Every history is marked with good and bad memories. One such pathetic and unfortunate event that occurred in the history of Alavi Bohras, which has left deep scars in the hearts of mumineen, was the one which took place on the ill-fated day 10-11-1416 AH/29-3-1996 AD in Saraspur Qabrastan, Ahmedabad. The cemetery manager ordered the demolition of the holy grave (qabr-e-mubaarak) of 30th Alavi Da’i Saiyedna Abd ut-Taiyeb Zakiyuddin (d. 1047 AH/1638 AD), the son of 28th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam Safiyuddin (aq) in the pretext of constructing the new mausoleum. Several rounds of talks with the cemetery authorities and their higher-ups resulted in giving guarantee of constructing the grave afresh on the same place. These talks were full of deceit and shrewdness. Once again on 7-4-1417 AH/21-8-1996 AD they exhibited their unending cruelty and hatred by demolishing the grave of 29th Alavi Da’i Saiyedna Ali Shamsuddin Shaheed (aq), the son of S. Ibraheem and the grandson of Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam Safiyuddin Saheb (aq) – the 28th Da’i-e-Mutlaq. Saiyedna Ali Shamsuddin Shaheed (aq) is the most eminent and distinguished Da’i (missionary) because Alavi Bohras derive their name from him.
The succession of Du’aat of Alavi Bohras is established on the truthfulness, loyalty and bravery of Saiyedna Ali Shamsuddin Shaheed (aq) who sacrificed his life in the way of Allaah. He guarded ad-Da’wat ul-Haadiyah (rightly guided mission) and showed the path of Paradise to the believers. Atrociousness and inhumanity of the cemetery management did not stop at this event. To extinguish the fire of protest and dissent which rose after these cruel episodes, the higher authorities of Dawoodi community gave assurance to consider the matter and resolve it as soon as possible by reconstructing the graves of Alavi Da’is. But that was all patch-up work done by them and nothing concrete has been done until now. Alavi authorities never lose an opportunity to remind their Dawoodi counterparts about this pending demand to restructure and restore the graves. Rampant corruption and partiality has eclipsed the process of getting justice from the local reinforcement agencies and the court of law.
Prophet Mohammad Rasoolullaah (saws) has said that ‘Place between my grave and my pulpit is one of the gardens of Paradise (Jannat).’ The grave of Rasoolullaah (saws), here, means the time after his death and the pulpit means the time of the Day of Judgement (Qayaamat) when Imaam Qaa’im (as), the last imaam from the progeny of Rasoolullaah (saws) will reveal himself (do the Zuhoor). The place between the grave and the pulpit means the Prophet’s vicegerent (wasi), vicegerent’s progeny (imaam) and the progeny’s representative (da’i), who by the divine appointment (nass) guards and promulgates the Deen of Allaah in truthful and legible way. Hence the Da’i for the mumineen is the door to Paradise and the grave of the Da’i is the mortal remains where the believers come for spiritual shelter and salvation i.e. to take Barakaat of Ziyaarat.
One cannot imagine what fate Allaah Ta’aala will bring to the people who demolished the graves of Alavi Du’aat with whom thousands of faithful’s hearts and their sentiments are attached? Hence, Alavis feel that by demolishing the grave of their da’i, some mischievous elements have unsuccessfully targeted their very foundation. Alavis still visit (do the ziyaarat) the same place in the mausoleum where the demolished graves of Da’is once stood. If at all the culprits think that Alavis will forget graves of their Du’aat then it is a serious mistake on their part because removing the graves will not remove the remembrance and sacrifice of the People of Allaah (da’is) from the memory and hearts and this will remain perpetual as the reality has been noted down in the religious treatises (deeni Saheefah) that has been taught right from the beginning in religious school (deeni madrasah) to the children.
The main purpose of demolition of the graves was to remove the signs of spiritual attachment of Alavis from the Bohra cemetery. This mean task was carried out on the behest of some envious anti-Alavi elements in the Da’wat hierarchy of Dawoodis. The fact behind the hatred and jealousy exhibited by Dawoodis is that both the Alavi da’is, 29th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Ali, the grandson of 28th Da’i-e-Mutlaq and 30th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Zakiyuddin saheb, the son of 28th Da’i-e-Mutlaq have been buried there since 4 centuries besides the grave of 28th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam Safiyuddin and all the graves of three Alavi Da’is are in a single mausoleum (mazaar). This is the most concrete and existential proof and a factual account that favors the truthful appointment of Saiyedna Ali Shamsuddin Shaheed (aq) as the 29th Da’i-e-Mutlaq by his grandfather 28th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam Safiyuddin Saheb (aq) – who is a common Da’i of Alavi and Dawoodis.
Interestingly, before demolition, when any Dawoodi Bohra visitor used to come (do ziyaarat) to the mausoleum of Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam Safiyuddin Saheb (aq), unknowingly, they also did the ziyaarat of 29th and 30th Alavi Da’is. Hence it was very difficult for the Dawoodi authorities to explain their people the cause of the presence of graves of two Alavi Da’is besides the 28th Da’i in the same mausoleum, as they don’t believe in the succession of 29th and 30th Alavi da’is. Since the mausoleum of Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam Safiyuddin Saheb (as) is the place of visit of three Da’is (28th, 29th and 30th) of Alavis, they deserve the possession of the place more than anyone else. To uproot the foundation of this confusion a well planned conspiracy was hatched to demolish the two graves of Alavi Da’is in the mausoleum. Some years back, Sulaymaanis won the case of acquiring the land of the same graveyard where their Da’i is buried in a separate mausoleum. The Saraspur Qabrastan (graveyard) is the only place in India where all three Bohra communities (Alavi, Dawoodi and Sulaymaani) visit and pay respect to their respective da’is who were buried between the period of 975-1050 AH/1567-1640 AD.