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Sunday, March 22, 2009

2. Hazarat Sayyad Ali MiraN Datar - Back from Unava.


Note: 
The Blog post was written in the year 2009.  

Got back from Unava after my ‘ziarat’ of the shrine of Hazrat Sayyad Ali Mira (actually it’s Miran – with a nasal ‘n’) Daataar.

By the way I learnt a few more things – such as that the Unjha Railway Station has just one railway platform. When my train arrived at Unjha, it stopped at the place where there was no platform. We had to literally jump down from the train to land on the ground. I wonder why one more platform at least has not been built by the Government even after more than 60 years of Independence and when lakhs of visitors of all faith and creed arrive on the ‘Urs” for seeking the blessings of the said Saint. Besides, the Unjha Market Yard is the largest in Asia and a world leader in marketing ‘Jeera” (cumin seeds) and Isubgol (a digestive chaff which is very popular in America). The aroma of cumin seeds permeates the air of Unjha.

The shrine is about 5 km away from the railway station. But if one travels by a bus or car, (the Ahmedabad-Palanpur-Delhi Highway) one can just get down near the shrine. I paid Rs.50.00 for the auto fare from the railway-station to the shrine. Staying facilities are available in and around the Dargah precincts. Reasonable lodging-hotels are available near the Dargah at Rs.200 for 24-hours, during the lean seasons. There are also “Dharm Shalas” or free inns and rooms near the Masjid and around. A Three-Star Hotel is located at a distance of about a kilometre. The food is cheap but one needs to exercise vigilance in selecting a proper eating place. Services of ‘Khadims’ are available and there are no prior demands for money. Give as your pocket permits. The site of the Dargah is being constructed on big scale and might take a couple of years for completion. A picture of the model-dargah, with minarets, is hung at the place.

In view of the ongoing construction, I was told that the “Miswak” Tree had been removed from its place near the shrine. (A “Miswak” is a piece of stick which is chewed at one end and the soft part is used for brushing the teeth.) According to legends, this tree had grown out of the piece of stick or “Miswak” that was buried by the Saint at Unava before he had proceeded for the battle in which he was martyred near Mandavgarh from where his mortal remains was brought and buried here in accordance with the instruction of the Saint. According to some sources, all this happened during the reign of the very famous Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Shah Bageda (r. 1458-1511)

As is well known, generally when the high rank and the status of the buried person is known, it is a common sight to see people make offerings of flowers and ‘chadars’ especially at the graves of the Awliya (saints) so that they may be more respectful of that person. As for the flowers, as long as they continue to remain fresh they recite the “Tasbih,” or the glorifying and praising of Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. In fact, the placing of flowers or green stalks or myrtle boughs on the graves is traced back to the Sunnah of the Prophet sallal laahu alaihi wasallam when he had once broken a green branch in two pieces and placed them each on two graves. Or the time when he, sallal laahu alaihi wasallam, placed a stalk on the grave at the level of the head.

Well, after I had taken the bath and made ablutions, I visited the shrine, carrying flowers, and a ‘chadar’. I also carried a crown or ‘Taj’ of flowers to place it at the head of the ‘mazaar, which is housed in a silver sepulchre. There are silver railings around the tomb for its protection. Women are not allowed inside the silver sepulchre which can accommodate only a few persons. My first impression on entering the shrine was that I could feel the presence of Hazarat Sayyad Ali Mira Daataar. I found myself bursting into tears. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

"And do not reckon as dead who were slain in Allah's cause; but they are alive with their Lord and are well provided for." (Al-Imran, Ayat: 169)

After I had made the Salaam, I offered the ceremonial ‘Fatiha,’ that is, reading the usual portions or Surahs from the Holy Quran and offered it specially to the soul of this Martyred Saint. Thereafter, making the saint as my Wasila or intermediary, I supplicated to Allah on my behalf and on the behalf of my family and the general Muslims – both who are alive and those who have passed away. The Mujawar (Keeper) too supplicated for me. Thereafter I came out of the shrine with the hope that I might have received the “Baraka” of the Saint.

The entire verandah, abetting the shrine, was occupied by people coming as they did from various regions and locales and religions. Even the compound was full of seekers and the needy. All around I could see mostly women many of whom were shrieking and praying for mercy. Some were walking to and fro in frenzy. Some stood still with blank stares in their eyes. Some of them were gyrating madly. Some had let their hair loose on the ground. Some were prostrate, some lay supine, while some indulged in violent gestures in the air. A few men, too, were bobbing their head. What specially caught my attention was the figure of a fair and handsome lad of about twenty, whose lips were rosy, but who stood chained in one corner of the compound. Everyone of them had one’s own tale of woe to tell. There was, however, one thing that appeared to be common to all: All had their hearts attached to Hazrat Sayyad Ali Mira Datar, for everyone believed they would derive benefit or “faiz” from Allah through the blessed heart of the Martyred Saint.

