Bombay High Court Declaratory Suit 29th & 31st July and 4th and 5th August 2015

The cross-examination of the Plaintiff (Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS) in the Suit filed by him in the Hon’ble Bombay High Court continued for four days, commencing on the 29th of July 2015 at 12:00pm in the historic Courtroom No. 46, presided by Hon’ble Justice Gautam Patel. The cross examination continued on 31st July, 3rd August and 4th August.

The Plaintiff was cross-examined by the Defendant’s (Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin) Senior Counsel Mr. Iqbal Chagla.

Over eight sessions and 12 hours of cross-examination, the Plaintiff was asked about two hundred and fifty questions. These included the following:

Mr. Chagla asked, in the Plaintiff’s opinion, what was the significance of the 52nd Dai, Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA, referring to him as his beloved son (Al Walad-ul-Ahab), in the sermon while he appointed him as Mazoon. The Plaintiff replied that the 52nd Dai meant that the Plaintiff was to be his successor.
Mr. Chagla asked, Is it correct that in the sermon of which you spoke earlier, the 52nd Dai used precisely this expression Al-Walad-Al-Ahabb?

The Plaintiff replied in the affirmative and further said “I was his brother and also his beloved son.” The Plaintiff further said that when “The 42nd Dai appointed the 43rd Dai, who was his brother as his successor. He said that the 43rd Dai was his brother but was also spiritually his beloved son.”

Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff whether the raza of the Dai is required to discharge or perform Dawat functions. The Plaintiff said yes. Mr. Chagla asked whether the raza of the Mazoon would ever be required, the Plaintiff responded yes, in case if Syedna is traveling. Mr. Chagla then asked if the Mazoon is able to issue a raza only if the Dai has already issued him (i.e. the Mazoon) a raza in the matter. The Plaintiff responded that while the Dai is whole and sole, the Mazoon-ul-Mutlaq holds a special raza granted at the time of appointment. However, the Plaintiff added that in his 50 year tenure as Mazoon of the 52nd Dai, it was his practice to always ask Syedna beforehand.

Mr. Chagla asked what is the Raudat Tahera, the Plaintiff responded it is the mausoleum of his revered father, 51st Dai Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, and the 52nd Dai Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. Mr. Chagla asked if the Plaintiff was involved in the construction, the Plaintiff responded “very much so.” Mr. Chagla asked the Plaintiff how often he visited, the Plaintiff responded “almost every day.” The Plaintiff volunteered that he is now prohibited to visit by the Defendant and on his instructions, and the Plaintiff is very much hurt about it. Mr. Chagla asked whether there was a single instance where the Plaintiff was prevented from visiting, the Plaintiff responded that his sons visited a few months ago and were beaten and pushed, along with some bleeding. The Plaintiff said that his security has advised him not to visit, since the people on the other side were in that state of mind. Mr. Chagla put it to the Plaintiff that his statement that he was prevented from visiting the Raudat Tahera is incorrect. The Plaintiff did not agree and stood by his statement.

Mr. Chagla asked whether the appointment of the Plaintiff as Mazoon was done in a public sermon. The Plaintiff said yes.

Mr. Chagla asked what is the significance of the word “Maula”. The Plaintiff responded that, this [word] has a very deep significance and historical context. When the Prophet appointed Ali as his successor in Ghadir-E-Khum, he said in his sermon “whosoever the Prophet is the maula of, Ali is the maula after me.” Then Mr. Chagla asked if the term “Maula is only used for Dai in the community, the Plaintiff responded that “As the Prophet said, “maula” is used for the Imam and for the Dai.”

Mr. Chagla asked whether the Plaintiff was appointed as a Mazoon in private or public, the Plaintiff responded that he was appointed in the sermon in public. Prior to that, Syedna called him to his room and informed him that he would appoint him in the misaq majlis. Mr. Chagla asked what was the significance of the Plaintiff being referred to as “Moula” by members of the community. The Plaintiff replied that the reason he was addressed as a maula was because the Syedna had appointed him as the mazoon. He also pronounced nass on the Plaintiff. He gave the Plaintiff his ring, which the Plaintiff wears to this day. He said that Syedna Taher Saifuddin used to wear this very ring. It was because he named the Plaintiff as his successor that the Plaintiff was referred to as maula. When he appointed the Plaintiff as mazoon he conveyed in his words and blessings that the Plaintiff was to be his successor.

Mr. Chagla asked why the Plaintiff was referred to as “Moula” before 1965, and the Plaintiff said yes, because the 51st Dai viewed him as a successor.