Hazratbal Shrine

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The Hazratbal Shrine (lit. "Majestic Place") is a Muslim shrine in Hazratbal, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It contains a relic, the Moi-e-Muqqadas, believed by many Muslims of Kashmir to be Muhammad's hair.[1] The name of the shrine comes from the Farsi word Hazrat, meaning "respected", and the Kashmiri word bal, meaning "place". Thus it means the place which is given high regards and is respected among the people.

Dargah Sharief
درگاہ شریف
RegionKashmir Valley
LeadershipJammu & Kashmir Muslim Waqf Board
LocationHazratbal, Srinagar
StateJammu and Kashmir
Hazratbal Shrine is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Hazratbal Shrine
Shown within Jammu and Kashmir
Hazratbal Shrine is located in India
Hazratbal Shrine
Hazratbal Shrine (India)
Geographic coordinates34°7′45″N 74°50′32″E / 34.12917°N 74.84222°E / 34.12917; 74.84222Coordinates: 34°7′45″N 74°50′32″E / 34.12917°N 74.84222°E / 34.12917; 74.84222
Length105 metres (344 ft)
Width25 metres (82 ft)

The shrine is situated on the Northern bank of the Dal Lake, Srinagar, and is considered to be Kashmir's holiest Muslim shrine.[2]

History and present statusEdit

A view of the Hazratbal shrine

The mosque contains strands of Muhammad's hair, often referred to as "the relic of Hazratbal shrine" or simply, "the relic". The relic was first brought to Kashmir by Syed Abdullah, a purported descendant of Muhammad who left Medina and settled in Bijapur, near Hyderabad in 1635.[1][2]

When Syed Abdullah died, his son Syed Hamid inherited the relic. Following the Mughal conquest of the region, Syed Hamid was stripped of his family estates. Finding himself unable to care for the relic, he sold it to a wealthy Kashmiri businessman Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai.[citation needed]

However, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb came to know of what had transpired, he had the relic seized and sent to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer, and had Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai imprisoned in Delhi for possessing the relic. Later, realizing his mistake, Aurangzeb decided to restore the relic to Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai and to allow him to take it to Kashmir. However, Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai had already died in imprisonment. In 1700, the relic finally reached Kashmir, along with the body of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai. There, Inayat Begum, daughter of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai, became a custodian of the relic and established the shrine. Since then, her male descendants have been caretakers of the relic.[3]

Dr Manzoor Banday, Head Cleric of Hazratbal Shrine displaying the holy relic on the occasion of Eid e Milad un Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Her male descendants belong to what is known as the Banday family. Currently (as of 2019), 3 main members care for the holy relic: Dr. Manzoor Ahmad Banday, Ishaq Banday and Mohiuddin Banday. The Holy Relic is displayed for public viewing only on special occasions like the birthday of Prophet Muhammad and his 4 main companions, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique, Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab, Hazrat Usman ibn Affan and Hazrat Ali.

The caretakers of the shrine are known as Nishandehs. The eldest male heirs of the previous Nishandeh continues the legacy of displaying the relic when the current Nishandeh passes away.

Dr Manzoor Banday, head cleric of the shrine dispaying the relic inside the mosque to the general public on the occasion of birthday of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique.

Hazratbal relic disappearance episodeEdit

The relic was reported to have disappeared on 27 December 1963. There were mass protests all over the state on the disappearance of the Moi-e-Muqaddas (the Hair of the Prophet) with hundreds of thousands out in the streets.[citation needed] The Awami Action Committee was formed to recover the relic. On 31 December, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made a broadcast to the nation on the disappearance of the sacred relic.

The relic was recovered on 4 January 1964.[3][4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Moslems Riot Over Theft of Sacred Relic", Chicago Tribune, 29 December 1963, p1
  2. ^ "Kashmir Yield at Shrine". New York Times. 7 August 1994. The shrine is known by many names including Hazratbal, Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani, or simply Dargah Sharif.
  3. ^ a b Hari Narain Verma; Amrit Verma (1998). Decisive battles of India through the ages, Volume II. GIP Books. p. 124. ISBN 978-1-881155-04-1. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  4. ^ Neelam Francesca; Rashmi Srivastava (2008). Secularism in the postcolonial Indian novel: national and cosmopolitan narratives in English. Volume 17 of Routledge research in postcolonial literatures. Routledge. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-415-40295-8. Retrieved 22 June 2010.