About Dargah Shah-e-Mardan

Dargah Shah-e-Mardan is one of the oldest Sh’ite Imambargah located in the South Delhi neighborhood of Jor Bagh. It is also known as Aliganj and Ali Ji on account of Hazrat Ali’s foot impression placed inside it.

People from all walks of life belonging to all religions, castes and creeds come here as devotees for offering their prayers and getting their mannats (wishes) fulfilled. Not only local Shi’ite Muslims but Members of Parliament, other Govt. officials, Foreign Diplomats from various Embassies especially from the various Muslim countries come to this Dargah on regular basis. Moreover, eminent personalities have addressed the gatherings on several occasions. These include Dr. Zakir Husain, Mr Krishan Chand, Mr Lal Bahadur Shastri and Mr Mahabir Tyagi to name a few.

 

Historical Perspective

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in his famous book Isarul Sanadeed mentions the following historical facts about the Dargah. He writes “It is a Dargah in front of the tomb of Mansoor Ali Khan Safardarjang. In 1724, Qudsia Sahab-Al-Zamani also known as Nawab Bai, wife of King Mohd Shah, got a stone having a foot impression and was told that the impression was of Hazrat Ali’s foot. She got this stone fixed in a marble hauz and got a marble floor constructed around it.

In 1808 A.D. Ishrat Ali Khan constructed Majlis Khana. Naqqar khana was built by Sadiq Ali Khan in 1821A.D. The boundary of the Karbala was constructed by Ashraf Beg Khan. This is a place where tazias from entire city are brought here to be buried.”

Prior to the partition of India there was a large population of muslims living around the Dargah including some of the members of the Royal family. However, in 1947 when Delhi suffered the pain of partition, this area was no exception and the complete muslim population had to flee from the area. After the Shia community migrated form the vicinity, the big gates, boundary walls and property of the Dargah were damaged and encroached by other refugees.

It was during this time that Mr Agha Mirza Sahib, concerned about the safety of Qadam Mubarak, shifted the Qadam Mubarak to Dargah Panja Sharif at Kashmiri Gate. However, when conditions became conducive, the Qadam Mubarak was again put back in its rightful place at the Dargah.

Qadam Mubarak

Before the main gate of Dargah Shah-e-Mardan there is a large gate called Naqqar Khana. The gate of the Dargah is towards its right. The doors of Dargah have round holes in it indicating that initially the doors of the Dargah must have been made of wood and these holes would serve to attach them. However, it is now having doors with iron rods.

The Qadam Mubarak compound is infront of this gate. This open yard of Dargah is made of Marble tiles. There is a beautiful elevated place of black marble in the hall in which Qadam Mubarak is resting.

If any devotee gets his mannat fulfilled the hauz is filled with milk and Narz is offered on this milk. This milk is then distributed among the people present there.

Bibi Fatima ki Chakki

In the north of Qadam Mubarak there was a hexagonal stand (burj). Sir Syed Ahmed Khan mentioned in his book that adult males are not allowed inside this compound because it has Naqash-e-Kasai Hazrat Fatima a.s. Only ladies were allowed inside this compound. Bibi Fatima’s Chakki was displayed on this burj.

The Zari of Janab-e-Zainab a.j. and Janab-e-Sakina a.j. are also placed inside this.

Kazmain

In front of Qadam Mubarak is Dargah Kazmain constructed by Ghulam Asghar Soomar Sahib. It is a small rectangular room and the roof has two domes. It contains the Zari of Hazrat Imam Musa Qazim a.s.

Majlis Khana

To the south of Qadam Mubarak is Majlis Khana built by Janab Ishrat Ali in 1808 AD. Majlis Khana was constructed for organizing Majlis for the martyred Imam Husain a.s. It also has several graves.

Masjid of Nawab Qudsia

In the compound of Shah-e-Mardan there is a mosque famous by name “Nawab Qudsia ki Masjid”. It contains three white domes and three (mahravi) carved pillars. Initially there was a tank of 28.5 feet X 15.3 feet having a fountain in its centre. However, the tank is no more now. Regular prayers are offered in this mosque.

An underground basement type space is also available beneath the mosque. It is currently being used for residential purposes.

Karbala

It is situated near the famous Safdarjang tomb in the North of Jor Bagh. Its boundary was constructed by Capt Ashraf Beg Khan. Many graveyards are to be found in its compound. In the month of Moharram, Tazias from all over the city are brought here for burial. They are usually accompanied with large number of devotees.

{ Adopted form:Dilli-ke-Dargah Shah-e-Mardan By Khaliq Anjum, 1988, Urdu academy Delhi

Isarul Sanadeed by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, page no 321-322 }

 

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Note: Research is still underway to ascertain the various historical aspects related to the Dargah and its properties. They will be published regularly. We request all the visitors to get in touch in case they have any book/article of historical significance which mentions about the Dargah.

Please do keep visiting the website for latest research findings.

 

 

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James A. Michener on Islam

(1907-1997) Leading American writer; recipient of honorary doctorates in five fields from thirty leading universities and decorated with the Presidential Medal of freedom, America's highest civilian award.

       "No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam . . . The West has widely  believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts that idea, and the Qur'an is explicit in support of the freedom of conscience."

[Islam - The Misunderstood Religion, Readers' Digest (American Edition) May 1955]