Erwadi Dargah, Ramanathapuram
The Erwadi dargah is a holy Islamic sacred tomb turned shrine of Qutbus Sultan Syed Ibrahim Badusha, also spelled Saeed Ibrahim Uliullah or Seyyad Ali. It is located in the Erwadi village in Ramanathapuram district in India. The main dargah which came to be established is dedicated to Seyyad Ali. There are three other dargahs here, one of Shahid mother Fathima, the second is of his wife Seyyad Ali Fathima and the third of his son Abu Thahir.
The land for building the darghas was a gift from the Maharaja of Ramanathapuram and dargha, and the Nawab of Arcot built the main dargah in the Arab year of 1207 and named it Ektibagh. The dargah is well known for healing mentally deranged people, and about 1,000 devotees of all religious beliefs visit the shrine every day. The cure offered to the sick people is only the holy water from the dargha twice a day, apart from prayers.
Al Qutbul Hamid wal Gausul Majid Badhusha Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Radiyalla Ta'ala anhu is an 18th generation descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was the king of Madinah when he began his journey to India in the early 12th century to spread Islam according to Muhammad's wish. At the time he had millions of followers from all over the Islamic world. Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shahid first came to the Sindh province in Pakistan and spread Islam there through various means and returned to Madinah.
Again in obligation to Hazrat Muhammad's command, Shaheed Badusha started from Madinah with his entire family, leaving the throne behind. He encountered many difficulties while travelling by sea and through the forests on his way to India, without proper food and shelter or potable water to drink, but finally entered Kannanur in Kerala. His ultimate aim was to spread Islam as per the order of his hereditary grandfather Hazrat Muhammad. He travelled via, Kayalpattinam, Vaippar and finally entered Bouthiramanicka Pattinam, now called Ervadi.
Saeed Ibrahim Uliullah, also called Quthbus Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Valiyullahal, king from Saudi Arabia (it is also said that he was from Morocco), came to Erwadi during 530 Hijri years when it was under the reign of Maharaja Vijaya Ragunatha Sethupathi, King of Madurai. He came with intent to preach Islam. The Sultan performed many magical feats which impressed the king who then gifted him with 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) of land. However, it is said that king was blessed with an heir when he prayed and drank the holy water at the dargah for 41 days.
Following this Hindus of the village, impressed with the miracles performed by the Sultan, wanted to convert to Islam. At that time the king who had succeeded Sethupathi was Vikrama Pandya who opposed this conversion of Hindus. As a result of this opposition there was a battle between the Seyyad Ali and Vikrama Pandya in which the former was killed along with members of his family including his son who was only of 17 years age. Seyyad Ali became a martyr and the tomb where he was buried became a dargah or saintly place.
People have great trust in the magical powers of the dargha which has resulted in unity among the Muslim and Hindu communities. The shrine has become a very popular place for healing mentally deranged people as it is believed that the water and the oil from a lamp from the dargha has spiritual healing powers and is administered to the sick people.
According to a local legend, after Shaheed Valiyullah (Seyyad Ali) died in 1198 his descendant Nalla Ibrahim Valiyullah had a dream in which Valiyullah was directed by the saint to build a dargah in his memory at the particular place. Valiyullah then built the dargah and his descendent are maintaining it now.
Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed sent Hazrat Sikandar Badusha to offer Islamic teachings to the Pandiya ruler, Thiru Pandiyan, in Madurai but he refused to accept them and waged war. Finally the troops of Shaheed won and Sultan Iskandar (Sikandar) Badusha was throned in Madurai. Then the troops of Shaheed marched towards Bouthramanickapattinam. Shahidh Badusha offered Islam to King Vikrama Pandiyan who vehemently refused and asked Shaheed to leave the kingdom.
Shaheed refused to leave without converting them to Islam. Vikrama Pandiyan declared war. A very violent war which consisted of about 10 battles, each of around 3–4 days, was waged. All of the family members of Shaheed Badhusah were killed, including his only son Syed Abutahir, his brother Syed Ismail, his brother-in-law Zainul Aabideen and many of the martyrs and ministers of Shaheedh Badhusha including Amir Abbas of Rome, Abdul Qadir Mujahid, Muhaiyaddeen, Aboobakkar Abdul Hakkim, Abdullah, Shamsuddin of Makkah, Qamaruddin, Nooruddeen, Muhammadh Yusuf, Jafar Sadiq, Rome Syed Ahmad, Zulfaqar Ali @ Chanthana Peer of Turkey, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Abdul Qadir Samadaani, Pathan Sahib, Hamza basheer, Uvaisul Hasan Ridwanullahi Ta'ala alaihim ajmaeen and several thousand others.
Finally, king Vikrama Pandiyan and his sons Indra Pandiyan, Chandra Pandiyan were killed and Shaheed won the war and claimed the throne of Bouthiramanickapatttinam. He ruled the province for twelve years and spread Islam all over south Tamilnadu. Coins struck during the rule of Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed have been found by archeologists. He wished to be a martyr and told Muhammad about his wish before leaving Madinah, receiving a promise from the Prophet that his prayer would be answered.
Owing to a huge life loses in both the sides and the King of Pandiyas Vikrama Pandiyan being killed in the war and the Bouthrmanickpattinam province being captured by Badusha Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim, the rivalry calmed down slowly as the ruling of Badusha nayagam was very fair. All citizens irrespective of caste, creed, Religion or family were treated equally and hence citizens were much happy and there was no war.
The royal wedding of the crown prince:
During Badusha Nayagam's rule in Bouthiramanikkapattinam province, all the neighbouring rulers came and visited Badusha Nayagam. The rulers of entire south Indian province came under the leadership of Shaheed Badusha. During the end of his rule, Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed nayagam solemnized the marriage of the crown prince Badusha Syed Ishaq (Brothers son) with Sayyida Zainab (daughter of Rabiaa Amma - His sister). In the History, that was the grand ever marriage happened in the province as it was the Wedding in the King's family.
