Taher Saifuddin

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Syedna Taher Saifuddin R.A.
51st Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra
Taher Saifuddin.jpg
Born (1888-08-04)4 August 1888
Surat, British Raj
Died 12 November 1965(1965-11-12) (aged 77)
Matheran, India
Resting place Raudat Tahera, Mumbai
Organization Chancellor, Aligarh (1953-65)
Style His Holiness
Term 1915–1965
Predecessor Abdullah Badruddin
Successor Mohammed Burhanuddin
Spouse(s) Aaisaheba Husaina
Children Mohammed (b. 1915) Khuzaima (b. 1940)
Parent(s) Mohammad Burhanuddin
Aaisaheba Amatullah

Syedna Taher Saifuddin[1] (سيدنا طاهر سيف الين, 4 August 1888 – 12 November 1965) was the 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras, a sect within Shia Islam. He was the son of the 49th Da'i al-Mutlaq Mohammed Burhanuddin, whose family lineage can be traced back to Syedi Fakhruddin Shaheed.

During his reign, Taher Saifuddin RA grew ever more interested in Western and modern ideas, and over the course of it, he established a far-reaching modernisation of the Bohra community. This sets him apart from both his predecessor and his son and successor, both of whom have pursued policies of Islamization and a strong focus on tradition rather than modernization.[2]

Early life[edit]

Saifuddin was born to Mohammed Burhanuddin and Aaisaheba Amatullah Aaisaheba on 4 August 1888 in Surat, British Raj (now in the Indian state of Gujarat).

Da'i al-Mutlaq[edit]

Taher Saifuddin name recorded at Aqsa Mosque tomb

Saifuddin became the 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq in the year 1915. He rebuilt or repaired many monuments of Fatemi Imams, Da'i al-Mutlaq and other prominent structures and artifacts.[3]

He was the Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University for four consecutive terms.[4][5] He was made honorary chancellor of this university, which had only few Bohra students, in 1953, after a series of "strategic donations" that bought him much goodwill in Congress circles, having earlier been accused of supporting the Muslim League before the independence in 1947.[6] He also visited Karachi Pakistan to bless Dawoodi Bohra there.

Contributions to Islamic Institutions[edit]

Saifuddin contributed vast sums of money to towards the refurbishment of mosques and shrines. He along with the Nizam of Hyderabad were among the few Indian Muslims to contribute towards the renovation of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem:[7] Sultan Tahir Saif al-Din is said to have come from India with one hundred and fifty of his followers...At the Jerusalem station he was welcomed by the Mufti and other Sheikhs of the Supreme Moslem Council and a number of Arab notables including Ragheb Bey Nashashibi. A troop of Arab boy scouts paraded in his honour and there were two bands from Moslem institutions...The sultan was reputed to be a man of great wealth who had made substantial contributions to the religious and political funds of the Arabs of this country.[8]

Syedna Taher Saifuddin also gifted the internal curtains which were kept in the Kaaba for decades to King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia in 1354AH, with whom he kept warm relations.[9]

He constructed Ghurratul Masajid (Saifee Masjid)[10][11] in Mumbai, al Mahal al Saifee[11] for pilgrims in Mecca, the Zarih of Ali Ibn Abi Talib in Najaf and Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala and Cairo,[11] the mausoleum of Qutubuddin Shaheed and Fakhruddin Shaheed.[11] He also made and donated the Kiswah of the Kaaba.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Syedna Taher Saifuddin married Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba, who was also from the family of Da'i al-Mutlaq. After her death, he then married Wazeerah Aaisaheba, Fatema Aaisaheba and Amenah Aaisaheba.

He had in total of 12 sons and 8 daughters. His sons were Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, Husain Husamuddin, Abdut Taiyeb Zakiyuddin, Yusuf Najmuddin, Ismail Shehabuddin, Hatim Hamiduddin, Qasim Hakimuddin, Aliasghar Kalimudddin, Shabbir Nooruddin, Abbas Fakhruddin, Khuzaima Qutbuddin and Mohammed al-Baqir Jamaluddin. His daughters were Asma Baisaheba, Maryam Baisaheba, Khadijah Baisaheba, Zahra Baisaheba, Shireen Baisaheba, Banu Baisaheba, Fatema Baisaheba and Zainab Baisaheba.[12]

Literary works[edit]

The following are a list of Rasāʾil Ramaḍāniyya composed by Taher Saifuddin . Each Risalah is given a title gematrically equivalent to the Hijri year of its publication:[13][14]

1. Ḍawʾ nūr al-ḥaqq al-mubīn, 1335/1917.

2. Ṯamarāt ʿulūm al-hudā, 1337/1919.

3. Zahr al-riyāḍ al-azaliyya, 1338/1920.

4. Durar al-bišārāt, 1339/1921.

5. Al-Mašrab al-kawṯarī, 1340/1922.

6. Durar al-hudā al-muḍīʾa, 1341/1923.

7. Rawḍ ʿālam al-quds, 1342/1924.

8. Ġurfat ǧanna, 1343/1925.

9. Ġurrat al-ḥaqq, 1344/1926.

10. Ṯimār ǧannāt ʿadnin ṭayyiba, 1345/1927.

