Makhdoom Ali Mahimi
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.
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.
You can read my earliar post on the place here.