This year His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS) turns a 102. It will also mark 50 years since he took over as the leader of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community. This is the least of the many achievements of a life tinged with the miraculous. For, under his benevolent gaze more than three generations of Dawoodi Bohras have witnessed a transformation, of individuals and of society, making it one of the most respected communities in the world.
No matter in which part of the world Syedna is, thousands of Dawoodi Bohras gather for a glimpse of him. For, their lives have been transformed by Syedna’s tireless service to his mission. As they seek his blessings, calling out “Maula, Maula” they acknowledge the love and concern he showers on them.
He is the leader who gave the community its identity, not just in appearance, but in a way of life. He is the custodian of a 900-year old Fatimi culture and has ensured that it is a continuing tradition in the beautiful Masjids and mausoleums he has lovingly restored. He is the guide who tends to the spiritual growth of the community and fosters the love of Allah, the prophet (AS) and his family.
He does this not just through teachings and building renowned Islamic educational institutions, but also by building Masjids community centres and pilgrim guesthouses all over the world where the spirituality and a sense of community can be nurtured.
He is the father who sets them on the path of material prosperity by propagating interest-free enterprise and self-employment. He ensures a better quality of life by setting up hospitals like Saifee hospital and ambitions housing projects like Saifee Burhani Upliftment project. Above, all he is the great humanist, who encourages his followers to make community service a way of life by instituting upliftment projects that will benefit the less fortunate. The most recent project being a community meal scheme – the Faize Mavaid-e-Burhaniya. This scheme aims to ensure that every home has a meal from the community kitchen.
Well beyond the affairs of the community, Syedna has often taken centre stage in activities that promote friendship and understanding on an international level. Across the world, Syedna meets with dignitaries and heads of state to foster and understanding of diverse cultures. He himself has been honoured by several countries with their highest civilian honours. His words of peace are accompanied by actual assistance – various trusts around the world are dedicated to this cause.
As he turns 102, he remains active in the affairs of the community and touches thousands of lives everyday. His gift to this world is not just in the transformation of a society or the building of religious and social institutions. It is roadmap to an ideal world. He shows by teaching and example that faith is a guide for both this world and hereafter; that the teachings of Islam straddle both spiritual growth and material success and is relevant for all times. And above all that, faith flourishes when it embraces the path of peace, patriotism and love for all. That is the legacy of His Holiness Dr.Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS). This legacy will be continued and added to by his son and successor, His Eminence Syedi Mufaddal Bhaisaheb Saifuddin (TUS).
On this historic occasion, we offer our respects and humble felicitations to His Holiness and His Eminence and pray that we may benefit from their wisdom and love for many more years to come.