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(Pbuh) reached to Bijapur
Mr. Pirzada (Dept of the Sociology University of Kashmir)
The holy relic was in the possession of one Hazrat Sayyed Abdullah, a
descendant of the Prophet (Pbuh), a trustee of the holy shrine of Medina. The holy
relic was originally in the custody of Hazrat !a! Hussain (AS), and has been
inherited through successi"e generations of the Prophet#s fa!ily by hi!. n $%&& AH,
corresponding to $'() A.*., Sayyed Abdullah lost his trusteeship of the holy shrine in
Medina due to a conflict o"er the custodianship with his paternal cousin, Hazrat
Sayyed Hashi!. The feud too+ an ugly turn, as a result of which the !atter was
brought to the notice of the Sultan of the ,tto!an -!pire, who ordered the go"ernor
of Medina to bring Sayyed Abdullah before the royal court. ,n not co!plying with
the orders of the Sultan, Sayyed Abdullah#s property was confiscated and he was
forced to lea"e Medina.
.ollowing this, Sayyed Abdullah left for ndia "ia /asra, and after tra"eling for o"er
two years, arri"ed in /i0apur in the *eccan in $%&' A.H., corresponding to $'(1 A.*.
Sayyed Abdullah was in possession of three holy relics2the sacred hair of the Prophet
(Pbuh), the turban sharif of the Prophet (Pbuh) and the saddle of Hazrat !a! Ali#s
(AS) horse. Sayyed Abdullah#s erstwhile position of ha"ing been a trustee of the holy
shrine at Medina and the custodian of the holy relics i!pressed the ruler of /i0apur,
who granted a fief in his fa"our. After ha"ing spent twenty three years in e3ile in
/i0apur, Sayyed Abdullah died, and his son, Sayyed Ha!id beca!e the custodian of
the holy relics.
The holy relics are preser"ed in Asar Mahal and since then on e"ery $4 5abiul Awal
on the /irthday of Prophet Muha!!ad (P/6H), there is 6rs and Sandel rituals
perfo!red in Asar Mahal. People fro! all wal+s of life ca!e in and perfor! Salah2
7a!az and "isited the Asar up stair roo! pays Sala! and *urud. So!e reads 8erses
of 9uran, 7aat2e2:ala! and get benefits of it.
n $');, the Mughal -!peror Shah <ehan was ta+en ill, which led to a power struggle
a!ong his sons *ara Shi+oh, Murad /a+sh and Arurangzeb. .inally, Aurangzeb too+
the reigns of the -!pire in his hands. Since during the power struggle Sayyed
Abdullah was found sy!pathetic towards *ara Shi+oh, Aurangzeb confiscated his
estate and also depri"ed hi! of the other facilities pro"ided by the pre"ious regi!e to
hi!. n order to reco"er his estate, Sayyed Ha!id went to Sha0ehanabad, as *elhi was
called in those days, but it too+ a long ti!e for hi! to get his estate restored.
=onse>uently, he faced a great financial hardship. History has it that at this ti!e a
:ash!iri trader by the na!e of :hwa0a 7uruddin Ashawari had co!e to +now that a
descendant of the Prophet (Pbuh) was in *elhi, and out of re"erence he went there to
!eet hi!. Ashawari learnt that Sayyed Ha!id was in acute financial distress, and
e3tended a large su! of !oney to hi!.
t is said that once Ashawari went to !eet Sayyed Ha!id. =oincidentally, that day
was being co!!e!orated as Mira02un27abi, and Sayyed Ha!id was displaying the
holy relics to his fa!ily. Ashawari, too, got to ha"e a gli!pse of the!. So!e days
later, Ashawari re>uested Sayyed Ha!id that one of the holy relics be gi"en to hi! so
that it could be ta+en to :ash!ir for the spiritual benefit of his country!en. Sayyed
Ha!id replied that Ashawari was not fit for this ?crown#, because he was a trader and
so could not possibly !aintain its sanctity. ,n the sa!e night, howe"er, it is said that
the holy Prophet (Pbuh) appeared in a drea! to Sayyed Ha!id, directing hi! to
accede to Ashawari#s re>uest. The ne3t !orning Sayyed Ha!id infor!ed Ashawari
about the drea!, and as+ed hi! to choose one of the three relics in his possession so
that the orders of the Prophet (Pbuh) were carried out. t is said that the sacred hair
was gi"en to Ashawari along with its +hadi!, Maidanish, who had been in charge of
the relics right fro! Medina. n return for this, Ashawari offered precious gifts and a
large so!e of !oney to the Sayyed.
