History of Bibi-Ka-Alam
The ancient tradition of 'Azadari' or 'Mourning of the Martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his followers' continued throughout the reign of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty and it was followed religiously under the strict vigilance of the state government. On the advice of Nawab Zain Yar Jung, the Ashur Khana was remobilised by the seventh Nizam. The terrace and the main entrance of Ashur Khana remained unchanged till 1299 H and on this building is embedded the year of construction. The Alam has been installed inside a strong room and the Alam has been conserved in a safe place, in the design of 'Zarih' or 'Sarcophagus'.
Relic of Bibi-Ka-Alam
There exists a sacred relic in this Alam which is believed to be a piece of wooden plank on which the husband of Janab Syeda was offered her last ablution prior to her burial. For a long period of time, this particular relic was kept in Karbala and reached Golkonda during the time of Abdullah Qutub Shah. This relic was kept safe in the calligraphic Alam, inscribed with the Arabic lettering of the term 'Allah', 'Ali' and 'Mohammad'. The relic was covered with an alloy composed of gold and other metals and the jewels which were offered by Nasir-ud-Daulah to the Alam are also existent till date. A royal decree maintained that funds in the form of 'jagirs' would be allotted to attendants who took take care of the procession. A royal umbrella, 'mahi maratib' and 'naubat' were prepared for the procession. A wooden louvered blind is placed close to the entrance all throughout the year. On each side of the Alam are placed two green pouches which are of the shape of earrings with precious gems.
Procession of Bibi-Ka-Alam
The procession of Bibi-Ka-Alam signifies one of the most crucial climaxes of the mourning of Muharram in Hyderabad which marches on an elephant during the 10th day of Muharram. This is similar to a royal cortege which moves. The mourners chant 'Ibn-az-Zehra Wa Waila' which implies 'Goodbye Son Of Zehra' as the procession starts out from emerging from the Alawa. The chanting is a form of violent protest against the slaying of Hussain, the son of Zehra.
(Last Updated on : 22-02-2014)