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Why Bohras fear their priests?

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WHY BOHRA'S FEAR THEIR PRIEST?

 

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Why Bohras fear their priests?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

There are many reasons why the Bohras fear their priests, and I will state the few important ones.

 

1. The reason they fear their priests more than Allah is because they have just never understood, or they have never been allowed to understand the clear guidance, of the Holy Quran. The priests have been successful in implanting the belief that the Quran is impossible to understand by the common man. They say that each aayah of the Quran has ten meanings. They have made their followers believe that the Quran has its zaahir, baatin, and taweel meanings which can only be understood by the chosen priests. They say that if they want to understand the guidance and teachings of the Holy Quran, they must obey and follow them unconditionally. And once the clear guidance of the Quran is removed from the Bohras, they are willing to believe anything that their priests tell them; whether it is in accordance with the Holy Quran or not! The priests may mention one aayah of the Quran here and one aayah of the Quran there; but they basically never ever teach the understanding of the Quran in its full context. And since the common Bohras have no idea of what the Book of Allah is guiding towards, they believe that everything the priests say is from the Holy Quran.

 

2. With the clear guidance of the Glorious Quran out of their system, the common Bohras are made to believe that the only way to reach Paradise is through their priests! The Bohra leader time and again swears by Allah and promises the Bohras that he will himself lead them into Paradise: and the pity is, the common Bohras absolutely believe everything he says! He swears in the name of Allah, that he will intercede for them and whatever sins they might have committed; if they profess their love for some of the chosen Islamic Personalities, he will get them forgiven by Allah on the Day of Judgement! Little do the common Bohras realize that all these promises made by their leader are nothing but absolute and thorough falsehood; he neither has the authority to make such promises, nor has he the power to implement these promises in the Court of Allah! But because the common man has no idea of the clear guidance and teachings of the Quran, he buys into these false promises and hopes of safety in the Hereafter!

Only if they could understand with certainty these clear aayahs of the Holy Quran, and only if they could comprehend their state on the Day of Judgment in the Court of Allah; they would never believe such false promises by their priests!

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verse 94:(And Allah will say), So, you have come before Us all alone, as We created you at first. Now, you have left behind all that We gave you in the world. Now We do not see with you those shufaa(intercessors), who, you believed, had a share in moulding your destinies! All the relations between you and them have been cut off, and all those, in whom you trusted, have left you in the lurch.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 48:And guard yourselves against the Day when no one shall avail anyone else; nor shall shafaa (intercession) be accepted from anyone; nor shall anyone be acquitted for any amount of ransom; nor shall the guilty ones be helped from any quarter.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 10 Surah Yunus verse 18:These people worship beside Allah those which can neither harm nor benefit them, and say, These are our shofaa (intercessors) with Allah! O Mohammed, tell them, Do you wish to inform Allah of that thing which He knows to be neither in the heavens nor in the earth? He is absolutely free from, and exalted above the shirk that they commit.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 40 Surah Mumin verse 18:O Prophet, warn them of the Day that has approached near, when the hearts will leap up to the throats and the people will be standing mute, grief-stricken; and the wrong-doers will neither have any kindly friend nor any shafaa (intercessor) who may be listened to.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 40 Surah Mumin verse 47-48:Then imagine the time when these people will be disputing with one another in Hell. The weak ones will say to the haughty ones, We were your followers! Now, can you save us from some part of our punishment in Hell? The haughty ones will say, We are all in the same state here, and Allah has already passed judgment between His servants.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 41 Surah Ha Meem Sajdah verse 47-48:Then on the Day when Allah will call out to the people asking, Where are those associates of Mine? They will say, We have submitted: there is none of us to bear witness to that. At that time, all those deities whom they used to invoke before this, shall be lost to them, and they will realize that they have no refuge.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verses 44:What! Have they taken besides Allah others as shofaa (intercessors)? Say to them, Will they intercede even if they have no power whatever nor understanding? Say, Shafaa is wholly in the Power of Allah Alone!. His is the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth. Then to Him you will be returned.




 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraaf verses 52-53:We have brought to these people a Book which gives details based on knowledge and which is a guidance and blessing for those who believe. Now, are these people waiting for anything other than the consequence of which they have been warned in the Book? When the consequence will come before them, those very people who aforetime had disregarded it, will say, Indeed, the Messenger of our Lord had come with the Truth. Shall we have, then, any shufaa who will intercede for us? Or could we be sent back that we might do deeds different from those we did before? They have, indeed, incurred heavy loss upon themselves, and all the false things they had invented have forsaken them today.

