The 53rd al-Dai al-Mutlaq and head of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, has accepted the Chancellorship of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), a historic seat of learning in the nation’s capital, New Delhi. His Holiness was unanimously elected as the Chancellor by members of the court of the Jamia Millia Islamia for a period of five years, effective 14 March, 2023.
Like his predecessors, especially his respected father Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin and esteemed grandfather Syedna Taher Saifuddin, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin remains committed to the causes of education and upholds their legacy of scholarship and patronage of centres of learning. His Holiness is the sole benefactor of the Dawoodi Bohra community’s premier educational institute, Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah Arabic Academy. The Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Academy’s fourth campus in Mumbai last month. Syedna Saifuddin has also held the Chancellorship of Aligarh Muslim University for two consecutive terms since 2015, a position held by both his predecessors as well.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s administration oversees hundreds of schools and educational institutes across the world. He also administers several trusts, which provide grants and scholarships to deserving students, providing both women and men equal access to education. In his sermons, Syedna regularly emphasises the Prophetic tradition which obligates seeking knowledge on all men and women. He highlights the importance of education for all and has called for greater investment in education to ensure that every child has access to quality education.
Syedna is a keen advocate of digital literacy and in 2016 donated 1,000 computers to a group of high schools in Aligarh, where he is also responsible for the restoration of the Syedna Taher Saifuddin High School at Minto Circle. Most recently, His Holiness has announced his intent to help with the construction of a new School of Pharmacy at Aligarh Muslim University. Syedna’s administration has also recently initiated a program whereby teachers are recognized and awarded for their contributions and excellence in creating stimulating environments for learning and growth.
Like previous leaders of the Dawoodi Bohra faith, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is devoted to lifelong learning and scholarship. He is a prolific author and has published a number of treatises on various themes and concepts pertaining to the history and faith of the Dawoodi Bohra community in Arabic. He has also composed several panegyrics, poems, and elegies. Syedna’s sermons are integral to the Dawoodi Bohra community’s faith and culture. In any given year, Syedna delivers anywhere between 50 to 100 sermons across the world, wherever his travels lead him, sharing his insight and experiences with thousands of individuals, both followers and otherwise.
Established in 1920, Jamia Millia Islamia is a Central University in New Delhi, India. JMI was ranked 1st among all central universities in India according to a recent report released by the Ministry of Education of India.