The serene Qutbi mazar’s pristine surroundings in Saraspur were abruptly broken on Friday when the shocking news of the passing away of Dr Syedna Mohamed Burhanuddin, spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra community, reached the community in the city. Thereafter all roads led to the dargah where grief-stricken mourners lined up to pray for the 102-year-old spiritual leader’s eternal peace. Dr Syedna died of a massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai. Hundreds of Dawoodi Bohras in the city downed shutters to gather outside the dargah and recite Quraan-e-Sharif.
Many of the devouts also headed towards Mumbai to attend the last rites of their leader, while many thronged the dargah where religious heads gathered for a ritualistic mourning.
One of the members of Dawoodi Bohra Anjuman-e-Saifee-Ahmedabad, Abbas Unwala, said: “As a mark of respect and mourning, the Dawoodi Bohras of the city will keep their shops and businesses shut for 10 days.” The city is home to about 10,000 Dawoodi Bohras.
It can be recalled that Dr Syedna had visited Ahmedabad in January 2012 and in his honour a grand programme was organised in the city with a series of activities. Not only this, but the city marks his birthday every year with various programmes and campaigns. The community claims that while many institutions are moving towards eco-friendly concept these days, Dr Syedna had promoted this concept some two decades ago and had also donated Rs80 lakh for plantation of saplings across the globe.
The leader was the eldest son of the 51st Dai ul Mutlaq Syedna Taher Saifuddin and succeeded his father upon his death in 1965. With this, the new spiritual leader will be the 53rd Dai ul Mutlaq ali Qadar Syedna Mufaddal Bhaisaheb Saifuddin (T.U.S), the 70-year-old son of the deceased leader. Born in Surat (Hizri 1333 - Dawoodi Bohra calendar), Dr Syedna became the religious head of the community at the age of 20. He succeeded the post after the death of his father, Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb.
His marriage ceremony too was held in Surat. Besides working to strengthen religious values among community members, Dr Syedna also worked for women’s education, introducing modern education in madrasas and removing vices from society. He travelled around the world to strengthen community and unite the community members.
The community, which was planning to hold grand celebration of Dr Syedna’s 103rd birth anniversary in March this year, were shell-shocked at his sudden demise. This year also marked 50 years of Dr Syedna becoming the spiritual head, for which the celebrations were planned in a grand manner, a member said.
The world remembers the leader as a great humanist who encouraged his followers to make community service a way of life, by a leader who gave the community its identity and a guide for spiritual growth of the community. Governor Dr Kamla, chief minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Ahmed Patel were among those who condoled Syedna Saheb’s death.