Saturday, 2 January 2016

A Tribute to Great Mystic Shah Manzur Alam



Mystic Shah Manzur Alam 'Huzur'Sahib of Kanpur 


Dr.Mazhar Naqvi

The death of the most revered Sufi of Kanpur Shah Manzur Alam Sahib has simply gone unnoticed. It is quite surprising in view of the tremendous popularity enjoyed by him among people of all faiths. I came to know about his ‘Purdah’ (Passing away) while searching about information about him on the net. From the blog of one of his devotees Dr. Pradeep Kumar Keshari, I learnt with shock and disbelief that the great mystic returned to his ‘Mabud-E-Haqiqi’ (The Real Master) on October 14,2015, leaving behind his countless followers both in India and abroad. In accordance with his will, he was laid to rest at his native village in Jaunpur district and a shrine has reportedly been erected in the garden of his ancestral home garden.

Born in 1935 into a traditional family, he met his first Pir (Spiritual guide) Baba Hussain Shah of Jajmau in 1951.He began spiritual practices as a teenager.   He met his second Pir Hazrat Baba Mauj Shah in 1973 and later set up his 'Khankah’ (Hospice)) behind Heer Palace Theater on Mall road in Kanpur. He resided in Aziz Cottage near Lucknow Railway crossing in Cantonment and came to his Khankah without fail daily to offer spiritual solace to devotees and people suffering from varied problems. He ate and spoke very little but enjoyed greatly the ritual of ‘Sama’ held at his hospice every wednesday. Endearingly known as ‘Huzur’ Sahib by his admirers, Shah Manzoor Alam also had a great devotion for Ahle-Bait-E-Athar. He used to listen with rapt attention the troubles of Imam Hussain and his martyrdom at Karbala. A pall of gloom used to engulf him after sighting of Muharram moon. During Muharram, he used to hold a mourning assembly to recall the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his companions. He also invited the first Imami Anjuman of Kanpur, Moin-Ul-Momneen (1857) for recital of ‘Nauhas’(Lamentation) after the Majlis. Huzur Sahib also had great reverence for Maula Ali. He considered  Hazrat  Ali to be the father of Sufism and always told his disciples that no one can become a Sufi master without his seal of approval.


He was a mystic with capacity to cure even terminal diseases by prayers (Dua).Many drunkards and criminals gave up their bad habits under his influence. He also transmitted spiritual experiences to many aspirants. Huzur sahib had sound knowledge of Ayurveda and Unani medicines and he used to cure many patients with herbs, water and prayers. He helped financially  poor and always listened to the problems of people with sympathy and patience. He had a secular outlook and people of different faith reposed confidence him. Huzur Sahib had a literary taste as well. He organized for many decades an All India Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan under the banner of RASKHAN- a literary society named after a Muslim devotee of Lord Krishna.

He also published a series of five books of his own Sufi poems. He also authored two other books, one with Sufi philosophy teachings and another recounting the lives of Sufi Saints. He derived pleasure in explaining the intricacies of Sufism to a band of select knowledge seekers both in the morning and evening sessions. He used to perform routine pilgrimage with his followers to various Dargahs regularly. Since 2009, he was not keeping well and visited his hospice only on important occasions and met people during limited periods of the day. I met him once at his hospice about to decades ago and found his personality very captivating. His devotion to the Almighty was visible from his eyes. His departure from the world is a great loss not only to Kanpur but to Sufism as a whole, for his deeds symbolized as to why Sufism is called face of Moderate Islam.(References available on request. Photo Courtesy-Google Images )