Thousands of Elephants, Arabian Horses and camels came in procession. The royal fort was illuminated grandly. Lights were lit all over the Bouthramanickapattinam province for a week. The rivalry went off and all the neighbouring kings visited and wished the couple. All citizen of the province were treated with complete feasts for 3 days. Thousands of sheep were slaughtered and grand feasts were provided. It happened like a festival.
Separation of provinces:
Twelve years later, King Tiru Pandiyan came from Madurai with a larger army and assassinated Shaheed Badusha in order to recapture the throne. The king Thiru Pandiyan too was killed in the war. Badusha Syed Ishaq (Shaheed Badhusha's brother Syed Ismail Badusha's son) and Pandiyan prince Jamara kolakalap pandiyan decided to split the kingdom. The rivalry between the Arabs and Pandiyas came to an end when both signed a pact, according to which Arabs (descendants of Shaheed Badusha) would rule the Bouthiramanikka Pattinam (Ervadi) Province and the Pandiyans would rule the Ramanathapuram province.
This continued to be implemented until the 17th century until the British East India Company started occupying India. Hazrat Syed Is'haq, Syed Ibrahim, Syed Baqir, Syed Qasim, Syed Tahir Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alaihim Ajmaeen and other descendants of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed have ruled the Bouthiramanikkapattinam province and Regunatha Sethupathy, Kilavan (Kizhavan) Sethupathy, Vijaya Regunatha Sethupathy, Muthu Regunatha Sethupathi, Muthuramalinga Sethupathi, Bhaskara Sethupathi, Kumaran Sethupathi and other descendants of Sethupathi have ruled the Ramanathapuram province.
Shuhadaas and Waliyatullahs in Erwadi:
The graves of Emperor Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badusha along with his kith and kin are found in the main dargah campus. The holy graves of other important Shuhadaas and in laws of Badusha Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed are also found on the premises. A very big mosque which can accommodate 10,000 pilgrims for every prayer-service is also found on the Main dargha campus. The single mammoth minaret which is around 250 feet (76 m) adds to the impressive appearance of Erwadi. It can be viewed from any of the shores of Ramanathapuram District and this act as a virtual lighthouse to the fishermen in Ervadi and the adjacent villages.
Shuhadaas in the main dargah:
The main shrine (dargah) in Erwadi is the holiest place in Tamilnadu because it is mixed with the soil of Madinah. Qutb Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed and most of his family members, close relatives and other Shuhadaas' graves are found in the main dargah. The big hall of the Shrine of Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shahid was constructed by Eiatibar Khan, during the time of the Nawab of Arcot.
There is a flag throne to the south of the main entrance of the dargah. The flag throne is built surrounding the grave of Begum, wife of Eaitibar khan who constructed the dargah. The main Dargah has three entrances. It is fully open except for the dargahs. Thousands of pilgrims come here to take the dust of this mixture of Madinah's soil which is said to cure all kinds of fatal diseases with the blessings of Shaheed Badusha.
Qutb Syed Abutahir Madani Shaheed:
Qutb Syed Aboothahir Madhani Shaheed Radiyallhu Ta'ala Anhu was the elder son of Qutb Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed and Seyyida Zainab @ Syed Ali Fathima Radiyallah ta'ala Anha. Qutb Syed Abutahir was born in Madinah al Munawwara while his father Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed was the emperor of Madinah. Syed Abuthahir Shaheed spent his childhood in Madinah for his education. Syed Abootahir Shaheed felt very ecstatic and proud to be brought up on the soil of Madinah, the home of Muhammad, their ancestral forefather.
When Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed left the Empire of Madinah to spread Islam in the South Asian countries including India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, he took his family through stringent hardships. Qutb Syed Abootahir was around 16 years old during this journey. Qutb Syed Abootahir Madhani Shaheed spent his entire life in the quest to spread Islam. Qutb Abbas of Rome trained Qutb Abutahir in the war fare before taking part in the war with the Pandiyas. He participated in a violent war with the Pandiya kings of Bouthiramanickapattinam at the age of 18, as his forefathers Imam Ali Akbar and Imam Qasim ibn Hasan Raziyallah Ta'ala Anhumaa did in the battle of Karbala.
Hazrath Qutb Syed Abutahir presided over a flank in the war without any hesitation. In the war many ministers of King Vikrama Pandiyan and finally the only prince of Pandiya Kingdom, Indra Pandiyan, was killed by Hazrat Syed Abootahir Shaheed, leading to a cessation of the war for a while. King Vikrama Pandiyan, after discussions with sages, recommenced the war, in which Qutb Syed Abutahir Raziyallah Ta'ala Anhu was martyred at the age of 18. As Allah says in the Quran, "Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; Al-Qur'aan 3:169". Hazrat Syed Abootahir Shaheed is alive, blessing thousands of pilgrims daily.
As Khlaifa Haroon Rasheed Levvai a Huqdhar (Share Holder) says in his Tamil poetry, "Um vaasal munnaley mannum marundhu aagudhayya!!!", which means, "(Even) the soil (of Madinah) turns to medicine on your campus, lakhs of people who come to seek refuge from magical maladies and other incurable illness find their remedy from the soil of Erwadi Dargah."
Seyyida Fatimatul Barqa Amma:
Fathima Al Barqa was born in Madinah and spent her life there. She was married to King Syed Ahamad Raziyallah Ta'ala Anhu the then emperor of Madinah. She was very much God fearing. King Syed Ahmad Raziyallah ta'ala Anhu and Syeida Fathima Barqa Raziyallah ta'ala Anha had two sons, Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed and Hazrat Syed Ismail Shaheed, as well as a daughter, Seyyida Rabi'aa Raziyallah ta'ala Anha. When Muhammad ordered her son Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Raziyallah to travel to India to spread Islam, Bibi Seyyida Fathimathul Barqa also showed keen interest in leaving the country for the sake of Islam.
