Makhdoom Ali Mahimi

Mahim Dargah, Bombay India

It is a green and crème single domed mausoleum to this Suffi saint that surrounds itself with a chaotic mix of devotees, beggars, people, the arbit taxi and a line of shops selling the most peculiar coterie of colourful chaddars [shawls], incense and flowers. The chaddars [shawls] are placed on the tomb to pay respect to the saint and gain his blessing. This dargah like its more famous city counter-part, Haji Ali is steeped in urban legend. For Makhdoom Ali Mahimi is the respected patron sufi saint of the Mumbai Police. Now with the entire Mumbai “Sweet” Seawater Incident the shrine seem to steap itself in more legend.

Chaddars and Flowers
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Wikipedia tells me,

During the annual ten day Urs festival celebrated on the 13th day of Shaval,[sometime in December] the Muslim calendar, millions of devotees visit his dargah. The highlight of this is a procession of around eight thousand begins at the Mahim Police Station, believed to be the site of his residence. Two policemen from each of the eighty four city police stations represent the police whose association with the saint dates back to the saint’s era. A representative of the Mumbai police who is the first to offer the “chaddar” (shawl) at the tomb on the first day of the festival. Legend has it that it was a police constable who gave water to the dying saint from his cap. Another story points to some miraculous assistance policemen once received from an old man, whom they believed was the saint, in fighting smugglers.

A room adjacent to the office of the senior inspector of police station contains a steel cupboard that houses the saint’s preserved belongings such as his chair, a pair of sandals and his hand-written Quran which is considered to be a calligraphic work of art. The room is opened once every year to the public. In 1920 the cupboard was purchased by a senior British police inspector, Raymond Esquire as a tribute to the saint he revered.

[link]

You can read my earliar post on the place here.

6 Comments so far

  1. rohan (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 2:42 am

    these ill literate muslims hav gone mad


  2. arZan (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 5:44 am

    Akshay, welcome back. T’was wondering where u had gone underground, till I read your email.

    Rohan….WTF !!!


  3. Dadoji (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 11:15 am

    If I am not mistaken, it was at his dargah that the plot for first serial bombing in Mumbai was hatched. It so happened that the plot (prolly not in its entire scope) was overheard by a Konkani muslim. This guy was a marathi speaking Shivaji loving common man. He then wrote a letter to Shivaji Mandir authorities warning them that the theatre was to be bombed by way of a parked car. The authorities disallowed parking on that day, so the zealots parked the car at Plaza instead and the blast took place there.

    I have been planning on visiting this dargah and Haji Ali for quite some time. Looks like this year is ripe.


  4. Gauravonomics (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 11:27 am

    The connection between the sufi mystic and Mumbai police looks interesting but tenuous, especially if it dates back to the 13th century! Was there a police force in Mumbai in the 13th century?

    Akshay, you take beautiful pictures.


  5. Akshayt (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 11:30 am

    Rohan – Thank you for being small.

    ArZan – It’s good to be back.

    Dadoji – Really I didn’t know that, you’re a treasure chest of info on the city for sure – great to have you on board.


  6. Akshay (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

    Gaurav – It is believed Mahim Police station is built on his actual house. Though the link beteween the M Police and the guy seems frayed – I spied my info from this Indian Express article – On Urs, Mumbai police keep tryst with Sufi saint



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