Indian Express, Srinath Rao


When asked whether there was any instance in history of an Imam succeeding to the Imamate without Nass being conferred in the presence of at least two witnesses, Devin said there was an example of a woman being witness to a Nass conferred by an Imam. He said the 20th Imam (1467-1512 AD) had sent a letter to Yemeni Queen Al-Hurratal al-Malikah, informing her of Nass conferred upon the 21st Imam.

“Not only is she a competent witness, but I would say the entire Dawoodi Bohra faith is predicated on the position as a witness of al-Malikah. The reason is that she established the legitimacy of the Imamate of the 21st Imam,” said Devin.

To another question, Devin said Nass can be conferred on an Imam even when he is the sole witness to the pronouncement. Chagla next asked whether it was true that Nass cannot be revoked once conferred. Prof Devin replied,” Yes. It is the fundamental doctrine of the Ismail Shi’ite belief.” Devin’s deposition will continue on Friday.

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