Difference between sunni and bohras
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:
Can you tell me the difference between Sunni Muslims and Dawoodi Bohras? From what I can understand both believe in the ONE GOD ALLAH and his last Prophet Muhammed(Saws).
Then why should they both call themsleves by different names and not just Moslems as they rightfully should be?
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Difference between sunni and bohras
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever 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.
The Bohras are a business community with its predominant base in the west-coast state of Gujarat in India. Dawoodi Bohras are a sect of the Fatimid Shia school of thought and about one million people claim to follow this sect of Islam all over the world.
Bohra is not a religion by itself. It is a Gujrati-speaking caste originating from the Kuch area of India. They were predominantly a business community, some of whom converted to Islam, and that is how a community amongst them came to be known as Dawoodi Bohras. There are many Hindus who are Bohras, and most of the Dawoodi Bohras are converts from Hinduism in the early times. There is no more propagation of Islam in Bohraism, thus there are no more converts.
The honest truth of the matter is that the ‘aqeedah’ of the Dawoodi Bohras is nowhere near the ‘aqeedah’ of the main-stream muslims. The Dawoodi Bohras are an off-shoot of the Shia sect, and their ‘aqeedah’ and belief is very much in line with the Shias, and at times, even further away from the Truth and Guidance of the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
The Dawoodi Bohras believe in the imamate of the progeny of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taalib, and believe all the way upto the 21st imam. Then they have a system of ‘Dais’, and Syedna Burhanudeen is the 52nd Dai in succession.
The Syedna is their undisputed spiritual leader. But in reality, he is their god!! (Aoo-dho-billah). The Syedna then appoints people, mostly from his family, in a system, whereby all of them hold very powerful positions in the community and are always above any member of the community. The Syedna and his family and mission are based in Bombay, and run the organization by having a permanent ambassador of theirs in probably every county and city in the world, wherever the Bohras reside! It is a very well organized system, whereby all the zakaah, and all other funds in the names of ‘sabeel’, ‘wajebaat’, ‘khums’, etc. are collected and sent to the treasury of the Syedna and his family. The Syedna and his family are probably billionaires, and they use this wealth, power and influence to subjugate the community. He and his family are the sole authority in running the affairs, and nobody dare ask any questions or raise any objection, for fear of being ostracized by them! The relationship between the common Bohras and the Syedna is that of slaves to a master, and the Bohras pride themselves in being called Abd-Syedna (slaves of Syedna!). They even bow down in ‘sajdah’ (prostration) to the Syedna and to the graves of his ancestors in submission and gratefulness.
The main reasons the common Bohras believe in the Syedna and his family as their spiritual leaders and blindly follow and obey them is:
They believe the Syedna is appointed by the Imam with the authority from Allah Subhanah.
They are not allowed to understand the Holy Quran, which would have made it very clear that there is no god worthy of worship, except Allah Subhanah Alone!
They are made to believe by the Syedna and his cronies, that they have the sole rights to Paradise!
They are made to believe that the Syedna and his ancestors can somehow help them in the Court of Allah on the Day of Judgement.
The single biggest reason for their deviation is that the Syedna and his family do not allow the followers, to understand the Holy Quran. They are allowed and advocated regularly to recite the Quran in Arabic, but they do not understand a word of it. In my opinion, the Bohras probably recite more Quran, than any other community in Islam, but unfortunately, they do not follow the commandments, simply because they do not understand it, nor are they allowed to understand it.
The administrators of this forum were born into the Dawoodi Bohra sect, but Allah guided us to read and understand the Holy Quran. And now, we have made it our mission, to invite our Bohra brethren to read and understand the Holy Quran once. We are confident, once any person, who has any common-sense, understands the clear message of the Glorious Quran, he will be guided to the true deen of Islam.
Our only intention and mission is to invite whoever wants to listen to good caution, to read and understand the clear guidance and teachings of the Holy Quran; so that they can leave their various sects and come to the one true deen of Islam and be honored to be recognized by the name that Allah Himself has chosen for the believers: that is, ‘muslims’.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78: O you who have believed, do ‘rukooh’ (bow down) and do ‘sajdah’ (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should. He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion. Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham. Allah had named you ‘muslims’ before this, and has named you (muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind.
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,