Vijay Rupani with Dr Syedna
SURAT: The narrow lanes of the historic Dawoodi Bohra quarter at Zampa Bazaar throb with thousands of community members from across the world who have gathered here to celebrate the 73rd birthday eve of His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin on Tuesday.
Chief minister Vijay Rupani was also present at the celebrations where he greeted Dr Syedna and sought his blessings amid the presence of community members. Over two lakh Dawoodi Bohras have descended upon the Diamond City from across the country and abroad for His Holiness' birthday on Wednesday.
Mufaddal Shakir, community spokesperson, said Dr Syedna Saifuddin will deliver a discourse at Masjid Al-Moazzam in the city on Wednesday. The discourse will be relayed live in over 40 countries and cover about 700 cities and towns that have Dawoodi Bohra masjids and community centres.
The city of Surat holds great historic significance for Dawoodi Bohras, for it was the headquarters of the community's leadership for almost 200 years. Seven chiefs of the community are buried here and it is the location of the principal branch of Arabic Academy, Al-Jameatus Saifiyah.
"The joyful birthday occasion has been enhanced greatly this year by 22 weddings in the extended family of His Holiness, and almost a 100 weddings of other community members. The weddings and the birthday celebrations, lasting a week, are a special event that the entire community look forward to for a month," said Shakir.
Earlier, in the last week of December 2016, Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin had initiated a programme for upliftment and fostership for less well-off among the community. Over 4,000 volunteers comprising leaders of the community, academics, architects, builders and other professionals visited houses of the needy in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to provide help to them. The chief minister thanked Dr Syedna Mufaddal for taking up Swachh Bharat Abhiyan among Bohra community.