Hallaur or Hallor (Urdu, Persian and Arabic: هلور, Hindi: हल्लौर, Bhojpuri: हलूर) is a town or a big village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, situated near the banks of Rapti river. Residents of Hallaur are referred as Hallauri.
The Place of Rizvi Syed (Sayyid). The name was derived from Chapter Hal-ata (Al-Insan) of Holy Quran by Meer Syed Shah Abdur Rasool (Meera Baba). The place has a post office with PIN 272191 and homoeopathic and Ayurvedic dispensaries and maternity home run by State government. Bhatangwan village was merged into Hallaur and De facto became a part of Hallaur.
It is 44 kilometres northwest of Siddharthnagar district and 44 kilometres north of Basti district headquarters, neighbouring Domariaganj its headquarters. Its one of the biggest village of the district and hence sometimes because of its vast area is referred as a town by local people of Siddhartha Nagar. Hallaur bazaar, a weekly Shopping Market is the backbone of all trading activities of the area. The bazaar was established in 1882 by Meer Akber Husain a prominent figured Landlord and elderly person of old Gorakhpur district. Hallaur is considerably a known place in literacy and other infrastructural developments in entire district. Hallaur came into light after the advent of Meer Syed Shah Abdul Rasool (Meera Baba) who is believed to have been migrated from the area of Tous Persian city Mashhad to propagate real Islam in this part of world. Many Shiites of central Asia took refuge in India and Syed Nizam Mashhadi forefather of Meer Shah Abdul Rasool (Meera Baba) was prominent one.
One of the all-time great legendary Urdu poets of Hallaur Allamah, Samar Hallauri, has described Hallaur in the following lines written by him:
|“||Daamaan e Koh-e-Himalaya me hai Hallaur Aabad,
Rehati hai Jahan Rasool-e-Arabi ki Awlaad.
|“||In the foothill of the Himalaya mountain is Hallaur located,
Where dwells the progeny of Arab's Prophet (Mohammad).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2010)|
Some Six centuries ago, a Noble Family of Sayyids, migrated from the Holy City of Mashhad (Iran) to India during the Mughal period. In stages, one of the descendants of Syed Meer Shah Nizam Mashhadi came and settled down to an uninhabited and undeveloped area in the Himalayan Valley near the Northern border of India. Syed Meer Shah Abdur Rasool the descendant of Syed Nizam Mashhadi later came to be known as "Meera Baba". Meera means Syed and Baba means an elderly person or a father. He was a devout Twelver Shiite. He had his lineage from the 9th Shiite Imam Muhammad al-Taqi al Jawwad. It is a notable authenticated fact that all Sayyids known as Razavi, Rizvi or Ridawi are actually Taqawi Sayyids, Rizvi Sayyids are the direct descendants of Imam Muhammad al-Taqi al Jawwad, an eighth descendant of Prophet Mohammad and ninth Twelver Shiite Imam. Imam Ali al Reza also known as Al Imam Ali al-Rida had no son other than Imam Muhammad al-Taqi al Jawwad. If at all he had other sons than Imam Muhammad al-Taqi, then their offspring should have been called Ridawi, Rizvi or Razavi Sayyids. But Since Imam Ali al Reza came to Iran and died in Tous many descendants of his son Imam Muhammad al-Taqi were also called Rizvis. Rizvis are from the children of Imamzadah Musa al Mubarraqa, the son of Imam Muhammad al-Taqi al Jawwad whose tomb is located in Chihil Akhtaran graveyard in Qom city of Iran. Shahzada Ahmad was the son of Musa al Mubarraqa, his tomb is also in Chihil Akhtaran besides his father's tomb. Direct Descendants of these personalities are Rizvi Sayyids, Sabzevar was the inhabited land of Rizvis in Iran before their migration to Indian subcontinent.
