The Dawoodi Bohras are a Muslim community hailing mainly from the western region of India who have settled in over 40 countries across the globe. There are about 1 million members worldwide who are united by an unwavering commitment to their faith, a genuine love for the countries in which they live and a commitment to the betterment of society. They believe in integrating with other faiths, empowering women and feel a responsibility to care for the environment and all creatures that dwell within it. Dawoodi Bohras are proud of the role we play in enriching the fabric of the UK society.
Dawoodi Bohras are renowned for being successful business people. The word “Bohra” comes from the Gujarati word for “trade”. With a particular focus on hard work and education, many Dawoodi Bohras run successful businesses, creating jobs, generating wealth, and contributing to the growth and development of the nation. We also count among our community many doctors, IT professionals, teachers, and academics.
The Bohra Faith
Dawoodi Bohras adhere to the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and follow the Shi’a Fatemi Tayebi school of thought, which is one of the three main Shi’a interpretations of Islam. Fatemi Imams are descendants of the Prophet Mohammed. We believe in the Oneness of God, the Prophet Mohammed al-Mustafa as the final messenger of Allah, and the Holy Qur’an as the final message to mankind.
They are led by a spiritual and temporal leader, or Dai-al-Mutlaq, who is the vicegerent representing the Imam in seclusion. Our current and 53rd leader is His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. His Holiness lives in India, and acts as a guide, mentor and the final interpreter of religion whilst embracing the changing world we live in. Like his predecessors, he regularly reminds Dawoodi Bohras of the role they should play to be exemplary citizens of the country in which they live. His Holiness counsels us to dedicate ourselves to activities that contribute to the development of our cities and that benefit our fellow citizens.
Dawoodi Bohras adhere to religious practices ordained by the Sharia, including reciting the Quran, the five daily prayers, and fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Muslims across the world commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husain during ‘Ashara Mubaraka’ with the belief that doing so is a source of blessings and a means to spiritual purification. This is why the ten days are considered ‘mubaraka’, or blessed. Like millions of Muslims across the world, the Dawoodi Bohra community under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, dedicate these days to the remembrance and lamentation of Imam Husain and seek blessings from this deeply spiritual event.
Dawoodi Bohras maintain a distinct form of community attire. Men of the faith traditionally wear a predominantly white three-piece outfit and a white cap with golden designs called a topi.
Women of the faith wear a two-piece dress called the rida, distinguishable from other forms of the hijab by its bright colours, decorative patterns and lace. Women in the Bohra community play an equal role in pursuing an education and have thriving careers in a range of industries.
Dawoodi Bohras are proud of their culinary tradition and have a unique system of communal eating around a thaal or a particularly large metal plate. Family and friends join each other at home and members are seated in groups of 8 or 9 during community events. Each course of the meal is served for the people around the thaal to share. We often share a traditional Bohra meal with local friends and neighbours while imparting a multi-faith message of unity and peace.
Furthermore, Bohras everywhere subscribe to the view that nobody should go to bed hungry. Following this, Bohras in the United Kingdom regularly organise food drives to feed the homeless and hungry in cities throughout the country.
The Masjid and its Significance
For the Dawoodi Bohras, as for many Muslims throughout the world, the masjid is the beating heart of their community. Primarily a place for community members to gather for prayer and spiritual guidance, it also serves as the nucleus of the Dawoodi Bohras’ educational and social activities. Just as the heart is essential to sustain the body, so the masjid is of paramount importance for the Bohra community’s sustenance. Not only does it have great significance throughout each Bohra’s life, but it is where individuals are unified to form a whole.Learn more