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Mohammed Burhanuddin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Mohammed Burhanuddin

مُحـمّـد بـُرهـان الـدِّيـن
Da'i al-Mutlaq
In office
Preceded byTaher Saifuddin
Succeeded byMufaddal Saifuddin
Other names

(1915-03-06)6 March 1915
Died17 January 2014(2014-01-17) (aged 98)
Resting placeRaudat Tahera, Mumbai
ReligionShi'a Islam
Home townMumbai, India
SpouseAmatullah Aaisaheba
  • Taher Saifuddin (father)
  • Husaina Aaisaheba (mother)
Dawoodi Bohra
Other names
  • Spiritual Leader
  • Philanthropist
StyleHis Holiness
Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University
In office
3 Oct 1999 – 3 Oct 2002
Preceded byHakim A Hameed
Succeeded by Aziz M Ahmadi

Mohammed Burhanuddin (6 March 1915 – 17 January 2014) was the 52nd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohras.[3] He led the community for 49 years in a period of social, economic, and educational prosperity.[4][5] He was presented the highest national civic honors of Egypt and Jordan;[3][4] conferred doctorate in Islamic Sciences by Al Azhar University, doctorate in Theology by Aligarh Muslim University, and doctorate in Literature by University of Karachi.[6] He is known in Arab countries as Azamat us-Sultan (lit. 'the Great Sovereign'). He was the first Dā'ī al-Mutlaq to visit Europe, Australia and America.[7] Compared to those of his predecessor, Burhanuddin's policies were aimed at Islamization of his sect.[8]

Early life

Burhanuddin was born to Taher Saifuddin and Husaina Aaisaheba in Surat in the Indian state of Gujarat.[7][9]:16 He was educated by his father, Taher Saifuddin.[10]

At age 12, Burhanuddin survived a car accident in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where his vehicle got hung on one wheel.[7][11] Burhanuddin completed his religious education at the tender age of 13.[6] At 15, he was appointed Amir al-Hajj (Arabic: أمِير الحَجّ‎, lit. 'chief of hajj pilgrims'), was conferred the title of Shaykh (Arabic: الشيخ‎, lit. 'leader'), and bestowed the laqab of Burhan al-Din (Arabic: بُرهان الدّيْن‎, lit. 'proof of faith') by his father, Taher Saifuddin.[11][12]

Burhanuddin just after his appointment to the station of Mazoon al-Dawat in Surat on Yawm al-Mab'as, 1934.
Burhanuddin just after his appointment to the station of Mazoon al-Dawat in Surat on Yawm al-Mab'as, 1934.

In 1934, Saifuddin designated him as his successor to the office of the Dai al-Mutlaq (Arabic: داعي المطلق‎, lit. 'absolute missionary'), and subsequently elevated him to the station of Mazoon al-Da'wat (Arabic: مأذون الدعوة‎, lit. 'authorized missionary'), making him his second-in-command.[11][12] By 1935 Burhanuddin had committed entire Qur'an to memory.[13]

Burhanuddin married Amatullah Aaisaheba in 1937.[11]

Literary works

Rasāʾil Ramaḍāniyya (Epistles)

The following are a list of Rasāʾil Ramaḍāniyya composed by Mohammed Burhanuddin. Each Risalah is given a title according to Abjad numerals equivalent to the Hijri year of its publication:[14][15]

ID Title Title (English) Hijri Pub.Year
SMB 00 حكمة الغيبة الحقيقية Hikmat al-Ghaybah al-Haqiqiyyah 1385H
SMB 01 استفتاح زبد المعارفIsteftah Zubad al-Ma'arif1385H 1386H
SMB 02فيوضات الجنةFuyoodhaat al-Jannah1386H
SMB 03 سلام نضرة النعيم Salaam Nadrah al-Na'eem 1387H
SMB 04 ذات النور Zaat al-Noor 1388H
SMB 05 ظهور مجد الفاطميين Zuhoor Majd al-Fatimiyeen 1389H
SMB 06بركة صبغة الله Barakah Sibghah Allah 1390H
SMB 07نشر الخير [16]Nashr al-Khayr1391H1437H2017
SMB 08ندى الفيوضات [17]Nadā al-Fūyūdāt1392H1438H 2018
SMB 09 سلسبيل روض القدس [18] Salsabīl Rawd al-Quds 1392H 1439H 2019


Masjid e Moazzam in Surat post renovations under taken by Burhanuddin is a striking example of Neo-Fatimid architecture style that flourished during his tenure.
Masjid e Moazzam in Surat post renovations under taken by Burhanuddin is a striking example of Neo-Fatimid architecture style that flourished during his tenure.
Jame Anwar before and after renovations under taken by Burhanuddin. The mosque was formally inaugurated by Anwar Sadat, the 3rd President of Egypt in 1980.

Burhanuddin issued a dress code, calling for male Bohras to grow a beard and wear a white topi and kurta, and for women to wear a colorful two piece abaya, known formally as a Rida. This Islamization countered a trend toward assimilation into the larger culture of their ancestors that was also prevalent under his predecessor, Taher Saifuddin and the previous Du'at before them.[8] The history of this culture can be traced back to the medieval Fatimid dynasty in Egypt.

In 1980 ACE/1401 AH, the Al-Hakim mosque was extensively refurbished in white marble and gold trim by Mohammed Burhanuddin. Remnants of the original decorations, including stucco carvings, timber tie-beams, and Quranic inscriptions were restored as part of the renovations. His intent to restore the ancient Al-Hakim Mosque as a place of worship in contemporary times necessitated a lighting solution that provided this important functionality to the mosque and did so in a manner that paid tribute to the Fatimid tradition of illumination and its aesthetics. The miraculous emergence of the mishkat or small lantern from the niche of the richly decorated façade of Al Jami al Aqmar provided that solution. The niche in which the lantern motif was found has also been compared to the mihrab niche of Al Azhar mosque, the same also now found in Al-Hakim mosque, which has a central motif that resembles a large lamp or lantern.[19]

Educational Contributions

In October 1999, Burhanuddin was elected Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University,[20] a position that his father also held. He is credited with expanding the two century old Arabic university Al Jamea tus Saifiyah. In 1983, a new campus of "Al Jamea tus Saifiyah" was built by him in Karachi.[10][21] He built the "Burhaniyah Business Counseling Center" in Mumbai to provide modern business solutions.[10] He also built the Raudat Tahera, a mausoleum of his father Taher Saifuddin in Mumbai, India. It is one of a kind, having the entire Quran inscribed on its inner white walls in letters decorated with of gold leaves and with precious stones.[10][22] It was inaugurated in 1975 by the erstwhile President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.

In 1976, he established a facility exclusively dedicated to the study of arts and sciences of the Quran.[23]

Community Kitchens

Burhanuddin is credited with the establishment of community kitchens to provide meals everyday to the Dawoodi Bohra families, thus providing free time for women to pursue economic, educational or religious activities.[24] The community kitchens don't discriminate between the privileged and the underprivileged sections, both getting the same "good quality and hygienically-prepared" food,[25] while the community members have the provision of paying for their own family, and for sponsoring those who cannot afford it.[26]

Saifee Hospital

Burhanuddin is also credited with conceptualizing and establishing Saifee Hospital in Mumbai. The hospital is a state-of-the-art, multi-specialty, 250-bed hospital dedicated to providing modern medical care.[27] It was inaugurated in 2005 by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the erstwhile prime minister of India.[28]


Burhanuddin and his father Saifuddin at a religious gathering in Rampura, Central India Agency c. 1947.

Ashara Mubaraka

Ashara Mubaraka (Arabic: عشرة مباركه‎, lit. 'the blessed ten') is an annual mourning of Husayn ibn Ali's martyrdom at Battle of Karbala.[29][30] In the tradition of the Fatimids,[31][32] the Da'i al-Mutlaq delivers ten wa'az (Persian: وعظ‎, lit. 'sermons') on Islamic philosophy, history, liturgy, expository, horatory over 9 days: One wa'az each day for 8 days starting 2nd Muharram and two on the final day of Ashura (Urdu: عاشوراء‎), the 10th of Muharram.[29] Every year the Da'i al-Mutlaq selects a city to host the Ashara at[30][33][34] which, at times, attract 100,000 to 200,000 azadar-e Husayn (Urdu: عزادارِ حسين‎, lit. 'mourners of Husayn').[35][36][37][38][39] The ashara wa'az from the host city is, on occasion, broadcast to various venues around the world.[35][36] Arrangements are made to provide the travelling pilgrims with free accommodation, transportation, and meals.[36][40][41][42] The elaborate Tazyeen (lit. 'decor') of the host venue is undertaken by faculty and members of Funun al-Quran, a department of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah.[43]

