Taher Saifuddin

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Syedna Taher Saifuddin

Taher Saifuddin.jpg
Born(1888-08-04)4 August 1888
Died12 November 1965(1965-11-12) (aged 77)
Resting placeRaudat Tahera, Mumbai
OrganizationChancellor, Aligarh (1953-65)
StyleHis Holiness
PredecessorAbdullah Badruddin
SuccessorMohammed Burhanuddin, son
Spouse(s)Aaisaheba Husaina
Parent(s)Mohammad Burhanuddin
Aaisaheba Amatullah

Syedna Taher Saifuddin bin Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin[1] (سيدنا طاهر سيف الدين, 4 August 1888 – 12 November 1965) was the 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras, a section within Shia Islam. He was the son of the 49th Da'i al-Mutlaq Mohammed Burhanuddin, whose family lineage can be traced back to Syedi Fakhruddin Shaheed.

During his reign, Taher Saifuddin RA adapted the modernisation in Western and European ideas, and over the course of it, he established its benefits for the Bohra community. This sets him an ideal for the mixture of modernisation, education while being rooted in the traditions and the culture of the Fatimi Heritage and his son and successor Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin and grandson and his successor Syedna Aaliqadr Mufaddal Saifuddin have continued in his path taking giant strides in the benefit of the community. ,

Early life[edit]

Sayedna Taher Saifuddin was born to Mohammed Burhanuddin and Aaisaheba Amatullah Aaisaheba on 4 August 1888 in Surat, British Raj (now in the Indian state of Gujarat).

Da'i al-Mutlaq[edit]

Taher Saifuddin name recorded at Aqsa Mosque tomb
grave seen from entrance raudat Tahera

Saifuddin became the 51st al-Dāʿī al-Mutlaq in the year 1915. He rebuilt or repaired many monuments of Fatimi Imams, al-Dāʿī al-Mutlaq and other prominent structures and artifacts.[2]

He was the Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University for four consecutive terms.[3][4] He was made honorary chancellor of this university, which had only few Bohra students.

Contributions to Islamic Institutions[edit]

Saifuddin contributed vast sums of money towards the refurbishment of mosques and shrines. He along with the Nizam of Hyderabad were among the few Indian Muslims to contribute towards the renovation of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem:[5] Sultan Tahir Saif al-Din is said to have come from India with one hundred and fifty of his followers...At the Jerusalem station he was welcomed by the Mufti and other Sheikhs of the Supreme Moslem Council and a number of Arab notables including Ragheb Bey Nashashibi. A troop of Arab boy scouts paraded in his honour and there were two bands from Moslem institutions...The sultan was reputed to be a man of great wealth who had made substantial contributions to the religious and political funds of the Arabs of this country.[6]

Syedna Taher Saifuddin also gifted the internal curtains which were kept in the Kaaba for decades to King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia in 1354AH, with whom he kept warm relations.[7]

He constructed Ghurratul Masajid (Saifee Masjid)[8][9] in Mumbai, al Mahal al Saifee[9] for pilgrims in Mecca, the Zarih of Ali Ibn Abi Talib in Najaf and Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala and Cairo,[9] the mausoleum of Qutubuddin Shaheed and Fakhruddin Shaheed.[9] He also made and donated the Kiswah of the Kaaba.[9]


Syedna Taher Saifuddin married Aaisaheba Husaina Aaisaheba, who was also from the family of Da'i al-Mutlaq. After her death, he then married Wazeerah Aaisaheba, Fatema Aaisaheba and Amenah Aaisaheba.

He had a total of 12 sons and 8 daughters. His sons were Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, Husain Husamuddin, Abdut Taiyeb Zakiyuddin, Yusuf Najmuddin, Ismail Shehabuddin, Hatim Hamiduddin, Qasim Hakimuddin, Aliasghar Kalimudddin, Shabbir Nooruddin, Abbas Fakhruddin, Khuzaima Qutbuddin and Mohammed al-Baqir Jamaluddin. His daughters were Asma Baisaheba, Maryam Baisaheba, Khadijah Baisaheba, Zahra Baisaheba, Shireen Baisaheba, Banu Baisaheba, Fatema Baisaheba and Zainab Baisaheba.[10]

His Holiness Syedna Taher Saifuddin belongs to family of Moulai Fakhruddin and Moulai Hakimuddin. He also has link with Mohammad Rasulullah family as indicated in tree placed below.

