cent. better to die free and poor than live a rich life of slaves

From what i am seeing right now, it would seem to me that atleast Fakhruddin Maula has more or less these thoughts, but only time will tell. till then, he remains a healthier alternative for me.

although now, since the past few years, ive been so happy being an unfettered Dawood Bohra that it will take a real revolution to make me align to any one camp over the other

bohra_manus
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:37 pm

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#4

Unread post by bohra_manus » Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:12 am

Well said Br Biradar!

Humsafar
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#5

Unread post by Humsafar » Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:51 pm

Biradar,

A brilliant summary on the progressive movement. It's high time someone outside of the formal progressive movement acknowledged and recognized our contributions and successes. This has been long overdue, to say the least. For years and years myself and a couple of others have been championing the reformist cause on this forum, highlighting its achievements, fielding the detractors and naysayers -- and it is rarely we get the support and encouragement from others. The same goes for this Forum, people generally focus on its negative aspects -- trolling and abuse etc. and not so much on its uniqueness in the Bohra world providing a platform for free and fearless and independent exchange of ideas. So, thank you for writing. I wish others would also do the same. The progressive movement needs your support, moral and otherwise.

This is not to say that all is well with the progressive movement. We have our challenges, we suffer from a siege mentality, financially we are always strapped and for decades we have been drained of resources fighting the mafia clergy in the courts. We feel sidelined and isolated, have had to sacrifice family and friends. And we may not have achieved much as you say materially, but our biggest achievement I think is the independence of the mind. We live in dignity. We do not have to scrape and bow before a two-bit mullah. We've come to enjoy and value our independence and dignity, and will never submit to an autocratic Dai. The Dai should be our guide, our rehanuma not our master, not our sultan.

Humsafar
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#6

Unread post by Humsafar » Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:54 pm

Zinger,

Thank you for giving your cents and support. I must tell you that every cent counts. :)

AbdeYamani
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:08 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#7

Unread post by AbdeYamani » Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am

Biradar wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:09 pm I have often been a harsh critic of the Progressive Movement (I mean Progressive with a capital "P" to distinguish the actual organization rather than the general progressive ideals it espouses). This criticism is not because I think the movement itself is bad or the ideals it promotes are bad, but because of a general failure to achieve these goals in the broader Bohra community. This failure, I want to clarify, is not due to any individual or the organization itself, but due to the general incapacity of the Bohras to counter their mullahs in any meaningful way. Hence, despite the valiant efforts, often at great personal cost, made over decades, the mafia Iblisi toli "won" in the sense that they made the Progressives out to be some sort of evil fiends, while in reality they were the most liberal open minded people around.

Part of the issue here was that after India's independence there was idealism that all sorts of oppression, both colonialist as well as priestly, could be countered by protest movement backed by strong intellectual foundations. The intellectual foundations were strong, with giants like Dr Engineer and the Hamdani family, Zahid Ali family, Ismaili Poonawala and numerous other scholars opening up a vast area of scholarship hitherto hidden from view. Their efforts were so tremendous that a handful of these men essentially set the tone for Ismaili scholarship for over a century. Yet, the general Bohra population were unable to build on these intellectual foundations and were unable to put their clergy under control. They got bamboozled by wealth and splendor of the clergy. Meanwhile, the Progressives were humble men and women going about their life, sometimes in great poverty and deprivation. In the narrow and mean sighted way, the Bohras thought the rich mullah to be of greater value than the humble khaki kurta and jacket wearing man who appeared a hold-over from pre-Independence India. That tells you something about Bohras mentality and not about the movement itself.

Ironically, when the four ustads were removed from Jamiaa they sought shelter amongst the Progressives, though these mullahs were just another manifestation of the fanaticism of the mainstream clergy which the Progressives opposed. The Progressive in the kindness of their hearts and through their progressive vision gave shelter to them, though they were philosophically on the opposite spectrum. Sometimes this unfortunate enmeshing of these two opposition movements to the da'i's administration are conflated as the same. However, they are not at all the same. The question of nass which so animated the four ustads never was a major issue for the Progressives.

However, in a deeply personal sense the Progressive movement won, though the clergy became materially stronger. The Progressives showed that a life outside the Bohra box was possible. They showed that many customs we inherited were not as sacrosanct as the clergy made out to be. One could oppose the clergy and still not fall outside the fold of Islam. They showed that there really was no basis to the central claim of the da'is that they and only they were the arbiters of heaven and hell. No, heaven and truth was not with them and the light Progressives shone on the clergy showed the horrible way the clergy treated their followers, exploited them and milked them for their own profit. In a sense, the Progressives showed that in reality heaven was not with the clergy at all, in fact nothing but a Yazidi lifestyle all acquired on the back of hard working and poor Bohras.

