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10,000 gather for Bohra spiritual leader's week-long celebrations

National
 His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin the 53rd al-Dai al-Mutlaq of Bohras. He arrived in Mombasa on Friday. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

An estimated 10,000 members of Dawoodi Bohra from East Africa have converged in Mombasa for a week-long celebration and sermons from their global spiritual leader.

The leader, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, 53rd al-Dai al-Mutlaq of Bohras, arrived in Mombasa on Friday, after a brief stopover in Nairobi. Al-Dai al-Mutlaq is the community’s most senior spiritual rank and office, meaning the absolute, missionary. Dawoodi Bohras are a close-knit community of the Shia Muslims.

Hamza Shura, Bohra community coordinator in Mombasa, said there are over 2,000 members of the Bohra community in the port city and a total of over 10,000 in East Africa.

Shura said their spiritual leader’s arrival was doubly joyful because he returned from Cairo, where he inaugurated the shrine of Sayyida Zainab, a blessed and venerated site for the community.

The late Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin, the 42nd, whose death anniversary would be marked in Mombasa, is revered among the Bohras for encouraging them to embrace East Africa as their new homeland.

“The late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, the 52nd leader, along with Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, laid the foundation for the Nairobi campus of the academy inaugurated in April 2017,” said Shura.

Speaking at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Shura said the spiritual leaders, including the current one, have played a key influential role in the country’s spiritual, business, and education circles.

“Since our religious ceremonies go with social and environmental causes, attending these gatherings is a source of spiritual opportunity to serve humanity,” said Quresh Zakir.

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