Da'i al-Mutlaq

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The term Dā'ī al-Mutlaq or ad-Da'i ul-Mutlaq (Arabic: الداعي المطلق‎) literally means "the absolute or unrestricted missionary" pl. Du'aat-دعاۃ. In the Fatimid era Ismā'īlī faith, the term dā'ī has been used to refer to important religious leaders other than the hereditary Imāms working under their commands known as ad-Da'i al-Bilaagh (Arabic: الداعي البلاغ), and the Da'wah or "Mission" is a spiritually guided clerical-style organisation. "The Da'wah" was a term for the Ismā'īlī faith itself from early on. They are also called Dā'ī Syednas.

Purity from within
The Purity of Ahl ul Bayt and their Du'aat

History

According to Ismā'īlī Musta'alavī Tayyabī tradition, before the 21st Fatimid Musta'alavi Imam, Taiyab abi al-Qasim went into state of occultation from Cairo in 528 AH/1134 AD, his father, the 20th Imām al-Amīr had instructed Queen Arwa al-Sulayhi/Al-Hurra Al-Malika in Yemen to anoint a vicegerent after the occultation - the Dāʻī al-Mutlaq, who as the Imām's vicegerent, has full authority to govern the community in all matters both spiritual and temporal.[1] It is the spiritual rank in Isma'ili Da'wah which became more explicit and operational after the seclusion of 21st Imam. After Prophet Mohammad this rank is on the 6th position and after this comes Mazoon-مأذون and Mukaasir-مکاسر who are in turn appointed by the Dā'ī al-Mutlaq. Before the seclusion, the Da’i or a missionary works under the direct orders of Imaam and his trusted associates in all the 12 islands-جزائر where faithful were present and living openly propounding their faith or secretly due to the fear of their lives.

During the Imam's occultation, the Dā'ī al-Mutlaq is appointed by his predecessor in office. Da’i was given Itlaaq-إطلاق[2] or a free conduct and absolute religious and social authority but under the governing principles of Isma’ili Taiyebi Faith. His command is regarded as a final decree guided by the divine support of Imam and this is the reason he is called Da’i al-Mutlaq. Unlike the case of Imam, where he appoints his successor only from his sons through divinely guided practice called Nass-نص, the Da’i can appoint anyone in his place who is most trusted, pious and capable of carrying Da’wah affairs with wisdom and proficiency. The first Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Taiyabi Ismaili sects was Syedna Zoeb bin Moosa.[3]

The Dā'ī al-Mutlaq is recognised in English law as a corporation sole, by a private act of Parliament passed in 1993.[4]

Tradition of Nass governing the Appointment of Da'i

Nass-نص is a declaration and designation through Divine Indication and Spiritual Intervention-تأئید إلھي for the appointment of a successor-منصوص, be it an Imam or his deputy-داعي during Imam’s concealment by his predecessor-ناص amongst his subjects, publicly-نص جلي or privately-نص خفي and at times supported by written documentary orders-سجل شریف. This tradition and practice-سنۃ اللہ is related to the Isma’ili Taiyebi succession to the seat of Imaamat,[5] whereby each Imam under hidden heavenly commands designates his successor, when he witnesses the Light of Imaamat-نور الإمامۃ has got transferred to one of his sons whom he selects for Nass. During the seclusion of Imam, his deputy-Da’i performs this act of succession whom he finds eligible for the status of Da’i. He might not be from his sons, unlike the succession of Imam where an Imam always appoints his successor from one of his sons.

The appointment according to Shi'a faith and sources is when Mohammad appointed his son-in-law, cousin and his heir 'Ali bin Abi Taalib as his Vicegerent, legatee and Wali[6] of the Faithful. This Prophetic tradition is followed throughout the centuries be it the appointment of Imam or Da'i and as per Isma'ili-Taiyebi principles it is the belief that no Imam or Da'i dies without the appointment of his successor and this will continue till the Last Day of this World.