Now, no one, not even the most timid and spineless Bohra can deny that the clergy live a life of enormous luxury. SMB was in love with luxury and a good life, going from one vacation spot to another. Towards the second half of his rule he became an insane and malignant megalomaniac who though he was god on Earth. Of course, his kids and brothers were happy to feed his megalomania as it meant a good life for them too. Literally thousands of SMB's family members became rich due to funds collected from the community, including SKQ and his children. The outcome of this terrible era was the arrival of Muffy on the scene, a man whose fanaticism and lust for control knows no bound. The FD movement was essentially formed as Muffy usurped the nass which likely had happened on SKQ, but SKQ himself had watered his soul and his family's finances from the same corrupt fountain. He too was in love of luxury and being fawned upon by adoring masses.

SMB in many ways failed to bring the Bohras into modernity. In fact, he took them back to a primitive tribal cult that has now become the laughing stock. Consider SMB's insane opposition to jobs and his insistence that people do petty business. He completely missed the great globalization that occurred due to free employment from a solid education. He opposed working in banks, despite having hundreds of bank accounts and investments himself and having just fronted his own candidates in Bombay Mercantile bank. How can this be the actions of a sane man? Many hundreds of lives were destroyed just by SMB's anti-bank edicts. His other edicts on strict obedience caused untold harm and misery and the whole accounting of this is yet to be done, though several commissions wrote very serious and negative reports on his mafia like behavior.

The Progressive by projecting a voice of liberalism and rationalism, despite their weak financial position managed to show the world the serious crimes of the clergy. They made it possible for people to at least secretly oppose the clergy, and many times even openly despite the risks and dangers of doing so. The Progressives realized the importance of education and local charitable organizations and set many such up in various places, specially in Udaipur. Unfortunately, the clergy did the opposite. They seized the thriving local charities run by individuals and converted them into centralized sinecures for the da'is kids.

A great and tremendous damage that SMB (and also his father, grandfather and great-grandfather) did was the complete and utter destruction of the class of learned clerics. Previously, this class was a counter balance to the power of the da'i and put a check on him. However, under SMB specially, even the most distinguished scholar was made to grovel and fawn upon the least kid from the so-called "Royal family" and even the local mullahs. The damage from this was tremendous. Now the da'i and his family were free to do anything they wanted and there would be no opposition at all. And they took great advantage of this, usurping all power and wealth and imposing unprecedented control over their follower's lives.

Under these circumstances the fact that pockets of resistance existed against such gargantuan odds is truly impressive and a great testament to the Progressive Movement's fundamental strength. Moreover, it gave Bohras an outlet and possibility they never had experienced before. This forum was (and in a weakened form still is) the only place where open discussions can be had about these issues. In a literal sense mullahs are terrified of appearing here to debate as they know their cause is of Iblis and and not of Ali. No other place like this exists anywhere. The Progressive Movement also made people realize a life outside the clutches of the clergy was possible and not only that, was Islamically justified and valid. Islam in it's fundamental sense is anti-clergy and revolutionary. That now we have a family who controls everything (and another family who wants to control everything) is fundamentally opposed to the essence of Islam which is a religion of egalitarianism and equality in the true sense. This realization that dawned on many Bohris is a gift of the Progressive Movement and it's brave and courageous stalwarts.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I want to clarify that often one criticizes the thing one loves the most for the simple reason that one feels strongly about it. Yes, the Progressive Movement failed in a material way, but it succeeded in another and far more important spiritual way. So though perhaps we concede hayula to the Iblisi toli, the spiritual battle has been won. Even the clergy knows this and so focus only on self-aggrandizement and enriching themselves here-and-now. Yet, despite the beach-front property in Sri Lanka the jet-setting between Thane and Bakersfield, and the thousands of fawning fan-boys, they have lost.
Liberal, clergy, abde, priesthood, dirty mullah.... bla bla bla...

Don't you get tired of yourself?

Dawoodi Bohra's are religious people, they believe in certain doctrine that was handed down to them from their forefathers..

Their Forefathers gave allegiance to a spiritual successor of Prophet Mohammed(SWA)

Then to his Dai with limited scope, eventually this limited scope was transformed into status equal of Imam and the books or scholars to challenge this change which happened gradually over the period of 200 years starting from 47 to 53
were successfully removed from the masses..
thus remained people victims of Tehreef and Tabdeel.. whom you so rudely and condescendingly call as Abde and timid and what not...

Your whole progressive movement is a reactionary, even the udaipuris got mad after what happened in Galiayakot otherwise even udaipuris were still in mainstream and eventually most of those who started your so called movement including Ghulam Husain went back to main stream after mithaaq.

