Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) Khuzaima Qutbuddin, the claimant to the title of 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra community, has passed away in the US, a family member said here late on Thursday.
The self-proclaimed ‘Syedna’ Khuzaima Qutbuddin was 75 and had been ailing since some time and breathed his last in California.
He was the half-brother of the late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, the 1.20 million strong community’s spiritual head, who passed away here on January 17, 2014.
“It is with deep sorrow that we inform of the demise of the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, in USA, California,” an official statement released by his son said.
Khuzaima Qutbuddin has named his son, Shehzada Taher as his successor and personally prepared him to take over his onerous responsibilities.
The details of the funeral would be announced in due course, the statement added.
After the demise of his elder half-brother, the late Khuzaima Qutbuddin was subsequently embroiled in a bitter legal battle of succession after his nephew, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin also claimed that his father, the late Syedna, had anointed him as the successor.
After several hearings in the past couple of years, the matter was scheduled to come up for critical hearings before Bombay High Court on April 22 and May 2.
The controversy over the successor had created confusion and a vertical schism in the miniscule but prosperous and peaceful community spread globally.
While Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is based here and functions from the Saifee Mahal at Malabar Hill, his uncle and rival claimant, Khuzaima Qutbuddin operated from Yeoor Hills in Thane, adjacent to the city.