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Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (6 March 1915 – 17 January 2014)[5] was the 52nd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohras, a subgroup within the Mustaali, Ismaili Shia branch of Islam.[6] He was appointed as the 52nd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq at the age of 52 in 1967.[7] He was the longest living Dā'ī al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra community.[8][9] Compared to those of his predecessor, Burhanuddin's policies were aimed at Islamization of his sect.[10]

Mohammed Burhanuddin

Dawoodi Bohra 52 nd Dai Sayyedna Mohd. Burhanuddin.jpg
delivering sermon during his Yemen visit in 2010
Born(1915-03-06)6 March 1915
Died17 January 2014(2014-01-17) (aged 98)
Cause of deathCardiac arrest[1]
Resting placeRaudat Tahera, Mumbai
StyleHis Holiness
Home townMumbai, India
PredecessorSyedna Taher Saifuddin
SuccessorMufaddal Saifuddin[2][3][3][4]
Spouse(s)Aaisaheba Amatullah
ChildrenMufaddal Saifuddin, Qaidjoher Ezzuddin
Parent(s)Taher Saifuddin
Aaisaheba Husaina
RelativesJafar us Sadiq Imaduddin (grand-son)
Husain Saifuddin (grand-son)
Taha Saifuddin (grand-son)
Khuzaima (half-brother)
Taher (half-nephew)
AwardsStar of Jordan, Padma Shri, Order of the Nile[1]
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Signature.jpg
Mausoleum 51st and 52nd Dai
grave seen from entrance Raudat Tahera

Burhanuddin was presented the highest national civic honors by the leaders of Egypt and Jordan.[11] He was the first Dā'ī al-Mutlaq to visit Europe and America.[12]


Early lifeEdit

Burhanuddin was born to Syedna Taher Saifuddin and Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba in Surat in the Indian state of Gujarat.[9][13]:16 He was educated by his father, Syedna Taher Saifuddin.[14]

At the age of twelve, he survived a car accident in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where his vehicle got hung on one wheel.[15]

Literary worksEdit

Rasāʾil Ramaḍāniyya (Epistles)Edit

The following are a list of Rasāʾil Ramaḍāniyya composed by Mohammed Burhanuddin . Each Risalah is given a title gematrically equivalent to the Hijri year of its publication:[16][17]

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 [18]Nashr al-Khayr1391H1437H2017
SMB 08ندى الفيوضات [19]Nadā al-Fūyūdāt1392H1438H 2018
SMB 09 سلسبيل روض القدس [20] Salsabīl Rawd al-Quds 1392H 1439H 2019


Burhanuddin issued a dress code, calling for male Bohras to grow a beard and wear a white topi and kurta, and for females to wear a colorful two piece abaya. This Islamization countered a trend toward assimilation into the larger (Hindu-oriented) culture of their neighbors that was prevalent under his predecessor, Taher Saifuddin.[10]

In October 1999, Burhanuddin was elected Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University,[21] 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 in Karachi by him.[14][22] He built "Burhaniyah Business Counselling Centre" in Mumbai to provide modern business solutions.[14] He built Raudat Tahera, a mausoleum of his father Taher Saifuddin in Mumbai, India. It is unique for its kind, having the entire Quran inscribed on its inner white walls in letters of gold and with precious stones.[14][23] It was inaugurated in 1975 by the erstwhile President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.

In 1998, he constructed the Mahad al-Zahra institute for memorization and recitation of the Quran.

Mohammed 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][25] The community kitchens don't discriminate between the privileged and the underprivileged sections, both getting the same "good quality and hygienically-prepared" food,[26] while the community members have the provision of paying for their own family, and for sponsoring those who cannot afford it.[27]

Mohammad 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.[28] It was inaugurated in 2005 by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the erstwhile prime minister of India.[29]

Ashara MubarakaEdit

The following are the venues where Mohammed Burhanuddin has performed Ashara Mubaraka:[citation needed]

