News of His HolinessA Call to being Kind & Gentle

A Call to being Kind & Gentle

Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Addressed over 65000 Dawoodi Bohras in Mumbai

This story was reported by The Times of India and The Free Press Journal.

The 53rd leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin today delivered a sermon in Saifee Masjid, Mumbai, commemorating the death anniversary of his respected grandfather the 51st leader of the community Syedna Taher Saifuddin who passed away in 1965. Around 65,000 Dawoodi Bohras from across India and abroad gathered in Mumbai to pay their respects to the late Syedna who is buried in the Raudat Tahera Mausoleum in Bhendi Bazaar.

Syedna Saifuddin based the sermon on a saying of the Prophet Mohammed which guides Muslims to embrace rifq (kindness and gentleness) in all aspects of their lives. He explained that rifq is the result of humility coupled with a sound knowledge of how to act appropriately in any given situation. He further elaborated that a thorough understanding of what to do, the conditions under which to do it, where to do it, when to do it and for what reason, serves to ease all efforts and results in their success. 

Narrating an incident from the Prophet Mohammad’s life, Syedna underlined the importance of water conservation and protecting nature. He advised community members to engage in fair business and trade practices while maintaining a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives.

While contextualising the Prophet’s saying on humility and kindness, Syedna stressed the significance of pursuing education that fosters holistic development.

Mustafa Kanchwala, Secretary of Anjumane Shiateali, the organisation overseeing Dawoodi Bohra community affairs in Mumbai, said, “It is heartening to see thousands of community members from all parts of the world gather in Mumbai to mark the death anniversary of their beloved leader Syedna Taher Saifuddin. The sermon delivered by his grandson Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin in Saifee Masjid was broadcast live to 45 community centres in Mumbai and its suburbs.”

He added, “We’re grateful to the local authorities, traffic police and neighbours for their continued support throughout the event.”

Tasneem Hakimjiwala, a 48-year-old teacher from the neighbouring city of Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, has never missed attending this occasion since her teenage years. She said: “Every year, I eagerly anticipate this sermon, previously delivered by the 52nd leader, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, and now by his son, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. This year’s sermon, emphasising the significance of proper education and leading a helpful life has inspired me to persist in acquiring and sharing knowledge with a sense of humility and simplicity.”

Zainab Nomani, a 23-year-old from Seattle, USA, who has been attending the death anniversary sermon in Mumbai for the past couple of years, said: “Syedna’s advice on appropriate behaviour according to time and place, and its crucial role in achieving success, resonated with me. As a student facing challenging choices, particularly in planning my future, recognising the importance of timing and context guides me towards the right steps in my career and life.”

Syedna Taher Saifuddin was the 51st al-Dai al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra community from 1915 to 1965. His era saw the community scale new heights in religious and temporal spheres. A scholar par excellence, Syedna prioritised education, established institutions, and promoted unity and well-being throughout his illustrious life. His teachings on humanitarian values and compassion serve as a source of inspiration for generations.