|Syedna Taher Saifuddin|
|Photograph of 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Taher Saifuddin|
|Remained as Da'i al-Mutlaq||52 years 4 months 9 days|
|Became Da'i al-Mutlaq||at the age of 28 years|
|Predecessor||Syedna Abdullah Badruddin|
|Successor||Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq)|
|House of Da'i al-Mutlaq||Surat, later Mumbai|
|Spouse||Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba
|Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq)
|1915 - 1965|
|Father||Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (49th Da'i al-Mutlaq)|
|Mother||Aaisaheba Amatullah Aaisaheba|
4 August 1888|
|Died||12 November 1965
|Burial||Raudat Tahera, Mumbai|
Syedna Taher Saifuddin (سيدنا طاهر سيف الين, 4 August 1888 – 12 November 1965) was an Indian-born leader, the 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra sect. He was the son of the 49th Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, whose family lineage can be traced back to Syedi Fakhruddin Shaheed. He became the 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq in 1915. He was known as the shams (sun) amongst the Da'i al- Mutlaq. He was chosen by the Imam in seclusion to be his saif (sword) to fight the enemies. That is the reason why he was named 'Saifuddin' which means, 'the sword of Deen (religion) 
Being born in the house of Da'i al-Mutlaq, he was closely associated with the members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect from a very early age. His father became the 49th Da'i al-Mutlaq when he was very small. From his childhood he always remained with his father helping him and learning from him the intricacies of the customs, traditions and culture of the Dawoodi Bohra sect. His father also entrusted Syedi Abdeali Moiyuddin to teach him certain knowledge imparted by the 43rd Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin.
He married Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba and settled in Surat.
He always served his father when he was the 49th Da'i al-Mutlaq. Later he served the 50th Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Abdullah Badruddin with the same respect and determination. He became 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq at the age of 28 years.
He had the longest tenure of more than 52 years as the Da'i al-Mutlaq. In 1942 his speech in Arabic was broadcast on Radio Ceylon. In 1958 he delivered a speech on the life of Maulana Ali which was broadcast on radio.
His birth was predicted by the 43rd Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin around 100 years back. Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin imparted some knowledge to him through a chain of five persons of different eras keeping it safe from the hands of the learned enemies of the Dawoodi Bohra sect.
Further during the times of Syedna Abdul Qadir Najmuddin, when the enemies of Dawoodi Bohra sect hatched a conspiracy, Syedna Abdul Qadir Najmuddin said with great resolve that the fifth Da'i al-Mutlaq will answer his enemies; he was referring to Syedna Taher Saifuddin.
His father went to Karbala to pay respects to Imam Husain along with Aaisaheba Amatullah Aaisaheba. His father told her to stand closer to the Zarih Mubarak so that the child in her womb gets the blessings of Imam Husain. At that time the child in her womb was Syedna Taher Saifuddin.
He had became well accustomed to various norms of the Dawoodi Bohra sect under the able and thorough guidance by his father. His father was a farsighted and intelligent administrator who guided the Dawoodi Bohra community from a position of being burdened with heavy debts to a position of growth and development within a period of 15 years. Syedna Taher Saifuddin inherited the administrative skills of his father which he used to control the organisations of the Dawoodi Bohra sect when he became the Da'i al-Mutlaq.
He was just 8 years old when his mother Aaisaheba Amatullah Aaisaheba died.
Syedna Abdullah Badruddin arranged his marriage with Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba at a very early age. She gave birth to Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, who went on to become the 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq. Quoting words of Syedna Taher Saifuddin, "There is wealth under the feet of my son Mohammed Burhanuddin."
Before Da'i al-Mutlaq
At the age of 15 years his father took his misaq (equivalent to confirmation in Christianity and also includes a pledge) and at the age of 17 years he was conferred with Hadiyat (a title for the learned).
In his 18th year his father died, handing over his responsibility of into the hands of his cousin brother 50th Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Abdullah Badruddin who educated him, raised him to the position of Raas ul Hudood (a high-ranking position) when he was 28 and later in the same year did nas upon him in Dumas, Gujarat.
