Syed Ahmed Bukhari

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Syed Ahmed Bukhari
سید احمد بخاری
School Islam
Nationality Indian
Religious career
Works Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi

Syed Ahmed Bukhari (Urdu: سید احمد بخاری‎—Sayyid Ẹḥmad Buxārī) is the 13th Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Delhi.[1] In 2014, in an interview to a major newspaper of India, he said, "Modi claims to be the prime Minister of 125 crore Indians but conveniently and deliberately avoids addressing Muslims. He has shown he doesn't like us. He is the one who has been maintaining distance from the community. So, I too chose to maintain my distance."[1]

Ancestry and appointment[edit]

On the request of Mughal emperor Shahjahan, the Shah of Bukhara, Uzbekistan sent Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari, (who was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad from both sides of his parents) from Bukhara to accept the post of the Shahi Imam for the Delhi's grand mosque. This 400-years-old Jama Masjid of Delhi was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.[2]

"The Shahi Imam, after serving for more than 27 years as imam, had decided to pass on the responsibility to his eldest son as is the tradition of the Jama Masjid."[2] Therefore on Saturday, 14 October 2000 AD (15th Rajab 1421 AH), through an investiture ceremony he was appointed the successor of Maulana Syed Abdulla Bukhari.[2] Syed Abdullah Bukhari was suffering from cardiac ailments and later passed away due to a heart attack on 8 July 2009 at age 87.[3] So Syed Ahmed Bukhari has been the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi since 14 October 2000. Although his 19-years-old son Syed Shaban Bukhari's formal 'dastarbandi' (designation) of future Shahi Imam took place on 22 November 2014. Syed Shaban Bukhari was designated 'Naib Imam' (Deputy Shahi Imam) and his father Syed Ahmed Bukhari is still the Shahi Imam in 2017.[3]

Association with politics[edit]

His son-in-law Umar Ali Khan was a Member of Legislative Council of Samajwadi Party who resigned on the directive of Bukhari after he accused Mulayam Singh Yadav that "the SP government did nothing for Muslims".[4]


A criminal case was lodged against him along with Habib-ur-Rehman and Nafisa in 2001, after an incident on September 3, 2001, when a mob, led by Bukhari assaulted on-duty police and civic agencies officials trying to remove encroachments from near CGO Complex in Lodhi Colony.[5] Non-Bailable Warrants against Bukhari for this case have been issued over and over by the Delhi court. Delhi Police has been unsuccessful to arrest him citing communal tension for the past 10 years. The Magistrate observed that legal provisions entailed initiating the proceedings of declaring Bukhari a proclaimed offender, but doing so would "undermine the authority of law. "In my considered opinion, declaring accused Ahmed Bukhari a proclaimed offender would be a mockery of law and it would provide an easy escape route to the accused. It is surprising and shocking as well to see the police force not be able to execute the NBW issued against Bukhari. Such inaction by police cannot be tolerated," he said in his order in July 2012.[5]