4. Syedna Burhanuddin’s statements and actions for Syedna Qutbuddin indicating Nass

On many occasions, Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin RA made public statements and performed actions for Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin that in our Deen indicate Nass and Dai-ni-shaan (and which go beyond physical closeness or dunyavi nazar):

  • Appointment as Mazoon and Mansoos: In the misaaq majlis, just before he read out the text of the misaaq in which he would include the new Mazoon’s name, Syedna Burhanuddin RA delivered a sermon in which he publicly declared that he was appointing Syedna Qutbuddin as his Mazoon-e-Dawat. The language he used to express the appointment of Mazoon clearly had the subtext of appointment as Mansoos as well. Before the misaaq, Syedna Burhanuddin performed pur-josh bayaan, in which he appointed his brother, Syedna Qutbuddin, as his Mazoon, saying:

Bi ilhamillahi wa ilhami waliyyihi, izan na rutba ma ahabbul asmaai ila Syedna Taher Saifuddin, al-waladul ahabb, al-waladaul ahabb, al-waladul ahabb, Khuzaima bhaisaheb Qutbuddin ne qaaim karu chu, je rutba ma mein hato ye rutba ma bhai ne qaaim karu chu.

Translation:

“With the ilhaam of Allah ta’ala, and the ilhaam of his wali, Imam-uz-zamaan, I appoint in the rutba of Mazoon-ud-da’wat, the one whose name was the most beloved of names to Syedna Taher Saifuddin, my beloved son, my beloved son, my beloved son, Khuzaima bhaisaheb Qutbuddin. I appoint him in the rutba which I myself occupied during Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s reign.”

1.Syedna Burhanuddin: my beloved son—Prefacing Syedna Qutbuddin’s name, Syedna Burhanuddin said three times over, “my beloved son.” The term “son” has great significance in the Dawoodi Bohra Fatimi-Tayyibi theology, for it denotes the relationship between a Dai and his successor; in the same way as a father produces and raises his son to take his place in this world, so the Dai prepares his successor to take his place in the world of religion. The kitab the second Dai Syedna Ibrahim wrote for his successor is named ‘kanzul walad’ (A son’s [walad] treasure). Why else would Syedna Burhanuddin call his brother his son, and that too three times?

2.Syedna Burhanuddin: The name Syedna Taher Saifuddin loved best—Syedna Burhanuddin also prefaced Syedna Qutbuddin’s name with the descriptive phrase “the name Syedna Taher Saifuddin loved best.” He thereby alluded to the fact that his appointment of Syedna Qutbuddin to the position of Mazoon and Mansoos was the articulation of the wishes of his predecessor Syedna Taher Saifuddin.

3.Syedna Burhanuddin: I appoint him to the position (rutba) that I was in.— What was Syedna Burhanuddin’s position? He was Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s Mazoon and Mansoos. This statement is testament to the fact that Syedna had both Mazoon and Mansoos in mind, that he wanted to allude to the succession, because otherwise, since he had already mentioned that Syedna Qutbuddin was being appointed to the rutba of Mazoon, the statement would be redundant.  Syedna Burhanuddin’s appointment of Syedna Qutbuddin as Mazoon and Mansoos paralleled Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s appointment of Syedna Burhanuddin (at the young age of 19) as Mazoon and Mansoos. This was the position that Syedna Burhanuddin had held for more than 30 years during the Dai-ship of his father Syedna Taher Saifuddin,and this was the position to which he was appointing Syedna Qutbuddin.

4.Syednas Burhanuddins instruction: Qadambosi of Mazoon-e-Dawat by his side after safaqat –  After the sermon and misaaq were over, Syedna took the personal oath of allegiance ‘safaqat/bay’at’ of all those present. For this he moved from his high seat, takht, at the centre of the masjid, to the mihrab at the front of the masjid.. He sat on the gaadi on one side of the mihrab and took ‘safaqat’. He instructed his newly appointed Mazoon, and also Mansoos, to sit on the other side of the qibla, and he further instructed all the people to offer qadambosi to Syedna Qutbuddin. This action indicated that the misaaq pledge they had offered to the Dai also extended to his newly appointed Mazoon and Mansoos. (Note that Syedi Mukasir Saheb—who is also named in the misaaq as one of the three Dawat rutbas—was not part of this rite, because the bay’at oath of allegiance is primarily for the Dai.)

