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Hallaur or Hallor (Urdu, Persian and Arabic: هلور, Hindi: हल्लौर, Bhojpuri: हलूर) is a town or a large village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, situated near the banks of Rapti river. Residents of Hallaur are referred to as Hallauri.
The name was derived from Chapter Hal-ata (Al-Insan) of the Quran by Meer Syed Shah Abdur Rasool (Meera Baba). Hallaur has a post office with PIN 272191 and homoeopathic and Ayurvedic dispensaries and a maternity home run by the 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 49 kilometres north of Basti district headquarters, neighbouring Domariaganj its headquarters. It is one of the biggest villages of the district and hence is sometimes because of its vast area referred to as a town by the 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 1907 by Meer Akber Husain, a prominent figured landlord and elderly person of old Gorakhpur district. Hallaur is a well-known place in literacy and other infrastructural developments in the entire district.
Hallaur came into light after the arrival of Meera Baba who was migrated from the area of Tous, Iran, to propagate Islam in this part of world.
Allamah, Samar Hallauri, has described Hallaur in the following lines:
Another local poet says :
Inki unki naa kisi aur ki baat karta hoon
Main to apne vatan Hallaur ki baat karta hoon
Adabo ilm aur itehaad ka ye jahan hai
Ye gule Raza se saja hua gulistan hai
In the foothill of the Himalaya mountain is Hallaur located,
Where dwells the progeny of Arab's Prophet (Mohammad).
I do not argue about this or that
I argue about my hometown Hallaur
This is the world of knowledge,manners and unity
This garden is decorated by the flowers of Imam Raza
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As per historical evidences some 335 years ago(during the regime of mughal emperor Auranzzeb), a Noble and small Family of Sayyids, led by Shah Sayyid Abdur Rasool migrated from the Persian City of Toos to India during the Mughal period. Shah Syed Abdur Rasool later came to be known as "Meera Baba". He was a devout Twelver Shiite. Only four prominent group of families(now they have spread)have direct linkage with Meera Baba notable among them are descendants of Shah Saiyyed Ali,Shah Kabeer Ali,Shah Faiz Ali and Shah Peer Ali.In fact ancestors of more than 40% of present population are migrated from nearby villages such as Pardi,Anduan,Bhuigawan,Pipra,Piraila,Pokhra,Bangawan,Sisai etc. during the past 200 years.Some migrated even 50 to 60 year back. Meera Baba's tomb is in the heartland of Hallaur and old natives of Hallaur who are descendants of Meera Baba and his brothers revere him a lot. Every year urs of Meera Baba is commemorated and attended by 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 charms and divinely power that he gifted of five villages to Meera Baba. 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.Present trustee is Janab Shah Saiyyed Salman Mehdi.
It has been said by the local Hallauris that Meer Shah Abdur Rasool faced hard-hitting confrontation from the tribal settled in Hallaur who were known as "Tharus". The Tharus asked Meera Baba to prove himself being a true Syed and show some miracles commensurate with 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 few days a sapling emerged .Whole tharu community become his admirer and follower and most of them embraced Islam. 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. This area was named Hallaur either by Meera baba or by his brothers. 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 barring a few and Agriculturist by profession. Soon they realized the importance of education and as such presently they 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 elsewhere. Most of the professionals are settled either in big cities or in other countries. Generally they visit Hallaur on few occasions such as Muharram. Hallaur was actively involved in first war of Indian Independence. Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh,took refuge on her way towards Nepal when she was being chased by British Army. Her small contingent was safely helped and guided by Shah Kabeer Ali under the leadership of Meer Muhammad Bakhsk. Hallauris faced regime's hostility and were subjected to punishment for their support in war of Independence by British Army. This is a fact that no murder or any other heinous crime took place in hallaur so far.
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 . 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 . They were given land by Syed Landlords to settle down with their families in Hallaur . A separate locality of Dalits still exists in Hallaur on the land provided by Syeds.They have good rapport with other communities of hallaur.
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 metropolitan cities, Middle East and other countries for their living. Local traders are backbone of the economy of this town. A substantial number of people are also working in government sector.
