Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The head of the worldwide Dawoodi Bohra community arrived in Dubai on Tuesday from Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, who carries the title of Sultan ul-Bohra, 53rd Dai el-Fatimi, was received by dignitaries and a high delegation of the community.

He then visited Al Masjid Al Burhani Complex in Al Ghusais, where the community members, assembled in thousands, accorded him a warm welcome and felicitated Dr Syedna on his recently celebrated 74th birthday in Surat, India.

During his stay, Dr Syedna will inaugurate the expanded, renovated and reconstructed 35-year-old Al Masjid as-Saifee in Deira on Thursday evening, followed by Maghrib prayers.

The expanded facility includes areas for Hifz ul Qur’an (Quran memorisation), and provides a much larger capacity to offer prayers. The old structure of Al Masjid as-Saifee has been strengthened to a level where it is as good as new, keeping in mind the next 50 years.

The masjid’s architecture has been renovated, reflecting Fatimi architectural designs as seen in various mosques in Egypt from the Fatimid era. A new minaret is erected based on the designs of Al Jamea Al Juyyushi in Cairo, Egypt and the exterior of the mosque is cladded in Jordanian stones.

Kinana Bhaisaheb Jamaluddin, Sultan ul-Bohra’s local representative, has been instrumental in the planning and execution of this expansion project since inception. The Dawoodi Bohra community residing in Dubai is looking forward to the inauguration of the renovated Al Masjid as-Saifee by Dr Syedna.

Al Masjid as-Saifee

Thirty-five years ago, the Dawoodi Bohras settled in Dubai and received the opportunity of constructing a mosque in Deira on 21,000 square feet of land with the benediction of the late Sultan ul-Bohra, the 52nd Dai al-Fatimi, Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin.

The inauguration of this mosque in April 1983 by the late Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin was an important landmark in the history of Dawoodi Bohras in the region, as it was the first mosque for the community in the Arabian Gulf. It was named Al Masjid as-Saifee. Soon enough, the mosque was not sufficient to hold the growing community settling in Dubai, leading to the construction of Al Masjid Al Burhani in Al Ghusais in Dubai.

A small community of some 1,500 people then, it has now grown into approximately 15,000 Dawoodi Bohras in Dubai alone. The massive growth resulted in the need for expansion of Al Masjid as-Saifee in Deira, and the project now stands completed.