I may remind my readers that as I mentioned in Part I, of this article, for centuries this Dargah has been famous for the cure of demonic possession, black magic, and magic-induced illnesses, sufferings, and the like. Just because the physical Science has not been able to unravel these mysteries, it doesn’t mean that such phenomena don’t exist. Which reminds me that as I was travelling by train on my way here, a Ticket Checker happened to check my ticket. He then inquired, “Are you travelling to Unjha?” I said, “Yes!” He then narrated to me that only two days ago a young, Hindu girl of fifteen years, was taken by her relatives to the shrine at Unjha. In his own words, this girl was possessed by a “Khabees”. This word literally means “a very malignant spirit.” Since he was their neighbour, the Ticket Checker wanted me to have his mobile number so that I could inform him of the girl’s progress. I told him that there were probably hundreds such cases out there and it would not be possibly to locate her. I asked him where the girl was from. He replied as a matter of fact: “Bhandup in Mumbai.” Bhandup is not some remote place, but a highly populated suburban area of Mumbai. So here was a fresh case of evil resident spirit, right at the door of my information!

After coming out of the Dargah I visited the structure that houses the ‘Chilla’ of Dadi Amma. Like all else, this building too is inside the fort-like structure. I had to climb up some very narrow staircase. I had to remain at a distance, since men are not allowed in here. Thereafter I climbed up further through some narrow stair-way that led to the terrace. Here we find ‘Dadi Amma ki Chakki, ’ which is shaped like a cupola, where one is required to place one’s hand on it and go around it at least seven times so that the problems or illnesses may go away. There are other places as well, such as the Hauz, etc., but it is not possible to talk about them all in this small article.

As far as the Khaadims are concerned, it appears that their main job is to look after the upkeep and maintenance of the shrine and the surroundings as well as looking after the distressed who are required to be present there for a long period. A Trust comprising the Khaadims also exists for the general supervision and contact. A small graveyard of the Khaadims lies towards the south of the shrine’s compound. When a visitor seeks the assistance of a Khaadim, a bond develops between the client and the Khaadim who tries to assist and guide the visitor-client in his day to day conduct at the shrine, making extra supplication according to one’s need, in a manner that has a long traditions of hundreds of years.

After the ‘Asr’ prayers I visited and offered ‘Fatiha’ at the “Mamu Sahaab” shrine which is at a walking distance of some fifteen-minutes outside the fort-structure. It is usual to hold a general supplication after the Maghrib prayers at the shrine of Hazarat Sayyad Ali Mira Dataar where the entire atmosphere is charged with emotions and hope. After the Esha (night) prayers I came back to my room for rest.

I noticed new guests arriving during the night. The next day a small but sweet girl of about seven years knocked at my door and we became friends. I learnt from her granny that this girl was a victim of her own mother who had abandoned her after her husband had married a second woman. She also told me that since then her son, the father of that girl, had fallen on evil days and lost his thriving business. Even the girl goes through her spells of “Hajri” or possession. All this she attributed to the “Kaala Jaadu” or black magic, practised by her daughter-in-law, who is the first wife of her son, and happens to be the mother of that unfortunate girl. Happily, she also informed me that she was a regular at the shrine and came off and on and that the girl was improving. Indeed, the girl looked brilliant and normal except for the fact that there was some strange looks in her eyes. And how she loved chocolates! They left the hotel the same day in the evening.

After sojourning for some three days, I came back home via Aravali Express which I boarded at the Unjha Railway Station. Fortunately, this time there was a platform to board the train and I had no need to cross the railway tracks to reach it. But the question to the railway authorities and the Government still stands: Why a second platform hasn’t been built? Yes, it has been more than 60 years since India got her Independence from the British rule!!!



ADDENDUM:
On my way back from Ajmer to Mumbai, I revisited Unjha on 4th of August, 2010 and was pleasantly surprised to see that the second  platform has now come up.  That's great.


The site of Darbar of Hazrat Sayyad Ali Miran Datar is still undergoing  renovation.  I went around the Dargah site outside and noted some more graves pertaining to the relatives of the Saint.  There was another martyr's grave and it was of Abu Nathu Wazeer Sahaab who used to be the body-guard of the Hazrat Sayyad Ali Miran Datar.    


I also met with a Khadim of the Dargah, Sayyad Erfan Ali who was very cooperative.  I returned to Mumbai a day later after finishing my ziyarah of Hazrat Sayyad Ali Miran Datar.