Most of you are bezaar with deen and you want to change it as per your liking and moreover you nastily seek everyones validation by your intellectual bullying... that will never happen.. no matter how much you abuse dawoodi bohra's. To every religiuois Dawoodi bohra you are just bunch of bhatkela logo because of colonial influence...

your best bet would have been if you guys had listened to the ulemas and would have out bohra bohra themselves in terms of religious observation in correct form... that would have been something.. today all that mainstream bohra sees in you is semi wahabis, semi-ithna asharis, sudo liberals who think high and mighty of themselves...

ajamali
Posts: 587
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:51 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#8

Unread post by ajamali » Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:12 am

zinger wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:45 am Here are my 2 cents to people who doubt what exactly has the reformist movement done in so many years

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond araz and salam and kadambosi and ziafat

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond jamat and jaman

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that you dont need someone to teach you to be a good Muslim. it comes from within and from self introspection

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond celebrating Urus and Milads everyday. there is a life that is to be lived for ones self too

now, a third cent, before everyone's hackles get raised... more power to all mumineen who feel life is just araz and salam, kadambosi and ziafat, jamat and jaman, Urus and Milads. if that is what makes you happy, by all means, go ahead, more power to you

a fourth cent now... even if not hundreds and thousands, it certainly opened my eyes to all that is wrong

and finally, before i sign off, my fifth and last cent. better to die free and poor than live a rich life of slaves

From what i am seeing right now, it would seem to me that atleast Fakhruddin Maula has more or less these thoughts, but only time will tell. till then, he remains a healthier alternative for me.

although now, since the past few years, ive been so happy being an unfettered Dawood Bohra that it will take a real revolution to make me align to any one camp over the other
Zinger did it really take the progressive movement to teach you that there is life beyond araz and salaam?

Humsafar
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#9

Unread post by Humsafar » Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:49 am

AbdeYamani wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am
Your whole progressive movement is a reactionary, even the udaipuris got mad after what happened in Galiayakot otherwise even udaipuris were still in mainstream and eventually most of those who started your so called movement including Ghulam Husain went back to main stream after mithaaq.
An ultra conservative reactionary calling others reactionary!
AbdeYamani wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am your best bet would have been if you guys had listened to the ulemas and would have out bohra bohra themselves in terms of religious observation in correct form... that would have been something.. today all that mainstream bohra sees in you is semi wahabis, semi-ithna asharis, sudo liberals who think high and mighty of themselves...
Listened to the ulemas and created another clergy mafia? And you still harping about the 47-53? That train has left the station long back. You are still stuck in legalities of succession, whereas the reform movement is concerned with accountability, welfare, justice etc. We want people to live in dignity and honour, who their Dai is of little consequence so long as he is a decent human being and a just leader. But I know you've been taught well by your ulema so there's little point in discussing these things with you.

AbdeYamani
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:08 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#10

Unread post by AbdeYamani » Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:57 pm

Humsafar wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:49 am
AbdeYamani wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am
Your whole progressive movement is a reactionary, even the udaipuris got mad after what happened in Galiayakot otherwise even udaipuris were still in mainstream and eventually most of those who started your so called movement including Ghulam Husain went back to main stream after mithaaq.
An ultra conservative reactionary calling others reactionary!
AbdeYamani wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am your best bet would have been if you guys had listened to the ulemas and would have out bohra bohra themselves in terms of religious observation in correct form... that would have been something.. today all that mainstream bohra sees in you is semi wahabis, semi-ithna asharis, sudo liberals who think high and mighty of themselves...
Listened to the ulemas and created another clergy mafia? And you still harping about the 47-53? That train has left the station long back. You are still stuck in legalities of succession, whereas the reform movement is concerned with accountability, welfare, justice etc. We want people to live in dignity and honour, who their Dai is of little consequence so long as he is a decent human being and a just leader. But I know you've been taught well by your ulema so there's little point in discussing these things with you.
Right, way to go... keep it up...
as Biradar said " we failed, but in a sense(best known to him) we succeeded.... lol..makes complete sense...

Biradar
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#11

Unread post by Biradar » Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:39 pm

So I want to clarify a few more things. I am personally convinced that there was no break of nass from 47th da'i onwards. I have written on this topic very extensively before and it is too tiring to repeat the same thing 100 times or more. In very brief: the ulema wanted to control the dawaat and they hence took advantage of the early death of S. Mohammad Badruddin. Sadly as history has shown very soon the same ulema group turned on each other and over the next several decades and century suffered a total and humiliating defeat. Not that the victorious side was any better. In fact, probably it is worse as there is no longer any check on its power.

As to the more general question of religious authority in the modern times. The hard fact is that there is no longer any basis in continuing to maintain that there must be a single religious authority that has any right to dictate other people's lives.

