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The term Dā'ī al-Mutlaq (Arabic: الداعي المطلق) literally means "the absolute or unrestricted missionary". In the Fatimid era Ismā'īlī faith, the term dā'ī has been used to refer to important religious leaders other than the hereditary Imāms, and the Da'wa or "Mission" is a clerical-style organisation. "The Da'wa" was a term for the Ismā'īlī faith itself from early on. They are also called Dā'ī Syednas.
According to Tayyabī Musta'lī Ismā'īlī tradition, before the last Mustaali Imam, Taiyab abi al-Qasim went into state of occultation, his father, the 20th Imām al-Amīr had instructed Queen Arwa al-Sulayhi/Al-Hurra Al-Malika in Yemen to anoint a vicegerent after the occultation - the Dāʻī al-Mutlaq, who as the Imām's vicegerent, has full authority to govern the community in all matters both spiritual and temporal. During the Imam's occultation, the Dā'ī al-Mutlaq is appointed by his predecessor in office. The Madhun (also spelt Mazoon) and Mukasir are in turn appointed by the Dā'ī al-Mutlaq.
Among the Dawoodi Bohra branch of Musta'lī Ismā'īlī, the office of the 53rd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq is held by Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, since the demise of Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, the 52nd Dā'ī after Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin RA performed Nass on Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS.
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