Pakistan and its rich spiritual culture – Urs of Data Ganj Bakhsh (RA)

By Hina Bashir.

Pakistan especially Lahore bade farewell to the annual celebration of the 973rd Urs of Hazrat Ali Bin Usman Hajveri known as Data Ganj Gakhsh, who is a great sufi scholar, writer and poet. His family lineage belonged to Hazart Ali (RA). It was the celebration full of spiritual and cultural events. A large number of devotees gathered at the shrine to participate in three days celebration, including Qirat, Quawwali and spiritual gathering to pay homage to a great spiritual saint.


Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar visited the shrine and offered Fatiah and laid a floral wreath at the Mazaar. Chairman of PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also visited the shrine to offer Fatiah. There was high security to avoid any unpleasant incident which happened in Hub at the shrine of Shah Noorani. Many devotees lost their life after this terrible attack. This incident was an attempt to eradicate the spiritual cultural of Pakistan but the successful end of 973rd celebration of the Urs of Data Ganj Bakhsh gave message to the world that it is impossible to exterminate the roots of Pakistan which is linked to their spiritual culture and diversity of faith.

Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh quest for spirituality started at early age. He travelled to many countries and places like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Arabia. His tough contemplation and mediation helped him to see the world with different perspective and helped him to see the ultimate end and purpose of life and the universe. Allah bestowed him with spiritual wealth and he spread this treasure throughout the world. He was prepared to sacrifice his all for the cause and sustenance of Divine Mission of harmony, reconciliation and peace on Earth, which is Islam in its real significance. His mission was to abolish and to fight against the moral and social evils in the society without any visible weaponry in his hand. He tried to change the society through knowledge and believed on the revolution of heart and mind. He marched from places to places without worldly pleasure and without any show of value, in the company of devotees and conquered the heart of people and changed their pattern of the life by giving them new life, as if new birth in the world. Hazarat Data Ganj Bakhsh wrote many books and poetry, his famous book is “Kashf ul Mahjoob”, in the book Data Ganj Bakhsh explained the three stages to attain spirituality, first is to obey the commandments of Allah and His Rusool (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam), the second is to respect all those people who are superior in knowledge, age and piety and the third stage is to avoid all the evil wishes and satanic desires.

Love for Creator and love for all the creation was the main purpose of his life and he spread Islam and spiritualism with the power of love. His believe was that, a man can gain the essence of spiritualism, if he is determined to keep the heart free from the discords, outward pleasures and conflicts. He wrote a lot of books on faith, culture, sufism, love and mysticism. He believed that the culture means the collection of various qualities. According to him a person is cultured if he acts according to teachings of Allah in public and in private. He wrote many books, such as, Al-riayat li Haquq Allah, Al-Hallaj, Kitab-al-byan-li-ahl-al-Iman, A book on the subject of Faith.

The great Khwaja Ajmeri said right about Hazart Data Ganj Bakhsh:-

                “Gunj bakhsh faize aalam mazhare nur e khuda,

                 Naqisaan ra peer e kamil kamilan ra rahnuma”

An attempted translation of this inspiring couplet is:-

The bestower of the treasure of the universal blessing, the Manifestation of Divine Light,

The perfect spiritual inspire to the raw and a guide for those on the path of perfection.

Every year thousands of devotees throughout the Muslim countries gather on his shrine to celebrate this spiritual occasion. It continued for three days from 19th to 21st November. Every year and everyday people came with new spirit and enthusiasm, this show the strong spiritual culture of Pakistan history.  The dreadful attack on the shrine of Shah Noorani was a challenge for the devotees and for the people of Pakistan by the terrorists but their stab was unsuccessful because people gathered in large quantity at the Urs of Data Ganj Bakhsh. This shows the high spirit of Pakistani peoples and their love for religion, knowledge and spirituality. This spiritual gathering was the message to the whole world that neither terrorists nor the extremists can eliminate the Pakistan on the history of world. It is impossible to eradicate the rich history of Pakistan. It was a strong and undaunted message to enemies of Pakistan and to the enemies of Islam and to the people who spread hate that no one can break the bone of Pakistan which is related to its high spiritual heritage.

Socially and religiously Pakistan has a high culture and civilization. It is necessary to give awareness to the young generation of Pakistan about their true spiritual culture. Many of the youngsters know about the events, but, they are not aware about spiritual purpose and the true essence of this gathering. It is responsibility of government that they should include the teachings of these saints in the course books of young students instead of focusing only on western educational system. It is important for a nation, if they want to survive in the world, that they should hold their values in daily life and in the educational system.

As a Pakistani we are proud of the great and high spiritual and cultural values of Pakistan and it is our true identity.

Writer is an English literature student and hails from Islamabad.

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