The Dawoodi Bohra Community in Karachi Essay

The Dawoodi Bohra Community in Karachi Essay

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Anthropology of religion studies different religions in relation to other social institutions, religious beliefs and practices across different cultures. The focus of this paper is on the Dawoodi Bohra community and the religious beliefs and practices that set them apart and makes them a sub culture, in Karachi.
The Bohra community is a very important community in Karachi. The Dawoodi Bohras date back to Yemen during the Fatimid caliphate. Bohris are a sub-sect of the Shia community. The differences between the Shia and Sunnis arose after Imam Jafar as Sadiq. However, the title Dawoodi Bohra was given after the 27thdai Syedna Dawoob Bin Qutubshah. According to Bohri belief, there are twenty-one Imams, Imam Tayyab being is the most recent one. They also have fifty-three dais. Dai is the name given to the spiritual leader of the community. The last dai was his Holiness, Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin. The position taking of the position dai works such that during his lifetime the dai usually announces the person next in line for the authority. After Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin, the next person that will be given his place is Mufaddal. The dais have amils under them. There are four amils in Karachi, one for each area in which a huge chunck of the Bohra community resides. These areas include Hyderi, Clifton, Shabbirabad and Saddar.
According to Bohras belief, the touch of a dai is extremely holy and can cure people of diseases. This is known as barkat, the opium of the masses, as it gives them hope in miracles; that their poor conditions will be rewarded or their condition might even change. Thus, all the momineens and elitist of the community make sure that they can get as many benefits from the barakat as possible. The whole in...

... middle of paper ...

...ance to the religion of Islam, whereas, some of their practices and certain points in their everyday life are quite unique, be it the wearing of Rida, gathering in the Jamaat Khana for every occasion or eating together in thalis and having a tiffin service for their own community.

Works Cited

• V., Gennep (1960). The Rites of Passage. Trans. Manika B. Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


• Parmar, V., (2012, February 15).‘Community kitchen’ gives Bohra women freedom from cooking. The Times of India Magazine.

• (2012, May 14). Good News: Bohra Women get respite from cooking. News X Live India .

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