Meera Baba's tomb is in the heartland of Hallaur and old natives of Hallaur who regard him as their ancestor revere him a lot. Every year birth anniversary of Meera Baba is celebrated and attended huge number of people. Besides a huge gathering pay their homage and recite verses of Holy Quran at his tomb daily especially on every Thursday. As per historical evidences Mughal Emperor Alamgir II visited Hallaur and he was so much impressed by Meera Baba's history that he gave seven villages to Meera Baba's descendants settled there. Shah Abdur Rasool Trust is still functional in Hallaur. The trust (trustee must be the eldest son of Meera Baba's family) is responsible for maintenance of Bada Imambargah, maintenance of tomb of Meera Baba, organising anniversaries etc. Day of Ashura procession on 10th Moharram, mourning procession of 7th Moharram and similar other processions are organised by the trust (Waqf) round the year from the grants released by Shia Central Waqf Board in favour of Waqf Shah Alamgir II.
It has been said by the local Hallauris that Meer Shah Abdur Rasool faced hard-hitting confrontation from the Magicians settled in Hallaur who were known as "Tharus". The Tharus asked Meera Baba to prove himself being a true Syed and show some miracle against their magical performances. Meera Baba once brushing his teeth with a Reetha stick sowed the same in the land within the premises of today's Jama Masjid of Hallaur. Within a fraction of few days a plant was grown from that place. That miraculous tree is still alive at the entrance of Jama Masjid. Hallauris keep the leaves of that tree as trophy. All Hallauris believe that as long as Meera Baba is in Hallaur, this a secured place. Apart from this Meera baba confronted Tharus with another miracles like asking wall to walk as he was riding it, asking a virgin cow to give milk etc. Tharus later left Hallaur and it's believed that they migrated to Bengal part of India or to the neighbouring country Nepal crossing the Rapti River where the Tharus are still in existence. This area was named Hallaur. It is a prominent place near Domariaganj in District of Siddharthnagar of Uttar Pradesh in India. Generally the natives of this area are small Landlords and Agriculturist by profession but since generations have also become highly educated and can be found in all walks of life, they have entered in other professions as well. Many educated Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers Businessmen, Teachers and Corporate Professionals can be found in Hallaur or outside Hallaur who are of Hallauri Origin. But most of the professionals are found either in big cities or in other countries. Generally they visit Hallaur on few occasions if they are married to a Hallauri Syedani [Syed Lady]. Hallaur was actively involved in first war of Indian Independence. Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh who was also Shiite, took refuge on her way towards Nepal when she was being chased by British Army. Her small contingent with the help of local people ambushed British contingent and assassinated two British officers. The memorial/tomb of those officers are near Ekgharwa village (at that time there was only one house in that village). Hallauris faced regime's hostility and were subjected to punishment for their support in war of Independence by British Army.
As per Official figure of the Census held in India in 2001, Hallaur has a population of approximately 6000 people, 50:50 men to women. However, after amalgamation of neighbouring Bhatangwa village with that of Hallaur, now Bhatangwa is part of Hallaur and with that Hallaur has an estimated total population of approximately 18,000 to 20,000 people including those of the adjoining areas and newly merged village into Hallaur. Residents of Hallaur are referred as Hallauris. Most of the Hallauris practice the Shia Islam religion with considerable population of other faiths such as Sunni Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and a dozen of Christians. Christians also have their missionary School and Hospital named as St. Thomas on Highway No. 26 of Hallaur.
Most of the Hallauri Muslims are Twelver Shiites . Around 85% of entire population is Muslim out of which more than 90% Shiites are from the Syed families, they are predominantly devout Shias. Other 15% of population has Buddhists and Dalits, Hindus and Christian population.
The Dalits settled in Hallaur have decades old history of being persecuted by the upper caste Hindus during the British rule even years after independence Caste system in India prevailed. They were granted permission by Syed Landlords to settle down with their families in Hallaur along with that they were also provided with free land for their shelter by the local Landlords of Hallaur. A separate locality of Dalits still exists in Hallaur on the land provided by Syeds.
Dalits being the persecuted and most downtrodden community not only in Uttar Pradesh but in entire India still respect the Hallauri Syeds for coming to their rescue at a time when they were chased down by the local upper caste Hindus.
