The leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community delivered the first sermon of the Ashara Mubaraka in Husaini Masjid in Colombo amidst a threat of protests by extremist Buddhist monks.
His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS conducted the first sermon of Ashara Mubaraka in Husaini Masjid, Colombo 4 on Sunday.
As has been his practice over the last few years, Syedna announced that the series of ten sermons would centre upon a single theme.
This year he has chosen to base his sermons on an extensive counsel given by Imam Ali bin Abi Talib SA to his son Imam Hasan SA.
The counsel is a series of directions and guidance regarding moral and ethical conduct which reflect the love of a father for his son and his desire for him to be upstanding, honest and virtuous.
The first sermon explored the dangers and negative consequences of three specific vices: pride, anger and greed. His Holiness cautioned the community to stay vigilant against such traits as they degrade the soul and are detrimental to personal as well as societal growth and well-being. Imam Ali bin Abi Talib SA has explained that self-admiration and conceit hinder growth and further development.
Addressing a gathering of over 21,000, Syedna welcomed community members who had come from far and wide to recall the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s SAW grandson, Imam Husain SA.
The large international gathering serves as a venue for community members to reevaluate and reassess their own lives in light of the wisdom shared during the sermons and recommit themselves to values of devotion to faith, loyalty to country and lawfulness which are core features of Syedna’s constant message to the community.
Syedna concluded the sermons by narrating the events that unfolded in Karbala, Iraq, vividly describing the final moments of Imam Husain’s life. His final counsel for the day was for each individual to expend every effort in remembering the Prophet’s grandson Imam Husain SA.
Earlier in the day the Police had obtained a court order against a group of monks who were preparing to stage a protest against the Bohra conference in Colombo.
The Dawoodi Bohras are a sect of Muslims spread all over the world. The community is led by the 53rd al-Dai al-Mutlaq, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. Sri Lanka has been home to the Dawoodi Bohra community for the past 150 years with the first Bohra being Jafferjee Esajee from Kutch, Gujarat in 1830.
Today there are around 2500 Dawoodi Bohras who form a part of the social-economic fabric of Sri Lanka mostly as traders and businessmen. Of the four Bohra Masjids in Jaffna, Galle, Pettah and Colombo 4, Husaini Masjid in Colombo 4 is the largest and the center for this year’s Ashara Mubaraka sermons. Colombo has been host to Ashara commemoration six times in the past.
The last occasion was when His Holiness’ father the late Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin conducted the sermons here in 2008.
This is the first Ashara Mubaraka for Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin in Sri Lanka, others having been in Surat, Houston, Dar es Salaam, Karachi and Indore.