The Perspective of a Lawyer – Fatemi Dawat

On January 24, 2014, within a week of the demise of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin al-Hayy al-Muqaddas, Khuzaima Qutbuddin and his children sent a message to me and others stating that he is “the sole Trustee of all the Wakfs/Trusts of the Dawoodi Bohra Community.” He went on to warn that if anyone deals with the properties of the Dawoodi Bohra Community without seeking his permission he/she does “so at his/her own risk.”
My first thought when reading this message, is “could any mumin, moreover a self-proclaimed spiritual leader be really talking about who owns what only a few days after the demise of our beloved Moulana RA?” After having that first thought, it immediately struck me, “so that is what Khuzaima Qutbuddin is after – material wealth and gains.”
Khuzaima Qutbuddin’s attempts to usurp the properties that were rightfully entrusted to Moulana al-Hayy al-Muqaddas as the 52nd Dai, has proved to me that all of his actions leading up to now have been for the ultimate goal of garnering power and property – not for guiding Mumineen down the rightful path – not to improve our understanding of Rasulallah’s SA Shariat – and certainly not to perform the khidmat of Imam uz Zaman SA. Otherwise, how could his first message of Da’wat to Mumineen be about his ownership of wealth?
In regards to Khuzaima’s claim that he should be the sole trustee of all the property of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, I would like to say a few things.  First off, it is absolutely true that the the Dai ul Mutlaq, sitting in the seat of Imam uz Zaman, is the sole trustee of the properties of Dawat. This statement is understood from both a deeni and legal perspective. However, as stated in the various reasons that I have read just on this site, the only logical conclusion any person could reach based on the evidence is that Burhanuddin Moula RA did Nass on Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. Therefore, from a legal perspective, the sole trustee of the properties of the Dawoodi Bohras is unequivocally the 53rd Dai, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS.
Moreover, from a legal perspective, Khuzaima could never fulfill the requirements imposed on a trustee.  Basically, a trustee is charged with the responsibility of managing the trust assetsfor the sole benefit of the beneficiaries.  When the law says “for the sole benefit of beneficiaries” it means that the trustee must be completely loyal to the beneficiaries. This includes the avoidance of any self-dealing or self-gain in connection with managing the trust property.
In my opinion, based on Khuzaima’s history of dealings (or self-dealing) there is no way that he could fulfill this requirement. Many examples exist of Khuzaima’s historical self-motivated dealings that were contrary to the wishes and teachings of Moulana al-Hayy al-Muqaddas RA exist. I would like to provide one example that might be fairly unknown to most people. The San Jose Jamaat is currently in the process of building a Masjid with the permission of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA and Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. This permission was granted by Burhanuddin Aqa RA himself in London. At that time, Burhanuddin Aqa TUS was not able to travel to San Jose to perform the ceremonial laying of the foundation. The ceremonial laying of the foundation, known as ta’sees, is a rite solely entrusted to the Dai ul Mutlaq as the sole trustee of the properties of the Dawoodi Bohra Community. The Dai ul Mutlaq can choose to perform the ta’sees rite himself or can delegate authority to perform the rite to anyone he chooses. At the time permission was granted for construction of the San Jose Masjid in London, Burhanuddin Aqa RA chose to perform the ta’sees rite himself in London.  Soon after, construction of the Masjid began with the laying of the concrete foundation. Once the foundation was laid, Khuzaima visited San Jose and even though he knew that Burhanuddin Aqa had already performed the ta’sees of the Masjid, he proceeded to have a hole dug in the existing foundation and perform his own separate ta’sees of the Masjid. Why would Khuzaima knowingly perform a rite that only the Dai ul Mutlaq is entrusted or to whom he entrusts with performing as the sole trustee, after he had performed the rite already himself? What were his reasons? Once the ta’sees was performed my Moula RA why would there ever be a reason for a second rite to be performed? His message about the properties of Da’wat above sent to us explains why.
Khuzaima has long had the intention to usurp the properties of Dawat for self-gain and steer Mumineen away from Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin al-Hayy al-Muqaddas.  In committing acts like these, Khuzaima Qutbuddin and his children have showed that he could not honor the sanctity of the Dail ul Mutlaq’s rights as the sole trustee of the Dawoodi Bohra Community in his lifetime. So I pose the question, how could he ever fulfill the role as the trustee himself?

A Lawyer In America

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East Africa and Mumineen – An Interview

An Interview of a notable businessman and khidmat guzaari, Kenya of Nairobi

SH HUSSAIN BHAI HEBATULLAH

Tell us about the situation in East Africa before the visit of Maulana Taher Saifuddin RA and the changes that followed due to the barakaat of his visit.