She also advised all her children, grandchildren and other Muslim women to start their journey for the sake of Islam. She was the head of the troops of women of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shahid Badusha. Fatimatul Barqa Amma consoled and gave words of courage whenever her son Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shahid Badusha felt discouraged. She encouraged the spreading of Islam and bringing people to Islam and taking part in Jihad for the sake of Islam. Her entire life was spent for the sake of Islam, leaving the throne of Madinah al Munawwara and travelling to India in spite of overwhelming difficulties.
Seyyida Rabi'aa Amma:
Seyyidha Rabiaa Radiyallah Tala Anha was the sister of Qutb Sulthan Syed Ibraheem Shaheed and the daughter of Hazrat Badhusha Syed Ahmad Radiyallah ta'ala Anhu who came along with Him all the way from Madinah. Raabiyaa Amma was in her pregnancy when her brother Sulthan Syed Ebraaheem began his journey to India, leaving the throne of Madinah. At the time, all the members of the family advised Rabiya Amma not to leave Madinah. But Hazrat flatly refused to stay in Madhina and started along with her brother Shaheed and her new born infant zainab Amma.
Rabiyaa Amma is also called Jacha Bibi Amma by Urdu speaking people for her travelling to India immediately after delivering baby Zainab Amma. During 12 years of Shaheed badusha's rule at Bouthiramanikkapattinam province, once on a Friday after Jumma prayers Shaheed Badusha the ruler was busy distributing food to the poor. A small troop of pandiyan soldiers waged a battle in the women area near by valinokkam. Seyyida Rabiaa Amma covered her with veil fully and wore the war costume of her brother Hazrat Badusha Nayagam, took sword in her hands and fought vigorously against those Pandiyas.
Looking at the dress, the Pandiya soldiers believed that the king himself was fighting. But in fact it was his sister Hazrat Seyyida Rabiaa Amma who fought. Unable to withstand the attack of Rabiya Amma a few soldiers were killed and a few escaped and the battle came to an end. Ever in the Islamic History, Rabiya Amma was the first women to lead a battle and win it. The Dharga of Raabiyaa Amma is located at the extreme eastern end of Ervadi's main dargha campus. People entering Durgha campus from the eastern entrance can find the Durgha of Rabiya Amma nearby. It is one of the oldest Dhargas in Ervadi Shariff. Men are not allowed inside the Dhargah and females are allowed to stay. People afflicted with mental and magical illness throng the dargah in large numbers and find themselves cured mostly within forty days and nights.
Seyyida Zainab Syed Ali Fathima Amma:
Seyyida Zainab Raziyallah ta'ala Anhaa was the wife of Qutb Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed, and the Holy mother of Qutb Syed Aboothaahir Madni Shaheed Radiyallah ta'ala Anhu. Shaheed Badhusha married Seyyida Zainab (Syed Ali Fathima as being referred now) from a very illustrious and God fearing family in Madinah. Right from childhood, Seyyida Zainab was very God fearing and she was ready to sacrifice anything for the sake of Allah. She gave birth to two children, Badhusha Syed Aboothahir and Hazrat Seyyidina Zainul Aabideen Radiyallah ta'ala Anhuma with the marriage of Badusha Naayagam.
She brought up her children with the same degree of love for Islam as their parents and forefathers had had. When Qutb Syed Ebraahim Shaheed started for India, the two children were just entering youth, but still their Taqwa, taught to them by their Holy mother, Seyyida Zainab @ Syed Ali Fatima, gave them sustenance. Zainab Syed Ali Fathima also insisted that their child recognize the importance of supporting their Holy Father in spreading Islam. So, Zainab Syed Ali Fathima Amma's children also travelled with enthusiasm and reached India.
In the war with the Pandiyas, Syed Aboothahir Shaheed was martyred, and when the Holy body of Qutb Aboothahir Madhni was brought before Seyyida Zainab, she was shocked to see more than 72 cuts from arrows on the face of her son who was just 17 years old, for no sake but for the sake of Allah. Since her son lost his life in this world, and the atrocities which he faced were only for the sake of Allah, Zainab Raliyallah Taala Anhaa was very long-suffering, as her grandmother Zaynab bint Ali had been when seeing the atrocities of Karbala. This is the greatest Amal (good deed) of all, a seventeen-year-old son being killed by enemies before the eyes of a mother for no sake but Islam, this is the most devout deed toward Allah and this act of patience is incomparable. But still, when the Pandiyas were defeated and Badhusha Nayagam Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Raziyallah ta'ala Anhu captured the throne, Zainab Syed 'Ali Fathima Amma was enthroned as Empress.
Having nothing more to live for in this world after the Shahadat of Qutb Abutahir, Zainab Syed A'li Fatima amma refused the throne, but still was made to do so, accepting it as the fate of Allah. Zainab Syed Alee Fathimaa Amma was the empress of Bouthiramanickapattinam province for more than twelve years. She attained wafat and was interred very close to the grave of her husband Hazrat Sulthaan Syed Ibraaheem Shahidh Rali. Zainab Syed 'Alee Faathimaa Ammaa's Dhurgha can be found second from the western entrance of Erwadi's main dargha. Thousands of pilgrims daily and lakhs during festival time visit the Holy grave of Zainab Syed A'lee Fathimah Radiyallah tala Anhaa in faith that all their wishes will come true with waseela. Unmarried girls, childless women and ladies with fatal illnesses who are brought to the Holy Grave of Zainab Amma are found to have their wishes fulfilled in a very short time.
