History and culture helps in fostering the connections between the two nations. When it comes to India and Egypt, the centuries old kaleidoscopic culture and glorious civilization has offered immense opportunity to strengthen the affinity between two modern nations.
The cultural relations are between the people and between the communities which gives a different tint to the political relations between the respective governments. The visit to Arab Republic of Egypt post USA by our Hon’ble Prime Minister is not so much highlighted in the immense furore and focus upon Biden-Modi meet.
However there is need to throw some light upon India’s visit to Egypt as it has not even been six months down the line when Hon’ble President of Arab Republic of Egypt paid a visit to India on the eve of Republic day event. India took no time to revert the friendly gesture to Egypt as it will be for the first time since 1997 that Indian Prime Minister will be on Egyptian soil for a bilateral episode.
There are several areas which will be touched upon India and Egypt. Also the Indian Prime Minister will be having interaction with the Indian Diaspora in Egypt but the most interesting part of Prime Minister’s schedule will be the visit to the recently renovated, opened for public- the 11th century Al Hakim mosque1.
This particular visit will help bringing the focus of Indian masses on the role played by Muhammad Burhanuddin in renovating the cultural legacy of not only Egypt but for the entire world community as the Al Hakim mosque was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site automatically as a part of Historic Cairo in 19792.
Who was Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin?
Muhammad Burhanuddin was the most influential spiritual personality venerated by the Dawoodi Bohra community. He was born in Surat District of Gujarat State in India in the year 1915 A.D3. He is remembered for his significant contributions which paved the way for inflicting positive changes on the Dawoodi Bohra community. He was conferred Padma Shri by the Government of India in 20154.
Links between the Al Hakim mosque and The Dawoodi Bohra community!
The Dawoodi Bohra community traces its cultural legacy to the Fatimids whose main centre was in Egypt between 10th and 12th century A.D. The mosque over the course of several centuries suffered great damages and was in neglect thus there was dire need of restoration and refurbishing which was realised by Taher Saifuddin in 1937 when he visited Egypt and later was accomplished by his son and successor Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin in 1980 by coordinating with the Egyptian government5.
These efforts of Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin paved the way for the Egyptian government to confer ‘Order of the Nile’ award to him6. On and all, Sydena Muhammad Burhanuddin played pivotal role in bringing India and Egypt more closer also cementing the affinity and fostering the necessity of the awareness to preserve cultural heritage.
1. Bureau AN. Modi Visit To US, Egypt: Check Out PM Itinerary, Minute-To-Minute Schedule Until Sunday. Published June 21, 2023. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://news.abplive.com/news/pm-modi-in-us-modi-egypt-visit-check-out-pm-modi-itinerary-minute-to-minute-pm-modi-schedule-as-per-ist-1610489
2. Al Hakim Mosque | Archiqoo. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://archiqoo.com/locations/hakim_mosque.php
3. Syedna, Maulana, al-Yemen: 69 M, et al. Mohammed Burhanuddin – Wikipedia. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Burhanuddin
4. Print Release. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://web.archive.org/web/20150128022143/http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=114952
5. His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. The Dawoodi Bohras. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://www.thedawoodibohras.com/about-the-bohras/syedna-mohammed-burhanuddin/
6. Order of the Nile – Wikipedia. Accessed June 23, 2023. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Nile