I am an ordinary Muslim trying to become a better human every second of my life!
At the outset, I firmly do not believe in any religious divisions. Or for that matter, the whole of humanity. For, all of us descended from Adam, the first Prophet of the ALMIGHTY, and his wife Hawa (Eve), the mother of all human beings. And talking about Murugamalla, let me remind you about the Hadith [saying of our beloved and the last Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)] – Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “O Allah, do not turn my grave into an idol that is worshiped. Allah has cursed people who take the graves of their prophets as places of worship.” [Source: Musnad Aḥmad 7352]
Visting graves in Islam
In continuation with the above Hadith, let me also remind you about a Hadith regarding visiting graves – Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I had prohibited you from visiting graves, but you may visit them now. Verily, they will weaken your attachment to the world and remind you of the Hereafter.” [Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 1571].
Journey to Murugamalla
So, anyway, I went along with my family members and relatives from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India. We started in two cars early in the morning after saying our Fajr (dawn) prayers. It was the Dusshera break so it was the holiday season for the kids too. One thing I have noted is that the roads in Karnataka are the best when compared to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu is slightly better than Andhra Pradesh. The quality of the roads is nearly equal in all three states. But what I hate are speed-breakers. These have been nearly done away with in all three states but are the fewest in Karnataka. That is the numero uno reason I voted the roads of Karnataka the best! Although some might argue that speed-breakers are for our safety!
Biggest Solace = Helping Others
People seek solace in different things these days. Some seek solace in eating, watching TV or their smartphones, nature-watching, traveling, etc. And some in India get it by visiting places like Dargahs, Temples, Churches, Gurudwaras, etc. But I think one can obtain the biggest solace by helping one’s fellow beings (whether they be humans, animals, birds, or anything alive).
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst, and came out. Meanwhile, he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said, “This dog is suffering from thirst as I did.”
So, he went down the well again, filled his shoe with water, and watered it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him. The people said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” He replied: “Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate (living being).” Reference: https://sunnah.com/bukhari:2466
Oh, the joys of eating near open fields!
Anyway, we stopped by a field on the way to Murugumulla for breakfast. The farm workers were busy getting the field ready for sowing seeds so it could give its produce a few days or months later. I was so hungry I did not even bother to ask the workers what they were sowing! We ate our breakfast heartily chit-chatting and pulling one another’s legs. A dog hesitantly approached us to make merry with the leftovers from our roti and chicken curry breakfast. It ate to its heart’s content. And we too started back our journey towards Murugamalla.
Car keys locked in the car!
Murugumalla is near to Chintamani town. So, on the way to Murugumalla, we passed via this small but busy (in terms of traffic) town and reached our destination. Before we entered Chintamani town, we stopped by a Caltex gas station to fill petrol in our cars. After we filled the petrol, a small incident happened.
Everyone went to the toilets in the backside of the petrol bunk. My daughter asked for my car’s keys and sat inside the back of the car with its door ajar. She just stepped out of it when her cousins came and called. And the car’s door was shut with the keys inside. The car’s door was locked via the ‘automatic lock’ mechanism.
Opening the locked car
Yes, there are umpteen videos available on YouTube to unlock the car’s door in such situations. But when our mind is tense, we do not remember such things. Although my daughter was asking me to try watching them. Of course, she got an earful from me (which is very rare, trust me)!
One of my co-brothers (the one who had brought his car along) went. And looked for a car mechanic. He came. But took about half an hour to unlock the door. My advice in such situations is to always carry the second key. It usually comes along with the first key. And keep it in the pocket of whoever is driving the car. Then, even if the first key is locked in, the second key can be used easily!
Anyways, we finally reached Murgumalla a little about noon. I will be very brief but I wanted to highlight something important here. After visiting the graves very quickly, I waited for the Zohar (afternoon) prayer. Yes, there is a Mosque beside the Dargah. And there is also a covered place with plenty of space for people to take rest. It is customary in India to stay for three nights in most of the Dargahs. But my point is not that.
The Situation in Murugamalla
I saw a huge number of aged people taking a rest there. And after finishing the Zohar prayer, we wanted to have our lunch. So, we went to the place where people were taking a rest. And boy, was this packed? It was totally ‘houseful’ what with mats and carpets. Put in nearly all the places a.k.a. reserved! When we finally found a place where there were only the mats and carpets, we started to fold them and put them on our carpets. The neighbors (old lady and her son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids) started looking at us.
The old lady said some other people had reserved their spot there. We said we would have our lunch and depart from there. What we observed was that this old lady was probably left there on purpose. In other words, this Dargah’s resting place served as an ‘old-age’ home. There might have been numerous reasons for that. Poverty, indifference toward aged parents by the daughter-in-law or even the son! And whatnot!
After the old lady’s family left, another old lady joined her. Since we finished our lunch, there was some remaining. So, I asked my wife to give it to the old ladies. And the remaining was donated by my daughter and her cousins to other poor and needy people in the Murugamalla Dargah.
Murugamalla Dargah – Haven for people afflicted with Djinns
Another thing I noted in Murugamalla Dargah was the huge number of people afflicted with Djinns. This reminded me of Kasmur in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh. As a doctor, I would like to remind people that along with prayers, medicines too are required. For curing afflictions including those of the mental plane. The Urdu saying Urdu, ‘Dua ke saath saath Dawa bhi’ is an ample testimony. To what I had stated in the previous sentences!
Unfortunate Plight of Elders!
My heart always goes out to the elderly people. Who find themselves in unpleasant and awkward situations in the twilight zones of their lives. I wish people always remember the love, affection, and enormous number of sacrifices put in by our parents in bringing us up. And try to repay (which we can never do even if we strive till the end of this universe) at least an iota. By providing them at least a bit decent if not uber-comfortable lives! So, I am signing off for now. I will write about the Nandi Hills trip in the next or a later post. Ciao.