With Muharram approaching I keep going back to childhood and growing up days memories of Muharram in Jalali.
The time when one gharib ul watan ensures people from all the world come back to their watan.
My grandfather Khan Bahadur Syed Mohammed Abbas Zaidi and my Dadi were devoted lovers of Imam Hussain and ahle bait like almost every one in Jalali and other villages, towns, cities and countries.
To date the dua I give and ask for is
Khuda gham e Hussain ke ilawa koi gham ne de
Aur gham e Hussain kabhi Kam na ho.
I’m sharing some photos of the imambara built by my Dada. He was an orphan and was a self made man.
He studied and joined Govt service in 1918/19 as a Deputy collector which was a great achievement of the time.
aND to date our imambara is called Deputy Sahib ka imambara and we are proud to be called Deputy Sahib ki potiyan.
He built this imambara in 1934.
The construction was supervised by my father’s chohte mamujan (Syed Razi ul Hasan).
My grandfather during those days was posted in Rampur and Nawab Saheb presented a Zari to him which is there till date the zarih in the Imambara..
Now my uncle Syed Haider Abbas Zaidi is the mutawali but my cousin Nayyar looks after it.
The taboot of 8th Muharram of our Imambara is the oldest and is now over 100 years old.
A mehdi precedes it.
There is a matam on the beat of the naqqara ( called bum) accompanied by a smaller taashey which is unique.
The naqqara below and the smaller taashey can be seen in this photograph.
Ladd an is heating the naqqara
I’m reviving my childhood memories once again. Then it was Gama playing the taash now son Laddan. I attended the taboot Majlis of 8th Muharram, a few years ago.
The taboot is readied- sajaaya jaata Hai- at a house near ours
Then brought in procession your imambara and it stays there till ashoor.
In my childhood the Nauha on 8th Moharrum was recited by Surkhi. He owned a Nautanki company where he played lead roles. Would close the company and do Azadaari every year in Muharram.
Everyone Please add your memories. So that it can be saved
1. Razia Zaidi Manjhli Phuppi
Imaambara mein Alam chand raat say saja diye jatey they.Kaley kapdey pahen kar Chat par ja kar chand dekhtey they.Sab apni choorayan tor deti thin maula kay gham mein .Phir hum sab imambaey mein jakar matam kartey they.
Subah ko sadqa mashak say saara aangan aur naaliyin ki dhulayee karta tha.
Nayan aa kar tabburuk ka halwa banati thin.
Majlis say pehlay aangan mein chokiyun par masnad lag jaati thi.Huqqey taza kar kay chilam laga di jati thi …log aa kar pehlay huqqey ka qash legate they.
Tashey aur naqqarey aag say sakey jaatey they
Naqqarey ki pehli chot par logon ko pata chal jaata thaDeputy sb. kay yahan ki majlis shuru ho gaye “deh”majlish shuru ho jaati hei log jama honey lagtey hein…phir salaam marsiya aur tehtalafz hoti thi…riqqat jitni Jalali mein hoti hei kahin aur nahin
..Jitni riqqat hoti thi otni majlis kaamyaab samjhi jati thi.
Log rotey rotey behosh ho jaatey they…phir taburruk baanta jata tha…bheer ko qaboo karna mushkil hota hei.
Yeh thi pehli tareekh ki majlis.Agey ki phir kabhi.
Jalali kay kaamyaab moharram mein wahan ki khawateen ka bada haath hota tha aur hota hei.
Khan Bahadur Mohd.Abbas saheb ki zoja meri maan Rana ki dadi ka zikr kiye bagheir yeh bayaan adhora hei.
Ba wizo ho kar qalam choom kar oon ka zikr karna chahti hoon….sirf iss liye nahin ki woh meri maan thin balki har woh shakes jo oon ko jaanta hei gawahi dega ki kitni badi shakhsiyat aur ibaadat guzaar aur sachchi momina thin
Moharram ka chand dekhtey kay baad oon ka girya aur zaari rukta hi nahin tha…zemin par soti thin raat din ibaadat karti thin
Zanaani majlison mein soz aur Anis kay marsiya tehtulafz mein padhti thin.Jalali mein khawaateen maula Husain ko aisey rooting hein jaise koyee apna khatam ho gaya ho….aur aisey bein karti hein ki hadees say zyaada oon kay bein par rona aata hei.
