The Light of the Lamp: Understanding the Revival of Medieval Fatimi Architecture

This lecture engages modern scholarship in regard to the comparison of neo-Fatimid architecture, started in the era of Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and continuing through the eras of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA and Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. While there is much debate, some biased, on the Dawoodi Bohra community’s participation in Fatimid restoration projects, these studies are largely void of the community’s own internal history and the global circumstances of the 1970’s. This workshop deals largely with the Dawoodi Bohra history in Mumbai in the late 19th century and early 20th century, which culminated in the construction of one of the first neo-Fatimid architectural structures in Mumbai’s urban history, al-Raudat al-Tahera, completed and inaugurated in 1975. This talk will further the understanding of the importance of Bhendi Bazaar to the cultural history of the Dawoodi Bohra community in post-colonial India and offer insight to the roots and merits of the SBUT building project vs a relocation effort.