In October, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin travelled to the state of Rajasthan, India, visiting community centres in different villages and towns, some of which have been established there for more than two centuries.
On October 19th, His Holiness commenced his journey under State Guest Protocols from Udaipur where he visited the mausoleum of Syedi Khanjifir saheb. Thereafter, he departed on a ten day tour visiting Bhilwara, Amet, Kankroli, Nathdwara, Mavli, Fatehnagar, Kapasan, Chittorgarh, Bhadsora, Kanore and Bhindar.
In each town, His Holiness interacted with community members, looked into their socio-economic affairs and delivered a sermon reiterating the values of peaceful coexistence and contribution to society which are central to the Islamic faith and Fatimi traditions.
Addressing community members at Bhilwara, His Holiness recalled that his grandfather, the 51st Dai His Holiness Syedna Taher Saifuddin had visited the city on three occasions. He also mentioned that Bhilwara is popularly known as a ‘textile city’ and most Dawoodi Bohra community members there are engaged in business activities and lead peaceful and productive lives.
During his three day stay at Bhilwara, His Holiness received several dignitaries and prominent businessmen including Industrialists Mr Saran Khemka, Mr Anil Rampal, Mr Bhanwar Lal Jagethia, among others. The Assistant Sub-inspector of Police Mr Kanhaiya Lal Sharma also called upon His Holiness for an audience.
His Holiness was received at Kankroli by MLA Mrs Deepti Maheshwari and Chairman of the Municipal Council Mr Ashok Tank. In a sermon, His Holiness counselled community members to maintain cordial relations with all members of society. During his stay, he laid the foundation for a new community kitchen to be built according to the ‘Smart Kitchen’ guidelines issued by the FMB Department. He also contributed a generous sum to the Qardan Hasana corpus that provides interest-free loans to eligible applicants.
His Holiness arrived at Nathdwara on the 23rd of October where he was received by senior members of the community. His Holiness addressed community members in a sermon where he covered a wide range of topics. He particularly laid emphasis on the importance of balancing professional and personal aspects of life. He entreated community members to maintain cleanliness in thought and deed and always be faithful to the land of their abode.
The Dawoodi Bohra community has been settled in Nathdwara for nearly 200 years. Members were called upon by Maharaja Darbar Fateh Singh of Mewar, the ruler of the time, to come to Nathdwara and engage in business activities. It is said that five families initially shifted to this city. Today, more than 108 families reside there.
In a sermon at Fatehnagar, His Holiness counselled community members to adhere to the teachings of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib to ‘Do good to those who have wronged you.’ He spoke on the importance of maintaining cordial relations with people by being more accommodating and amicable.
At Fatehnagar, His Holiness interacted with community members totalling 20 families and then departed for Kapasan where he continued his engagements with the near 45 families residing there.
At Chittorgarh, His Holiness was received by the local SP Mr Rajan Dushyant and the Collector Mr Arwind Poswal. During his stay there, He consecrated a newly built masjid where he delivered a sermon to the 35 families residing in the town. He counselled community members to lead a life of continuous learning, which results in better productivity and fulfilment. His Holiness contributed a generous sum to the local Qardan Hasana fund in order to aid community members’ growth in all aspects of life.
His Holiness arrived at Bhindar, the final stop of his journey, on the 26th of October. Later that day, the Vidhan Sabha MLA from Vallabhnagar, Mrs Preeti Gajendar Singhji Shaktawat, called on His Holiness at his residence along with other dignitaries. His Holiness thanked them for their assistance in making the necessary arrangements for the thousands of guests arriving in Bhindar to hear his sermon.
During his stay in Bhindar, the descendants of the erstwhile Princely States came to greet His Holiness. Keeping with regal tradition, the Rajkumar of Udaipur Laxraj Singhji Mewar welcomed His Holiness by presenting him with a basket of fruits and flowers. He also extended an invitation to His Holiness to conduct the Ashara Mubaraka sermons in Udaipur. This was followed by a visit from the Maharana of Bhindar, Raja Maharana Randhir Singh Bhindarji. His Holiness also received and interacted with the President of Bhindar Municipality Mrs Nirmala Bhojawat and SDM Mr Ramesh Sirvi.
Being a historic visit for the Dawoodi Bohras of Bhindar, His Holiness’ visit attracted community members from near and far. A few members from the medical profession travelled all the way from the USA to welcome His Holiness to their native town. These doctors in conjunction with other doctors from the Bohra community in Bhindar set up a cost-free health checkup camp for the benefit of all members of society. The camp lasted for two days catering to hundreds of local residents and guests from nearby towns and villages.
It was during the course of His Holiness’ visit that the unfortunate news of Major Mustafa Zakiuddin’s untimely demise was received. Major Mustafa was a community member who served in the Indian Army and lost his life in a helicopter crash in Arunachal Pradesh in the line of service. He hailed from Rajasthan.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin visited Major Zakiuddin’s house in the Kheroda area of Udaipur and expressed condolences to his family members consoling them and acknowledging his sacrifice in the line of duty.
Throughout the ten day tour, His Holiness was welcomed and felicitated by local residents with some even showering petals over his entourage as a mark of respect. His Holiness warmly greeted and interacted with everyone and prayed for their health and well-being. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, he continues to undertake such journeys to the most remote areas to meet and interact with community members and spread the message of peace and goodwill to all.