What is PM Modi’s relation with Dawoodi Bohra Community? Why did Modi call himself a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community?


As far as the Dawoodi Bohra community is concerned, let us tell you that it is a religious sect within the Shia Ismaili branch of Islam. This community is believed to have a population of around one million worldwide. The largest number of people of this community live in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a visit to Mumbai on Friday. There he flagged off two Vande Bharat trains and also attended a program by the influential Dawoodi Bohra community. During this, the Prime Minister described himself as a part of the Dawoodi Bohra community. He also lauded the members of the Bohra community for bringing change with the times. Presenting himself as a family member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, rather than the prime minister, at an event in Marol in Mumbai’s suburban Andheri, Modi also recalled his decades-old close ties with the social group.

Let us tell you that during his visit, Prime Minister Modi also inaugurated the fourth campus of Aljamia-tus-Saifiya Arabic Academy. It is noteworthy that the Aljamia-tus-Saifiya Arabic Academy is the premier educational institution of the Dawoodi Bohra community of Muslims. As far as the Dawoodi Bohra community is concerned, let us tell you that it is a religious sect within the Shia Ismaili branch of Islam. This community is believed to have a population of around one million worldwide. The largest number of people of this community live in India. Apart from this, people of this community live in 40 countries including Pakistan, East Africa, Gulf countries, Middle East countries, North America, South East Asia, Australia and Yemen.

Considered a subset of Islam, the Dawoodi Bohras trace their heritage to the Fatimid Imams, who are believed to be descendants of Muhammad (570–632). It is said that this community mainly worships only 21 Imams. His last Imam is considered to be Tayyab Abul Qasim. There are Shias and Sunnis in the Dawoodi Bohra community who live in traditional costumes. By the way, most of the people of this community have similarities with Shias. The women of this community wear a pink colored burqa instead of wearing a black colored burqa like other Muslim women. This community, which completely follows Islamic law, offers Namaz five times a day like other Muslims, fasts in the holy month of Ramadan and performs Hajj and Umrah. Another interesting information about this community is that the word Bohra is derived from the Gujarati word Vohru. The meaning of Voharu is said to be business, so the people of this community are mostly associated with the business sector.

It is also known about this community that the way Hindus have different castes and sub-castes within castes, in the same way there are two big sects of Muslims, Shia and Sunni. All the Muslim countries of the world have a majority of Sunni Muslims while Iran is a country with a majority of Shia Muslims. India also has the largest number of Sunni Muslims and the Shia population is very less. Let us also tell you that the Bohra community is found in both the major sects of Muslims, Shia and Sunni. The Sunni Bohra community is called Sunni Bohra while the Shia Bohra community is known as Dawoodi Bohra. This business community is found most in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Indore in Madhya Pradesh in India, whereas in Pakistan, people of this community are found in large numbers in Sindh province.

Since the people of this community have an old connection with Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to meet the people of the Dawoodi Bohra community and used to attend their programs even during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. In 2018 also, the Prime Minister participated in a program of this community in Indore. Since the people of Dawoodi Bohra community live mostly in Mumbai, Maharashtra and the Mumbai Municipal Corporation elections are round the corner, it is believed that this was also an attempt by the BJP to attract the people of this community towards itself.

-Gautam Morarka

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