Name : Hazrath Shah Milan (RA), better know as Hazarat
Azan Pir (RA) / Ajan Pir (RA)
City / Town : Saraguri.
" The Legendary Sufi Saint who led Muslim Reform
Movement in Assam"
Shah Milan (RA), better know as Hazarat Azan Pir (RA) /
Ajan Pir (RA) (Meaning a great saint) came from Bagdad an ancient
seat of Islamic Learning, He studied the Holy Quran, The Hadith
and Islamic philosophy there in Bagdad. The students after completion
of of learning, had to go to different parts of the world with
a view to propogating Islam. Hazarat Azan Saheb (RA) and some
of his companions most probably in the early years of the 17th
century, came to India.
is belived that he built a masjid at Sonpura, near the
Ahom capital Gargaon and chanted 'Azan', the calling
for 'Namaz' for which people called him Azan pir, Popular
belief is that he and his campanions came to India on
foot and entered the country through the khaibor. He
stayed at the Dargah of Hazrat khwaja Moinuddin Chisty
(RA) at Ajmer. Then he came to Dargah of saint Hazrat
Nizamuddin Auliya (RA) in Delhi. No historical evidence
regarding his entrence in Assam is available ; but popular
belief is that he came to Hajo through Koch Behar.
Unique Zikirs Composed by Hazarat Aazan Pir Saheb (RA)
Tradition goes on that Hazarat Aazan Saheb (RA) started
composing Zikirs at Sonpura, Gargaon and he did with
a blassing to the king. "The Gargaon town is in
the Ahom kingdom Zikir is translated in to Assamese
I wish eternal life of the king and welfare of the subjects,
till stones float and boats go under water."
Zikir is an Arabic word, its root is Zikir, the meaning
is repeated chanting of Allah's names. The word Zikir
appears more than 31 (Thirty first ) times in the Holy
Quran and they have different meanings in diffarent
contexts. Hazrat Aazan Saheb (RA) also says that he
had composed the Zikirs taking the essence of the Holy
Quran, and Zikirs would survive till the end of the
earth. Some others names such as Chandkha, Sheikh Farid,
Munia Dewan, Bandar Fakir, Maznudil Fakir, Syed Martuza,
Ghulam Hussain are found as writers of Zikir. It is
belived that Hazrath Aazan Pir Saheb (RA) composed 160
( Aath Kuri meaning 8X20 = 160) Zikirs, but only 90
( Ninety ) are found.
in the Zikrs :
The Zikirs may be termed as spiritual songs of Islam.
They are of three categories. First are those Zikirs
in which the prescribed rules of Islam are narrated.
These were meant for teaching 'Farz' 'Sunnat', 'Wazib'
etc. to the Muslims. The common people understand these
Zikirs easily. Second are those that deal with the philosophy
of Islams. Sufism is at the center. These Zikirs speak
of four stages of spiritual meditation; They are 'Shariat',
'Tariqat', 'Haqiqat', Marifat successively. One can
feel the union of the soul Absolute (Atma and paramatma).
Here one needs the guidance of a sheikh or an efficient
teacher. Shariat means following the eternal rules of
Islam. Practicing the strict and solemn vibes taught
by the spiritual guide is Tariqat. Haqiqat is realization
of the final truth through lofty meditation relationship
of the soul with relationship for eternity is 'Baqabillah'
The entire process of hard penance is called Marifat.
There are those which resembles the indigenous folksong
Dehbicharar geet. The chief contents of such Zikirs
are futility and transitoriness of human life.
and Literary Beauty :
of the Zikirs are composed in matras such as 'Chabi',
'Dulari', 'Pada' which were used by the Vaishnavite
poets. Apart from Assamese vocabulary, we find many
words of Parsi, Arabic, and Urdu origins in the Zikirs
and these foreign words have helped express the Islamic
ideas in a way very vivid and graphic. What is striking
is that the Zikirs are coloured with prevalent folk
songs like Nam-Kirtan, Ujapali, Deh-Bicharar geet etc.Application
of their tunes and Assamese phrases have enhanced the
literary beauty as weal as popularity of the Zikirs.
The Zikirs have universal appeal ; they champion the
cause of peace for entire universe. They are free from
the barriers of caste, creed, community etc.
Zikirs are Sung:
The present system of singing Zikirs was not in vouge
in olden times. Zikirs were sung with great reverence
and religious solemnity. Groups of singers were invited
to the villages. Before singing they purified themselves
taking bath and prayed to Allah and the prophet. Singing
in silence of midnight was the usual practice. The host
offered tamul-pan (areca nut and battle leaves) to them.
The listeners sat around them. After singing them all
offered "Murazat " ( a kind of Islamic way
of asking divine blessing) to Allah, and finally the
host arranged light refreshment. No remuneration was
given to the singing group. Zikirs are usually sung
on special occasion like death and wedding. The singing
group consisted of an oja ( The chief) and thirty or
forty of his palis (helpers). A Ghosa is there with
each and every Zikirs. The oja begins and the palis
singing the Ghosa in chorus. The oja alone sings the
main Zikirs. Each Zikirs has its own tune and way of
singing, clapping of hands was the tradition, Ektara
(a musical instrument) was played. Zikir singing sound
like singing Nam-kirtan from a distance.
But Zikir presentation has undergone some changes. The
Late Rekibuddin Ahmed made the Zikirs extremely popular
; he blended classical and folk music in the Zikirs
to lend them a new dimension. In some places Zikirs
are accompanied by a very difficult dance.
Mazar e Shareef of Hazrath Azan Pir Saheb (RA) at
heath of Saraguri :
A Zikir says that the heath of Saraguri is close to
the bank of the river Dikhow and Gariajan, The king
founded hermitage there.
The Dargah of the great saint was discovered in about
1930. Since then, his Zikirs have been a subject of
analysis and discussion among the intellectuals. The
greatness of the great saint has spread far and wide
since 1947. People of different walks of life and from
different parts of India came to the Dargah sharif annually.
Miracle ( Karmath) of Sura Tree :- It is said
that the dead "Suratree" under which Hazrat
Azan Pir (RA) sang the glories of Allah came back to
Aazan Pir Saheb (RA) was an untiring champion of humanity.
He refused to discriminate among people on the basis
of religion. He declared that he had no feeling of discrimination
in his mind as a Hindu or a Muslim is the creation of
the same Allah ;
Every man, irrespective of religion radiates the glory