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Urmila Matondkar, hubby pray at famed Mahim Dargah in Mumbai

Urmila Matondkar along with her husband prayed at the famed Mahim Dargah mausoleum on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

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Two days before the annual fair at the famed Mahim Dargah, Shiv Sena leader and Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar along with her husband prayed at the famed mausoleum, here on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The actress, accompanied by her actor-hubby Mohsin Akhtar Mir arrived at the 590-year old mausoleum where the Muslim saint, Makhdoom Ali Mahimi Shafi’I is laid to rest.

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A renowned Islamic scholar noted for his humanist and progressive views, Pir Makhdoom Baba – as he is revered by all communities – was the brother-in-law of Gujarat’s Sultan Ahmed Shah, having married his sister.

However, he lived in the Isle of Mahim, which was one of the 7 big and small islamds that make up modern-day Mumbai.

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After their arrival, Matondkar and Mir prayed at the dargah with their heads covered and later visited a Covid-19 vaccination camp currently underway at the venue.

“This was their first visit to the Mahim Dargaha They were taken around by our volunteers and explained the history and other details of this historic mausoleum. Later, we felicitated the celeb couple as we do to all VIPs who grace this place,” Mahim Dargah Managing Trustee Suhail Khandwani said.

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He said the couple arrived just two days before the annual Mahim Dargah Mela (fair), now in its 120th year, starts on Saturday, and even gave a social message to the masses.

“I am very happy to come to the Dargah todaya I shall also visit the fair this yeara I appeal to all people to please get themselves vaccinated against the Coronavirus. I have been through it (infection), I fervently urge all people to get the inoculation,” Matondkar exhorted.

“Visited the free Covid-19 vaccination camp at Mahim Dargaha Very impressed with the idea of doing the camp at a pious place like the Dargah. Also visited Pir Makhdoom Saheb Dargah. Appeal to (all) to get vaccinated,” the actress later tweeted, sharing photos of her trip.

On 13th Shawwal in the Islamic calendar, Makhdoom Baba’s annual 10-day long ‘urs’ (feast) is celebrated with lakhs of devotees coming here from India and abroad, though the celebrations have been curtailed in the past couple of years owing to the pandemic.

The highlight of the aurs’ is a procession of thousands of devotees that starts from the Mahim Police Station – believed to be the site of his home nearly 7 centuries ago.

Two officers from all the police stations in Mumbai join the procession and their representative offers the first ‘chadar’ to the saint on the opening day of the ‘urs’.

Incidentally, in a room near the office of the Mahim police station senior inspector is a steel cupboard where Makhdoom Baba’s original belongings like a pair of sandals, chair and a handwritten copy of Holy Quran, considered an artistic masterpiece, are preserved and opened for public viewing during the ‘urs’.

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