India

Shaban Bukhari ascends as 14th Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid

Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari officially declared his son as his successor for the grand mosque established by Mughal King Shah Jahan, which towers over Delhi's skyline and continues to lead the faithful in prayer.

By S. A. H. Rizvi
Bureau Chief
The Times Kuwait
New Delhi


• Syed Usama Shaban Bukhari, who holds a master’s degree in social work from Amity University, was appointed as Naib Imam for Delhi’s Jamia Masjid in 2014. He is a scholar and fazil in Islamic theology

More than 170 years after the mighty Mughal Empire dissipated, the only institution that has survived is the imposing Jama Masjid, which towers over the skyline of Delhi and continues to lead the faithful in prayer.

The anointment of Shaban Bukhari was a clear demonstration of the succession plan and guidelines laid down by the first Imam, Syed Ghafoor Bukhari, since 1656, which continue to be followed to this day. Even during the turbulent times of the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, when the British army took control of Jama Masjid, the Bukharis did not abandon the place and later regained control.

Syed Usama Shaban Bukhari was anointed as the new Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, in an event called Dastarbandi. The present Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, officially declared his son as his successor, the 14th in the dynasty of Islamic priests of the grand mosque established by Mughal King Shah Jahan.

The Dastarbandi ceremony for Shaban Bukhari took place following the prayers. During the ceremony, the Dastarbandi was placed on the head of the succeeding Imam, signifying his coronation as the new Imam and successor. The term Dastarbandi; refers to the act of placing a turban on one’s head for this purpose.

Having served as the Naib Imam since 2014, ShabanBukhari has now assumed his father’s position as the new Imam. He is currently 29 years old.

After the announcement of Syed Shaban Bukhari’sappointment as Imam, the Dastarbandi ceremony was held in the presence of dignitaries from the national capital, including Imams, Ulamas, and Maulvis from other states, including Delhi.

Invitations had been sent to the embassies of all Muslim countries situated in Delhi for the succession event. The new Imam of Jama Masjid also organized a banquet for all the guests at his residence.

Born in Delhi, India, on March 11, 1995, Syed ShabanBukhari comes from a long line of Islamic theologians who have presided over Delhi’s Jama Masjid for thirteen generations.

Built in 1656 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, renowned for the Taj Mahal, the mosque has been under the leadership of Syed Shaban Bukhari’s family since its inception. Emperor Shah Jahan appointed Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari, Syed Shaban Bukhari’s great-grandfather, as the First Imam of Jama Masjid Delhi, decreeing that the Imamat remain within the same family.

The father of the new Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, is the son of the 12th Shahi Imam, Syed Abdullah Bukhari, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 87. Widely respected for his secular and broad outlook, Syed Ahmed Bukhari succeeded his father as Shahi Imam in October 2000. After 23 years and four months, the dynastic baton has been passed on once again.

Shaban, who holds a master’s degree in social work from Amity University, was appointed Naib Imam in 2014. He is a scholar and fazil in Islamic theology, with most of his education about Islam acquired from Madrasa JamiaArabia Shamsul Uloom in Delhi. His great-grandfather, Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari, was appointed the first Imam of Jama Masjid by Emperor Shah Jahan. The Bukharis originally hailed from Bokhara, once a religious center in Uzbekistan.



Read Today's News TODAY...
on our Telegram Channel
click here to join and receive all the latest updates t.me/thetimeskuwait





Back to top button