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How Syed Shahul Hamid of Nagore in Tamil Nadu, India, constructed a bond of friendship among Indians, Malays, Chinese language and others in Singapore - lengthy after he had kicked the bucket.

+five Khir Johari extra nine new footage . February eleven, 2016 ·


A trip to Nagore Dargah, a shrine outfitted over the tomb of the Muslim Sufi saint Syed Shahul Hameed, became some of the highlights of my current shuttle to Tamil Nadu, India. I actually have desired to seek advice from it for the longest time, with the aid of its numerous connections with Singapore, and my boyhood increasing up in Kampung Gelam.

Along with its “sibling” in Penang, the good-looking and identically named Nagore Dargah on Telok Ayer Road (just lately switched over into the Indian Muslim Background Centre) is an “offspring” of the major shrine in Nagore. It is a stunning city at the windswept Coromandel Coast, 321 km south of Chennai.

Syed Shahul Hameed used to be a thirteenth iteration descendent of the popular Sufi saint, Abd al-Qadir al-Jalani. He's honored for having finished many miracles and cured the actual soreness of King Achutappa Nayak, a sixteenth-century Hindu ruler of Thanjavur. His shrine is visited not only by using Muslims but additionally many Hindus. The land that it used to be outfitted on changed into donated through King Achutappa, and the tallest of its 5 minarets used to be equipped by means of his 18th century Hindu successor, Pratap Singh, after his prayer for a son, on the shrine, turned into responded. The Dargah is in this case an emblem of the peaceable coexistence of Hinduism and Islam in South India.

As I stood in the front of the straightforward however chic shrine with its 5 stately minarets, I recollect once a year at the ninth day of Jumada al-awal at the Islamic lunar calendar, the loss of life anniversary of the saint, and the beginning of the 458 12 months historic Kanduri pageant.

I count Hamid and his curry rice stall at the 5 foot approach alongside Kandahar Boulevard, on the rear of Gedung Kuning, my formative years dwelling. Hamid become the executive organiser of the Kanduri pageant. Should you see him elevating the mast and hoisting the emblematic inexperienced flag, you understand the pageant turned into impending. You will discover vibrant banners and flags anchored to the multi-ethnic shophouses all alongside Kandahar Avenue, the epicentre of the competition. I take into accout fondly the unfastened delicacies that turned into given out, some thing my chum Ah Chong ( son of the landlord of the Hainanese espresso retailer in which ‘Pariaman Nasi Padang’ commenced ) and that i thought to be probably the most highlights of the pageant!

Hamid organised the accumulating of budget for the pageant from his stall on Kandahar Side road. He could fundraise from most of the Indian Muslims ethnic businesses in Kampung Gelam : Gujeratis, Malabaris, Punjabis, Bengalis, Tamils, and the like. Contributions got here from Hindus and Chinese language besides, inclusive of the homeowners of the Chinese language laundrette which right now has grow to be the ‘Rumah Minang’ eating place. Those cash 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 inside the rhythmic repetition of the identify of God or His attributes, as in keeping with Sufic lifestyle. The target audience will be entranced via the pretty contraptions, corresponding to the nadaswaram, a wind software, or thavil, the percussion drum, accompanying the singers appearing the Carnatic vocal trend it truly is loads the symbol of southern India. Contributing to the intimate, festive ambiance, Kandahar Avenue could be closed to vehicular visitors in the course of the 3 nights of functionality. simple

Ah…. because the nadaswaram fades, the tranquil hum of a harmonium fills your entire avenue. It can be adopted just a few moments later by using the qawwali-ish vocals. Right here in Kampung Gelam, nadaswaram meets qawwali. It truly is an uplifting emotion, and the devotee intuits the transcendence past dogma, and the Sufic method of the Divine.

It become this reminiscence of turning out to be up with this type of prosperous non secular ride that used to be one of the most vital explanations I needed to make the vacation to Tamil Nadu. I walked throughout the shrine, mingling most of the multitude of humble fans who come to pay admire and searching for the saint’s benefits. I could now not be Indian, however there are such a lot of strands of the Tamil enjoy woven into the braid of Kampung Gelam, that I felt a homecoming of types. This used to be introduced residence as I walked right into a marriage ceremony solemnisation on the shrine. The couple regarded Indian however they have been wearing the all too widespread Malay baju kurong, unusually transposed to its new environment around the Bay of Bengal. India as soon as got here to the Straits, and the Straits now involves India, taking its model during this Singapore Indian Peranakan couple, latest with their mom and dad and loved ones. Like my event, a circle’s conclusion has made its as far back as its opening.