Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA at the Qabr Mubarak of Syedna Badruddin RA in Jamnagar.

Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA at the Qabr Mubarak of Syedna Badruddin RA in Jamnagar.

Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Ismail Badruddin RA

Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Ismail Badruddin RA (d. 1085/1674) was the 34th Dai among the chain of Du’at Mutlaqeen RA. After times of tribulation for the Bohra community, including persecution and ultimately the martyrdom of Syedna Qutbuddin al-Shaeed RA in Ahmedabad in 1056/1646, Syedna Ismail Badruddin’s RA tenure was one of prosperity and bounty. Having served seven of his predecessors to the office al-Dai al -Mutlaq in Ahmedabad with sincerity of heart and having been prepared at their hands, Syedna Ismail Badruddin RA had vowed upon himself that if he were to be honoured with the position of the al-Dai al-Mutlaq, he would provide daily meals to students in the al-Dai al-Mutlaq’s academy. After the sad demise of the 33rd al-Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Pirkhan Shujauddin RA, Syedna Ismail Badruddin RA took over the reigns of Dawat and fulfilled his vow to nourish the students of the academy. Despite his old age, Syedna Ismail Badruddin RA was renowned for his piety and dedication to prayer and instruction of students. Today, the Mawaid Saifiyah, Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah’s dining hall, and the hundreds of thousands of meals provided to students and faculty alike every year, are a result of the generosity and benevolence of Syedna Ismail Badruddin RA and is testament to the al-Dai al-Mutlaq’s nourishment of both the body and the soul. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA describes Syedna Ismail Badruddin’s RA great stature and this centuries-old tradition of the Du’at Mutlaqeen RA in the followings words:

He (Syedna Ismail Badruddin RA) used to say, “I have toiled in the service [of the Duat] to such an extent that if the body’s extremities were made of gold or silver, they would have worn away.” Then he would state, “if the rank of Dawat (al-Dai al-Mutlaq) comes to me I will feed the seekers of knowledge”. He did and this tradition of providing meals to students exists until this very day. My father (Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA) upheld this tradition of feeding the students of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah… and a hundred years before him Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA did the same. And in every age, there is a Dai of this stature (who upholds this tradition). He would enlighten Mumineen, Talabat al-Ilm (seekers of knowledge) with ‘ilm and divine wisdom according to their need and capacity. He would provide their physical nourishment in a similar manner. As he had done, I do today. May Allah Ta’ala give me strength; may students continue to be provided physical nourishment as well spiritual: “Verily, Allah Himself is the Provider of all sustenance, the Lord of all might, the Eternal!”