Mufaddal Saifuddin

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Dr. Syedna Aliqadr Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS)
53rd Da'i al-Mutlaq
of the Dawoodi Bohra community
[1][2]
Mufaddal Saifuddin Houstan Ashara.jpg
Saifuddin during Moharram 1437 Waaz in Houston, USA.
Born (1946-08-20) 20 August 1946 (age 70)
Surat, Gujarat, British Raj
Alma mater Al-Azhar University, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah
Spouse(s) Jawharatusharaf (nee Najmuddin)
Children Jafar us Sadiq Imaduddin, Taha Najmuddin, Husain Burhanuddin
Parent(s) Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is 53rd Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras,[2][3] The Dawoodi Bohra are a sub group[4] within the Mustaali, Ismaili Shia branch of Islam. He is the 2nd eldest son of the 52nd Dai Mohammed Burhanuddin. He succeeded[5] to the office after his father, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, who died in 2014[6] and is the spiritual leader of 2.5 million people living in 100 countries.[7][8] Saifuddin has contributed substantially to the restoration of medieval Fatimid architecture, notably Al-Hakim Mosque and other Fatimid-era mosques located in Old Cairo.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin was born on 20 August 1946/23 Ramadan 1365 A.H. in Surat, India,[10] and was given the name Aali Qadr Mufaddal (Arabic:عالي قدر مفضل) by his grandfather Taher Saifuddin.[3] He received much of his spiritual guidance from his father, Mohammed Burhanuddin [11][12] and devoted most of his time to strictly religious pursuits.[13] He graduated from The Institute of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University.[14][15] Mufaddal Saifuddin often accompanied his father Mohammed Burhanuddin during the latter's travels across the globe, meeting heads of states and other notable personalities during such trips.[12] Mufaddal Saifuddin was appointed Amirul Hajj by his father Burhanuddin in 1390 AH (1970 CE). After Hajj, he travelled to Karbala, Syria, Misr and Yemen. During his trip to Yemen, he laid the foundations for the construction of the 3rd Da'i al-Mutlaq's Hatim's mausoleum. After that journey Burhanuddin bestowed upon him the honorific title Aqeeq-ul-Yemen in 1391 AH/1971 AD.[16]

Marriages[edit]

Mufaddal Saifuddin married Jawharatusharaf Najmuddin, daughter of Yusuf Najmuddin, the erstwhile rector of Al Jamea tus Saifiyah on 1 January 1970.[16][17]

Leadership[edit]

Following the death of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, on his posthumous 103rd Birthday, Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) donated INR 103.50 crore ($15.5 Million) to the Qardan Hasana[18] Scheme[19] (interest free loan fund) for the Dawoodi Bohra community.[20]

His father, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin initiated the Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment Project under the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT).[21][22] The first phase, covering subclusters 1 & 3 was kicked off by Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) on 18 May 2016. "About 250 dilapidated buildings in Bhendi Bazaar will be replaced with 17 new towers with wide roads, modern infrastructure, more open spaces and highly visible commercial areas."[23] This ambitious philanthropic enterprise "aims to rehabilitate 3200 families and 1250 business which are currently living in poor conditions."[24] It is expected to reach completion by 2019.

Through the Burhani Foundation[25] Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) has launched environmental awareness campaigns[26] such as the tree-planting[27][28] and bird feeding campaigns such the "Save our Sparrows" initiative.[29]

In battle to reduce global food wastage especially within community feasts, Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) introduced regulation on the quantity of dishes served per meal. This was launched under the moto of "ek kharaas, ek mithaas, no israaf" (one savoury, one desert and no wastage).[30]

According to one of Mufaddal Saifuddin's (TUS) followers in Ontario, California who gave a press interview during a March 2015 visit of Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS), the main message that Saifuddin (TUS) hopes to instill on the community is that of loyalty to wherever people live, to follow the rules and be a good citizen, live in peace and make an honest living.[31]

He has undertaken numerous projects under Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s(TUS) directions in the restoration of medieval Fatimid masjids in Egypt and other edifices in the Arab world. Notable projects include the restoration and revival of Al-Hakim Mosque (al-Jamea al-Anwar), the restoration of the masjid of Syedna Zoeb bin Moosa in 1406H,[32] the restoration of Aqmar Mosque in 1408H,[33] construction of the mosque in Salamiyah in 1414H,[33] restoration of the Lulua Mosque & Juyushi Mosque in 1416H, the construction of the Zarih of Zaynab bint Ali in Cairo in 1416H, construction of the mosque in Ashkelon in 1421H, the construction of the Mazar and Mosque of Syedna Hatim in 1425H, and the discovery of the graves of a few Da'i al-Mutlaq in Zimarmar, Yemen on 1st Rabi al-Akhar 1431H.[34]

