[Editor of The Muslim News Ahmed J Versi meets the late spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra Muslims Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin on June 7 2007 in London]
Ahmed J Versi
The spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra Muslims, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin died of cardiac arrest at the age of 102 (99 as per the Gregorian calendar) on January 17 at his Mumbai residence at Saifee Mahal.
The 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq (Summoner with comprehensive authority) of the Shi’a Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi Muslims, more commonly known as Dawoodi Bohras, “played a dynamic role in bringing his flock into the 21st century while maintaining their spiritual traditions.”
Born in the Indian town of Surat, Gujarat, in 1915, Syedna Burhanuddin, leader of the estimated one million Dawoodi Bohras, was considered as the “representative on Earth of the secluded 21st Fatimi Imam.”
Syedna Burhanuddin succeeded his father, Syedna Taher Saifuddin, in 1965 at age 53.
“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. Dr. Syedna was [also] conferred honorary doctorates for his efforts in social and educational development by renowned institutes like Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Aligarh Muslim University and University of Karachi,” the community’s press release said.
Syedna Burhanuddin is succeeded by Mufaddal Saifuddin, 70, appointed in 2011 in London.