Sab kaley puraney mamooli libaas pehenti hein…koyee dikhawa Nahin hei.
Chotey badey sab ki majlis mein subah say shaam tak sab shareek hoti hein.Status kahin beech mein nahin aata.
Paas ki majlis mein chadar oorh kar pedal…varna doliyun say ya phir eik chat say doosri chat par nasaini(baans ki seeddi) say jaatey they.Jalali mein sab gharoon ki deewarein eik doorey say mili huwi hein iss liye gharon gharon kafi door tak majlis mein ja saktey hein.
Bohat sada loh mukhlis aur mohabbat karney waley log hein Jalali kay.
Zamaney kay saath kafi badlao says hei phir bhi Jalali Jalai hei eik baar jo wahaan ka moharram kar lay bholta nahin.
Hamarey zamaney hamari ammi aur chachi saarey intezaam dekhi thin..mashaAllah sab ka Khanna peena,nazar niyaaz taburruk….aur phir hissey batwaney sab kay ghar bhijwana waghera..bohat kaam hotey hey….baad mein baagdoor hamari bhabiyun aur oonki baboon nay sambhali aur bohat achchi tarah nibha rahi hein.Allah sab ko salaamat rakhey ameen.
Bohat lamba zikr ho gaya magar abhi to shuruaat hei…baaqi aainda
2. Ameer Imam
لے جو دولت جاگیر تخت طبل جمل
مزاج اپنے بدلتے نہیں ہیں آج نہ کل
ہمیں پسند ہے شام اودھ نہ شام غزل
نہ لال قلعے بناتے ہیں ہم نہ تاج محل
صبو نہ جام نہ پیمانہ یاد آتا ہے
ہمیں تو صرف عزاخانہ یاد آتا ہے
here is a nauha that is reserved for the chand rat procession and it goes on like
Maqtal pe jo shah pohche to Haider ne pukara, utro yahi beta.
A misra in this nauha is,,
Mushtaq they tum jiske yeh haiga wohi sahra.
I, a man of little knowledge, asked my father that there must be another word instead of “haiga” but my father replied that in very old urdu and poetry the very word Haiga had frequently been used.
The gist is that these nohas are very old.
- Naheed Hasanin
Your beautiful vivid description has taken me back to my childhood memories of Muharram in mustafabad, Unchahar… Amma would always leave for mustafabad a few days before the Muharram moon was sighted… we usually went from the 7th..of course depending, mostly, on how many days we could miss school .. for us ,it was a time for get togethers… my grandfather were 7 brothers and one sister.. and everyone along with their children and grandchildren would collect during moharrum … 7th ko ladkon ko hara kapda galey mien pehna ker faqeer banaya jataa thhaa.. baqi sabko galey mein nara dala jataa thha.. 8th ko shaam mein hazari ki majlis.. garam garam halwa and roti…I remember sitting on the camel with my brothers to distribute roti, earlier I was told that there were 7 camels for my grandfather and his siblings .. 9th ka aag ka matam was in our house in the kuccha central area .. and the huge compound was overflowing with the village folks of all castes and creed.. Shanney’s voice still rings in my ears, reciting a couplet.. Shabbir he wo pardesi haiñ, har des ki sewa kartey haiñ… specially this line”har saal Arab ki basti se aata hai jo Bharat Nagri ko, Muslim he ka to mehman nahi, Hindu bhi toh sewa kartey haiñ “… oh my god Rana , I can go on and on and on😊,
Ammujan Syed Haider Abbas Zaidi on the taboot
The place where it was decorated changed places thrice. First it was in ‘Natha Wali Haveli’ then ‘Bari Haveli’ and now in Sabir Raza’s haveli. Our caretaker Sabir marhoom used to first give ‘ghota’ to the wooden structure then put it in Sabir Raza’s imambara. Your chachi and other ladies of the house go there for adornment of the Taboot. After that ladies of the qasba and near by villages come there for fulfillment of their manats. The adornment of Taboot was announced by the beat of the naqqara. On the second beat of the naqqara gents and ladies majlises start simultaneously. Ladies majlis in Sabir Raza’s imambara and gents majlis in our imambara. After the majlis gents go to Sabir Raza’s Imambara. The’Mehdi is lighted and Surkhi and now his son start reciting the mehdi (which was composed by our great grandfather Mir Askar Ali Soz) Nayyar can put the Mehdi words. The mehdi is then lifted and it starts its journey to our Imambara. The Taboot then follows lifted by our family members. I remember that Bare Bhia, Chohte Bhia, Raja bhai and chohte mamujan used to lift the Taboot. When Zafar marhoom and I grew up we used to lift the Taboot and bring it to our Imambara. Now I think Qamar Badar Annu and Nayyar do this. I now receive the Taboot when it comes to our Imambara. After the Taboot and mehdi are put, the matam starts on the beat of naqqara and tasha.
