Bohra Muslim History: You Should Know

Hadaanallah.com – The Bohra Muslim community is one of the 14 major sects of Islam.

They are also one of the largest communities of Muslims in India and the world.

Each year, around 1 million Bohra Muslims gather at a festival called the Dhammam to celebrate their religion and heritage.

At this festival, they display their religious devotion by wearing gold and silver outfits.

They also eat extravagantly to demonstrate their belief in heaven while on earth.

In this introduction, we would like to briefly discuss the history and beliefs of the Bohra community.

BOHRAS FOLLOW A MODERATE INTERPRETATION OF ISLAM; THIS IS EVIDENT BY THEIR CELEBRATION OF FESTIVALS SUCH AS EID AL-FITR AND EID AL-ADHA.

They also celebrate birth anniversaries of Prophet Muhammad and other spiritual leaders in the same way other Muslims celebrate holy days such as Christmas or Easter.

Additionally, members of the community follow strict dietary rules; they do not consume pork, alcohol, or certain other foods sanctioned by their religion.

In contrast to many other Muslim groups, Bohras do not practice taqiyya, which is lying to gain religious understanding or practice.

Instead, they adhere to the truth no matter what it may be.

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The history of the Bohra Islamic community is intertwined with the history of Gujarat.

Originally from Fez, Morocco, the community migrated to Gujarat, India, several centuries ago.

During that migration, they were attacked by pirates on the way to Gujarat.

However, they eventually arrived and founded a thriving community.

Over time, they established their own mosque in Mumbai as well as several zawias (religious retreats).

Their prosperity continues today as evidenced by their large mansions and businesses in Mumbai.

Members of the community follow strict dietary rules; they do not consume pork, alcohol, or certain other foods sanctioned by their religion

Based on these ideas and characteristics, it’s easy to see why many consider Bohra Muslims to be unique within the Islamic world.

They are an ancient group originating from a different region but now living throughout various parts of India and around the world.

Their festival displays demonstrate their devotion to Allah as well as their adherence to Islamic customs during other times of the year.

Their haraam rules promote focus during spiritual growth which is crucial for any religion.

Ultimately, incorporating these ideas into one’s daily life can help one achieve greater happiness in both this world and the next.

Haraam (forbidden) rules are another distinguishing feature of Bohra Islam.

Members must abide by strict prohibitions such as avoiding certain times or places for eating or performing religious acts.

They must also avoid certain animals such as birds or insects while following religious festivals.

Apart from festivals, members follow similar rules while praying or performing religious acts.

These rules promote focus during meditation which is another important aspect of Bohra culture.

THE BOHRA, ALSO KNOWN AS THE BUZURRAQ, ARE A SUBGROUP OF THE LARGER SUFI MUSLIM FAITH.

They are a sect of Sunni Islam originating from India.

The Bohra headquarters is in Khoja Maddhathir Town in Dhoraji, a city in the state of Gujarat, India.

The word ‘Bohra’ derives from the Persian word ‘bohr,’ which means ‘girdle.’ For this reason, some believe the word Bohra to mean ‘one who wears a girdle.’

Early history indicates that the early Bohra community is focused on the town of Khoja Maddhathir Town in what is now the city of Dhoraji, Rajasthan, India.

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The first documented leader of the Bohra community is believed to be Al observ- ing Dai al Saiydi, who lived in 1206 C.E.

He was also believed to have composed the book Al Siraj al Mafih, which describes and instructs believers.

The first written book by Dai al Saiydigot published by Ahmad Yasin Gilbi in 1956.

Since then, many such books have been published by members of this community.

A few well-known leaders from this early period include: Shaikhu Kabir (1213-1278), who was one of the four immortalities; Syedna Sakhi Burhanuddin (1273-1334); and Syedna Hazrat Abu Jafar Muhammad Dalvi (1410-1444).

Khoja Sadullah was responsible for establishing what would become known as Sufi orders within Sunni Islam in India.

He was also responsible for propagating and popularizing this spiritual path among his fellow Indians so that they no longer had to travel to Arabia to study Sufism.