Situation:-

• Before Syedna Taher Saifuddin (RA) arrived in the year 1963 the control of Jamaat was in the hands of munafeqeen as they had got in through election or Log shahi as it was formally known.
• The presence of Dai-al-Mutlaq was known vaguely to Mumineen, they only knew that there was someone we call Maula in India. The general Mumineen yearned for more knowledge about Aqa Maula and wanted Him to come to Africa,
• The concept of gaining of Maula’s Khushi in all matters Deeni or worldly did not exist,
• Mumineen were constrained by munafeqeen, o For Eg. When Mumineen used to do maatam they (the munafeqeen) would make them go into sajdah, and then tell that after you have given sajdah you cannot do maatam. In Kampala and other places instead of maatam they used to bang on the walls and bleat car horns. The Changes that occurred were just unimaginable
• When Mumineen saw Aqa Maula for the first time they flocked to him with tears of joy and were overwhelmed by the pious radiance on his face.
• Syedna Taher Saifuddin Aqa (RA) stated in one of his bayaans that : “tame kichar ma phasi gaya hata ehma si nikaalwane aayo chhu”,
• Syedna Taher Saifuddin Aqa (RA) saw that Mumineen were surrounded by munafeqeen who impressed their ideology upon Mumineen.
• Though they were less in number they were financially clout. Maula TUS observed, “these people who are rich now will fade away and new ones will emerge.” And that is what
actually happened.
• Today Saifee Park on nearly 67 acres of land in Nairobi stands as an outstanding example of what we have become today. It is a unique blend of all four maraakiz of upbringing;
Manzil (more than 200 houses and 21 bungalows ); Masjid; Madrasa (Al- Madrasa-tus- Saifiya-tul-Burhaniyah ) and Mujtama (Annadil Jamali with all sports and recreation facilities. A truly Global Islami Village where one feels protected and safe from all vices of modern society. It is a true testimony of what the Nazaraat of Aqa Maula TUS does for us Mumineen.
• Today in East Africa Mumineen are flourishing and enjoying the best of both worlds.

Tell us about Maulana Mohammed Burhanuddin Aqa (TUS)’s numerous visits, Ashara Mubaraka in Nairobi and Mombasa.

• After the visit of Syedna Taher Saifuddin Aqa (RA) and the first visit of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Aqa TUS radical changes occurred in East Africa; especially in Nairobi. The one ne’mat that we received continuously was visits of Sadaat Ajilla, and of them it was Syedi Yusuf Bhaisaheb Najmuddin who visited us frequently. He made sure that he would bring either Shz Dr. al Qaid Johar Bhaisaheb (DM) or Shz Huzaifa Bhaisaheb (QS) or Shz Idris Bhaisaheb (DM) along with him and together they gave hidaayat to us Mumineen such that, when Aqa Maula TUS arrived mumineen were ready in all aspects.
• Visible change came after Ashara Mubaraka was held in the year 1984. Maula TUS and Shezadah sahebs showed us how to do maatam of Imam Husain A.S. and with it’s Barakat we have truly come a long way.

Aqa Maula TUS’s Qiyaam Shareef at your house many times must be filled with memorable events. Share some of those with us.

Yes truly we are very fortunate to have Aqa Maula visit our city Nairobi more than 30 times. There have been numerous occasion where we got special nazaraat of Aqa Maula TUS. Three to four times Aqa Maula TUS gathered the whole family and made us sit in His presence and talked to us, asked us individually who was who, and what each individual was doing. I recall several conversations like 1. “Sometime before there were munafeqeen like the four manaahis in Al Jamea Tus Saifiah, the offspring’s of Adamji Peer bhai in Mumbai just as there were munafeqeen in Nairobi.

“You constructed Maulana Qazi Khan’s makaan in Halwad so Allah has given you a mahal (palace) over here in Nairobi in its stead.” Al Jamea tus Saifiyah in Nairobi- an azeem nemat. Tell us more.

On the Historic occasion of Milaad Meawi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Aqa TUS has betowed on us an azeem sharaf that cannot be described in words. I appeal to all Mumineen to pray for us that may we always be able to appreciate this azeem Ne’mat and perform Sajadaat us Shukr with amal and strive to attain Aqa Maula TUS’s happiness:-
1.Many years ago we used to request Syedi Yusuf Bhaisaheb Najmuddin again and again that Al Jamea tus Saifiyah be established here in Africa to which he finally answered, “One day or the other! You will not rest till you make me do it.”
2. Barakaat barakaat can be seen in us Mumineen over here, especially when Asaateza and Talabat are seen moving around in Saifee park busy following their daily routine. The atmosphere is not just soothing and a pleasure to watch but it has its ruhaniyat attached with it that makes this place feel out of this world. Weare expecting to have more than 150 students in the upcoming year, Inshallah.
3. For the first time in our history 150 Nairobi mumeneen could partake in the Barakaat of Jamea’s annual examinations as Mustafideen.
4. The Noor of Ilm e Ale Mohammed (s.a.) is visible and mohabbat for Al Jamea tus Saifiyah is growing day by day in the hearts of Mumineen.

