HAZRATH BADSHA PEER (R.A.)
Hazrath Sheikh Ahmed Badsha Peer R.A. arrived in colonial Natal from
India in 1860 as an indentured labourer and was posted to
one of the sugar cane farms in the North Coast. He was given
an honourable discharge by the authorities when he was discovered
to be mystical. He had no family here and instead of returning
to India he chose to spend the rest of his life in Durban
especially in the environs of the Grey Street Juma Mosque
and Badsha Peer Square (Brook Street Cemetery) . He also
visited his ex colleagues on the farms encouraging them
to persevere and overcome their hardships that they had
to contend with in their working places and in their living
conditions. He advised them to complete their contracts
and start a new life in Natal. It seems he was ordained
by Allah to sow the seeds of Islam in this part of Africa.
He also induced the local Muslims, many of them traders
to improve the quality of their Islamic life and warned
them of the appearance of a spiritual guide in the near
future who would nurture and sustain the advancement of
Islam in South Africa. He was not taken seriously because
of his outward 'untidy' appearance and a carefree personality.
His value lay in the forsaking of worldly pleasures and
being intoxicated in the love of Allah(majzoob). He passed
away in 1895 and was buried in the Brook Street Cemetery.
Hazrath Shah Goolam Muhammed Soofie Siddique R.A more popularly
known as 'Soofie Saheb', arrived in Durban from India in
1895. He was the personality who was frequently being alluded
by Hazrath Badsha Peer R.A as the guiding light of the future.
Among other deeds, he located the grave of Hazrath Badsha
Peer R.A ,informed the people of the esteemed greatness
of the personality buried and held the first Urs Shareef,
a function that is still being maintained up to the present
A modest wood and iron structure was erected over the grave to give
shelter to the people who came to pay their respects. Over
the years, this simple structure has undergone a number
Hazrath Soofie Saheb R.A linked Hazrath Badsha Peer R.A to the
Qadiriya Order. His Pir 0 Murshid is not known. The Shijra
Shareef of the Chistia Order is read at his functions from
the time of Hazrath Soofie Saheb R.A.
MAZAAR SHAREEF OF HAZRATH BADSHA PEER
|1895 - Hazrath Soofie Saheb (Radi Allahu
Anhu) located the grave of Hazrath Badsha Peer (Radi Allahu
Anhu) in the Brook Street cemetery. He informed the people
of the greatness of the personality buried here. A wood and
iron shelter was built over the grave to cater for the devotees
who came to pay their respects and receive spiritual blessings
|1919 - The wood and iron structure
was replaced by a concrete building consisting of a dome supported
by four large pillars with side arches.
1920 - This building was extended on
all four sides by a verandah under a wood and iron roof
built from the base of the dome.
Standing at the Entrance is one of the
old Mujawwars, 1930.
1938 - The roof of the verandah was
concreted. Brick walls were added with doors and windows.
The building contractor was the late Mr. T. Nabbie, a well
known resident of Mayville.
1959 - The building was the object of
a civil case that was instituted against the Sajjada Nasheen
in which the case was dissolved with costs in 1960 in his
1978 - The interior of the Mazaar was
completely renovated when it was partly destroyed by fire,
caused by vandalism.
2000 - Extensive renovations and additions
to the Mazaar Shareef undertaken.
The Mazaar Shareef has been regularly
maintained since the time of its existence. Painting is
done just before the annual Urs Shareef, which takes place
at the end of Safar. Renovations, repairs and refurbishments,
especially to the interior, are carried out from time to
|Large-scale renovations and additions,
both to the interior and exterior, were undertaken since
August 2000, the largest so far. A ten-metre minaret has
been constructed at the northeast corner of the building.
The roof has been restructured to sustain the additional
weight. Seven new small minarets have been added, including
three "chatrees (term used in Moghul architecture,
so called because of the umbrella shape). The original dome
has been replaced by a larger dome. Amidst all these changes,
every effort is made to retain the original architecture
of the building as far as possible. The cost of the project
is almost a million rand.
METAL PLAQUE FOUND IN OLD DOME
A very valuable piece of historical evidence was unearthed during the renovations. When the old dome was being demolished, a metal plaque (15cm x15cm) was found embedded in it. There was an inscription on it in Gujerati, which when translated reads:
SHAIKH MOHAMMED URF BADSHA SAHEB
PRESENT MAZAAR BUILT 1st MUHARRUM 1338 HIJRA
8 OCTOBER 1919
SOME FACTS TO EMERGE FROM THIS PLAQUE ARE:
- Hazrath Badsha Peer (Radi Allahu Anhu) passed away 107 years ago, most probably in the early part of 1895. He was from Madras.
- The first concrete structure was built in 1919.
The building contractor was a Mr Bhaga from Gujerat in India, who had settled in Durban. It is interesting to note that Mr Bhaga was the father of Dr. Macken Mistry, who together with Dr. Cassim Seedat, became household names and were highly respected and revered for their outstanding services to the Indian community in the greater part of the middle of the last century. Mr Bhaga also built the Gateway ("Buland Darwaza") to the Darbaar of Riverside which was sadly demolished under the Group Areas Act in 1968.
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