List of cities Burhanuddin precided over Ashara at as Dai al-Mutlaq
City Country Cont CE AH Start Date End Date
Mumbai (1)  IND Asia 1966 1386 23 December 31 December
Mumbai (2)  IND Asia 1967 1387 23 December 31 December
Mumbai (3)  IND Asia 1968 1388 23 December 31 December
Mecca (1)  KSA Asia 1969 1389 23 December 31 December
Colombo (1)  SRI Asia 1970 1390 23 December 31 December
Calcutta (1)  IND Asia 1971 1391 23 December 31 December
Surat (1)  IND Asia 1972 1392 23 December 31 December
Mumbai (4)  IND Asia 1973 1393 23 December 31 December
Mumbai (5)  IND Asia 1974 1394 23 December 31 December
Mumbai (6)  IND Asia 1975 1395 23 December 31 December
Calcutta (2)  IND Asia 1976 1396 23 December 31 December
Chennai (1)  IND Asia 1976 1397 23 December 31 December
Karachi (1)  PAK Asia 1977 1398 12 December 20 December
Jamnagar (1)  IND Asia 1978 1399 5 November 13 November
Mumbai (7)  IND Asia 1979 1400 5 November 13 November
Cairo (1)  EGY Africa 1980 1401 5 November 13 November
Cairo (2)  EGY Africa 1981 1402 5 November 13 November
Sidhpur (1)  IND Asia 1982 1403 5 November 13 November
Karachi (2)  PAK Asia 1983 1404 5 November 13 November
Nairobi (1)  KEN Africa 1984 1405 5 November 13 November
Surat (2)  IND Asia 1985 1406 5 November 13 November
Indore (1)  IND Asia 1986 1407 5 November 13 November
Karachi (3)  PAK Asia 1987 1408 5 November 13 November
Mumbai (8)  IND Asia 1988 1409 5 November 13 November
Surat (3)  IND Asia 1989 1410 5 November 13 November
Dar es Salaam (1)  TAN Africa 1990 1411 5 November 13 November
Colombo (2)  IND Asia 1991 1412 5 November 13 November
Pune (1)  IND Asia 1992 1413 5 November 13 November
Mombasa (1)  KEN Africa 1993 1414 5 November 13 November
Mumbai (9)  IND Asia 1994 1415 5 November 13 November
Mombasa (2)  KEN Africa 1995 1416 5 November 13 November
Karachi (4)  PAK Asia 1996 1417 5 November 13 November
Surat (4)  IND Asia 1997 1418 5 November 13 November
Nairobi (2)  KEN Africa 1998 1419 5 November 13 November
Colombo (3)  SRI Asia 1999 1420 5 November 13 November
Surat[2]:130 (5)  IND Asia 2000 1421 5 November 13 November
Houston[44][45] (1)  USA North America 2001 1422 5 November 13 November
Indore[30][38] (2)  IND Asia 2002 1423 5 November 13 November
Mumbai[42] (10)  IND Asia 2003 1424 5 November 13 November
Dubai[46] (1)  UAE Asia 2004 1425 5 November 13 November
Surat[47] (6)  IND Asia 2005 1426 5 November 13 November
Mumbai[48] (11)  IND Asia 2006 1427 5 November 13 November
Colombo[49][50] (4)  SRI Asia 2007 1428 5 November 13 November
Colombo[51][50] (5)  SRI Asia 2008 1429 5 November 13 November
Mombasa[52][53] (3)  KEN Africa 2008/09 1430 5 November 13 November
Marol[35] (1)  IND Asia 2009 1431 18 December 26 December
Mumbai[54] (12)  IND Asia 2010 1432 8 December 16 December
Mumbai[a] (13)  IND Asia 2011 1433 27 November 5 December
Surat[b][57] (7)  IND Asia 2012 1434 15 November 23 November
Mumbai[c] (14)  IND Asia 2013 1435 5 November 13 November

Awards and honors

State honors
Top: Padma Shri (India); Star of Jordan (Jordan). Bottom: Stamp commemorating Burhanuddin's 100th birthday (Pakistan); Order of the Nile (Egypt).