  • 1435AH/2013AD-Mumbai,  India; 1434/2012-Surat, India; 1433/2011-Mumbai, India; Hijra 1432/2010-Mumbai, India
  • 1431/2009–Marol, Mumbai,  India; 1430/2008–Mombasa,  Kenya;1429/2008–Colombo,  Sri Lanka
  • 1428/2007–Colombo,   Sri Lanka; 1427/2006 – Mumbai,   India [Saify Mahal]; Hijra 1426 / 2005 – Surat, India
  • 1425/2004– Dubai, U.A.E.; 1424/2003 – Mumbai;   India [Saify Masjid]; Hijra 1423 / 2002 – Indore, India
  • 1422/2001– Houston,   U.S.A.; 1421/2000–Surat,   India; 1420/1999 – Colombo,   Sri Lanka.
  • 1419/1998– Nairobi,   Kenya; Hijra 1418 / 1997 – Surat,   India; Hijra 1417 / 1996 – Karachi,   Pakistan
  • 1416/1995– Mombasa,   Kenya; Hijra 1415 / 1994 – Mumbai,   India; Hijra 1414 / 1993 – Mombasa,   Kenya
  • 1413/1992– Pune,   India; 1412 / 1991–Colombo,   Sri Lanka; 1411 / 1990 – Dar es Salaam,   Tanzania
  • 1410/1989– Surat,   India; Hijra 1409 / 1988 – Mumbai, India; Hijra 1408 / 1987 – Karachi,   Pakistan
  • 1407/1986– Indore, India; Hijra 1406 / 1985 – Surat, India  India; Hijra 1405 / 1984 – Nairobi,   Kenya
  • 1404/1983– Karachi;   Pakistan; Hijra 1403 / 1982 – Sidhpur,   India; Hijra 1402 / 1981 – Cairo,   Egypt
  • 1401/1980- Cairo,   Egypt; Hijra 1400 / 1979 – Mumbai,   India; Hijra 1399 / 1978 – Jamnagar, India
  • 1398/1977– Karachi,   Pakistan; Hijra 1397 / 1976 – Madras, India; Hijra 1396 / 1976 – Kolkata,   India
  • 1395/1975– Mumbai, India; Hijra 1394 / 1974 – Mumbai, India; Hijra 1393 / 1973 – Mumbai,   India
  • 1392/1972– Surat, India; Hijra 1391 / 1971 – Kolkata,   India; Hijra 1390 / 1970 – Colombo,   Sri Lanka
  • 1389/1969– Mecca,   Saudi Arabia; Hijra 1388 / 1968 – Mumbai, India; Hijra 1387 / 1967 – Mumbai,   India
  • 1386/1966- Mumbai,   India

Awards and honoursEdit

  • "Order of the Star of Jordan", the highest civic honour of Jordan by the King of Jordan.[1]
  • "Order of the Nile", the highest civilian honour of Egypt.[30]
  • "Honorary Doctrates", by Al-Azhar University, Egypt, Aligarh Muslim University, India and University of Karachi, Pakistan.[31]
  • On 6 March 2011, Burhani Foundation, India made largest distribution of bird feeders (20,631) to celebrate Mohammed Buranuddin 100th birthday (according to the Islamic calendar). It was recorded in Guinness World Records.[32][33]
  • Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.[34]
  • Mohammed Burhanuddin was named one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013.[35]


Burhanuddin died of cardiac attack at his home Saifee Mahal in Mumbai on 17 January 2014.[1] The Bohra community announced a 40-day mourning period in respect of the departed leader.[36] He was buried at Raudat Tahera Mausoleum in Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai beside his father Syedna Taher Saifuddin.[31] His second son Mufaddal Saifuddin led the "Namaz-e-Janaza" (funeral procession) of his father at the Saifee Mosque.[31] Half mast of Flag and state honor was given by Indian Government during his funeral.[37]

The day after his death, a crowd of supporters assembled outside his residence to pay their respects; when the gates were opened to let them in, a human stampede ensued, killing eighteen people.[38] A commemoration service held one year after Burhanuddin's death drew an estimated three lakh people to Mumbai; two townships were built specially to accommodate them.[39]


Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, died in January 2014.[40] As per the tenets of the sect[41] each predecessor is required to nominate his successor prior to his death.[42][43] His death sparked a succession crisis where two rival claimants emerged for the title of 53rd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq:[44] his son, Mufaddal Saifuddin, and his half-brother, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, who was previously Mazoon [45] of the Dawoodi Bohra.[46]

The challenge created a divide in the community with the vast majority aligning with Mufaddal Saifuddin[47][48] whilst a small number aligned with Khuzaima Qutbuddin.[49] Mufaddal Saifuddin assumed control of the Dawoodi Bohra administration and infrastructure. He is largely accepted as the Bohras' leader[50] by government and other public bodies.[51] The UK Charity Commission[52] 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."[53]

His Holiness Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin belongs to family of Moulai Fakhruddin and Moulai Hakimuddin. He also has link with Mohammad Rasulullah family as indicated in tree placed here.