Education and literacy
The literacy rate amongst the people is considerably higher than other people living in surrounding area. Due to unemployment people of this town are compelled to work in Mumbai, Chennai and Middle Eastern countries for their living apart from local traders who are the backbone of the economy of this town. A substantial number of people are also working in government sector but they mostly live in their respective cities.
Further, in due course of time, this area has developed and become the center of social, general and religious educational activities. A few big and small Educational Institutes and Religious educational institutes like Madrasas, Primary Schools, and High-schools have been formed from time to time and are running successfully. Schools established in Hallaur are Modern School and St. Thomas School. The Modern school was established by Late Hashmat Ali, Ghalib Husain, Mohd Iliyas, Samar Hallauri, Mohammad Husain, Ishtiyaq Hussain, Itait Husain and Dr Moti (Moti doctor) etc. in 1952. District board also runs four schools (including 2 for girls) and two primary schools. There are some privately run schools in Hallaur, the prominent being Al Moosavi school. Makhtab and Madrasas are preferred sources of Religious education for all preferably for Women. Fine Arts, craft and composition of Urdu poetry are major hobbies of native Hallauris. However no artist ever emerged above district level. Hallaur has hosted All India Shia Conference which was attended by important religious leaders and yearly programme of “Anjuman Wazeefa Sadaat wa Momineen.” Halluaries are the most educated people in this entire region but now due to excessive competition from Public Montessori School of Domariaganj the education sector in halluar is in a stage of closing .
Culture and religion
Being a Shiite dominated town, Hallaur is becoming a Shiite center of eastern part of Uttar Pradesh because of having a good population of Shia Muslims after a few cities of north India as huge gathering can be seen during the month of Moharram. The great and renowned scholar and theologian from Saran district of (Bihar) state of India “Allamah Sayyid Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi” who actively promoted Islam in East Africa and wrote number of books on Shiite theology and jurisprudence had served as Imam of Jama Masjid of Hallaur in his early days. Late Haider Mahdi who was also a good orator and was conferred with the title of Zaigham e Hind [Lion of India]. Itrat Hallauri, Qais Hallauri and Allamah Samar Hallauri are all time great poets Hallaur has ever produced. Khurshid Hallauri,Jamal Hallauri, Badrul Hasan Hallauri and Shakeel Hallauri are known for their classic poetry writing. Mayal Hallauri and Baqar Hallauri teachers by profession were also local poets. Sada-e-Dil [Voice of the Heart] was the epic which was composed and recited by Allamah Samar Hallauri on the opening day of All India Shia Conference(AISC). He was conferred the title of 'Allamah'by AISC presided by 'Maulana Kalbe Abbas' the present Imam of the Jama Masjid. More than half of the population of this place is scattered throughout the world and other places like Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Delhi, Aligarh, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai. Most of the immigrants of this town are well connected to their roots as they frequently visit their motherland especially during the month Moharram. A monthly Hindi magazine 'Dost Ki Baat' edited by Nafees Haider Hallauri and a newspaper named Hallaur Sandesh edited by Roshan Rizvi had also given glimpses of Hallauri thoughts and culture. They are a unique community and most of them have the same resemblance because they marry within their community with some exceptions.
"Anjuman Farogh Matam" [Green Party] and oldest "Anjuman Guldasta Matam" [Black Party] are the registered organisations behind all religious activities of Hallauris living in or outside Hallaur. "Anjuman Urooj Matam" is the youth wing of Farogh Matam and "Anjuman Ghuncha Matam" is the youth wing of Guldasta Matam. Every Hallauri is either affiliated to Farogh Matam or Guldasta Matam. Unlimited religious activities are performed by both parties round the year. Locally Farogh Matam is named as Hari [Green] Party whereas Guldasta Matam is nicknamed as Kali/Safed [Black] Party. Almost every Religious scholar of the country has visited Hallaur once or more to participate in Majlises organised by Farogh Matam and Guldasta Matam since almost last 100 years. Maulana Hasan Abbas Fitrat, Ilmul Hasan, Maulana Chand, Alhaj Tafseer Hasan, Maulana Lakhte jigar, Jamal Haider, Qaiser Abbas and his son Khushter Abbas, Er. Mehdi Abbas and Er. Aftab Haider and many other religious Scholars of Hallauri origin are doing their best to propagate Islamin different parts of India and world. . "Anjuman Yadgare Husaini" is the mother Anjuman of all Anjumans. Late Ali Hasan Tehsildar was the person who had institutionalised and streamlined the activities of this Anjuman and was instrumental in making it financially strong. Karbala of Hallaur is a major place of mourning for Imam Husain ibn Ali. Earlier it was only for burial of Taziya and few other occasional events but in recent past Karbala has emerged as an important place of worship and social gatherings. A Mosque-cum-Imambargah was constructed by (Late)Er. Sayyid Badrul Hasan in the premises of Karbala (later he constructed another Imambargah in old Karbala) A wave of construction activities started since then. Several shrines are constructed in recent past and several constructions are underway.
