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Continuing to talk about the culture and traditions of the Dawoodi Bohra Shia Muslims, we reach their food and business and some important religious rituals that matter among the community members:


The Dawoodi Bohras are famous for their culinary reputation. Joining one another for meals is a particularly well-known Bohra custom and therefore they have a unique system of communal eating in groups of eight or nine people sitting around a thāl or a special large metal plate.

Each course of the meal is shared by the people around the thal. They believe that this custom strengthens the family unit and the sense of solidarity between the people eating together. Traditional Bohra meals are often shared with their local friends and neighbors while imparting a multi-faith message of unity and peace.

Trade and Business

Bohras remain trading and businessmen renowned for their honesty, fairness, and trustworthiness. In olden times, within the days of the nawabs, Bohras would be invited to take up residence in the towns under their rule. The rulers believed that prosperity would follow due to their industrious nature and entrepreneurial spirit.

Their business ethics were well known then and continue to be the hallmarks of Bohra traders today. They inspire such confidence in the general populace that many traders in the world prefer doing business with them; knowing that they will not be short-changed in their dealings.


Women in the Bohra community play an equal role in pursuing their education and careers in a range of industries including healthcare, teaching, academia, and business.

Majlis (Congregations)

The majlis is an old tradition in which Dawoodi Bohras gather for the remembrance (zikr) of Allah. It is conducted in a well-defined form and a specific sequence of recitation developed over the centuries and is held on the important occasions of the Islamic calendar.

Besides their religious significance, such gatherings engender a social togetherness that fosters a spirit of fellowship and brotherhood among the members of the community. In a special form of the majlis, called the waaz majlis, an orator delivers a sermon about a variety of subjects ranging from Quranic sciences, history, theology to social sciences.

Ziyarat (Pilgrimage)

Another factor that affects the culture and traditions of Bohras is how they regularly perform the obligatory pilgrimage of Hajj to the holy city of Makkah al-Mukarramah (Mecca) and the shrine of the Prophet Mohammad in Madina. Alongside these, they pay their respects to the Prophet’s close family by visiting the shrines of these revered leaders, which is also a part of the Bohra religious tradition.

The late His Holiness Dr. Syedna Taher Saifuddin and Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin constructed tombs and sepulchers at such sites as a mark of esteem and love for them. Similarly, they have constructed mausoleums in various parts of central and western India in devotion to the various dais and spiritual sages whom the community revere and looks towards for intercession in their daily affairs.

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