(Surat Saad: 20)
We gave him wisdom and decisive judgment.
This Sijill article is the first of a ten-part-series by Shehzada Dr Abdeali Bhaisaheb Saifuddin on the detailed events after the wafaat of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Aqa RA. Click here to listen to the audio-book of the text below
On the solemn and holy occasion of the 3rd Urus Mubarak of our beloved Aqa Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA we present the first part of this 10-part-series about the monumental, tragic, and historic events which took place at the time of wafaat of Syedna Burhanuddin RA and until the wafaat of his waaris and mansoos, the 53rd Dai, Aqa Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin RA.
These were the minutes, hours, days, and months that shaped, and will shape, the future of Dawat and Mumineen for generations to come. These were times of tragedy, pain, and sorrow, but also times of steadfastness, resolve, vision, and action.
In short, history has been unfolding in front of our eyes. Generations to come will look back on these events and take lessons from these stories with admiration for the makers of this history: the Duat of Aal-e-Mohammed, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin RA, and today bearing the mantle, our beloved 54th Dai, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin TUS.
Part 1- The Decision of a Dai to Sacrifice for Haq
Immense grief, tragic and unbearable loss, and the enormity of the task ahead. When our Aqa Mola Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA passed away, his Mazoon and successor, now 53rd Dai, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin RA was faced with one of the biggest challenges of his long and steadfast service of Dai and Dawat. But the weight of the responsibility lay on experienced and wise shoulders.
I was right there, with Syedna Qutbuddin, Bawajisaheb. Even so, there is no measure by which to calculate the almost insurmountable pressure which Syedna Qutbuddin faced in that moment. To leave everything, Saify Mahal, the life Syedna Qutbuddin had known for more than 50 years, the inevitable tragic consequences to his family; to fulfil his duty to and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, Syedna Taher Saifuddin and to Imam uz-zaman. On the one hand the pressure, chaos and heat of the situation seemed unescapable, but on the other, the Mazoon of 50 years, the mansoos of Syedna Burhanuddin, now Dai-z-Zaman, inspired by the Imam, had absolute clarity as to what he had to do.
The decision came in moments and it was emphatic: Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin would proceed to Darus Sakina, his bungalow in Thane, and announce to the world that he was the Mansoos of Syedna Burhanuddin and the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq. Syedna Qutbuddin was mindful of the need to make the announcement immediately so that he could lead the janaza namaaz of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.
Day 1: A Sun among Duat sets on the horizon of the Imam
It was as if the world had come to an end. Apocalypse. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, who was our life-giving sun, our world, had passed away. The tidal wave that struck the ship of Dawat was the biggest since Syedna Taher Saifuddin passed away 50 years ago. This wave was followed by a wave of la’anat and violence against Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin by Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin and his group.
The tragic news came when Syedna Qutbuddin was at a clinic in Colaba, Mumbai, for cataract surgery, in the surgery room. At that time, about 11am, a call came to my phone from someone at Saify Mahal saying that everyone was gathering at Syedna Burhanuddin’s private apartment and it seems very serious. Within about 10 minutes a second call came confirming the tragic news that Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin had indeed passed away. Grief stricken we went to araz to Bawajisaheb. I could tell he had already read it in our eyes before I even spoke of the tragic news.
The doctors said that it was necessary to remain in the recovery room for 3-4 hours, but Bawajisaheb Maula called the surgeon and informed him of the tragic events, and said to him that, “I have to leave now, so please do whatever you can within the next few minutes”. We then rushed to Saify Mahal, and proceeded directly to Syedna Burhanuddin’s apartments where the janaza mubaraka lay.
Syedna Qutbuddin paid his respects to the janaza mubaraka. He kissed the forehead and the feet of Syedna Burhanuddin. Although just out of eye surgery, Bawajisaheb said he wanted to do sajda. The doctors had cautioned him strictly against bending down for two weeks because of the surgery. We got some cushions which were lying on the side and Bawajisaheb Maula did sajda to Burhanuddin Maula on the cushions.