Shrines so far constructed in Karbala premises of Hallaur are as follows:
- Shrine of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib
- Shrine of Syedah Zainab bint Ali
- Shrine of Imam Zayn al-Abidin Al-Sajjad
- Shrine of Imam Ali al Reza.
Shrines planned to be constructed in Karbala premises of Hallaur as of March 2010:
- Shrine of Syedah Fatimah Zahra daughter of Prophet Mohammad.
- Shrine of Abbas ibn Ali, already a Dargah in name of Bab ul Hawaej Abbas ibn Ali exists in Hallaur.
- Shrine of Syedah Sakinah bint Husayn, already a small Imambargah exists in name of Sakinah Bint al Husain within Hallaur.
Azadari and other religious observances
Azadari in Hallaur is known all over India, its done with great fervor. The practice of not cooking food at home on the day of Ashura is still prevalent in Hallaur. People abstain from cooking at home only if someone dies within their family, and that day they are provided with meal by their neighbours or near relatives. This is done ever year on the day of Ashura, people cook meals at their homes for their neighbours and then distribute within each other. Taziya procession on the day of Ashura is carried out with much devotion in Hallaur. Hallaur has an history of Azadari which is done in great zeal.
Taziya processions apart from day of Ashura are also carried out by Shiites on the following days:
- Day of Arbaeen also known as Chehlum in Hallaur falls 40 days after the day of Ashura.
- 25th of Moharram in commemoration of fourth Shiite Imam Ali ibnil Husain Zayn al-Abidin.
- 9th of Zil Hijjah in commemoration of martyrdom of Muslim ibn Aqeel cousin of Imam Husain ibn Ali who was captured and martyred in Kufa on this day.
- 28th of Safar in commemoration of Prophet Mohammad's Death and Martyrdom of second Shiite Imam Hasan ibn Ali on same day.
- Chup Tazia on 8th of Rabi'-ul-Awwal in commemoration of martyrdom of eleventh Shiite Imam Hasan al Askari
- 28th of Rajab in memory of Imam Husain ibn Ali's last day in Medina before he headed towards Karbala.
Tatbeer or Qama-Zani, Zanjeer Zani and Matam on Fire are also done in Hallaur. Most of the Hallauris are in Taqlid of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who has sanctioned Zanjeer Zani and Tatbeer. Zainab bint Ali Day organised by Abbas brothers, Abbas Day organised by Alam brothers and Mahfile Noor organised by Farogh Matam are held every year with much devotion. Around 4 decades earlier late Nafis Ahmad Rizvi Advocate started programme named Sham-e-Ghariban and this programme became highly acclaimed .Now this programme is carried out by Zakir-e-Ahlebayte Maulana Khushtar Abbas Rizvi.
Imambargahs in Hallaur are the places which contribute to the cause of mourning of Imam Husain ibn Ali and these are centres of religious gatherings in Moharram. A big new Imambargah is under construction in the vicinity of Hallaur bazaar. Besides Jama Masjid there are five Mosques of Shia community and one of Sunni community.
