Is divine appointment valid if appointee pre-deceases appointer, asks HC
Mumbai: The Syedna succession case on Friday reached an important juncture as the Bombay high court was informed that the defendants held the view that nass (appointment done through the divine inspiration of Imam uz Zaman) could be changed
Mumbai: The Syedna succession case on Friday reached an important juncture as the Bombay high court was informed that the defendants held the view that nass (appointment done through the divine inspiration of Imam uz Zaman) could be changed.
However, Anand Desai, the counsel for Syedna Taher Fakhruddin, reiterated that the Dawoodi Bohra community believed that it could not, since it was pre-ordained and came from the Dai who was infallible. Moreover, he said, once nass was conferred, even if the appointee passed away during the life of the appointer, it was assumed that the deceased successor took up the position in heaven, hence the nass could not be revoked.
The defendants, on their part, produced three documents to bolster their claim that nass was revokable. Dealing with the first of these, Desai informed the bench that the document, a book in Arabic, was written by a rebel during the time of the 29th Dai and hence was not relied upon by the community. Desai submitted that the 52nd Dai in his sermons had time and again exhorted the community to refrain from relying upon books written by rebels and enemies of the dawat.
Desai then referred to the translation of a part of the book that dealt with whether a Dai could revoke a nass in the last moments of his life. Both sides had translated the portion, he submitted, but while the translation by his side said this nass was not revocable, the other side stated that it was. Due to the discrepancies, the defendants brought in an expert in classical Arabic language. The expert opined that the translation by the defendants was correct while that of the plaintiff was not.
The bench was then told by Desai that the expert’s conclusion could not be relied upon, as he did not have an understanding of Dawoodi Bohra customs and literature and had opined on the translation without considering the context. Further, he said, as the expert had based his opinion on inputs provided to him by the Jamia al Saifia (which comprises people of the defendants), it could not be relied on.
On the query of the bench on what happens when a mansoos (one on whom nass is conferred) passes away during the lifetime of his predecessor, Desai submitted that it had happened in the case of the 43rd Dai and in the historical case of Prophet Haroon wherein despite their demise, they were accorded the position of Dai and prophet.
When Justice Patel sought to know what material there was historically and doctrinally where conferment and communication was not proved, Desai said it was the actions of men of higher spiritual learning that had to be taken into consideration. However, the bench said that as the actions such as prostration and addressing a mansoos as Maula were not exclusive, what was the other evidence that could be relied upon?
The HC asked Desai to complete submissions on revocation of nass on Monday.