First, there is a question of practicality. We all know there is no manifest Imam at present and has not been for nearly 1000 years now. Even leaving aside the theological question of the relevance of such a figure who chooses to hide to such a long period of time, the practical consequence is that Imam's position is merely formulaic.

Second, no existing claimant to the da'i's and other leadership positions, and there are many (Sulaimani, Alavi, Dawoodi Muffy, Dawoodi Qutbi, Mehdibagwalas, Ahmad Ali Raj bhakts etc etc and who knows how many more), has any personal spiritual charisma left at all. Mufy is a mad fanatic, STF and his dad emerged from the same wicked tree as Muffy and the others are equally petty and self-engrossed to do attract anyone but those who are born into their respective communities. The mullahs who were removed from the Jamia were also mad fanatics and extremely primitive men with little idea on how the modern world works. So who of these is worthy of following and why? My contention is not one of them is worthy and all should be rejected if looked at from a rational (and Islamic) point of view.

Thirdly, this is an era of personal freedom and democratic ideals. People have a choice on how to lead their lives and quasi-governmental authorities like da'is and other mullahs are generally disliked. No one wants to be told how to lead their lives and, in fact, no one should be told either. Is there any real reason to continue FGM? Or ridiculous things like iddat? Or order women to sit in the corner of the house? Bend and fawn in front of a barbarian mullah? Leave your bank job? No! Not at all. Times have changed and these people are a hold-over from a primitive time. High time for them to go.

Now, I want to say that in these situation Islam in its most fundamental sense truly shines: a religion of personal spirituality, of egalitarianism and equality in the true sense and a religion of dignity. No where in the Qu'ran it says to bend and fawn in front of a mullah. No where. In fact, the opposite is true! In Islam you are answerable for your own action and no one else's actions. Islam is a revolutionary religion in which all apparent inequality is deemed irrelevant, of birth and of wealth and only an inner spiritual attainment is to be strived for. Hence, in the very first surah of the Qur'an in verse 5 we say "You alone we worship, You alone we ask for help". It does not say worship mullah or ask him for help! The Straight Path is one laid out and easy to follow without any intervention of mullahs of any sort. Recall in Islam unlike in Catholic religion, there is no ordination of priests and anyone can lead prayers and perform the various rituals needed.

Now, clearly often there is need for advice in some matters and mullahs can serve in this role. However, this role does not mean they get to barge into my house and tell me to change my toilet! Or that I should disown my wife is she does not wear Red Riding hood cape! Or that my daughter's genitals need to be mutilated. No! At that point the mullah needs a kick on his backside and booted out. Mullahs should be the ones who sit in the corner, while more knowledgeable and practical men and women organize the run the community affairs, all under strict communal accountability.

Some people want a deeper spiritual life. This is often the path of Sufism in which a guide is usually (not always) needed but none of the people listed above (connected with half-dozen or so Bohra factions) has any clue about spirituality anyway! They are all about 24/7 enjoyment and tafri. What will they tell us about spirituality when they themselves are so drunk with power and wealth?

In short both for practical and Islamic reasons there is actually no need to have an authoritarian form of leadership any more.

Incidentally, those fools who say "Dawoodi Bohras are religious people" don't realize that that is utterly and totally false. People who have grown up in the West and also others actually do not care about mullahs or religion at all. Even devout people don't really respect the local Amils for example. Why would they? All they see is a bunch of barbarians shouting about FGM and other absurd primitive ideas. Money for this and money for that, bend in front of that haram/sheh-zada or his kids. Enough!

In fact, as I have said before Bohras are an endangered lot. Birth rates are declining and obviously no one in their sane mind would convert to this mad cult. Hence, there is a deep demographic decline and in a few generations it will be game over in any case. If you think this is not a serious issue please read this article on Alavi Bohra website https://www.alavibohra.org/introduction ... lation.htm. The same is the case with Dawoodi bohras. My parents each had several siblings (even 6-7) while they and their siblings have only two kids each. This is not a sustainable reproduction rate. Worse, as many young people are turned off by the rotund hairy mullah yelling at then, there is a strong attrition of the population.

