Like previous occasions this year, Mumineen were fortunate to obtain the barakat of three Duat Mutlaqeen AS on the day of our beloved Maula, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA ʿurs mubarak. The broadcast commenced with the bayān mubarak of al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA who addressed the congregation as ‘the children of the Dawat of Truth’ and serfs of the Panjatan SA. Syedna al-Muqaddas RA pronounced, ‘We give praise and thanks for being born in human form, born – as are all of humanity – of the soil’. Then by virtue of adhering to the faith, performing good deeds, invoking the tasbeeh of Panjatan Paak, Aimmat Tahireen and Duat Mutlaqeen AS we are able to swim through this ocean of materiality and corporeality to arrive at the shores of the realm of radiance.
This tasbeeh is embodied in the verse of Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, one that each one of us has at the tip of our tongues, as do our children:
Our commission is the tasbeeh of thine names,
O’ sons of Mustafa — forevermore — and it is the most noble commission.
Syedna al-Muqaddas RA informed Mumineen that they are born of the soil from the remnants of the essence of the radiance of Mohammed SA and Abu Turab, Amirul Mumineen AS. Due to this birth and the barakat of this soil, we are radiant. He exclaimed, ‘In your souls and upon your faces is light, light, light!’
Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA elucidates this in a verse:
The one who has not adhered to the progeny of,
Abu Turab, then upon him is dust!
Syedna al-Muqaddas RA explained that the radiance of our souls was by virtue of the barakat of the dust of the feet of Abu Turab and of the droplets of the light from his wudu. Burhanuddin Maula RA then urged Mumineen to listen carefully and inscribe his counsel upon their hearts:
Always remain as humble as the dust at the feet of Abu Turab, Amirul Mumineen AS, and his Dai TUS. In doing so, there is remarkable barakat, loftiness, pride and great honour. There is peace of mind and serenity of heart. This is not merely a belief or impression; it is the truth.
Syedna Burhanuddin RA explained how Duʿat Mutlaqeen RA lived as kings. The Duʿat Mutlaqeen RA of Yemen were addressed as sultans, and that he too, specifically in the Arabic-speaking, Islamic world was referred to as ʿAzamat al-Sultan, the Honourable Sultan, despite no physical kingdom or sultanate. Syedna RA proclaimed that his kingdom was one of serfdom, service and khidmat of the Imam AS .
Expanding on the notion of servitude to the Imam AS, Syedna Burhanuddin RA explained how Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA raised him in the ranks, yet with every rise in stature he counselled him, ‘O beloved son, Mohammed, always remain present in the service of Imam al-Zaman AS. Syedna al-Muqaddas RA added that the very reason he was given the name Mohammed was so that he may serve Aale Mohammed AS.
In a bayān mubarak delivered on the eve of 18th Shabaan al-Kareem, 1381 H, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA recollected the countless blessings and bounties of the Almighty upon him, and through him, upon all Mumineen. He added that through his expressions of gratitude, he is the foremost of all those who are grateful for Allah’s blessings.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA recollected that the 50th Dai Mutlaq, Syedna Abdullah Badruddin RA, conferred nass upon him on the 28th of Safar al-Muzaffar, and shortly afterwards, on the 10th of Rabiʿ al-Awwal, he departed for his heavenly abode. The 40 days of siparah culminated on the 19th of Rabi al-Aakhar, and on the occasion of Syedna Badruddin’s RA chehlum, Surat was illuminated in commemoration of Syedna Badruddin’s RA memory. Serendipitously, on the eve of Saturday, 20th Rabiʿ al-Aakhar, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA was born.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA explained that the Duʿat Mutalqeen and select Dawat Hudud had adopted the Arab tradition of taking a teknonym, a name based upon one’s eldest son, known in Arabic as kunya. At that time Syedna RA did not have one, and he mentioned how those around him were urging, forcing him even, to take one prior to the birth of a son. Syedna RA revealed that he was awaiting the divine inspiration of the Imam AS, and soon after the birth of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, he took the kunya ‘Abu Mohammed’. He added that there had been substantial chatter regarding the choice of name as well, with many offering their suggestions. Once again in accordance with the wishes of Imam al-Zaman AS, he chose the name Mohammed, following the example of the 43rd Dai Mutlaq, Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA who named his son Mohammed (the 46th Dai Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Badruddin RA) and took up the kunya, Abu Mohammed.
Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA narrated how, in a relatively short span of time, he raised Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA through the ranks, taking his meethaq, conferring upon him the title ‘Mumin Baligh’, bestowing him with haddiyyat, elevating him to the position of mazoon, and at the same time, once again with the Imam’s AS inspiration, conferring nass upon him.
