Ajmer Sharif Dargah

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Ajmer Sharif Dargah
درگاہ اجمیر شریف

Ajmer dargah.png
The shrine of Moinuddin Chishti is one of India's most important Sufi shrines
Religion
AffiliationIslam
DistrictAjmer district
ProvinceRajasthan
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusShrine
OwnershipGovernment of Rajasthan
Location
LocationAjmer
CountryIndia India
Ajmer Sharif Dargah is located in Rajasthan
Ajmer Sharif Dargah
Shown within Rajasthan
Ajmer Sharif Dargah is located in India
Ajmer Sharif Dargah
Ajmer Sharif Dargah (India)
Geographic coordinates26°27′22″N 74°37′41″E / 26.45613°N 74.62817°E / 26.45613; 74.62817Coordinates: 26°27′22″N 74°37′41″E / 26.45613°N 74.62817°E / 26.45613; 74.62817
Architecture
Architect(s)Sunni-Al-Jamaat
Architectural typeMosque, Sufi mausoleum
Architectural styleModern
Date established1236 (AD)
Completed1236 (AD)
Specifications
Direction of façadeWest
Dome(s)1
Minaret(s)1
Shrine(s)1

Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Ajmer Dargah, Ajmer Sharif or Dargah Sharif[1][2] is a sufi shrine (Dargah) of sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti located at Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.[3] The shrine has the grave (Maqbara) of the revered saint, Moinuddin Chisti.[4]

History[edit]

Moinuddin Chishti was a 13th century sufi mystic saint and philosopher. Born in Sistan (modern day Iran), he travelled across South Asia, eventually settling in Ajmer (modern day Rajasthan, India), where he passed away in 1236.[5] As local as well as national rulers began to come and pray, the structure was expanded. In 1332, the sultan of Delhi (Tyghluq dynasty) Mohammad Bin Tughluq constructed a dargah (a commemoration structure constructed around the tomb of Muslim saints, where people from all religions come to pray and ask for favours) and it grew in popularity and size over the years.[6] The structure was subsequently expanded by a number of rulers including

Chishti is himself often referred to as "Khwaja Gharib Nawaz", the subject of many sufi poems and devotional songs and the shrine itself is often referred to as "Ajmer Sharif". It is today an important place in the center of Ajmer town, and in addition to the shrine, contains a large number of family owned shops within (selling religious artificats and rose petals) and is surrounded by both Hindu and Muslim shops tending to the needs of travelers who visit. It is a popular place for medicants and sufi singers to come and perform impromptu.

The dargah of Moinuddin Chishti (Gharib Nawaz -Benefactor of the Poor), is an international waqf, an Islamic mortmain managed by the Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act, 1955 of the Government of India.

Geography[edit]

Ajmer Sharif Dargah is 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) away from the main central Ajmer Railway station and 500 metres away from the Central Jail and is situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill. It consists of several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate known as Nizam Gate donated by the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan and the Akbari Mosque, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It contains the domed tomb of the saint.

Gallery[edit]

Pilgrimage[edit]

Akbar and his queen used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow where he prayed for a son. The large pillars called "Kose ('Mile') Minar", erected at intervals of two miles (3 km) along the entire way between Agra and Ajmer mark the places where the royal pilgrims halted every day. It has been estimated that around 150,000 pilgrims visit the site every day.

The Shrine[edit]

The main gate to the shrine is the Nizam Gate, followed by the Shahjahani Gate, erected by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. In turn it is followed by the Buland Darwaza,[7] built by Sultan Mahmood Khilji,[8] upon which is hoisted the urs flag, marking the beginning of the death anniversary rituals.[9] The urs for Moinuddin Chishti is celebrated every year on the 6th and 7th of Rajab.[10]

Trust[edit]

The dargah (shrine) of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is an international waqf (endowment), managed under The Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act, 1955 of Government of India. The Dargah Committee, appointed by the Government, takes care of the maintenance of the shrine,[11] and runs charitable institutions like dispensaries, and guest houses for the devotees but do not care take the rituals of the main shrine (Mazar sharif/Astana e Alia) which is under the custody of hereditary priests known as Khadims.[12]

