The Issues

In his address to the community after the sad passing away of Syedna Burhanuddin, and in his sworn testimony in the Bombay High Court, Syedna Qutbuddin stated that he was appointed in 1965 by Syedna Burhanuddin by a private communication between Syedna Burhanuddin and himself. Syedna Burhanuddin then gave a sermon in which he clearly indicated that Syedna Qutbuddin was his successor.

Several people in the community, including members of Syedna Burhanuddin’s family, including Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin himself, acknowledged Syedna Qutbuddin as the 52nd Dai’s Mansoos by their words and conduct. There are Dawoodi Bohra community traditions regarding on how one should address a Dai or his successor, how to supplicate oneself to a Dai or his successor, including sajda (prostations), which are done only for a Dai or his successor. These traditions were being followed by several people including family members in their interactions with Syedna Qutbuddin.

Senior community members, including Shehzada Mufaddal Saifuddin, referred to Syedna Qutbuddin as “Maula”, and they performed sajda to him as they knew that Syedna Qutbuddin was the successor of Syedna Burhanuddin.

Syedna Fakhruddin’s case also states that that nass once conferred is irrevocable. Syedna Qutbuddin testified that Syedna Burhanuddin conferred nass on him in a private communication on 10th December 1965. It is also the belief of the community that the Mazoon only speaks the truth, and there can be no doubt about the veracity of his testimony. Syedna Burhanuddin appointed Syedna Qutbuddin in the position of Mazoon as one of first actions as Dai and he remained in that esteemed position for the rest of the 52nd Dai’s life.