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Press Conference March 11, 2014

11 March 2014

After the sad and tragic demise of our Beloved and revered Moula, Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin Saheb RA, 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, Syedna Qutbuddin Saheb TUS revealed that Syedna Burhanuddin Saheb RA had anointed him as his successor on the 10th of December 1965, when he also anointed him as Mazoon, the spiritual position second only to the Dai.

However, Shehzada Mufaddal bhaisaheb (second son of Syedna Burhanuddin Saheb RA), his brothers and other family members, took advantage of a severe debilitating stroke that affected Syedna Burhanuddin Saheb RA in London. On June 4, 2011, three days after Syedna was admitted to the hospital, they unilaterally made the false claim that Syedna Burhanuddin Saheb RA in that condition called his three other sons and loudly and repeatedly proclaimed his second son as his successor. To further this false claim and to create confusion in the community they brought Syedna in this critical condition to Mumbai fourteen days later in an Air Ambulance and a ceremony was staged where thousands were present but Syedna could not clearly speak due the effects of the stroke. We know this is a false claim and have adequate materials to show that this was not medically possible. These materials will be presented in the right forum and will expose the lies that were committed on the Community.

Syedna Qutbuddin has been in solemn prayer and has maintained the dignity of the 40 day period of mourning as per our religious beliefs.

“Now that the period of mourning is over, in this time of confusion where a false claim has been made by the Shehzadas, it is time to come forward to tell the truth publicly,” added Dr. Abdeali Qutbuddin, a PhD from University of Manchester. He explained that concrete steps are being taken to ensure that the Dawoodi Bohra community and society at large understand the correct position.

The Dawoodi Bohra community has been synonymous with the liberal and pluralistic practice of Islam and has contributed immensely to the social and economic landscape of India. In last few years as Syedna Burhanuddin was unwell his sons took control and have attempted to change the very fabric of the Dawoodi Bohras. People are being told not to think, to not educate their daughters, to not send their children to university, to publicly shame people who are astray, to donate large amounts without accountability. A community that has been integrated in the secular and pluralistic fabric of India for over a millennium is today being driven towards isolationism, casteism and radicalization. Syedna Qutbuddin in the tradition of his predecessors Syedna Taher Saifuddin and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin is making all efforts to safeguard the true and moderate identify of the community against the forces of extremism.

He has been prepared for this challenging time to lead the community by his predecessors the 51st Dai and the 52nd Dai. He is steadfast in his commitment to his Imam and to each and every one of his community members who are his spiritual children.

Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin’s vision and philosophy is inherited from the 51st and 52nd dai’s.

Moral Life

  • To uphold Shariat to the best of their ability
  • To uphold the highest standards of morality
  • Respect and dignity of all members of the community must be maintained
  • To strive to be helpful to all God’s children.

Education

  • Knowledge of the Qur’an and our Fatemi heritage is the source of eternal radiance and grace.
  • They should also strive to get the best possible secular education.
  • Women have and are encouraged to practice their right to education.

Financial Issues

  • Religious dues should be collected strictly in line with Shariat rules.
  • We should always be extremely concerned for the well-being of the less advantaged.
  • Our community should have a dynamic business outlook in this information age.

Syedna Qutbuddin Saheb’s TUS primary and sole concern is for the spiritual and temporal well being of the Dawoodi Bohra community. His mission (Dawat) is to guide the community, as his predecessor Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb RA did, on the true path (Siratul Mustakeem) of a spiritual and moral life that leads to salvation (Najaat) in the hereafter (Aakherat).

These recent developments are obviously of paramount importance for the Dawoodi Bohra Community for generations to come but have serious implications for the sacrosanct notions of religious freedom, women’s rights and communal harmony for our great Nation.