From there Syedna Qutbuddin returned to his apartment in Saify Mahal, prayed Zohr and Asr namaaz, and took the decision to go to Darus Sakina and make the announcement. The announcement could not be made from Saify Mahal. The intentions of those now taking control of the Dawat infrastructure were very clear. They wanted control at all costs, and they would go to any lengths to keep and further that control - which they had proven by their track record so far. If Syedna Qutbuddin was to be able to freely make his announcement to the world, and then carry on his mission as the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq, it could not be from Saify Mahal, surrounded by those who would go to any lengths to harm and try to destroy his mission. Syedna Qutbuddin’s freedom and well-being was essential for the continuity of Dawat.
Mumineen Muhibbeen Mukhliseen had gathered outside Syedna Qutbuddin’s apartment in Saify Mahal. I conveyed to them that Qutbuddin Maula would be proceeding to Darus Sakina forthwith.
We all started quickly packing, not knowing when we would be returning. I asked my wife to take the children and go to our flat next to Saify Mahal and pack whatever she could.
We loaded the bags into the cars. Between about 5pm and 6pm Syedna Qutbuddin left Saify Mahal. News spread and many Mumineen Muhibbeen khidmat guzars also made their way to Darus Sakina sensing that something was happening. As we passed Rozat Tahera on the JJ flyover, Syedna Qutbuddin had the car stopped to pray salaam on Syedna Taher Saifuddin. As we stopped in front of Rozat Tahera we heard the azaan from a close-by Masjid.
Syedna Qutbuddin prayed Maghrib and Isha namaaz on the way to Darus Sakina.
Immediately after we arrived at Darus Sakina, Syedna Qutbuddin set about preparing for the announcement. Mumineen continued to gather, from Mumbai, and around India.
The first thing Syedna Qutbuddin did was to write a letter to then-Mukasir, Shehzada Husain Husamuddin and Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin laying out the facts about the Nass of Syedna Burhanuddin on Syedna Qutbuddin, and stating that as the successor of Syedna Burhanuddin, Syedna Qutbuddin is the rightful person to lead the janaza namaz. In the letter Syedna Qutbuddin also asserted that Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin should indicate to Syedna Qutbuddin that he or his men will not cause disruption at the janaza of Syedna Burhanuddin, if Syedna Qutbuddin comes to lead the namaaz.
By this time hundreds of Mumineen had gathered in Darus Sakina and were waiting, it was late night by now, around 2am on the 18th of January 2014.
Syedna Qutbuddin arrived in the bethak hall at Darus Sakina at around 2.30am on this same night, where Mumineen had already gathered. With immense grief and sorrow Syedna Qutbuddin first told the gathering and the world - as his announcement was made public - that our Aqa and Dai Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin has gone to his heavenly abode; that Syedna Qutbuddin had been appointed as Mansoos by Syedna Burhanuddin 50 years ago at the same time that he was appointed Mazoon; that the claims made by Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin were false; that taking advantage of the health of Syedna Burhanuddin Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin and his coterie had staged his appointment, and attempted to defraud and beguile lakhs of Mumineen; that he had written to Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin for Syedna Qutbuddin to lead the namaaz on the janaza mubaraka of Syedna Burhanuddin.
In a heart rending moment, Syedna Qutbuddin held high the Quran Majeed from which Syedna Taher Saifuddin used to pray and said that, still, if someone doubts what I am saying, I am holding this Quran and swearing by Allah Ta’ala that I am the successor of the 52nd Dai.
The flag of Haqq, lahu Dawatul Haq, had been firmly lodged. A moment which history will remember as the moment when Dawat ul-Haqq and Mumineen were saved by the resolve, and the sacrifice, of Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, the true successor of Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed RA.
What unfolded in the next few days no one could imagine, Syedna Qutbuddin was prevented from going to the Janaza of Aqa Burhanuddin; Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin violated the rites due to Janaza of Dai al-Haqq; attacks and violence from small fanaticised groups at Darus Sakina; cursing and disdainful behaviour towards Syedna Qutbuddin. Yet all this was countered by the iron will of those who remained steadfast with Syedna Qutbuddin to endure and prevail.
Further details will continue in Part 2 of this series insha’allah