Further, in due course of time, this area has developed and become the center of social,commercial, religious and educational activities. A few Educational Institutes and Religious educational institutes like Madrasas, Primary Schools, and High-schools were established from time to time and are running successfully. The Modern school was established by late Qazi Adeel Abbasi, Late Hashmat Ali, Late Ghalib Husain,Late Mohd Iliyas,Late Samar Hallauri, Late Mohammad Husain, late Lutf Haider, Late Itait Husain and Late Dr Nazeer Hasan (Moti doctor) and Late Sultan Ahmad. in 1952. District board also runs four schools (including 2 for girls) and three primary schools. There are some privately run schools also in Hallaur, 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. Hallaur has hosted All India Shia Conference which was attended by important religious leaders and also hosted executive body meeting of "Anjuman Wazeefa Sadaat wa Momineen."
Culture and religion
Being a Shiite dominated town, Hallaur is becoming a Shiite center of eastern Uttar Pradesh because of having a good population of Shia Muslims 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 ( 1948-51 ). Late Haider Mahdi who was also a good orator . Itrat Hallauri, Qais Hallauri and Allamah Samar Hallauri are all time great poets Hallaur has ever produced. Khurshid Hallauri,Jamal Hallauri are known for their classic poetry. 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 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 'Fakhr-e-Qaum. More than three fourth of the population of this place is scattered throughout the world and other places like Mumbai, Lucknow, Delhi, Aligarh, Bangalore, Pune and Gorakhpur.However most of the immigrants of this town are well connected to their roots as they frequently visit their motherland especially during the month of Moharram. A monthly Hindi magazine 'Dost Ki Baat' edited by Nafees Haider Hallauri and a newspaper named Hallaur Sandesh edited by Roshan Rizvi, another newspaper'Watchman'edited by Helal Haider Rizvi had also given glimpses of Hallauri thoughts and culture. Badshah Husain Rizvi contributed in Hindi literature.'Parivartan' a Hindi magazine was a good effort of Sultan Ahmad Rizvi and his brothers. Jamaali sahab has also written several Urdu novels which were published with the assistance of UP Urdu Academy.Presently a lot of work is being done by Dr Wazahat Rizvi in respect of Urdu literature. At cultural level Sultan Ahmad Rizvi and his brothers established 'AAG' (Armature Artist Guild) which has done commendable work in the field of Art,Drama and Theater. District Level representation of Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) was also representation of Hallaur, position of district secretory & president was with Adv. Manzar Rizvi and Khurshid Ahmad (R.K) respectively. Anwar Abbas Rizvi residing in Gorakhpur also contributed remarkably in the field of Radio and TV. Hallauris are a unique community and most of them have the same resemblance. "Anjuman Farogh Matam" [Green Party] and "Anjuman Guldasta Matam" [Black Party] are the registered organisations behind all religious activities of Hallauris."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] (Ujari)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, Maulana Syed Ilmul Hasan Rizvi, Maulana Chand, Alhaj Tafseer Hasan, Maulana Lakhte jigar, Jamal Haider, Qaiser Abbas,Khushter Abbas, Er. Mehdi Abbas and Er. Aftab Haider and many other religious Scholars of Hallauri origin are doing/have done their level best to propagate Islam in 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 . 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 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
- Imambaargaah Babul baba
- Imambaargaah Seth Baba
- Dargah Bab ul Hawaej Abbas ibn Ali ( Pachchon [West] Imambargah)
- Imambaargaah Nirmalain Bua
- Imambaargaah Shafayat Husain
- Imambaargaah of Karbala
- Imambaargaah Faham Hallauri
- Jannat al Baqi Imambargah in memory of demolished shrines in Jannat al Baqi, Saudi Arabia.
- Imam baargaah Abu Naadir
- Imam Bargaah Rajjab Ali
In addition many families have earmarked some place within their houses as Imam Baargaah
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 Masjid" 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 syed Waseem Raza Zaidi'from varanasi. 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 and almost every country in the Gulf.In addition hallauries have registered their presence in US,Canada,United kingdom,Africa, Germany,Japan and many other countries Anjuman Haideri Hallaur is doing considerable job in Mumbai, 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.
Hallauris are and were always independent, all cultural and religious functions are organized by donations received from members. 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.
- 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 24 June 2010.
- "Hallaur". Uttar Pradesh Government. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
- "Haloor Village". Ourvillageindia.org. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Hallaur, Assisi Bhavan". Dioceseofgorakhpur.org. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Hallaur". Uttar Pradesh Government. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Dumariya Ganj, page 181-201
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