Friday, December 30, 2011

Alamchand - Pargana Chail

This vegetable crop made me stop on the way !

Came across a Tiraha , asked the way to Alamchand

This is the road towards Alamchand

As I entered , saw this lakhori Brick-walled House

 Old Lady suspecting us to be a govt official  followed us through 

Pucca Makan

Lane

Maulvi Iqbal's Mansion !

Another view of this grand structure !

Two of the best structures stand jointly !

Raza Husain Sahib's Mansion

Inside the pillared doorway

Khan Bahadur Haji Sayyid Muhammad Raza Husain

Tere diye jalane wale Kahan gaye !

Lane

At least here is a boundary !

Loud Speaker & Board over the mosque parapet

Inside view of the mosque. Would you locate my laptop bag ?

Front view of the mosque

Inside the mosque

Out of Village now

Alamchand is an old village of Pargana Chail . Today it falls under the block -Mooratganj in district Kaushambi (formerly in Allahabad). 

Location

It is a remote village lying on the north-west outskirts of Pargana Chail. Nearby Villages are Sikandarpur Bajaha (1.4 km),Adampur Nadir Ali (1.5 km),Lohra (2.6 km) ,Barai Salem (2.6 km) Balihawan Deh (2.9 km) and Narvar Patti. 

Name & Origin


The real name of this village is Narna .The popular name is Alamchand. The name of the revenue Mauza is still Narna and its derivation is ascribed to a story related with Emperor Alamgir.

Initially it was a small village that gained importance after it was taken as an abode by a branch of the Bukhari Naqvi Sayyids who settled here in the late 7th Century Hijri. We do not find any important event related with this village in any of the annals from 7th century till 11the AH. However during the medieval period Alamchand gained an importance for being an important halting point on the Royal route from Delhi to Allahabad known as Sarai Narna.

Sarai' is a Persian word meaning ' Hostelry ' or Inn. During the Sultanate & Mughal era the halting places for caravans and travelers were known as Serai or Sarai. Since Narna was located exactly on the original GT Road, it might have developed gradually into an important halting place for the royal as well as the common caravans. No body could enter the City of Prayag / Ilahabas without halting at Alamchand. Since we don’t find any mention of a Sarai at Alamchand in history prior to 15th Century AD it boils downs that the village developed as Serai only during the late 16th century .

This sarai Narna must have been a huge and important place indeed as no important book of travelogues  of the medieval history is without a mention about Alamchand. We find a short description of this Sarai in the book by Jewish Father Tieffenthaler.

Joseph Tieffenthaler was a Jesuit Father, born at Botzen about 1715.In 1743 he arrived in Goa, and lived in India travelling into northern part of India around 1750-1770. He mentions as follows :-

Ref:The mid-Gangetic region in the eighteenth century, some observations of Joseph Tieffenthaler  by SN Sinha (1976)

The importance of Alamchand as a Sarai can be gauged from the fact that the archaeological survey of India got few coins of King Ferdinand of Spain from Alamchand. See the excerpt below.

Book :Title The journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Volumes 10-12
Published 1949


As mentioned earlier the name ALAMCHAND was given to it by Emperor Aurangzeb as I shall discuss it in the following paragraphs. Historically there is no doubt that Aurangzeb halted at Alamchand.

History

The history of the settlement of zamindars of Alamchand village is again associated with the life and times of Qazi Husam-ud-Din Hasan Bukhari.

Through my earlier writings, you must be aware about Qazi Husam-ud-din who was sent by Firoz Shah Tughlaq to put down the rebellion of Bhars around Kara and how Qazi Sahib defeated the Bhar chiefs and settled in Parsakhi.

When Firoz Shah Tughlaq heard the news of the victory of Qazi Sahib, he was elated and gifted 22 villages as reward to Qazi Sahib for his sustenance and settlement in this area. Narna was indeed amongst those villages since we find that Qazi Sahib gave it to one of his sons Qazi Sayyid Meet.