,n ac>uiring the sacred hair, Ashawari left along with the holy relic for :ash!ir "ia
@ahore. n the !eanti!e, news reached Aurangzeb that Ashawari was in the
possession of the holy relic. Aurangzeb ordered that the holy relic be brought to the
royal court along with Ashawari. The e!peror too+ the holy relic fro! Ashawari, and
sought the confir!ation of its authenticity fro! his spiritual guide, Hazrat Abu Saleh
(5). After ha"ing tested the authenticity of the holy relic, Abu Saleh (5) declared that
the sacred hair was indeed that of the Prophet (Pbuh). Apart fro! this, Aurangzeb
!ade other tests to confir! its authenticity. He e3posed the sacred hair to sunlight but
it did not cast a shadow on the earth. He then e3posed it to fire, but there was no
effect on it. .inally, the sacred hair was placed on a sheet of paper laced with honey,
but not a single insect touched it. Satisfied with its genuineness, Aurangzeb ordered
that the holy relic be enshrined in A0!er Sharif, at the dargah of :hwa0a Moinuddin
n the !eanti!e, it said, Aurangzeb had a drea! in which the Prophet (Pbuh)
appeared and ordered hi! to return the holy relic to Ashawari. There upon, a royal
edict was issued to produce Ashawari before the court. Howe"er, in the !eanti!e,
Ashawari had passed away, dying out of grief and shoc+ at being dispossessed of the
relic. n his place, Maidanish, the :hadi! of the relic, went to the royal court
infor!ing Aurangzeb that before Ashawari died he had e3pressed his wish that he be
buried where"er the holy relic was enshrined. Aurangzeb then decreed that the holy
relic be ta+en to :ash!ir under state arrange!ents and enshrined there and that
Ashwari#s body be also ta+en along and buried in the "icinity of the shrine containing
the holy relic. This is how the holy relic !ade its arri"al in :ash!ir.
Mirza 9alandar /aig, while e3pressing his 0oy on the arri"al of the holy relic in
:ash!ir, writes that ?:ash!ir Medina bashud as Mo2i27abi# (:ash!ir has beco!e
the second Medina by the arri"al of the sacred hair of the Prophet Muha!!ad
(Pbuh). To begin with, the Mo2i2Mu>addas was +ept in the :han>ah of :hwa0a
Moinuddin 7a>shbandi (5) in Srinagar. Howe"er, owing to the huge rush of pilgri!s
which caused the death of se"eral in a sta!pede, the then Mughal go"ernor, .azil
:han, con"ened a !eeting of leading ula!a and other citizens of Srinagar in which a
decision was ta+en to shift the holy relic to the /agh2i2Sadi> :han, situated on the
western ban+s of the *al la+e, as Hazratbal was +nown in those days. t was
enshrined here in a pa"ilion built by the Mughal noble, Sadi> :han.
.ro! then to this day Hazratbal has seen !any "icissitudes of fortune. At one ti!e,
the shrine was an i!portant centre of sla!ic learning. t had a large !adrasa
attached to it as well as a library which boasted one of the richest collections of sla!ic
te3ts and !anuscripts in :ash!ir. These, howe"er, were destroyed in a de"astating
fire in $AA(. Today, the Medinat2ul26lu! !adrasa of Hazratbal is a pale shadow of its
for!er self. t has less than twenty students on its rolls, and the standard of education
i!parted therein is pitiable. ,ne wishes that the Au>af Trust, with the "ast funds at
its disposal, would turn its attention to addressing this pathetic situation and thereby
help to !a+e Hazratbal a leading centre of sla!ic learning in :ash!ir.
(B The Author Mr. Pirzada is a *octoral student in the *ept. of Sociology <a!ia Millia
sla!ia, 7ew *elhi, Presently teaching in the *ept of the Sociology 6ni"ersity of
SourceC sla!ic 8oice
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