A picture of greatness

This picture arrived in my inbox few days ago. Amazing to see some of the biggest names of literature and intellectuals all in one group picture. I didn’t have the chance to find out where and when this picture was taken and the occasion that brought all these great personalities together.

how many can you identify? how many do you know about?

Music of Nagore

Nagore is famous for Sufi saint Syed Abdul Qadir popularly known as Qadir Vali. Syed Abdul Qadir born in Manikpur in present day UP in the year 1504 (910 hijri). Around the age of 18 he left home seeking a spiritual teacher. He found a spiritual mentor in Mohammad Ghouse in Gwalior. After doing Hajj he landed in Ponnani in Malabar and traveled to Maldives, Sri Lanka and finally made Nagore in Tamil Nadu his home where he died in 1570 (978 hijri). His beautiful dargah was built years later with its unique white minarets.

Periya Minara at Nagore Dargah built by the Tanjore King.

Dargah’s influence over Tamil Muslims was so much that when a number of them migrated to Singapore they built a replica of the dargah for their spiritual needs.

Nagore Dargah in Singapore. [Photo by dozafar]

Lately, music of the Nagore Dargah is getting international recognition thanks to the Laya Project which has produced a CD with seven songs that can be purchased here:

Videos of the two of the songs are here:

Ya Allah:


Urdu song, that is not part of the CD:

Qadir Wali Urdu Song by nagoredargha

A Journey to the Heart of Islam

THE first view of the area outside the holy mosque. A giant clock tower (second tallest building in the world) overshadows everything in its vicinity, sadly, even the house of God. Did Mecca really need it? That too so very close to the mosque. The towering hotels challenge the very principles of the pilgrimage. People with money can have the best view of the holy mosque. What about the white ‘Ihraam’, which stands for unity in simplicity!

As a Muslim you grow up prostrating in the direction of the Kaaba, five times a day. You hear stories about prayers being realised on its first sight. Naturally, you long to visit it one day. So when your plane touches Saudi Arabia, it’s this very moment you are looking forward to. When you do see it, you are speechless! You feel the closest to God and that’s when he answers your prayers.

Technology and spirituality merge at the Prophet’s [PBUH] mosque in Medina. The beautiful pillars double as umbrellas during the day. You feel trasported to another world altogether.

The mountain of Uhud in Medina is a grim reminder of hypocrites in Islam. They fled the battlefield while the Prophet [PBUH] was alive, what to talk about the state of affairs 1400 years after him.

A mosque established by a prominent follower (Salman Farsi) of the Prophet [PBUH] in Medina is one of the last few old structures holding ground.

Heritage has given way to grandness. Is this our legacy to the generations to follow!

Jannat-ul-Baqi, Medina – the final resting place of many members of the Prophet’s [PBUH] family, some of his prominent followers and other Prophets [PBUT] of Islam.

Although the Saudi government is doing a fine job in safely handling millions of pilgrims every year but they need to strike a balance between modernity and care for Islamic heritage.