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Link between Imam and Dai

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



one of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

dear dawoodi bohra team

forstly i would like to congratulate you on the good n highly useful work that u have been doing my question to you is "how has dai got their status and on what basis can we believe in them as we know the imam tayaib had no children ? i fail to understand this i hope u have understood my question if not then please let me know thankyou


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Link between Imam and Dai

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Your Question: my question to you is "how has dai got their status and on what basis can we believe in them as we know the imam tayaib had no children ?

The first thing we must understand that it is only the Prophets of Allah who have the authority to come to mankind and declare that they have been appointed as Prophets by Allah. No imam, no dai, no bhaisaheb, no sheikh, no mullah, no whatever… has a right to come to man and say that he has been appointed by Allah! These are chosen by man himself and have absolutely no basis and no authority from Allah.


To answer your question directly, Imam Tayyeb was a four year old child when he was forced into hiding or ‘purdah’, because of a political turmoil in the Fatemid leadership. As the story goes, Imam Mustansir and Iman Al-Amir supposedly appointed a woman by the name of Hurrat-ul-Maleka as HUJJA an interim leader, who in turn appointed the first dai as Syedna Zoeb ibn Moosa in Yemem. Then the Dai appointed the next Dai before he died to succeed him, and that is how this chain is established. Please note that at various times, there were disputes as to who was the appointed Dai, and at several stages more sub-sects were formed in the Bohra faith like the Najmi Bohras, Alia Bohras Sulaimani Bohras, Dawoodi Bohras, etc.


Your Question: how has dai got their status and on what basis can we believe in them.

The status of the Dai has evolved over a period of time. In the beginning, these were pious scholars who did ‘daawah’ and propagated the deen of Islam to the masses. The literal meaning of the Arabic word ‘dai’ is ‘one who invites or calls’. Over time, the Dai, in the absence of the imam (as he was now in purdah), evolved to take over the exact position of the imam, to act and do exactly as the imam would have done. And unfortunately, today, the evolution has probably gone too far and some people think that the Dai is the Messenger of Allah; and at times the followers give the same rights and status that is due only to the Prophets of Allah! So much so, that even the Dai’s wives are given the position of ‘Umm-al-Mumeneen’ (mother of the believers), which was the right exclusively given by Allah to only the wives of Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws) in the Holy Quran.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 6:The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers.


The truth is that there is absolutely no basis or authority from the Holy Quran or in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws), to believe in any person unconditionally. A believer is commanded by Allah to unconditionally believe, obey, and follow only Allah and His Messenger (saws). Other than that, no human being has been given that right! And if indeed one wants to follow the preaching of some leader or scholar, then the basis should always be the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws). If what the leader or scholar is preaching is from the Holy Quran and Sunnah, then it is fine to follow him; and if the leader is preaching anything which is not from the Quran and Sunnah, it cannot be guidance, and should be immediately rejected. Thus the basis for any believer must, at all times, be the clear guidance of the Holy Quran and of the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (saws).


Your Question: we know the imam tayaib had no children ?

The only thing we are told by the current leadership is that Imam Tayyeb went into an apparent ‘purdah’ at the age of four. Where he is or was, where he lived or lives, what he did or does, etc. all remain a mystery! The only thing the leadership tells us is that there is always a descendant of Imam Tayyeb alive and well in this planet earth, and he apparently is in touch with the current Dai through a process of dreams or ‘ilhaams’; whereby, the current Imam commands the current Dai to do whatever needs to be done! This is what is being told, and this is what the Bohras believe as the basis of their deen.


Even if we are to agree with these various twists and turns, the following logical questions remain unanswered:


Where is the Imam today?

Is he alone living somewhere, or does he too have a following like the Syedna?

If he has a following in today’s world, we would definitely know it, as they would be similar in belief and actions to the Dawoodi Bohras. Wouldn’t they? Why is he still in seclusion? Why does he not come out and proclaim himself? There is no apparent threat to his life or belief today.

We are made to believe that the Imam and Syedna correspond to each other by ‘ilhaam’, whereby the Imam comes in the Syedna’s dreams. Has Allah indeed given any man the power to come in another’s dream at will and correspond with him? Allah did not even give this kind of powers to His appointed Messengers!!

Is it the same 4 year old Imam Tayyeb alive today after these hundreds of years, or is it his descendants?

Today we live in a secular and non-Godly world. There would absolutely be no harm to the Imam’s life or mission if he were to reveal himself to mankind today (if there is indeed one to be revealed!).

How come the leadership never mention anything about the Imam, except his name?

And the most important question of all…. If this concept of the appointment of the Imam is so important and pivotal to Islam and its survival, how come nothing (absolutely nothing) has been mentioned about it in the Holy Quran? How come the Messenger of Allah (saws) never mentioned anything about this Imam and his seclusion? Did Allah and His Messenger (saws) forget to tell us about this very important aspect of Islam and its survival?


Glory be to Allah! Allah and His Messenger (saws) did not forget anything that was needed for our guidance to Islam. If something is not from the Quran and Sunnah, then it does not form part of Islam… and there is absolutely nothing in either the Holy Quran or the Sunnah about the Imam, his seclusion, about the Dais, about their succession, about their superiority, about their correspondence through ‘ilham’, about …!!!! These are their wishful fantasies and their whims, which have absolutely no basis in the deen of Islam! Can you imagine the deen of Islam being based on these kind of stories….. My dear brothers and sisters, this Islam is the deen of Truth from Allah Subhanah and based on nothing but the Truth. …. Not some mythological story of a four year old boy hiding in seclusion for approximately 800 years and having the power to correspond with the Syedna by coming in his dreams at will!!! Nothing in Islam is illogical, and this fantastic story of the Imam and the Dai does not have an iota of logic around it!!!!


What we do know is that the Holy Quran is the Book of Allah, which was revealed for our guidance. What we do know is that Mohamed ibn Abdulla (saws) was appointed the Last Messenger of Allah. What we do know is that the deen of Islam was revealed in completion before the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and no changes are allowed in that deen. What we must realize today, is that to practice Islam, we only need to follow two things … 1. The Holy Quran and 2. The Messenger of Allah (saws). If anyone is guiding from any other source than the above two divine sources, you can be assured of mis-guidance!


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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