Sheikh_Sajjad_Husain
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon May 25, 2020 7:37 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#12

Unread post by Sheikh_Sajjad_Husain » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:41 pm

Biradar wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:39 pm So I want to clarify a few more things. I am personally convinced that there was no break of nass from 47th da'i onwards. I have written on this topic very extensively before and it is too tiring to repeat the same thing 100 times or more. In very brief: the ulema wanted to control the dawaat and they hence took advantage of the early death of S. Mohammad Badruddin. Sadly as history has shown very soon the same ulema group turned on each other and over the next several decades and century suffered a total and humiliating defeat. Not that the victorious side was any better. In fact, probably it is worse as there is no longer any check on its power.
You know nothing Jon Snow :)

Biradar
Posts: 955
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#13

Unread post by Biradar » Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:11 pm

Sheikh_Sajjad_Husain wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:41 pm
Biradar wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:39 pm So I want to clarify a few more things. I am personally convinced that there was no break of nass from 47th da'i onwards. I have written on this topic very extensively before and it is too tiring to repeat the same thing 100 times or more. In very brief: the ulema wanted to control the dawaat and they hence took advantage of the early death of S. Mohammad Badruddin. Sadly as history has shown very soon the same ulema group turned on each other and over the next several decades and century suffered a total and humiliating defeat. Not that the victorious side was any better. In fact, probably it is worse as there is no longer any check on its power.
You know nothing Jon Snow :)
I like the name "Jon Snow" ... probably the only real likable character from the whole book.

Anyway, the question of nass has been hashed out now for decades and it is clear that it is completely irrelevant. The train has long passed the station. Ulema were throughly and completely defeated and all their machinations have been for nothing. Now we have the situation in which the so-called ulema have to kiss the hands and feet of every two-dime shezada's grandkid in a pram. Sad! Also, as Humsafar said earlier, this is essentially an irrelevant point to the overall Progressive movement. Though, if you have to present evidence which has been discussed umpteen times and found totally unconvincing, please do.

zinger
Posts: 2086
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:40 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#14

Unread post by zinger » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:34 am

ajamali wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:12 am
zinger wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:45 am Here are my 2 cents to people who doubt what exactly has the reformist movement done in so many years

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond araz and salam and kadambosi and ziafat

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond jamat and jaman

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that you dont need someone to teach you to be a good Muslim. it comes from within and from self introspection

it has shown hundreds, if not thousands of Mumineen, that there is life beyond celebrating Urus and Milads everyday. there is a life that is to be lived for ones self too

now, a third cent, before everyone's hackles get raised... more power to all mumineen who feel life is just araz and salam, kadambosi and ziafat, jamat and jaman, Urus and Milads. if that is what makes you happy, by all means, go ahead, more power to you

a fourth cent now... even if not hundreds and thousands, it certainly opened my eyes to all that is wrong

and finally, before i sign off, my fifth and last cent. better to die free and poor than live a rich life of slaves

From what i am seeing right now, it would seem to me that atleast Fakhruddin Maula has more or less these thoughts, but only time will tell. till then, he remains a healthier alternative for me.

although now, since the past few years, ive been so happy being an unfettered Dawood Bohra that it will take a real revolution to make me align to any one camp over the other
Zinger did it really take the progressive movement to teach you that there is life beyond araz and salaam?
the asnwer to that is not as straightforward as it may seem.

the questions had begun in my mind for quite some time. but due to the social upbringing and indoctrination, i always learnt to quash those little voices that had begun to pipe up in my head.

it was only after i became a more regular on the site that i began to discern right and wrong. many of the old timers here do know me, like SBM and Al Zulfiqar and i suspect Birader too. they know how, once upon a time, i was a vociferous and vocal opponent of the reformist movement and how i would go hammer and tongs at anything said against the traditional side.

But yes, over time, the more i stayed, the more irrrefutable the proof became of what ailed our community

so to answer your question, yes and no
Last edited by zinger on Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

kseeker
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#15

Unread post by kseeker » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:21 am

Biradar wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:39 pm So I want to clarify a few more things.....
You say the 47th Dai was rightful.. the Ulemas were in the wrong.. but you also say SMB was a crook like his father and brother and his grandfather..

So where did it start to go all wrong? where did the chain break? who is the rightful one?

We both agree that the current clergy are corrupt and not 'rightful'... the beauty of an authoritarian system is that a 'haq' na dai will always select another who is of 'haq'... if one of them is not true then his predecessor who chose him was not true as well...which can have two meanings.. all 53 were wrong.. or one of them in between was not of nass... was it 47, 49,51... who knows...
Last edited by kseeker on Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

kseeker
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#16

Unread post by kseeker » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:28 am

The progressives 'failed' because they did not develop an institution.. there was a revolution, people got high.. rallied behind the revolutionaries.. but then that high faded.. a core group always remained. But they could not develop something...they did not focus on building a long lasting institution.. which TS and YN did.. and it is exactly why they have 'succeeded'....

