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Mohammed Burhanuddin
Born March 6, 1915 (1915-03-06) (age 94)
Surat, Gujarat, India
Occupation 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras
Children Seven sons, three daughters

Mohammed Burhanuddin (Urdu: محمد برھان الدین) (born March 6, 1915) is the 52nd Dā‘ī l-Muṭlaq (Dai, or Unrestricted Missionary) of the Dawoodi Bohras. The Dawoodi Bohras are a sub group within the Ismā‘īlī-Shī‘ah sect of Islam. The Dai is the de facto spiritual leader of the group, acting as the vice-regent or spokesperson for the hidden Imam.

Burhanuddin was born in Surat, Gujarat, India. He was appointed to be the future Dā‘ī at the age of 52 by his father, the previous Dā‘ī l-Muṭlaq, Taher Saifuddin. Burhanuddin succeeded his father, upon the latter's death, when he was 53 years of age. Burhanuddin has seven sons and three daughters. All members of his family reside at Saifee Mahal, Mumbai.

Burhanuddin's era has been marked by a fusion of traditional values and modern advances for Dawoodi Bohras.


Education, culture and work for men and women

Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim Part of a series on Shī‘ah Islam

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The Qur'ān · The Ginans
Reincarnation · Panentheism
Imām · Pir · Dā‘ī l-Muṭlaq
‘Aql · Numerology · Taqiyya
Żāhir · Bāṭin

Seven Pillars

Guardianship · Prayer · Charity
Fasting · Pilgrimage · Struggle
Purity · Profession of Faith


Shoaib  · Nabi Shu'ayb
Seveners  · Qarmatians
Abu 'Abdullah al-Shi'i
Fatimids  · Baghdad Manifesto
Hamza ibn ‘Alī  · ad-Darazī
Hafizi · Taiyabi  · Ainsarii
Hassan-i Sabbah  · Alamut
Sinan  · Hashshashīn
Pir Sadardin  · Satpanth
Aga Khan  · Jama'at Khana

Early Imams

Ali · Ḥassan · Ḥusain
as-Sajjad · al-Baqir · aṣ-Ṣādiq
Ismā‘īl · Muḥammad
Aḥmad · at-Taqī · az-Zakī
al-Mahdī · al-Qā'im · al-Manṣūr
al-Mu‘izz · al-‘Azīz · al-Ḥākim
az-Zāhir · al-Mustansir · al-Musta′lī · al-Amīr · al-Qāṣim

Groups & leaders

Nizārī - Aga Khan IV
Druze - Mowafak Tarif
Dawūdī - Burhanuddin
Sulaimanī - Al-Fakhri Abdullah
Alavī - Ṭayyib Ziyā'u d-Dīn
Atba-i-Malak Badra - Amiruddin
Atba-i-Malak Vakil - Razzak

Burhanuddin supervises the curriculum of the Arabic academy al-Jami‘atu s-Sayfiyyah and has emphasized education and modernization for both men and women of the community. The quest for knowledge includes religious education as well as secular study in universities throughout the world. His era has also been marked by a widespread programme of construction of masajids (commonly known as mosques), mausoleums and community buildings in Bohra centres around the world. There is, for example, the Raudat Tahera, the mausoleum of his father Taher Saifuddin in Mumbai, India. The mausoleum has the entire Qur'an engraved on its four walls. This has been done in gold leaf on marble with precious gems encrusted in all the 'Bismillahs' (the opening verses of each individual chapter of the Qur'an). He has also made a contribution to the holy shrine of ‘Alī, the first Shī‘ah Imām and fourth Sunni Caliph.

In 1980, he completed the renovation and restoration of the Mosque of al-Ḥākim in Cairo and since then, several other Fatimid era mosques of Cairo have been restored to their former glory. In the wake of this endeavour, Bohra communities across the world have sought to build their own mosques in their hometowns and Bohra mosques have been constructed as far afield as North America, Europe, Africa and Australia. These community centres and places of worship have fostered both a local and worldwide sense of togetherness and brotherhood which is seen most vividly in the annual gathering to commemorate the martyrdom of Muhammad's grandson, Husayn ibn ‘Alī at Karbala in the seventh century.

Burhanuddin has also contributed towards the re-establishment of the Saifee Hospital in Mumbai in June 2005.

He delivers nine days of sermons every year, the event taking place in a different city each time. Elsewhere, the commemoration also takes place in every Bohra centre across the world, with sermons given by appointed priests to local communities. He also gives scholarships to students in India. He is driving a Trust in Mumbai for this purpose and many Dawoodi Bohra students are assisted by this Trust.

Awards and accomplishments

Mohammed Burhanuddin has been widely acknowledged by many governments and non-government organizations for promoting peace in the world and spreading the message of brotherhood and respect for humanity. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Aligarh Muslim University in India, Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt and University of Karachi, Pakistan. Burhanuddin has been awarded the Star of Jordan and the Vishaul Nile.

As per the directions of the then-President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, al Azhar University conferred the Degree of Islamic Sciences (Honoris Causa) to Burhanuddin on March 13, 1966..

Mohammed Burhanuddin has been involved with several notable projects including:

  1. The Raudat Tahera in Mumbai.
  2. The repair and renovation of the Mosque Al Jame ul Anwar.
  3. The repair and renovation of the Mosque Al Aqmar in Egypt.
  4. The gold plating of Maulana Ali's Zaree in Najaf.
  5. The gold plating of Maulana Abbas e Alamdaar's Zaree in Karbala.
  6. The Mukalafat-al-Rasool next to Rasul Hussain, where some of the Imams are buried.
  7. The construction of Maulatena Zainab's Zaree in Egypt.
  8. The construction/renovation of The Grand Mosque of Kufa.
  9. The renovation of the masqurah (musoleam) of Imam Husain AS

Mohammed Burhanuddin, who is known as Manṣūru l-Yaman, has turned his particular attention to his followers in Yemen. Under his reign, his followers in Yemen constructed the mausoleum of Hatim Saheb and a mosque in Hutaib Mubarak. He also undertook projects for providing water and electricity to the faiz and town. The roads to ziyarats in Yemen were made more accessible to vehicles by him.

He was elected as the Chancellor of the Muslim University of Aligarh by the Court of the University in its meeting on October 3, 1999. On April 26, 2000 he visited Australia and became the first Da'i al-Mutlaq to have traveled to five continents.

On October 17, 1966, Aligarh Muslim University conferred upon him a Doctorate of Theology at a special convocation.

In June 2004 Mohammed Burhanuddin was conferred a Doctorate of Literature (Honoris Causa) by the Governor of Karachi at a ceremony held at the Karachi University. He has also been honored by the highest civilian ranks of Jordan and Egypt.

The cities of San Jose, Houston, Dallas, Irving and Richmond Hill have accorded him an Honorary Citizenship and Keys to their cities.

In August 2005, he inaugurated a mosque in the United States in Fremont, California. President George W. Bush congratulated him for this in a letter from the White House. [1].


See also

External links and references



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