(Last Updated on : 08-04-2009)
The Sulaimani Bohras belong mainly to Yemen and form only a minority in India by forming only 10% of the total population. After the death of the twenty-sixth dai, Dawood Bin Adjab Shah, in 1591, most of the Bohras in India accepted Dawood Bin Qutb Shah as their twenty-seventh dai. From then onwards they were known as Dawoodis. The majority of Yemenites supported his rival Sulaiman Bin Hasan and they formed the Sulaimani Bohra Community.
The dais of the Sulaimanis always came from Yemen. It was only when the 45th dai of the Sulaimanis, Ali Bin Mohsin, died in 1936, that an Indian, Gulam Hussain of Mumbai, succeeded him. Their present dai is, however, an Arab, residing in Yemen.
He appoints his representatives in places where a large number of Sulaimanis live.
These twin communities of Bohras follow the same religious tenets and practices.
Sulaimani Bohras are an enterprising people and are mainly traders and businessmen. Some have distinguished themselves in several other fields such as law, medicine and education. The most eminent among them belong to the progressive Tyabji family. Many of its members took to western education very early and also intermarried into other communities, such as, Hindu, Christian and Jew. Among them the most prominent name is that of Badruddin Tyabji, an eminent judge, who became the third president of the Indian National Congress in 1887.