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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Dawoodi Bohra succession case Bombay HC dismisses lawsuit against Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddins appointment

Dawoodi Bohra succession case: Bombay HC dismisses lawsuit against Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's appointment

Updated on: 23 April,2024 01:45 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

The Dawoodi Bohra succession case was initially brought by Khuzaima Qutbuddin and was later taken over by his son Taher Fakhruddin.

Dawoodi Bohra succession case: Bombay HC dismisses lawsuit against Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's appointment

Bombay High Court/ File Photo

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On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court dismissed a 2014 case challenging Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's designation as leader of the Dawoodi Bohra Community.


The Dawoodi Bohra succession case was initially brought by Khuzaima Qutbuddin and was later taken over by his son Taher Fakhruddin, challenged Saifuddin's status as the leader of the community following the death of his brother and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin in January 2014 at the age of 102, reported PTI. 


According to the report, Justice Gautam Patel, who presided over the single bench, stated that the court's conclusion focused entirely on the issue of proof rather than faith. The lawsuit aimed to prevent Saifuddin from executing his duties as Syedna.


Qutbuddin in his lawsuit claimed that his brother, Burhanuddin, had privately anointed him as his successor via a secret "nass" (conferment of succession) and publicly selected Saifuddin as the mazoon (second command) in 1965.

Meanwhile, Fakhruddin pursued the court struggle, claiming that his father nominated him for the job.

In his decision, Justice Patel emphasised his neutrality, saying, "I don't want any upheavals. I have kept the judgment as neutral as possible. I have only decided on the issue of proof and not faith."

He dismissed the lawsuit to minimise any disruptions in the community.

The Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shia Muslim denomination predominantly made up of traders and entrepreneurs, adheres to the belief of appointing a successor by "divine inspiration." Reportedly, there are 5 lakh members of the community in India and 10 lakh community members across the world. 

Meanwhile, the community's top religious leader is known as the Dai-al-Mutlaq (most senior). According to their conferment of succession, the incumbent Dai's family member can traditionally assume the office, however, this practice may be extended to meritorious community members.

Saifuddin rejected the action, claiming that the purported 1965 "nass" lacked witnesses and couldn't be acknowledged. He stated that the nass was given to him on June 4, 2011, in front of witnesses at a London hospital, following the 52nd Dai's stroke, the report added. 

The lawsuit also demanded access to Saifi Manzil, the Syedna's Mumbai home, alleging that Saifuddin fraudulently assumed authority, the PTI report further stated. 

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