NASIR

7 comments:

  1. hello nasir.... i am a student doing research on people who get possessed... ur blog is of great help....i will be travelling to unjha tomoro.. i just needed to knw whther i can shoot in the Mira Datar or not....if yes then do i need to get any permission? etc .... any info would be helpful. my mail id is amit_sheokand@yahoo.com

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  2. Thank you amit for visiting my blog.
    I have sent you an e-mail regarding your above queries. I hope you will find it useful. If there are more questions, please let me know.
    All the best and have a nice day amit!

    ReplyDelete
  3. hiiii i was shahid

    my email id is shaheedshaikh123@gmail.c

    ReplyDelete
  4. IS DARGAH PAR SE HAR AAFAT,BALA,JADOO,TONA HAR KALE ILM SE CHHUTKAR MILTA HAI.YA SAKHI IBNE SAKHI MEERA DATAR KARDO KARAM,SAB PAR

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  5. Salaams,
    I would like to request an email address where i could mail you some questions pertaining to your experience above please?

    Thanks,

    ReplyDelete
  6. ASSALAWALEKUM DATAR BAPU . DATAR BAPU HAMARA SALAM LO OR HAMARE LIYE ALLA PAK KE DARBAR ME HAMARE LIYE DUYA KAR- KAR HAMARI SARI TAKHLIFEY DOOR KAR DO HAMARE OUPER JO BHI JADU BALA KI BIMARI HAI OUSSE JALED SE JALED DUR KAR DO HAMARI SARI PARESHANIYA DUR HO JAYE AISA KARAM KAR DO YA SAAKHI IBNE SAAKHI MIRA DATAR KARDO KARAM,SAB SAWALIYO PER

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  7. ASSALAWALEKUM.............HAZZRAT AAP SE GUJARISH HAI KI AAPKO KOI BHI PAREYSHNI ,BIMARI YA FIR KISINE JAADU KIYA HAI KHILAYA HAI PILAYA HAI KISI BHI TARAH SE JAADU KIYA HAI BALA CHODI HAI BANDISH KI HAI AAP PER AAP KE GHAR WALO PER GHAR ME DUKAN PER PAISE KI ISKA ILAZ SIRF ALLAH WALEY HI KAR SAKTE HAI AAP THIK HANA CHAHTE HAI TO FIR GUJRAT KE BAADSHAH.,,,,,,,
    HAZZRAT SAYED ALI DATAR BAPU KI DARGHA PER JAKER DARGHA KE KHADIM SE MILKER MANNAT KA JAADU CHALLA BANDWAKAR OR WAHI REHKER ACCHE HO SAKTE HAI YA FIR HAZRAT SABIR PAAK KALYARI KI DARGHA PER YA KISI BHI DARGHA HI THIK HO SAKTE HAI ME YE ISLIYE LIKH RAHA HU KI ME BHI IS MUSHKIL SE GUJAR RAHA HU OR YE CHIZ BAHUT KHATARNAK HAI AGAR GHAR ME KISI PER JAADU BALA HAI TO WO TUMHE MAR KAR TUMARE GHAR ME KISI KO BHI PAKADH LAYGHI OR 7 PUSTO TAK NAHI CHODEGI OR KISI KO PATA BHI NAHI LAGEYGA BARBAD KAR DEGI RAAT KO SOTEY ME NAIGHT FEYL KARTI HAI KISI BHI BIMARI KI TARAH FEYLTI KISI BHI BADEY DOCTOR KO DIKHALO RIPORT ME KUCH NAHI AATA KIYONKI SHETAAN AAPKE JISAM ME HAI ISLIYE 1 BALA NAHI 6.7 YA ISSE BHI ZIYADA BALA HO SAKTI HAI AAP KE JISM ME GHAR BANA LETI HAI OR AAPKO PATA BHI NAHI LAGTA 1BALA 40 LOGO KO PARESHAN YA40 LOGO KE DIMAG PER KAM KARTI HAI INSHAN PER DIL DIMAG PER KAM KARTI HAI AGAR AAP PER KOI RASTE KI BALA LAGI HAI TO WO TO MOLANA NIKAL SAKTE HAI KISI NE JAADU CHODA HAI TO WO SIRF ALLAH WALE HI NIKAL SAKTE HAI OR AAP JAKER UNKI KARAMAT BHI DEKH SAKTE HAI AAP APNA GHAR BACHA SAKTE HAI KISI OR KI BATO ME NA AANA MERI BATO PER GOR KARNA OR JAKER DEKHNA AAPKO KHUD HI MALUM HO GAYGA KI ME SACH BOL RAHA HU JADU TONE KA KHEL BAHUT HI GANDA ILM HAI ALLAH IS CHIZ SE SAB KO BACHAYE ...AAMIN.........AGAR ME OR LIKHU TO BAHUT WAQAT LAG JAYGA OR KISI KE SAMAGH ME BHI NAHI AAYGA KIYONKI YE CHIZ HI AYSI HAI ...........

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