On 19 July 2016, Mufaddal Saifuddin(TUS) met Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and expressed interests for investment in Egypt. Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) also donated 10 Million Pounds to the Long Live Egypt Fund.[35]

In 2011, during his centennial celebrations, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin(TUS) established Al Jamea tus Saifiyah in Nairobi, Kenya. The construction of this 14 acre campus commenced in 2013, and was completed and inaugurated by Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) inaugurated by on 20 April 2017.[36][37][38]

Philanthropy[edit]

To ensure that not a single Dawoodi Bohra community member goes hungry, Mufaddal Saifuddin initiated a "community kitchen"[39] scheme[40] named Faiz al-Mawaid al-Burhaniyah[41] (Arabic:فيض الموائد البرهانية).[42] Everyday, Tiffin & Thali of home-cooked meals are delivered community homes.[43]

In December 2016, Mufaddal Saifuddin initiated an 'Upliftment Program' to improve the living standards of community members.[44] Over 4,100[45] volunteers from India, East Asia, UK, USA and the Middle East were spread out over 200 towns and cities.[46] The 5-day upliftment drive consisted of renovation of houses in a dire state, work or reorganization, planting of trees and plants around community properties and private homes, clearing and cleaning of community properties and grounds, erection of playground and sports facilities, dental hygiene and vaccination for children and a sports day and breakfast on the Sunday morning of New Year's Day.[44][47]

Recognition & Awards[edit]

  •  India: He was awarded the "Global Peace Award" for 2015 "In recognition of his outstanding contribution in the promotion of human rights and social justice".[71][72] He was also awarded a Lifetime Global Patronship Of All India Council Of Human Rights, Liberties And Social Justice (AICHLS).[73]
  •  India: He launched the poster of "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao"[74] under the theme "Mai Tulsi Tere Angan Ki" during his presence in Islamic Cultural Centre New Delhi[75] on 28 February 2016[76] and in Al Jamea tus Saifiyah University on 4 May 2016.[76]
  •  Tanzania: During his visit to Moshi, Tanzania, Mufaddal Saifuddin was presented the "Key to Moshi - The Land of Kilimanjaro" by the Mayor Japhary R Michael on 29 August 2015.[77]
  •  Egypt: In August 2015, on the invitation of the Government of Egypt, Mufaddal Saifuddin participated in inauguration ceremony of the new Suez Canal.[78] Saifuddin commented that "The Suez Canal is the miracle of mankind which should be venerated rightfully."[78][79]
  •  Kenya: On 20 April 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta awarded the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart to Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin on the innauguartion of the Al Jamea tus Saifiyah, Nairobi campus.[80]

Mufaddal Saifuddin has been presented the following resolutions and certificates of appreciation in The United States:[81][82]

  •  United States: RESOLUTION CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE - Dated 3 March 2015
  •  United States: Certificate of Appreciation - By the Mayor City of Bakersfield - Dated 6 March 2015
  •  United States: SENATE CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION- For the inauguration of the Palo Alto Masjid in California - Dated 7 March 2015
  •  United States: ONTARIO, California - Certificate of Appreciation - Dated 9 March 2015
  •  United States: CERTIFICATE OF SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL RECOGNITION by the U.S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - Dated 12 March 2015

On 28 Rabi' al-thani 1435 AH (28 February 2014 CE), the Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid accompanied Saifuddin to Mumbai airport to see him off for his first visit abroad after the death of his father Burhanuddin in January of that year. Khurshid presented Mufaddal with a letter of good wishes from Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Indian Congress, before departed to Najaf and Karbala in Iraq for a pilgrimage to the shrines of Imam Ali and Imam Husain.[83]


Later on, in Pakistan, he was received with state protocol and was welcomed at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.[84]

Academic and literary Works[edit]

Risalah (Epistle)[edit]

