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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dargah-Mecca Of South Asia

"The dust of your doorstep is just the right thing to apply,If Surmah does not show its beauty in the eye!" - Amir Khusrau
This is the faith at Ajmer Sharif. Amir Khusrau, the great Persian poet beautifully portrays his devotion while playing an enthralling crossword with his words. He quotes that surmah or kohl powder cannot embellish one's eyes, but my Lord, the dust of your doorstep has the efficacy to garnish, even a nescient soul.
Ajmer's closest association is with the Dargah Sharif, the catacomb of the eminent Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, whose disciples included the Mughal emperors and who would claim cliques of all creed from every corner of the country. The favoured Sufi capital is in the shadow of the Aravallis in central Rajasthan, around 3 hours drive from Jaipur, the capital city. The unbiased ambiance of the Dargah, which calls devotees from every caste, creed and sect, actually rejuvenates one's spirit and fills one's heart with eternal bliss. Since the 13th century, this shrine, richly adorned with silver and gold ornamentation, has enjoyed a huge following and the Urs, or death anniversary, of the saint is observed with huge fanfare.Apart from the devout Muslims, people of other religions throng the holy dargah and pray for the fulfillment of their desires. The devotees also offer flowers, velvet cloth, perfume (non-alcoholic) and sandalwood at the shrine.
Hazrat Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti was the founder of Islam in India. He was one of the greatest preachers in the world. The revered prophet undertook to propagate Islam in India by the most peaceful means and with great forbearance. When Khwaja arrived, the Muslim community in India was not as large as it is now. The Khwaja, by his noble teaching, touched the hearts of everyone who came his way.The dargah is the tomb of the sublime Sufi saint who came to Ajmer from Persia and died in 1236. It was built by emperor Humayun. Later, rulers like Shahjahan, Jahangir and Akbar also constructed mosques here.