Srinagar, Aug 07: Situated on the banks of the world-famous Dal Lake in the foothills of Takht e Sulaiman hill lies one of the famous Shia Muslim shrines of Sayyid Hussain JalaliSabzevari and his brother Sayyid Mehdi Sabzevari. The duo had come from Iran with a sacred mission of propagation Islam in Kashmir.
Hakim Ghulam Safdar Hamadani (Tarikh-i-Shiyane Kashmir- 1975) was the first to make the introduction of Shia Muslim shrines in the valley. A detailed account of the Sayyid and the shrine is given in the book on The History of Shi’ism in Kashmir authored by Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain. The author has quoted from various sources that Sayyid Hussain JalaliSabzevari and his brother Sayyid Mehdi Sabzevari came to Kashmir from Sabzevari, Iran during the period of Emperor Aurangzeb's Subedar Abu Nasr Khan (1104/1693-111 0/1698). On reaching Kashmir they settled at Gupkar near Takht e Sulaiman hill, Srinagar.
As per the book, Sayyid Hussain JalaliSabzevari was the descendant of Abu Nasr Ibrahim Jalal-ud-Din and was from Imam Zainul Abidin's lineage. The book mentions that Sayyid Hussain Jalali was a very eloquent & virtuous personality. His descendants belong to Imamia faith and are found in countries like India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, America, etc.
The book further states that Sayyid Hussain Jalalisabzwari died around 1110/1699. His body lies buried on the bank of the lake at Gupkar, Srinagar where a mausoleum has been built on his Grave. His brother Syed Mehdi Jalali is also buried there. The mausoleum is being looked after by the Jammu Kashmir Shia Association, a well-known organisation of Shia muslims of Kashmir.
Relying on the said book of Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain, Maqbool Sajid one of the members of the Editorial Board of the Encyclopedia at Jammu and Kashmir’s Cultural Academy, says that the great preachers are considered among the great Islamic scholars of Kashmir, who have contributed significantly to preach Islam, particularly the Shia tenets in Kashmir.
“There is a mausoleum and a mosque which is been taken care by the Shia Association, and this shrine witnesses religious gathering every Friday prayers”, he said.
Shia Muslims often visit the shrine on Fridays, however, the shrine also witnesses obeisance by to-be brides, grooms and newlywed couples.
Meanwhile, worshippers visiting the shrine from various parts of Kashmir complained about the lack of facilities there, claiming that it lacks sufficient number of ablution rooms.
“The shrine witnesses a good footfall of believers and huge amount of donations are paid towards the shrine, but it is sad to see the shrine is still underdeveloped”, said a devotee.
Another devotee said authorities should develop the shrine on modern lines.
“There used to be a ‘MusafirKhana’ (Rest house) for devotees which is still in the same old condition. The infrastructure should be on the modern lines like other shrines. Also the mosque there should be developed on modern lines, however authorities at LCMA did not allow any changes," said another devotee.
Abid Ansari, general secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association, told Rising Kashmir that although they are constantly working to improve the shrine's appearance, they are unable to make significant changes to the structure of the shrine as a result of not obtaining the permission from the LCMA authorities.
“There is still a plinth of the older structure of shrine and to maintain its religious sanctity we have still kept it there. Since the takeover of the shrine we have made a lot of infrastructural developments but as of now LCMA is not allowing any more changes”, he said.
He stated that they had approached LAWDA and now LCMA several times, claiming that there must be a pile of applications with them where his association had sought repairs and maintenance but none were permitted.
“We had no plans to raise any personal property or any hotel but to develop a place where religious faith and sentiments of people are connected. But as authorities are expressing their reservations we are not able to make any changes," he added.
Ansari added that they have approached the tourism department with the purpose to rejuvenate the lower lawn of the shrine and have requested them to install a fountain for the devotees so that they can perform ablution easily.
“We are hopeful as there has been a good response from director tourism Kashmir to our request. He has assured the development of lawn on the availability of funds,” he added.