Sunday, September 13, 2009

Moghul Masjid Where God Lives

reflected in the fountain
gods bounty his munificence
among all other things
where there is darkness
hope he brings
to those fallen
a new set of wings
bigotry hatred
narrow mindedness
out of the window
he flings
the bul bul
on the branches
his songs sing
shah ast hussain
badshah ast hussain
truly a king of kings

Baqar Nasser and Me and Moghul Masjid

The Juloos was behind us inching close towards its final destination Imamiya Masjid via the Iranian was from here I moved towards my favorite mosque to shoots its interiors ..Moghul Masjid is Gods Paradise on earth, the only Shia mosque with a very rich Iranian heritage and influence on the Shias of Mumbai..

Every tile has a story to tell, every wall of the mosque is a narrative by itself , Moghul Masjid where Shia boys became men in one night , cutting their backs in the courtyard during Shabedari.. the blissful fountain in which they washed the alams and their zanjeers and their kamas.

Moghul Masjid Ashura afternoon the smell of khichda, the huge thalis served by the Iranian men to the public,, the majlis of Athar Saab every night during Moharam the hot cups of Kava at Khushali the Iranian tea shop.

Shia teenagers life would be devoid of Moharam excitement without Mogul Masjid , yes the only Masjid with a Godly heart and soul.

I hope some rich philanthropist makes a nice website of this Mosque where God actually lives and is visible in the waters of the fountains..his bounty shared by the fishes swishing away in mutual coexistence the only fountain where big fish dont eat small fish.

My humble childhood I clearly see in this fountain, reflecting memories sepia toned, me holding my dad late Mohomed Shakir's finger as he bought me here once in a while.

My dad was connected to Imamiya Sabil and the Fakke Shikani dal chawal or khichda on Ashura day was made by him for the azadars, my Dads uncle was late Maqbool Bhai , the founder of this Sabil.

My paternal grand mother Khurshed Baji and Maqbool bhai were close relatives both hailing from Vazir Ganj Lucknow.

Maqbool bhai stayed at Pydhonie , while we stayed at Wodehouse Road Jony Castle.. once Khatau Mansions opposite the Military Quarters in rooms rented from late Nawab Kashmiri.

This picture was shot by another young versatile Shia Talib Rizvi, with a penchant for knowledge, he is the webmaster of Mir Anees.Com a student of Mirza Athar Saab.

Talibs father Mehndi Rizvi Bhai is a social activist and an important figure among the Shias of Mumbai.

Baqar Nasser is a cult figure among kids, he runs Top Spin and is an entrepreneur and self made lad..he and his brother Habib are known faces at Mumbais juloos.
They are the pioneers of the Iraqi Kama Matam in Mumbai both during Ashura and Chehlum.

The Sword Matam of Mumbai

I am inches away from the blade lying on my back, one wrong move me my camera wont exist no more..but I am lucky so far..
A few years back a flying blade cut open my eye lid flap but I survived.
Last year a blade accidentally cut my wrist but it healed..

My only wound inflicted on my right hand during Chehlum in Delhi cut my tendon, thereby making my right hand partially useless, I type with one finger of this hand which is now shaped like the closed hood of a striking cobra..

But it has been a blessing in disguise opening doors among a secretive snake bound sect of Malangs at Ajmer, these Malangs are like Naga Sadhus..they carry cobra antidote, and other such paraphernalia.They hold Hazrat Ali as their patron saint.

I have done the sword matam only once ..

But among the sword matamdars Jalal Mamu of Byculla Habib Nasser are the most precision hitters , there are others too in Mumbai ..

The sword matam is quintessentially part of Shia Mumbai..and just two places I love to shoot Amin Imambada on Ashura and Rehmatabad Shia Cemetery on Chehlum day.

In Lucknow Guddu Bawarchi of Hazrat Abbas Dargah uses the Punjabi curved sword , knowing that the crowds wont let him pursue his hitting , he rushes into the takes 15 people to bring him down and snatch the sword from his hand.
Maulana Agha Roohi uses a short sword and its taking it out from his hand is almost next to impossible ..also in Lucknow.

