Appluading the Bohra Muslim Community.

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I went to express my condolences to the Bohra Muslim Community for the loss of their spiritual leader. I had called in a group of Muslims from each denomination to join us; unfortunately the last minute call did not produce results. On this occasion, I must applaud the community for many things, but certainly the Amin aspect.

In the picture are Tayyab Kundawala, a prominent Indian community leader who walked toe to toe with me during the 9/11 crisis, he was the President of India Association at that time. He is currently involved with the Mahatma Gandhi statue placement in Dallas. The other person in picture is the imam (Aamil Saheb) in charge as the resident Aamil Saheb is in Mumbai to join in the funeral services of the Syedna Burhanuddin.

Bohra Muslims are one of the eight most known denominations of Islam; Sunni, Shia, Wahhabi, Ahmadiyya, Ismailia, WD Muhammad, Alawite and Bohra. Each group is headed by a spiritual leader except Sunni and Wahhabi (part of Sunni) denominations.

Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin was the spiritual leader of the Bohra Muslim community, and he passed away yesterday passing the responsibility to his son, a hereditary system of spiritual leadership.


The Bohra Muslim community has done relatively well when it comes to being the Amins of the Society. It was the first model of Prophet Muhammad. Amin is being just, truthful and trust worthy.

Did Muslims call him the Amin? No, there were no Muslims at that time; it was the Pagans, Jews, Christians and others who called him Amin. We have to earn the trust among the people we live with, no matter who they are. Indeed that is the first and foundational Sunnah (practice) to build peaceful societies.

God informs in Quran (49:13) that he created humanity from a single couple into multitudes of tribes, communities, nations, and conflicts were bound to happen with the given differences. Then he advises, the conflicts persist because we don’t know each other. He asserts that the best one among you is the one who takes the time to know the neighbor. When you know each other conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

A the foundation for pluralism have been conducting the Unity Day for the last ten years, and as a part of the program we start the program with American national Anthem, and we always wanted a Hijabi Muslim Girl to sing the Anthem – guess where she came from twice in ten years? The Bohra Muslim Community!  Thanks to the education and teaching imparted in their system to have produced someone to participate.

I can appreciate this much more after finding out that the Orlando Muslims could not produce a Muslims girl to sing the National Anthem at our Unity Day program in Mulberry. 

All I can say is keep this Amin component alive and active. This is how we build better societies, to be a part of it, rather than live within.

Dawoodi Bohra  spiritual leader Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin passed away.


January 17, 2014. Dallas, Texas.  The World Muslim Congress shares the announcement of the sad demise of the Spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim  community Dr SyednaMohammed Burhanuddin Saheb in Mumbai, India on the Morning of Friday the 17thof January 2014 after cardiac arrest.  He was 102. Per the tradition, his eldest son Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin succeeds leading the community. 

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ)  “Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return”. The phrase is recited by Muslims when a person passes away.

At World Muslim Congress, we extend our condolences to the family, friends and the Dawoodi Bohra community in particular and Muslim Ummah in General.  Syedna provided progressive leadership to the community and he was here in Irving, Texas to for the Grand opening of their Masjid. Indeed, the community members are trained to be participants and contributors in each community they live. I was particularly proud of them for participating at the Unity Day events, and always have one of their girls ready to sing the national Anthem in full Hijab. They always participated in India based events and a lot of interfaith meetings. I hope and pray their contribution will continue to accelerate.

We thank Times of India for the full report and thank Taiyab Kundawala for sharing this sad news.


Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress

MUMBAI: The spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra community Dr SyednaMohammed Burhanuddin passed away today after a cardiac arrest here. He was 102.

His 70-year old son Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin has succeeded him, it was announced here.

Syedna Burhanuddin died this morning at his residence in South Mumbai, a spokesperson for the community said.

“The 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq of the worldwide Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin expired today at the age of 102 at his Mumbai residence at Saifee Mahal,” he said.

“Born in Surat, he was the leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community after succeeding his father Syedna Taher Saifuddin in 1965. Under his leadership, the community has achieved remarkable social, economic and educational success across the world.

“Known as ambassador of peace and goodwill, he was highly respected by world leaders and governments for his endeavours in promoting international brotherhood and harmony,” the spokesperson said.

He was honoured with highest civilian titles like the Star of Jordan and Order of the Nile by the respective governments of Jordan and Egypt. Syedna was conferred Honourary Doctorates for his efforts in social and educational development by renowned institutes like Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Aligarh Muslim University and University of Karachi.

In Mumbai, the one of its kind Raudat Tahera mausoleum which has the entire Quran inscribed in letters of gold and bejewelled with precious stones; the world class Saifee Hospital; and the on-going ambitious Saifee Burhani Upliftment project of the redevelopment of Bhendi Bazaar are some of the major initiatives of Syedna in the city.

In 2011, Syedna had proclaimed Nass (investiture) upon his second son Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin in London. The 70-year-old successor is the rector of the community’s 200-year-old institution Jamea-tus-Saifiah, which has campuses in Surat, Karachi, Mumbai and Nairobi.

“He was closely associated with the late Syedna and has received much of his spiritual guidance under the tutelage of his revered father.

Highly respected among the community members, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin travelled widely with his father and met heads of states and other distinguished personalities across the world, he said.

Among the many projects that Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin has worked under Syedna’s directions in the restoration of famous Fatemi Masjids in Egypt and other edifices in the Arab world, he said.

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin will lead the Namaz-e-Janaza of the late Syedna at Saifee Masjid at Bhendi Bazaar. The late Syedna will be laid to rest at Raudat Tahera mausoleum in Mumbai.

Thousands of Dawoodi Bohras from all over India and from around 40 nations are converging to Mumbai to pay their last respects and homage to their beloved leader Syedna Moahmmed Burhanuddin, he said.

Dawoodi Bohra is a sect of the Shia Muslims spread all over the world.

One of the key principles of the sect is “patriotism as part of the faith.” It encourages followers to make a positive contribution to the country they live in.

The word Bohra means trader and traditionally, most members of the sect have been entrepreneurs.

Last year, thousands of Dawoodi Bohras from across the world flocked to the city to celebrate Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s 102nd birthday.

Times of India –

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