The Dawoodi Bohra Calendar

53rd al-Dai al-Mutlaq and Leader of the Dawoodi Bohra Community

Thirteen years after prophethood, the Prophet Mohammed migrated from Makkah and entered Madina on 12th Rabi al-Awwal. 

The Fatemi Dai and historian Syedna Idris Imad al-Din states that it was this day that marked the beginning of the calendar for all Muslims, literally the ‘first date’. Hence the Islamic calendar is known as the Hijri calendar Because it commences with the Prophet’s ‘hijrah’ (migration) to Madina. The Holy Days for the Dawoodi Bohras follow the Hijri calendar.

As 12 months of the Hijri calendar are lunar, the year is typically 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year and so the corresponding dates shift each year.  This page provides an overview of some of the most culturally significant occasions commemorated by Bohras over the Hijri calendar year. These occasions typically bring together members of the community for social activities, educational sermons and communal meals.

Ashara Mubaraka (1st - 10th Muharram al-Haram)
1st Muharram al-Haram

Ashara Mubaraka (1st - 10th Muharram al-Haram)

Ashara Mubaraka, or the Blessed Ten, is a period of ten days at the start of the Islamic new year that is dedicated to remembering the tragedy of Karbala and the plight of Imam Husain, his family and companions as well as their stand for Islam, justice, truth and humanity. Like millions of Muslims across the world, the Dawoodi Bohra...

Ashura
10th Muharram al-Haram

Ashura

The culmination of Ashara Mubaraka is the day of Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, when Imam Husain along with his kith and kin, was martyred on the scorching sands of Karbala for the sake of Islam, truth, justice and humanity. In memory of the three days of thirst and hunger to which Imam Husain and all the members of...

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Hatim Mohyuddin
16th Muharram al-Haram

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Hatim Mohyuddin

The urs of Syedna Hatim Mohyuddin, the 3rd dai, whose mausoleum is in al-Hutaib al-Mubarak, Yemen, occurs on the 16th of Muharram al-Haram, the 1st month of the Islamic calendar. As one of the earliest leaders of the community following the retirement of the Fatimid imams from public view and the establishment of the office of al-dai al-mutlaq, Syedna Hatim...

Chehlum
20th Safar al-Muzaffar

Chehlum

Chehlum marks the 40th day following the martyrdom of Imam Husain. It is observed on the 20th of Safar al-Muzaffar, the 2nd month of the Islamic calendar. Dawoodi Bohras commemorate the occasion by gathering for the remembrance of Imam Husain and the atrocities that befell him, his family and companions. The Chehlum sermon recounts in particular the events that unfolded...

Milad al-Nabi
12th Rabi al-Awwal

Milad al-Nabi

Celebrated on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal, the 3rd month of the Islamic calendar, Milad al-Nabi refers to the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. Throughout the Islamic world, the birth of the prophet is considered an Eid - an occasion of special significance - and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Dawoodi Bohras congregate in remembrance of the prophet and his...

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin
16th Rabi al-Awwal

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin

The urs of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, the 52nd dai, whose mausoleum is in Mumbai, India, occurs on the 16th of Rabi al-Awwal, the 3rd month of the Islamic calendar. He led the community for 50 years and ushered it into age of resplendence tempered with a resolute dedication to the tenets of Islam. His tenure saw the restoration of numerous...

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed
27th Jumada al-Ukhra

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed

The urs of Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed, the 32nd dai, whose mausoleum is in Ahmedabad, India, occurs on the 27th of Jumada al-Ukhra, the 6th month of the Islamic calendar. He was martyred in Ahmedabad as a result of false allegations and in defence of the Bohra faith. Dawoodi Bohras honour his sacrifice, fortitude and principled stand for justice.

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Taher Saifuddin (19th Rajab al-Asab)
19th Rajab al-Asab

Urs (death anniversary) Syedna Taher Saifuddin (19th Rajab al-Asab)

The urs of Syedna Taher Saifuddin, the 51st dai, whose mausoleum is in Mumbai, India, occurs on the 19th of Rajab al-Asab, the 7th month of the Islamic calendar. Leading the community for an unprecedented 53 years, through world wars and tectonic global shifts, he ushered the Bohras into an age of unparalleled growth in all aspects of life. His...

Yaum al-Mabath
27th Rajab al-Asab

Yaum al-Mabath

Commemorated on the 27th of Rajab al-Asab, the 7th month of the Islamic calendar, Yaum al-Mabath is a celebration of the day on which the Prophet Mohammed received prophethood and hence the advent of Islam. Community members gather for a sermon during the day in which the prophet’s history, teachings and exemplary conduct are recounted. Special emphasis is placed on...

Milad (birthday) Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin
20th Rabi al-Akhar

Milad (birthday) Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin

On the 20th of Rabi al-Akhar, the 4th month of the Islamic calendar, members of the Dawoodi Bohra community celebrate the birthday (milad) of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. It is a joyous occasion preceded by numerous days of activities and programmes ranging from asbaq (traditional gatherings for the dissemination of religious knowledge) to cleanliness drives, food drives, business expos, exhibitions and...

Ramadan
1st Ramadan al-Moazzam

Ramadan

The ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar is Ramadan. Its hallmark is the fast, which begins shortly before dawn and ends at sunset and can vary across the globe from being akin to missing lunch, to stretching to 20 hours in the northern hemisphere summer. Community members make it a point to gather in their local masjids and...

Lailat al-Qadr
23th Ramadan al-Moazzam

Lailat al-Qadr

Among the final nights of Ramadan is Lailat al-Qadr. The Holy Quran makes special reference to Lailat al-Qadr as the night in which the Holy Quran was revealed and the night which outshines a thousand months. As such, the night is a most sacred and hallowed occasion in the Bohra calendar. One of its most integral aspects is that community...

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