Of Days and Dates
Alas!The abode of our patron saint with all its solemnity has gone
Childhood, for past few days, with distinctly visible ferocious rage has been staring into my face. The wrath is not needless...it is not without a cause… Memories provide rhythm to my heart; I had promised I would not allow them to fade away.
I had promised that I will keep the ‘sea of its colors - the crimson of tulips, the magenta of irises, the golden of mustards on the rooftops always a glow. I would not allow its beats that synched with hymns of great masters, Rumi, Hafiz and Jami to sink. I had openly declared, I would live by the pledge taught to me by Syed-u- Sadat Salar-e- Ajam. The oath that I took every day in wee morning hours much before birds- cuckoos, doves and robins turned meditatively silent.
I had promised that I would not allow the minarets of my dignity and domes of my identity to crumble. I will not allow aliens to trample down under their heavy boots my ethos, my traditions and culture. Alas! The abode of our patron saint with all its solemnity has gone, one after another, hospices of piety and peace have been destroyed and now the shrine of Dastageer Sahib- the house of solace and spiritual satisfaction has gone into ashes.
During most sapping moments our ancestors, my peers and I had drawn strength from this citadel of spirituality that always resounded with hymns in praise of Almighty Allah and his Last Messenger (SAW). Nevertheless, with one after another symbol of my identity being destroyed I have failed to keep word with my childhood- that reminds me how days and dates intricately had been woven into my spiritual being and given not only me but my land a distinctive identity- that made people to remember it as Rash’var.
Those days, for us every day started with a spiritual odyssey. I remember on every Saturday many boys in our locality started their mornings with a visit to the shrine of fifteenth century saint Hazrat Baha- ud -din Ganj Baksh just at a ten minutes walk from my home at the foothills of Koh-i-Maran. Having heard stories about spiritual achievements from our elders, we held the saint in high esteem. Carrying a willow basked filled with some breads, I walked to the shrine with all humility. And after handing over the basket of bread to Khazar Sahib sitting along with other devotes around the white cloth sheet and the burning incense sticks filling the shrine with fragrance of jasmine and rose, I sat in a corner till incantations and duas would be completed. After collected tabaruk, I walked home with a sense of elation.
Mondays also were of great significance for us. The road outside our home would be abuzz before dawn, men, women and children from distant parts of the city would be on their way to the shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Hamaza Makdoom Sahib. Most of the times all the boys of the locality gathered at the main crossing for going to the shrine atop the hillock and on our way back we often played cricket in a small ground at the foothills. On Thursdays, a larger number of devotees visited the shrine.
Friday, had its own importance, as many on this day out of devotion travelled on foot to Hazratbal. I remember, Khadija a friend of my grandmother never boarded a bus or a boat, she considered traveling in a bus to Hazratbal Shrine as irreverent.
This holds true about some dates of the Islamic calendar. On third of every month, devotees from many parts of the city would gather in the hospice of Naqashband Sahib. My brother and I were charged with the duty of taking a samovar of Kahawa (green tea laced with cinnamons) and some bread to the shrine for serving to the devotees. On sixth of the month every month, the destination would be khanqah of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani. On 11th, we always made it to the shrine of Dastageer Sahib in Khanyar. Many families in our locality on this day distributed salt-tea and breads amongst the neighbors. On 12th, on many occasions I accompanied my father to Asar-Sharief Kalashpora and on 13th, many of visited the shrine of Makdoom Sahib.
Remembering the great pillars of Islam on these days and dates had given a definite cultural ambience to our part city.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 30 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 1 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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