Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah, the Arabic Academy in Surat, was established in 1814 by the 43rd Dai Al Mutlaq Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin (R.A). The institution was then known as Dars Al Saifee in which the Hudood Kiraam and the Talabat Al Ilm conducted sessions in the Masjid or Iwan Al Jamea
During the leadership of 51st Dai Al Mutalq Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) the academy was given its present name “AL Jamea Tus saifiyah” and changes were introduced to make the traditional religious knowledge accessible to contemporary believers. A building program was also initiated which simultaneously improved facilities and introduced Fatimid architecture into the campus.
One of the distinctive features of the Academy is its system of examination, which commences with the Zikra of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A). This Zikra holds a remarkable status in the history of Dawat, where the Dai himself in the Majlis of Zikra seated on the Throne of Ale Mohammed (S.A) imparts the knowledge of Ale Mohammed (S.A). And Mumineen along with the Talabat Al Ilm imbibes the spiritual and religious Ilm according to their endowments.
Al Dai Al Ajal Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) during his last 14 years on the arsh of Dawat, regularly arrived in Surat and conducted the examinations of Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah, himself. Being the vicegerent of Imam Uz Zaman (S.A), He was the source of Ilm E Ale Mohammed (S.A), and had inherited the Ilm, Taqwa, Taharat from the previous Doat Mutlaqeen (A.S). The Doat Kiraam, did gave the prophecy that the Zuhoor of Imam Uz Zaman (S.A) would take place in the glorious period of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A). Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin (R.A) had established Dars Al Saifee for the purpose of zuhoor of Imam Uz Zaman (S.A). The Doat Kiraam after Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin (R.A) persisting the ritual, quenched the thirst of thousands of Mumineen by spreading the Ilm of Ale Mohammed (S.A) through Dars Al Saifee. Ultimately there came a time when 51st Dai, Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) arrived with all his glories. He with his keen sight and his distinctive Islamic method of education imparted the Ilm of Ale Mohammed (S.A) according to the pace of modern era.
Allah Subhanahu had bestowed Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) with 12 shezadaas, like Yaqub nabi, the empire like Suleman Nabi and the command and dignity of Rasulallah. He bestowed Him with the prolonged period of 52 years in the khidmat of Imam Uz Zaman (S.A). And all these years Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) delineated the virtues of his predecessor’s, Doat Kiraam (A.S). On the 51st year, He displayed a miracle that was never possibly performed by any Dai, in the history of Dawat. On that year Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) traveled towards the land of Africa. This was for the first time that any Dai had traveled in that land after the seclusion of Imam Uz Zaman (S.A). Ultimately on the 52nd year he crowned Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS) and said:
Wa tawwil Ilahi Umra Burhanedin kal
Lazi haza min gurre shooene aafanina
O’ Allah enhance the Umar Sharif of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, who has
achived the talents of many virtues.
It was in his glorious period that the Dars Al Saifee was given its present name, Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah. He elected Sayyedi Al Muqaddas Yusuf Bhai Saheb Najmuddin, the Aamir of this institution. And Sayyedi Amir Ul Jamea, under the principled guidance and irshadaat of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A), worked hard and elevated Jamea to such a height and status that, Ilm and Ikhlaas rooted in the hearts of the children’s of Dawat.
By the time Amir Ul Jamea passed away, it had become a custom that every year, Dai Al Satr presided over the Imtehaan of Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah. The student would sit in front of the Dai and write the papers of Imtehaan and would give oral exams. That way the Dai himself would elevate the student in the heights of Ilm and Ikhlaas.
Now his Mansoos, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS) conducts the Majlis of Zikra, before Imtehaan, in the remembrance of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A). Thousands of mumineen arrive in Surat on this auspicious day of Zikra, to gather the bounties showered in this Majlis, by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS). Huzerala, in this Majlis, showers the invaluable pearls from the treasure of Ilm E Ale Mohammed (S.A), and recalls the bounties and ahsanaat of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A). And above all, Huzerala adresses Mumineen with ” O’ the congregation of Talabat Al Ilm”
In one of the Zikra’s He states: ” O’ Mumineen contemplate that, Surat is the center of trade and business; thousands of people around the world come here with the purpose of trade. But you all, O’ my Dear children have arrived in Surat with a different purpose and aim. You all have arrived at the gates of Dars Al Saifee and Masjid Al Moazzam, which were established by Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin (R.A) and were reconstructed by Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) and now I have renovated both. You have arrived in this Majlis seeking Knowledge and wisdom. Your every step towards this goal assures you of a hasanat and that the angles take you in their confines. Today the Angles welcome you all in this Majlis of Zikra. And Mamlook E Ale Mohammed proclaim “Marhaban Be Wafdillah.”
The Imtehaan of Jamea is distinctive from all the other institutions and academies, because here in Jamea the Taleb e Ilm, seated in front of the Dai, facing the Qibla and in the state of Taharat, with the Raza Mubarak of Huzurala (TUS) answers the questions. The system of examination in Aljamea tests the qualification of advanced students in a public gathering of academies, community leaders and general members presided over by the Dai himself. The system helps to confirm the credentials of the future religious guides in the presence of the community and its leaders and also helps to access the method of instruction.
In this sense, the occasion of Zikra is the Occasion of Taharat, Ikhlaas, Tafadi, Ma’tam and get elevated in the stages of Iman and Ilm. It is the season of gathering barakaat; it is the season of imbibing the Ilm of Ale Mohammed (S.A). Truly Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS) is the Zikr of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A). May Allah enhance the Umar Sharif of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS) till the Day of Judgment.
by: Aliasger Sh Saifuddin Rasheed