Foreword

‘Gems of History’, recounts the rich history of al-Doat al-MutlaqeenRA, from the time of Maulatona al-Hurrat ul-Maleka Arwa binte AhmedRA to 50th al- Dai al-Multaq, Syedna Abdullah BadruddinRA, and the significant socio-political events of each era.

This book provides not only a glimpse but a detailed timeline of significant incidents in the history of al-Doat al-MutlaqeenRA who have led and guided the Dawoodi Bohras through the vicissitudes of time, periods of sedition and politically unfavourable conditions. It is this inspired leadership, this benign guidance and fatherly love and concern for their followers, that is the bedrock of the faith of the Dawoodi Bohras. And it is this faith and love for al-Doat al- MutlaqeenRA that binds the community together. This book, I am certain, will serve only to strengthen that faith further.

Summary

'Gems of History' recounts the rich history of Doat MutlaqeenRA, who have led and guided Dawoodi Bohras through the vicissitudes of time, from Maulatona alHurrat ul-MalekaRA and the 1RA dai Syedna ZoebRA to the 50thth dai Syedna Abdullah BadruddinRA. Encapsulating nearly eight hundred years of history, this book provides a detailed timeline of noteworthy episodes and prominent personalities in the life of each al-Dai al-Mutlaq. Every chapter has been distilled from numerous authentic sources into a concise and readable format. Text is further enhanced by historical photographs, lineage trees, aside boxes and marginal annotations.

‘Gems of History’ is aimed at those readers who are comfortable with the English language. English is the most popular language today, especially for the younger generation. No account of the history of Doat MutlaqeenRA has ever been produced in English in such a manner, and the author takes great pleasure in being the first to make this attempt. It is, indeed, an essential book to be read and preserved in every Dawoodi Bohra home.

Preface

The idea of compiling a brief account of Doat MutlaqeenRA was first conceived during my visit to Yemen in 1416/1995, on the auspicious occasion of the 84th milaad of al-Hayy ul-Muqaddas Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA, of which I was fortunate to be a part of.

I was greatly awed by the majestic sight of the fortresses of Shibaam, Zemarmar and Af’eda. The steep and rough terrain made me wonder and appreciate how the Doat MutlaqeenRA of Yemen had conducted dawat and guided their followers through dire times. They had shielded mumineen from the onslaughts of enemies, within and without, and had nurtured them towards the path of righteousness at all times. My new-found admiration was undoubtedly inspired by the presence of their successor, Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA, in their midst.

I felt a need then, rather a duty, to share what I had learnt of the history of Awliya KiraamQR of Yemen and Hind since the advent of satr. The golden era of peace and prosperity that we enjoy today has not come without sacrifice. Chapters of history are filled with the hardships they have endured, from oppression, imprisonment, even persecution to the extent of martyrdom, all for the sake of safeguarding us from the perils of this world.

I chose to write this book in English for the benefit of the large number of mumeneen who are comfortable with the language. Till date, no comprehensive account of the history of Doat MutlaqeenRA has been produced in English and therefore I take great pleasure in making this first attempt. If I am able to ignite in my reader the very same emotion that motivated me to take up this writing, then I will have achieved my goal.

About the Author

Mulla Yusuf Mulla Mamujee Hassanally, resident of Colombo, Sri Lanka is the youngest son of the late Mulla Mamujee Hassanally and Mulla Dayam bai Karimbhoy. He was born in Bagasra in the state of Gujarat, India on 7th Shawwaal ul-Mukarram, 1365H (3rd September, 1946). He had his primary and secondary education in Colombo and graduated in Arts with Economics and Islamic Culture from the University of Mumbai. In 2017 he was recipient of an award from the President of Sri Lanka for his notable contribution to the book ‘People of Sri Lanka’

Contents