By Ali Al-Baghli, Former Minister of Oil
THE recent visit of Syedna Dr Mohammad Burhanuddin, the spiritual head of the Bohra Islamic community to Kuwait at the invitation of HH the Amir gives us an opportunity to highlight some facts about this community. Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad officially received Dr Mohammad Burhanuddin. The reception organised by the Bohra community, whose members are involved in various business activities, at one of the sports clubs was a spectacular affair with all of them wearing their traditional shiny white robes. Unlike some Muslim leaders who give fiery speeches in support of extremism, Dr Mohammad Burhanuddin addressed his followers with nice words.
This was in stark contrast to the speeches of Islamic leaders from Pakistan, Iran, Palestine, Algeria and other countries who breathe fire, giving Islam a bad name. Syedna Dr Mohammad Burhanuddin began by thanking God for giving him the opportunity to visit Kuwait and urged his community to serve the country which has welcomed them and given them their livelihood. He asked them to abide by the teachings of Islam, give donations and seek profits which are "Halal." Stressing the importance of offering prayers five times a day, Dr Mohammad Burhanuddin urged his followers to promote commerce and industry, abide by Kuwaiti laws and contribute to the development of Kuwait.
We have missed such well-meaning speeches for a long time. Most of the Islamic leaders, who visited Kuwait in the past, have always tended to talk about politics, stirring disputes and calling for Jihad. What we need is religious leaders in the mould of Syedna Dr Mohammad Burhanuddin. May Almighty Allah give him a long life.
Amin! There is a large community of Bohras in Kuwait and Syedna TUS has always urged them, as with Bohras living in the United States and the West, to place an emphasis on good citizenship and civic responsibility - while also remaining steadfast in opposition to any compromise on the duties of faith.