New Delhi, May 17: "It's Allah's blessing." This was how Peerzada Rais Mian Chishti, the head of world famous Fatehpur Sikri dargah, reacted to reports that French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni are expecting their first child.
Over five and half months back, Bruni, a former top model-turned-singer, along with Sarkozy had walked barefoot to the dargah, near Agra, with their heads covered and prayed for a son just like Mughal Emperor Akbar did centuries ago. The couple got married in February 2008.
"I have been praying ever since the visit for their wish to be fulfilled. I am happy to hear the reports. It's all Allah's blessings," Rais Mian, the dargah's Sajjadanashin, told PTI over telephone.
The German Bild newspaper, Europe's most widely-read daily, quoted the President's father Paul Sarkozy as saying that the French First Couple was expecting a child.
Way back on December 5, 2010, Rais Mian had said that the couple, who were on a visit to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, had prayed for a son.
At that time, no one including the media was allowed inside the dargah. Only Rais Mian and handful of others were present with the couple.
"I told them this dargah grants wishes to jobless, non married and even childless. He (Sarkozy) asked me to pray for him and wish him success. While they were tying the thread, Carla said she wants a son and I prayed for them," Rais Mian had said earlier.
Paul Sarkozy(82) was quoted as saying by the German daily that neither the president nor his wife "want to know the sex (of) the child, but I'm sure it's a girl who'll be as beautiful as Carla."
Rais Mian had also said that Sarkozy and Carla even tied the thread, known as 'Kalava', the symbol of their wish, after asking him to blow his breath on it.
The couple do not have children. But, Sarkozy has three sons and Carla one through their previous marriages.
The dargah became famous after its peer Sheikh Salim Chisthi had blessed Akbar with a child.
Akbar, who was childless, had prayed at several dargahs and temples before coming to Sikri where Chisthi, sitting on a rock, blessed him and said he will have three children, said Arshad Faridi, son of Rais Mian.
Akbar, then, named his eldest son Salim after the saint. Salim later became Emperor Jehangir.
"Dargah is for everyone. I pray that they come here again but this time with their child," Rais Mian said.
According to him, prayers will be held for Sarkozys' child to be born healthy. Hundreds visit the Dargah every day and pray for their wishes to be fulfilled. The most common is the wish for a child.
Germany's top-selling Bild on Tuesday quoted Sarkozy's father Pal Sarkozy as confirming that his son and wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are expecting their first child together.
He's quoted as saying "neither wants to know the gender beforehand, but I'm certain it will be a girl, and beautiful like Carla."