Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sufi Sarmad Shaheed - Excerpt from Delhi: 14 Historical Walks by Swapna Liddle

Photo credit below
If you are in Delhi and are visiting Jama Masjid, and have arrived using Gate # 1, then, on your right, is gate #3, beside which is the shrine of Sufi Sarmad Shaheed. 

Writes noted historian of the Mughal era, Swapna Liddle, in her book Delhi: 14 HistoricalWalks 

“He was a successful trader but while on a trip to Sindh, he converted to Islam and also became attracted to mysticism. He distanced himself from worldly concerns, his asceticism even leading him to discard his clothes. After travelling around for a while he came to Delhi, where Shahjahan’s son, Dara Shikoh, himself interested in mysticism and with an unorthodox approach to religion in general, became his disciple. Dara Shikoh, however was put to death on orders of his brother Aurangzeb in a tussle over succession, and Sarmad wound up on the wrong side of the political divide. His unorthodox ways gave Aurangzeb ample ammunition against him. Sarmad’s nudity was one charge against him. The other was that when asked to recite the Islamic creed – ‘There is no God but God and Mohammad is his Prophet,’ he stopped at ‘there is no God,’ saying that his attempt to understand the mysteries of God, he had so far only got to this stage. Sarmad was found guilty of heresy and beheaded at the orders of the emperor. The story of his death itself is interesting and has two versions. One is that as soon as his head hit the ground, the full kalmia was spoken from his mouth, and the head rolled the distance from the palace to the Jama Masjid reciting praise of God. The other version is that the headless body picked up the head and started to walk towards the mosque in anger. As he reached the foot of the steps, the voice of his spiritual master, Syed Hare Bhare Shah, who was buried there, was heard to ask, ‘where are you going?’ When Sarmad replied that he was going to lay his case before God, Hare Bhare Shah persuaded him to give up his anger as he had reached his destination. Sarmad’s body collapsed right there, and he was buried at that spot. The interior of the shrine is painted red. Next to it is the shrine of Hare Bhare Shah.” - Excerpt from  Delhi: 14 Historical Walks By Swapna Liddle  




Note: All Links below are my choice.  

References:  Click here for Dara Shikoh 
                       Click here for kalima


Photo credit: HERE
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