The Raudat Tahera

 

The Raudat Tahera

The Raudat Tahera is an expression of love and faith with which the Dawoodi Bohra community is endowed, under the mentoric guidance of His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin(TUS).

 

Fatimi art is reflected in the design that exudes an atmosphere of piety and purity. Marble, which lends poetry to a mere slab or majesty to a sheer wall, was the natural selection of material for this inspiring monument. The marble was quarried from the same quarries where marble for the Taj was quarried, i.e Chosira and Ulodi quarries at Makrana in Rajasthan.

The roza rises to a height of 108 feet in all the splendour of chaste marble, with a 52 feet high dome as its crowning feature. A 12-feet high gold finial stands sentinel over the dome. The total height of the monument, including the 12 feet high gold covered finial & the 4 feet deep floor,is 108 feet which is the numeric value('adad') of the word 'haq'(right). The 92-feet high Mausoleum rests on 92 piles, the number 92 being significant in that it represents the numerical calculation of the holy name, Mohammed(SAW). The inner height of the mausoleum is 80 feet above the plinth, the age of the late Syedna(AQ) at life's end. Similarly there are 80 corniches all around the mausoleum. The inner dimensions of the mausoleum (51 feet x 51 feet) are equally symbolic as they signify his position as the 51st representative and Viceregent of the Fatemi Imam(AS).

Four smaller domes, one at each corner of the central dome, each with a gold finial to match its prototype, perfect the setting against the azure sky. The dome and cornice are inspirations from Jame Juyushi.The four outer walls are embellished, just below the cornice, the names of Avliya Ullam (SA), Fatemi Imams(AS) and Doat Mutlaqeen(RA) are inscribed in Kufi script.

The four entrances to the mausoleum have been similarly designed to match the entrance gate of the Al-Aqmar Masjid in Cairo. The entrances are adorned with four silver doors and welcome the visitor to the inner sanctuary of the mausoleum. Right in the center lies the tomb of the late Syedna(AQ), at which his followers perform Ziarat in an endless stream.

What gives the monument a unique place of honour is the inscription of the entire Quraan Majeed in gold on 772 marble slabs each of the size of 3 feet x 2 feet in size constituting the inner wall upto a height of 32 feet. One hundred and thirteen Bismillahs are also inlaid in precious stones like diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds and coral 'mirzaan' to adorn the inscribed Holy Quraan. There are also excerpts from the writings of the Late Syedna which demonstrate his interpretation of the scriptures and which inspire the visitor to a higher plane of thinking and nobler way of life, towards which Islam, the faith taught by Prophet Mohammed(SAW) beckons.

A glittering crystal chandelier, weighing one ton, suspended from the center of the dome, sheds its brilliance upon the tomb and seems to cast a divine light upon the hallowed precincts, while the four circular corner fittings and twenty four wall brackets all lend their light to the the radiance within the Mausoleum.

Gold, crystal and marble have been used in the mosque and mausoleum not out of pomp and extravagance, but out of love for the creator of the Universe, and a filial devotion to the 51st Dai(AQ), a humble votary in the cause of Islam, and a true interpreter of the Prophets teachings.

The rosette at the apex of the dome proclaims "Innalaha Yumsekus Samaa Vaate Val Ardaan Tazoola Vala-in Zaalataa In Amsakahuma Min Ahadin Min Baadehi" meaning "Allah holds the sky and earth together which noone else can" along its periphery, and the holy names of Mohammed (SAW) and Ali(SA) in the center, while the inscription on each pendentive reads "Laa Yamassohoo Illal Motahharoon" meaning none but the pure shall hold the Holy Quran".

The Raudat Tahera and the Fatimi masjid are a resplendent example of the Fatimi Heritage and constitute an important part of India's varied architectural heritage. The design is a shining example of the marvellous blend of Islamic art - that prevailed in Egypt and the Arab lands during the 10th to the 12th centuries A.D. - with the modern Indian art and artisanship. The Raudat Tahera is the outstanding contribution of the Dawoodi Bohras in India, to the unique synthesis of the best features of two of the greatest eastern civilizations. This cultural fusion visible in the Fatimi Heritage was conceived by the present Al-Dai-Al-Mutlaq Dr.Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin(TUS)