5. Katherine Schofield :
Tashas (or tassas) have a much shallower bowl and are played hanging ariund the neck while processing. They make quite a different sound too from naqqaras – high and sharp.
6 Ammujan :
During moharrum in Jalali for first six days majlises are done in the Imamambaras one after the other.It starts early in the morning at 7.30 AM and the majlis in the last imambara ends at 11 PM. The first majlis starts from Khajur wala imambara.The majlis starts with ‘deh’ majlis after that there is beating of naqqara and tasha. It is in a way an announcement that majlis has started and people start coming to the majlis. After the majlis the host stands at the entrance of the imambara with tabarruk and gives to the momineen going out. The unique feature of this tabarruk distribution is that after the mominees had gone away, the poor boys who keep waiting outside the imambara are let in after everyone has gone and then they get the rabarruk. Letting in these bys is called ‘mohri khul gayi’. The second majlis is in our imambara and after that ‘kamra’ ki majlisand so on. This continues till 6th moharrum and on 7th moharrum reciting of marsia starts in procession and it goes in every imambara. The first marsia ‘Jis dum jahaz e ale pyambar hua tabah starts from Jana imambara. It was recited by Zainul bhai marhum and after his death Aun does it magificiently. It ends at Jama Masjid and then the second marsia’Zainab ke bhi kya sahib e iqbal pisar thay. In olden days this marsia was recited by bare mamujan and then by Ali Ausat Sb. After his death chote mamujan who was the custodian of these marsias asked me to start this marsia. After starting I hand it over to Nayyar and then Badar till it ends in Jana.
7. Zeba Hussain granddaughter of Nawab Sahib Rampur adds
Its a copy of the original rana and sends me photos. The original in Rampur is of silver and very heavy.
- David Lunn sends this information
And thence these traditions to Singapore, and Muharram/Ashura processions in 1867 🙂
And of course also to Trinidad with indentured Bhojpuri-speaking labourers
Matam on 8th Muharram in our imambara -2017 when I visited
Some images sent by David Lunn of tasa and other musicians in procession, from Madras c. 1840
Coming to 8th moharrum, the marsia starts from Jama masjid after tea & biscuits are served. On 8th moharrum three marsias are recited. The first is “Hai salam usper jo bekas bepidar beyaar tha” It is started by Husain Askari. The second marsia “ Jis waqt tuble jang baja fauj e shaam mein. It starts at about 10 AM and the procession covers all the imambaras in pachai taraf including ours. The third marsia “ Pauhachay Amir e Shaam ki majlis mein jab Aseer” The marsia is written by Dilgeer, a Hindu. It starts from Zainul bhai marhoom’s imambara and is recited by Husain Askari. The procession covers all the imambaras in Garhi and ends at maghrib in Jama Masjid. The regular majlis is held after maghrib isha namaz in Moosi Raza imambara, now looked after by Jawed Abidi. After this majlis, is our taboot majlis is announced by the beating of naqqara and tashas.
