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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Holy City of Jaunpur

The Holy City of Jaunpur

by Syed Khudabakhash Shiraz Daniyal
Bismillah Hir-Rahman Nir-Raheem.

As-Salaam Alaikum Woh Rahmatullahi Woh Barakatuhu.

Our beloved Prophet Syedna Mohammed Mustafa SAWS prophesied that, "the Promised Mehdi (AHS) would born in Madina (City)". Regarding this Hadith, some people argue the birth of Promised Mehdi, Hazrath Syed Mohammed AHS in a place called "Jaunpur", which was neither a city nor a place of significance in Islamic world, according to them. But, this comment could not be regarded less than "absurd" and proof their lack of knowledge and ill intentions to regard "Jaunpur" as a remote village.

Here it would be reasonable to also discuss the meaning of term "Madinah". In Arabic terminology, the word "Al-Madinah" refers to any "city". In no sense, it refers to "Madinah Munawwara" in "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" only. In fact, the name of "Madinah Munawwara" of "K.S.A." was "Yathrib" and later, after the migration of Prophet Mohammed SAWS to this place from Makkah, its name was changed to "Madinat-un-Nabi (City of Prophet)". Hence, this holy place became famous as "Madinah" since then (instead of Yathrib).

It shall also be noted that, all the Ahadith in this regards, just mention the word "Madinah" in original text and no where it is mentioned as "Madinat-un-Nabi". Hence, logically, the birth place of Promised Mehdi AHS should be interpreted as a "city" itself, or in Islamic Terminology, it would be a "Religious City".       

Lets check out the background (history) of this holy city of Jaunpur :-

The founder of Jaunpur, the birth place of Khalifatullah, Khatim-e-Vilayat-e-Mohammedia, Hazrath Syed Mohammed Jaunpuri Al Mehdi Al Maud AHS, was Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq, the emperor of Delhi. Jaunpur is situated on the bank of the river Gomti, in Allahabad Province.

Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq once happened to camp in the vicinity of the river Gomti. There the open space attracted the attention of the Sultan. He decided to build a model city there. Thus the city was established in 772 AH and was named as “Jaunpur” after the great learned king of the dynasty, Mohammed Bin Tughlaq (Juna Khan), who (said to be) advised the emperor in a dream to name it after him. Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq selected the gems of all the trades and learning's from Delhi and asked them to shift to Jaunpur with attractive scholarships and pensions. Thus the foundation of the city was laid with the selected persons of all the trades and learning's.

Soon, the City became very popular and developed as an academic (Islamic) centre during the period of the Sharqiya Kings. There were great number of Ulema, learned persons and scholars. They used to invite famous Ulema, men of letters and artisans to the Court and grant them pensions and jagirs (property) for their maintenance. It is said that, there were 1700 Ulema in Jaunpur during the reign of Sultan Hussain Sharqi, who later became a devoted admirer and follower of Hazrath Syed Mohammed AHS. There were also a number of Schools, Universities and Masjids in Jaunpur at that time. Thus, it became very famous as a centre for Islamic studies in the East, easily comparable to the city of Shiraz in the Middle East, and hence named as Shiraz-e-Hind. Till date, there are many ancient Masajids in Jaunpur which attracts the Tourists, like; Jama Masjid, Lal Darwaza Masjid, Athala Masjid etc.   

Many Sufi Saints were residing in the holy city of Jaunpur, such as; Hazrath Shaikh Daniyal Chishti RH. The Islamic scholars of the city were popular among the Arab and non-Arab Muslims alike. The books written here were used as books for reference, teaching and research and were included in the syllabi of the Universities worldwide. Thus it was a place, regarded and respected as a place of scholars, sufis, Aulias, literature and books all over the world.

No historian of ancient India had failed to mention the glory of Jaunpur with special reference to its eminence in the field of Islamic studies.

It would be appropriate to give few quotations, supporting the above statements :
·         Narender Nath Laa writes in 'Promotion of learning's in India during Mohammedan Rule' :- "During lbrahim's reign (1402-1440 AD) the court of Jaunpur far outshone that of Delhi and was the resort of all the learned men of the east".
·         F.A. Keay writes in 'Indian education in Ancient and later Times' that :- "the place in India which was most famous in its days as a Mohammedan place of learning was Jaunpur. It was comparable to Shiraz in Persia and was called as the Shiraz of India".
·         In the Imperial Gazetteer of India - Volume IV, published from Oxford in 1908 AD, it is written that; "Jaunpur remained the seat of Governor till the reorganisation of the empire by Akbar, who raised Allahabad to the position of a provincial capital. From that time Jaunpur declined in political importance though retained some of its former reputation as a centre of Mohammedan learning, which had gained for it the title 'Shiraz of India'."
·         Farishta has named Jaunpur as the second Delhi.
·         Shahjahan, the fifth Moghal emperor called Jaunpur the Shiraz of his empire.
·         When Humayun reached Iran during his exile, the king of Iran, Shah Tahmasap Shah first enquired about Jaunpur and its scholars and felt envied on learning about the progress of Jaunpur on Islamic studies, against the decline of Shiraz (of Persia).
·         The importance of Jaunpur as a centre for Islamic studies can be well assessed from the fact that it was called a University (Dar-ul-Uloom) in itself by the author of Tabqaat-e-Akbari.

After knowing the brief facts mentioned above, only an ignorant person or a person who intends to mislead others from Truth, could only deny "Jaunpur" being a "Holy City" in the Islamic History

Hence, it could be well said that,  “The Promised Mehdi Hazrath Syed Mohammed Alaihis-salatu-was-salaam, was born in the City of Jaunpur (Madinat-ul-Jaunpur)”

Apart from this, there are several Ahadith, which indicates the birth place of Promised Mehdi AHS to be in the Hind (India) / East. These Ahadith will be discussed separately, in the next piece of writing.