Special Reports

Azadari in Mahmudabad

In a joint effort by Waqf-e-Maharaja and Shoulder to Shoulder Foundation, The Qila of Mahmudabad hosted ‘Karbala: Beyond Religious Boundaries’, a one-of-a-kind programme to give everyone an opportunity to experience Mahmudabad’s unique way of commemorating Muharram, on 8 October. The programme was aligned with Mahmudabad’s juloos of 6th Muharram, which is known the world over for its grandeur and elaborate traditional rituals.      

In a heart-warming showcase of Awadh’s Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, people from all faiths not just participated in the programme but also took active part in organising it. In fact, participants included even foreign nationals from as far as Switzerland and US.  For many, it was the first experience of azadaari, and they said the visit to Mahmudabad left them enriched in a lot of ways.   

The programme itself was extremely special as it featured several dying arts associated with Muharram, like nassari, sozkhwani and shehnai recitals. There was also a brief address by Raja Mahmudabad and his son Ali Khan Mahmudabad who discussed India’s extraordinary role in keeping the memory of Imam Hussain and his sacrifices alive. The program was followed by a traditional dinner within the picturesque Qila. The attendees included several well-known personalities like Wajahat Habibullah, Amarul Habibullah, Masood Ahmad, Mehru Jaffer, Mrs Shabi-ul-Hasnain, Zeba Siddiqui, Iqbal Kidwai, Tahira Hasan, Shanney Naqvi, Ashfaq Khan, Afzal Maududi, Husain Afsar, Trilochan Kalra, Abhineet Seth, Praveer Singh, Syed Farooq Rizvi (UAE), and Mohammad Asif (Saudi Arabia).   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2016 on page no. 13

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