A 100-year-old Mumbai-Lucknow Azadari connection
In 2011 Athar saab, as people fondly him, entered the Limca Book of Records for reciting the highest number of majlis at a particular venue in the world. He is known for imparting Muharrum sermons for 58 years at the Masjid-E-Iranian in South Mumbai
Representative image. Pic/AFP
As the first islamic month, Muharram closes to Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram that marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain ibn Ali, people in south Mumbai recall the recitations of Late Maulana Mirza Muhammad Athar.
In 2011 Athar saab, as people fondly him, entered the Limca Book of Records for reciting the highest number of majlis at a particular venue in the world. He is known for imparting Muharrum sermons for 58 years at the Masjid-E-Iranian in South Mumbai.
“His sermons included the history of martyrdom of Imam Hussain and what exactly happened in Karbala 1400 years ago. He had this unique way of presenting the grief for which he is still remembered by many,” Maulana Athar’s son Maulana Yasoob Abbas told mid-day.com.
“He started giving sermons in 1958 at Masjid-E-Iranian. His speeches revolved around humanity and his teachings of Islam drew people from different sects of Islam. As the technology advanced, people got access to the live telecast and his recitations were heard across the world,”
Maulana Yasoob Abbas, who is also the spokesperson of All India Shia Personal Law Board added, “Athar saab was so fond of reciting majlis in Mumbai that many times he was invited in different countries during Muharram for majlis recitations but he preferred to present his sermons only in Mumbai. Before Athar saab, my grandfather, Maulana Mirza Muhammad Tahir used to visit Mumbai to recite majlis. He recited majlis in Mumbai for over 40 years.”
He said, “Since 1986, I have been reciting majlis in Mumbai and my elder brother Maulana Mirza Muhammad Ejaz saab has also been reciting majlis of Imam Hussain ibn Ali in the city for several years. It has been over a hundred years now that my family have been associated closely with Mumbai city.”