On 9th moharrum Taboot majlis is held in khajoor wala imambara. After the majlis taboot, zuljinah procession preceded by Anjuman matam and nauhas, start from bari haveli and comes to khajoor wala imambara. On reaching the imambara, the anjuman participants start ‘zanjeer’ka matam. People mostly ladies from near by villages come to see the procession and matam.
On 10th moharrum a majlis is held at ‘kamra’ and after that the Tazias from various imambaras are brought out and people go in procession to do ziarat of the tazias. Ultimately the procession reaches bara imambara in garhi where the fateh nishan is hoisted. After that the procession comes back from where it started. After an hour we all go to Karbala where roz e ashura aamal are done. After the aamal we all come back to khajoor wala imambara and from there the matam & nauha procession starts and goes to Garhi Imambara where Fateh Nishan is standing.Then at about 4.30 PM taboot and zuljinah comes from Ameen Husain’s haveli. After that people go back to their homes and break their ‘faaqa’. After maghrib isha namaz sham e ghariban majlis is held in Sabir Raza’s Imambara
Hum nay to 40 saal say Jalali ka moharram nahin kiya magar mera dil nahin rehta hei.
Moharram mein sab bhai kaley kutey pehen kar jab aangan mein kharey hotey they …bohat shaandaar lagey they …ammi say kissi nay kaha Banni try poot kaisey achchey lagey hein….janey kiss ki nazar lagi Allah aap ko hazaroon saal ki umr dey …sab Khatami ho gaye ..zameen khagayee ki saamaan nigal gaya
Hamarey maan baap nay jo sabr kiya missal nahin.
Ammi kehti thin oos ki cheese thi oos nay lay lee…ibaadat mein kami nahin aayee.Bari sabra thin hamari ammi
Run mein jab Bano e bekas ki saari aayee,
Lash e Akbar pay yh karti huwi saari aayee,
Ooth merey laal yeh aman tumhari aayee,
Na to hodaj na ammari na mehmel beta,
Dekho kiss shaan say hei amaa tumhari aayee.
Ammi padhti jaati thin aur zaar Qatar rooting thin….hum sab bhi bohat rotey they.
Ammujan : natha wali haveli se pehle hamare bachpan mein yeh tabut hamare ghar ke peechay Dada Arjumand Husain (Fiddan mumani ke walid) ke ghar se uthta tha. Uske baad natha wali haveli jahan Sardari phupho rehti theen uske baad bari haveli aur ab Sabir Raza ke imambara se uthta hai.
Razia Zaidi :Chacha akeilay fathey nishaan otha leingey they jab ki kayee log rassiyun ki madad say chaton par jaa kar chaaron taraf say kheench kar othatey hein….Fateh nishaan itna ooncha hota hei ki Jalali say bahar tak dikhta hei.
Ammujan : fateh Nishan
Baghair rassiyon ke Fateh Nishan aagay nahi barhts tha. Woh zamana aisa tha ki rassi khichne waale log baghair kisi ghar walay ki ijazat ke unki chhat per charh jaate thay. Chachcha marhoom aur Jukhan bhai alam ke base per hotay thay aur usko uthate thay.Saath saath Bum aur taashe ke saath matam bhi hota tha. Fateh Nishan garhi ke imambara se uthta tha aur faqa shikni ke waqt tak bari karbala pauchta tha. Yeh sab partition ke pehle hota tha, koi rok tok nahi hoti thee yahan tak ki bijli ke taar jo raaste mein aate thay woh kaat diye jaate thay taaki alam ke raaste mein koi rukawat na aaye. Juloos ke saath saath Taaziye bhi shamil ho jaate thay. Kya samaan hota tha nangay sir nangay paaon subah se shaam tak bhookay pyasay log juloos mein shamil rehte thay. Nauhay bhi parhay jaate thay. Baad mei jagah jagah khichra bata jata tha.Log ghar jakar faqa shikni karte thay. Maghrib isha ki namaz ke baad Sham e ghariban ki majlis jama masjid mein hoti thee. Wahan jagah ki tangi ki wajah se saaray azadar nahin shamil ho paate thay. Tabaruk jaw ka hota tha usmein paise mila diye jaate thay. Hamaray chohte bhia marhoom ne sab ki rae se ye faisla liya ki masjid ke baad ek sham e ghariban ki majlis Baqar mamun ke imambara mein ( jo ab Sabir Raza ka imambara kehlata hai) hogi. Is majlis ke tabarruk ke liye logon ne dil khol kar donate kya yahan tak ki kuch foreign currency bhi aane lagi. Taqriban har ek ko kuch na kuch miljata tha. Do saal tak to mein ne bhi tabarruk bata lekin baad mein bheer itni barh gayi ki tabarruk baatna meray liye mushkil hogaya aur younger generation jaise Nayyar aur Shoeb ne yeh kaam sanbhala. Rana beti aur bhi bahut kuch hai Jalali ke moharrum ke baaray mein
