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?

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