There is a reason why Islam gives more sawab for prayers offered in a group and even more for done in a masjid (a dedicated place for worship).. it is to incentivize congregations.... strength are in the numbers...i have met many progressives who saw flaws in the institution... the flaw was the corruption.. It is exactly why so many of the progressive families have now family members and children who have absolutely no link to Islam..they strayed because they did not see the strength of an institution... and PLEASE don't see this the wrong way.. I am in no way taking a jab at progressives.. I think it takes a lot of courage to stand up, break free and do the right thing... but I also think just by talking anti-MB and anti-MS, you won't be able to hold people's interest for long enough.. you need to show your salt's worth.

ajamali
Posts: 587
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:51 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#17

Unread post by ajamali » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:58 am

AbdeYamani wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am To every religiuois Dawoodi bohra you are just bunch of bhatkela logo
In defense of the progressives....but mostly because AbdeYamani is a judgemental prick
It’s almost a compliment to be thought of as bhatkela logo by this bunch of

Plate lickers...



And little girl mutilators
And toilet breakers
And pretend classroom wailers
And asskissers of fake royalty
And chair kissers
And slipper kissers...

Your view of mainstream Bohras is a little removed from reality Abde Yamani. Perhaps it is you who think you are high and mighty...

objectiveobserver53
Posts: 534
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:29 pm

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#18

Unread post by objectiveobserver53 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:47 am

ajamali wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:58 am
AbdeYamani wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am To every religiuois Dawoodi bohra you are just bunch of bhatkela logo
In defense of the progressives....but mostly because AbdeYamani is a judgemental prick
It’s almost a compliment to be thought of as bhatkela logo by this bunch of

Plate lickers...



And little girl mutilators
And toilet breakers
And pretend classroom wailers
And asskissers of fake royalty
And chair kissers
And slipper kissers...

Your view of mainstream Bohras is a little removed from reality Abde Yamani. Perhaps it is you who think you are high and mighty...
Hehehe - true true. The opinion of Muffy's tribe is of little value these days. If we all lived our lives based on what judgmental pricks thought of us, we would all be salaming to, bowing to, and throwing all our money at a low IQ, socially inept, seventh grade dropout.....

Humsafar
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#19

Unread post by Humsafar » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:38 pm

kseeker wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:28 am The progressives 'failed' because they did not develop an institution.. there was a revolution, people got high.. rallied behind the revolutionaries.. but then that high faded.. a core group always remained. But they could not develop something...they did not focus on building a long lasting institution.. which TS and YN did.. and it is exactly why they have 'succeeded'....

There is a reason why Islam gives more sawab for prayers offered in a group and even more for done in a masjid (a dedicated place for worship).. it is to incentivize congregations.... strength are in the numbers...i have met many progressives who saw flaws in the institution... the flaw was the corruption.. It is exactly why so many of the progressive families have now family members and children who have absolutely no link to Islam..they strayed because they did not see the strength of an institution... and PLEASE don't see this the wrong way.. I am in no way taking a jab at progressives.. I think it takes a lot of courage to stand up, break free and do the right thing... but I also think just by talking anti-MB and anti-MS, you won't be able to hold people's interest for long enough.. you need to show your salt's worth.
What do you mean by "not developing an institution"? What institution are you talking about? You like the institution built by TS and YN, really? I wonder what good you see about it. This dawat was founded on arrogation of illegitimate power and authority. And what has become of it now is not an anomaly, it was meant to be this way. The dawat is a den of corruption and evil. In this sense of course they have succeeded because they achieved what they set out to do.

Having an institution is no gurantee of a good governance or conduct. Yes, there's strength in numbers but the numbers by and of itself is of little merit. Its value lies in what you do with that institution, with those numbers. True, there maybe some progressives who have no links to Islam (and this could be said of any faith, any community). But look at the members of your "long lasting institution" today, they are little more than worshipers of the golden calf, their practices are absolutely anti-islamic. Progressives do not badmouth MB and MS (this Forum doesn't represent them entirely), we have built clinics, schools, democratic jamats, accountability etc. These are institutions and values worth having.

AbdeYamani
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:08 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#20

Unread post by AbdeYamani » Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:45 pm

ajamali wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:58 am
AbdeYamani wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:49 am To every religiuois Dawoodi bohra you are just bunch of bhatkela logo
In defense of the progressives....but mostly because AbdeYamani is a judgemental prick
It’s almost a compliment to be thought of as bhatkela logo by this bunch of

Plate lickers...



And little girl mutilators
And toilet breakers
And pretend classroom wailers
And asskissers of fake royalty
And chair kissers
And slipper kissers...

Your view of mainstream Bohras is a little removed from reality Abde Yamani. Perhaps it is you who think you are high and mighty...
You have no idea what my view of mainstream bohra's is.. people often call others what they see in themselves...
so I will not mind your colorful language...

ajamali
Posts: 587
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:51 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#21

Unread post by ajamali » Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:49 pm

AbdeYamani wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:45 pm
ajamali wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:58 am

In defense of the progressives....but mostly because AbdeYamani is a judgemental prick
It’s almost a compliment to be thought of as bhatkela logo by this bunch of

Plate lickers...



