Al-Mawāʾid: (Dining Hall)

The 34th Dāʿī Syedna Ismaʿil Badruddin RA (d. 1085/1674) provided lodging and boarding facilities in Jamnagar for students who came to him seeking knowledge. For over three hundred years, Duʿāt Mutlaqīn have continued this noble legacy of providing students with both physical and spiritual nourishment.

The dining hall of Aljamea is known as al-Mawāʾid. Students, professors, instructors and all administrative staff dine in the Mawāʾid. In addition, faculty households are provided daily with lunch and dinner that serve three to four people. Every day approximately three thousand individuals are served, totalling some 2.2 million meals per year. Stress upon hygiene and balanced diet is abundant throughout Fatimi texts, which is why menus are prepared after extensive consultation with nutritionists and dieticians. Hygiene is given utmost attention to ensure that al-Mawāʾid staff and diners remain in the best of health.

Pictured right: The exterior facade of the newly constructed al-Mawāʾid building in Nairobi. The central arch and accompanying design are inspired by the mausoleum of Syedna Ismaʿil Badruddin RA in Jamnagar.


Meals are consumed in a thāl: a large serving platter allowing eight to nine individuals to eat together. Aside from its symbolism of Islam’s egalitarianism, the circular format facilitates discussion and inclusion. Fatimi texts emphasise the importance and rewards of being a gracious host when inviting people for meals. In accordance with these values, students serve their fellow colleagues themselves. Generally, students in their final two years render this service.

Pictured: Students at the Mawāʾid Badriyya in Nairobi. The ceilings circular pattern mimics the thāl formations below.