To spend the initial days of Muharram with his followers in Karachi, the 53rd Dai alMutlaq and spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, arrived in the city late Thursday evening and was welcomed by 20,000 community members at the Nadil Burhani Sports Ground on Old Queens Road.
The spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community was received as a state guest at Jinnah International Airport by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. Leading community members were also present on the occasion to welcome their spiritual leader to the city. He is expected to spend three weeks here.
Welcoming him, the CM said Dr Saifuddin has chosen Karachi to observe Muharram. “This is the manifestation of his confidence in the city where we have restored peace,” Shah said. The CM also directed the inspector-general of police and Karachi commissioner to provide him necessary security and facilitate him in organising programmes.
“The followers of of Syedna will also come from different countries to see their spiritual leader in the city. They all should also be facilitated properly,” the CM directed.
Dr Saifuddin, who has arrived from India, is the spiritual leader of more than one million members of the Dawoodi Bohra community of which more than 35,000 live in Pakistan, said Murtaza Abde Ali, the spokesperson of Dr Saifuddin during his Karachi visit.
The welcome ceremony at the Nadil Burhani ground on Thursday was initiated by the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by a welcome speech and tributes paid to Dr Saifuddin by scholars of the community.
In his address, Dr Saifuddin said the love of the people of Karachi had brought him to the city for Muharram. He mentioned how his father, His Holiness Late Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, the 52nd Dai alMutlaq, had a special place in his heart for the city and its residents. He also thanked the government officials for offering him a warm welcome.
On Friday, Dr Saifuddin led the Friday prayer at the Shabbirabad Mosque situated in Muhammad Ali Society. The prayer was attended by thousands of Dawoodi Bohra community members.
Speaking to media, Ali said Dr Saifuddin has chosen Karachi to deliver His Muharram sermons. The sermons will be delivered at the Tahiri Mosque from September 22 till September 30 and will be telecasted live to all the community centres in different parts of Karachi, the spokesperson said.
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Before the sermons, the spiritual leader will be meeting community members at his official residence at Burhani Palace situated behind Marriott Hotel, Ali said, adding that around 25,000 Dawoodi Bohra community members from foreign countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, the United Kingdom and Canada, are expected to arrive in Karachi to listen the annual sermons.
Due to the arrival of Dr Saifuddin and other guests from abroad, accommodations available at all the top-notch hotels in the metropolis have been booked by the Dawoodi Bohra community from September 20 till September 30.
According to an elder Dawoodi Bohri community member, Dr Saifuddin usually focuses on healthy activities during his sermons such as tree plantation, improvement of healthcare facilities and acquiring education. “Love, peace and tolerance would be the main focus of Syedna during his sermons,” he said.