THE NAGORE SHRINE AND Stories OF SUFI Song IN KAMPONG GELAM
A trip to Nagore Dargah, a shrine equipped over the tomb of the Muslim Sufi saint Syed Shahul Hameed, turned into one of the most highlights of my up to date travel to Tamil Nadu, India. I even have desired to stopover at it for the longest time, by means of its varied connections with Singapore, and my boyhood turning out to be up in Kampung Gelam.
Which includes its “sibling” in Penang, the good-looking and identically named Nagore Dargah on Telok Ayer Road (not too long ago changed into the Indian Muslim Background Centre) is an “offspring” of the primary shrine in Nagore. This can be a stunning metropolis at the windswept Coromandel Coast, 321 km south of Chennai.
Syed Shahul Hameed changed into a thirteenth era descendent of the prominent Sufi saint, Abd al-Qadir al-Jalani. He's venerated for having achieved many miracles and cured the actual illness of King Achutappa Nayak, a sixteenth-century Hindu ruler of Thanjavur. His shrine is visited not only by using Muslims but in addition many Hindus. The land that it turned into equipped on turned into donated with the aid of King Achutappa, and the tallest of its 5 minarets was once developed by means of his 18th century Hindu successor, Pratap Singh, after his prayer for a son, on the shrine, used to be spoke back. The Dargah is for that reason a logo of the non violent coexistence of Hinduism and Islam in South India.
As I stood in the front of the easy however stylish shrine with its 5 stately minarets, I recollect per annum at the ninth day of Jumada al-awal at the Islamic lunar calendar, the demise anniversary of the saint, and the beginning of the 458 yr historical Kanduri pageant.
I take into account that Hamid and his curry rice stall at the 5 foot method alongside Kandahar Boulevard, on the rear of Gedung Kuning, my adolescence dwelling house. Hamid turned into the executive organiser of the Kanduri competition. For those who see him elevating the mast and hoisting the emblematic efficient flag, you already know the pageant changed into forthcoming. You can see colorful banners and flags anchored to the multi-ethnic shophouses all alongside Kandahar Avenue, the epicentre of the pageant. I matter fondly the unfastened cuisine that changed into given out, whatever my chum Ah Chong ( son of the landlord of the Hainanese espresso retailer in which ‘Pariaman Nasi Padang’ started out ) and that i thought to be one of the vital highlights of the competition!
Hamid organised the accumulating of price range for the competition from his stall on Kandahar Boulevard. He might fundraise from the numerous Indian Muslims ethnic organizations in Kampung Gelam : Gujeratis, Malabaris, Punjabis, Bengalis, Tamils, and many others. Contributions got here from Hindus and Chinese language to boot, inclusive of the house owners of the Chinese language laundrette which immediately has come to be the ‘Rumah Minang’ eating place. Those finances helped deliver musicians from India to accomplish for 3 nights, making a song the praises of God, His Messenger and the Sufi saint. Worshippers had been absorbed within the rhythmic repetition of the identify of God or His attributes, as consistent with Sufic way of life. The viewers will be entranced via the attractive contraptions, akin to the nadaswaram, a wind software, or thavil, the percussion drum, accompanying the singers acting the Carnatic vocal vogue this is most the symbol of southern India. Contributing to the intimate, festive ambiance, Kandahar Highway can be closed to vehicular site visitors through the 3 nights of efficiency. simple
Ah…. because the nadaswaram fades, the tranquil hum of a harmonium fills the complete avenue. It truly is accompanied a couple of moments later with the aid of the qawwali-ish vocals. Right here in Kampung Gelam, nadaswaram meets qawwali. That's an uplifting emotion, and the devotee intuits the transcendence past dogma, and the Sufic option to the Divine.
It turned into this reminiscence of transforming into up with one of these wealthy religious ride that used to be one of several vital motives I needed to make the ride to Tamil Nadu. I walked throughout the shrine, mingling one of several multitude of humble fans who come to pay admire and are looking for the saint’s benefits. I could now not be Indian, yet there are such a large amount of strands of the Tamil sense woven into the braid of Kampung Gelam, that I felt a homecoming of varieties. This was once delivered dwelling house as I walked right into a wedding ceremony solemnisation on the shrine. The couple seemed Indian yet they had been wearing the all too commonly used Malay baju kurong, surprisingly transposed to its new atmosphere around the Bay of Bengal. India as soon as got here to the Straits, and the Straits now involves India, taking its variety during this Singapore Indian Peranakan couple, reward with their folks and family. Like my trip, a circle’s quit has made its as far back as its starting place.