The word ‘Bohra' or ‘Vohra/vhora' means ‘to trade’ or ‘to do business’. It means a merchant, a businessman or a trader who does his job lawfully and justly. The Faatemi Isma'ili Da'wat established its footprints around 467 AH during the time of Imaam Mustansir Billaah (AS) at the coastline of Gujarat at Khambaat and this land of India emanated the light and the jewels of faith. Blessed by the guidance and knowledge of Maulaai Abdullaah and Maulaai Ahmad (RA), large number of people embraced the divine principles, culture and customs of Faatemi Da'wat and pledged to become a true and staunch followers of Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS). Enlightened by the light of knowledge and wisdom, all of them collectively gave misaaq (covenant) of Imaam-uz-Zamaan (AS) to his deputy in India. Trade and business was in their vein and this was the main source of income for them. This is the reason they got the name ‘Bohra' or ‘Vohra'. They flourished in the region where heavy activities of trade and commerce were going on and the entire Gujarat long coastline had became a sort of hub for merchants across the globe.
‘Bohra' is a charming and pleasing word associated more with the social relations than mere business. Bohras are outgoing and genial in the society; amiable and affable in the family relations; kind and tactful in their business matters and undoubtedly they are more devoted and committed in religious obligations and spiritual beliefs. Allaah Ta'aala through His rightfully directed Imaam has blessed the Bohras with the precious qualities of intelligence and astuteness so that they become competent and proficient in all the worldly and religious undertakings and accomplishments, from its beginning till the end. They always start a business after considering the aspects of Halaal and Haraam in it as taught to us by our Da’i uz-Zamaan (tus). To keep their words and to accomplish the undertaken task is in their blood. The most distinguishing quality of Bohras is, they pave the way through all the odds and hardships that come in the way and seeking the help of Allaah they achieve their goal.
The name of Bohra has gained an outstanding identity, credit and fame in the world of business and trade that even a dishonoured and incapable person gets a lift up with this magical, soothing and influential word “Bohras”. As a guide is, so are the people guided; as a teacher is, so are his students; as a leader is, so are his followers. The character, conduct, conversation and discipline of Bohras itself reflect the firm religious administration, deliverance of systemic education and quality of trade relations. They feel that, “We are respected if we respect others; we sow what we reap; we get what we give.” From these words of wisdom one can get an idea that not only in the worldly matters but even in religious duties and in seeking the blessings and bounties of Allaah, the Bohras lead all other communities.
Rasoolullah (saws) says in his Hadees-e-Shareef, “One who completes Wuzoo (ablution), has interest in Namaaz (prayer), gives the Zakaat of his wealth to his Da’i, controls his anger, thinks before speaking, spends on good things and leave unlawful things, seeks salvation from Allaah, follows the advices of Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) by remaining faithful and loyal to them from his heart will gain the honour that the doors of Paradise will be open for him.” This Hadees has eight orders in it. The first three of them are from the pillars of Islaam which are obligatory and the next four are important for Believers to obey in order to maintain self-respect. The last order is the most important of all and is obligatory without which all others are nullified. This order is the blend and concoction of all seven orders and it is the supreme and greatest of all. These are the facts of faith (Haqaa’iq ul-Imaan) which every Bohra regard as a core to lead a successful life, here and hereafter. All other deeds don’t carry any worth without following these facts. The last order has very broad meaning in which the oath of allegiance (bay’at) to the Da’i is the foremost to reach to the devotion of Ahl ul-Bayt (as).
Truly, he is not a true a faithful who does not abide to the previous eight orders of seeking the favor of Paradise blessed by Allaah. The reward of Paradise is a surety for the one who conforms to these eight commandments. This reward is the greatest victory, advantageous issue and profitable trade for the one who abide to it. Allaah Ta'aala has written Paradise in reward by purchasing the soul and wealth of a faithful. This is the real righteous divine business over-spilling with the gems of wisdom and pearls of piety.
If Allaah Ta'aala rewards us with Paradise in return of our soul and wealth by making us Bohras then we have to beautify and purify our soul and wealth before giving it to Allaah; only then the divine deal is profitable or else it will run in loss. We pray Allaah to accord us with His divine guidance so that we are successful in the deals of this world and are blessed with the favor of Paradise by character and deeds of being Bohras under the dominion and headship of Aaqaa Maulaa Huzoor-e-‘Aali (tus) who is our divine father and spiritual doctor.