Karbala : Beyond Religious Boundaries at Mahmudabad

The Mohurrum of Mahmudabad, a princely state founded in 1677 by Raja Mahmud Khan occupies an exclusive place in the history of Azadari. Its Imambara which is located in the fort of Mahmudabad, is on a stretch of 20 acres complex. The biggest attraction of the Mohurrum is Zuljana, ( Horse of Imam Hussain).
karbala-beyond-religious-boundariesThis year witnessed the mohurrum in a joint effort by Waqf- e-Mahahraja and Lucknow based NGO Shoulder to Shoulder. The qila of Mahmudabad hosted “Qarbala: Beyond religious boundaries” of its kind program to give everyone, an opportunity to experience Mahmudabad’s unique way of commemorating mohurrum. The evening proceedings stared with the Shenai and Naggar playing from the Nakkarkhana, situated at the entrance of the huge fort. Inside the huge and impressive Imambara, which was beautifully decorated for the evening, in a solemn way saw the reciting of Nassari, Sozkhani, by some specialist, in this field. Its recitation brought tears in all the people present in majlis. It was a first experience for many like students who had travelled from New Delhi, to witness this function.
The Majlis was addressed by an introduction by the present Raja Amir Khan sahib of Mahmudabad followed by his illustrious son Dr. Ali Khan Mahmudabad, in an impressive but brief description of Mohurrum and its importance and how it has been maintained in Mahmudabad, for over 3 centuries .It was marvellous to hear both father and son speak in fluent Persian, English and chaste urdu. After this Nassari and Sozkhani was read by different persons. The majlis was informative as well as solemn. Scholors from Iran also narrated soz on the occasion, from the Mimbar.
The majlis was followed by Jaloos, which was led by the Raja sahib and his family members, through the small and winding lanes of the town. It contained the all time revered Zuljana, some camels and all the villagers, who came in thousands not only from the town but also nearby villages. Many prominent and well known personalities, like Wajahat Habibullah and his son Amar, Masood Ahmed, Mehru Jafar, Mrs. Shabiul-Hasanain, Zeba Siddiqui, Tahira Hasan, Shanney Naqvi, Iqbal Kidwai, Ashfaq Ahmed Khan, Husain Afsar, Hashim Rizvi, Trilochan Kalra, Abhineeth Seth, Praveer Singh, Syed Farooq Rizvi, Mohd. Asif, and some foreign students, who had flown from New Delhi, to witness this historical Azadari function of Mahmudabad.
The Majlis was followed by tradional dinner, hosted in the fort.
Syed Afzal Ali Shah Maududi,
Editor