The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing in an Ambiguously Islamic Place

By Carla Bellamy | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A
e Yūsufī

The

e Yūsufī, an Urdu history of the Princely State of Jaora, contains the oldest account of the founding of Ḥusain Ṭekrī.

First: During the reign of Nawāb Muhammad Ismail Khan, [there was] a strange incident. In 1304 Hijri [1886], it happened that there was a rare concurrence of the Hindu festival of Daśahrā and the eighth day of Muharram. The keepers of the ta‘ziyas said, “We will not allow Rāmlīlā processions to pass in front of the ta‘ziyas on the day of Daśahrā.” In response, the government issued a warning, stating, “Do not interfere in the traditions of the Hindus, and Hindu rites ought not to disturb Muslims” [hindū rasūm musalmānon men dakhl na den]. But the Muslims didn’t heed this warning. Two days earlier, from the time that the image of Ravana had been erected, a regiment of Central India English mounted troops from the cantonment at Agra had arrived to keep an eye on the commotion. After gathering their collaborators, they went and stood directly in front of the ta‘ziyas for all to see. The ta‘ziya bearers were very unhappy at this turn of events, and so later in the evening they went and immersed their ta‘ziya in the river. And so there was a huge uproar, with weeping and wailing, and all the shops in the city were closed. But because of the presence of the English mounted troops, there was no possible way for riots to start. But the next day, on the ninth of Muharram, the nawāb, out of the kindness of his merciful heart, commanded that the ta‘ziya bearers be brought into his care, and he himself gave the instructions that gratified the ta‘ziya bearers, and he distributed around two hundred rupees among them, so that by the ninth day of Muharram, after a full day [of work], the ta‘ziyas were once again properly prepared.

But at this very moment, people from the village of Rozana were on their way from Jaora. About two miles north [of Jaora] these people truly saw, with their own eyes, that the ta‘ziya of the city of Jaora, accompanied by people on horses and people on foot, was moving steadily toward the north. And in absolute truth, in between the city [of Jaora] and the village of Rozana, the ta‘ziya was placed on a

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