Hyderabad: Hazrat Shaikji Hali Dargah in the Old City area is all set to keep its date with Basant Panchami.
The Dargah behind Urdu Shareef will resonate with Sufiana songs on Sunday evening. For the fourth year in a row, the All India Markazi Majlis-e-Chistia is observing the Sufi Basant festival.
Connoisseurs of poetry can take in compositions of the legendary Amir Khusrau at the Sama mehfil at 6.30 pm. Well-known qawwals Atiq Husain Khan and Ghulam Husain promise to throw a spell with ghazals of the iconic poet-scholar. Sample these lines:
Chhap tilak sab cheeni re
Mose naina milai ke
Prem bhati ka madhva pilai ke
Matvali kar dini re mose naina milai ke
(You’ve taken away my looks, My identity, with just a glance By making me drink the wine of love-potion, You’ve intoxicated me with just a glance)
This tradition of Sufis of the Chistia order observing Basant festival goes nearly 700 years back. It is said Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya was very upset at the sudden passing away of his young nephew, Taqiuddin Nooh, and remained aloof for days together. His ardent devotee, Amir Khusrau, couldn’t bear the anguish of his pir and wanted to do something to cheer him up. One fine morning he happened to see some Hindu women dressed in bright spring colours singing and carrying flowers to the temple. It was Basant festival. His enquiries revealed that the goddess would be happy when floral offerings were made.
“Amir Khusrau also thought of making similar Basant offering to his pir. And when he did, Hazrat Nizamuddin smiled seeing his disciple donning yellow attire and a pagadi,” says Muzaffar Ali Soofi, Sajjada Nasheen of Dargah Hazrat Shaikji Hali.
Seeing his pir smile, Amir Khusrau and others sang Persian and Hindavi couplets in praise of spring. And the tradition continues to this day. Basant festival was adopted by Indian Muslims, particularly Sufis of the Chisti order, in the 12th Century. “It is the best way to promote social harmony and national integration,” says Soofi.
To mark the occasion, the Hyderabad chapter of Intach is organising a heritage walk on Sunday evening from Sahr-e-Batil kaman near Gulzar Houz to the Dargah.
Intach convener Ms P. Anuradha Reddy will explain the architectural aspects and heritage value of the Dargah, which earlier bagged the Intach award.
In keeping with the colours of spring, the dargah is being decked up with marigold flowers. The organisers want people to blend with the season. An appreciated dress code is given to those visiting the Dargah. They are requested to dress in yellow kurta and put on a cap, headband, scarf, turban or shawl of the same colour. In case one can’t find a yellow attire, the next best alternative is white.
Black and dark colours are not welcome. Separate arrangements are being made for women to enjoy the qawwalis....