21 Ramzan took me back into nostalgia I have never shot this before here in Mumbai or elsewhere.

Mr Bundeally of Dongri was another veteran of the Iranian sword Matam during Chehlum but he has retired due to his age ..

The Sword Matam of Mumbai

The Sword Matam of Mumbai

The Color We Chose

the color we chose
on our soul
as on our clothes
it grows
ya ali
ya ali
ya ali
the whole wide
world knows
through out blood
sweat and tears
it shows
on the soul of humanity
a shia tear
that froze
a door of wisdom
a door of knowledge
will never ever close
ya ali
ya ali
ya ali
in our poems
as in our prose
wide awake
even in repose
ghame hussain
a river of blood
from karbala
into our hearts it flows
hussain is humanity
of a crimson rose

Ya Ali Madad

Naadey Ali! Nade Ali!
Naadey Aliyyan
Mazharal Ajayeb
Tajidahu Aunun Laka Finnwaeb
Kullu Hamin wa Gamin Sayanjali
Bi Wilayatika
Ya Ali! Ya Ali! Ya Ali!

ya ali madad
he says
through ali
by ali
for ali
of allahs grace
always always
allah ho akbar
allah be praised
ya ali madad
a protective shield
on our souls he has placed
we may lose our way
but ya ali madad
brings us out of drakness
in all ways
ya ali madad
ya ali madad
ya ali madad
the soul
of all our prayers
with moualah ali
the door of wisdom
the door of knowledge
who our lives through
the hardest time repairs
man kunto maulah
ali maulah ali maulah
our hearts our souls
we bare ..
shias no demonic despot
could scare

Shah-E-Mardaan, (King Of The Brave)
Shair-E-Yazdaan, (The Lion Of God)
Qoowwat-E-Parwardigaar (The Strength For God)
La Fata Illa Ali, (There Is None Like Ali)
La Saif Illa Zulfiqaar (There Is No Sword Like Zulfiqaar)

What Media Wont Shoot a Photo Blogger Shoots

its all about
culture heritage
ones roots
what media
wont shoot
a photo blogger shoots
bare assed feet no shoes
no slippers or boots
sharing on the cyberspace
what his minds eye
via viewfinder loots
a tailor
who stitches trousers
shirts and suits
sare jahan se accha
hindustan hamara
he pictorially moots
serving to you
his labors fruits
call him a shia pandit
call him a hindu muslim
he is what he is
human to the core
his blogs his pursuits
barefeet blogger of mumbai
from pillar to post
he commutes
with your beliefs
with your religiosity
he has no disputes
pedestrian verse
street photography
as off shoots
connected to your
arterial cyber soul
via flickr facebook twitter
he computes

photo shot by techno dude baqar bro..
searching for a shia girl to marry..nothing less
nothing more a shia samurai hardcore

Shooting 21 Ramzan..Barefeet Blogger of Mumbai

Taboot of Hazrat Imam Ali 21 Ramzan

Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب; Transliteration: ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, /ʕaliː ibn ʔæbiː t̪ˤɑːlib/13th Rajab, 24 BH–21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600[2] or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661[4]) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. Sunni Muslims consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs), while Shi'a Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Muslim community into the Sunni and Shi'a branches.[1]

Most records do indicate that during Muhammad's time, Ali was the only person born in the Kaaba sanctuary in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam.[5] His father was Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad[1] but he was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle. When Muhammad reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was among the first to accept his message, dedicating his life to the cause of Islam.[4][6][7][8]

Ali migrated to Medina shortly after Muhammad. There Muhammad told Ali that he had been ordered by God to give his daughter, Fatimah, to Ali in marriage.[1] For the ten years that Muhammad led the community in Medina, Ali was extremely active in his service, leading parties of warriors on battles, and carrying messages and orders. Ali took part in almost all the battles fought in defense of the early Muslim community.