5.Syedna Burhanuddin: Now I will be able to sleep– On the return to Saifee Mahal from this first misaaq majlis, Syedna Burhanuddin asked Syedna Qutbuddin to accompany him in his car. When the car turned at Teen-Batti towards Saify Mahal, Syedna Burhanuddin said to Syedna Qutbuddin, “Now I will be able to sleep soundly.” This statement is not one which would be made in reference to the rutba of Mazoon, however exalted. A Dai’s primary responsibility according to Fatimi-Tayyibi theology is to ensure his succession in the position of Dai. Having discharged this responsibility, in the face of much opposition from powerful members of his family, Syedna said, “Now I will be able to sleep soundly.”

6.Syedna Burhanuddin: We both thank God – At Saifee Mahal, Syedna Burhanuddin asked Syedna Qutbuddin to accompany him to his private apartments. Just Syedna Burhanuddin and Syedna Qutbuddin were present, and Syedna Qutbuddin did sajda of shukr and shukr araz to Syedna Burhanuddin. Syedna Burhanuddin responded, “ja’alanallaho min-ash-shaakireena li-aala’ihi” (May Allah taala place us among those who give thanks for his benefactions.) Syedna Burhanuddin used the collective “us”, recounting the benefaction that Allah and his Dai Syedna Taher Saifuddin had bestowed on both brothers, Syedna Burhanuddin and Syedna Qutbuddin.

7.Gift of Syedna Taher Saifuddins Ring –Earlier in the day before the public appointment as Mazoon, Syedna Burhanuddin gifted Syedna Qutbuddin a ruby ring which he placed on his finger, saying : “Our revered fathers wore this ring, he gave it to me at the time at which he appointed me, I wore it and I give it to you Brother as I appoint you.” In our tradition, this action also indicates the succession of the rutba of Dai, from Syedna Taher Saifuddin, to Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, to Syedna Qutbuddin. By contextualizing his gifting of the ring in the manner that he did, Syedna Burhanuddin indicated that Syedna Qutbuddin was his Mazoon and Mansoos.

8.talvaaro chali jaate—Muqaddas Mukasirsaheb Saleh bhaisaheb Safiyuddin yeh Syedna Burhanuddin ne araz keedi keh “kem aap yeh Syedi Mazoon Saheb ne Mazoon banaaya tej waqat Nass bhi zaahir na kari didhi?” Syedna Burhanuddin replied “talvaaro chali jaate” – this shows that certain key people knew about Syedna Burhanuddin’s Nass on Syedna Qutbuddin, and it explains why Syedna Burhanuddin did not make the Nass public.

  • Syedna Burhanuddin endorsed mumineens sajda to Syedna Qutbuddin: A few months after the appointment, Syedna Burhanuddin stated to Syedna Qutbuddin that “people will offer sajda to you as they did to me, and you should allow them to do so.”

This statement shows that Syedna thus knew exactly what impact the manner of his appointment of Syedna Qutbuddin had had on people. Even though Syedna Burhanuddin had not yet publicly declared Syedna Qutbuddin as his successor, people already believed in their hearts that the appointment was much more than the appointment of a Mazoon; it was also the appointment of a Mansoos.

