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Battle for Bohri Syedna post goes to Bombay High Court

Proceedings revolved around determining validity of naas given in private

Battle for Bohri Syedna post goes to Bombay High Court

The succession battle, to the 53rd Syedna post of the Bohri Community, resumed at the Bombay High Court on Friday. Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, son of the deceased and original challenger to the post, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, uncle of the incumbent 53rd Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, deposed on the validity of a naas given in private, one of the issues framed by the court.

During the examination, that counsel Anand Desai conducted, Fakhruddin explained that he was specially trained and given knowledge and learning by his father (Khuzaima Qutbuddin).

As regards to a question about conferment of naas, he said there is no one prescribed method. It can be conferred in a variety of ways. But there must be clear communication of the conferment in the form of a direct statement by the preceding dai to the one he confers the naas on. If there is an indication from the dai, then there is no need for a witness.

Qutbuddin, who has expired, pending the trial in the declaratory suit, had claimed that the 52nd Dai Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin had conferred naas on him but told him to keep it secret until his death.

However, the incumbent Syedna has claimed that he was conferred with the naas by Burhanuddin in London.

To a question by the court about whether conferment of naas is final and irrevocable, he replied in the affirmative, adding that a naas once done is irrevocable and final. "It can't be changed or superseded. It is done only by divine inspiration. Dai only confers naas, when he is so inspired by the imam. Thus the conferment is always truthful."

To a question on what happens if the successor passes away before the dai. Fakhruddin said earlier in the case of the 43rd dai, his anointed successor passed away before him. Since the naas couldn't be revoked or changed, the dai has to choose another successor and confer naas on him.

Clash of claims

Syedna Taher Fakhruddin deposed on the validity of a naas given in private.

Khuzaima Qutbuddin had claimed that Mohammed Burhanuddin had conferred naas on him.
Mufaddal Saifuddin claimed that he was conferred the naas.