Mass Dawoodi Bohra Wedding in Mumbai

Dawoodi Bohra wedding

Many of the brides couldn’t hide their happiness – Fatima, 20, was one.

I just came across these photos that the BBC news online published back in 2003 when this wedding took place. The photos depict a mass wedding held in Mumbai, in which 500 Bohra Muslim couples were married all at once.

The Dawoodi Bohras (Arabic: داؤدی بوہرہ, Hindi: दवूदि बोह्रा) are a subsect of the Isma’ili Shi’ahs. They are based in India, although the Dawoodi Bohra school of thought originates from Yemen. Today, there are close to 1 million Dawoodi Bohras worldwide. Dawoodi Bohras have a unique blend of cultures, including Yemeni, Egyptian, African, and Indian.

As Isma’ilis, the beliefs of Dawoodi Bohras differ from those of mainstream Islam, in some cases drastically.

It cannot be argued, however, that the Dawoodi Bohras have a unique sense of style. The men wear a traditional white three-piece outfit, plus a white and gold cap (called a topi), and women wear the rida, a distinctive form of the burqa which is distinguished from other types of hijab by often being in colour and decorated with patterns and lace. Young girls wear a simple two-piece suit with a collar and shalwaar called a Jabloo Izaar. They wear this with a girl’s topi, decorated with sequins and sometimes lace.

I like this idea of a mass wedding. I think that more Muslim communities should try it; rather than burdening themselves with lavish weddings in hotel ballrooms for a single couple. And it’s a way of creating bonds within the community.

I’m sure it was a fun and exciting day for the couples involved.

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