 

And because they do not understand the Quran, they have bought the false promises of their leader as a short-cut entry into Paradise in return for their unconditional obedience and reverence. And they fear that if they dis-obey or dis-please their leader, they will not be eligible for this short-cut entry into Paradise! Little to they realize, that there is NO SHORT-CUT to Paradise! The only way to Paradise is the Straight Path so clearly shown by Allah in the Holy Quran; and that is to obey, follow, invoke and worship Allah Alone, and do righteous good deeds in accordance with the guidance of Allah and the Messenger (saws).

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Al Baqarah verse 111-112:The (Jews and Christians) say: None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their wishful fancies! Say to them, Bring your evidence if you are right in your claim!. The fact is that no one has any special claim to Paradise! Whoever surrenders himself to Allah in obedience, and is a doer of good deeds, shall have his reward with His Lord. There shall be neither fear nor grief for such people.

 

3. The other reason they fear and unconditionally obey their priests, is because they found their fathers and fore-fathers fearing and obeying them; and even though they may have some doubts, they just do not want to cause any problems and blindly follow the deen of their forefathers. There is absolutely no system of transparency in the Bohra way of life, and if one asks a difficult question, he is immediately reprimanded and told never to ask the same again by their elders! And since they have already been promised the entry into Paradise, these people do not want to hear about anything else; and over time they too start obeying and following these priests unconditionally.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 170-171:When it is said to them, Follow the Commands that Allah has sent down, they reply, We will follow only what we found our forefathers practicing. Well, will they go on following their forefathers even though they did not use common sense and did not find the Right Way! The mental condition of those who rejected the way of Allah may be likened to that of the cattle whom the shepherd calls but they hear nothing except the sound of shouts and cries. They are deaf, they are dumb, they are blind; therefore they do not understand anything.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 43 Surah Zukhruf verse 22-25:Nay! But they say, We found our forefathers on a way and we are only walking in their footsteps. Even so, whenever before you We sent a warner to a habitation, its people of means said, We have found our forefathers on a way and we are only following in their footsteps. Every Prophet asked them, Will you still go on following the same old way even if I guide you to a more right way than that you found your forefathers following? They replied, We disbelieve the religion with which you have been sent. Consequently, We took vengeance on them. Just consider what was the end of those who denied.

 

4. The other reason the common Bohras fear their priests is for social reasons. The Bohras live in a very closed circle, and basically they are taught never to discuss religion with anyone. The Bohras also celebrate every occasion other than the Islamic celebrations, like birthdays, death-days, etc. of all the holy men who have passed away. This may sometimes add up to about 200-250 days of the year! Each and every one of these occasions are celebrated by eating food in a communal gathering. There is no other place where you have a social gathering that includes your grand-parents, parents, wife, brothers, sisters, children, grand-children, in-laws and friends all gathered in the same place! This is one of the main reason some Bohras, even after recognizing that the priests have been taking them for a royal ride, find it difficult to leave all their friends and relatives behind.

 

5. One of the fears is that all religious functions are always headed by the priest or his appointed ambassador or aamil. The Bohras have to take permission or raza for absolutely everything they do. If they want to hold a religious gathering in the house, they must be granted permission by the priest. If a baby is born and they want to perform the aqiqa, they need permission. If they want to name the baby, they need permission. Every child who reaches the age of adolescence, must come to the priest and take an Oath of obedience. Then to marry, they need permission and this marriage must be performed by the priest or his ambassador. And when the person dies, he will not be buried in the Bohra graveyard, until the priest or the ambassador approves the burial. Every pilgrimage needs the approval of the priest or his ambassador! Every sadaqa and zakaat is approved and collected by the priests!

Basically, from cradle to grave, the common Bohras must take the approval of the priests for everything. And since everyone does the same, and the same social gathering is invited at every happy or sad occasion; the common Bohra does not know how else to perform the religious duties like aqiqa, pilgrimage, Umrah, Hajj, Qurbanis, nikaah, divorce, burial, etc. without the help of these priests! And because they do not know how easy Islam has made these ceremonies, they simply follow and obey their priests in fear that they might cause disruptions by not approving or not attending their ceremonies. And more often than not, the priests always make an issue of the not-too-obedient Bohras on these occasions!

 

6. The priest or his ambassadors are the only ones who are authorized to collect and distribute any sort of funds in the Bohra community. The priest or his appointed ambassadors levy all sorts of taxes, which have to be paid by the common Bohras and there is absolutely no transparency in the collection or distribution of these levies. They collect taxes in all sorts of names like sabeels, salaams, najwas, khums, wajebaat, sadaqa, nazrul-maqaam, zakaat, haqq-un-naffs, etc. Anyone who dares not to pay any of these levied taxes, will almost definitely have a problem when its time to get any sort of approval or permission from the priest, who will only approve after he has paid his back-taxes! And as already proved before, the priests have developed a system, whereby a Bohra family will need approval or everything; from birth till death!

