Reason #22: Ph.D in Dawat ni Dushmani
Mumineen, the followers of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, were recently fortunate enough to hear a bayan mubarak of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA delivered in 1409H. In this bayan mubarak Syedna Burhanuddin stated that there are people who believe that the tenets of Shariat Mohammediyah need to be modified in order for one to succeed in this ‘ultra-modern age’. There are people who believe that doing business without dealing in interest is ‘impossible’ today.
One would assume that such detractors belong to a segment of people who have spent their lives speaking and acting against the directives and guidance of the Dai Mutlaq. People who do not believe that he is the vicegerent of the Imam nor agree with the fundamental premise of faith: ‘whatever he says or do is Haq’. To this league belongs Abdeali Qutbuddin, who in his Ph.D. thesis ‘The Principles of Finance in Fatimi Tayyibi Law’ writes (pg. 5):
“Combined with the distorted perception of Fatimi Tayyibi financial principles among members of the Dawoodi Bohra Community today these developments have resulted in a distorted implementation of Fatimi Tayyibi financial principles which has damaged the Community financially, economically and socially” (my emphasis).
The dissertation was submitted in 2003, 38 years into the reign of al-Hayy al-Muqaddas Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. It is blatantly apparent that he considers Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s perception and implementation of Fatemi fiqh (jurisprudence) as distorted. He even has the audacity to state that Syedna’s actions have damaged the community.
Has he forgotten the verse of Syedna Moiyadh al-Shiraazi RA ‘The Imam’s intention is the betterment of humankind, one cannot even contemplate the notion that anyone apart from him harbours such intentions’? Perhaps Badat Taherah could help him remember.
If Abdeali believed that Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin was Imam al-Zaman’s Dai Mutlaq then he should have argued how Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin correctly applied the principles of Fatemi fiqh and raised the financial, economic and social standards of Mumineen to unprecedented heights. However, his choice of words reveals how he and his family truly saw our beloved 52nd Dai Mutlaq.
Has he not studied Kitaab al-Hawaashi and seen how the erudite scholars of Dawat addressed the Dai Mutlaq when seeking answers for questions related to jurisprudence? They began their questions with ‘O most superior of all those who have encouraged us to love wisdom and the wise, what do you have to say regarding…?’, ‘O ray of the sun of guidance, what are your words regarding…?’, ‘O one who has delved deep into the oceans of knowledge, what is your answer regarding…?’ and other similar forms of address. Has he not read the introductory passage of the ‘Masaail Fiqhiyaah’ section (Questions pertaining to jurisprudence) of Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s Rasaail Ramadaniyah? These texts establish the pivotal role of the Dai Mutlaq in Fatemi fiqh and reveal that his words and actions are an embodiment of it. How can he justify labeling Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s understanding of Fatemi fiqh as distorted?
In 1399H, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin called Mumineen towards al-Multaqa al-Fatemi al-Ilmi in Surat. The Multaqa was the turning point of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s golden era. In it he reaffirmed the fundamentals of our faith and unequivocally stated that all forms of interest are haraam. He made it clear that Mumineen should abstain from all practices and transactions that even remotely involve interest. Is he arguing that Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s directive for Mumineen to free themselves from all forms of interest is a distorted implementation of Fatemi jurisprudence?
Would any Mumin condone his son writing such words about the Dai Mutlaq? But here, not only was Khuzaima proud of his son’s pseudo-accomplishment but went on to hold a reception for Mumineen college students from Mumbai to ‘celebrate’ his writings opposing the Dai Mutlaq.
Mumineen tend to the secular and religious education of their children with the intention that they do the khidmat of the Dai Mutlaq to the best of their abilities. Using one’s education in the opposition of the Dai Mutlaq is the height of ignorance, regardless of how many Ph.Ds are nailed to your walls. Moulana Imam Ahmed al-Mastur AS writes:
Know my brother, that any field of knowledge or literature that does not guide its seeker towards pursuing the hereafter or aid him in reaching it, will yield dreadful consequences for him and will stand as an argument against him on the Day of Qiyaamat.’
These consequences are beginning to show themselves.