When he came to pay respects to his cousin brother the next day he was informed about the nas. Tears swelled up in his eyes. Syedna Abdullah Badruddin called him closer and keeping a hand on his shoulder acknowledged that the dark clouds of conspiracy are looming over the Dawoodi Bohra sect and that he is all alone. But assured him that the Imam in seclusion is with him and expected that the Imam in seclusion will reveal himself on his hands.
A few days later the Badr (moon), Syedna Abdullah Badruddin, placed the helm of Dawoodi Bohra sect in the hands of the Shams (sun), Syedna Taher Saifuddin and died.
As Da'i al-Mutlaq
Syedna Taher Saifuddin became the 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq in the year 1915. As foretold by Syedna Abdullah Badruddin  the enemies of the Dawoodi Bohra community conspired against him and used the courts of law as a weapon to instigate differences and doubts in the minds of the members of the community. They challenged many beliefs of the community by connecting them to the various sections of the law of the land. But they forgot one thing that all the sections of the Indian Penal Code are based on British Laws which are in turn based on Islamic Laws. This fact saw the enemies lose their cases one after another.
Among the cases was the one which stated that nas was not done on the 47th Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Abdul Qadir Najmuddin, during the hearing of which Syedna Taher Saifuddin gave such strong evidences that he won the case and the judge remarked that the nas done on 47th Da'i al-Mutlaq was the most evident than the nas done by other Da'i al-Mutlaq.
The enemies of the community filed 28 cases against him, some in the High Courts of various states and some even in the Supreme Court, forcing him to appear in the courts of law. Some of his hearings in the Mumbai High Court were recorded to be among the longest in the its history.
In the year 1919 an epidemic spread through Surat, resulting in death of nearly 10 people daily. He instructed the members of the community to recite a tasbeeh (small prayer) due to which the epidemic was contained.
In 1928 he sent foodstuffs and grains to Yemen during the drought.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin also shifted the headquarters of the community from Surat to Mumbai after purchasing Saifee Mahal, a place where his father the used to stay when he visited Mumbai. He also shifted all the offices of the Dawoodi Bohra sect to Mumbai.
He also concentrated on the spiritual growth of the members of the community. He completely restructured the Dars us Saifi in Surat and renamed it as Al Jamea tus Saifiyah. He created a curriculum for learning, making knowledge available to every person in the community. He also perfected the syllabus of the madrasas.
The times of Syedna Taher Saifuddin also saw great tribulations in the beliefs of not only the members of the Dawoodi Bohra community but also in the beliefs of the people of the world at large. People were questioning the basic religious beliefs and wanted to change religion according to the changing times. This was the same reason that had given birth to the enemies of the Dawoodi Bohra community in his times. What the enemies thought to be an issue with the Dawoodi Bohra community was an issue faced by the whole world at that time, that is, questioning the beliefs of religion. He stood steadfast in the fact that the tenets of Islam are perfect and complete and require no changes to be made to it.
He travelled a lot among the settlements of the members of the community to educate them and to strengthen their faith. He has gone to the houses of each and every member of the community during his visit of a particular settlement however inaccessable or difficult to reach the said home might be. He travelled in trains extensively.
He made many monumental structures in Islamic religious places and also replaced or made new artifacts used at the site of the tombs of Islamic religious heads and others. He also built many masjids and schools.
In 1953 he established Rasme Saifee an event where marriage (nikah) of couples are solomised in group in the presence of Da'i al-Mutlaq and with his blessings. In the first event 100 marriages were performed.
He was also a prolific scholar who has written many volumes of books and many verses regarding different aspects of Dawoodi Bohra community. Much of his works are part of the sylabus in the different branches of Al Jamea tus Saifiyah.
He also started the custom of waaz (sermon) for all nine days instead of just one day of Ashura (the tenth day of the first month Moharram ul Haram of the Hijri Calender) as was previlant before.
