Community members walk in the procession on the historic Devdi Mubarak in Surat
Community members walk in the procession on the historic Devdi Mubarak in Surat

Over 70,000 Dawoodi Bohra community members from different parts of the world gathered in Surat to join the 79th birthday celebrations of the head of the community, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, which he chooses to celebrate on the birth anniversary of his late father His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. Heads of interfaith groups were present on the occasion to greet His Holiness and convey their warm wishes.

Glimpses of the celebratory procession to mark the 79th birthday of His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin

On November 13th, the eve of the birth anniversary, community members participated in a celebratory procession at Zampa Bazar, where Bohras have resided for centuries. The procession commenced after the evening prayers from the Aljamea’s sports ground Khaimat al-Riyada and made its way to Devdi Mubarak, a street of historical significance for the community where His Holiness’ ancestral residence and the community’s centuries-old Arabic Academy known as Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah are located. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin observed the thematic procession from a stage built near the entrance of the Devdi Mubarak.

His Holiness addresses community members in a sermon at the al-Masjid al-Moazzam in Surat

The next day, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin delivered a sermon at the historic al-Masjid al-Moazzam in Surat. His Holiness spoke of the importance of believing in oneself when facing the challenges of everyday life. ‘Conviction,’ he said, ‘enables us to achieve the unimaginable.’ 

The sermon concluded with His Holiness remembering and recounting the sacrifices of Imam Husain, which is a vital element of the Dawoodi Bohra faith. He said his sacrifice is a constant reminder of the strength of conviction in the face of unimaginable adversity and injustice.

‘Good is exponential. It has the potential to offer perpetual benefit to its beneficiaries, and eternal reward to its doer.’

His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin

Speaking on the arrangements, Hatim Fakhar, one of the coordinators of the event said, ‘It is so heart-warming to see thousands of community members gather in Surat to attend the annual educational seminar called Istifada Ilmiyah and subsequently to celebrate the birthday of His Holiness.’

‘We express our sincere gratitude to government authorities, local committees and the people of Surat for their continued support and hospitality throughout these two weeks.’

The Dawoodi Bohra leader arrived in Surat on 30th October 2022. His arrival marked the opening of the annual educational seminar. During the last couple of weeks, community members have been participating in a series of learning sessions and workshops on a wide range of topics.