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Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jamia Masjid declares son as his ‘successor’

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New Delhi: Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jamia Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari declared his son Syed Shaban Bukhari his “successor” at a ‘dastarbandi’ (investiture) ceremony held in the courtyard of the grand mosque.

According to Kashmir Media Service, in his address before making the formal declaration at the ceremony, Syed Ahmed Bukhari traced the history of the mosque and said the first Shahi Imam was appointed by Emperor Shah Jehan. He said the first Imam of the Jamia Masjid (Hazrat Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari) was appointed as the Shahi Imam at the age of 63.

As per tradition, imams have declared their successors in their lifetimes. So, in line with the over 400-year-old tradition, from this Jamia Masjid, “I declare that Syed Shaban Bukhari is my successor”, Syed Ahmed Bukhari announced at a gathering of Islamic scholars and other dignitaries.

After the announcement, the tying of ‘dastarbandi’ (turban) began according to the tradition associated with the ceremony.

Syed Shaban Bukhari (29) was anointed as the mosque’s Naib Imam in a ‘dastarbandi’ ceremony in November 2014.

The ceremony at the Mughal-era mosque built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century lasted more than an hour.

Several ‘ulema’ (Islamic scholars) attended the ceremony for which the mosque, a veritable symbol of old Delhi or Shahjahanabad and a celebrated landmark, was decked up.

Some congratulatory posters, bearing images of the Shahi Imam and his son, were put up along the street running in front of the mosque.

Syed Ahmed Bukhari is the son of Syed Abdullah Bukhari, the 12th Shahi Imam who died at the age of 87 in 2009.

Syed Ahmed Bukhari was declared his father’s successor in October 2000.

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