Hazrat Syed Zainul Aabideen Shaheed:
Hazrat Syed Zainul aabideen Shahid is the brother in law of Hazrat Qutb Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed, the emperor. Zainul Aabideen shaheed was a stubborn supporter of Hazrat Qutb Sultan Syed Ibraheem Shahid during his voyage and his war with pandiyas. He is the brother of Seyyida Zainab @ Syed Ali Fatima Raliyallah ta'ala anhaa and uncle of the Prince Hazrat Qutb Syed Abutahir madani Shahid Radiyallah ta'la anhu. Bbadhusha Naayagam was very much comfortable during the war because of the presence of His brother in law Hazrat Zainul Aabideen Shaheedh who withstanding the oppose from the enemies used different war tactics and gave useful suggestions regarding the war plan that fortified Shaheed badusha after the passing away of his holy son Syed Aboothair Shaheedh.
The relationship between Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheedh and Hazrat Zainul Aabidheen Shaheed was very much closely bonded. People who knew the history of Erwadi war will give the example of Shaheed badusha and Zainul Aabidheen Shaheedh if two brothers in law are closely associated. Hazrat Zainul Aabidheen was also killed in the war finally and attained martyrdom which was the final desire of everyone who travelled with Badusha nayagam. He was buried very closely to Janaab Shaheedh, and his Holy grave is found to the right of the Holy Grave of Shaheedh Badusha Nayagam in Erwadi Dargha main campus.
Hazrat Syed Shamsuddin Makki Shaheed:
Hazrat Shamsuddin Shahid Raziyallah tala anhu was the Emperor of Makkah al-Mukarramah, the Holiest Place of Muslims where the Ka'abatullah shariff is located, during the time when Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shahid was ruling madinah and started towards India. Hazrat Shamsuddin shaheed was one among the few who renounced their empire and their throne for the sake of Islam. Hazrat Shamsuddeen Shahed Radiyallah Ta'ala anhu gave up the throne of Makkah to join Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed to travel to South Asia to spread Islam.
During his regime, people were very much calm and quiet performing the rituals of Hajj and the Empire Shamsudhdheen Shaheedh was fully involved in the service of Allah's home. Though Hazrat Shamsuddeen was very much comfortable with the throne, his mind was fully surrounded by the thoughts of spreading Islam. So, when Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed wrote letter about His travel to India Hazrat Shamsuddeen shaheedh whole heartedly accepted the offer and joined the group of Shahid Badushah with large number of his troop.
During the voyage Hazrat Shamsuddheen Shahid was fully along with Sahid badusha helping Him all the way. After reaching India and during the course of war between the Arabs and Pandiyans Hazrat Shamsuddeen Shahid's role was very vital. Being a king, Hazrat Shamsuddeen Shaheed helped Badhushaah Nayagam a lot in strategizing the course of the war. His suggestions worked many a time which finally gave victory to the Shaheed badhusha's troop. To be a true martyr as per his willingness, Allah blessed Hazrat Shamsuddin Shahid with Shahaadat. Hazrat Shamsuddeen shahid was also killed by the Pandiya's in war and was buried very closely to the right side of Basha nayagam.
As per Hazarat Shamsuddeen's order through dream, His holy grave is kept open to sunlight and rain to fall on it. The Holy grave of hazrat Shamsuddin shaheed is found adjacent on the left side of the Northern end of the main dargha and close to the Dargha shariff of his neighbors Hazrat Syed Qamaruddin Shaheedh Raliyallahu Taala anhu and Syed Nooruddin Shahidh Raliyallahutaalaanhu who also came along with Shaamsuddeen Shaheed and Baasha Naayagam Radiyallah tala anhum and attained martyrdom in the war with pandiyas.
Mujavir Muhammad Ibrahim - Nalla Ibrahim Waliyullah:
Mujavir Muhammadh Ibrahim Waliyullah who is very well known as Mujavir Nalla Ibrahim waliyullah is the 12th hereditary grandson of Badusha Sulthan syed ibrahim Shaheedh. He is the son of Seyyidina Mursal Ibrahim Shaheed whose grave is found in Thachu oorani in the East Coast Road between Keelakarai and Ervadi. Descendants of Badusha Shaheedh nayagam were ruling the Bouthiramanikapattinam (now Ervadi) province for generations together according to the peace treaty with king Jamara kolakala pandiyan.
A few centuries later again when they felt the odour of Islam is slowly vanishing from the Tamil soil, they decided to leave the throne and begin the Islamic campaign as their ancestor Badusha Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed did. They slowly started moving from one place to another in spreading Islam and bringing people in the daily duties of Islam. Badhusha Varushai Syed Ibrahim whose grave is found in Melakkal Kanavai in Madurai district is the Great grandfather of Nalla Ibraheem waliyullah and his grandson Mursal Ibrahim Shaheedh's grave is found in Ramanathapuram District as mentioned above.
In the service of his ancestor as a Mujavir:
Nalla Ibrahim waliyullah was living peacefully in Kiliyur, Paramakudi Taluk of Ramanathapuram District doing Islamic campaign as all his forefathers did. Once, Nallaa Ibraahim waliyullah had a dream in which his forefather Badhusha Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shahedh appeared and asked him to come to Erwadi to serve the people coming for Ziyarat to Erwadi. Waking up Suddenly, Nalla Ibraaheem waliyullah could realize his Grandfather's wish and informed his wife about the journey.
His wife who had settled in Kiliyoor was reluctant to start towards Erwadi. Nalla Ibrahim waliyullah persuaded and finally started alone to Erwadi to the service of his forefather. Lot of people started thronging Erwadi for Ziarat who all were ecstatic to see Shahedh badusha's heir Nalla Ibrahim bava in the service of Dharghah as a Mujawir.