And little girl mutilators
And toilet breakers
And pretend classroom wailers
And asskissers of fake royalty
And chair kissers
And slipper kissers...

Your view of mainstream Bohras is a little removed from reality Abde Yamani. Perhaps it is you who think you are high and mighty...
You have no idea what my view of mainstream bohra's is.. people often call others what they see in themselves...
so I will not mind your colorful language...
I called you a judgmental prick because on another post you called the Progressives "pathetic" and here you are using the mainstream bohras to call them "bhatkela logo." I am no fan of the progressives and even I found your posts offensive enough to jump to their defense.

Bohra spring
Posts: 1355
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:37 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#22

Unread post by Bohra spring » Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:26 am

Kseeker is not too far from the reality.
What ia PDB at present, Udaipur PDB is a local setup, but globally PDB is almost non existent or endangered.

FD and PDB could not reconcile for their both detriment. FD is also meanderig after years bogged down in a unwinable case thats just taking too long.

How many 20 or 30 yr olds claim to be PDB. Mostly old timers still hoping for glory.

Bohra is all left outside SMS group a cultural group which shares language, traditions and remember the past.

The biggest threat to Bohras is global modernisation of people becoming less religious.

PDB failed because it was holding onto historical practices rather than invest in becoming more Islamic and joining with larger Shia groups. They were just too few of Bohras who could not grow and have money to rebuild the services like centres, schools etc.

It's unfortunate but now the ship has sailed. SMS also is quite desperate to hang onto who they have. But is also slowly sinking. Covid travel restrictions has caused SMS to financially haemorrhage.
kseeker wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:28 am The progressives 'failed' because they did not develop an institution.. there was a revolution, people got high.. rallied behind the revolutionaries.. but then that high faded.. a core group always remained. But they could not develop something...they did not focus on building a long lasting institution.. which TS and YN did.. and it is exactly why they have 'succeeded'....

There is a reason why Islam gives more sawab for prayers offered in a group and even more for done in a masjid (a dedicated place for worship).. it is to incentivize congregations.... strength are in the numbers...i have met many progressives who saw flaws in the institution... the flaw was the corruption.. It is exactly why so many of the progressive families have now family members and children who have absolutely no link to Islam..they strayed because they did not see the strength of an institution... and PLEASE don't see this the wrong way.. I am in no way taking a jab at progressives.. I think it takes a lot of courage to stand up, break free and do the right thing... but I also think just by talking anti-MB and anti-MS, you won't be able to hold people's interest for long enough.. you need to show your salt's worth.

Humsafar
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#23

Unread post by Humsafar » Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:50 am

Bohra spring wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:26 am
PDB failed because it was holding onto historical practices rather than invest in becoming more Islamic and joining with larger Shia groups. They were just too few of Bohras who could not grow and have money to rebuild the services like centres, schools etc.
PDB were holding on to the basic tenets of the Ismaili Tayyebi faith, not historical practices. The idea was never to change or alter or improve our foundational beliefs. The idea was to reform the administration of the community and bring the Dawat and Dai under control. Joining the "larger Shia groups" was never an option. PDB have build schools and clinics and have centres wherever they are in the world. Yes we are small in numbers, but numbers are not a true indication of success. As I keep repeating, PDB have not failed, the Bohras have failed us.

Talking/merging with FD was never an option either, they are cut from the same stained cloth.

anajmi
Posts: 13417
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#24

Unread post by anajmi » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:37 pm

Humsafar wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:51 pm Biradar,

A brilliant summary on the progressive movement. It's high time someone outside of the formal progressive movement acknowledged and recognized our contributions and successes. This has been long overdue, to say the least. For years and years myself and a couple of others have been championing the reformist cause on this forum, highlighting its achievements, fielding the detractors and naysayers -- and it is rarely we get the support and encouragement from others. The same goes for this Forum, people generally focus on its negative aspects -- trolling and abuse etc. and not so much on its uniqueness in the Bohra world providing a platform for free and fearless and independent exchange of ideas. So, thank you for writing. I wish others would also do the same. The progressive movement needs your support, moral and otherwise.

This is not to say that all is well with the progressive movement. We have our challenges, we suffer from a siege mentality, financially we are always strapped and for decades we have been drained of resources fighting the mafia clergy in the courts. We feel sidelined and isolated, have had to sacrifice family and friends. And we may not have achieved much as you say materially, but our biggest achievement I think is the independence of the mind. We live in dignity. We do not have to scrape and bow before a two-bit mullah. We've come to enjoy and value our independence and dignity, and will never submit to an autocratic Dai. The Dai should be our guide, our rehanuma not our master, not our sultan.
A very heartfelt post from Biradar. I want to add one simple thing about the progressive movement. This is my feeling and I may be wrong about it, the progressive movement went up agains the tyranny of the Dai but not so that they could teach the Bohras about true Islam. They did not provide the Bohras with the true way to enter Jannah. Not sure if the progressives themselves believed in it in the first place. And that is the biggest reason they were not able to turn bohra hearts.

