The Jinn That Lived Near Maasaheba Masjid
He looked and couldn’t stop staring. It was the most unusual thing to witness. He might have dismissed it as a figment of his imagination, but others had seen it too.
This happened twenty years ago. Masood was a young undergrad student living in Adoni for a few years before eventually moving to Chennai to study engineering. He and his friends lived near Maasaheba masjid in Adoni when this incident occurred.
Now, two decades later, Masood takes me to see this place he had told me so much about. This particular section of Adoni is away from the city centre; not too far away but yet it feels remote. The houses are small and made of stone. Horses, goats, buffaloes and dogs walk around nonchalantly. An ice cream vendor pushes his cart down the road and a group of small children rush after him, their tiny faces brimming with excitement and delight.
Maasaheba Masjid was built more than 500 years ago.
I couldn’t believe it at first but it’s written on the main gate: 1443 AD. And the locals swear this masjid is much older than the famous Shahi Jamia.
There is no information about Maasaheba masjid online. It is located in Masa Masjid Colony, and it may have been just a tiny stone structure so many centuries ago that developed and expanded to what it is today.
We park our car in front of the gate and walked into an empty courtyard. Dhuhr is still a few hours away, so it’s just us. I notice a couple of graves on the opposite side of the masjid. Masood tells me one of them belongs to the founder of this masjid.
Maasaheba masjid is small and the architecture isn’t grand compared to the other, more famous historical masjids. However, Masood’s memory of the countless prayers he offered here is what makes this place in Adoni special for us.
He and his friends lived just across Maasaheba masjid, and they all prayed regularly here.
I take a photo of Masood peering through the locked gate of the main masjid area. Then I turn around and saw the tree.
That is the view Masood saw everyday during his stay in Adoni. Maasaheba masjid is on the left.
The incident happened during Ramadan. Masood has just returned from the masjid after the obligatory morning prayer that starts before sunrise. The soft light of dawn had started to spread across the place. He doesn’t recall what he was doing at that particular moment.
But that’s when he saw it.
Someone was walking around the tree. At first, he found it odd. Why would anyone be circumambulating the tree? He continued looking and noticed that it wasn’t exactly a person. It was definitely the shape of a person but the features weren’t clearly defined.
He called out his friends. They all stared in amazement at the vision in front of them: about 6 feet tall, white, smoke-like, yet not completely transparent. It kept walking round and round the tree.
And then it simply vanished into thin air.
Masood tells me there used to be an old, deep, and dark well near the tree that has been abandoned long ago. I’m still standing in the masjid, leaning against its low wall and looking out at the tree and its surroundings as I listen to Masood’s story. I don’t see the well from where I am.
“Watch out. There used to be snakes around here,” he warns me. But I’m already lost in my own thoughts, my imagination already rushing into places I’d rather it didn’t go to.
Did you ever notice that you only get scared in retrospect? Let’s say, for instance, that you are going through something strange. Instead of getting spooked, your mind justifies the situation and tries to come up with a plausible explanation. It is only later, when you’re telling this experience to someone else, that you feel scared. Has this happened to you?