External linksEdit

  • Abdulhussein, Mustafa. Al-Dai al-Fatimi, Syiedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. ISBN 0-9536256-0-5. (an illustrated biography)
  • OUP Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World: Muhammad Burhanuddin
  • (A Chronological List of Duatil Mutlaqin)
Tree linking Dawoodi Bohra Dai with Rasulullah
Shia Islam titles
Preceded by
Taher Saifuddin
52nd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq
Succeeded by
Mufaddal Saifuddin


  1. ^ a b c d "Bohras protest Syedna's half-brother 's claim". The Times Of India. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  2. ^ The author has posted comments on this article (27 October 2014). "2.5 lakh Dawoodi Bohras' arrival boosts business in Surat - The Times of India". Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin | Free Press Journal". Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  4. ^ Succession suit currently led by Taher Fakhruddin
  5. ^ "The Dawoodi Bohras - The 52nd al-Da`i al-Mutlaq". Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Know 10 rare facts about Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin".
  7. ^ "Know 10 rare facts about Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Know 10 rare facts about Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin".
  9. ^ a b "Know 10 rare facts about Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  10. ^ a b Blank, Jonah (2001). Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras. University of Chicago Press. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0226056775.
  11. ^ "18 killed in stampede in Mumbai ahead of spiritual leader Syedna's funeral". The Times Of India. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Know 10 rare facts about Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin".
  13. ^ Mohiyuddin, Hozefa (2011). Tasbeeh al Mafakhir. Neelam Publication.[verification needed][ISBN missing]
  14. ^ a b c d "Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin: A symbol of piety, peace for Dawoodi Bohras". The Hindu. Mumbai. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Know 10 rare facts about Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin".
  16. ^ ميزة مفتاح خزائن العلوم. Mumbai, India.: Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Badri Mahal.
  17. ^ Traboulsi, Samer (2016). "Transmission of Knowledge and Book Preservation in the Ṭayyibī Ismāʿīlī Tradition". Intellectual History of the Islamicate World – via Brill.
  18. ^ His Holiness, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (1437H). نشر الخير (Nashr al-Khayr) 1391. His Holiness Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb, Badri Mahal, Mumbai, India.
  19. ^ His Holiness, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (1438H). ندى الفيوضات ١٣٩٢. His Holiness Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb, Badri Mahal, Mumbai, India.
  20. ^ His Holiness, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (1439H). سلسبيل روض القدر. Mumbai, India: Badri Mahal.
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  24. ^ Subramanian, Reetika (16 September 2011). "City Bohris start dabba service for community households". Hindustan Times. Mumbai. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  25. ^ Bhattacharyya, Sourish (29 March 2013). "Faith and food in the Bohra way". Mail Online India. London. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  26. ^ Ansari, Shabana (9 March 2012). "Bohra women get respite from cooking". DNA. Mumbai. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  27. ^ Diggikar, Ranjana (5 July 2015). "Freedom from the kitchen smoke & heat". The Times of India. Aurangabad. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  28. ^ "saifee hospital mumbai". Best Hospitals in India Low Cost Treatment | Cost Treatment in India at Best Hospitals.
  29. ^ "Indian Prime Minister inaugurates Saifee Hospital in Mumbai". wam.
  30. ^ "Leader of Bohra community Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin dead at 102 - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 17 January 2014.
  31. ^ a b c "Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin laid to rest in Mumbai, 70,000+ mourners attend funeral". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  32. ^ "Largest distribution of bird feeders". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  33. ^ "Mohammed Dilawar's 'save sparrows' campaign enters Guinness record". Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  34. ^ "Padma Awards 2015". Press Information Bureau. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  35. ^ "The Muslim 500".
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  37. ^ "Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin laid to rest in Mumbai, 70,000 mourners attend funeral". Zee News.
  38. ^ "Funeral stampede kills 18 in Indian city of Mumbai". 18 January 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
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  40. ^ "Leader of Bohra community Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin dead at 102". The Express Tribune.
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  43. ^ Daftary, Farhad (2011). A Modern History of the Ismailis: Continuity and Change in a Muslim Community. I. B. Tauris. p. 333. ISBN 1-84511-717-4.
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  49. ^ ""Over 200 people attended the Mumbai 'misaaq'" - Breakaway Dawoodi Bohra faction alleges harassment".
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  53. ^ Waring, Kate (15 August 2014). "UK Charity Commission's View regarding The Dawat-e-Hadiyah Trust". Herbert Smith Freehills Solicitors and Nabarro Solicitors (Charity Commission).