He did nas on his son Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin at a very early age. After doing nas for 33 years his son always stayed by his side all the time, imbibing all his characteristics even his way of thinking. So much so that his son Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin became exactly like him.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin voyage through the life reached its destination on 12 November 1965 (19th Rajab 1385 Hijri) in Matheran and from then on he is always present in the heart of every member of the Dawoodi Bohra sect by virtue of his teachings, his literature, his prayers, his compositions and most specifically by virtue of his son Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin got married at a very early age. His marriage was arranged by the 50th Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Abdullah Badruddin. His wife Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba was also from the family of Da'i al-Mutlaq.
She gave birth to Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin on the same day he took over his duties as Da'i al-Mutlaq. This little child later went on to become the 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohra community. He acquired the kuniyat (prefix used to identify a person by the name of his child) of 'abu Mohammed'. Thereafter Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba gave birth to three children:
- Hussain bhaisaheb Husamuddin, who later became the Mukasir e Dawat in the times of the 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.
- Abdeali Bhaisaheb
- Asma Bensaab
Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba died when Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin was just 6 years old. He was very saddened by her death.
He then married Aaisaheba Vazira Aaisaheba. Aaisaheba Vazira Aaisaheba gave birth to three children:
- Abdul taiyab bhaisaheb Zakiuddin
- Ismail bhaisaheb Shabuddin
- Hasan Bhaisaheb
While being married to Aaisaheba Vazira Aaisaheba he again got married to Aaisaheba Fatema Aaisaheba. Aaisaheba Fatema Aaisaheba gave birth to seven children:
- Yusuf Bhaisaheb Najmuddin
- Qasim Bhaisaheb Hakimuddin
- Aliasger Bhaisaheb Kalimuddin ::*Mariam Bensaab
- Khadija Bensaab
- Sherebanu Bensaab
- Sakina Bensaab
Later he again got married to Aaisaheba Amena Aaisaheba. Aaisaheba Amena Aaisaheba bore ten children:
- Khuzema Bhaisaheb Qutbuddin, who became the Mazoon e Dawat of the 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, and now claiming to be the 53rd Da'i al-Mutlaq.
- Hatim Bhaisaheb Hamimuddin
- Shabbir Bhaisaheb Nuruddin
- Abbas Bhaisaheb Fakhruddin
- Mohammed ul Baqir Bhaisaheb Jamaluddin
- Noman Bhaisaheb
- Zehra Bensaab
- Shirin Bensaab
- Fatema Sugra Bensaab
- Zainab Bensaab
By virtue of his four marriages he fostered a very large family. Most of his children hold important position in the organisations of the Dawoodi Bohra community.
He had twenty-four children, of which fifteen were boys and nine were girls.
His family thrived through generations and grew in number and importance. At the time of his death the number of members of his family had crossed the hundred figure mark.
They all remember him as a loving and caring father or grand father who touched each of their lives with the grace of the Imam in seclusion. Each of his children and grandchildren were blessed with the knowledge and training which was either provided by him personally or under his supervision.
Like the members of the Dawoodi Bohra community, the members of his family still remember him and will always remember him forever.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin's legacy was awaited for over a century likewise his courage and intelligence had also been predicted. He had a formidable task of living up to all expectations.
His foremost and major task was to face the enemies of the community with confidence and wisdom and thwart all their claims in the courts of law. He fought 28 cases of which some verdicts were reached during his times and the rest were prolonged into the times of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. Armed with the knowledge of a hundred years he fought bravely and defeated the assumptions of the enemies. The enemies fought almost all the cases based on assumptions so as to link the beliefs of the community with the law of the land as they can not question beliefs directly. Because the law of the land clearly states it does not interfere with religious beliefs. In the hearings he would put forward such strong evidences from the books of religion that it would make the enemies speechless.
