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Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari Declares Son Syed Shaban As Successor Of Jama Masjid Ceremony

Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, formally designates his son, Syed Shaban Bukhari, as his successor during an investiture ceremony at the historic mosque.

Delhi's Jama Masjid
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In a momentous 'dastarbandi' (investiture) ceremony held within the historic courtyard of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari officially declared his son, Syed Shaban Bukhari, as his "successor." The ceremony, steeped in tradition and attended by Islamic scholars and dignitaries, unfolded on Sunday at the iconic Mughal-era mosque constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century.

During his address, Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari traced the rich history of the Jama Masjid, emphasising the practice of Imams declaring their successors throughout the mosque's over 400-year legacy. Following this tradition, he publicly announced, "I declare that Syed Shaban Bukhari is my successor."

The symbolic 'dastarbandi' ceremony, signifying the transfer of authority, commenced promptly after the declaration, adhering to the time-honored customs associated with such events. Syed Shaban Bukhari, aged 29, had previously been anointed as the Naib Imam of the mosque in November 2014.

In the event of Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari's unforeseen incapacity or demise, Syed Shaban Bukhari is set to assume the role of the 14th Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, as announced by his father. This succession follows the legacy initiated by Emperor Shah Jahan when he appointed the first Shahi Imam.

The ceremony, which extended for over an hour, garnered the presence of several 'ulemas' (Islamic scholars), transforming the historic mosque into a symbolic venue for the continuation of a significant tradition. Congratulatory posters adorned the street in front of the mosque, featuring images of the Shahi Imam and his newly declared successor.

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, himself the son of the 12th Shahi Imam Syed Abdullah Bukhari, bestowed with the role in October 2000, now passes the mantle to the next generation.

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