City Moment – Dua e Roshni, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah
The beautiful Delhi instant.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The Delhi Walla was one evening resting in the shrine of 14th century sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. It was the hour of Dua e Roshni, when the day meets the night, a moment considered especially auspicious to seek blessings from the saint.
The October air was mildly chilly and Syed Altamash Nizami, a dargah khadim clad in snow-white salwar kurta, was lighting prayer candles that were fitted inside green-coloured lamps. In the courtyard, a devotee, with a wad of Rs 500 notes stuffed tight in his palm, was asking the saint for his family’s happiness; a sufi ascetic was perfuming the air with the vapours of loban incense.
Inside the saint’s tomb, a frail old man was preparing to kneel in submission. Across the courtyard, in the open-air tomb chamber of Mughal princess Jahanara, five children were playing around her austere grave.
On entering the adjacent tomb of Mughal king Muhamamd Shah Rangeela, I saw an incredible sight. Two women were praying against a stone screen, which looks to Hazrat Nizamuddin’s shrine. The third woman was lying on the marble floor; her hair wild, her eyes closed, her lips shivering, her arms flung apart. She was in a state of ecstasy. It was a beautiful moment.
Syed Altamash Nizami lighting the candles for the Dua e Roshni prayer
An ascetic perfumes the evening air
Seeking his family’s happiness
Inside Hazrat Nizamuddin’s tomb
Playtime in Jahanara’s tomb
Inside Muhammad Shah Rangeela’s tomb
A beautiful moment