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Islamic Architecture
 
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
This is a discussion about this project in the ArchNet Digital Library: Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
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Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Do Sufi and Muslim shrines such as these allow photography of all inner areas, such as the green cloth shrouded tomb of Nizam ud-din?

I would greatly appreciate knowing as I am planning on travelling to India for a film project.
Mark Knego
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Mark,

Yes. The Nizamuddin Auliya shrine allows for photography of the inner shrine (and cloth covering) if special permission is sought from the Dargah's guardians (hereditary caretakers of the shrine).

This might require some patience, time and negotiation skills since there are at least two families at conflict there. You might also be obliged to 'donate' to the upkeep of the Dargah. Still photography, and outside the inner sanctum is much easier.
Danny Cherian
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Some facts about the complex:

One of the oldest structures in this complex is the Jamat Khana Masjid, built sometime around 1320 CE, before the dargah. And it is the second dated building in Delhi with a successful dome construction.

The entire Nizamuddin area is dotted with graves and tombs of various shapes and sizes built over time, making it one of the architecturally rich neighbourhoods in Delhi; all on account of the dargah of Shaikh Nizam-ud-din Auliya. It was considered auspicious to be buried near the saint. Humayun's tomb, a world heritage site, is one such tomb.

A well known proverb is also attributed to the saint, "Dilli abhi door hai", which was uttered for the then sultan, Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq. The sultan was vehemently opposed to the saint and posed many a problems for him and his followers. Angered by Sultan's actions, the saint prophesied that Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq would not return from his conquest of Bengal to his capital city. And lo and behold! The sultan was killed approximately 6 kms outside the city on his return journey. Today the use of this proverb implies that a task is yet to be completed.
Shubhru Gupta
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Dear Sirs:

Thank you for your information.

Also, I have heard a story, that in 1303, as Mughal invaders were preparing to attack Dehli, Nizam ud-Din prayed that they would not. "Legend has it" that the Mughals stopped and did not invade, and that this was attributed to Nizam ud-Din's prayers and devotion.

Do you know, perhaps, if this is legend, or a fact from the historical record?

Sincerely,

Mark Knego
Mark Knego
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Mark,

The Mongols invaded the Delhi Sultanate about a dozen times during the Shaikh's lifetime itself. And three of these expeditions - 1296, 1298 & 1303(in the reign of Ala-ud-Din Khilji) laid seige of Delhi.

The Mongols suffered heavy losses in the first first two expeditions (primarily caused by disease and in-fighting). But suceeded in surrounding the royal castle of Siri in 1303, while the larger part of Ala-ud-Din's army was in Rajasthan on a military expedition. The Mongols are beleived to have wasted precious time in laying seige of the well-stocked castle and not storming it. They supposedly panicked at the news of the imperial army's rapid return to Delhi and retreated without a fight.

The Shaikh is attributed with many miracles over his lifetime- and this incident was surely a miraculous military episode for the Delhi Sultanate. All we know is that the Mongols did not harass the Shaikh's hospice, and that Ala-ud-Din was well disposed to the Shaikh as well. Whether the Shaikh intervened is not entirely agreed upon by all ,and is a matter of faith.
Danny Cherian
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Dear Sirs:

Are there any resources which could show the style of dress and clothing of Nizam ud-Din and his contemporaries and followers?

Mark Knego
Mark Knego
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Mark,

There are some descriptions of the Shaikh's dress in Amir Khusro's poetry. Amir was the court poet for many rulers of the Delhi sultanate and a beloved of the Shaikh.

Chistiyya shaikhs typically owned few possessions (usually one change of dress). A ceremonial bowl, staff, rosary and turban were often handed down to one's spiritual successor (khalifa). And the Shaikh himself is known to have inherited his spiritual master (murshid)'s turban, which had been handed down the Chistiyya line of Sufi masters.

The various biographies of the Shaikh (Fawa'id u'l-fu'ad and the Siyar-ul-auliya) may contain a few more descriptions of his dress.

Best of luck
Danny Cherian
Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Shrine Complex
Dear Sirs:

I did visit the dargah of Nizam ud-Din and had a very successful filmimg. Thank you so much for all your advice and information.

Sincerely,

Mark Knego
Mark Knego
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