What is it like living in East Africa and Nairobi today?

We are thankful to Allah and His Wali for granting us raza to reside in this city. The word Nairobi means place of cold water. It is also known as the green city under the sun. The environment is just that of any hill station even though there is tremendous growth and expansion over here. It is the centre of United Nations in East Africa. It has all the embassies; being the capital city of Kenya. It is also the global hub for east, central and West Africa as far communication and travel is concerned. Education is also available with multiple choices till university levels and further. One can find many opportunities in Nairobi. Along with this the Deeni and Imaani atmosphere is so supportive that, it automatically leads one into a life fulfilling mostly all Aqa Maula’s irshadaat; namely, everyone wearing rida, and topi .99.9 % sporting a beard. Rarely would one come across a person indulging in interest.

Your family runs a glass business. How long have you been in this business? How did you decide on this field? What are the technological advances you have adopted over the years?

My father started this business in 1930. He had learnt about the glass business in Burma and so on returning he started it, as an outlet in the side front of small shop here in Nairobi. We have done a lot of other ventures but we profited mostly from the original glass business. Yes, we have advanced a lot with moving into other glass associated lines like glass processing in toughening and lamination. We have furniture moulded out of glass and a lot more. We are also into Aluminium, steel fabrication, paper converter & hardware.

What are the business opportunities for Mumineen in Kenya today?

Conditions are very suitable for business and there are a lot of market opportunities. Government support is there for import and export. Kenya is also a partner in COMESA, so
it helps a lot.

Advice you would like to give to the young generation.

Be consistent in Maula’s mohabbat, do whatever he says, and start anything with the barakaat of his raza Mubarak, follow this and the sky is the limit for you. Nairobi’s entire success is due to these golden rules only. May Allah grant our beloved AQA MAULA AaliQadr Saheb Saifuddin LONG LIVE TILL QIYAMAH. Aameen!!!

52nd Dai al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA to 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS

From Moula RA to Moula TUS

Moula Mohammed Burhanuddin Aqa! Moula Mohammed Burhanuddin Aqa! Aap kaha padhaari gaya?

As Moula departed this earthly realm of ours, the gates of Jannat parted. In all of the heavens, there was Eid, rejoicing in the arrival of a Dai whose coming the ones who dwell in the heavens above had been anticipating with great zeal and earnestness. It is not a coincidence that Moula had returned to whence he had come in the year of his Eid e Zahabi, for Eid means ‘to return’. Moula’s Eid e Zahabi was his valedictory farewell to us all.

As Moula came, Panjatan must have reached out to welcome him amongst their midst. Rasulullah must have felt such joy as his namesake, Mohammed like Mohammed, whose existence itself had been the life-blood of Islam and the beating heart of Iman, had finally come to join him. Moulana Ali must have come, with the water of Kauser, eager to hand it to his Dai with his own hand, whose deedar itself was the Kauser that quenched thousands. Moulatena Fatema must have come to say Ahlan wa Sahlan to her Dai, Al Dai Al Fatemi who embodied the Shafa’at filled tears of Moulatena Fatema and whose wish till his last breath was to see the Zarih of Moulatena Fatema erected in Jannatul Baqi. Imam Hassan must have come, as this 102 year “Fata” – youth – of Syedna Taher Saifuddin, was welcomed by the Syed of the Shabaab (youth) of Jannat.

As Moulana Mohammed Burhanuddin Aqa entered Jannat, Imam Hussain welcomed him. Aqa Moula would have looked up to see him and then reached down to Imam Hussain’s feet, but instead Imam Hussain must have held Moula, brought him closer and embraced him. For who was this Moula? His unwavering sacrifice for Imam Hussain for over half a century, was unmatched save only by Imam Hussain’s own sacrifice for Rasulullah and his Ummat. Imam Hussain’s eyes must have been brimming with tears of joy, for a Dai, his Dai, was the very Dai at whose feet mumineen wept as they were breathed into life by the countless tears he wept in remembering Imam Hussain. Can anyone doubt the elation Imam Hussain must have felt as he saw him? As Imam Hussain embraced Moula, so must all of Panjatan, taking Moula into their arms. What a sight it must have been to behold!