Literary works[edit]

Rasāʾil Ramaḍāniyya (Epistles)[edit]

The following are a list of Rasāʾil Ramaḍāniyya composed by Taher Saifuddin . Each Risalah (epistle) is given a title gematrically equivalent to the Hijri year of its publication:[11][12]

ID Title Title (English) Hijri Pub. Year
STS 01 ضوء نور الحق المبين Ḍawʾ nūr al-ḥaqq al-mubīn 1335
STS 02 ثمرات علوم الهدى Ṯamarāt ʿulūm al-hudā 1337
STS 03 زهر رياض الازلية Zahr al-riyāḍ al-azaliyya 1338
STS 04 درر البشارت Durar al-bišārāt 1339
STS 05 المشرب الكوثري Al-Mašrab al-kawṯarī 1340
STS 06 درر الهدى المضيئة Durar al-hudā al-muḍīʾa 1341
STS 07 روض عالم القدس Rawḍ ʿālam al-quds 1342
STS 08 غرفة جنة Ġurfat ǧanna 1343
STS 09 غرة الحق Ġurrat al-ḥaqq 1344
STS 10 ثمار جنات عدن طيبة Ṯimār ǧannāt ʿadnin ṭayyiba 1345
STS 11 قطف شجرة خلدية Qaṭf šaǧara ḫuldiyya 1346
STS 12 زبدة برهان الصدق الواضح Zubdat burhān al-ṣidq al-wāḍiḥ 1347
STS 13 صبغ نور Ṣibġ nūr 1348
STS 14 غرس الجنة Ġars al-ǧanna 1349
STS 15 درر اسرار اْل الكرار Durar asrār āl al-Karrār 1350
STS 16 نور روض الجنة Nūr rawḍ al-ǧanna 1351
STS 17 بحر فضل كبير Baḥr faḍl kabīr 1352
STS 18 مسرات الفتح المبين Masarrat al-fatḥ al-mubīn 1353
STS 19 الباب حظيرة القدس Al-Bāb ḥaẓīrat al-quds 1354
STS 20 كرامة العقول الوضية Karāmat al-ʿuqūl al-waḍiyya 1355
STS 21 صفحات عرفات المعارف Ṣafḥat ʿarafāt al-maʿārif 1356
STS 22 انهار رياض الجنة Anhār riyāḍ al-ǧanna 1357
STS 23 سحب بركات الخلد Suḥub barakāt al-ḫuld 1358
STS 24 ذات البركة Ḏāt al-baraka 1359
STS 25 كوثر الخلد Kawṯar ḫuld 1360
STS 26 روضة فردوس Rawḍat firdaws 1361
STS 27 دلو غدير حق Dalw Ġadīr ḥaqq 1362
STS 28 مشربة تسنيم نور Mašrabat tasnīm nūr 1363
STS 29 سلسبيل حكم غدق Salsabīl ḥikam ġadaq 1364
STS 30 سرر رشد مرفوعة Surar rušd Marfūʿa 1365
STS 31 صور حوض مورود Ṣuwar ḥawḍ mawrūd 1366
STS 32 تكبير سكينة فتح مبين Takbīr sakīnat fatḥ mubīn 1367
STS 33 فلسفة فوز عظيم Falsafat fawz ʿaẓīm 1368
STS 34 تذكرة لبيب Taḏkirat labīb 1369
STS 35 سلسلة نعمة عظمى 1370
STS 36 نعم الصبغة الالهية 1371
STS 37 خزائن امام المتقين 1372
STS 38 مفاتيح ياقوتة الحمراء 1373
STS 39 نهر النور الشعشعاني 1374
STS 40 بلاغ الدعاة الفاطميين 1375
STS 41 اشعة الفيض الازلي 1376
STS 42 امثال سدرة المنتهى Amṯāl sidrat al-muntahā 1377 1958
STS 43 روضة دار السلام Rawḍat dār al-Salām 1378 1430 2009
STS 44 توحيد الملة البيضاء Tawḥīd al-Millah al-Bayḍāʾ 1379 1431 2010
STS 45 بركات اصحاب التطهير Barakāt Aṣḥāb al-Taṭhīr 1380 1432 2011
STS 46 كمال النعم السابغة Kamāl al-Aiʿam al-Sābiġa 1381 1433 2012
STS 47 تسبيح ذهب القدس Tasbīḥ ḏahab al-Quds 1382 1434 2013
STS 48 شموس بركات الربانيين[13] Shumūs Barakāt al-Rabbāniyīn 1383 1435 2015
STS 49 انهار فيوض الفاطميين[14] Anhār Fūyūz al-Fātimiyyīn 1384 1436 2016

