Zuljinah is the sacred animal for all the followers of Shi’a sect because Zuljinah was the name of riding horse of Hazrat Imam Husain. During the mourn processions of Muharam, every azadar wants to touch and kiss on the head and body of Zuljinah with affection because this Zuljinah is the resemblance of riding horse of Imam Husain.
In the history, Maqoqas was the king of Asikandirya and he had presented a riding horse to the Holy Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H). That horse was entitled Zuljinah by the Holy Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H). The meaning of Zuljinah is of fastest speed, because speed of Zuljinah was so fast as compared to other common horses. After that, Holy Prophet handed over this horse to Hazrat Ali. Hence, Hazrat Ali has been entitled of Shah-e-Duldul Sawaar.
Allama Dr. Zameer Akhtar Naqvi (2001) wrote in his book Ali Waseela-e-Nijaat, Zuljinah, Murtajiz and Uqaab were three different riding horses of our Holy prophet (P.B.U.H) which have been gifted by some devotees. Generation to generation those horses became the riding horses of Ahl-e-bait. During the Karbala tragedy Zuljinah was the riding horse of Imam Husain, Murtajiz was the riding horse of Ghazi Abbas and Uqaab was the riding horse of Ali Akbar who was famous as a Shabeeh-e-Rasool means resemble of Prophet.
During the mourn processions in Pakistan especially in Sindh Zuljinah is being decorated as like as the Zuljinah of Imam Husain. During the dynasty of Talpurs Hyderabad was the central point of azadari, first time wood decorated Zuljinah and Tazia processions were started in Sindh from these five pirs (1) Jamautiyan-jo-Pir Tando Meer Muhammad (2) Chhutan Shah Bukhari (3) Khair Shah-jo-pir khahi road (4) Pir of Syed Wilayat Ali Shah khahi road (5) Shediyun-jo-pir Tando wali Muhammad. Nowadays only two wood decorated Zuljinah processions takes out every year from these two Pirs of (1) Khair Shah-jo-pir khahi road (2) Sheediyun-jo-pir Tando wali Muhammad.
If we look at the history, during the Karbala tragedy the age of Zuljinah was approximately more than 100 years, but the fitness, fastness and loyalty of Zuljinah shows it’s affection for the Ahl-e-bait. According to renowned Shi’a scholar Allama Foaq Hyder Balgrami, when prophet Ibrahim (who was the greatest prophet of God) traveled to Mecca from Philistine on the horse, that was not common horse, but that horse was so unique. Riding horse of Imam Husain was genetically belonging to that horse of Prophet Ibrahim. Allama Foaq Hyder Balgrami wrote in his book Zibh-e-Azeem by the references of these books (1) Taarekh-e-Aasam kofi (2) Maqtal-abu-Mukhnif (3) Nasikh-ul-tawareekh (4) Noor-ul-ain (5) Rozat-ul-Safa: “After the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Husain Zuljinah had redden his head by the blood of Imam Husain. Zuljinah came back to tents of Ahl-e-bait, when Ahl-e-bait saw Zuljinah without the Imam Husain and blood on the head of Zuljinah, they understood that our heir, our leader, grandson of last Prophet of God has been martyred. Then Ahl-e-bait and all children of holy family sit surrounded of Zuljinah and mourned a lot. After that Zuljinah returned to war zone and shouted as whole Karbala desert was shouted by its mourn of martyrdom of Imam Husain, after that Zuljinah attacked on Yazidi army approximately 40 Yazidi army were killed and many became injured, after that Zuljinah was killed by Yazidi army”. Some historian wrote, after the martyrdom of Imam Husain Zuljnaah went to the river Faraat on the dead body of Ghazi Abbas. Some historian wrote Zuljnaah suicide in the river Farrat, because river Farrat was the responsible of grieves, sorrows, difficulties of Ahl-e-bait and their devotees.
Characteristics of Zuljinah
Best height, well trend and healthy are the main characteristics of best Zuljinah. People don’t use Zuljinah for the vehicle purpose, only the male horse becomes the Zuljinah, mare cannot become the Zuljinah. Zuljinah keeps stand bake to sexual activities and people avoid to getting breeding of Zuljinah. People prefer to purchase a little horse and they bring up to that for a long time.
There are three races of Zuljinah (1) White (2) Black (3) Brown. White race of Zuljinah is very valuable and expensive as compare to other races. Nowadays the white race has been disappeared. The market value of white race is high as compare to other races. The black race of Zuljinah is inexpensive or cheapest in comparison of white race. The brown race is cheapest and inexpensive as compare to white and black races. Brown race of Zuljinah is available everywhere.
Training of Zuljinah
Training is the first step to prepare common horse as Zuljinah, if people purchase a little horse they bring up carefully many years, and if when a horse becomes mature than horse trains whole year, especially 3 months before Muharam is the best training period for all horses.
Ornaments of Zuljinah
During the mourn processions Zuljinah has been decorated by these ornaments (1) Kilangi/Dastar Wagoon (3) Muhenro (4) Saaz (5) Jhul (6) Chadar (7) Dhaal (8) Thaan
Prices of shawl are different but starts from eight thousands to 50 thousands. Now a days, ornaments has been provided to people on rent basis, in the Hyderabad rent price of whole ornaments starts from three thousands to 10 thousands per day that depends on the quality and quantity of ornaments. Due to the affection and respect, old ornaments of Zuljinah and shawl flow out in huge water and new shawl purchase next year and sometime old shawl repairs.
Market value of trained Zuljinah is very high, but the price of untrained horse starts from one Lac to five Lacs that depend on the characteristics, color, and race of horse.
Food of Zuljinah
Food of Zuljinah is almost change as compare to other common horses, Kutti made by pure and original desi oil, almond, wheat, berry and dry fruit are the main and important food of Zuljinah.
Mourn dance of Zuljinah
Is the main characteristic of trained and high expensive Zuljinah, well-trained Zuljinah becomes rare. Nowadays Zuljinah and whole ornaments of Zuljinah are available by per day booking basis.
Death practice of Zuljinah
The dead body of Zuljinah is also sacred for the followers of Shi’a sect. Hence, it is necessary to bury the dead body of Zuljinah. There are some different practices and concepts, some people bury the Zuljinah and they do not make the grave but some people make the grave like as they buried the dead body of any Muslim. Shi’a people would like to bury the dead body of Zuljinah as other animals and birds don’t touch or eat the dead body of sacred animal.
All Photos by Author