Wife refusing to come – A miracle of Badhusha Nayagam:
Following the order given by Hazrath Sulthan Syed Ibrahim shaheedh to leave Kiliyoor and stay at Ervaadi to serve pilgrims, Mujavir Nallla Ibraheem bava planned to start from Kiliyur with family. But his wife was reluctant to join with Naalla Ibrahim for her love towards the current village Kiliyur. Baadusha nayagam was bit anger towards this attitude of his granddaughter and offered a different miracle to happen in the heirs of Mujavir Nalla Ibrahim and his spouse till Qiyamah. A few children will be born with reddish skin and golden hair to look as if like an English.
Erwaadi, being an arid place people are fully black and it's even very rare to see folks with yellowish complexion. But till today in one can see people with British complexion in Erwadi who are from the heirs of Nalla Ibrahim Waliyullah radiyallah ta'ala anhu happening because of the miracle of Shahid badusha. Shocked to hear this, Nalla Ibrahim waliyullah's wife accepted and joined with her husband to Ervadi and served the people who came for Zi'arat. Had she not refused the first invitation, could have avoided her children with British complexion. But anyhow still this stands as evidence to the powers of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shahid.
Sethupathy's child and 6666 acres of land:
After Mujavir Mohamed Ibrahim nalla Ibrahim bava settled in Erwadi, lot of pilgrims started thronging Ervadi shariff. The karaamaat of Qutb Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Sahid was getting reached to people from various parts of India and people who came with different wishes to Erwadi saw it answered with the duaa of Shaheed nayagam. During the period of Nalla Ibrahim waliyullah the Ramnad province (called as Sethu Empire) was ruled by King Regunatha Sethupathy, who like the other sethupathy raja's had a close association with the Arabs (descendants of badhusha Nayagam) who ruled Bavithiramanicka Pattanam province.
Sethupathy was longing for an offspring. Hearing about the miracles happening at Ervaadi dargha, the king along with his close associates visited the Holy Erwadi Dharga. Qutb Nala Ibrahim Waliyullah who was seated at Erwadi received the king with greater enthusiasm and made him to stay there. Daily in the day on night Nalla Ibrahim bava offered oil from the lamp placed in the Ervadi dargah and some water taken from the pond near dargah and kept in the Rouza (Grave) of Syed ibraheem shahid raziyallah.
With the grace of Allah and Dhuaa of Shaheed badhusha the Queen got conceived and nursed male baby. The king was taken to the extreme of joy for the birth of Prince else his Empire would go into the hands of others. As a token of thanks and gratitude, the king donated 6666 acres of land (from Ithampadal to Thachan oorani) as Inam to Ervadi dargah. A portion of it is still maintained by the Dargha Huqdar Management Committee of Erwadi Dhargah.
Kattupalli is one of the main places where the war between Pandyas and Arabs was held. It is also the graveyard of Arabs where the Dargahs of all important ministers of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed badhusha Radiyallah tala anhu are found. It is in the northern side of the main dargah within 0.5 km. Kattupalli is very spacious and it accommodates millions of people who gather during the Sandanakoodu urus festival.
Ameer Abbas Manthiri Shahid:
Ameer Abbas Razi was a minister in the then Islamic Government of Rome while Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Radiyallah, the emperor of Medina wrote a letter to the Ruler of Rome, explaining the plan of travel to Hindustan obliging the order from grandfatherly ancestor Muhammad to spread Islam. The Roman ruler Hazrat Sulthan Mahmood Badusha expressed his situation and sent a big troop of 1 lakh soldiers in the leadership of Hazrat Ameer Abbas Manthiri Razi and they travelled to Madinah and joined Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed.
In the Bouthiramanickapattinam war which held between the Arabs and the pandiyas, Hazrat Ameer Abbas Mandhiri Radiyallah and his troop killed a lot of Pandiyans. In the Third war, Hazrat Ameer Abbas manthiri was assassinated and attained martyrdom. Today, a highly sophisticated and well-built Dargah of Ameer Abbas manthiri Shaheed radiyallah Ta'la anhu is situated at the western entrance of kattupalli, with the separate Ziyarat khana for men and women.
Aboobakkar Abdul Hakim Doctor Shahid:
Aboobakkar Abdul Hakeem Doctor Shaheed is popularly known as Hakkeem Doctor Shaheed. He is the chief of the team of physicians for Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed badusha's troop which consisted Syed Ahmad Doctor Raziyallah Ta'ala anhu from Rome, Yusuf Doctor Shaheed and Gailani Doctor Shaheed. Though a physician by profession, Hazrat hakkim doctor was very strong in and brave to fight against the enemies of Islam. He was also killed in the battle of Bouthiramanickapattinam. Hazrat Hakkem doctor raziyallah Ta'ala anhu has exhibited many karaamaat (Miracles) after his shahaadat.
A young lady by name Khatija from Malappuram district of Kerala who was suffering from brain tumor was left hopeless by the doctors since the surgery is risky and may lead to death. Frustrated to live, she came with an intention to spend her rest part of life in Ervadi dargah and stayed in Hakkem doctor Durgha. The 40th night, she had a dream in which Abubakkar Hakkim Doctor Shaheed appeared and performed a surgery on her brain. Morning when she woke up, she could see her head dressed with medications and some blood stains on it. Thousands of people gathered to see this miracle and it was published in the state level Tamil Daily newspaper and seeing these thousands of more diseased people started thronging Erwadi, Hakkeem Doctor Durgah.
Abdul Qadir Mujahid Shahid and Gazanfar Muhaiddin Shaheed:
These two Shaheeds are important ministers in the ministry of Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badusha Raziyallah Tala anhu in Madinah. They played a very vital role in the war between the pandiyas and the Arabs and killed a few hundreds of pandiyas. The second important minister from Shaheed Badhushaa's troop to be killed in the war was Abdul Qadir Shahid raziyallah Ta'ala anhu. He fought against the enemies even when his abdomen was torn and all its content was out. Still he tied it back and fought against the pandiya soldiers. That fetched him a respect to him in the war and after his death. Later Muhaidden shaheed stood with Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shahhed for a long time and he too attained martyrdom. These two shuhadaas' Qabr are found close to each other.
