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Makhdoom Ali Mahimi (1372–1431) was a Sufi Saint from the Konkan in Indiamarker, widely acknowledged for his scholarly treatises, liberal views and humanist ideals. Mahimi was born into a family of Arab travellers who had settled down on the island of Mahimmarker, one of the seven islands that later formed the city of Bombay (now Mumbaimarker).

Not much is known of his early childhood. He later became the disciple of Mohiuddin Ibne Arabi, a Spanishmarker Muslim saint. Mahimi's reputation grew after the Sultan of Gujaratmarker, Ahmed Shah of the Muzaffarid dynasty, chose him to be the town's Qazi (the Head Muslim Judge/cleric of a town).

Mahimi was the first Indian scholar to write an exegesis on the Qur'an, which gained critical acclimation from numerous Islamic scholars including Shah Waliullah. Authoring a total of nineteen books, he was given the moniker Qutb-e -Kokan (Kokan's Pole Star). Mahimi is revered by both the Muslims and Hindus, all Muslim sects hold him in high esteem. After his death in 1431, he was buried in Mahim. The site later became a dargah (shrine) for devotees.

Urs festival

During the annual ten day Urs festival celebrated on the 13th day of Shawwal as per the Muslim calendar, millions of devotees visit his dargah.

The highlight of this is a procession of around eight thousand begins at the Mahim Police Station, believed to be the site of his residence. Two police officers from each of the eighty four city police stations represent the police whose association with the saint dates back to the saint's era. A representative of the Mumbai police who is the first to offer the "chaddar" (shawl) at the tomb on the first day of the festival. Legend has it that it was a police constable who gave water to the dying saint from his cap. Another story points to some miraculous assistance police officers once received from an old man, whom they believed was the saint, in fighting smugglers.

A room adjacent to the office of the senior inspector of police station contains a steel cupboard that houses the saint's preserved belongings such as his chair, a pair of sandals and his hand-written Qur'an which is considered to be a calligraphic work of art. The room is opened once every year to the public. In 1920 the cupboard was purchased by a senior Britishmarker police inspector, Raymond Esquire as a tribute to the saint he revered.

On 2005-05-21, the government of Maharashtramarker named the JJ Flyover after the saint as a tribute to the saint. The 2.1 kilometre flyover is the longest viaduct in the country.


See also

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