About the Dawoodi Bohras

Introduction

Dawoodi Bohra Muslims trace their heritage to the Fatimi Imams AS, direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammed SAW, in Egypt. The Dawoodi Bohras throughout the world are guided by their leader known as the al-Daʿi al-Mutlaq (unrestricted missionary), who first operated from Yemen and then, for the last 450 years, from India

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Faith

The foundations of the Dawoodi Bohra faith is based on peace, love and humanity. The Dawoodi Bohras follow the Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi school of thought. Their faith is based on the belief in one deity; Allah, in the Holy Quran as the word of Allah and in the sacred mission of the prophets and their successors.
They worship Allah for prosperity in this life and salvation in the hereafter by following the pillars of Islam and adhering to religious practices ordained by the sharia including reciting the Quran, the five daily prayers and fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Heritage

The Dawoodi Bohra community have inherited a distinguished heritage and rich historical legacy which traces to the Fatimi Imams, direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammed through Imam Ali bin Abi Talib, son-in-law of the Prophet, and Fatima, daughter of the Prophet and wife of Ali bin Abi Talib.

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Office of The Al-Dai Al-Mutlaq

When the 21st Imam chose seclusion, the office of the Dai al-Mutlaq was established and first operated from Yemen and then for the last 450 years from India.
The Da’i al-Mutlaq is the representative of the Imam who has been deputised the role of leading the community through the times and administering their affairs, both secular and religious.

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Culture & Traditions

Language

The Dawoodi Bohras have their own language called the Lisan al-Dawat, which is derived from Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Gujarati.
This language was developed when the mission first came to Gujarat through missionaries from the Fatimi Empire about a thousand years ago.

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Dress

Dawoodi Bohras maintain a distinct form of community attire. Men of the faith traditionally wear a predominantly white three-piece outfit and a cap with golden designs called a ‘topi.’ Women of the faith wear a two-piece dress called ‘the rida’ distinguishable from other forms of the hijab by its bright colours, decorative patterns and lace.

Cuisine

The Dawoodi Bohras are proud of their culinary reputation. Joining each other for meals is a particularly well known Dawoodi Bohra custom and therefore have a unique system of communal eating in groups of eight or nine people seated around a thāl or a particularly large metal plate.

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Trade Practices

Bohras remain a trading and business community renowned for their honesty, fairness and trustworthiness. In olden times, in the days of the nawabs, Bohras would be invited to take up residence in the towns under their rule.

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Majlis (Congregations)

The majlis is an age-old tradition in which Dawoodi Bohras gather for the remembrance (zikr) of Allah. It is conducted in a well-defined form and a specific sequence of recitation developed over the centuries, and is held on the important dates of the Islamic calendar.

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Ziyarat

The Bohras regularly perform the obligatory pilgrimage of Hajj to the holy city of Makkah al-Mukarramah (Mecca) and the shrine of the Prophet in Madina.

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