Ali was appointed caliph by Muhammad's companions in Medina after the assassination of the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan.[9] He encountered defiance and civil war (First Fitna) during his reign. In 661, Ali was attacked while praying in the mosque of Kufa, dying a few days later.[10]

In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty, unbending devotion to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought.[11] Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad. Ali's influence has thus continued throughout Islamic history.[1]

The incident of Mubahala
Main articles: Mubahala and Hadith of Mubahala
See also: Ahl al-Bayt

According to hadith collections, in 631 an Arab Christian envoy from Najran (currently in northern Yemen and partly in Saudi Arabia) came to Muhammad to argue which of the two parties erred in its doctrine concerning Jesus. After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's creation[34], Muhammad called them to mubahala (cursing), where each party should ask God to destroy the lying party and their families.[35] Muhammad, to prove to them that he is a prophet, brought his daughter Fatimah and his surviving grandchildren, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, and Ali ibn Abi Talib and came back to the Christians and said this is my family and covered himself and his family with a cloak. [36] Allameh Tabatabaei explains in Tafsir al-Mizan that the word "Our selves" in this verse [35] refers to Muhammad and Ali. Then he narrates Imam Ali al-Rida, eighth Shia Imam, in discussion with Al-Ma'mun, Abbasid caliph, referred to this verse to prove the superiority of Muhammad's progeny over the rest of the Muslim community, and considered it the proof for Ali's right for caliphate due to Allah made Ali like the self of Muhammad.[37]

Ghadir Khumm

As Muhammad was returning from his last pilgrimage in 632, he made statements about Ali that are interpreted very differently by Sunnis and Shias.[1] He halted the caravan at Ghadir Khumm, gathered the returning pilgrims for communal prayer and began to address them[38]:

"O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a message from my Lord and I, in response to Allah's call, (would bid good-bye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.[39]."

This quote is confirmed by both Shi’a and Sunni, but they interpret the quote differently.[40]

Some Sunni and Shi'a sources report that then he called Ali ibn Abi Talib to his sides, took his hand and raised it up declaring[41]

"For whoever I am a Mawla of, then Ali is his Mawla[42]."

The Shia's regard these statements as constituting the investiture of Ali as the successor of Muhammad and as the first Imam; by contrast, the Sunnis take them only as an expression of Muhammad's closeness to Ali and of his wish that Ali, as his cousin and son-in-law, inherit his family responsibilities upon his death. [43] Many Sufis also interpret the episode as the transfer of Muhammad's spiritual power and authority to Ali, whom they regard as the wali par excellence.[1][44]

On the basis of this hadith, Ali later insisted on his religious authority superior to that of Abu Bakr and Umar.[45]


On the 19th of Ramadan, while Ali was praying in the mosque of Kufa, a Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Kharijite, assassinated him with a stroke of his poison-coated sword. Ali, wounded by the poisonous sword, lived for two days before dying in Kufa on the 21st of Ramadan in 661.[93]

Ali ordered his sons not to attack the Kharijites, even though a single member of the group of Kharijites killed him. Ali said to his son, Imam Hasan that if he lives on he will forgive Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam and free him, however, in the event of his death, ibn Muljim should get one equal hit and not more regardless if he dies from the hit or not, just as Ali himself received one hit from Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam.[94] Thus,Imam Hasan fulfilled Qisas and gave equal hurt as Ali got to ibn Muljam.[88

Touch of Faith

The Shia Back 21 Ramzan

Choreography of Pain

slash after slash
stroke after stroke
as it rains
dew drop like blood
choreography of pain
two parallel lines of faith
ali and hussain
bridging the heart
the soul and the brain
linking one shia
to another
like a human chain
held to eternity
in the womb of a grain

dedicated to aly khan,, in humility

Haq Ali Beshaq Ali

Hame Pehchan Lo Maulah Ke Azadar Hain Hum

Shias of Mumbai Are a Unique Race

bleeding heads
bleeding backs
bleeding face
shias of mumbai
a unique race
sons of the soil
from every place
inheriting this great city
as their birthplace
living in mutual coexistence
with dignity and grace
giving other communities
respect and space
thereby earn respect and praise
their bood shedding a ritual
a protest against terrorism
each moharam a step to trace
trampling the soul of yazidiyat
killing fields of disgrace
azadari e hussain
no despot could erase
shah ast hussain
badshah ast hussain
words on the soul of humanity
to rephrase

Bar Ibne Muljim Lanat Beshumaar