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Convergence of the faithful

Special prayers at the Urs

Special prayers at the Urs  

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It was festive fervour all around as the faithful thronged the Urs at Yousufain Dargah

High pitched Qawwalis, qissas (story-telling sessions) and qasidas (rhyming poems) are now part of the ongoing three-day (September 8-10) Urs at the Yousufain Dargah in the inner lanes of Nampally in the city. “I have come from Chandrayanagutta and have been coming for the past 10 years,” says Saleem, as he waits for the juloos (procession) to reach the dargah in the evening.

A sea of humanity segregated on gender basis surges through the dargah as the faithful flock from across the country, cutting across religious lines seeking dua or for thanksgiving. Into the night, the throng of the people in the corridor holding packets of flowers pushes to reach the inner room with the graves of Baba Sharif and Baba Yousuf. The moulvi in a room flanking the domed room, begins telling the story of the two men whose 316th Urs is being celebrated over the three days.

“They were two men. One was from Misr (Egypt) the other was from Cannan (today’s Israel). They were going to Mecca. Their paths crossed. They became friends and then they came to India,” the moulvi tells the faithful who were all ears to listen to the tale that blends faith and providence. The two men became Sufis of the Chisti order and came to Hyderabad along with the army of Aurangazeb and they stayed back after the conquest of Golconda. They lived together and died within hours of each other on the same day in last Islamic month.

Many know the story but still listen.

The air has the fragrance of roses, lilies and ood (agarwood). The high-domed room with mirrors sparkles with Arabic verses written on a few panels and under it amidst chant of prayers, men reach out to touch the maqbara (tomb) covered under a chadar (blanket) and a mountain of flowers. “A different sandal-covered chadar is laid on the grave during the three days of the Urs,” informs Nizam Hussaini of the dargah as the Sajjada Nisheen carries the chadar marked with sandalwood palm prints from the Dargah to Mecca Masjid and back in a massive procession on the first day of the Urs.

This year’s Urs will also see five weddings performed under the auspices of the dargah. There are four Muslim and one Hindu couple whose marriage will be solemnised in the forecourt on the last day of the Urs. “We are arranging a priest for the marriage of the Hindu couple as well as organising a vegetarian feast for them,” informs Hussaini.

Through the three days almost all the faithful are served food (community langar) as the kitchen begins dishing out food at 10 am and goes on till 12 in the night with three small breaks.

Outside the dargah, there is an air of a village fair with vendors selling foodstuffs, toys and sweets. But above it all, the sounds from the Dargah boom about wish-fulfilment and benediction.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 9:01:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Convergence-of-the-faithful/article14630816.ece

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