Da'i al-Mutlaq governing the two Important Ranks: Mazoon and Mukaasir

  • المأذون المطلق - al-Mazoon al-Mutlaq, Mazoon e Mutlaq: The Licentiate, Authoritative Rank, the most trusted associate in Da’wah ranks who takes Bay’at-Pledge of Loyalty from his subjects by the orders of Da’i al-Mutlaq. He is on a Spiritual Rank in the Isma’ili Taiyebi Da’wah hierarchy immediately below the authority of Da’i who sits in his right side and who carries out the religious activities as per the regulations of Da’wah organization. At any cost he always assists and obeys his superior and his Master, the Da’i al-Mutlaq. His prime responsibility is to conduct teaching sessions and make them understand the basic things of Isma’ili Taiyebi faith. In the absence of Da’i he acts as his legatee. Da’i may appoint his Mazoon as his successor. And if not Da’i can appoint someone more learned and efficient for the post of Da’i after him and can never disqualifies Mazoon from his post. As the respectable post of Mazoon is necessary for the completeness of Spiritual Hierarchy.
  • المکاسر المطلق - al-Mukaasir al-Mutlaq, Mukaasir e Mutlaq - The Eight and the last rank in the Spiritual Hierarchy of the Isma’ili Taiyebism. He sits left to the Da’i al-Mutlaq during the religious gathering-Majlis. He is lower to the rank of Mazoon. He is well versed and well informed about the baseless beliefs of other sects for which he thinks as a threat to the faith of believers. His responsibility is to train the beginner - مستجیب مؤمن and win over the neophyte who is little aware of the overall understanding of Islamic Faith and by proper grooming he enters him into the fold of Isma’ilism by taking Oath of Fealty in the name of the present Da’i al-Mutlaq. He is quite expert in putting Rational and Logical arguments with necessary ideological and doctrinal proofs and healthy debates.

Da'i al-Mutlaq

الداعي المطلق، داعي المطلق - ad-Da'i ul-Mutlaq or Da'i al-Mutlaq: It is the spiritual rank in Isma'ili Da'wah which became more explicit and operational after the seclusion of 21st Fatimid Imam of Cairo, Abul Qaasim at-Taiyeb in 528 AH/1134 AD. After Mohammad this rank is on the 6th position and after this comes Mazoon-مأذون and Mukaasir-مکاسر. Before the seclusion the Da’i or a missionary works under the direct orders of Imaam and his trusted associates in all the 12 islands-جزائر where faithful were present and living openly propounding their faith or secretly due to the fear of their lives. In Yemen, after the seclusion, Da’i was given Itlaaq-إطلاق or a free conduct and absolute religious and social authority but under the governing principles of Isma’ili Taiyebi Faith. His command is regarded as a final decree guided by the divine support of Imam and this is the reason he is called Da'i al-Mutlaq. Unlike the case of Imam, where he appoints his successor only from his sons through divinely guided practice called Nass-نص, the Da’i can appoint anyone in his place who is most trusted, pious and capable of carrying Da’wah affairs with wisdom and proficiency.

Mazoon al-Mutlaq

المأذون المطلق - al-Mazoon al-Mutlaq, Mazoon e Mutlaq: The Licentiate, Authoritative Rank, the most trusted associate in Da’wah ranks who takes Bay’at-Pledge of Loyalty from his subjects by the orders of Da’i al-Mutlaq. He is on a Spiritual Rank in the Isma’ili Taiyebi Da’wah hierarchy immediately below the authority of Da’i who sits in his right side and who carries out the religious activities as per the regulations of Da’wah organization. At any cost he always assists and obeys his superior and his Master, the Da’i al-Mutlaq. His prime responsibility is to conduct teaching sessions and make them understand the basic things of Isma’ili Taiyebi faith. In the absence of Da’i he acts as his legatee. Da’i may appoint his Mazoon as his successor. And if not Da’i can appoint someone more learned and efficient for the post of Da’i after him and can never disqualifies Mazoon from his post. As the respectable post of Mazoon is necessary for the completeness of Spiritual Hierarchy. On the death of Mazoon, Da'i immediately appoints another trusted person on this rank.

Mukaasir al-Mutlaq

المکاسر المطلق - al-Mukaasir al-Mutlaq, Mukaasir e Mutlaq - The Eight and the last rank in the Spiritual Hierarchy of the Isma’ili Taiyebism.[38] He sits left to the Da’i al-Mutlaq during the religious gathering-Majlis. He is lower to the rank of Mazoon. He is well versed and well informed about the baseless beliefs of other sects for which he thinks as a threat to the faith of believers. His responsibility is to train the beginner - مستجیب مؤمن and win over the neophyte who is little aware of the overall understanding of Islamic Faith and by proper grooming he enters him into the fold of Isma’ilism by taking Oath of Fealty in the name of the present Da’i al-Mutlaq. He is quite expert in putting Rational and Logical arguments with necessary ideological and doctrinal proofs and healthy debates. On the death of Mukaasir, Da'i entrusts this rank to one of his close associates. In some cases, on the death of Mazoon, Da'i elevates Mukaasir to the rank of Mazoon.

Dawoodi Bohras

The Dawoodi Bohra follow Ismaili Shia Islam as propagated by the Fatimid Imamate in medieval Egypt. They pray 3 times a day joining both afternoon prayers Zuhr and Asr and both evening prayers Maghreb and Isha, fast in the month of Ramadan, perform Haj and Umrahand give Zakat.