Dewan of the Dargah[edit]

Dewan Syed Zainul Abedin at his office in the Dewan Haweli, Ajmer Sharif

Dewan Syed Zainul Abedin is the direct descendant in the 22nd generation of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Meanwhile, according to the Supreme Court of India he is the Hereditary Sajjadanashin Spiritual Head of the shrine of Ajmer Dargah. On the other hand, in the aspect of genealogical lineage (family tree), presently he is the most direct descendant of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti.[13] [14][15][16][17] He is the successor of Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz.[13][14][15][16][17]þ

Ajmer dargah blast case[edit]

On 11 October 2007, an explosion occurred in Dargah Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s courtyard in Ajmer in Rajasthan. It was the holy fasting period of Ramazan and evening prayers had just ended. A crowd had gathered at the courtyard to break their fast. A bomb was placed inside a tiffin carrier went off. Reports said the blast claimed three lives and injured 17.[18][19]

Investigations[edit]

Special Judge Dinesh Gupta’s nearly 500-page judgment was based on testimonies of 149 witnesses and 451 document submitted to his court.[18][19]

Criminals[edit]

On 22 March 2017, The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court, awarded life imprisonment to two terrorists convicted for the 2007 Ajmer dargah blasts,[20] in which three persons were killed.

Those convicted, Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta, owed allegiance to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[21] Both were held guilty under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Act and various sections of Indian Penal Code.[18][19][21]

See also[edit]

On 1 February 2018 Ajmer Sharif Dargah (India), was registered as a charity in England & Wales. Registration No: 1176945. This Charity was created to provide Devotees and faithful a regulated and safe means of link with the Dargah. It was important to curtail the fraudulent activity of those using Ajmer sharif Dargah's name and status to make illegal income from victimising vulnerable and innocent people of society. The website for the Charity is www.khwajagharibnawaz.org

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Muslims Should Observe World Yoga Day: Ajmer Sharif Dargah
  2. ^ Barack Obama offers 'chadar' at Ajmer Dargah Sharif for Chishty's 803rd Urs
  3. ^ "Will carry on our work in India". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  4. ^ "797th Urs of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisty begins in Ajmer". Sify. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Official website of Moinuddin Chishti". www.garibnawaz.net. Gharib Nawaz net. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  6. ^ See Andrew Rippin (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Quran (John Wiley & Sons, 2008), p. 357.
  7. ^ This "high gate" or "buland darwaza" should not be confused with Akbar's more famous Buland Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri.
  8. ^ Sultan Mahmood Khilji II (Shihab-ud-Din Mahmud Shah II) ruled Malwa from 1510 to 1531.
  9. ^ "Historical Monuments". Mission Sarkar Gharib Nawaz. Archived from the original on 29 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Preparations for Urs in full swing at Ajmer dargah". The Times of India. 13 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014.
  11. ^ http://www.khwajagaribnawazindia.com
  12. ^ Mayank Austen Soofi. "The Sufi Solution". Live Mint. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  13. ^ a b AIR6 1987,. "Page: 2213". Supreme Court. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  14. ^ a b AIR 1961,. "Page: 1402". Supreme Court. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  15. ^ a b AIR 1938,. "Page: 71". Privy Council. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  16. ^ a b AIR 1947,. "Page: 01". Privy Council. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  17. ^ a b RLW. "Page: 69 and 317". Rajasthan High Court. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  18. ^ a b c What is the Ajmer Dargah blast case? The Indian Express, March 22, 2017
  19. ^ a b c Ajmer Blast Case: NIA Court Awards Life Imprisonment to Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel News 18, March 22, 2017
  20. ^ Ajmer dargah blasts
  21. ^ a b Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta owed their allegiance to RSS in the past as per media trials. The Hindu, March 22, 2017

Further reading[edit]

  • Currie, P. M. (1989). The shrine and cult of Muʻīn Al-Dīn Chishtī of Ajmer. Oxford University Press.

External links[edit]