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For Truth, Justice, and the Future of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

25 September 2014

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَاللهُ غَالِبٌ عَلى اَمْرِهِ وَلكِنَّ اَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

'Allah is in control of his affair, but most people do not know.'

(Surat Yusuf: 21)

This article was written by Ra'sul Hududil Mayameen Janab Syedi Aziz Bhaisaheb Qutbuddin in 2014.

This is the reason for which His Holiness Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS has approached the Indian Judiciary. Prior to this Syedna Qutbuddin made repeated attempts to resolve this internally, including by an invitation to debate this matter and establish his rightful claim based on nass conferred on him by His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb RA , the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, following the guidance of His Holiness Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, the 51st Dai al-Mutlaq. All the attempts made by Syedna Qutbuddin, have been ignored and rebuffed by Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin, who has made false and contradictory claims as to how nass was performed on him. The decision to go to court was a last resort that had to be taken to ensure that the path set forth by the previous Dai al-Mutlaqs is followed, and that the Community is not torn asunder by false claimants.

As Dai al-Mutlaq it is Syedna Qutbuddin’s duty to safeguard the faith of the Dawoodi Bohra community; a duty which Syedna Qutbuddin has been entrusted with by his predecessor, the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.

Syedna Qutbuddin follows the path of his predecessors. The 51st and 52nd Dai have both established their rights in the Indian Judiciary when challenged; they have recognized the jurisdiction of the courts and defended their rights. In fact Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin approached the courts as plaintiff to assert his rights as Dai.

The Chanda bhai Gulla Case in the early 1900’s was technically about the accountability of the Dai for the offerings placed in the Gulla next to the qabr of Chanda bhai Seth in Mumbai. Syedna Taher Saifuddin contended that if the plaintiffs believed him to be the Dai al-Mutlaq then the question of accountability to them would not arise, as the Dai was accountable only to the Imam. The plaintiffs immediately challenged Syedna Taher Saifuddin as Dai and alleged that he was not Dai al-Mutlaq because, according to them, the chain of succession had been broken at the 47th Dai. As a consequence, the case became about establishing the rightful succession of the 47th Dai. Syedna Taher Saifuddin presented doctrinal and textual evidence establishing the succession of the 47th Dai Syedna Abdul Qadir Najmuddin. One of the key pieces of evidence was a letter by the Mazoon of the 46th and 47th Dai-s, Syedi Hebatullah Jamaluddin, in which he acknowledged the succession of the 47th Dai Syedna Abdul Qadir Najmuddin and referred to him as the Dai on whom Nass was conferred repeatedly (al-mansus alayhi miraran). It is worth highlighting that the testimony of the Mazoon Syedi Jamaluddin held such weight that following the presentation of this letter, the judge stated that of all the accounts of Nass presented to the court, this was the clearest.

This judgment held weight in privy council case in 1925 and in all subsequent cases in Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s era (Hakimiyyah for example) and also in Syedna Burhanuddin’s era (Udaipur etc). The position of the Dai al-Mutlaq has never been disputed ever since the court ruling. Now that the position of the 53rd Dai is being challenged, we are approaching the High Court of Mumbai with confidence in the Indian Judiciary. Further details of the proceedings will be updated soon inshaallah. Mumineen should stand firm in their belief and support the Dawat of Imam-uz-zaman and his Dai in these challenging times. Mumineen in Mumbai are organizing an Association of Supporters. More details for support will be posted soon insha'Allah.

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