He educated the members of the Dawoodi Bohra community and stopped them from following the worldly outlook at his times, when people were openly questioning the religious beliefs, making changes to religious beliefs to make it suit with changing times. The general view was that religion was made by man and can be altered by man to suit his needs. This and many other views were formulated at that times. The minds of the people were filled with progressive thoughts with regard to everything and religion soon began to be seen as a hurdle to progressiveness. Religious beliefs were then stated as backward and orthodox. This progressive viewpoint created the enemies of the Dawoodi Bohra community. The questioning of religious beliefs culmimated in questioning the authority of Da'i al-Mutlaq, who is answerable only to Imam in seclusion. But the enemies wanted to make the Da'i al-Mutlaq answerable to everybody. A condition not feasable due to lack of knowledge and foresight in all the people as compared to the Imam in seclusion. But the enemies wanted to enforce their personal worldly views, so they used the courts of law.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin stood steadfast in the fact that Islam is a complete religion and does not have to be changed according the changing times, it is the people who have maintain their faith in the religion and stand by it. He won the cases filed against him by using the same arguement and also led the Dawoodi Bohra community based on the same beliefs into growth and prosperity.
Preserver of Fatemi Architecture
Syedna Taher Saifuddin  rebuilt or repaired many monuments of Fatemi Imams, Da'i al-Mutlaq and other prominent structures and artifacts. The major among them being
- the internal curtains of the Kaabah,
- Qubba Najmiyah in Ujjain,
- Qubba of Syedi Hasanfeer Shaheed,
- Qubba of Syedna Qutbuddin Saheed,
- Zarih of Maulana Ali, .
- Donated significant amount for restoration of Al-Masjid al-Aqsa for which as an acknowledgement his name was recorded on the Al -Masjid al-Aqsa.
Later minted coins of old zarih of Imam Husain and distributed among members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect as memorabilia and good fortune with the blessings of Imam Husain. .
He also built Masjids to facilitate the performance of prayers of the members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect the prominent among them are
- Saifee Masjid at Malabar Hill in Mumbai,
- Masjid in Karachi,
- Masjid in Hydrabad and
- Al-Masjid al-Fatemi in Surat.
He also built educational institutions like
- Saifee Girls High School, Mumbai and
- reconstructed Al Jamea tus Saifiyah, Surat
Ambassador of Dawoodi Bohra sect
Syedna Taher Saifuddin visited many places in different countries in an effort to improve the relationship of the Dawoodi Bohra community with the Government of the respective countries so that they accommodate the members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect when they visit those countries for business or pilgrimage. The prominent among these places are
- Karbala al-Moalla,
- Najaf e Ashraf,
- Mecca and Madina, where he authenticated the location of Ghadir e Khumm,
- al-Moizziyah al-Qaherah,
- Hong Kong
- Europe and
- East Africa.
He also improved relationships between the said country and members of Dawoodi Bohra sect by conducting Ashura or Milad celebrations in the said country as such celebrations entailed enormous gathering of the members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect which not only boosted the local economy but also created new business opportunities.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin welcomed the King Saud of Saudi Arabia and Shah of Iran at Saifee Mahal, Mumbai. This improved the relationship between Dawoodi Bohra sect and these two countries.
Writer and teacher
Syedna Taher Saifuddin was a great scholar who have compiled more than 40 volumes of books and have written more than 10000 verses pertaining to the different aspects of the Dawoodi Bohra sect. His first book being 'Noor al-Haq'. In his book 'Ramazaniya' he imbibed the knowledge of Prophet Muhammad and his progeny alongwith the mercies of Allah Taala. His most famous work is 'Ya sayeda shohadai'. Most of his works are part of the syllabus in the different centers of Al Jamea tus Saifiyah. Several of his prayers, verses and elegies on Imam Husain are recited by the members of the Dawoodi Bohra community to this day.
He loved to teach. He used to get so excited while teaching that at one instance he had taught 28 religious lessons in a single day. On every thursday he taught a book which had 800 chapters, regularly till the completion of the same.
He also travelled to the colonies of the members of the community to teach them, educate them and guide them.
Aligarh Muslim University offered Syedna Taher Saifuddin  Doctorate of Theology and also offered Chancellorship of Aligarh Muslim University which Syedna Taher Saifuddin accepted and remained as a Chancellor till his demise for three consecutive terms. Being the chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University he took hold the harness of the entire Muslim community at the very turning point in the history of Islam and guided the muslims back to Islamic tenents by attending the first ever conference on Islam held in Palestine. He was also conferred the title 'Wisaam al Nile' by the government of Egypt for his efforts and services to promote the cause of Islam.