In times of hardships and incitement, Allah’s might revealed itself and divine providence ensured that the flow of blessings increased. Imam al-Zaman AS is the sole recipient of divine blessings and from him it reaches his Dai, through whom it comes to Mumineen. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA then narrated that he sent Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin to Yemen (in 1381 H), and specifically directed him to travel to Misr first, then on to Makkah, Madina and then Aden, in order to follow the route of the transmission of divine blessing. He sent him to Yemen to both give and receive barakat, to import and export it, and in doing so he performed 3 umrahs, ziyarat in Karbala and Najaf and then proceeded onto Karachi, where Mumineen flocked towards him. Working day and night he attended to their needs and then made his way to Delhi. Following this narration, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA stated, ‘Tonight I bestow upon the Delight of the Eye of the Imam of the Pious, Bhai Mohammed Burhanuddin, the title Mansur al-Yaman’
In his waʿz mubarak delivered upon the first ʿurs mubarak of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA in 1436 H, al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS expounded upon one of the titles bestowed upon Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA by Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA: Zubdat Dawat al-Haq (زبدة دعوة الحق), meaning the ‘Essence of the True and Right Dawat’. Syedna Saifuddin TUS mentioned that it is in accordance with the needs and challenges of the times that a Dai is prepared. He added that in a single day Syedna Burhanuddin RA had accomplished what would have taken others a hundred years. Thus, his era of 50 years, and his blessed life of 102, were of unimaginable progress, unfathomable achievements. His dissemination of knowledge; his fostering of good character — the fruits of which are being reaped today —; his firm stance against adversaries, some who even attempted to take his life; his nurturing of the community in the manner in which Maulatona al-Hurra al-Malika RA tended to Mumineen; and how he brought about an efflorescence in the mohabbat found in the hearts of Mumineen: all unprecedented and achieved in the short span of fifty years.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS then went on to list the various initiatives undertaken by Syedna Burhanuddin RA: the restoration of Jami’ Anwar and Masjid Azam in Kufa, numerous zarihs and qubbas, the construction of Raudat Tahera and the feat of inscribing the entire Quran Majeed upon its walls. Syedna Burhanuddin RA raised the prominence of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, unfurling its banners across the world. He established Mahad al-Zahra by virtue of which Mumineen the world over are memorizing the Quran. He founded Madrasa Saifiyah Burhaniyah, developed numerous madrasas, initiated various schemes for the socio-economic betterment and upliftment of Mumineen, such as Faid Enayat Amankin al-Anwar and Faid al-Mawaid al-Burhaniyya which endeavours to ensures that no Mumin goes to sleep hungry. He started the practice of giving and taking Qardan Hasana to ensure the growth and prosperity of businesses, programs for the protection of the environment and the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Project which is taking place in and around the precincts of Raudat Tahera.
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS also highlighted the tireless travels undertaken by Syedna Burhanuddin RA to the towns and cities in which Mumineen resided, how he graced them with his qadambosi, counsel and glances. He blessed their homes with his presence and ziyafats, until the desire and enthusiasm amongst Mumineen swelled to such an extent that collective ziyafats began to take place. At the time of his passing there were between 700 to 1000 individuals who were awaiting an opportunity of doing ziyafat. Over the course of his life, Syedna Burhanuddin RA carried out thousands of deeds, the greatest of them being gathering Mumineen upon the zikr of Imam Husain AS during Ashara Mubaraka.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS narrated the heartrending moments of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA final days amongst us and the grief and despair that engulfed the entire community at his passing. As only a beloved son and successor can, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS shed light on the erudition and divine wisdom in the timing of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA departure for his heavenly abode. On the eve of Nabi Mohammed’s SAW Milad, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA proceeded to Raudat Tahera for what would be his final ziyarat, and for Mumineen, his final deedar. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS vividly described how Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA countenance, specifically his eyes, shone with the nūr of Imam al-Zaman AS in a striking, unprecedented manner. There was so much radiance, that Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS instructed those present to take a photograph of Syedna Burhanuddin’s RA shining countenance for posterity. Four days later, on the 16th of Rabiʿ al-Awwal, Syedna Burhanuddin RA departed for his heavenly abode.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS explained the connection between the numbers 12 and 16, and how Syedna Burhanuddin’s RA final ziyarat on the night of Milad al-Nabi, his final audience with Mumineen, and most importantly, the radiance that shone from his countenance on that 12th night, were together an indication of his impending demise on the 16th and his wish to become one with his Imam AS. In Arabic, the number 2, which is needed to write 12, is written with a shallow curve, drawn from right to left, followed by a vertical line (٢). The number 6 in 16, conversely, consists of a shallow curve drawn from the left to right, similarly joined by a vertical line (٦). As such the number 2 is an inverted reflection of the number 6. Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS instructed talabat and Mumineen to draw the letter and place it in front of a mirror in order to better understand the reciprocality between the numbers 2 and 6. Furthering this intricate correlation between the date of Syedna Burhanuddin’s RA final radiant deedar and the date of his passing, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS explained that when the two inverted numbers, 2 and 6, are placed side by side (٦٢), they resemble a human face: a nose and a pair of eyes. Thus, on the 12th night, the radiance in Nabi Mohammed’s dai’s blessed, mirror-like eyes, was a reflection of Imam al-Zaman’s nūr and an augury of his passing on the 16th, when he would choose his Imam’s AS companionship, take a place in his benevolent gaze before his radiant eyes, and achieve the closeness of ‘two bow lengths or nearer’ (53:9). That the 40th Dai Mutlaq, Syedna Hibat Allah al-Mu’ayyad fi al-Din RA, whose radiant countenance had been described as reflecting the nūr of Panjatan Paak AS, was born on the 16th of Rabiʿ al-Awwal, is further evidence of the correlation between Syedna Burhanuddin’s RA nūr and the date of his passing.