Syedna Burhanuddin’s actions and words, added to what people had already seen of Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s nazarat on Syedna Qutbuddin, created a large impact on the Shehzadas, the Ulama of Dawat, senior khidmatguzaro and mumineen. Their individual and collective actions and words reveal clearly that they believed that in addition to his appointment as Mazoon, Syedna Qutbuddin was also Maulana Burhanuddin’s Mansoos. Beginning at the time of the appointment, the, shehzadas, ulama and many mumineen offered sajda to Syedna Qutbuddin when doing salam and in majlises. For three decades (until the fabricated Africa episode), Shehzada Qaid Johar Bhaisaheb and Shehzada Mufaddal Bhaisaheb also offered sajda to Syedna Qutbuddin. Many—including Shehzada Mufaddal bhaisaheb again and Shehzada Mohammad-ul-Baqir bhaisaheb—wrote letters addressing Syedi Mazoon Saheb as “Maula,” and describing him with words used in Dawat for the Dai and the Dai-in-waiting. Several ulama—including Shaikh Ibrahim Yamani who was the senior khidmatguzar, “Diwan,” to Syedna Taher Saifuddin and Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin—wrote qasidas in Syedna Qutbuddin’s praise, in which they addressed him with words used in Dawat for the Dai and the Dai-in-waiting.

The majority of mumineen, and Syedna Burhanuddin’s own shehzadas, including Mufaddal Bhaisaheb and Qaid Johar Bhaisaheb, used to do sajda for Syedna Qutbuddin in the presence of Syedna Burhanuddin for three decades. This continued until the fabricated Africa incident in which when the shehzadas maligned Syedna Qutbuddin; they stopped doing sajda to him themselves, and stopped mumineen from doing so.

  • Syedna Burhanuddin: Syedna Taher Saifuddin prepared the soulof Syedna Burhanuddin and Syedna Qutbuddin: Syedna Burhanuddin continued to mention to Syedna Qutbuddin privately, and indicate in different actions and statements publicly, that he had appointed him as his Mansoos. In one bayaan in Colombo Ashara 1390H (1970) about 5 years after Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s demise, Syedna Burhanuddin said “Syedna Taher Saifuddin ye ghana nufoos (jaano) ne tayyaar kidha, maro nafs bhi Bawajisaheb ye tayyaar kidho, Mazoon-ud-Dawat-il-Gharra Bhai Khuzaima bhaisaheb Qutbuddin no nafs bhi Bawajisaheb ye tayyaar kidho.” (My father has prepared my nafs (soul), and has also prepared Mazoon e Dawat Khuzaima bhaisaheb Qutbuddin’s nafs [for this position]. [Note that ‘preparing a nafs’ refers in Dawat doctrine to training one’s successor].
  • Syedna Burhanuddin during Eidul Adha bethak: I am going, but I am leaving my brother Khuzaima bhai in your midst:On Eidul Adha, three or four years ago, Syedna Burhanuddin held Eid ul Adha majlis and qadambosi bethak on the second floor hall of Saify Mahal. As there were many mumineen still left who had not done qadambosi and it was getting late, Syedna called for the microphone. He gestured everyone in front of him to sit. As there was a murmur in the crowd because everyone realized Maulana was leaving, Syedna said ‘mein je kahu chu te suno’ (listen to what I am saying). He then said ‘namaz no waqat thai gayo che, mein jaaw chu, bhai Khuzaima bhai ne yaha muki ne jaaw chu, tamay ehne salaam karo’ (namaz time has come, I am leaving, I am leaving here my brother bhai Khuzaima bhai; you offer salaam to him).
  • Syedna Burhanuddins Mazoon for over 50 years: On 17th Shaban 1434H Syedna Qutbuddin became the only Mazoon in the history of Dawat to serve a single Dai for fifty years. Despite many attempts by those exploiting Syedna’s trust over the years – especially shehzada Mufaddal bhaisaheb – Syedna Burhanuddin maintained without fail, in every misaq and every majlis, that Syedna Qutbuddin was his Mazoon. On Syedna’s 100th Milad, Syedi Mazoon Saheb was the only individual whom Syedna Burhanuddin granted the sharaf of an individual ziyafat. In this ziyafat he did doa for Syedi Mazoon Saheb ‘khuda ghani barakat aapay – ghani barakat aapay, duniya aney aakherat ma sa’aadat aapay…’. Despite all efforts by the anti-Qutbuddin group to the contrary, the trust that Syedna Burhanuddin had in Syedna Qutbuddin remained.

Syedna Burhanuddin Shukr Ziyafat by Syedna Qutbuddin video clips: