Making My Moula’s Qabr

Friday 20th Jamadil Ula 1435H

The qabr of a Dai is no ordinary mound of earth. It is none other than ‘inaayat’ – divine providence which goes about designating and preparing the precise spot where a Dai will be laid to rest. For Burhanuddin Moula, a Dai whose brilliance eclipsed a thousand suns, that process began over many millennia ago.

In Kerbala on Ashura Day, divine fate had carefully picked every grain of dust that was present that day to be there. As the sun rose on Ashura, this dust comprised of ordinary, insignificant particles of earth, but before the sun set on Ashura, this ‘khaak’ had become ‘khaak e shifa’. It had become unified with the blood and tears of the most purest and noble seventy-two souls that time and space had brought into being. These particles of dust had absorbed the drops of water that emptied from the slit flask of Moulana Abbas just as they had the tears of Moulatena Sakina on learning of Moulana Abbas’ sacrifice. This same earth enveloped the tiny corpse of Moulana Aliasger as Imam Hussain dug a small grave with the sheath of his sword and turned red as the blood poured from the speared chest of Moulana Aliakber.

As Imam Hussain rested against that date-tree, he knew what was to become of this khaak. He ensured that all the barakat of his ‘badan e at’har’ would be forever fused with this khaak. He knew that this khaak would become khaake shifa and heal humanity from all its ills till the end of time. He knew that his Dai, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin would weep for him for more than a century and mumineen would weep at his feet as they envisioned Kerbala within him. Thus, he would gift him with the ultimate gift – a gift which would be worthy of such enduring sacrifice and devotion. In his final moments he remembered our Moula, Burhanuddin Moula, and uttered a ‘dua’ that would traverse the length and breadth of time to create a Dai whose entire person and being composed of becoming a teardrop infused with the gham of Imam Hussain. This was a Dai who would embody the meaning of ‘khaake shifa’. As Imam Hussain did sajda, his blood ebbed and flowed on to the scorched earth of Kerbala, infusing it completely with an untold barakat and turning it into khaake shifa.

This was the gift of Imam Hussain to our Moula, Burhanuddin Moula.

Today, as Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin returned from his historic travels to Kerbala, Najaf and Yemen, he brought with him this khaake shifa. This khaak was prepared not just by fate or fortune, but by design; by Imam Hussain himself. Finally, after 1400 years in the making, his gift to his Dai would reach its destination with no less than Mufaddal Moula being the harbinger of this barakat. Mufaddal Moula would often mention on the eve of Ashura, “Mumineen! Tomorrow look not with your eyes, but with your hearts at Burhanuddin Moula and you will see Khaake Shifa on his forehead.” That shaan became ever more paramount today – khaake shifa covered his entire jism mubarak. As mere mortals, we are but inadequate to even try to comprehend what happened today.

Since the day of wafaat Mufaddal Moula has quite literally poured gallons of ‘agar’ onto Moula’s grave, just as he did today. It reminded us of the time when Burhanuddin Moula doused Moulatena Fatema’s qabr mubarak with ‘agar’ twenty two years ago. He said at the time that so much had been poured that the ittar had reached right till the core of the qabr. The son, born on the night of Moulatena Fatema, has done nothing less. He has shown to every mumin and mumina how this qabr of Burhanuddin Moula is like that vessel which contains the teardrops of Moulatena Fatema. Burhanuddin Moula was, is and will always be Fatemi shafa’at epitomized.

Mufaddal Moula, with his trademark humility, knelt slowly next to the qabr of Burhanuddin Moula in Raudat Tahera today. The upper level had been exposed and Mufaddal Moula gingerly placed a brick carefully against another near the raas mubarak. A bhaisaheb mentioned that these bricks had been formed with the water of Zamzam and the clay from khaake shifa. Each time Moula laid a brick, it was as if his heavy heart was bidding a final farewell, slowly laying his father and the father of us all, to rest. Moula then layered the bricks with cement, again made from khaake shifa, and layered them one on top of the other. It was as if he was cementing firm the foundation of his Dawat on the qabr, nay – on his deep and undying mohabbat for Burhanuddin Moula. Quakes immeasurable in magnitude have and will come, but Mufaddal Moula’s Dawat would remain solid, concrete and unwavering as this was the foundation on which he has built it.

Then the unthinkable happened. A few hundred of us were seated in the sehen of Raudat Tahera. One by one, each was called inside the qubba. Chattering amongst ourselves, we assumed we would get the sharaf of doing ziyarat before Moula went onto Saifee Masjid for maqdam majlis and Jumoa namaaz. As soon as we reached the doors of the qubba, we were handed boxes of khaake shifa and we were told to empty them on top of the qabr. Eyes welled with tears. We – Moula’s ‘khaaki ghulaamo’, no more significant than a particle of dust – who were we to even take part in making Moula’s qabr? It was with tears alongside the khaake shifa, that with as much as humility and piety that we could muster, we placed the khaake shifa near the qadam mubarak side of Moula’s qabr and we prayed. We prayed that may we always always always remain, the khaaki ghulaamo of both Moulas, residing forever in the Jannat of his qadam mubarak. Silently, quietly, with no aspiration to fame or recognition, remain just as dust in his khidmat.

A tiny grain, but always at his feet.

As mumineen came one by one, the air became thick and clouded with khaake shifa. It was as if we were in Kerbala, on Ashura, as the dust swirled in the battlefield. Why not? Was this not that very place, that very sanctified ground on which the zarihs of Moulana Ali and Imam Hussain were made? The dust – the khaake shifa – rose up and up until no crevice or corner of Raudat Tahera remained that had not been enveloped in this fine dust. Anyone will tell you that when normal dust blows, we cover our mouths so we don’t suffocate. I swear by the qabr of Burhanuddin Moula, that every mumin there was breathing this khaake shifa by the lungful. We were consumed by it, for this was khaake shifa, drifting upwards from Burhanuddin Moula’s qabr. This was not a dust that would suffocate; it was breathing life into us. It was Burhanuddin Moula giving us ‘Shifa’ from below where he lay.

I stood on the edge, mesmerized and inconsolable all at once, at what has happening just a couple of feet away. Soon, it seemed a ‘ghilaaf’ of khaake shifa had enshrouded the qabr. For all the thousands of ghilaafs which were laid on Moula’s qabr, this was by far the most precious. Those ghilaafs were hand stitched by fingers of mumineen, but this…….this was the very khaake shifa which Hussain Imam himself had prepared. Every particle was drenched in his drops of blood and infused with his barakat. It was as if Burhanuddin Moula had become one with Imam Hussain, joined for eternity.

I realized then the magnitude of what Mufaddal Moula had done. He had brought Kerbala to Moula and in doing so, he showed us who Burhanuddin Moula was…….and is.

Imam Hussain’s ziyarat is one which is a mumin would never tire of it. But not all of us have the means to keep going to Kerbala. But if we were to come here, come to Burhanuddin Moula’s qabr, then we would receive the barakaat of Imam Hussain’s ziyarat for the khaak of Kerbala lies within it. Each grain of dust encompasses the history, heroism and heartache of Kerbala. Moula’s qabr now has become, as Rasulullah said of Imam Hussain’s qabr, the ‘tur’at’ (hill) of Jannat.

As I continued to kneel at the edge of Moula’s qabr, I remembered Syedna Hatim. This was Mansoor ul Yemen Moula’s qabr and Aqeequl Yemen Moula had just returned from Yemen. If Syedna Hatim could turn that fistful of dust from his own qabr into gold for a humble mumin, could not Mansoor ul Yemen Moula do the same for his own mumineen? I called out nervously to one of the sahebo – one who had always stood by Moula day and night – near his qabr as he continued to build it and asked him to give me his hand. For a moment he looked baffled, but then he looked at his own hands, understood what I was asking for and then graciously reached out. I took his khaake shifa laiden hands into mine and took what I could. As I did, I silently whispered to Moula from my heart, to turn this adna adna adna khaadim into that piece of gold which would be impervious to every fire and pure in devotion to him and his Mansoos and asked Moula to turn every one of us into what he always wanted us to become.

Burhanuddin Moula’s ziyarat is not just of a Dai, but of all the Panjatan, Aimmat and Duat. It is they who have made this qabr, planning and preparing in ways we cannot understand, but nevertheless know to be true. In doing so, they have immortalized a part of them within this qabr.

May no ocean no matter how deep and no mountain no matter how high and no land no matter how vast, be an obstacle to any mumin in coming to Moula’s qabr – ever.

Adnan Sh Shabbir Abidali

Al Jamea tus Saifiyah

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