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KARACHI: Around 40,000 individuals from over 40 countries have registered themselves to attend Ashra Mubaraka to be conducted by the Dawoodi Bohra community head this year in Karachi.

Head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifud­din, arrived here on Sept 14 to conduct a series of sermons exploring the themes of justice, sacrifice, brotherhood, forgiveness, kindness and piety, qualities that manifest themselves in the tragedy that occurred in Karbala.

He will narrate past events of historical significance and discuss pertinent issues impacting the community in today’s world, all through the lens of Islamic philosophy and theology.

Although Dawoodi Bohra centres across the world will host this event locally for members in their cities, the gathering led by Dr Syedna Saifuddin, which varies from city to city each year, will attract thousands of community members. In Karachi this year, about 40,000 individuals from over 40 different countries have registered to attend. Hotels near Karachi’s commercial centre Saddar, where the Bohra community’s Taheri Masjid is located, are completely booked. Many Karachiites will open their homes to foreign guests, some of whom they’ve never met in their lives before. Bus companies have also been hired to ferry attendees from different parts of the city.

Murtaza Abdeali, spokesperson of the Dawoodi Bohra community, said: “Since this is our largest annual religious congregation, we’re mobilising specialised teams to handle accommodation, transport, food, seating arrangements and other facilities to ensure that the community members coming from all over the world are served comfortably.”

Outside India, Karachi has one of the largest populations of the Dawoodi Bohra community in the world.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2017