They played a very main role in Erwadi durgah becoming a curing hub for supernatural diseases and diseases caused by magic, Devils and mental disorder caused due to it. Hence these two shuhadaas are called as Kanakkedukkum Manthirigal. It means that Ministers who take care of curing magical and devilish diseases. People, who come to Ervadi dargah with the above complaints, write a ready written petition kept in the dargah and offer it to the Mujavir.
Veerar Abdullah Shahid:
Hazrat Abdullah Shaheed radiyallah Ta'ala anhu is believed to be from Makkah Al Mukarramah and was a wonderful fighter in the troop of Shaheed badusha. He served under Shahid badusha through the course of the war till its end. Veerar Abdulla Shahid was the one, who entered the throne of King Vikrama Pandiyan during the final phase of war and dismounted the Pandiya’s flag with a fish symbol and hoisted the Muslims' flag declaring to the world the defeat of pandiyas in the war. So, Abdullah Shaheed is called as Vetrik kodi nattiya veerar Abdullah Shaheed.
This act of capturing the throne is the utmost important deed during the course of the war. Since capturing the other's throne is considered as the real victory over the rivals during the war rituals those days. This was possible only by the Braveness and Smart war techniques of Hazrat Shaji Abdullah Shaheed Radiyallah ta'la anhu. The dargah of veerar Abdullah Shaheed is located at the centre of the kattupalli and is managed by the Mujavirs.
Zulfiqar Ali @ Chanthanapeer Shaheedh:
Hazrat Zulfiqar Ali was a minister in the then Islamic Government of Istanbul while Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Radiyallah, the emperor of Madinah wrote to the Ruler of Turkey, regarding the travel to Hindustan obliging the order from grandfatherly ancestor Muhammad to spread Islam there. Though the Turkish ruler was not able to join Shaheed Badusha, he sent a troop headed by Hazrat Zulfiqar Ali Raziyallah Ta'ala anhu and they travelled to Madinah and joined the troops of Shaheed badusha.
In the bouthiramanickapattinam war against the pandiyans, Hazrat Zulfiqaar Ali as the very name reflects fought very bravely and finally was killed by the pandiyas. He took part with Badusha nayagam in the earlier War of Sind and was made the Governor of Sind after the victory by the troop of Badusha nayagam. He later joined with Badusha Nayagam to his travel to south India in the next phase and was martyred there in the war.
Reason for the name sandanapeer:
Though the actual name being Zulfiqar Ali, he was very well known by the name Santhanapeer Shahid waliyullah. Hazrat Zulfiqar Ali belonged to Turkey, which is a very cold country. He could not bear the heat of South India, and to overcome this, Hazrat Zulfiqar Shaheed used to apply sandalwood paste in his entire body for chillness.
Daily morning he used to apply and for this reason he was called by the local Tamil people at that time as Sandanapeer which means the saint of Sandal. Till today, Hazrat Zulfaqar Shaheed radiyallah Ta'ala anhu is called by the name Santhanapeer Shaheed waliyullah and even the dargah where hazrat's grave is found, in the kattupalli, is named as Chandanapeer Shahid waliyullah dargah.
Syed Is'haq Shaheed-Sara Amma Safura Amma Durgah:
This durgah is located outside the Kaattupalli dargah campus. This is located parallel to the southern entrance of kattuppalli and to the east of Main Durgah. The graves of the family members of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim shaheed and all his descendants, who ruled the Erwadi province, are found here. Hazrat Shaheed badusha's brother Hazrat Badusha Syed Ismail's son, Badhusha Hazrat Syed Is'haq the crowned prince who ruled Ervadi after the death (Shahadat)of badhusha nayagam is found here along with the graves of Badusha Syed Ibrahim Shaheed, Badusha Syed Baaqir Shaheed, Badusha Syed Qasim Shaheed and Badhushah Syed Tahir Shaheed Ridwanullahi Ta'ala alaihim.
Also the graves of Waliyatullahs Seyyida Sara Amma, Seyyida Safura Amma and Seyyida Zainab Amma are also found in this Dargah. For this reason, this dargah is called as Sara Amma Safura Amma Palli. People who long for children come to this dargah, and with a niyyah, they tie a cradle tearing the corner of the saree and are supposed to come fruitful with a child within a year or two.
Tragedy & Medical Care
Twenty five mentally sick people who were undergoing spiritual treatment at the Dargah and who were chained together died in 2001 in a severe fire accident at the venue. Following this tragedy Government of Tamilnadu opened a 50-bed hospital called "Dawa-Dua" in November 2012, in a 1 acre (0.40 ha) land next to the dargah donated by the Dargah Haqdhar Management Committee. Apart from the spiritual cure provided by the dargah, mental healthcare medicine is provided to enable patients recover faster. The patients are not chained now.
An annual festival commemorating the martyrdom of Seyyad Ali is held at Erwadi in the Islamic calendar month of Dulkahath, and the festival (the 841st festival in 2015) is named "Chandanakkudam" or "sandhanakoodu" when the tomb of the saint is given a coat of sandalwood paste. On this occasion a religious flag is hoisted over the dargah, and the right to hoist this flag rests with the local Hindu communities of Karuppaiah Yadavas, Ambalathar, Nadar and Vanniyar. It marks a symbol of religious harmony when a very large number of people of all faith attend the festival.
