The spiritual leader of Dawoodi Bohra community Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin passed away today after a cardiac arrest here. He was 102.
His 70-year old son Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin has succeeded him, it was announced here.
Syedna Burhanuddin died this morning at his residence in South Mumbai, a spokesperson for the community said.
"The 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq of the worldwide Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin expired today at the age of 102 at his Mumbai residence at Saifee Mahal," he said.
"Born in Surat, he was the leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community after succeeding his father Syedna Taher Saifuddin in 1965. Under his leadership, the community has achieved remarkable social, economic and educational success across the world.
"Known as ambassador of peace and goodwill, he was highly respected by world leaders and governments for his endeavours in promoting international brotherhood and harmony," the spokesperson said.
He was honoured with highest civilian titles like the Star of Jordan and Order of the Nile by the respective governments of Jordan and Egypt. Syedna was conferred Honourary Doctorates for his efforts in social and educational development by renowned institutes like Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Aligarh Muslim University and University of Karachi.
In Mumbai, the one of its kind Raudat Tahera mausoleum which has the entire Quran inscribed in letters of gold and bejewelled with precious stones; the world class Saifee Hospital; and the on-going ambitious Saifee Burhani Upliftment project of the redevelopment of Bhendi Bazaar are some of the major initiatives of Syedna in the city.
In 2011, Syedna had proclaimed Nass (investiture) upon his second son Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin in London. The 70-year-old successor is the rector of the community's 200-year-old institution Jamea-tus-Saifiah, which has campuses in Surat, Karachi, Mumbai and Nairobi.
"He was closely associated with the late Syedna and has received much of his spiritual guidance under the tutelage of his revered father.
Highly respected among the community members, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin travelled widely with his father and met heads of states and other distinguished personalities across the world, he said.
Among the many projects that Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin has worked under Syedna's directions in the restoration of famous Fatemi Masjids in Egypt and other edifices in the Arab world, he said.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin will lead the Namaz-e-Janaza of the late Syedna at Saifee Masjid at Bhendi Bazaar. The late Syedna will be laid to rest at Raudat Tahera mausoleum in Mumbai.
Thousands of Dawoodi Bohras from all over India and from around 40 nations are converging to Mumbai to pay their last respects and homage to their beloved leader Syedna Moahmmed Burhanuddin, he said.
Dawoodi Bohra is a sect of the Shia Muslims spread all over the world.
One of the key principles of the sect is "patriotism as part of the faith." It encourages followers to make a positive contribution to the country they live in.
The word Bohra means trader and traditionally, most members of the sect have been entrepreneurs.
Last year, thousands of Dawoodi Bohras from across the world flocked to the city to celebrate Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin's 102nd birthday.