The beauty of being a Dawoodi Bohra

We crossed into the Israeli border, bound for Jerusalem , from the Jordanian side. It was a particularly tense day as there had been a recent firing incident. All five of us had different nationality passports. 1 Kenyan, 1 British, 1 Yemeni, 1 Indian passport issued in Egypt & another Indian passport issued in Nairobi . The Jordanian Immigration officer did not have to be explained why such a mixed group. He knew & he smilingly made a statement, that was actually a stunner. He jokingly said, “Why don’t you have a Bohra Passport? It will make things so much more easier for you, & us too.”

The Israeli side, the officer (suspicious by default) could not understand how such a group could get together. All dressed alike & identical mannerisms, and yet different passports. He called up his superiors, and what conversation transpired, we did not learn, but he stamped our paper visas & let us through. We have had similar experiences at many airports & checkpoints in the world. The followers of Sultan-al-Bohra can avail a special status at Cairo, or Karachi (if Maula is in Pakistan) or Damascus, Yemen , or East Africa, or UAE, the list goes on. Those who had their US Visa stamped during Ashara with a mention “Attending Ashara”! on the visa, can vouch for the response at the Houston airport immigration. The recent grant of visa-on-arrival exclusively for Bohras, at the Dubai airport was as unbelievable as, so many other episodes in our past travel experiences. We are a people who do not have a nation but are treated like a single nationality, do not have a kingdom, but are treated royally. From Japan in the East to he West Coast of USA, & from New Zealand in the south to Norway in the north, whether we reside in the snowy Alps in Switzerland, or on the golden Coast of Kenya, we have a common bond, a unique culture, a common language, a standard calendar, a uniform code of conduct that absolutely defines the rights & the wrongs, one goal, one platform & one base of knowledge. Our geographic existence might be checkered, but the entire mosaic of our community is a beautiful picture of harmony, painted by a divine hand. Our Tryst with destiny begins & ends in the same spiritual allegiance. We are taught to be absolutely loyal to the country we reside in contributing to the socio-economic progress and prosperity of the country, we are a peace loving community, that gives us a rare edge over all others, and yet in spite of all diversities, we are one. What really makes us tick? What gives us a place of great pride & what makes us so special? We have a Maula, who over the years, has given us an identity, that no other government in the world can provide.

That explains the one-voice “Ameen”, whenever we pray that May Allah grant our beloved Maula, Syedna Burhanuddin Aqa a long long life. Ameen

Author: Unknown

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