Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates the Dawoodi Bohra community’s Arabic Academy in Mumbai

The Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the new campus of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah Arabic Academy in Mumbai on February 10, 2023. The head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin welcomed the Prime Minister to the campus.

The Honourable Prime Minister alongside His Holiness, CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis at the entrance of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Marol which is modelled after 'Baab Zuwayla' - a gateway to the old city of Cairo built by the Fatimi Imams.

The Prime Minister and His Holiness proceeded towards the main entrance, which is modelled after ‘Baab Zuwayla’—a gateway to the old city of Cairo built by the Fatimid imams—from where he entered the campus. They planted a fig tree, which serves as a symbol of growth, renewal and the flourishing of knowledge. Two young members of the community presented Prime Minister Modi with doves, which were released as a gesture of peace and goodwill.

PM Narendra Modi at the inauguration ceremony of the Dawoodi Bohra's Arabic Academy in Mumbai

The Honourable Prime Minister then unveiled the inaugural plaque and officially inaugurated the Academy with a ceremonial untying of the ribbon.

The Prime Minister was given a tour of the campus and introduced to various aspects of the Dawoodi Bohra community’s history, heritage and educational philosophy. Around 100 students and faculty members were present at various locations along the Prime Minister’s route through the campus to greet and converse with him as well as to demonstrate the community’s numerous initiatives for the betterment of the nation.

Two young members of the community presented PM Modi with Doves, which were released as a gesture of peace and goodwill.
The Honourable PM unveiled the inaugural plaque and officially inaugurated the academy marking a new chapter for the Dawoodi Bohra community.
The Prime Minister and His Holiness at the campus courtyard.
The Prime Minister and His Holiness pose for a commemorative photo at the campus courtyard.
The Prime Minister addressed the gathering at the Ceremonial Hall of the campus known as Iwan al-Taheri.
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Two young members of the community presented PM Modi with Doves, which were released as a gesture of peace and goodwill.
The Honourable PM unveiled the inaugural plaque and officially inaugurated the academy marking a new chapter for the Dawoodi Bohra community.
The Prime Minister and His Holiness at the campus courtyard.
The Prime Minister and His Holiness pose for a commemorative photo at the campus courtyard.
The Prime Minister addressed the gathering at the Ceremonial Hall of the campus known as Iwan al-Taheri.
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The Prime Minister then visited the Ceremonial Hall of the campus where dignitaries and community members from India and abroad were seated. 

His Holiness thanked Prime Minister Modi for joining him on the auspicious occasion of the inauguration. He spoke of the decades-old friendship and bond between the Honourable Prime Minister and his respected father Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. He also acknowledged the Prime Minister’s efforts for the betterment of the nation, remarking specifically on India’s presidency of the G20 summit under his leadership. He prayed that every child in the nation and across the world would receive a proper education and the opportunity to grow and flourish.

‘India has been our home for centuries, and we live in peace here'

His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, head of the worldwide Dawoodi Bohra community.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that he was not attending as  a Prime Minister but as a family member who had had the privilege of associating with four generations of His Holiness’ family. 

The Prime Minister stated that every community, group or organisation is recognized by its ability to retain its traditions while keeping abreast with the times. He then remarked that Aljamea was a testament to the community remaining firm to its roots and at the same time embracing the best of what contemporary advancements have to offer.

‘When I go anywhere, not only in the country but also abroad, my Bohra brothers and sisters always come to meet me,’ the Prime Minister remarked as he highlighted the love and concern of the Bohra community for India.

Shri Narendra Modi, Honourable Prime Minister of India

He further elaborated on his long association with the Dawoodi Bohra Community and said that its affection continues to rain on him wherever he goes. He remembered the inspiring instance of the late Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin teaching young children at the age of 99 and talked about his close relations with the community in Gujarat. Recalling the centenary celebration of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin in Surat, the Prime Minister remarked on the late Syedna’s readiness to construct a check dam in Gujarat to help ameliorate the prevalent water shortage at the time and expressed gratitude for the community’s continued commitment to the cause of water security. Shri Modi cited this as an example of the manner in which  society and government can work hand in hand for causes ranging from tackling malnutrition to water scarcity. 

‘When I go anywhere, not only in the country but also abroad, my Bohra brothers and sisters always come to meet me,’ the Prime Minister remarked as he highlighted the love and concern of the Bohra community for India.

‘The country is taking forward the resolutions of Amrit Kaal (an age of progress and productivity) forward with reforms like the new National Education Policy,’ the Prime Minister said as he highlighted the many educational opportunities being made available to women and girls. He noted that Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah is also moving forward in line with this endeavour. 

Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said, ‘The people of the Bohra community in foreign lands can act as brand ambassadors of a bright India. The Dawoodi Bohra community will continue to play an important role in reaching the goal of a developed India.’

The Prime Minister was felicitated and presented with a traditional shawl as a symbol of His Holiness' gratitude and appreciation. He was then accompanied by His Holiness to the Western Gate of the campus and bid farewell. 

Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis  and Ministers from the Government of Maharashtra were present on the occasion among various other guests and invitees.

About the Arabic Academy

Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah Arabic Academy (also known as Jamea) is the principal educational institute of the Dawoodi Bohra community. His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, is the institute’s sole benefactor and guides it in all its endeavours. The Academy has been functioning from its campus in Surat, India for over two centuries. In 1983, a sister campus was inaugurated in Karachi. The third campus in Nairobi was inaugurated in 2017 by the former President of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta. The campus in Mumbai is the academy’s fourth and newest campus.

About the Mumbai Campus

The establishment of the Mumbai campus of Jamea was announced by the 52nd leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community, the late His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin in celebration of his Golden Jubilee as head of the Dawoodi Bohra Community in 2013. For almost a decade now, the Academy has been functioning from temporary premises while construction was underway on a new, monumental structure nearby.

There are currently over 600 students at the Mumbai campus, with capacity to accommodate up to 700 students. There are approximately 220 female students and a little under 300 male students. Across Jamea’s four campuses globally, there are approximately 3,000 students. There are 160 faculty members including staff at the Mumbai campus.

Striking features of the Mumbai Campus

The Mumbai campus, located in the hills of Marol, is a multi-structure complex covering 850,000 sq ft. The campus consists of boys and girls hostels, faculty residences, administration and classroom buildings, a three storeyed library, a dining hall, a prayer hall and a building dedicated to the teaching of the Holy Quran.

The prayer area is inspired by the al-Jami al-Azhar masjid in Cairo, which was the original location of the al-Azhar University, one of the oldest extant universities in the world. Paying tribute to the Community’s Gujarati heritage, the interiors of the dining halls feature ornate Gujarati motifs from the residential havelis (houses) of His Holiness’ predecessors.

The ceremonial hall is embellished with designs from the mausoleum of the 47th Dai Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin (d. 1885) who was the first to express a desire to establish the institution in Mumbai 150 years ago. The multi-level courtyard houses a minaret surrounded by a series of fountains and water bodies. 

The Mumbai campus of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah is a testament to the educational legacy of the Dawoodi Bohra community in India. Alongside modern infrastructure, the new campus houses richly ornate spaces of worship and learning that celebrate the Dawoodi Bohra community’s history in South Asia where this educational legacy has been preserved for centuries.

The honourable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Eknath Shinde
The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis

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Last Updated
February 11, 2023
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