The Jailany Festival flag-hoisting
Refai Ratheeb
Refai Ratheeb

The Jailany Festival

During the Jailany festival, the room where the Saint meditated is used to prepare the main flag for the flag hoisting on the first day of the month of Rabi Ul-Akhir. After recital of Zikr and Fathihas, the flag is sanctified by placing on it the palm prints of the learned men who prepare the flag. The palm prints are placed in sandalwood paste mixed with scents—this is in remembrance of the palm print placed on the rock by Saint Abdul Qadir Jailany and Saint Nagoor Meera Saibo when they visited Dafther Jailany.

The anointed flag is carried down to the main mosque and hoisted on that mosque's flag post. The flag hoisting is down at sunset on the first day of Rabi Ul-Akhir, followed by the recital of dua and the Mohiyadeen mowlood. Niyath (usually of dates or other sweets) is distributed.

On the way to the mosque is a third rock called "Jinn Malai". It is here that the stone with the Arabic carving "Ya Allah Hijri 300" (907 AD) was found—the stone is still in the very place it was originally found. (Unfortunately no attempt has been taken by the Archaeological Department to preserve this stone—although this area is under the Department)

This stone inscription dates to a period long before Saiyidena Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jailany was bom, proving that this route and the place had been a place of Muslim worship to Arab traders even before Saint Abdul Qadir was bom. In fact, it is highly probable that the Persians, Arabs and others used this route in pre-Islamic times.

Another inscription found here dates back to the 2nd century BC written in Brahamic characters reading: "Da-ta-ha-sa-puda-ha-lena" which translates as: "The Dedicated Cave of Dataha".

These inscriptions were first reported by Collins in 1932—he remarked that the Ratnapura District has generally been considered to be barren of archaeological interest. He also stated that some were religious and some secular sites.

Dafther Jailany

The freezes and the translation of the two carvings made by Professor Senerath Paranavitane are given below.

Senerath Paranavithane (1970):

DATAHA SAMUDAHA LENE "The cave of…Datta (and) Samudda"
PARUMAKA SUMANAHA "of the Chief Sumana"
PARAMUKALA SUMAYA "Of the Chieftainess Summa"
PARUMAKA SONA PUTASA "The Cave of the Lord Punasaguta"

From Dafther Jailany pp. 57-61

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