Published 13:23 IST, April 23rd 2024

Dawoodi Bohra Succession Dispute: No Change in Syedna's Leadership as Bombay HC Nixes Nephew's Suit

The Bombay HC upheld Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's position as the leader and dismissed his nephew Taher Fakhruddin's leadership suit.

Reported by: Digital Desk
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Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, 53rd leader of the Dawoodi Bohra Community. | Image: X

New Delhi: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday finally put an end to a 10-year-long dispute over the change in leader of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, upholding Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin's position as the leader and dismissing his nephew Taher Fakhruddin's claim.

In his lawsuit, Fakhruddin challenged Saifuddin's position as the 53rd leader 'Dai-al-Mutlaq' of the community.


The legal battle over succession began after the uncle-nephew dispute emerged following the death of the 52nd Dai, Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, in 2014.

What Happened?

The Dawoodi Bohras are a religious denomination within the Shia Islam. With a population of approximately one million worldwide, the community is settled in over 40 countries around the world, with the majority residing in India.


After the death of the previous Dai, his brother Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin invited the late leader’s son, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, for a talk about the succession.

However, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin did not respond to this and declared himself as the 53rd Dai of the community, leading to a 10-year long-drawn legal battle.


In 1965, Khuzaima Qutbuddin, the brother of the 52nd Dai, moved to the High Court in April 2014, seeking to be recognised as the community leader. This request came after the deceased leader instructed him to keep it secret, followed by an oath of allegiance (Misaaq) conducted by Syedna Burhanuddin, who publicly announced Qutbuddin as the leader, equal in rank to himself.

However, Qutbuddin passed away during the trial and subsequently his son Fakhruddin filed an application in the high court claiming that he was conferred nass by his father, and he claimed to be the 54th Dai.


Meanwhile, the defendant, Syedna argued that Qutbuddin's claim could not be accepted as there were no witnesses. Similarly, the defending lawyers submitted papers that as per established doctrines of the Dawoodi Bohra faith, nass could be changed and also furnished incidents in the past.





12:53 IST, April 23rd 2024