Continuing his narration of Syedna’s RA wafaat, Syedna Saifuddin TUS described how each night prior to his passing various qasāʾid and marāthi would be recited in his presence. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA spent his final night engrossed in ʿibādat. As that fateful Friday dawned, Syedna Burhanuddin RA entered the presence of Imam al-Zaman AS and did his deedar.
As news spread across towns and cities, the hearts of Mumineen were shattered. Each and every Mumin had been bestowed with his benevolence. Like Syedna Burhanuddin RA at the passing of Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS revealed how he took the wasila of both Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA at this difficult juncture. He exclaimed, ‘My grief is overpowering, how am I to act!’ Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS described how he travelled from Colombo to Saifee Mahal and witnessed the radiance shining from Burhanuddin Maula’s RA room. He recalled that countless times he used to enter this room for qadambosi, seeking shifāʾ. The sight of Mumineen entering the ground floor hall that night reminded Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS of the narration of Ziyad al-Aswad and Imam’s AS affirmation: ‘Faith is nought but love!’ Mumineen young and old, healthy and infirm, on their feet or in wheelchairs, came their only desire was that they have the honour of one final glimpse of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. The janaza mubaraka made its way from Saifee Mahal along the very route upon which scores of Mumineen would gather for the deedar of Syedna Burhanuddin RA each time he proceeded towards Saifee Masjid or Raudat Tahera. It was only a short number of years ago that a grand procession had taken place here in celebration of his 100th Milad Mubarak. The janaza mubaraka then reached Ghurrat al-Masajid, the very masjid where for years on end Mumineen would gather for namaz with Syedna Burhanuddin RA and for his waʿz mubarak, yet on this day they had all gathered to pray namaz upon his janaza mubaraka. While narrating the burial proceedings, Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS exclaimed, ‘This was the very hand that had saved thousands from hellfire and led them to heaven and continues to do so!’
In memory of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, Syedna Saifuddin TUS prescribed seven deeds that Mumineen should observe with due diligence on various occasions each year:
(1) On the night of Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA urs mubarak every year, Mumineen should pray tawassul namaz in honour of them both. (2) They should pray the same tawassul namaz on the day of ʿAshura (3) as well as during Lailat al-Qadr. (4) In addition to Syedna Hatim and Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, darees majalis should also be convened in the name of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA. (5) On the 16th night or day of each month, Mumineen should remember Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s RA many benefactions and virtues. (6) Just as Mumineen offer Qardan Hasana every Friday, they should also do so on the 16th of each month. (7) All those initiatives that strive for the betterment and upliftment of Mumineen, such as Faid al-Mawaid al-Burhaniyyah and Faid Enayat Amakin al-Anwar should tirelessly continue to do so in memory of Syedna Burhanuddin RA.
In the midst of narrating Imam Husain’s AS shahadat, Syedna TUS paused to remind us that it is due to the benevolence of Syedna Burhanuddin RA that we are today blessed with the ability to shed tears on Imam Husain AS. Every tear is invaluable and the practise of shedding tears constitutes the highest and most noble form of knowledge. Syedna TUS exhorted us to never neglect this niʿmat and to always ensure its perpetuation in our lifetime and for generations to come. He counseled us to seek all forms of knowledge and achieve the highest standards of learning but never to forget that this knowledge, the knowledge of shedding tears, is unparalleled and without it all other knowledge is in vain.
May Allah Taʿala grant Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS a long life in pristine health until the Day of Qiyamat.