Aljamea is the educational legacy 
of the Dawoodi Bohra community

The history of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah is synonymous with the history and tradition of Fatimi education established at the dawn of Islam. Although Aljamea today is in the form of a physical institute, in spirit Aljamea is the educational legacy of the Dawoodi Bohra community.

The Bedrock of Aljamea

The Holy Quran

The bedrock of this movement has always been and will always remain the Holy Quran, which in its first articulation asked the Nabi Mohammed SAW, and through him, all of humankind to read and learn. The Prophet SAW made the pursuit of knowledge an obligation for every Muslim man and woman.

During the course of the second/eighth century
This movement blossomed during the course of the second/eighth century when Imam Mohammed al-Baqir AS and Imam Jaʿfar al-Sadiq AS, the 4th and 5th imams respectively, categorised and elaborated upon the corpus of jurisprudential knowledge they inherited from their noble grandfather the Prophet Mohammed SAW and educated a generation of notable jurists.
During the third/eighth century
The encyclopaedic epistles of Ikhwān al-Safāʾ, composed by Imam Ahmad al-Taqi AS during the third/eighth century, illustrated the divine nature of knowledge and confronted an unsound rationalistic dogma that had spread across the Islamic world intended to undermine prophetic revelation. The epistles prove that divine revelation encompasses other philosophies and branches of knowledge and that each discipline, when perceived with the discerning eye of the imam, attests to the oneness of Allah and can be a means of becoming closer to Him.
An efflorescence of learning
The foundations established by these imams impelled a civilisation that saw all forms of learning flower upon an epistemology soundly rooted in the Islamic value system. Science and philosophies developed under the firm belief of a created purposeful universe. In this milieu, the Fatimi state, headed by the imam AS from the progeny of the Prophet SAW, excelled and bequeathed to posterity its rich philosophy of education and noble legacy of knowledge.

The pursuit of knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman.

Prophet Mohammed SAW
THE GATEWAY TO KNOWLEDGE

Al-Azhar

Soon after founding the city of Cairo, al-Imam al-Muʿizz li Deen Allah AS established al-Azhar University, one of the oldest universities in the world still in operation. Teaching sessions were initiated in 365/975, and in due course Azhar became renowned throughout the Muslim world for the quality of its tuition and for the provision of free boarding and lodging to its students.

Imam’s chief justice Syedna al-Qadi al-Nuʿman RA was a prolific writer who authored books on jurisprudence, history, ethics and philosophy. His comprehensive jurisprudential work Daʿāʾim al-Islam was and remains the authoritative Fatimi code of law. Similarly, in 395/1005 al-Imam al-Hakim bi Amr Allah AS founded the House of Knowledge in Cairo which attracted intellectuals from all over the world. The subjects taught included history, literature, jurisprudence, lexicology, grammar, law and medicine. The house and its magnificent library of thousands of works were open to all. His chief dāʿī, Syedna Hamiduddin al-Kirmani RA exhibited mastery over many disciplines, the most notable among them being philosophy on which he has written a number of significant works. This efflorescence of scholarship reached its zenith with the eight hundred treatises of Syedna al-Muʾayyad al-Shirazi RA which combined commentaries on Quranic interpretation and Fatimi philosophy in an unprecedented manner of dialectic discourse.

the gateway to knowledge

Al-Azhar

Education system

Similarly, in 395/1005 al-Imam al-Hakim bi Amr Allah AS founded the House of Knowledge in Cairo which attracted intellectuals from all over the world. The subjects taught included history, literature, jurisprudence, lexicology, grammar, law and medicine. The house and its magnificent library of thousands of works were open to all. His chief dāʿī, Syedna Hamiduddin al-Kirmani RA exhibited mastery over many disciplines, the most notable among them being philosophy on which he has written a number of significant works.

Previous great scholars

Imam’s chief justice Syedna al-Qadi al-Nuʿman RA was a prolific writer who authored books on jurisprudence, history, ethics and philosophy. His comprehensive jurisprudential work Daʿāʾim al-Islam was and remains the authoritative Fatimi code of law. This efflorescence of scholarship reached its zenith with the eight hundred treatises of Syedna al-Muʾayyad al-Shirazi RA which combined commentaries on Quranic interpretation and Fatimi philosophy in an unprecedented manner of dialectic discourse.
a new centre of learning

Yemen

Following the seclusion of the imams, their vicegerents, the duʿāt mutlaqīn RA preserved and enriched the tradition of education and learning that was the essence of Fatimi civilization. The duʿāt fostered the Fatimi educational system in Yemen and continued documenting the history and philosophical heritage of the imams in writing, building up a priceless library of texts. Treatises composed by Tayyibi dāʿīs in Yemen represent one of the greatest corpuses of literature on the concepts of Ismaili and Fatimi cosmology, theology as well as philosophy, and are the focus of scholarly study to this very day.

The journey continues today

The Locus Of Learning Shifted
To India With The Duʿāt

Arrival and Establishment
in India
Over four centuries ago, in 946/1539, when the duʿāt came to India, the locus of learning shifted with them. Ahmedabad, a city in western India, soon became the seat of Dawat where the 27th dāʿī, Syedna Dawood bin Qutubshah RA, established an academy for Fatimi theology.


Persecution and
Perseverance
Since the community was perceived as a non-conforming, heretical minority by various governors and clerics, it suffered extensive persecution and discrimination. Despite this, the duʿāt adhered to their traditions of learning, fulfilling their responsibilities even in the direst circumstances. Teaching sessions were sometimes held on rooftops at night or in underground shelters.
Transition and Institutionalization
The movement shifted with the duʿāt as their seat of Dawat moved to various Indian cities, finally settling in Surat. In 1225/1810, nearly three centuries later, the 43rd dāʿī, Syedna Abdeʿali Saifuddin RA, institutionalized this educational movement as Darse Saifee in a purpose-built academy funded by his own wealth. Stages of learning were defined, and an academic hierarchy was established.
Surat Campus

Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah,
Devri Mubarak,
Zampa Bazaar, Begampura,
Surat, Gujarat, 395003, India

261-3011110
surat@jameasaifiyah.edu

Karachi Campus

Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah
St-8 Block-C, North 
Nazimabad, Karachi,
74700, Pakistan

38636600
karachi@jameasaifiyah.edu
Nairobi Campus

Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah,
Saifee Park, Syedna Mohammed 
Burhanuddin Road, Nairobi,
00100, Kenya

020-7650283/84
nairobi@jameasaifiyah.edu
Mumbai Campus

Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah,
3 Bori Colony
Marol, Andheri East, Mumbai,
Maharashtra, 400059, India

222-8317500
mumbai@jameasaifiyah.edu
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