It was a practice during his times of performing waaz (religious sermon) on the Day of Ashura. He extended the then existing practice by performing waaz everyday beginning from the 2 Muharram and culminating on Day of Ashura, for all the nine days.
The Shams (sun) of Da'i al-Mutlaq by his radiance of knowledge burnt away all the impurities of doubt and hatred within the members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect such that they shone brightly in the world like pure gold.
|Da'i al-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohra sect|
Syedna Abdullah Badruddin
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq)
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tufatuh ale Akhbaare Hudat, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publication, 1995, pg. 109
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, pg. 66
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 22
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 27
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 29
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tufatuh ale Akhbaare Hudat, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publication, 1995, pg. 100, 101
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tufatuh ale Akhbaare Hudat, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publication, 1995, pg. 68
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tufatuh ale Akhbaare Hudat, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publication, 1995, pg. 92
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publications, 2012, Section Timline pg. 16
- http://www.misbah.info/7th/topics/fact_file/fact_file.htm (Abdulhusen M. Haidermota (Overview of Judicial and Legislative Triumphs), Judicial Triumphs, www.misbah.info, 1994)
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 17
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 19
- http://wikimapia.org/7261856/Saifee-Mahal (many authors, 'Saifee Mahal (Mumbai)', wikimapia.org, date reverted 22 February 2014)
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tufatuh ale Akhbaare Hudat, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publication, 1995, pg. 110
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 25
- http://www.amu.ac.in/pro.jsp?did=10065&lid=List%20of%20Chancellors (Dr. Rahat Abrar (PRO), Chancellors of AMU, www.amu.ac.in, 22 February reverted)
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 20
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, pg. 51
- http://www.matheranmemorialhall.com/importance.php (Webzone, H. H. Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin Memorial Foundation, www.matheranmemorialhall.com, 22 February reverted)
- http://indiankanoon.org/doc/510078/ (Many authors, 'Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin vs The State of Bombay 9 January 1962, www.indiankanoon.org)
- http://www.legalcrystal.com/642186 (Gavista tech, 'Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin v/s State of Bombay, www.legalcrystal.com, date reverted 22 February 2014)
- http://indiankanoon.in/search/?formInput=taher%20saifuddin%20v.%20tyebbhai%20moosaji (Chagla, R. Kochar and others, 'Syedna Taher Saifuddin vs Tyebbhai Moosaji Koicha and Anr on 20 August 1952, indiankanoon.in)
- http://www.sfjamaat.org/sf/taher.html (Ali Asger Sh. Saifuddin Rasheed (Al Fiqih Al Mutqin, Sutat), 'Sheikh al Doat al Mutlaqeen: Syedna Taher Saifuddin (RA), sfjamaat.org, date reverted 22 February 2014)
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 23
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 21
- http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imam_Husayn_Shrine (mentioned in the timeline, reference regarding zarih, if wikilinked will not be clear)(Many authors, Imam Husayn Shrine, en.wikipedia.org, 22 January 2006)
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 28
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 18
- Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tasbeeh al Mafakhir, Neelam Publication, 2012, Section Timeline pg. 24
- Abdul Qaiyum Mulla Habibullah, His Holiness Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb, Dai-ul-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohra, Dawoodi Bohra Book Depot Publications,1953.
- Syedna Taher Saifuddin: A Philosophical Discourse, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publications 1963.
- Life and Works of His Holiness Syedna Dr. Taher Saifuddin Saheb, Leader Press Pvt. Ltd. Publications.
- Jafar us Sadiq Mufaddal Saifuddin, Al Aqmar: A Living Testimony to the Fatemiyeen, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publications, 2000.
- Jafar us Sadiq Mufaddal Saifuddin, Al Juyushi: A Vision of the Fatemiyeen, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publications, 2002.
- Mustafa Abdulhussein, Al-Dai Al-Fatimi Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin: An Illustrated Biography, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publications.
- Jonah Blank, Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity among Daudi Bohras University of Chicago Press Publications, 2001.