Holiness Dr Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA
When Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA was four years old, Syedna Abdulhusain HusamuddinRA presented him with a small sword (both “husam” and “saif” are Arabic words for sword). Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s father, the 49th Da’i Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRAentrusted his tutelage to Syedi Abdeali MohyuddinQS and he also took instruction from Syedna Abdullah BadruddinRA. Syedna Abdullah BadruddinRA conferred nass upon Syedna Taher SaifuddinRA.
During his tenure he was called upon to contest many legal challenges. He was called to testify in the bungalow of Judge Martin in what was to be the longest testimony by anyone in the history of the Mumbai High Court.
SyednaRA faced each of his opponents and at the same time engaged in the cultivating of the mission and attending to his followers.
He would hold class after class late into the night and wrote thousands of verses in the commemoration, praise and elegy of Prophet MohammedSA and his progeny the imams; more than ten thousand verses in total. In addition, almost every year, he wrote the Rasaail Ramadhaniyah in which the many facets of the knowledge of Aale Mohammed were collated. He rebuilt and modernized Al-Darsul-Saifee and renamed it Al Jameatus Saifiyah; in the wake of which came the widespread teaching of the knowledge of Islam and faith amongst followers and the opening of hundreds of madrasahs and secular based schools.
Amongst the many buildings and edifices he built are Ghurratul Masajid (Saifee Masjid) in Mumbai, the Rubaat in Makkah Mukarramah, the sepulchre of Ali bin Abi TalibAS and those of Imam HusainAS and Raasul HusainAS, the mausoleum of Sydena Qutbuddin Al-ShaheedRA and that of Syedi Fakhruddin Al-ShaheedQS in Ahmedabad and Taherabad respectively. SyednaRA also had made the interior ‘kiswat’ (drapes) for the K’aaba. SyednaRA went for Haj and pinpointed the location of Ghadeere-Khum, he also went to Karbala Mo`alla, Najaf-e-Ashraf and Al-Qaheratul Mo`izziyyah. Alongside all of this his defence of Islam is renowned as well as his active role at a critical time in India’s history around Partition.
Every Friday namaaz was resplendently performed and on every Thursday he would read one of the 800 Majalis of Syedna-l-Moayyad al-ShiraziRA.
Syedna SaifuddinRA passed away at nisful layl (midnight) of the eve of the 19th of Rajabul Asab in Matheran (a hill-station just south of Mumbai) – it was the eve of Friday. No other Da`i had reigned as long.
His successor, Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA built the magnificent Raudat Tahera in which the entire Quran-e-majeed has been engraved in marble with gold leaf. The Bismillahs have been encrusted with rubies. The entire building and its surroundings exhibit the architectural legacies of the Fatimids. Both the external monument and the Da’i buried within are a source of solace for followers and non-followers alike.
Syedna SaifuddinRA conferred nass upon his eldest son Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA and described his likeness to him in a celebrated verse:
“This young man is I and a vessel For the knowledge of guidance and the worthiest vessel.