Each Imam must have been waiting with earnest as all the heavens greeted him. For this was the Moula who had relit the mishkat of Al Anwar in Fatemi Misr, this was the Dai whose countenance was the  luminous moon of Al Aqmar, whose radiance was the light of Al Azhar and whose smile was the pearl of Lulua. Each Dai must have been standing next to Imam ul Zaman, longing to set eyes on the Dai who had embodied their every virtue, and had fulfilled their every prophecy. As Imam ul Zaman, to whose khidmat this Dai had devoted his every breath and every moment, saw his Dai approach, he must have greeted him with open arms, embracing him in his divine nazar.

Imagine the joy of a father reunited with his son after fifty years. Syedna Taher Saifuddin Aqa’s face must have been lit up with joy and pride as his Mansoos, his mirror image, his gift to Imam ul Zaman, finally rejoined him. This must have been the scenes of splendour and celestial celebration as Moula was welcomed back.

ALAS! In our world, a torrent of utter loss and grief has engulfed the flock he tended with such love and affection for fifty years. No words could ever begin to attempt to cross the chasm of pain that has beset every mumin. Hands tremble as they feebly try to put pen to paper but the surge of emotion is too overwhelming to channel it into words. Moula was the centre of our universe, our pivot around which all our lives revolved and now, in a jarring, cruel twist of fate, our existence has come crashing down. We’ve lost our bearing, for every action and every particle of our being was directed to Moula. Where is he now? On Friday 16th Rabi ul Awal, the incomprehensible, the unthinkable, the impossible became a reality – one which shattered the hearts of hundreds of thousands. Was it true that a Moula, whose single smile would wash away a sea of sorrows, whose fatherly gaze gave hope when despair was all we could see, whose steady hand held us in our most darkest hour and whose Dua transcended the boundaries of time and space to reach us when we thought all was lost – was it true, was it possible that this Moula had left us – forever? Moula was Noor – the light of our lives, the light that always showed the way, the right way, guiding each mumin and mumina, in a time of seismic turmoil, towards righteousness. Had that light now been extinguished by the savage winds of time?! Where do we turn to Moula? Who do we go to? How can we exist without you? Could not Death have taken us in your stead?

Sleep eludes every mumin and every morsel of food has turned to poison. Our will to live without Moula has been lost. Our entire life we have not known anyone else, anything else, dearer or more loved than Moulana Mohammed Burhanuddin. Our hearts are torn, our chests heave with an unbearable pain as the blade of anguish slices away relentlessly. Our eyes gush floods of tears as they search for a glimpse of a Moula who gave meaning to our ability to see and whose deedar enabled us to see what could not be seen. Our ears strain to hear the voice of a Moula whose words “E maara pyaara pyaara farzando” will forever resonate in our hearts. Our hands reach out towards the empty void, desperately trying to touch the hands of a Moula who never, never, ever, let go of a mumin. Our lips mouth the words ‘Moula! Moula!’ but all that can be seen is a tomb, where the sun of all suns has set for the last time, buried next to his father.

No sorrow can surpass the sorrow of an orphaned son, a son whose father was the very embodiment of love itself, who knew nothing but the warmth of his embrace, who felt nothing but his magnanimous affection, who lived and breathed every moment by his side. A collective crack of hearts broken into an infinite number of pieces can be heard as we all look at Moulana Mufaddal and see the burden of a million souls on him and the insufferable loss of his beloved father flow through tears that roll like priceless pearls on his face. Not one of us can comprehend what Moulana Mufaddal is going through. Every moment must be opening a floodgate of memories that span over seventy years. Every loving embrace, every affectionate look, every benevolent smile, every father-fed morsel, every qadambosi, every ziyafat, every ziyarat, every wasila, every waaz, every bayaan, every tear, every Shahadat of Imam Hussain, every salaami, every step, every gesture – Mufaddal Moula must be reliving and yet, he does not seek solace for himself, but for every mumin who Moula considered his own. As we go for taziyat, it does not seem that we are going to console Mufaddal Moula, but rather he looks at each one of us with the same love, affection and care as Burhanuddin Moula, with those same gentle eyes, letting each one of us know, that “Your Moula is not gone, for I am here”.

Moula Burhanuddin did not leave us alone, he did not abandon us. He left us with Mufaddal Moula, a father just like him. He is our Dai, our Moula, our Aqa. We see him and we see Moulana Mohammed Burhanuddin. For us, that is proof enough. Khuda taala aap Moula ni Umr Shareef ne Ta Roze Qayamat Daraaz Kare. Ameen

Heart rending expression of love and sorrow by Sh Adnan Abidali.

A few video clips from our trip to Iraq in January 2014

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