Wednesday, 6 May 2015

"Oldest Imambara" longing for recognition

Entrance of Azakhana Kalan, Sirsi

Dr. Mazhar Naqvi

The famous “Azakhana Kalan” is one of the oldest Imambaras of India. It was established in 1333 AD by Syed Hasan Arif Naqvi in Sirsi, a town near Moradabad  About 160 kilometers from Delhi, Sirsi  is one of the oldest inhabitation of Imamis in India. The 800 year old glorious history of the place revolves around two great personalities namely, Dada Makhdoom Syed Jamal Uddin Zaidi Wasti and Syed Ali Naqi fondly known as Syed Ali Arab Naqvi Neshapuri. Dada Makhdoom traced his lineage to Imam Zainul Abdeen through his son Syed Zaid Shaheed.
The Grandfather of Dada Makhdoom, Syed Abdullah Husain Abul Faraj Wasti accompanied with his four sons namely, Syed Abul Fazaail Faizi, Syed Abul Faraas, Syed Daud and Syed Najm Uddin, reached India in the last decade of fourth century of Hijri, along with Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. After victory of Punjab, Sultan granted some areas of Punjab as a reward to Syed  Wasti. Though he returned to his native city Wast, his  sons remained settled in India. The elder Son Syed Abul Fazaail settled at Chhat Road in Punjab, second son Syed Daud resided in Kaundli, third son Syed Najm Uddin in Tahanpur and fourth son Syed Abul Faraas in Jajneer. The descendants of Syed Abul Faraj Wasti spread all over India.
Father of Dada Makhdoom, Syed Mohammad Zaidi settled in Sanbhaleera with his sons Syed Jamal Uddin and Syed Hasan Fakhruddin. The shrines of father and real brother of Dada Makhdoom Sahab are located in Sadat Bara in district Muzaffarnagar. Sanbhaleera is an historical town of Sadat-e Zaidia, where the descendants of Syed Fakhr Uddin still live. Dada Makhdoom migrated from Sanbhaleera to Sirsi, in the seventh century of Hijri, He made Sirsi his permanent residence along with his wife, two sons-Syed Ismail and Syed Haider, daughter Syeda Wadudun-Nisa and a servant Darvesh Mohammad Daari. The ruler of the area was so impressed with the scholarly and pious life of Dada Makhdoom that he  presented a large tract of land  as a reward to Dada Makhdoom, Dada Makhdoom  died on 17th, Rajab, 651 A.H. (1255A.D.). The shrine of Dada Makhdoom Syed Jamal Uddin Zaidi Wasti is located in Gharib Sirsi on Sambhal-Moradabad Road.

But before his death, Dada had turned Sirsi as a great center of Azadari. Even today Sirsi is famous all over the world for its Muharram rituals and scores of Imambaras. While Azakhana Kalan was the first to be erected, Jama Masjid of Sirsi is the second oldest structure and it is used by Imamis to offer prayers till day.  Known as Khana-E-Haq, the Masjid was built in 1363 AD. Besides Azakhana Kalan Gharbi, there are about hundreds of Azakhanas in Sirsi like. Azakhana Sharqi, Azakhana Bangali Sahab, Azakhana Munshiyan, Azakhana Masoom Ali, Azakhana Nawaban, Azakhana Bazar, Azakhana Maqoofa, Azakhana Hazrat Qasim, Azakhana Dalan, Azakhana Hazrat Abbas Azakhana Imam Raza and many others. Majalis are organized during Muharram in almost all the Imambaras and prominent zakirs are invited to recite the tragedy of Karbala and martyrdom of Imam Hussain. There are about two dozen Matami Sirsi and a number of Shair-E-Ahlebait with Raza Sirsvi enjoying the worldwide reputation. The prominent Juloos are organized in Muharram and Safar (the months of Islamic Calendar.( References available on request) 

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