Humsafar
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#25

Unread post by Humsafar » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:55 am

anajmi, welcome back :-) so good to see you back here!

The progressive movement was only concerned with social and administrative issues -- local jamat democracy and freedom to manage our own affairs, jamat to own community properties, end to extortion, financial accountability for monies taken by Dai from Bohras etc.. If our agenda crossed into the religious realm it was to challenge the excessive nature of misaq and raza. Historically, these issues developed because the Dai started arrogating too much power unto themselves and started behaving and living like Sultans. So to bring social reform was also to reform, indirectly, the Dais and their role. One could not be achieved without the other.

As for true Islam or true path to Jannah, that is a larger issue that affects not just the Bohras. It would be presumptuous for us progressives to venture into that territory -- we didn't see that as our role or calling. We figured that if the Dais would lose their arrogance and lust for power and money, and focused on teaching the faith, the Bohras would not be badly off in terms of following basic principles of Islam.

So no, I don't think that progressives failed to make an impact because they did not have an alternative plan for Jannah. Even if we were to offer such a thing there is no hope in hell Bohras would have flocked to our fold. Traditionally that is not a concern that keeps Bohras awake at night!

anajmi
Posts: 13417
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#26

Unread post by anajmi » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:10 pm

If you kids behave then I won't have to be come back. If you don't, then - I'll be back!!!

I think the biggest pull of the Dai is that he promises Jannah to his followers without hindrance. No matter what a Bohra does, as long as he is paying the Dai, bowing down before him and doing sajdah to him he is going into jannah. Bohra don't really care to look into whether he is a liar or not. As long as they get to enter jannah without doing a lot of work, they are good. Besides, they get to enjoy jaman every now and then. You think I left the Bohra fold because of the Dai's tyranny? When I was a Bohra I didn't care much about bowing down to him or giving him some of my money. I did actually enjoy the Muharram and Ramadan gatherings. What changed was the realization that the Dai was lying about leading us to jannah. And then the flood gates of reality opened for me Alhumdulillah.

SBM
Posts: 6467
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 4:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#27

Unread post by SBM » Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:31 pm

Anajmi
Welcome Back
Hope all was well with you and family during Flooding and power outage

Humsafar
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#28

Unread post by Humsafar » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:54 pm

anajmi wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:10 pm If you kids behave then I won't have to be come back. If you don't, then - I'll be back!!!

I think the biggest pull of the Dai is that he promises Jannah to his followers without hindrance. No matter what a Bohra does, as long as he is paying the Dai, bowing down before him and doing sajdah to him he is going into jannah. Bohra don't really care to look into whether he is a liar or not. As long as they get to enter jannah without doing a lot of work, they are good. Besides, they get to enjoy jaman every now and then. You think I left the Bohra fold because of the Dai's tyranny? When I was a Bohra I didn't care much about bowing down to him or giving him some of my money. I did actually enjoy the Muharram and Ramadan gatherings. What changed was the realization that the Dai was lying about leading us to jannah. And then the flood gates of reality opened for me Alhumdulillah.
Ok big daddy! :)

You've misread the Bohra mind and misunderstood the Bohra motives. I repeat, going to jannah is the least of their concerns. Bohras cleave to the Dai and accept his tyranny because they want be a part of the community, it is their world, it gives them identity and a social life. All their religious rituals are taken care of and that's what they care about the most. And the jaman of course. Bohras have never been very pious or religious to be overly worried about going to jannah. And they all know, although would never say it, that Dai's guarantee to take them to jannah is a bloody hoax.

anajmi
Posts: 13417
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:01 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#29

Unread post by anajmi » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:06 pm

SBM wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:31 pm Anajmi
Welcome Back
Hope all was well with you and family during Flooding and power outage
Thanks SBM. We lost electricity in our home and had to go live with a friend for a couple of days. But it’s all good now alhumdulillah.

zinger
Posts: 2086
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:40 am

Re: On the Progressive Movement

#30

Unread post by zinger » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:31 am

anajmi wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:06 pm
SBM wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:31 pm Anajmi
Welcome Back
Hope all was well with you and family during Flooding and power outage
Thanks SBM. We lost electricity in our home and had to go live with a friend for a couple of days. But it’s all good now alhumdulillah.
wait, what was that all about? flooding and power outage? there was nothing in the news on this. can you send me some links to read up on this please?