One of his most prominent disciples was Syedna Burhanuddin Mahsum (1266-1335), who is highly regarded among Bohra Muslims today as a saint and poet in his own right.

He is also widely considered to be the founder of their current traditions regarding architecture, dance and costume design among other things.

His books are still studied by members of this faith today, both within and outside of India.

The faith was one of the first Sufi Muslim groups to emerge in the subcontinent.

It has a rich history that predates even British rule in India.

In fact, the earliest record of a Bohra comes from around 854 C.E., more than 100 years before the Muslim invasion of Spain.

During this period, many Indian Muslims traveled to what is now Iran to study Sufism under the famous Sufi founder/master Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia.

He later established Khoja Nizamuddin Aulia Seminary in Delhi and Madura, India, which still exists today.

His student Saiyed Ajallallatif Gaibi also established Khoja Soffjidin Iraq for Indian students to study under him.

These two centers later became known as Dar ul Kutubin and Dar ul Maaloominum respectively- the equivalent of our Ivy League schools today.

The history of the Bohra subgroup is unique because it predates both British rule in India and Indian

The Bohras have a long history of scholarship and global outreach- as evidenced by their involvement in Africa and many other parts of Asia over the centuries.

Many renowned Bohra scholars have settled outside India and established schools throughout Africa and Southeast Asia over time.

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Some well-known leaders from this period include: Syedna Burhanuddin Makhdoomi (1943-2015); Syedna Sayyadatasaw Iltutmish (1879-1976); Syedna Sayyadatasaw II (1937-2008); and Syedna Sayyadatasaw III (1940-2017).

Bohra Muslims played an influential role in the development of Tamil literature and the arts.

Many Hindu poets grew up among the Bohra Muslims due to their tolerance for other religions in early Islamic society.

This gave rise to inter-religious harmony and artistic expression among early poets like Alathurai Nagakoothurai (also known as Alathur Nagachaithurai) from Trichery country in present-day Tamil Nadu state.

Nagakoothurai is famous for his ‘Nagar Koothu,’ which is a collection of poems about love between a man and a woman from different classes in society.

He used both traditional and poetic meters to effectively express his ideas through beautiful poetry that continues to inspire modern poets today.

The inhabitants of ancient Tamil country lived in a beautiful landscape.

They worshiped nature as a goddess and gave her the name Thiru.

They believed that the world was created from the cosmos-shaped substance called Kalamandu.

Local temples housed the sacred ark, housing the figurines of various animals.

They also revered several other gods and goddesses, such as Shiva and Parvati.

The Tamil country was once ruled by the Chola kings, who belonged to the Dravidian race.

At that time, Tamil was their national language and their script was also written in Tamil.

The history of ancient Tamil is rich in culture and literature.

It has many expressions in art, dance and music.

Today, one can still find traces of the rich history of this Dravidian people in southwestern India.

The inhabitants of ancient Tamil country lived in a beautiful landscape.

They worshiped nature as a goddess and gave her the name Thiru.

They believed that the world was created from the cosmos-shaped substance called Kalamandu.

Local temples housed the sacred ark, housing the figurines of various animals.

They also revered several other gods and goddesses, such as Shiva and Parvati.

The Chola kings- who lived in ancient Tamil country – were devout Hindus and produced many religious books on temples dedicated to Siva and Devi Bhavani.

They were also great artists who created beautiful temples and artworks depicting religious themes.

In addition, they also wrote many histories on various regional chieftainships, kings, war heroes and eminent saints.

Their works have survived to this day and form an integral part of medieval Indian history.

Bohra Muslims also played an important role in medicine through their contributions to chemistry, pharmacy, pharmacology and alchemy.

During their reign over Chennai in southern India, they established what is now known as Chetpat Pharmaceuticals along with Jewish traders from Calcutta (now Kolkata).

This was one of India’s first pharmaceutical companies with both clinical and commercial departments run by qualified chemists to manufacture medicines for treating different diseases such as jaundice (caused by unwell liver), skin disorders and fever among others.

Apart from medicinal applications, they also experimented with various chemical compounds used for manufacturing perfumes, cosmetics, spices and alcohols- including palm wine, raisins, dates and honey among others.

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