 

7. The ultimate fear of every Bohra is being ostracized by the community. If anyone dares to do or say anything against the priests, the leadership announces a social boycott of this person. No Bohra person is allowed to meet him, or befriend him, or socialize with him, or keep any sort of relations with him! If anyone dares to meet an ostracized person, he too will be similarly ostracized! This person is barred from coming even to the mosque, and if he dares to come, he will be physically punished by communal and mob beatings (and this happens several times every year for some unlucky souls!).

 

There are several other reason why the common Bohras fear their priests, but the above are the main ones I can recollect! There is not a Bohra whose dignity has not been stung and who has not been harassed by the priestly class! But they have learnt to take all this humility and subjugation in their stride for one or more of the above reasons! The Bohra leadership has made the following of Islam very difficult, and the common Bohra thinks and believes that he has to bear this hardship if he wants the promised intercession of the high priest!

 

Unless they read and understand the Holy Quran, it is only on the Day of Judgment that most of them will realize that all their hardship bore nothing, because the promises of intercession made by the high priest were nothing but falsehood and deceit! Allah Subhanah illustrates the proceedings of that Day in the Holy Quran, when these followers and their priests will become enemies to each other, and will curse each other severely; but they will have nothing but regrets and sorrow on that Day. Can you even imagine the pitiful state of these people who sacrificed their dignity and accepted slavery of the priests in this world, to gain the supposed intercession in the Hereafter; and in the Hereafter they will realize that there is not going to be any helper or supporter for them in the Court of Allah?

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verse 94:(And Allah will say), So, you have come before Us all alone, as We created you at first. Now, you have left behind all that We gave you in the world. Now We do not see with you those shufaa (intercessors), who, you believed, had a share in moulding your destinies! All the relations between you and them have been cut off, and all those, in whom you trusted, have left you in the lurch.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 40 Surah Mumin verse 47-48:Then imagine the time when these people will be disputing with one another in Hell. The weak ones will say to the haughty ones, We were your followers! Now, can you save us from some part of our punishment in Hell? The haughty ones will say, We are all in the same state here, and Allah has already passed judgment between His servants.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqan verses 26-30:The Real Kingdom on that Day will belong only to the Merciful. And it will be a very hard Day for the disbelievers. The unjust man will bite at his hand and say, Would that I had stood by the Messenger! Oh, woe to me! Would that I had not chosen so and so for a friend! For it was he, who had deluded me to reject the Admonition which had come to me. Shaitaan has proved indeed very treacherous to man. And the Messenger will say, O my Lord, my people had made this Quran the object of their ridicule.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 165-167:There are people who set up equals and rivals with Allah and adore them with the adoration due to Allah! Whereas the believers adore Allah most ardently. Would that these transgressors could realize now what they will realize, when they see the chastisement before them: that power and authority wholly belong to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment! When He will inflict punishment, those very leaders and guides whom they followed in the world will disown them. But punishment they shall get and all their bonds shall be cut off. Then those who followed them will say, Would that we were given another chance to return to the world. Then we will disown them just as they have disowned us today! Thus Allah will bring before them the deeds they did in the world in such a manner as to make them wring their hands in regret, but they shall be unable to come out of the Fire.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraf verses 48-49:Then the people of the heights will recognize by their characteristics some big personalities of the inmates of Hell, and will call out to them, saying, You have seen that today neither your followers have availed you anything, nor your wealth and property, of which you were so proud. And, are not these inmates of Paradise the same people about whom you swore that Allah would not give them any portion of His Mercy? Today the same have been welcomed with the words, Go into Paradise where you will have neither fear nor grief.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraaf verses 52-53:We have brought to these people a Book which gives details based on knowledge and which is a guidance and blessing for those who believe. Now, are these people waiting for anything other than the consequence of which they have been warned in the Book? When the consequence will come before them, those very people who aforetime had disregarded it, will say, Indeed, the Messenger of our Lord had come with the Truth. Shall we have, then, any shufaa who will intercede for us? Or could we be sent back that we might do deeds different from those we did before? They have, indeed, incurred heavy loss upon themselves, and all the false things they had invented have forsaken them today.

 

Our only duty was to invite our Bohra brethren to read and understand the clear guidance of the Holy Quran, so that they might be able to distinguish the Truth from the falsehood. And Allah is our witness, we have done that to the best of our ability. Allah has given each individual intelligence and a free will to choose whichever path he wants to take to attain salvation. We have invited our brethren to take the Straight Path as shown by the Holy Quran. If they reject that path and choose any other path, they should prepare themselves to face the consequences as detailed by Allah in His Glorious Book of Guidance! For it only the promises of Allah and His Messenger that will be proven true on the Day of Judgment; and all the other promises made by these holy men and priests will be proven as falsehood and deceit!

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa verse 122:The promise of Allah is true, and who can be truer in his word than Allah?

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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