Community members wait in line to pay respects in Raudat Tahera

April 5th 2018 DNA Correspondent

It has been 30 years since 70-year-old Shaikh Abdul Hussain Najmi has been visiting Mumbai every year for the Urs of the 51st Dai of the Bohra community — Taher Saifuddin.

“I have come with my family. If my children do not get a break, they visit as and when they can,” said Najmi, who was visiting from Dubai.

Members from the million-strong Bohra community thronged the bylanes of Bhendi Bazaar, they were gathered to pay respects to their late leader in his Raudat Tahera where the 51st and the 52nd Dais of the community have been laid to rest.

“It was inaugurated by the then president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in 1975 after 10 years of work in which members of the community also participated,” said a community spokesperson.

Raudat Tahera is considered to be a hallmark of Fatimi architecture. It is considered to be one of the few Islamic structures where the Quran is inscribed in gold. The inner walls have Bismillah engraved in precious stones. The structure is said to be standing on 92 piles. The number 92 is significant to the community as it is the numerical count of the Prophet Muhammad’s name.

The mausoleum is marked with other symbolism as well. It has a 52-foot dome as it was made by the 52nd Syedna. Its cornices and four gates with silver doors have been inspired by the mosques in Cairo, Egypt.

“He is someone who was everything for us. All the values that we have learnt come from him. He taught us to love the country, behave nicely with everyone and help everyone,” said Radiya Zoyab, who was visiting from Chennai and was accompanied by her family.

Members of the community took turns to kiss the feet of their leader and returned with petals in blessings. “We take his blessing before every work we do so that it is prosperous,” said Shaikh Hashim who too was visiting from Dubai.