Imampur Mosque

The Imampur Mosque has an interesting history.As the story is told, Aurangzeb had ordered that everyone in Delhi worship at the Jama Masjid, at the time the largest mosque in the world, which was built by his father, the Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal.  When informed that one old man, named Sharmad, was sitting outside and not praying inside the mosque, Aurangzeb had Sharmad brought inside the mosque.As the Imam of the mosque recited the prayers the old man pointed to the ground and shouted, “Your god is at my feet”.  Aurangzeb considered this outburst blasphemous and promptly ordered the old man beheaded.Thereafter, feeling anxious and disturbed for many days, Aurangzeb began to think it was because he had that old man executed.Aurangzeb went to the Iman and asked him what was he thinking when he was reciting the prayers.The Iman confessed that he was saying the prayer fervently in an effort to impress Aurangzeb so he might be granted a boon for his daughter’s marriage.Hearing this Aurangzeb ordered that the stone upon which the old man stood to be dug up, and upon doing so, discovered gold buried there.Aurangzeb realized he had beheaded a saint, and as penance ordered that upon his death his body was to be dismembered and the parts buried next to tombs of saints.Before he died in Ahmednagar, he ordered that a mosque be built at each place the funeral procession rested for the night.Imampur, where Baba and his companions stopped on that November night, was the first stop the funeral procession made on their way to Khuldabad.

On November 21, 1951 Baba and the new life companions, Eruch, Pendu, Baidul and Gustadji, stopped overnight at the village of Imampur about ten miles from Meherazad.After a tiring journey from Toka by foot and truck the companions arrived at Imampur, at about eight thirty at night.At Baba’s direction, they settled into an old abandoned mosque on the Aurungabad/Ahmednagar Road.This mosque, originally built by order of the Emperor Aurangzeb, was later used by the British as a rest house for officers until Independence after which it was turned over to the local Muslim community.

After the companions had cleaned out the dilapidated mosque and made it habitable for sleeping Baba retired to one of the small rooms while Eruch stood watch outside near the door.The other companions slept outside but their snoring disturbed Baba.Clapping for Eruch Baba told him to have the men move further away.After some time, Baba clapped again and Eruch, lighting matches to see Baba’s gestures, was told by Baba there was a worse noise disturbing Him inside the room and told Eruch to find what it was.At first Eruch could not hear the noise, but after listening carefully for about five minutes in the dark, he heard a fluttering noise coming from one corner of the room.Eruch went to that spot and discovered a dove had nested there in an alcove in the wall with her chicks.He reported this to Baba who told him “to throw the bird out.”As Eruch was about to comply with Baba’s order he heard Baba’s insistent clapping and immediately returned to Baba’s side.Using another matchstick to read Baba’s gestures Eruch was told to leave the bird as it is.Baba went on to explain that it was not proper for Him to have given this order and reminded Eruch about the standing instructions that he had been given during the New Life to remind Baba if He gave any orders that conflicted with the very basis of the New Life such as not to express cruelty or anger.

In the morning, as Eruch was helping Baba wash His face, Baba asked him to call the others into the room and narrate the whole story from the previous night.Baba said that although Eruch forgot to remind Him of the standing New Life order about expressing cruelty, it was His mistake.Baba then said “Now the only thing to do is that the four of you remove your sandals and slap me on the body with them, it is My order to you.”After hitting Baba with their sandals several times as ordered, Baba said He felt very much relieved but to “crown it off”, He ordered them to spit on Him, which they did.Then Baba said, “Now I’m feeling very happy and totally relaxed, let’s continue our journey.”

As it happened, this night spent at the Imampur Mosque was the last of the wanderings during the New Life Phase.In the morning Baba and the companions set off towards Ahmednagar, but eventually detoured directly up to the two cabins atop Seclusion Hill where Baba continued His Manonash work.Eruch says of this incident “Baba as man had committed this mistake.He became a man, you see, He never acted as a man, He became man.So it was His mistake, but that is an expression of the great compassion of the God-Man, He takes upon Himself the whole thing.”