Taher Fakhruddin is a claimant to the title of 54th Da'i al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras[7], a sect within Ismaili Shia Islam. He is the oldest son of Khuzaima Qutbuddin, the claimant to the position of 53rd Da'i al-Mutlaq. After the death of the 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, due to the succession controversy two claimants emerged, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and Khuzaima Qutbuddin. Khuzaima Qutbuddin died on 30 March 2016. On 31 March 2016 the family of Qutbuddin released a statement that "Khuzaima Qutbuddin has conferred nass (announcement of successor) on his son Syedna Taher Fakhruddin".[8] Followers of Qutbuddin regard Taher Fakhruddin as a rightly appointed Da'i al-Mutlaq whereas followers of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin do not recognize him as the Da'i al-Mutlaq.

Alavi Bohras

This title is also used in the Alavi Bohra community to refer to their leader (in the Persian form "Da'i-e-Mutlaq") for similar reasons. At present Saiyedna Haatim Zakiyuddin is the 45th Da’i al-Mutlaq of Alavi Bohras in the line of succession of these Da’is in which 24 are in Yemen, 7 are in Ahmedabad, 1 is in Surat and 12 are in Vadodara. The 44th Da'i al-Mutlaq Saiyedna Abu Haatim Taiyeb Ziyauddin (d. 05-08-1436 AH/23-05-2015) appointed his eldest son Haatim Zakiyuddin as his successor.

Sulaymani

The Sulaymani branch of Tayyibi Isma'ilism is an Islamic community, of which around 70 thousand members reside in Yemen, while a few thousands of Sulaymani Bohras can be found in India and Pakistan. The Sulaymanis are headed by a da'i al-mutlaq from the Makrami family.[9] The Sulaymanis split off from the Tayyibi community, following a succession dispute upon the death of Da'ud bin Ajabshah in 1589. While most of the Tayyibis in India recognised Da'ud Burhan al-Din as his successor and thus forming the Da'udi Bohras, the Yemeni community followed Sulayman bin Hassan. Starting from 1677, Sulayman's successors almost always came from the Makrami family. The da'is made Najran their headquarters and ruled the area, supported by the Banu Yam, until their power waned under the successive rules of the Ottomans and Saudis.[9]

Atba-e-Malak Badar

The Atba-i-Malak community are a branch of Musta'ali Isma'ili Shi'a Islam that broke off from the mainstream Dawoodi Bohra after the death of the 46th Da'i al-Mutlaq, under the leadership of Abdul Hussain Jivaji in 1840. They have further split into two more branches. The Atba-e-Malak Badar is a branch of Atba-i-Malak Mustaali Ismaili Shi'a Islam. They follow the preachings of both Abdul Hussain Jivaji and Badruddin Ghulam Hussain Miya Khan Saheb. The current leader or Dai al Mutlaq is Maulana Muhammad Amiruddin Malak Saheb. The Atba-i-Malak Badar community is based in Mahdibagh, Nagpur in India. The Mahdibagh Atba-i-Malak Badar community, is a unique community of peaceful and progressive Muslims, an elitist sect, known as Atba-e-Malak Badar (followers of Maulana Malak and Maulana Badar) named after the two founders of the religious order who founded it in 1891 AD in Nagpur, India. The Atba-i-Malak Vakil is a branch of Atba-i-Malak Mustaali Ismaili Shi'a Islam. They follow Abdul Qadir Ebrahimji, who they believe to be the true successor to Abdul Hussain Jivaji. Their current leader is Tayyebhai Razzak.

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Dawoodi Bohras - The Dal Al Mutlaq". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  2. ^ 'Aqeedat ul-Muwahhedeen wa Muzehato Maraatib Ahl id-Deen: 8th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Husain bin Saiyedna Ali bin Mohammad al-Waleed (d. 667 AH/1269 AD)
  3. ^ "The Dawoodi Bohras - The Dal Al Mutlaq". thedawoodibohras.com. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  4. ^ Dawat-e-Hadiyah Act 1993 (c. x) at Legislation.gov.uk
  5. ^ Tohfat ul-Quloob wa Farjat ul-Makroob: 3rd Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Haatim Mohiyuddin (d. 596 AH/1199 AD)
  6. ^ Taaj ul-‘Aqaa’id wa Ma’dan ul-Fawaa’id: 5th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Ali bin Mohammad al-Waleed (d. 612 AH/1215 AD)
  7. ^ http://www.dawoodi-bohras.com/
  8. ^ http://www.asianage.com/mumbai/syedna-s-death-won-t-affect-succession-row-high-court-717
  9. ^ a b "Ismaʿilism III. Ismaʿili History". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 4 August 2018.

External links