Devotees in large numbers throng Mahim Dargah in Mumbai during an ongoing 10-day fair that had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions over the past two years.
The annual fair held in honour of Makhdoom Shah Baba (Mahim Dargah) started on December 8. It will continue till December 17 and will witness offerings of over 400 “sandals”. The sandal is usually an assortment of sandalwood paste, flowers and a shawl.
The fair happens typically on the 13th day of the Urdu Calendar month. On the first day, post afternoon namaz, police pick up the first “sandal”, go around the area and then offer it to Makhdoom Shah Baba.
The event, which has been gazetted since 1910, is marked by the first offering made by Mumbai Police to the 14th-century Sufi saint Makhdoom Fakih Ali Mahimi whose grave is inside the Mahim dargah.
Librarian and Research Assistant at the Dargah, Noor Parkar told ANI: “Makhdoom Ali Mahimi (1372-1431) was a Muslim Scholar from the Konkan region in India. He is widely acknowledged for his scholarly treatises, liberal views and humanist ideals. Mahimi was born into a family of Arab travellers from Iraq who had settled on the island of Mahim, one of the seven islands that later formed the city of Bombay (now Mumbai)”.
‘People from different religious backgrounds come here and pay their tributes. Police officials from different states also come here. Mumbai police officials came in the morning and offered sandals as a mark of their respect to Makhdoom Ali. Everyone’s prayers are listened to by our Allah,” he added.
There are many legends about why the Mumbai Police is the first to make the first “sandal”. As per folklore, the Sufi saint had helped a policing authority to catch thieves and the practice to make the first offering started after he passed away.
Also, the “sandal” which is now offered by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) or Senior Inspector at the Mahim police station was once used to be offered by the Commissioner of Police. However, with time, officers other than the police chief have carried on with the tradition.
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.