11. Qaṭf šaǧara ḫuldiyya, 1346/1928.

12. Zubdat burhān al-ṣidq al-wāḍiḥ, 1347/1929.

13. Ṣibġ nūr, 1348/1930.

14. Ġars al-ǧanna, 1349/1931.

15. Durar asrār āl al-Karrār, 1350/1932.

16. Nūr rawḍ al-ǧanna, 1351/1933.

17. Baḥr faḍl kabīr, 1352/1934.

18. Masarrat al-fatḥ al-mubīn, 1353/1934.

19. Al-Bāb ḥaẓīrat al-quds, 1354/1935.

20. Karāmat al-ʿuqūl al-waḍiyya, 1355/1936.

21. Ṣafḥat ʿarafāt al-maʿārif, 1356/1937.

22. Anhār riyāḍ al-ǧanna, 1357/1938.

23. Suḥub barakāt al-ḫuld, 1358/1939.

24. Ḏāt al-baraka, 1359/1940.

25. Kawṯar ḫuld, 1360/1941.

26. Rawḍat firdaws, 1361/1942.

27. Dalw Ġadīr ḥaqq, 1362/1943.

28. Mašrabat tasnīm nūr, 1363/1944.

29. Salsabīl ḥikam ġadaq, 1364/1945.

30. Surar rušd Marfūʿa, 1365/1946.

31. Ṣuwar ḥawḍ mawrūd, 1366/1947.

32. Takbīr sakīnat fatḥ mubīn, 1367/1948.

33. Falsafat fawz ʿaẓīm, 1368/1949.

34. Taḏkirat labīb, 1369/1950.

The following Risālas were each composed during the corresponding year but were posthumously published under the 52nd Dāʿī, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin:[14]

42. Amṯāl sidrat al-muntahā, 1377/1958, Bombay, n.d.

43. Rawḍat dār al-salām, 1378/1959, Mumbai, 1430/2009.

44. Tawḥīd al-milla al-bayḍāʾ, 1379/1960, Mumbai, 1431/2010.

45. Barakāt aṣḥāb al-taṭhīr, 1380/1961, Mumbai, 1432/2011.

46. Kamāl al-niʿam al-sābiġa, 1381/1962, Mumbai, 1433/2012.

47. Tasbīḥ ḏahab al-quds, 1382/1963, Mumbai, 1434/2013.

The following Risālas were each composed during the corresponding year but were posthumously published under the 53rd Dāʿī, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin:

48. Shumūs Barakāt al-Rabbāniyīn 1383/1964.[15]

49. Anhār Fūyūz al-Fātimiyyīn 1384/1965 انهار فيوض الفاطميين [16] 

Death[edit]

Saifuddin died on 12 November 1965 in Matheran, Maharashtra, India.[17] His mausoleum is known as Raudat Tahera located in Mumbai, and was constructed by his successor, Mohammed Burhanuddin.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tufatuh ale Akhbaare Hudat, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publication, 1995, pg. 109
  2. ^ Jonah Blank (2001). Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras. University of Chicago Press. p. 185. 
  3. ^ "Sheikh al Doat al Mutlaqeen: Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) - Anjuman-e-Najmi". Sfjamaat.org. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  4. ^ (Dr. Rahat Abrar (PRO), Chancellors of AMU, www.amu.ac.in, 22 February reverted)
  5. ^ "51st Dai at Aligarh". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  6. ^ Hellen E. Ulrich, ed. (1975). Competition and Modernization in South Asia. Abhinav Publications. p. 158. 
  7. ^ http://twocircles.net/2010apr28/indian_muslims_and_palestine_waqfs.html#.VPDXP0J3bBI
  8. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/indian-oasis-114082201282_1.html
  9. ^ http://www.arabnews.com/news/494566
  10. ^ "Saifee Masjid - Wikimapia". wikimapia.org. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "The Dawoodi Bohras - al-da`i al-Mutlaq". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  12. ^ Indorewala, Haider; Indorewala, Saifuddin; Indorewala, Shabbir (1975). سيدنا طاهر سيف الدين ني حيوة طيبة ني ايك جهلك. Anjuman e Taiyebi - Indore. p. 49. 
  13. ^ ميزة مفتاح خزائن العلوم. Mumbai, India.: Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Badri Mahal. 
  14. ^ a b Traboulsi, Samer (2016). "Transmission of Knowledge and Book Preservation in the Ṭayyibī Ismāʿīlī Tradition". Intellectual History of the Islamicate World – via Brill. 
  15. ^ His Holiness, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (2015). شموس بركات الربانيين. His Holiness Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb, Badri Mahal, Mumbai, India, 1435H. 
  16. ^ His Holiness, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (1436H). انهار فيوض الفاطميين. His Holiness Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb, Badri Mahal, Mumbai, India. 
  17. ^ (Webzone, H. H. Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin Memorial Foundation, www.matheranmemorialhall.com, 22 February reverted)

Further reading[edit]

Da'i al-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohra sect
Preceded by
Abdullah Badruddin
Da'i al-Mutlaq
1915-1965
Succeeded by
Mohammed Burhanuddin