List of Imambargahs in Hallaur:
- Imambargah Waqf Shah Alamgir II also known as Bada Imambargah constructed on the land donated by Shah Alamgir II
- Babul Baba ka Imambargah
- Seth Baba ka Imambargah
- Dargah Bab ul Hawaej Abbas ibn Ali ( Pachchon [West] Imambargah)
- Nirmalain Bua Imambargah
- Shafayat Sahab Imambargah
- Imambargah of Karbala
- Faham Sahab Imambargah
- Jannat al Baqi Imambargah in memory of demolished shrines in Jannat al Baqi, Saudi Arabia.
Shiva temple of Hallaur is an holy place of worship for Hindus. A fair on the occasion of Maha Shivratri is held every year with huge gathering of Hindus coming from far off to attend the fair. Hallaur also has a Hindu temple named as Kali Mandir. It is also interesting that land for Shivalaya, Seeta Garahiya and Kali Mandir was donated by Hallauri Landlord Syed Mohammad Haider son of late Shabbir Hasan with the consent of his grandfather Late Hashmat Ali Numberdar.
Jama Masjid and managing committee
A Central 'Jama Masjid' was constructed by the orders of Nawab of Lucknow about two centuries back. The present "Jama MasjidD" was rebuilt in 1930's. This Mosque has, since then, been reconstructed, expanded and repaired from time to time with locally available resources, techniques and materials. Jama Masjid is a centrally managed Mosque, it is also the biggest Mosque of Hallaur and organises the weekly Friday Congregational prayer along with the daily prayers.
The Jama Masjid's managing committee known as “Anjuman-e-Yadgar-e-Hussaini” looks after all affairs pertaining to the management of the Masjid community Graveyards, Madrasas and Makhtab. “Anjuman-e-Yadgar-e-Hussaini” is one of the oldest registered religious organisation of Hallaur. The present Imam of the Jama Masjid is 'Hujjatul Islam Maulana Waseem Raza Zaidi'. Considered as the mother organisation of all organisations in Hallaur "Anjuman-e-Yadgar-e-Hussaini" is actively involved in organising various religious activities in Hallaur. The notable tomb of Shah Abdur Rasool and his miraculous Reetha tree are also within the premises of Jama Masjid.
Hallauris outside Hallaur and their religious activities
Mumbai is believed to be having the largest Hallauri population outside Hallaur. The majority of Hallauris live in clusters in Govandi and other areas of Mumbai like Andheri(Mograpada), Mira Road, Mumbra, Bandra, Kurla and Navi Mumbai. Anjuman Haideri Hallaur is a registered body of Hallauris in Mumbai established in 1952. Earlier before migrating to Govandi, most of the Hallauris were settled in Dongri an area in South Mumbai. Anjuman Haideri Hallaur is doing considerable job in Lucknow, Delhi, Aligarh and Gorakhpur. Hallaur Association in Gorakhpur is a social-cum-religious platform of Hallauris residing in Gorakhpur. It organises mourining procession of 5th Muharram and Ashura every year. Religious activities are being organised in Delhi and Lucknow also.
Anjuman Haideri Hallaur is Currently headed by Syed Manzoor Hussain Rizvi as chairman and Syed Mukhtar Rizvi as General Secretary of the Anjuman. Hallauris are independent, and all these events are done by donations. ImamBargah –e- Haidery Hallaur, a Masjid cum Imam Bargah is built by Hallauris in Govandi. This Anjuman has a programme in the month of Safar, a Juloos where 72 Tabuts [Coffins] are carried by the mourners of the Martyrs of Karbala. Hallauri Sayyids are a fair complexioned looking race because of their middle eastern ethnicity.
- Begum Hazrat Mahal
- Musa al Mubarraqa
- Razavi Khurasan
- Shia Islam in India
- Wasa Dargah
- Syed Qazi Muzainul Haq
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hallaur.|
- "Pincode of Hallaur". Mapsofindia.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Hallaur". Uttar Pradesh Government. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Haloor Village". Ourvillageindia.org. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Hallaur, Assisi Bhavan". Dioceseofgorakhpur.org. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Who are Dalits". Navsarjan.org. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
- "Persecution of Dalits". Navsarjan.org. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
- "Dalits face a new threat from India's Hindus". Raceandhistory.com. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
- "Hallaur". Uttar Pradesh Government. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Dumariya Ganj, page 181-201
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