Sandhanakoodu urus festival:
The Grand urus festival of Ervadi dargah is held every year in the Islamic Month of Dhu al-Qi'dah commemorating the shahadat anniversary of Hazrat Qutb Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shahid badhusha radiyallah Ta'ala anhu. The Grand festival starts on 1st of Zul Qaida and ends on 30th of Zul Qaidah of every Hijri year.
Erwadi dargah today stands as a symbol of religious harmony in Tamilnadu. The anniversary Santhanakoodu festival is celebrated together by Hindus and Muslims. The Deventhirakula vellalar, Yadavas, Parayars, Dalits, Adi Dravidas and the Fishermen community bear the duty of Carrying the Chariot, Holding light lamps, putting crackers while the Levvais (Dargah Huqdar Mujavirs) take care of religious duties like reciting Moulid sheriff, Dua smearing sandal on the roula and praying for the welfare of pilgrims.
Thus Santhanakoodu festival is a grand celebration for the unity, peace and harmony of the people of Erwadi. People with satanic illness visit this dargah in large number and get cured. Millions of people visit this Dargah during the Urus Santhanakoodu Anniversary, held during the entire Islamic month of Dhu al-Qi'dah.
Beginning of Moulid Shariff – Dhul Qadah 1:
This event marks the beginning of the Urus festival in Erwadi. On the first night of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Qi'dah the Moulid Shariff majlis starts after a grand Du'aa. Hundreds of Levvais (Huqdars), descendants of Madurai Hazrats and devotees gather at the Hall of Main Shrine of Erwadi Durgah after Maghrib (prayer). The majlis starts with Dua followed by Subhana Moulidh, Shaheed Badusha Manaaqib Moulidh, Zikr and ends with Dua. Half an hour break is given for Isha'a Prayer in between the Moulid Shariff which lasts till 11.00 pm. On Thursdays, The Moulidh Shariff begins after Isha'a prayers. This Moulidh Shariff is held continuously for 23 days.
Installation of Lower trunk (Adi Maram) – Dhul Qada 9:
This event marks the beginning of Flag hoisting ceremony of Ervadi dargah. This event is held every year on the 9th Evening of the Islamic month of Dhul Qaidah. A Quran recital ceremony is held commemorating the martyrdom of Qutb Syed Abutahir madani shaheed. After the Fajr prayers, Thousands of people gather in the Durgah campus and Qur'an is recited for 4 or 5 times depending upon the gathered crowd followed by Moulid Shariff and Du'a with the Waseelah of Qutbul Aqtab Syedus Saadath Hazrat Qutb Syed Abootahir Madhani Shaheed Raziyallah Ta'ala anhu.
The same day evening the lower trunk of the flag is installed after Asar prayers and duaa. Ropes are tied to the huge lower trunk weighing 4 tonnes and the trunk is fixed by tying the ropes at the six corners. Holding of the rope to lift the lower trunk of the flag makes many wishes come true by the waseela of Badusha nayagam which is called as عماد المرآد Imadul murad. The Erwadi dargah's victory flag is being hoisted at a height of 250 feet (76 m) consisting of a lower trunk, an upper trunk and the boat-shaped metal holding.
A white wooden holder is placed at the upper edge of the lower trunk and is tied with 6 ropes to hold upon and its base is placed in the midst of the flag hoisting throne (Kodi medai). A few lakhs of people who gather to witness the ceremony pull the ropes and the Trunk rises slowly. Finally when it reaches the vertical position ropes are tied to make the trunk strong hold. This holding the Holy rope is called as Imaadhul Muraad, and people who holds this holy rope with a wish seeking the help of Shaheedh Badushaha Nayagam, will see it answered in a very short period within the year.
Holy flag hoisting (Kodiyetru Vizha) – Dhul Qaidah 10:
This is an important ceremony in the Santhanakoodu festival of Ervadi durgah. Around 600,000 people from all parts of Tamilnadu and Kerala and also various states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi and all over India take part. On the 10th evening of Zul Qaidah, the flag procession starts from the Erwadi village and reaches Durgah Shariff before Maghrib. The holy flag is brought in an elephant which traditionally comes from the palace of the Raja of Ramnad. The procession goes round the durga thrice. Qasidahs are recited and after a grand Dhuaa, the flag is hoisted in the upper trunk with a full voice slogan of Yaa Shaheed!!! Muraad Haasil!!!. The regular moulidh shariff starts at 9.00 pm on this day.
Santhanakoodu Procession – Dhul Qada 22:
This procession is conducted just to mark the beginning of the Main Santhanakoodu festival. Procession starts from Ervadi Kudi iruppu, the residential area of Mujavirs (Huqdars called as Levvais) and reaches the Dargah shariff campus before Maghrib prayers. The shadhili tariqa zikr halqa majlis (Hazra) is held in the Mosque at the durgah campus. A few millions of people start gathering at Erwadi and get scattered at kattupalli and other areas of Ervadi durga.
District administration announces local Holiday on this day and the State government along with TNSTC runs thousands of special buses to Erwadi from various locations of Tamil Nadu. Hundreds of stalls are being put by the Government and by the private vendors. Many food stalls and child entertainment games are being run in this season.
Sandal smearing on the holy grave – Dhul Qadah 23:
This is the peak celebration and the sole purpose of the one-month-long Santhanakoodu festival in Ervadi Dargah. This day marks the martyrdom of Hazrat Qutbul hamid Gausul Majid Badusha Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Raziyallah Taala anhu. The 23rd day moulid Shariff (Last Moulid for the year) starts exactly at 12.00 am on the 23rd night of Dhu al-Qi'dah and ends at 3:30 am with a grand Dhuaa begging Shaheed badusha's mercy. Sandal paste are taken in 3 pots from Ervadi and brought in the very grand procession. It reaches Dargah around 5:00 am and the sandal pot is taken to the maqbara, the grave (Mazaar) of Hazrat Shaheed Badusha.
