Lisan al-Dawat

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Lisan-ud-Dawat (Arabic: لسان الدعوة‎‎, Lisan ud-Dawat, "language of the Dawat") is the language of the Dawoodi Bohras, an Ismaili Shia Muslim community. It is a Gujarati dialect, but incorporates a heavy amount of Arabic, Urdu, and Persian vocabulary and is written in the Arabic script. Originally a ritual language, since the period of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin it has also been propagated as the vernacular language for members of the sect, but the version used by the Dawoodi Bohra clergy still differs from the Gujarati spoken by other community members.[1] Unlike Gujarati, Lisan ud-Dawat is written with the Urdu alphabet.

Some key works in Lisan al-Dawat are the nasihats (advice in the form of poetry) written by Taher Saifuddin, the fifty-first Dai al-Mutlaq. Some of the nasihats recited regularly by Bohras are "Allah Ta'ala Nu Hamd Tu Karje" (Always remember to thank God) and "Biradar Tu Nasihat Sun" (My brother, listen to this advice).

Many in the Dawoodi Bohras community look upon Lisan al-Dawat as a bridge for their Gujarati community to Arabic, the language of the Quran.


  1. ^ Blank, Jonah (2001). Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras. University of Chicago Press. p. 143.