Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo, Egypt holds great significance, particularly for the Dawoodi Muslim community in India. The mosque, which dates back to the 11th century, is named after Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the 16th Fatimid caliph. PM Modi’s association with the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, known for their contributions in Gujarat, adds to the importance of this visit. This article explores the historical background of the Al-Hakim Mosque and the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim population in India, shedding light on why this visit is noteworthy.
Historical Background of the Al-Hakim Mosque:
- The Al-Hakim Mosque is a historic and prominent mosque in Cairo, Egypt.
- It is named after Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the 16th Fatimid caliph who ruled from 985 to 1021.
- The mosque was constructed during Al-Hakim’s reign and remains a significant religious site.
- The mosque was commissioned by the Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah in 990 CE and completed in 1013 CE.
- Al-Hakim was the sixth Fatimid caliph and is known for his eccentric rule. The mosque is named after him and has since become one of the prominent landmarks in Cairo.
The Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community:
- The Dawoodi Bohra Muslims are followers of Islam who adhere to the Fatimi Ismaili Tayyibi school of thought.
- The Dawoodi Bohras are a subsect of Shia Islam and are known for their adherence to the Fatimid tradition. They are predominantly found in the Indian subcontinent and have a significant presence in India, Pakistan, and other countries.
- Originating from Egypt, the community later migrated to Yemen before settling in India in the 11th century.
- In 1539, the seat of the sect was moved to Sidhpur in Gujarat, India, from Yemen.
- The Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community considers Surat in Gujarat their base, although they have a presence in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh as well.
- The Dawoodi Bohras have a unique cultural identity that is influenced by their religious beliefs and the regions they inhabit. They have their own language, known as Lisan al-Dawat, which is a form of Arabic with borrowed words from Gujarati and other languages. The community also has its own distinct cuisine, dress code, and social customs.
Population of Dawoodi Bohra Muslims in India:
- Official data suggests that the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim population in India is around 500,000.
- The community plays a significant role in Gujarat, where their support has been acknowledged by Prime Minister Modi during his tenure as the Chief Minister of the state.
PM Modi’s Connection with the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim Community:
- Prime Minister Modi has always credited the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community for their support and assistance in governing Gujarat.
- The community’s contributions in various fields, including business and philanthropy, have been recognized by PM Modi.
Importance of PM Modi’s Visit to the Al-Hakim Mosque:
- PM Modi’s visit to the Al-Hakim Mosque symbolizes his recognition and appreciation of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community’s historical roots and cultural heritage.
- It showcases the Prime Minister’s commitment to inclusivity and religious harmony, as he pays homage to a mosque with deep historical and religious significance.