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2.1 Ismaili Fakelore

Ismāʿīlī Fakelore: The Mystical Meeraj – Whose Hand Was It Anyway?

Whose hand it is anywayThe Ismāʿīlī Fakelore section on the Inside Ismāʿīlīsm Blog contains those stories which are spread from generation-to-generation through word-of-mouth in the Ismaili community.

None of these stories have been proved through history or through witnesses. The so-called ‘englighened Ismāʿīlīs’ proudly pass on these fakelore down to the next generations.

Here is the first of these Ismāʿīlī Fakelore:

The year was 1939. Imame Zaman was Mawlana Sultan Mohammad Shah. The place is Hasanabad, Bombay, India. The occasion is Mawla’s padhramni for Deedar (where Aga Khan is physically seen by the Ismaili community).

Hasanabad compound is grandly decorated for padhramni. The Mausoleum where Imam Hasan Ali Shah is buried looked glorious. There are four pillars surrounding the parthar which are richly decorated with gold toppings. Thousands of Ismailis had gathered to meet with Imame Zaman. Those days the Ismailis there were very fortunate. They used to be able to meet with Mawla on one to one basis during a ceremony called ‘dast poshi’, an opportunity to pay homage to the Imam of the time on an individual basis.

This is a very significant event in a murid’s life. When Mawla was residing in Bombay and did not travel to Europe he used to meet with the jamat very frequently on a regular basis on Saturdays.
It was the time of such an event. Murids were waiting anxiously for Mawla’s arrival. Ginans and tasbih were recited for intazaari.
One missionary was making a vaez as a routine during the intazaari period.

He was talking at length about Prophet Mohammad’s very significant event of Meraj. The remarkable event when Prophet was given the fortitude of making a mystical journey to meet with God the almighty. The Missionary was describing the history to the jamat in a very vivid and impressive manner.

Among the thousands of murid there was a single mother carrying her six months old child in her arms.

She had traveled from Punjab for meeting with the Imam. The kid was beautiful. Due to the weather changes and long journey etc. the child developed very high fever. The woman was a very young mother. She had barely made it in time for the deedar. Being new to the area she thought soon after the deedar she will take the child to the doctor.

She decided she will fast unto the time she has the deedar. She however underestimated the seriousness of the fever in a child six months old.

She found a place closer to the stage and started praying for the child’s health. Soon the high temperature had adverse effect on the child’s brain, the baby became unconscious.

Soon he was non-responsive.

She tried to feed him wake him up, but he remained cold and non responsive. She started quietely in her heart an intense invocation of Ya Ali, Ya Ali, Ya Ali,with all her concentration.

She was a woman of great faith.

She thought Mawla is arriving in seconds. It was pointless to disturb thousands in their deedar in order to take the kid to the hospital. She was not very educated. She decided to just sit and call Ya Ali and have faith that he will save the child.

She indeed was very naive. Tears were running down her eyes and she kept reciting ‘Ya Ali’ tasbih with real faith and belief.
Here the Missionary was progressing in describing the event of Meraaj ‘…and Rasulallah saw that a hand came out from behind the curtain, to accompany the prophet to eat dinner.

Rasulallah was surprised to find the hand so familiar.

It resembled the hand of Ali, and Oh! even the fingers were same like Ali’s , same palm and same nails and even the color of the skin was same as Ali’s and above all he was stunned to see the same Ring on the finger.

(here this this guy tries to impress that Allah’s hand which came from behind curtain looked like Ali’s hand with Ali’s ring on (Allah’s) finger)

He identified the Ring to be the same one that he had given to the lion who met him on the way to the journey of Meraaj.

The Prophet (pbuh) was in a state of awe! He was indeed surprised with all the truth that he was witnessing. The gathered Ismailis were engrossed in the description of the scene of Meraaj as presented by the Missionary. And the whistle blew; signifying Mawla’s arrival .the leaders became alert.

The missionary stopped the Vaez.

Pretty soon Imame Zaman’s car entered the gate of Hasanabad. Missionary initiated the salvat tasbih.

And the wonderful voice of Mawla was heard saying ‘Khanavadan, Khanavadan’

Murids hearts were delighted; eyes were full of tears with emotions.
Imam the manifestation of same Noor as Ali was present right there and the believers were drenched with the rain fall of Noor and Rahemat. The true momins were engrossed in the holy deedar each one asking in heart and mind their own wishes to come true.

Mawla arrived on the member of Hasanabad the famous mausoleum and sat down and gave lots of blessings to the jamat and made a a firman and then asked:

‘Who was making the vaez when I arrived?’

The Missionary came forward humbly with hands joined in submission, ‘me Khudavind’, said he.

What was the subject missionary?’ asked Mawla.

‘Khudavind’ I was talking about the Meraaj’ said the missionary in a rather frightened voice.

‘Where were you in your description?’asked ‘I was at the point where the Prophet Mohammad reached the 7 th heaven and was presented with milk and honey and dates and the prophet said he had never eaten any of his meals alone,at that time a hand came from behind the curtain which supposedly was ALLAH ‘S hand but had a great resemblance to the hand of ALI!’

‘Mawla I was at this juncture in my vaez and I heard the whistle of your arrival so I stopped the vaez and I leaded the salvat tasbih.’ The missionary said.

‘Ok do you know whose hand was that?’ asked Mawla

‘Mawla you know it better’ said the missionary.

‘Yes indeed’ said the Imam, then he stood up and raised his right hand and said, ‘Yes it was this hand, this very hand’

(Here Imam says his hand is same as Allah’s Hand)

The jamat witnessed in awe. He then sat on the chair and began the ceremony of Dast poshi, where the murids came one by one to the stage and got the chance to pay the homage in an individual manner.
In the meantime the Punjabi lady’s baby had stopped breathing she was holding him against her chest and saying zikr tasbih of Ya Ali , Ya ali.

She was in deep shock but she was a true believer .

She was debating in her mind what to do?

Cry loudly and make a show versus just keep praying and take the benefit of the deedar and not spoil the event for thousand others.
What ever is to happen will happen? She thought and surrendered herself to the will of Ali.

She decided she will go up to the stage so she can have better deedar but will not go right up to Mawla with the dead baby. Her heart was weeping. She collected all the strength and went on the parthar but stood away from Mawla tightly holding the kid in her arms against her chest.

She was about to move away when Imam’s kind voice struck her ears, ‘come here’

She was hesitant, but moved a step in the direction of Mawla
He said, ‘Come closer’

Mawla himself stood up halfway and placed his right hand on her head and then looked at the child and touched the child’s body with his hand and said ‘Say Haizinda’

Lady said ‘Khudavind, Haizinda’

‘Yes, now say Kayam paya’

‘Khudavind, Kayam paya’.

And at that moment the baby started crying!

‘Look your kid is crying. Khanavadan, now go and feed your kid and take him to a doctor’ .

The woman was overwhelmed with joy, love, and surprise shock and much more, she quickly collected herself and gratefully left the stage.

People in the line following her were wondering what happened!
What was bestowed on this woman!

Mawla sat back and continued as normal without any mention.

What was this?

A miracle or what?

Please recite the salvat.

From the Gujarati book “Mowla Ni Madhur Vatu“, Page 178 to 190
Authors: E. Valiyani and Sairab Abu Turabi
English translation by: Dolly Chandani M.D.
Los Angeles California, Feb 4th, 2008

About Akbar Khoja

Giving out free #LessonsInIsmailism.

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