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Who are Dawoodi Bohras: 5 points to understand this Muslim community in India

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended an event of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community and praised the community for globally spreading the message of co-existence.
He became the first prime minister to attend the religious congregation of Dawoodi Bohra community.

PM Modi attended Dawoodi Bohra’s Ashara Mubaraka to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad. Sharing dais with the Bohra’s spiritual head Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin at the event held at Saifee Mosque here in Madhya Pradesh, Modi also praised the community for its culture of honest business dealings.

“The concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is a great strength of India, making it distinct from others. The Bohra community is making the world aware of this concept through its work,” Modi said in his address to the community leaders and followers.

In his address, the prime minister spoke about his government’s initiatives like ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (cleanliness campaign), ‘Make-in-India’ programme and rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He said the members of the Bohra community took maximum advantage of these initiatives as they are known to carry out their trade and business world over with honesty.

“They (Bohras) have set an example for other people (with their honest trade dealings),” he said.

Modi recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s close association with Sydena Mohammad Burhanuddin, the late spiritual head of the Bohra community.
“Mahatma Gandhi met the Sydena during a train journey and they became very close. During the ‘Dandi March’, Gandhiji stayed in Saifee Villa (a building owned by the community in Dandi, Gujarat) which was later dedicated to the nation,” the prime minister said.

The event was also attended by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, and MP Governor Anandiben Patel. This is the first time PM Modi met with the Dawoodi Bohra spiritual leader Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin.

So, who are Dawoodi Bohras in India? Here are five points to understand Dawoodi Bohra community –

1. Who are Dawoodi Bohras?

Who are Dawoodi Bohras?


Dawoodi Bohra community is a sect within Shia Islam known for trading and business acumen. It is not to be confused with the Sunni Bohras who are also a Bohra Muslim community with many similar cultural traits as Dawoodi Bohras. (Photo: PTI)

2. The Dawoodi Bohras in India

The Dawoodi Bohras in India


India is known to have around 500,000 Bohras including the diasporas spread across the world. A large number of Dawoodi Bohra population reside in India, Yemen, Pakistan and East Africa.

3. Understanding Dawoodi Bohra community

Understanding Dawoodi Bohra community


The former spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra community’s Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin died in January this year, after which his son, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, took over.  In keeping with all Muslims, the Dawoodi Bohras also regard the Quran as the word of Allah as revealed to Prophet Mohammed al-Mustafa and their lives revolve around its teachings. (Photo: PTI)

4. Of faith and traditions

Of faith and traditions


The Dawoodi Bohra community follow the seven pillars of Ismaili Islam in Fatimid Dawat – walaayat (guardianship of faith), tahaarat (purity of body and thought), salaat (prayer), zakaat (offering a portion of one’s income to Allah), sawm (fasting, particularly in the month of Ramadan), hajj (once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca) and jihad (defending of one’s faith). (Photo: PTI)

5. Narendra Modi became the first PM to address the religious congregation of Dawoodi Bohra community

Narendra Modi became the first PM to address the religious congregation of Dawoodi Bohra community


The Dawoodi Bohras’ Ashara Mubaraka refers to a period of 10 days at the beginning of the Islamic year. It is dedicated to the remembrance of the Prophet Mohammed and his Ahle Bayt (family and kin), specifically his grandson Imam Husain. The tenth day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, is known as Ashura and marks the day on which Imam Husain was killed along with his family members and companions. (Photo: PTI)



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