  • Risalah titled رسالة النعي المسماة - حكمة الغيبة القدسانية الابدية (Arabic: Risalah al-Nay’e - Hikmah al-Ghaybah al-Qudsaniyyah al-Abadiyyah) which comprises the history and biography of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. This elegiac epistle is now a part of the curriculum of Al Jamea tus Saifiyah [85]
  • Completed and published the Risalah of Syedna Taher Saifuddin titled شموس بركات الربانيين (Arabic: Shumoos Barakaat al-Rabbaniyeen) which was first penned in 1383H (1964) by Syedna Taher Saifuddin.[86] This epistle is now a part of the curriculum of Al Jamea tus Saifiyah.
  • Completed and published the Risala of Syedna Taher Saifuddin titled Anhaar Fuyooz al-Fatimiyyeen انهار فيوض الفاطميين of which was first commenced in 1384H (1965) by Syedna Taher Saifuddin.[87] This epistle is now a part of the curriculum of Al Jamea tus Saifiyah.
  • Risalah titled شكر نعم اصحاب البركات (Arabic: Shukr Ne’am As’haab al-Barakaat) which comprises a detailed account of the revival and restoration of al-Jame’ al-Anwar Al-Hakim Mosque.[88]
  • Completed and published the Risalah of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin titled نشر الخير (Arabic: Nashr al-Khayr) which was first penned in 1391H by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.[89]
  • Risalah titled جامعة ثمرات العلوم (Arabic: Jāmiʿah Samarāt al-ʿUlūm) of 1437 Hijri.[90]
  • Risalah titled Fūyūdāt Yamaniyyah Taiyyebah (Arabic: فيوضات يمنية طيبة), commenced on 13 June 2017 (19 Ramadan 1438H).
  • Completed and published the Risalah of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin titled Nadā al-Fūyūdāt (Arabic: ندى الفيوضات ١٣٩٢) on 25 June 2017 (1 Shawwal 1438 H) which was first penned in 1392H by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.[91]

Qasidah (Poetry)[edit]

  • On the demise of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin in 1435H he composed an elegiac Marsiya in Lisan al-Dawat with the Matla اے الله نا داعي نبي نا پيارا [92] and two elegiac Marsiya in Arabic. One in 1435H with the Matla الم بدين الله ادهى الشدائد [93] and the other in 1436H with the Matla عليك سلام الله و الصلوات.[94]
  • In 1436H, he composed a Qasida (poem) in Lisan al-Dawat with the Matla چلو اے پیارا عزیزو چلو (Lisan al-Dawat: Chalo eh pyaara azeezo chalo),[95] published with the title لولوء نصيحة غر.[96] This poem expounds on the importance of attending Muharram sermons.
  • In 1437H, when appointed as Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University he wrote a Nazm in Urdu with the Matla علم الانسان ما لم بعلم ايك اعزاز ہے (Urdu: allam al-insaan ma lam ya’lam ek e’zaaz he)[97] published with the title خزينة معاني علم الانسان ما لم يعلم.[98]
  • On Eid al-Fitr 1435H, he composed a Qasida in Arabic with the Matla سلام على ال النبي الاكارم.[99]
  • On Eid al-Fitr 1436H, he composed a Qasida in Arabic with the Matla اتيت بابك كعبة القبل.[100]
  • On Eid al-Fitr 1437H, he composed a Qasida in Arabic with the Matla يا بني الخمسة انتم وزري [101]
  • On Eid al-Fitr 1438H, he composed a Qasida in Arabic with the Matla يا طيب العصر طيب طوبى[102]

Munajaat (Supplication)[edit]

  • On Laylat al-Qadr 1435H, he composed a supplication Munajat in Arabic with the Matla اناجيك رب العالمين مبسملا.[103]
  • On Laylat al-Qadr 1436H, he composed a supplication Munajat in Arabic with the Matla اناجيك ربي اليك التجائي.[104]
  • On Laylat al-Qadr 1437H, he composed a supplication Munajat in Arabic with the Matla جئتك ربي تائبا عابدا.[105]
  • On Laylat al-Qadr 1438H, he composed a supplication Munajat in Arabic with the Matla دعوت اله العالمين مناجيا.[106]

Succession[edit]

The 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, died in January 2014.[107] As per the tenets of the sect[108] each predecessor is required to nominate his successor prior to his death.[109][110] His death sparked a succession crisis where two rival claimants emerged for the title of 53rd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq:[111] his son, Mufaddal Saifuddin, and Khuzaima Qutbuddin [112] of the Dawoodi Bohra.[113]

The challenge created a divide in the community with the vast majority aligning with Mufaddal Saifuddin[114][115] whilst a small number aligned with Khuzaima Qutbuddin.[116] Mufaddal Saifuddin assumed control of the Dawoodi Bohra administration and infrastructure. He is largely accepted as the Bohras' leader[4] by government and other public bodies.[117] The UK Charity Commission[118] has stated in writing, that "our view is that His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is the current incumbent of the office of Dai al-Mutlaq."[119]

Mufaddal belongs to family of Moulai Fakhruddin and Moulai Hakimuddin. Family tree is shown below.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Shia Islam titles
Preceded by
Mohammed Burhanuddin
53rd Dā'ī al-Mutlaq
2014- continued
Succeeded by
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