Our correspondentByLAHORE: The three-day celebrations of 976th Urs of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajveri popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh concluded here on Sunday night at his shrine amidst strict...
LAHORE: The three-day celebrations of 976th Urs of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajveri popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh concluded here on Sunday night at his shrine amidst strict security arrangements.
Thousands of devotees culminated their rituals, recitations and prayers and bade a befitting farewell to the annual gala of rich spiritual and cultural rituals with the traditional zeal and spirit which has been maintained for over a thousand years.
The devotees gathering at the shrine of the 10th century saint from all parts of the country for three days, participated in a number of activities including preaching congregations, Mahafil-e-Samaa (Naat Khwani), Qirat Khwani (recitation of Holy Quran), Qawwalis and the spiritual gatherings addressed by noted Ulema, Mashaikhs and Gaddi Nasheens from different spiritual centres and darbars from all over the country.
Due to the prevailing wave of terrorism and subversive activities, the district administration took special measures to ensure security for the devotees coming from all parts of the country and outside Pakistan. Hundreds of uniformed and plain-clothes policemen, besides the secret agencies personnel were deployed to check any miscreants among the visitors who were allowed entry from the walk through gates and metal detectors.
Punjab minister for Auqaf and religious affairs Saeedul Hasan Shah supervised the Urs celebrations along with the chairman religious affairs committee of the shrine and other officials of the Auqaf Department including Secretary Auqaf and Religious Affairs, Director General Auqaf and Religious Affairs Dr. Tahir Raza Bukhari and other guests who attended the ceremony in large numbers.
Noted Qaris from across the country performed the recitation of Holy Quran while a large number of Naat Khwans continued to enthrall the devotees with two-day Mehfil-e-Naat that was held in several sessions.
Besides, a large number of Ulema and Mashaikhs from all over the country participated in the preaching congregations and meetings. These gatherings were specially attended by noted personalities, custodians of shrines, spiritual heads and scholars. Different religious and spiritual sessions were presided over by Pir Syed Muzahir Ashraf, Pir Syed Khalil ur Rehman Chishti, Allama Mazhar Saeed Kazmi, Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman Hazarvi, Syed Ahmad Ashraf Shah, Ghulam Qutubuddin, Nazeer Ali Shah, Baqar Ali Shah while prominent among the participants were Khwaja Abul Khair, Samsam Ali Shah, Abdul Shakoor Hazarvi, Sufi Ashraf Masoomi, Siddiq Hazarvi, Mufti Khan Mohammad Qadri, Ashraf Asif Jalali, Prof Zafarul Haq, Abdul TAwwab Siddiqi, Fida Hussain Shah, Hafeezullah Mehrvi, Mehmood Ahmad Qadri and others.
They also offered special prayers for national security and prosperity and for the well being of Muslim Ummah and denounced the ongoing wave of extremism and terrorism in the country.
Outside the shrine, there was a huge crowd of devotees, visitors and sightseers trying to share from the spiritual benefits at the place known as the centre of religious activities in the province since the last ten centuries. Unusual rush was witnessed at the milk Sabeel and the Langar where not only the destitute were lined up for getting food but also a large number of devotees trying to have just one morsel of the blessed food.
There were many men and women who had traveled large distances to seek special blessings of Almighty and offer special prayers to fulfill their pressing needs and solve the unsolvable problems. Despite lack of space due to unusual rush of people, a number of people were found offering prayers at small available spaces and even at the pathways and the stairs of the shrine. Pilgrimage of the grave of the 10th century saint situated at the centre of the shrine was the toughest job where hundreds of people were engaged in strenuous efforts to get besides the white marble grills. For most of the people, the visit remained useless if they failed to witness the grave of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh.