miscellany

miscellany

Shrine of a woman saint

The dargah of Hazrath Saidani Bibi Sahiba is the only shrine dedicated to a woman saint in Mangalore and has become a refuge of hope for people of all religion, caste, creed or language.

Located near A B Shetty Circle, on the periphery of the prominent Nehru Maidan of Mangalore, not far from the centre of administration, this dargah (memorial tomb shrine) is visited by people of all faiths. Most of the people come here with a harake (vow) as there is a strong belief that prayers are answered here.

Hazrath Saidani Bibi was a saintly lady, hailing from a military family during the regime of Tipu Sultan in the 1780s. She was buried in the military area though burial grounds were available.


People say that she was buried in the military area due to high respect and regard the local people of Mangalore particularly the warrior class had for her. At present, the location of dargah is on the edge of the new city police HQ, which were formerly the military barracks. Later, her close relatives were buried beside her.

There are three other tombs apart from that of Saidani Bibi in the dargah. Scores of people of all castes and creeds visit this place every day, giving alms to the poor sitting around the place, a revered holy practice.


One rare astonishing aspect of this dargah is that it is cared for and protected by retired and serving police officers of Mangalore. Hazrath Saidani Bibi Sahiba Dargah Management Committee is in the forefront of its maintenance.


This dargah is frequently visited by the police staff and public, the tomb is adjacent to the police headquarters. In 1972, the then Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police, K U Balakrishna Rau, and the then Assistant Superintendent of Police H T Sangliana entrusted the administration of the dargah to Muslim police personnel. A committee was formed for the better administration of the dargah and in the year 1983 the old mazahar (tomb of the saint) was renovated.

The dargah was built on land belonging to the Police department, and the property was later handed over to the Wakf Board. Indeed, goodness knows no boundaries and so does harmony. The early historic legendary Masjid Zeenath Baksh in Bunder a kilometre away, is said to have been established in Mangalore in 644 AD, by Habeeb bin Malik and the first Qadhi (Qazi) appointed was Hazarath Moosa Bin Malik, son of Malik Bin Abdullah.

This Mosque was probably inaugurated on Friday the 22nd of the month of Jumadil Awwal (fifth month of the Islamic Calendar) in year 22 of Hijra 644 AD. Its splendour is visible in all its glory even today. It is sufficient evidence that Mangalore and the coast north to south, on the shores of the Arabian Sea was home to Islam from its early foundings here.

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