• Short Summary

    About one hundred fifty thousand pilgrims participated in six-day death anniversary celebration of a Muslim Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty at his grave in a mosque at Ajmer, one of the great pilgrimage centres in India, situated at about 200 miles in the west of Delhi.

  • Description

    About one hundred fifty thousand pilgrims participated in six-day death anniversary celebration of a Muslim Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty at his grave in a mosque at Ajmer, one of the great pilgrimage centres in India, situated at about 200 miles in the west of Delhi.

    Khwaja Moinuddin was born in 1142 A.D. at Chist in Khorasan. His thirst for knowledge compelled him to leave his home town at the aged of fifteen for Samarkand and Bokhara where he got his preliminary education in a monastery. Afterwards, he spent about twenty years in Baghdad in the company of celebrated spiritual guides and noted divines, winning whose blessings he took the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and stayed there for a few days at the shrine of Prophet Mohammed. It was there, he is mentioned to have been spiritually commanded by the prophet to come to India. In India, he first came to Lahore which is now in West Pakistan. Later he came to Ajmer and passed the rest of his life, about forty years there. He being a Sufist, his doctrine was acceptable to other religious too and he was respected by Muslims, Hindus and some other sects, alike. The Khwaja died in 1234 A.D. i,g. when he was 92 years old. He undertook a six day trans in a cell to exterminate his noble soul from his physical being as has been the practice of several other saints. When his disciples opened the door of the cell and took out his body, they could not guess as to on which day the Khwaja actually died. So, his death anniversary is observed for six days from the 1st of Rajab, the seventh month of Muslim calendar. These six days according to English calendar, this year, concluded on 16th January. Yet three more days are observed as three days after death. On the ninth day, beside prayers, a privilege feast is held as the past eight days are spent in offerings of prayers. The food for the feast is cooked in two huge pots, the larger being approximately, 10 ft deep an 12 ft diameter. The preparation is rice porridge mixed with enough sugar and lot of Ghee (butter oil) and dates. No meat is cooked, perhaps because of orthodox non-meat-eaters from other communities participating in the celebrations. About fifty percent of the participants are Muslims and the rest from other communities. A contingent is sent from Pakistan and some pilgrims come from Africa and some European countries. This time 200 Pakistanis were specially deputed and some 4000 others from that country are reported to attend as they were here on one or the other business. The Khwaja's name is amongst those most revered in the history of Islam and he is named as Hazrat, the term of reverence applied to Prophet Mohammed. He is also known as a beloved saint of other communities too as is evident from the mixed participation in the celebrations of his commemorations.

    The undermentioned film coverage was made on the 9th day including the highlights of worship at the mosque and the privilege feast. No photography of the grave is permitted as it is prohibited in Muslim Faith, to take pictures. The feast is held in very early hours when there is no sunshine, not even an enough light for photography before sunrise. However, enough adequate-light shots of the feast were made before it was over pre-sun-rise. On the concluding day the mosque is cleansed in which rich and poor and people of different communities take part and sweep and wash the floors which shots too are included in the story.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6ZPQSS4KOOOU8NOL1BIXDBBX9
    Media URN:
    VLVA6ZPQSS4KOOOU8NOL1BIXDBBX9
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/01/1959
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:05:42:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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