My Maula and me
It’s almost a year, but still that fateful day of 17th January 2014 gives shivers down my spine. I came to my office only to see my brother talking over the phone about some rumour. After the phone was disconnected, my brother bowed down his head as if something terrible happened. I asked him repeatedly, what was the matter? finally he said in the softest voice “Burhanuddin moula guzri gaya”. My initial reaction was not of shock or disappointment but I was angry because I was convinced it can’t happen and someone was spreading these rumours. Moments later my uncle came and told the news is true and we should go to masjid immediately. Within 15 minutes the whole market which remains open on Eid, Sundays and sometimes even on the day of Ashura was totally shut. At that moment it finally dawned upon me “Is it true?” as I walked towards masjid in the hope of an announcement that it was only a rumour and nothing has happened to Burhanuddin moula, I saw hoards of public, ladies gents and children rushing to masjid. It finally dawned upon me that our moula, our father, our world is no more.
Like me, there are thousands of others who have not seen the era of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (RA) and would have believed that our Moula would be there for eternity, whether we are there or not. We can’t believe that we have to see the death of our world during our lifetime.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) has been easily the most important person, in the life of more people than any other single individual in the 20th and 21st century. It just goes to show the man, who had no worldly position, had the amount of respect and love in the hearts of people. We also knew for the fact that the amount of love and respect we had for him was nowhere close to the love he had in his heart for us.
I am sure there are thousands of people like me who have personally experienced miracles of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA). We are just gullible to be surprised to see and experience those miracles because they are miracles for us, but for Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA), it is just another day of being Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. For Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) nothing is impossible.
To count the blessings of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) is as pointless as counting drops in the oceans or stars in the sky. But we can point few things he have blessed us during his stay in this world of over 10 decades. Things which made Dawoodi Bohra community one of the most respected community in the entire planet, things which have united us like no other known community in the history of mankind, things which have made our life far more peaceful and purposeful in this chaotic, confused and materialistic 21st century.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) has given us his distinct libas of topi, kurta and saya (for women- rida). This, have led to the emergence of two mutually exclusive phenomenons:-
- This libas has given us a distinct identity the world over. Whenever one goes out wearing this libas the world knows that he/ she is the follower of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) and he/ she can do no wrong. One gets the respect and attention of authorities as well as common masses which rivals that of mini celebrity. Quite a feat, considering he/ she is a total stranger to the other person and the only point of reference is the libas we wear.
- Whenever one goes out of his/ her place of residence to some other city or town people of our community living in that place easily recognises him/her as a member of our community and showers all the love and affection which he/ she would probably give to his/her own family.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) took keen interest in developing facilities in all the religious shrines of our community. Whether we go to Haj, Karbala, Misr, Yemen or all the other places in India and abroad, our need of food and lodging would not be only taken care of, but bypass our expectations and would make our stay a comfortable, enjoyable and memorable one. This might be one of the reasons why, the frequency of visits to these places have substantially increased over the past decade and a half. People no longer consider these visits a religious duty which they have to perform but rather it has given a whole new definition of relaxing holidays. It can safely be describe as a pilgrimage amidst fun and relaxation.
Having reasonable knowledge of finance, I can’t stress more about the evils of interest and how it has brought uncertainties not only in the life of individuals but also to the superpower countries of the world like USA and other European countries. Everyone knows how the whole US and European economies went completely bankrupt few years back, the major reason for which, can be attributed to the practice of giving and taking interest. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) always knew this and asked us to stop these practices even if it meant that we have to sell everything. This meant that we had abolished interest, two scores years before the world realized its ill effect. This also meant that when the world was going through the financial turmoil, we were at peace.
Similarly, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) abolished the consumption of alcohol and other addictive substances decades before the world realized how damaging and toxic those things are for human consumption. It is because of the sheer foresightedness of our Moula that we are away from these evil things.
Contrary to the other Muslim leaders of the world, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) laid special emphasis on education be it a boy or a girl and have established around 400 educational institutions around the world. This has made the Bohra community probably the first and the only community in the world to have 100% literacy rate. Further, unlike other religious head, which sees modern technologies with suspicion, Moula has also embraced modern technologies like no other. This has made our life far easier than our predecessors.
Around 3 years back Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) have started Faiz-ul- Mawaid-ul- Burhaniya the scheme to distribute home cooked meal in every mumin’s household. This, apart from giving the sawab and barakat gave two fold benefits:
- It freed women from kitchen work so that they can concentrate more on other value added activities.
- It ensured no community member go to sleep on an empty stomach.
Lastly, how can one forgets how Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin(RA) started the practice of inviting mumin from all over the world to commensurate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS ) during the 9 days of Moharram with him, almost forty years ago. Over the years, this has become a major religious expression of our community. Today, tens and thousands of mumineen attend the Ashara mubarak with our Moula every year.
Today, although Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) is no longer physically with us, but we all can feel his presence in every breath we take. We can take solace from the fact that whenever we want to see our Moula we see him when we see his son, his worthy successor, his shadow, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS). We don’t have an iota of doubt that we see Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) when we see Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS).
May Allah give Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) a long and healthy life so that he can continue the legacy of his illustrious father Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) and guide mumineen to the right path just like what Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) did, over a period of half a century.