Atia Rizvi: Choti Phuppi
It will be unjust if we don’t remember Saeedun Bua.;After reaching Jalali, big karhao and big wooden Doi aur tashe were taken out,they were systemically,ruggedly cleaned And then used to be sent to Hauz khajoor imambara or to the canal.Wheat flour had already been cleaned and ground.Ingredients were ready on the chand raat.Flour and ghee bhunod and would be kept aside covered with a heavy lid.In the morning she would prepare chashini and then ,she would call Ammi to check it. If it was ready it would be covered with a heavy sini and kept aside.
In the morning when Ammi would finish namaz she would have readied the chasshini she would call out bibi chasshini dekh lo. Our majlis used to start at 8’clock .Half an hour later and halwa was ready and neatly cut into pieces and ready to be distributed.Such was her expertise.In my childhood I used think it a easy task.Now I am old but still cannot make perfect halwa.We must remember the services of people who splendidly helped us.May their souls rest in peace
Ammujan : After partition the Fareh Nishan was hoisted in Garhi bara imambara and was pitched there. In earlier days the Fateh Nishan used to be combination of different size and lengths of bamboo tied together with strong ropes and then entire length covered with a red ‘ghilaf’ with alam and patka at the top.Fateh Nishan was hoisted with the help of three ropes. The bamboos have now been replaced by steel pipes. After hoisting of Fateh Nishan people used to go back to their places and after an hour go to Bari Karbala for Aamal. After the Aamal a majlis is held and then everone goes to khajur wala imambara where matam starts with naqqara and tasha. The procession the moves and covers the distance from khajoor wala imambara to garhi imambara doing matam all along. Nauhas are recited to give break to matam. The procession reaches Garhi Imambara at about 2.30 PM and matam continues there. At 4 PM Gehwara, Taboot and Zuljinah comes out from Ubad Husain Sahib marhoom’s haveli now (Ameen Hasan’s) and goes to Imambara. After it reaches the Imambara people disperse and go to their places to break the ‘faqa’ On way they collect khichra being distributed. ‘Tasha’ ki rotis which come from various homes is also distributed to whoever wants to have it. Besini roti is very popular and everyone wants to have it.As already discribed Sham e ghariban majlis is held after maghrib isha namaz
Ammujan:,Marsias are divided between 7th & 8th moharrum.As Asad has rightly said it is the topic of Jalali Politics. The two marsias of 7th moharrum (Jis Dum Jahaz e Alam hua tabah and Zainab ke bhi kya Sahib e Iqbal pisar thay are assigned to mhalla Jana and three marsias of 8th moharrum are Pachai taraf marsias. It has always been a topic of discussion whether “riqat” was more on 7th moharrum or 8th moharrum
I think Jis Dum—- is by Mir Anis. Nayyar can check from the last bund of the marsias. The third marsia of 8th moharrum is by Dilgeer, a hindu later converted to Islam
Zainab Chachi : What I have observed is that particular families are keepers of the marsiyas. Only a member of that family starts the marsiya, and for some reason anyone cannot then they can assign the marsiya to be read by whomsoever they choose. This person can be from the other mohalla also.
I may be corrected if need be.