About Dawoodi Bohras :
Dawoodi Bohras are the main branch of the Bohras, a Mustali subsect of Isma'ili Shia Islam, and are based in India. Dawoodi Bohras community encourages its members to gain education in both religious and secular knowledge. Besides, unlike many other sects of Islam, Dawoodi Bohras believe that the education of women is as important as that of men. Today, many Dawoodi Bohra women choose to enter the workforce.
History and Origin :
Bohras believe that the 21st Imam, Tayyab Abi l-Qasim, a direct descendant of Muhammad (via his daughter Fatimatu-z-Zahra or "Fatema"), went into seclusion and established the offices of the Dai-l-Mutlaq, Ma'šun and Mukasir. The Dai-l-Mutlaq is the Imam's vicegerent, with full authority to govern the Dawoodi Bohra community in matters both spiritual and temporal.
During the Imam's seclusion, the Dai-l-Mutlaq is appointed by his predecessor in office. The Madhun and Mukasir are in turn appointed by the Dai-l-Mutlaq. A fundamental belief of the Dawoodi Bohras is that the presence of the secluded Imam is guaranteed by the presence of the Dai-l-Mutlaq.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin has appointed Syedi Khuzaima Qutbuddin as his Ma'un and Syedi Husain Husamuddin as his Mukasir.
Spiritual Leader :
Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. He is known as the Dai-l-Mutlaq and is the 52nd Dai in an unbroken chain of Daiyyun.
Besides speaking the local languages, the Bohras have their own language called Lisanu-l-Dawat "Tongue of the Dawat". This is written in Arabic script but is derived from Urdu, Gujarati and Arabic.
Traditional Occupation :
Dawoodi Bohras have traditionally been traders but in present times they are increasingly becoming professionals like doctors, consultants etc.
Population and Regional Spread :
It is estimated that there are approximately one million Dawoodi Bohras today. The majority of these reside in India and Pakistan, but there is also a significant diaspora resident in the Middle East, East Africa, Europe, North America and the Far East.
Marriage Preference :
Prefer marriage within their community.
Traditional Attire :
The Bohras have special attire. On a traditional occasion, Dawoodi Bohra men wear a traditional white three piece outfit, plus a white and gold cap (called a topi). Bohra women wear the rida, a distinctive form of the commonly known burka. The rida is distinguished from other forms of the veil as it is often in colour and decorated with patterns and lace.
Progressive Dawoodi Bohras :
Progressive Dawoodi Bohra are a small minority of the Bohras who reject the authority of the Dai over temporal matters, and view the role of the Dai as a spiritual guide only. These dissidents regard Asghar Ali Engineer as one of their leaders. These progressive Bohras are engaged in a struggle to bring about social reform in their community.