Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin (AQ), 47th Da'i al-Mutlaq
Najam Baug draws its name from Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin (AQ), the 47th Da'i al-Mutlaq, to whom it was dedicated by Ebrahim Noordin well over a century ago in 1303H/1886. It was the will of Ebrahim Noordin that Najam Baug be used for community gatherings, and that all proceeds generated from the use of that building be designated for charitable purposes.
For several years, a painting of Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin (AQ) stood on one of the walls of Najam Baug. When Syedi Mohyuddin (QR) visited Mumbai (then Bombay), he requested Syedna Taher Saifuddin (AQ), the 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq, to accompany him to see the painting. Syedi Mohyuddin (QR) walked up close to the painting, remarked on how finely it was done, and said in an emotional tone, “If only you had seen Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin (AQ)!” Then, after a pause, with tears in his eyes, he exclaimed, “Maula, if only Syedna Abdulqadir Najmuddin (AQ) had seen you!”
Syedna Taher Saifuddin (AQ), 51st Da'i al-Mutlaq
In 1333H/1915, Syedna Taher Saifuddin (AQ) assumed the high office of the spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohras, an enterprising community spread all over the globe. After rising to the post of Da'i al-Mutlaq, he initiated a process of modernisation within the community, while at the same time yet maintaining faith with Islamic traditions.
His watch-word was self-reliance. Not only did he reconstruct and expand existing structures such as masjids and rubaats, he also provided assistance and medical relief to the sick and the dispossessed, spread and enhanced education—both secular and otherwise, and disseminated technical training in schools and colleges, thereby enlarging the scope of occupations, crafts, trades and professional services into which his community might enter.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS), 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS) succeeded his father in 1384H/1965. Over forty years of his leadership testify to the powerful transformation of the community—unified, uplifted, and for all its worldly ventures, wedded to the principles of Islam as never before.
What has provided these blessings to his community are not just his tireless work, unfathomable zeal, and his encompassing vision of where the community has been, where it now is, and where it is headed—no, the ultimate source of that blessing is that which commands all: the nobility, grandeur, and grace of this Da'i's soul.
Seth Ebrahim Noordin
He was the builder of his family's legacy. With keen acumen, he built not only Najam Baug, but also the Market Masjid (Zainee Masjid), which given the scale on which it was built in those days, exhibited uncanny foresight. His commercial ventures were international and adorned with success: he established businesses in Mumbai (1840), as well as in three of China's cities—Canton (1840), Hong Kong (1842), and Shanghai (1844).
Mulla Abdeally Noordin
He was the protector of his family's legacy. During much of his working life, the businesses of Ebrahim Noordin's family endured many trials, tribulations and upheavals. It was his fortitude and firmness of purpose that saw the family through these turbulent times. And so, he finally bequeathed his sons—Ebrahim, Taher, Jaffer, Noordin and Abdulhusein—not just the business, but his persona as well, teaching them, by example, the old adage that ‘character is destiny’.
More than just a building—a Blessing
When Najam Baug was built and dedicated in 1303H/1886, Mumbai had very few centres for community activities. Najam Baug was conceived and built to fill this void by Ebrahim Noordin and his brother-in-law, Abdoolally Rajabally.
Over the following decades, Najam Baug indeed became a stellar beacon which drew Mumbai's Dawoodi Bohra community whenever a venue was required—whether it was for religious celebrations, marriages, or anything else—Najam Baug was the first choice.
During the Second World War, the hall was requisitioned by the ARP, and was given back to the community only in 1953 in a dilapidated condition. In then underwent its first renovation under the guidance of Faiz C Ebrahim, which was completed in 1955.
The Fulfilling Present
By the end of the 1990s, Najam Baug was once again showing its age. The family of Mulla Abdeally Noordin then undertook a total reconstruction, after razing the existing edifice. New plans were prepared under the guidance of Shahzada Qaid Joher BS Ezzuddin (DM).
The foundation of the new Najam Baug was laid by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS) on 15 Muharram al-Haraam 1424H, 18 March 2003. Construction work commenced shortly thereafter.
On the eve of 12 Rajab al-Asab 1426H, 15 August 2005, the iftetah of the newly completed Najam Baug was performed by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS).