Centennial celebrations: Dawoodi Bohras welcome stamp with history

Birthday celebrations of religious leader attract hundreds.

Fatima Attarwala July 18, 2011


A commemorative stamp was officially issued as part of the celebrations for his Holiness Dr Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin’s (TUS) 100th birthday, on Sunday.

Out of a total of 500,000 stamps which will be issued later, the initial offering of 5,000 stamps was made available at the Dawoodi Bohra mosque Tahiri Masjid. The stamp depicts a subsidiary branch of Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah which was established in North Nazimabad.

The institute was established by Syedna Tahir Saiffuddin, the father of Syedna Muhammad Burhanudin, in 1969. The Indian branch of Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah is a 200-year-old educational institution of the Dawoodi Bohras. The Karachi branch upholds the tradition of imparting religious knowledge to Bohra scholars, thus it holds a unique position in the Dawoodi Bohra history.

Originally, it was decided that Syedna Burhanuddin’s photograph would be on the stamp, but eventually the building which depicts more than a thousand years of the community’s heritage was chosen. The architecture of the Karachi branch is reminiscent of the style from the days of the Fatimid Empire.

Hence, the memento not only commemorates the 100th birthday of the community’s spiritual leader, but it also serves as a monument to the rich architecture of the Fatimid Empire.

Education and enlightenment is a focal point in the teachings of Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin. By displaying the architecture of their religious educational institute in Karachi, the stamp symbolises the teachings of the Syedna and preserves them for posterity, moreover it serves as a reminder that the Bohras have contributed much to Pakistan.

In true Bohra tradition, the guests did not have to leave their seats to get food, instead refreshments in the form of samosas and gulab jamun were served directly to them at the end of the ceremony. In the background, the uniform-clad Bohra band, with their plaid-draped scarves, played their bagpipes, drums and flutes while people lined up to buy the limited edition stamps.

Officials of the Pakistan Post Office and members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries were present. They spoke of the high level of education within the community and the discipline with which the community is governed. In their addresses to the gathering of hundreds of Bohras, they underlined the respect accorded by the government of Pakistan to Syedna Burhanuddin.

“Syedna Burhanuddin sat next to the Quaid and Lord Mountbatten in one of their addresses to the nation when Pakistan was formed,” said one speaker. “And earlier this year, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani joined the Burhani Centennial Celebrations at the Expo Centre. The government of Pakistan has always paid tribute to Syedna Burhanuddin and this stamp is an instance of our respect for them.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2011.


Sajjad Ali Shahjahanpurwala | 10 years ago | Reply

I am glad to know the issuance of a postage stamp in commemoration of Syedna's (TUS) 100th Birthday. Thanks to the Government of Pakistan Officials who participated in happening of such event.

Mustafa H. Mandasorewala | 10 years ago | Reply I was also present in the ceremony, its really a history and 100% love and respect to Dr. Syedna Saheb by Government of Pakistan. Great Work by Burhani Gurads Pakistan
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