Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah Mourns the Loss of its Rector

Syedi Mazoon al-Dawat Shahzadah Aliasgar Kalimuddin was born on the 9th of Zilhijja al-Haram 1351 H/4th April 1933. He was the 8th son of the 51st Dai Mutlaq Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and half brother of the 52nd Dai Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA.

From an early age he excelled at academics and was described by Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA as having a capacious memory. Syedna Saifuddin RA makes reference to him in his Risalat Ramadaniyya Takbir Sakinat Fath Mubin, which he authored in the year 1367 H/1948. This was the year when Syedi Mazoon Saheb was elevated to the rank of haddiyat and given the epithet ‘Kalimuddin.’

He served Dawat in numerous capacities throughout his life. A wide range of departments and institutions such as Alvazaratus Saifiyah (Syedna’s secretariat), Burhani Educational Society, MSB Educational Institute, and Burhani college of Commerce and Arts were among those which benefited from his wisdom, guidance and leadership and progressed greatly as a result.

Following the demise of Syedi Mazoon al-Dawat Shahzadah Qasim Hakimuddin, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS appointed him one of the four rectors of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah on 20th Rajab al-Asab 1439 H/5th April 2018. Prior to his appointment as rector, on two occasions in the year 1416 H/1995 and 1426 H/2005 - he conducted Aljamea’s viva voce examinations on behalf of Shahzadah Hakimuddin.

On 20th Rabi al-Akhar 1439 H/7th January 2018, Syedna Saifuddin TUS elevated him to the rank of Mukasir and thereafter, on 27th Jumada al-Ukhra 1440 H/4th March 2019, he was elevated to the rank of Mazoon, a position he held until his demise.

His entire life can be succinctly summed up as a life characterised by the love of knowledge and led in its pursuit and service. Those who had the good fortune of participating in his asbāq (traditional sessions of learning where entire books and treatises on varied subjects are covered over a period of time) and learning from him will recall the mastery with which he taught. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA praised his conviction and dedication in delivering asbāq. He had an uncanny ability to contextualise even the most complex concepts and thoughts by giving practical examples, pithy anecdotes, as well as his lived experiences carefully selected from his countless interactions and exchanges with Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, and Syedna Mufaddal Safuiddin TUS, the three Dais he had the privilege of serving. People would travel from great distances to be a part of his asbāq, which until his very last days, occupied the greater part of his daily schedule.

His passion for knowledge is further exemplified by his numerous publications, most prominent among which is a collection of volumes known as Jawahir al-Kalam al-Ghaliya (the gems of invaluable words). Each volume, published annually with the explicit raza and permission of Syedna, contains excerpts from discourses delivered by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA and Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS on various occasions throughout that year. It is prefaced by a scholarly introduction in praise of Syedna and in appreciation of the themes and intricacies he has dealt with in his sermons and discourses, how they can be understood within the broader context of the year’s occurrences, and how their teachings can be implemented in a practicable manner.

In addition to his erudite scholarship, Shahzada Kalimuddin was an adept orator. The simplicity of his diction and softness of tone coupled with the gravity and depth of the concepts he conveyed made for an arresting and intellectually engaging discourse which left his audiences captivated for hours on end. Yet despite the elevated position from which he approached his lofty subject, his anecdotes and quips always offered light hearted moments that reflected the mastery of his skill.

In Fatimi philosophy, ʿibādat (worship) is bifurcated into two equally necessary and important parts; ʿilmiyya and ʿamaliyya (intellectual and practical). In addition to his diligence in matters of the intellect, Shahzada Kalimuddin demonstrated great devotion in his observance of ʿibādat ʿamaliya as well. This is evidenced by the manner in which, even during his final Ramadan, at the age of 95, he did not miss a single namaz with Syedna TUS nor did he forgo a single rozu. He was also an advocate for the importance of physical fitness and engaged in daily exercise.

Shahzada Kalimuddin had a warm and charismatic personality. His disarming smile had the tendency to put people immediately at ease, giving them the confidence to ask him any question and to broach any topic without inhibition.

During Aljamea’s viva voce examinations, a challenging and testing time for students and faculty alike, his smiling countenance and nods of encouragement, as students tried to navigate the complexities of the questions posed to them, served both as a source of guidance and inspiration. Despite any shortcomings, he would always appreciate and applaud the efforts of students and faculty members, giving them further impetus to continue striving for excellence in the pursuit of knowledge and diligence in the service of Syedna, the community and humanity at large. His paternal warmth will be missed deeply and his exemplary legacy of service will continue to inspire, within Aljamea and throughout the larger Dawoodi Bohra community.

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