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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Shrine in Panipat, Haryana State

Tour date: 17th December 2011

At arrival in Panipat town, I told the driver that according to the map, Panipat is an ancient city of the Hindus and the historic town of the Mughals, thus would appreciated if he could look for Mughal Emperor's mosque and tank, Kabuli Bagh. At the same time, I reminded my other half to understand my passion for historical places like this, so, please please do not utter any words of unsatisfactory when they've been drag to this kind of places when travelling with me. To record the event with the kind of photo below means a lot to me.


The driver was so confident that he knew exactly where to take us. It was at a busied area of Panipat, the place where I finally realize that it was a mausoleum of Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, a Sufi saint of the christi order , an Azerbaijan who lived in India, not Kabuli Bagh.


The 700 years old tomb is known as Dargah of Shaikh Sharafuddeen Bu Ali Qalandar Panipati. Bu-Ali-Shah Kalander was born in 12th century.  His father, Shaykh Fakhar Uddin was a great scholar and saint of his time. He completed his studies at an early age and subsequently taught near the Qutub Minar in Delhi for 20 years. A large number of people from all walks of life, Hindu, Muslims, Sikh and Christians visit the tomb of Shah Kalandar and offer prayers here on every Thursday.


The mausoleum is situated in a crowded places next to rows of packed houses. We both were very impressed with 1 of the house with unique gate, made of iron if compared to others. Pigs and dogs are running around which we had to ignore as part of survival when touring in India.


In Malaysia, we never differentiate any Muslim as Sunni or Shia since we are governed by Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah "people of the tradition of Prophet Muhammad and the consensus of the ummah. When I first getting to know of the live and the daily practice in Pakistan, I came to appreciate a conflicts of the 2, especially when 10 Muharram comes, there will be chaos in many parts of the Pakistan city like Karachi. There are many dargah of the Sufis that I found in many parts of India and Pakistan. The first that we visited was in Hyderabad (Pakistan side), a shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. 


Let's just try to understand about Shia. The Shia represent the largest schismatic sect in Islam, accounting for 10-20% of the world's normative body of Muslims. Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shi'aul Ali, meaning "followers", "faction", or "party" of Muhammad's son-in-law and cousin Ali, the 4th Caliphate Ali, whom the Shia believe to be Muhammad's successor in the Caliphate. It is based on the Quran and the message of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad attested in Shia hadith, and certain books deemed sacred to Shia, called Nahj al-Balagha. In contrast to other types, the Shia believe that only God has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, the Quran and the sharia. Thus the Shias look to Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, whom they revere and consider divinely appointed, as the rightful successor to Muhammad, being the first imam. The Shia extended this belief to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the People of the House"), and certain individuals among his descendants, known as imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility, and other traits.



The Sufi saint, Bu Ali is believed to have a super power due to his devout and closeness with God. A legend says that after Bu Ali's act of 36 years obedience and submission to God (ibadah), standing in the water in Karnal he was awarded the status of "Bu Ali", means a fragrance of Caliphate Ali by Prophet Muhammad. After achieving this rank he was visited by many other Sufi saints. An alternative legend to explain his name says that Prophet Muhammad appeared to him in a dream and offered him a wish. Bu Ali asked for prophet hood and was told that all positions have been filled and Muhammad was the last one. He asked to be Ali and was told that position was also filled. He then asked for at least the fragrance of Ali and that wish was granted. 


Panipat is a city of textiles and carpets which is recognised as a biggest center for quality blankets and carpets in India. It has a hand loom weaving industry. In addition, Panipat city is the biggest centre of "Shoddy Yarn" in the World. Blankets prepared through Hand loom and Power loom are sent to soldiers. The Samalkha subdivision of this district is famous for Foundry of Agriculture instruments. In this way, this district, which is continuously developing on the industrial base, has an unlimited employment capacity. Not only from Haryana but Businessmen and Engineers and unemployed worker artist Weavers and labour from other states of India visit here in search of employment and settle here permanently




The dargah, mosque and enclosure at the Qalandar Chowk in Panipat were constructed by Mahabat Khan, a general in the service of the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir. Mahabat Khan's own tomb in red sandstone is adjacent to the saint's mausoleum. A nearby structure is the tomb of the last Lodi dynasty ruler of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, killed in the 1st battle of panipat. 




My target object of the photo is the 2 person who had a deep conversation with each other and I found my lucky shot when I noticed that they both sitting at the most appropriate place where I can shoot them on a beautiful arch entrance. I guessed the 2 guys were assigned with the restoration works inside the dargah.


The last part that I explored was the inside tomb of Bu Ali Qalandar where tourist came to pay respects and to seek prayers that many said is being granted. The inside tomb in 2 below photos below are actually being constructed or positioned the same with other dargah. I've seen 3 so far, in Hyderabad Pakistan, in Jama' Masjid, Delhi and in Panipat, Haryana.



To be continued...
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