The procession goes round the Dargah thrice. A grand Dhuaa is recited inside the Maqaam of Hazrat shaheed badusha. The sandal is smeared in the rauza Mubarak of Shaheed and different carpets with Valuable Silk, Diamond and other floral carpets are presented. The sandal paste is anointed on the Rauza of Hazrat Qutb Syed Abootahir Shaheed and the rouza of Seyyida Fathima Al Barqa radiyallah Ta'ala anha (Shahid badusha'a mother). Only selected Levvais (Mujavirs – Huqdars) and a few Guests including the descendants of Madurai Maqbara Hazrats are permitted inside the Maqam during the ceremony. More than 1000 policemen and policewomen are deployed for security. The ceremony ends with the fajr prayer and the sandal is distributed to all who gather in the Dargah campus.
Dismounting of the Holy Flag (Kodi Irakkam) – Dhul Qadah 30:
This is the final event which marks the end of a month long Santhanakoodu festival in Erwadi dargah. Every year on the 30th Morning of Islamic month of Dhu al-Qi'dah, thousands of people gather at the hall of main Dargah after fajr prayer for the recitation of Holy Quran. Qur'an is completely recited more than 7 times and Tabarruk is distributed after the dhuaa with the waseela of Badhusha Nayagam (Holy King). The same day evening, after Asar Qasidas and Byts are recited followed by the grand final Dhuaa and the Holy Flag is dismounted with the Sky blowing slogan of YAA SHAHEED MURAD HAASIL.
The holy flag is presented unto the Sacred Rouza of Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed and a Dhuaa is recited. The lower trunk and other components of the Holy flag are displaced before Maghrib. Around, 1.5 million people from all over India and other countries like Sri Lanka, U.K., Saudi Arabia, U.A.E and Kuwait take part. The crowd which gathers here for this ceremony is the highest than any other festival in Ramanathapuram District. After Maghrib, the traditional Thabarruk of 'NEI SORU' (Ghee Rice) is distributed to all the 1.5 million pilgrims who witnessed the Santhanakoodu Urus festivals of Erwadi Dargah. The arrangements for the entire festival is made and sponsored by the Dargah Huqdhar Management Committee (D.H.M.C.). Thus the one-month-long Urus Festival of Ervadi Dargah Shariff comes to an end.
Erwadi is a town located in the Kadaladi taluk of Ramanathapuram District in southern Tamilnadu. It is located on the coast between Keelakarai and Valinokkam. The town is famous for the shrine of Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badusha Radiyallah ta'ala anhu. Ervadi dargah is well connected by all means of transport through India. It has nonstop transport facility from all over Tamilnadu.
Erwadi has wide range of connectivity through road from all parts of Tamilnadu. The major East Coast Road which connects entire Tamilnadu through Bay of Bengal from Chennai to Kanyakumari itself touches Ervadi. Also NH 49 from Madurai to Rameswaram touches Ramanathapuram and from there East Coast Road can be taken via Kilakarai to reach Ervadi and the distance in this route is 27 km.
There are frequent buses for every 30 minutes being operated by TNSTC from Ramanathapuram to Erwadi. Also TNSTC operates direct buses to Erwadi from various parts of Tamilnadu like Madurai, Kumuli, Pattukottai, Thondi, Nagore and Chennai. Also Ervadi acts a connecting center to nearby village towns like Mudukulathur, Sayalgudi, Valinokkam, Sikkal, Idambaadal, Kombuthi, Kamudi, Kadaladi etc., with the district headquarters of Ramnad.
Thus, buses and other road vehicles plying to these towns pass through Ervaadi. Also, buses from Ramnaad and Rameshwaram towards Tuticorin, Thiruchendur, and Kanyakumari halt at Erwadi generating some amount of revenue. This helps lot people travelling between these towns to know about Erwadi the holiest town in Tamilnadu for Muslims.
There is a SETC service from Chennai daily Route No: 169, Departs from Chennai at 7:15 pm and arrives at Erwadi at 7:45 am the next day, the same departs to Chennai at 2:15 pm via Kilakarai, Ramnad, R. S. Mangalam, Karaikudi, Pudukkottai, Tiruchirappalli, Villupuram. Erwadi is 28 km from Ramnaad and 104 km from Tuticorin.
Ramanathapuram Railway station (Station code: RMD) is the nearest station to Erwadi and is well connected through road. Train No. 16101 and Train No.16713 which comes from Chennai Egmore and Train Nos 16102 and 16714 which comes from Rameswaram can be availed here. There are three passenger trains to Tiruchirapalli via Paramakkudi, Manamadurai, Sivagangai, Karaikudi, Devakottai and Pudukkottai.
Two passenger trains shuttle between Madurai and Rameswaram via Ramanathapuram, Paramakkudi, Manamadurai and Thirupuvanam. Also trains to Quilon, Bhubaneswar and Hazrat Nizamuddin from Rameswaram which are to run shortly will touch Ramanathapuram and this can be availed by Ervadi passengers from North India once it starts its service.
Erwadi is well connected with the border ports of Bay of Bengal. Though this is neither a port nor a harbour, this is the junction point of all fishing steamers. Fishermen from adjacent villages like Kilakarai, Chinna Ervadi, Seranthai, Sadamuniyan valasi, Adamcheri, Adanjeri and kavakulam etc., anchor their fishing ships and steamers here. So, People who wish to travel to Ervadi by ship can start their journey from any of these neighbouring villages.
There are regular glass boat rides with transparent base to see the corals from the Erwadi beach to witness the beautiful aquatic life in the Gulf of Mannar. Sea turtles, are frequent visitors to the gulf as are sacred sharks, dugongs, and dolphins. Each ride costs Rs 50 for a person.
Nearest Airports are located at Madurai, Trichy and Thoothukudi.