Al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA (1333/1915-1435/2014)

His Holiness Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA succeeded his father as the 52nd al-Dai al-Mutlaq in 1385/1965. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA had personally tutored his heir, keeping him by his side throughout his life.  At the age of 20 Syedna Burhanuddin RA memorised the Holy Quran in its entirety. Syedna RA has authored a number of Arabic literary works as well as treatises on Islamic theology and philosophy and has made significant contributions to the study of North African Fatemi history during his extensive travels there in 1969. Syedna RA has received multiple honours from governments and institutions world over in recognition of his scholarly achievements and was the chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, India from 1419/1999 to 1422/2002.

Like the Du’at before him, Syedna RA had ensured that Aljamea’s goals remain relevant. By providing various facilities and a range of resources, he has cultivated the mindset, skills and expertise required to assess and benefit from developments in all disciplines.  The campus redevelopment in Surat, the inauguration of a new campus in Karachi along with the construction of two new campuses in Nairobi and Mumbai, the establishment of Mahad al Zahra and the infusion of information technology into teaching and learning reflect Syedna’s RA efforts in ensuring the continuous fulfillment of Aljamea’s objectives. Likewise, faculty professional development and participation in international conferences along with scholarships for post-graduate education reiterate his belief in the utilisation of all means for the betterment of the institute.

Syedna Burhanuddin RA overseeing shafahi imtehaan (oral examinations) in 1426/2005.

Syedna Burhanuddin RA overseeing shafahi imtehaan (oral examinations) in 1426/2005.

The following words of His Holiness Syedna Burhanuddin RA are a fitting summary of Aljamea’s development over the last two centuries and reflect his aspirations for Aljamea’s future and its children:

Jamea Saifiyah’s blessings continue to reach us till this very day. It is a benevolence of Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin; and one hundred years later, Syedna Taher Saifuddin led Aljamea to greater heights. He let flow from within it the rivers of barakaat (blessings) and nurtured souls with the knowledge of Aale Mohammed (the progeny of Mohammed, i.e. the Fatemi imams). How many students have been prepared over these several years! ….It is my prayer that Allah Ta’ala guide them so that they act in accordance with what they have learned for action is obligated with knowledge. Through action and knowledge combined are all aspirations achieved…. There is a Jamea Saifiyah in Surat, and likewise on its basis, one in Karachi. Seekers of knowledge, both male and female, come here and learn. I further pray that more are inspired and the number of male and female students grows. May young men and women come here to Surat and upon the completion of 11 years of care and nurturing, graduate fully prepared for service [to the community and society].