Qazi Sayyid Meet moved to Narna and settled here. He had his son Sayyid Naseeruddin born here. He was a valiant and adventurous man. In jungles and ravines along the Ganges laid the strongholds of many bandits .He would take on the local brigands, encountered the Bhars and chased the vagrant boatmen groups who used to rob and commit burglaries around the village and even killed the people for nothing. Hence Qazi Meet had to lead a soldier’s life. Apart from keeping a posse of armed group he himself would live a combatant life. Furthermore he had to supply men to the royal forces as and when required for a battle as per the custom of that era. Hence the Sayyids of Narna were known to be a belligerent group who could live without food but not without a bout.

In the late 17th Century, this soldiery and militancy took an ugly shape when the Sayyids of Alamchand fought a battle with Sayyids of Badegaon for some pattidari* lands. This fight took place at Alamchand.The unfortunate result was so macabre that not a single male was left alive in Alamchand; all the male members were slain in the fight. Only the wife of one Sayyid Daud could run away with her single son in her lap. This child grew up amongst his maternal and was known as Sayyid Ilah’Diya. This Sayyid Ilah’Diya is the ancestor of the whole lot of Naqvi Sadaat of Alamchand.

Note *The pattidari land was one in which descendents of a common ancestor had divided the lands of their ancestral patrimony following genealogical principles where usually some lands such as orchards, tanks and some waste land were held in common.

After this ghastly incident Alamchand got deserted and not a single family of Zamindar could be found there  or could dare to live there.When the local brigands and local chiefs found no one at Alamchand to check them , they rose and started creating disturbances in the environs again. The entire area simmered at the mercy of the robbers, bandits, criminals who prevailed scot free. The common man of the environs was too scared to make a counter against them.

After the battle in 1658 against Prince Shuja , on his return from Allahabad to Delhi Emperor Aurangzeb halted at Alamchand and saw the pitiful condition of the desolated village of Narna. He was told about the fight that laid the village waste. He called for Sayyid Daud, the only survivor and successor of the Zamindar family of Alamchand. Sayyid Daud was called from his Nanihal, was resumed in his possessions and re-established as the zamindar of Narna and it was that time Alamgir changed the name of the village to Alamchand.

Battle of Sarai Alamchand

Another important historical event associated with the village is a battle of 1712.

On August 2, 1712 - a very important battle was fought near Alamchand wherein Sayyid Abdul Ghaffar advanced at the head of 3,000 men to bar the progress of, Abul Hasan Khan, a Sayyid of Bijapur, who was Sayyid Hassan Ali Khan Barha's Bakhshi. Abul Hasan Khan's was victorious and it confirmed the position of Sayyid Hassan Ali Khan Barha and made it  clear that the Sayyid Brothers of Barha were allied against the Emperor for the new contender Prince Farrukh siyar. 

William Irvine in his Later Mughals gives an account of the battle as follows:-


Stay of Emperor Shah Alam II at Alamchand

During his return journey - on 13th April 1771 the Emperor Shah Alam II advanced from Allahabad to Sarai Alam Chand where he halted for 19 days planning his march to Delhi and expecting to be joined by his Wazir Shuja-ud-Daulah.At the time of this above mentioned meeting with the Emperor at Sarai Alam Chand, Shuja gave the Emperor 10 lakh in cash, carriages, tents, some other articles. This meeting is recorded in almost all the chronicles of that era and Alamchand gained a enviable place in the annals of history.

Book      : Fall of the Mughal Empire, Volume 2
Author   : Sir Jadunath Sarkar -----Page 397



Book      : Shuja ud Daulah
Author   : Ashirbadi Lal Srivaastava



Historical references

In below I  have compiled a few important historical references that I found in the old annals of history.


1) During the British era, Alamchand was also known throughout the empire for its huge indigo factory established by the British. One of its tank could still be seen in Alamchand. The Encylopaedia Britannica of 1902 mentions the following.

Book     : The Encyclopaedia Britannica: latest edition.
Authors : Day Otis Kellogg, William Robertson Smith Publisher:Werner, 1902



2) The famous Mrs.Parlby has also mentioned her stay at Alamchand.She mentions about the Mahua fruit she saw at Alamchand.
Book      :Begums,Thugs and Englishmen: The Journals of Fanny Parkes. - Page 70
Author   :Fanny Parkes Parlby, (William Dalrymple)

March 27th- We quitted Allahabad , and drove the first stage to Alamchand, where we were kindly received by friends. At this place I first remarked the mowa (Mahua) tree (Bassia longifolia). The fruit was falling and the natives were collecting it to make bazaar srab (ardent spirits). The fruit, which is white, only falls during the daytime.

3)Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605 –1689) the famous French traveller and trader who is most known for his work known as “ Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier” (Six Voyages, 1676) too passed through Alamchand en route Allahabad. Here is the excerpt.

SELECTIONS FROM TRAVELS IN INDIA BY JEAN BAPTISTE TAVERNIER -BARON OF AUBONNE
Translated from the original French Edition of 1676.
Oxford University Press
London: Humphrey Milford, 1925

CHAPTER 8 -
The 6th [December] to Alamchand, 9 coss. About two leagues on this side of Alamchand, you meet the *Ganges*. Monsieur *Bernier*, Physician to the King, and a man named [[95]] Rachepot, who was with me, were surprised to see that this river, so much talked about, is not larger than the Seine in front of the Louvre, it being supposed that it equalled in width, at the least, the Danube below Belgrade. There is actually so little water between the months of March and June or July, when the rains commence, that boats are not able to ascend it. On arrival at the Ganges, we each drank a glass of wine which we mixed with water-- this caused us some internal disturbance; but our attendants who drank it alone were much more tormented than we were. The Dutch, who have a house on the banks of the Ganges, never drink the water of the river, except after it has been boiled; as for the native inhabitants, they have been accustomed to it from their youth; the Emperor even and all his court drink no other. You see every day a large number of camels which do nothing else but fetch water from the Ganges.


4)William Fordyce Mavor (1758–1837), compiler of educational works, in his famous “historical account of the most celebrated voyages “ has described the coniditon of Alamchand

Book      :Historical account of the most celebrated voyages, travels – Vol 24
Author   :William Fordyce Mavor
Publisher:Printed for E. Newbery, 1801


)5The famous Peter Mundy has also mentioned Alamchand ki Sarai in his marvelous Memoirs.
 Peter Mundy (floruit 1600-1667) was an English travelle from Penryn in Cornwall.

Book      :The travels of Peter Mundy in Europe and Asia, 1608-1667
Author   :Peter Mundy


Sadaat-i-Naqvi of Alamchand

As mentioned earlier the erstwhile zamindars of Alamchand are descended from Sayyid Meet s/o Qazi Husam-ud-Din Hasan Bukhari who was a Naqvi Sayyid from the Bukhari family of Uchh.

If you recall the unfortunate fight and then Aurangzeb's effort to re-inhabitate the village. Sayyid Daud was called and re-installed at the village. This Sayyid Daud had a son named Sayyid Swaleh and Sayyid Swaleh had Sayyid Abdul Nabi and from this line is descended the entire lot of the Naqvi Sadat of Alamchand.

Mirat al Jalali produces an imperfect and incomplete genealogical table of the Naqvis of Alamchand ;still it has its reference value a lot for the generations to follow.

Famous Persons

During the period of Shah Alam II (1728–1806), Sayyid Muhammad Aashiq was a very famous zamindar & military general of Mughal era from Alamchand. He cleared the ravines along the Ganges and eliminated the criminal gangs and tumultuous boatmen from there. He took on Bhars and chased them out several times. Shah Alam Badshah who was at Allahabad at the time was very happy to hear about Sayyid Ashiq’s bravery and gave him a letter of Appreciation. The vindictive Bhars who were looking for an opportunity got eventually one when they struck him at night and killed Sayyid Ashiq. Emperor Shah Alam was quite upset when he heard about Sayyid Ashiq’s death. Later on he called his minor Son Sayyid Ghulam Haider and asked him to join the royal forces, got him trained and appointed in the army of Nawab of Murshidabad.

Thus Sayyid Ashiq moved from Alamchand and settled at Murshidabad in Bengal and served Nawab Kasim 'Ali Khan Bahadur, Nusrat Jang [Mir Muhammad Kasim], Nawab Nazim of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, (1760-1783) for several years.According to Mirat’al Kunain , the reason for a branch of Naqvis of Alamchand converting to Shia faith during the late 18th Century was this association of Sayyid Ashiq with Murshidabad and Nawab of Murshidabad.

Khan Bahadur Sayyid Muhammad Raza Husain - See photograph above !

An illustrious figure from Alamchand, Khan Bahadur Sayyid Muhammad Raza Husain was the son of  Sayyid Ali Raza , descended from the same Sayyid Ashiq as mentioned above. He was born in 1849, initially took service in Police, later on posted as a Kotwal in Bareilly where he earned laurels for his remarkable judgment and equanimity in managing the crucial events. He was noted to be an outstanding man throughout his career as a police officer.The British Govt. awarded him the title of Khan Bahadur in 1901. After retirement form Police he was called by the Nawab of Rampur to work as a Collector in Rampur. He was a distinguished person of his era. He wrote a travelogue about his travels (Ziarat) of Hajj and visits at Iraq & Iran. In Allahabad he constructed Jannat Mahal in Hasan Manzil and a mansion in Alamchand as well. He was survived by his daughters without a son. A photograph of him is attached here.

Sayyid Ameer Husain was a well read litterateur from Alamchand in the 19th century.

Sayyid Mazhar Husain Naqvi, a DSP in UP Police was from the last lot of distinguished ones from Alamchand. Perhaps his name and fame is the singular reason for today’s generation to know about Alamchand. His son Wasif Naqvi is a forest officer in Maharashtra. His brothers were Muhammad Ahmad and Tufail Ahmad Naqvi.......but their home is now in ruins...

To relate and connect you to the last century of Alamchand I am putting here the names of some of the well known from the past century. Basheer Ahmad Mukhtar, Muhammad Hasan and his sons Muhammad Raza, Mustahsan and Ahsan Sahiban. Abdul Sattar, Ali Akbar , Naseer Ahmad, Ghayyur Ahmad, Ali Haidar, Manzoor Ali, Mohsin Ali were the well known persons from Alamchand. One Abul Hasan Sahib moved to Pakistan

Hakeem Muhammad Qasim and Maulvi Ameer Ahmad were also the learned ones from the village.

Sayyid Ali Amjaad ( Anjan Darogha) and his sons namely Sayyid Ali Zuhad Naqvi famously known as Shakeel Damar and Ali Irshad Naqvi known as Jameel are also from Alamchand. Sayyid Muhammad Rafi Naqvi Advocate is also from Alamchand.

When I visited Alamchand I found Mr.Jauhar Abbas Rizwi and Sayyid Abu Muhammad Sahiban who are originally from Bisauna VIA Peepalgaon. I learnt about Mr.Tanveer Aftab (Ausaf ) from the only Naqvi family of Ali Akbar Sahib still residing in Alamchand.

Today’s Alamchand is a mere shadow of its past. Barring one no Naqvi family is residing here whereas the more prominent inhabitants are the two Rizwi families of PeepalGaon who migrated to Alamchand 60-70 years ago.

These two families of Rizwis from Bisauna came and settled here from PeepalGaon in the middle of the last century, namely Meer Ata Husain and Meer Ansar Husain. Maulvi Iqbal Husain son of Meer Ansar was a well known figure of the past.

The original Naqvi Sadat have almost entirely forsaken the village. The paternal house of Deputy Mazhar is into ruins while the brick mansions of Sayyid Raza Husain and his kins are still standing well-maintained. A lot of families who live in Allahabad probably find it too far off OR do not get time to even visit their ancestral place ;whereas those who are based out of Allahabad have gone out of question at all. Such is the condition of a village which was one of the jewels in the crown of zamindars of Chail. The transition from the value based life to the commerce based life has played havoc with everything from makan to Makeen.

Alamchand is silent now. Today there is no royal hustle bustle or any preparation for a impending battle. It seemed to me that it is saying " I have had enough of blood-shed, fight and intrigues so far , no more please.. leave me alone now. I have already entertained a lot from Europe to Asia.I have lost guts to take on any more........please for god sake......leave me alone , I want to be at rest now.... and really it stands alone there .......resting , silent and solitary ......

When I got up to leave …..an old lady commented , Miyan ab yahan kya dhara hai, us waqt aatey jab Log Sachche Aur Makaan Kachche Hua Karte The ! 

I didn’t look back at the dilapidated houses while stepping in the car …….. A couplet came to my mind 

Akele Ghar se poochti hai be-kasi
tere diye jalane wale kiya huwe

But Suddenly rose the AZAAN for Asr and I stepped out of the car and ran towards Masjid .......

Ye ek Sajdah jise too Giran Samajhta hai
Hazaar Sajdon se deta hai Aadmi ko Nijaat !

**************************************************************************
Do you remember the initial lines of Surah Ar-Rum (7-9)

They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world: but of the End of things they are heedless.

Do they not reflect in their own minds? 

Not but for just ends and for a term appointed, did Allah create the heavens and the earth, and all between them: 

yet are there truly many among men who deny the meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)!

Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them?
**************************************************************************
Was'salaam
Khalid Bin Umar
New Delhi


      WRITE TO ME @
          khalid.umar@in.ey.com 
          OR
          khalid.bin.umar@gmail.com 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bisauna - Pargana Chail


Road from Kareli to Bisauna - Raste hamwar nazar aatey hain

countryside

Primary School at Bisauna

Brimming River Yamuna 

Another view of Yamuna river


Janab Naushad Rizwi & Aslam Bhai

Faisal Bhai 

Houses & fields

The Mosque

Gateway of the Main Mosque (*Const 1865)


New Imambara

Across the fields 

Professor Mujeeb Rizwi with Meera Rizwi at New Delhi


With Prof Mujeeb Rizwi.


Bisauna

Location

Bisauna is a famous Village of Pargana Chail in Allahabad.

Today we shall explore the origin and history of this village that now falls under Tehsil –Sadar of District Allahabad. Bisauna is 13.9 km away from the city headquarters Allahabad. It is located on the banks of River Yamuna ( Jamuna) and offers a spectacular view of the flowing stream. Here you can do some soul searching whilst watching the beautiful riverside.
Near By Villages are Birwal (1.2 km), Adampur Urf Madaripur(2.5 km) , Kanjasa Uparhar(3.7 km) , Asrawe Khurd (3.9 km) and Asrawe Kalan.

 Name & Origin

The correct spelling of Bisauna is Bisauna’n with Noon Ghunna but it happens that words make their own way in the course of time.

Legend has it that Aswah and Baswah were two local chieftains after whom two of the villages were named as Asrawe and Bisauna.

According to the local tradition, these villages were controlled by the Sonbarsa Thakurs at one point of time and Raja of Reewa had the ownership rights in Bisauna and environs as it were the bordering villages of his Riyasat.  

Some villagers point out to an old well that still has a Murti of Varah at the source of the stream gushing the water at the bottom of the well. This indicates that the inhabitants were worshippers of Vishnu incarnation in the form of Varah (Pig)

Other legend says that hundreds of years ago the river Jamuna flowed between Asrawe Kalan and Bisauna and as a mark of its course is left a large pool of water called the Taal. When dried up in summers it shows some signs of old inhabitation. Wallaahu Aa’lam.

Rizwis of Bisauna

The Rizwi Sadat of Bisauna, Asrawe Kalan and Saidpur have one common ancestor and all the zamindar families of these three villages are considered to be Rizwi Saiyids descended from one adventurer Saiyid Asas-ud-Deen Haidar Sabzawari.
As per the tradition one Saiyid Asas-ud-Din Haidar of Iran arrived at this place in Pargana Chail from Iran via Sakkhar ( Sindh-Pakistan).He liked the place on the banks of Jamuna and wanted to took up this place as his abode but he had to face stiff resistance from the local Raja Aswah and his brother Raja Baswah. Raja Aswah reportedly was in hold of the area around the village Tikri while his brother Raja Baswah was the husband of the Rani of Mainapur ( Mainapur is still there not very far from Bisauna). There are no reports as to how could Saiyid Asas get hold of the village, whether he came out victorious in a battle or the local Raja was astounded with his divine presence and surrendered to his demand. In any case he settled somewhere near Bisauna as there are no reports where did he stay at first.

Descendents



The son of Saiyid Asas namely Mohammad Naeem stayed on in Bisauna while two of his sons Muhammad Firoz went on to found and settle today are Saidpur (originally Saiyidpur). His second son Muhammad Aa’la continued to live with his father in Bisauna. Saidpur too is located three miles away on the banks of Jamuna. The sons of Khan-i-Alam continued to live in Bisauna while his brother Sadri=-i-Alam’s son Meer Riyayat Ali shifted to Asrawe Kalan as he got a big chunk of the property there to look after. Riyayat Ali’s son Meer Ali Bakhsh was the famous Taluqdar of 18th century in Pargana Chail.

In the first half of 18th Century a family migrated to Adampur (that is called Madaripur) as well. Three houses of that family is still present there. This Adampur + Bisauna collectively gave the name of a Taluka in 18th century as TALUKA ADAMPUR BISAUNA.

Now we can sum up that four villages were populated by the descendents of Asas-ud-Deen Haidar Sahib as follows:-

  •      Bisauna
  •      Asrawe Kalan
  •     Saidpur
  •     Adampur ( Madaripur)
They have one common ancestor and all class themselves as Saiyid Rizwi.

If you look at the names mentioned in the table above, you will agree with me that these names are more likely to be Sunni Names contrary to the condition today that almost entire population of these villages are Shia therefore I would not be wrong if I say that their conversion to the Shia Faith took place quite later between 1750 – 1800 AD. There is high possibility that they converted to Shiaism after Awadh was taken over by Shia Nawabs starting with Burhan-ul-Mulk. Out of the same group ,one Sunni family always remained there in Bisauna till 1950.

Zamindari

Upton enquiry it transpires that during the reign of Nawabs of Awadh, a Taluka was created with a total of 52 villages under the name ADAMPUR BISAUNA. It held under its sway a lot of villages in Pargana quite haphazardly for the villages like Rasoolpur Beur in west and Kadlapur in the North-West came under the Taluka of Adampur Bisauna. Kadlapur as it is wrongly spelt and pronounced today has still got its original name as Qadirpur Taluqa Adampur Bisauna in the revenue records.

It unravels further that the zamindars of Bisauna could not hold for long their grip over the taluka and soon the major chunk of landlord ship passed on to their collateral branch at Asrawe Kalan. The zamindars of Asrawe Kalan maintained and managed the Taluka quite well for over 50 years till the taluka was dismantled by the British.We dont find any Talukdar's name from Bisauna rather the Zamindars of Asrawe had more reasons to enjoy the Taluqdari status.

During the 1857 uprising Bisauna and the zamindars of Bisauna were a great source of help to Maulvi Liyaqat Ali’s army in transporting the rasad to the Allahabad Fort through the river Jamuna as all other roadways were blocked.

Marriages

As you all know that Shia and Sunni families in Pargana Chail have been enjoying such an amiable and friendly relations over the centuries that had been enviable for a lot of other places in Awadh. As we  know that our forefathers laid more stress on the purity of the blood than the wealth and Maslak (School of thought) of the family they married into. So is the case that we find marital alliances amongst all the noble blue blooded families in Pargana Chail with their Shia Brethren. These marriages continued until the mid of 20th century when it came to a gradual halt after the Orthodox Shiaism of Lucknow grew exponentially so much so that it turned the attention of people away from the old age traditions of land towards the puritanical shia tenets of faith.

As far as I could examine, the zamindars of Bisauna accepted and gave their daughters to a very picked out selected families in Pargana Chail during the last 150 years. They while striking an alliance paid special attention not only to pure blood (Nasab) but they also looked at the material wealth and local standing of those families as well. Therefore give me liberty to say that no poor family of Pargana could dare to marry in Bisauna and Asrawe Kalan 100 years ago however Aali Nasab it might have been (barring a few exceptions).

I examined the shajras of various villages and found that Bisauna people married and accepted daughters almost entirely from the families like Chaudharis of Bamhrauli, the Chaudharis of Makhaupur and Zamindars of Barethi , Seondha, the Chaudharis of Rasoolpur Beur and the Zamindars of Peepalgaon. These are the few chosen families who not only were Aali Nasab but also affluent commanding a strong social influence 100-150 years ago. It is a unequalled example of the selection of Hasab + Nasab.

After 1940s when the era of shia-sunni marriages gradually came to an undeclared end, the people of Bisauna turned their head towards the pure Shia families outside chail e.g in Manjhanpur, Karari, Mahawan etc and even out of the district. As of today though no new marital relations are contracted between the Sunni & Shia families of Chail yet the friendly relations of the yesteryears are being carried on by the present generation with a very strong social bonding. Not only that the earlier marital connections are acknowledged but also respected and withheld strongly.

It is also noteworthy that zamindars of Bisauna always preferred to marry in the top Sunni families of Chail, despite the fact the some prominent original Shia families were not too far from them in Karari and Manjhanpur, this again alludes to their original affiliation with the Sunni Faith.

Migration

As always few families of Bisauna had migrated to other villages after getting a share from their in-laws / maternals in most of the cases.

For instance ,Mir Akbar Ali and his sons migrated to PeepalGaon in the last decade of 19th century around 1885-1890.From PeepalGaon a family of Meer Ansar migrated to his in-laws at Alamchand while other Meer Zawar Husain migrated to ManauriKazim Husain Kajjan migrated to Muhiuddinpur while Meer Mohammad Yaqub migrated to Behka. A family went to Nazarganj and Husainpur each.

Today the Bisauna off-shoots are found residing in Muhiuddinpur, Puraini, Manauri and Alamchand (Via PeepalGaon) while the rest of the immigrants have moved on.

Buildings

I was surprised to find that there was no building or construction worthy of a note. Keeping in view the famous past and their being a Taluqa, I expected at least one or two remarkable edifices but to my utter surprise Bisauna does not have such constructions at all.

Rather there is a  mosque seemed to have been kept well in a fine condition that attracted my attention. This mosque was constructed in 1865 by one Tahira Bibi of Bamhrauli who had her Nanihal here in Bisauna. The mosque was renovated by one Ibadat Husain Urf Abai Marhoom in the first half of 20th Century.

Imambaras –There are two Imambaras in Bisauna.The older was constructed in the last century while the latter one was constructed in 1905 by Meer Ata Husain known as Imambara Husainia Jadeed.

On the western outskirt of the village is the Qabrastan and Karbala.Near the old graveyard close to a ditch are few graves where local villagers including the sunnis come to offer their respects and are knowns as Shaheeds.

It is a strange fact that Taziyas in Bisauna are buried as well as immersed in Jamuna.  Reason ? Catch up a Bisaun-ian and get the details yourself.

Famous persons

In the past  Meer Hayat Husain, Meer Inkisar Husain, were famous persons from Bisauna. Abdul Hai sahib was a wakeel. Maulvi Ali Jawwad of Bisauna was a well known Aalim of Arabic and Persian , it is remarkable that he took his high-school exams at the age of 72 and succeeded meritoriously.. Such was his quest of knowledge (ilm).

Master Irshad Husain Sahib was a teacher in GIC Allahabad and very active socially. Maulvi Iqbal Sahib of Alamchand was also from Bisauna. Dr. Mujawar Husain in Lucknow is also from Bisauna.

Peepli Live’s connection with Bisauna !

Though I am averse to cinema yet I know about the film Peepli Live that made waves recently and its director Anusha Rizvi was highly applauded for its story and direction. Do you know that Anusha Rizwi’s father belongs to Bisauna and hence Anusha is a daughter of Bisauna?

Professor Mujeeb Rizwi, father of Anusha Rizvi, was the head of Department of Hindi at Jamia Millia University and at one point of time acted as a Pro Vice Chancellor as well. It was Mujeeb Rizvi, who founded the Hindi department at Jamia Millia Islamia and served as its Head for nearly fourty years. His is an expert in medieval Awadhi and Braj poetry, in particular the Sufi poetry of the pre-Mughal era. His writings on such seminal figures as Kabir, Tulsi, Khusro and several others have long been recognized as pioneering works in the field of medieval literary and devotional scholarship. In addition, he is the greatest living scholar of Jayasi and of Padmavat. He has been a life long champion of indigenizing Islam and revitalizing medieval ways of creative coexistence between different faith communities. The recipient of numerous awards and contributor to a number of international compendia, he is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished modern scholars of Hindi.

I had a chance to meet Prof Mujeeb Rizwi at his residence in Delhi along with her daughter Meera Rizwi ,sister of Anusha, and an established and proficient script writer who has worked for numerous Television programmes so far. He shed light on various historical aspects of Bisauna and its past. I owe him thanks for enlightening with some lesser facts about Bisauna.

Historical Lapses

However with reference to Saiyid Asas-ud-Din Haidar and his life there are several serious historical lapses that cannot be ignored which I have summed up as under :-

  •          No reference is found about Saiyid Asas-ud-Din Haidar in any Hindi, English, Persian book of any time. Isn’t it strange that there is no mention of such an important figure in a book of any language?

  •          There is no sign of his grave anywhere in the four villages. Whether he existed or not cannot be proved by any means. Should I take Muhammad Naeem Sahib as the real ancestor of Bisauna.

  •           The present shajra directly links Saiyid Asas-ud-Din Haidar to Imam Raza Aalihi’salaam without naming the guessed 18 generations with no reference or citations produced at all. This casts doubt over the sanctity of the Shajra itself.

  •          In  the same printed Shajra published form Karachi, There is an epithet associated with Saiyid Asas-ud-Din Haidar as Salar Masood Ghazi while we all know the Saiyid Salar Masood Ghazi is famed warrior saint resting in Bahraich. How come this Khitab or Laqab got attached with him is again a question without answer ?

  •      While I have no reasons to believe some stories stating that Bisauna landlords are converted Muslims but at the same time I have no proofs to support the claim that they are Rizwi Syeds either.There is however least doubt that originally all of them were Sunnis and converted to Shia faith at a later stage.

These lapses would place a serious student of history in a state of discombobulation. I would urge the descendents of Saiyid Asas-ud-Din Haidar sahib to please trace and put forth some substantial evidences that defuse such questions once for all.

For my visit to Bisauna, I was enormously helped by Faisal Bhai and Aslam Bhai who not only took me there but also “Wasted” their time with me. Naushad Rizwi sahib played a fine host while taking us round the village. 

Jazak Allah !


Was’salaam
Khalid Bin Umar
New Delhi