Malik Zeeshan Shabbir
Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh Ali Hajveri R.A, was born in 400 A.H. in Ghazni (Afghanistan). He belonged to a Syed family (descendant of the Holy Prophet). He completed his earlier education in Ghazni by memorizing the Holy Quran. Then he studied Arabic, Farsi, Hadith, Fiqh, Philosophy etc. At that time Ghazni was the center of education in Central Asia, and it was the realm of the famous Afghan ruler Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi.
After completing the wordly education, he searched for the spiritual education. He travelled to many places for this purpose, and finally became spiritual disciple of Hazrat Abul Fazal Mohammad bin Khatli, in Junaidiya Sufi Order, who lived
in Syria. In Syria, Hazrat Ali Hajveri started his spiritual education under the guidance of Hazrat Abul Fazal, he slept less, ate less and performed tough contemplations & meditation. Then he travelled to many countries & places like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Arabia, Azerbaijan etc. There he met many Sufi saints & dervishes.
At that time Lahore was included in the Ghazni Kingdom, whose ruler was Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi. And the governer of Lahore was Ra'e Raju, who was a Hindu & had many great mystical abilities. People of Lahore were used to supply milk to Ra'e Raju in big quantity, as a capitation. Once an old woman was on her way to pass before Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh Ali Hajveri R.A, holding a water-pot poured with milk. Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh Ali Hajveri R.A asked her to give him some milk from that. The woman refused & said that she has to give it to Ra'e Raju. Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh Ali Hajveri R.A said: "Give some milk to me, by the grace of God, your cow will produce much more milk than usual".
The woman gave him the pot, Hazrat Ali Hajveri drank some milk, and then threw the remaining into the river. The old woman when went to her home, she was surprised to see the breasts of her cow who were full of milk. She poured all of her pots from milk, but still the cow's breasts were full. Soon this news spread all around the Lahore, and people started to visit Hazrat Ali Hajveri, and all people brought milk for him, and he also drank some milk from their pots & then threw the remaining into the river, and all of their cows started to produce more milk. So they stopped to supply milk to Ra'e Raju.
It is the 973rd anniversary of the revered saint known as Data Ganj Baksh. According to the Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department, 1.3 million people take part in the celebrations every year, effectively making it the biggest spiritual gathering of Sufi devotees in all of South Asia, gathering from within the country and around the world. The celebrations occur every year on the 18th, 19th and 20th of Safar.
All roads leading to the shrine are packed with devotees holding their shawls and dancing to beating drums. Loudly they chant in Persian: The distribution of milk, qawaali and a private gathering of devotees mark the anniversary celebrations. Rich and poor come to pay their homage. They recite the Quran, offer prayer and distribute food among strangers and visitors. At night, the shrine is illuminated- like a domed star in the centre of the city. A man seen performing dance on the beats of drum at roadside near Data Darbar ahead of 973rd Urs celebration of Hazrat Data Ali Hajveri in the provincial capital.
Barbed wires seen placed by police along roadside near Data Darbar ahead of 973rd Urs celebration of Hazrat Data Ali Hajveri. There will be special security arrangements on Darbar Shareef during Urs days to avoid any toward incident in the provincial capital. Hundreds of sabeels have been set up all around the shrine and Langar will be distributed as per the tradition among the devotees during the Urs, which will continue for three days.Strict and extensive security measures have been taken by security agencies to avoid any untoward incident.
"I have brought 400 kg of milk to distribute it amongst those who have come here to pay him salam," says another devotee as he unloads cans of milk from a pickup van he has brought from Kasur. "It provides me with a sense of sacrifice, and that is the lesson of the great man we have come for." He lived in Lahore for 21 years, and then went to Syria to meet his spiritual teacher Hazrat Abul Fazal. And after the death of Hazrat Abul Fazal in 453 A.H, he again came to Lahore.
Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh Ali Hajveri R.A wrote many books, some of his books are: Diwan-e-She'r; Minhajuddin; Al-Bayan Lahal- Al-Ayan; Israrul Kharq Wal-Mauniyat; Behrul Quloob; Kitab Fana Wa Baqa; Birri'ayat Be-Huqooq-Ullah; Kashful Israr; Sharah-e-Kalam; and Kashful Mahjub. When Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti came to Lahore in 561 A.H (1165 AD), he stayed at the tomb of Hazrat Ali Hajveri for two weeks, where he medidated. And when he finished his meditation, he said a couplet in Farsi: Ganj Bukhsh Faiz-e-Alam; Mazhar-e-Noor-e-Khuda Naqisa-ra Pir-e-Kamil; Kamila-ra Rahnuma Meaning: Ganj Buskh (Bestower of Spiritual Treasures) is a grace to the orld; a manifester of God's light. A perfect spiritual teacher for the beginners; a guide for perfected. He died at the age of 65 in 465 A.H., in Lahore.