Left: Raudat Tahera entrance facing the qibla. Right: Qabr mubarak as seen from one of the entrances of Raudat Tahera.

Burhanuddin died of cardiac attack at his home Saifee Mahal in Mumbai on 17 January 2014.[58] The Bohra community announced a 40-day mourning period in respect of the departed leader.[65] He was buried at Raudat Tahera Mausoleum in Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai beside his father Taher Saifuddin.[60] His second son and his successor, Mufaddal Saifuddin led the Salat al-Janazah (funeral procession) of his father at the Saifee Masjid.[60] Half mast of Flag and state honor was given by Indian Government during his funeral.[66]

The day after his demise, a crowd of supporters peacefully assembled outside his residence to pay their respects; Unfortunately, when the gates were opened to let them in, a human stampede ensued, killing eighteen people.[67] A commemoration service held one year after Burhanuddin's death drew an estimated three hundred thousand bohras to Mumbai; two dedicated townships were built specially to accommodate them.[68]


Mohammed Burhanuddin, died in January 2014.[69] As per the tenets of the sect[70] each predecessor is required to nominate his successor during his lifetime.[71][72] His death sparked a succession crisis where two rival claimants emerged for the title of 53rd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq:[73] his son, Mufaddal Saifuddin, and his half-brother, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, who was previously Mazoon [74] of the Dawoodi Bohra.[75]

The challenge created a divide in the community with the vast majority aligning with Mufaddal Saifuddin[76][77] whilst a small number aligned with Khuzaima Qutbuddin.[78] Mufaddal Saifuddin assumed control of the Dawoodi Bohra administration and infrastructure. He is largely accepted as the Bohras' leader[79] by governments and other public bodies.[80] The UK Charity Commission[81] has stated in writing, that "our view is that His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is the current incumbent of the office of Dai al-Mutlaq."[82]


His Holiness Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin belongs to family of Moulai Fakhruddin and Moulai Hakimuddin.

Trees linking Da'i al-Mutlaq with Muhammad and Maulayi Tarmal[83]
Tree linking Dawoodi Bohra Dai with Rasulullah.pdf
Dua't il-Mutlaqin Ancestry: Moulayi Tarmal, Moulayi Bharmal, and Syedi Hakimuddin
Hasan Feer
multiple generations
Shams KhanRaj
Hasanji BadshahBadruddin I(34)
Abdul Qadir HakimuddinZakiuddin II(35)
multiple generations
FaijullahBadruddin II(38)
AmenaAhmedjiZakiuddin III(41)
BoujiYusuf Najmuddin(42)Abde Ali Saifuddin(43)
Tayyeb Zainuddin(45)Mohammed Ezzuddin(44)Mohammed Badruddin(46)
Abdul Qadir Najmuddin(47)
Mohammed Burhanuddin(49)Abdul Husain Husamuddin(48)
Taher Saifuddin(51)Abdullah Badruddin(50)
Mohammed Burhanuddin(52)
Mufaddal Saifuddin(53)


  1. ^ The Ashara sermons and prayers were led by Saifuddin, Burhanuddin's son.[55]
  2. ^ Saifuddin, Burhanuddin's son, led the sermons and prayers.[56]
  3. ^ The Ashara Mubaraka sermons and prayers were led by Burhanuddin's son, Saifuddin.[57]


  1. ^ Yumn Mansoor al Yemen – via
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Further reading

Shia Islam titles
Preceded by
Taher Saifuddin
52nd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq
Succeeded by
Mufaddal Saifuddin
This page was last edited on 2 August 2020, at 20:47
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