The Chandabhoy Galla Case[edit]

Mausoleum 51st and 52nd Dai

The Chandabhoy Galla Case is celebrated case in the history of religion where a human being is challenged for the representative of God on earth who is infallible and immaculate. The case was filed by the Advocate General of Mumbai at the behest of Adamjee Pirbhai family members against Syedna Taher Saifuddin. The case was filed in 1917 and decided in 1921. The claim was based on the belief of Imam as representative of the Prophet, and through him the representative of God, having withdrawn from the world, someone must represent him, and so ultimately the Deity on earth. The Dai, according to community religious belief, is that representative. The ownership of the Chandabhoy ‘Galla’( box kept for religious offerings) was denied on the plea of improper succession. [15] [16]

Concluding this extraordinary case then Advocate general Strangman remark about Syedna Taher saifuddin recorded is as follows [17] :

"Looking back on the proceedings, I think what impressed me the most, even more than the extravagance of the claims, was the personality of the Mullaji, a frail looking figure possessed nevertheless of an iron will, great determination, and organising capacity. At the time he assumed office the administration must have been extremely slack. Yet he managed in a very few years not only to pull the administration together but to obtain a hold upon his followers greater perhaps than that of any of his predecessors."

During testimony of 51st Dai Syedna Taher Saifuddin, he clarified about knowledge classes of 'Zahir', 'Tavil' and, 'Hakikat' present in community. First two are known to many but third one namely 'Hakikat' content some religious truths known to very few. Some of which are known to only 2 or 3 persons in community, and there is also knowledge which is available with Dai only, and he gets it from his predecessor Dai.[18]


Saifuddin died on 12 November 1965 in Matheran, Maharashtra, India.[19] His mausoleum is known as Raudat Tahera located in Mumbai, and was constructed by his successor, Mohammed Burhanuddin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hozefa Mohiyuddin, Tufatuh ale Akhbaare Hudat, Al Jamea tus Saifiyah Publication, 1995, pg. 109
  2. ^ "Sheikh al Doat al Mutlaqeen: Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) - Anjuman-e-Najmi". Sfjamaat.org. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. ^ (Dr. Rahat Abrar (PRO), Chancellors of AMU, www.amu.ac.in, 22 February reverted)
  4. ^ "51st Dai at Aligarh". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  5. ^ http://twocircles.net/2010apr28/indian_muslims_and_palestine_waqfs.html#.VPDXP0J3bBI
  6. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/indian-oasis-114082201282_1.html
  7. ^ http://www.arabnews.com/news/494566
  8. ^ "Saifee Masjid - Wikimapia". wikimapia.org. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e "The Dawoodi Bohras - al-da`i al-Mutlaq". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  10. ^ Indorewala, Haider; Indorewala, Saifuddin; Indorewala, Shabbir (1975). سيدنا طاهر سيف الدين ني حيوة طيبة ني ايك جهلك. Anjuman e Taiyebi - Indore. p. 49.
  11. ^ ميزة مفتاح خزائن العلوم. Mumbai, India.: Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Badri Mahal.
  12. ^ Traboulsi, Samer (2016). "Transmission of Knowledge and Book Preservation in the Ṭayyibī Ismāʿīlī Tradition". Intellectual History of the Islamicate World – via Brill.
  13. ^ His Holiness, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (2015). شموس بركات الربانيين. His Holiness Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb, Badri Mahal, Mumbai, India, 1435H.
  14. ^ His Holiness, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (1436H). انهار فيوض الفاطميين. His Holiness Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb, Badri Mahal, Mumbai, India.
  15. ^ [1]; Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity Among the Daudi Bohras; By Jonah Blank; p-236,2001.
  16. ^ [2]; History A Modern History of the Ismailis: Continuity and Change in a Muslim Community; edited by Farhad Daftary 2010 - Social Science; egal battle with dissidents:-'chandbhai case, internal dissent: legitimacy of nass on abdul qadi nazmuddin –nazim dai 50 yearts'.
  18. ^ [4];Record No. 52; Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s RA Testimony in the Chandabhoy Galla Case 1920, pp. 280-284
  19. ^ (Webzone, H. H. Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin Memorial Foundation, www.matheranmemorialhall.com, 22 February reverted) Archived 27 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading[edit]

Tree linking Dawoodi Bohra Dai with Rasulullah
Da'i al-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohra sect
Preceded by
Abdullah Badruddin
51st Da'i al-Mutlaq
Succeeded by
Mohammed Burhanuddin