Historically, Dais have changed successors: Defendant to HC
Mumbai: Counsel for defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin on Wednesday recounted historical evidence before the Bombay high court wherein nass was changed by a Dai and another successor was appointed over the one who was initially appointed
Mumbai: Counsel for defendant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin on Wednesday recounted historical evidence before the Bombay high court wherein nass was changed by a Dai and another successor was appointed over the one who was initially appointed.
While referring to the appointment of the fourth Dai, the bench of Justice Gautam Patel was informed that the third Dai had changed the successor he had intended to appoint after the intended person had himself recommended the appointment of the Dai’s son as the successor. This, the counsel submitted, was one of the four instances which they would rely upon to prove that previous Dais had revoked nass without contemplating whether nass, once conferred, could be revoked.
On the 30th day of the final hearing of the Syedna succession case, senior advocate Fredun Di’Vitre referred to Syedna Hatim bin Ibrahim, the third Dai, and informed the bench that he had appointed Ali bin Mohammad, a renowned and knowledgeable person of the time, as a tutor for his son Ali bin Hatim. After completion of the tutelage, Ali bin Mohammad came to know that the leader intended to appoint him (Ali bin Mohammad) as his successor.
Di’Vitre referred to various authoritative books of the Dawoodi Bohra community wherein the said incident was cited, and informed the bench that the 51st and 52nd Dai had also dealt with the topic in their books and sermons.
He cited the relevant passage from four books ‘Burhan al-Din’, ‘Najmus Saqib’, ‘Rawd’ and ‘Silsila’ wherein it was stated that after completion of the tutelage, Ali bin Mohammad met the third Dai and said, “Indeed your son is like me in knowledge and virtue, and he has another excellent quality, that of kinship with you. Thus, he is more worthy and deserving than of being conferred with nass.”
Narrating the incident further, Di’Vitre submitted that after hearing Ali bin Mohammad’s plea, the third Dai had said that the tutor was much higher in rank than the angels due to his humility and submission. Thereafter, Syedna Hatim appointed his son Syedna Ali as his successor. On his demise, Syedna Ali bin Hatim appointed his tutor, Syedna Ali bin Mohammad, as his successor.
This, Di’Vitre said, was cited by Syedi Wali Bhai in his book ‘Burhan al-Din’ as a comparison to the initial appointment of the 26th Dai, which was later changed by the 25th Dai.
Di’Vitre further said that the event was narrated by both the 51st and 52nd Dais in their sermons, the audio recordings of which were played before the plaintiff and the court during the trial. The sermons were meant to extol the sincerity of Syedna Ali bin Mohammad. The sermons stated that though Syedna Ali bin Mohammad knew that he was to be the successor of the 3rd Dai, he requested the leader to give his son that position, which the 3rd Dai accepted, based on the inspiration of Allah and the secluded Imam.
The bench was told that when the plaintiff was asked about the event, he had said that the nass was not conferred but the 3rd Dai had intended to do so. Di’Vitre said that in light of the evidence from the books and sermons, it was clear that nass had been conferred on Syedna Ali bin Mohammad but was changed on his request.