Da'i al-Mutlaq

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The term Dā'ī al-Mutlaq or ad-Da'i ul-Mutlaq (Arabic: الداعي المطلق or داعي المطلق‎‎) literally means "the absolute or unrestricted missionary" pl. Du'aat-دعاۃ. 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 working under their commands known as ad-Da'i al-Balaagh (Arabic: الداعي البلاغ), and the Da'wah or "Mission" is a spiritually guided clerical-style organisation. "The Da'wah" was a term for the Ismā'īlī faith itself from early on. They are also called Dā'ī Syednas.

Purity from within
The Purity of Ahl ul Bayt and their Du'aat


According to Ismā'īlī Musta'alavī Tayyabī tradition, before the 21st Fatimid Musta'alavi Imam, Taiyab abi al-Qasim went into state of occultation from Cairo in 528 AH/1134 AD, 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.[1] It is the spiritual rank in Isma'ili Da'wah which became more explicit and operational after the seclusion of 21st Imam. After Prophet Mohammad this rank is on the 6th position and after this comes Mazoon-مأذون and Mukaasir-مکاسر who are in turn appointed by the Dā'ī al-Mutlaq.  Before the seclusion, the Da’i or a missionary works under the direct orders of Imaam and his trusted associates in all the 12 islands-جزائر where faithful were present and living openly propounding their faith or secretly due to the fear of their lives. 

During the Imam's occultation, the Dā'ī al-Mutlaq is appointed by his predecessor in office.  Da’i was given Itlaaq-إطلاق or a free conduct and absolute religious and social authority but under the governing principles of Isma’ili Taiyebi Faith.  His command is regarded as a final decree guided by the divine support of Imam and this is the reason he is called Da’i al-Mutlaq. Unlike the case of Imam, where he appoints his successor only from his sons through divinely guided practice called Nass-نص, the Da’i can appoint anyone in his place who is most trusted, pious and capable of carrying Da’wah affairs with wisdom and proficiency. The first Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Taiyabi Ismaili sects was Syedna Zoeb bin Moosa.[2]

The Dā'ī al-Mutlaq is recognised in English law as a corporation sole, by a private act of Parliament passed in 1993.[3]

Dawoodi Bohras[edit]

Currently, within the Dawoodi Bohra sect, there is a dispute on who is the rightful rightful successor to 52nd Da'i al Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. The two rival claimants staked their claim as appointees for the title of 53rd Da'i al-Mutlaq viz. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s half-brother, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, who had served as the Mazoon al-Mutlaq (Second highest rank after the Da'i al-Mutlaq) of the Community, and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s second son, Mufaddal Saifuddin. Khuzaima Qutbuddin passed away on 30th March 2016 and appointed his son Taher Fakhruddin as his successor, who claims that he succeeded his father as the 54th Da'i al-Mutlaq. The rival claimants are currently fighting a declaration suit in the Hon'ble Bombay High Court.

Alavi Bohras[edit]

This title is also used in the Alavi Bohra community to refer to their leader (in the Persian form "Da'i-e-Mutlaq") for similar reasons. At present Saiyedna Haatim Zakiyuddin is the 45th Da’i al-Mutlaq of Alavi Bohras in the line of succession of these Da’is in which 24 are in Yemen, 7 are in Ahmedabad, 1 is in Surat and 12 are in Vadodara. The 44th Da'i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna Abu Haatim Taiyeb Ziyauddin (d. 05-08-1436 AH/23-05-2015) appointed his eldest son Haatim Zakiyuddin as his successor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Dawoodi Bohras - The Dal Al Mutlaq". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  2. ^ "The Dawoodi Bohras - The Dal Al Mutlaq". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  3. ^ Dawat-e-Hadiyah Act 1993 (c. x) at Legislation.gov.uk

External links[edit]