Saints of Lahore

Lahore is known as “Data ki Nagri” in laymen’s term. The existence of shrines of great saints like Data Ganj Baksh Hajveri, Hazrat Mian Mir and Baba Shah Jamal add to the piousness’ of the great city. People from all over the country, belonging from all sects of society come to Lahore to pay ‘Salam’ to these great saints. The act has been part of their traditions and has been present since generationSyed Abul Hassan Bin Usman Bin Ali Al-Hajweri

Abul Hassan Ali Ibn Usman al-Jullabi al-Hajvery al-Ghaznawi  or Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery (sometimes spelled Hujwiri, Hajweri, Hajveri), also known as Daata Ganj Bakhsh which means the master who bestows treasures) or Daata Sahib was a Persian Sufi and scholar during the 11th century. He significantly contributed to the spreading of Islam in South Asia.

He was born around 990 CE near Ghazni, Afghanistan during the Ghaznavid Empire and died inLahore (in present day Punjab, Pakistan) in 1077 CE. His most famous work is Revelation of the Veiled (Kashf Al Mahjub) written in the Persian language. The work, which is one of the earliest and most respected treatises of Sufism, debates Sufi doctrines of the past.

Ali Hajvery is also famous for his mausoleum in Lahore, which is surrounded by a large marble courtyard, a mosque and other buildings. It is the most frequented of all the shrines in that city, and one of the most famous in Pakistan and nearby countries. His name is a household word, and his mausoleum the object of pilgrimage from distant places.

Baba Shah Jamal

Baba Shah Jamal was born in 1588 CE. His father, Maulana Abdul Wahid, was also a renownedreligious scholar and belonged to the family of Qazi Jamalud Din Badshahi, a famous Kashmirifamily. Shah Jamal belonged to the school of Qadiriyyah and Suhrawardiyya and came to Lahorein 1617 CE. He lived in Ichra at the time of Mughal emperor Akbar the Great. The emperor, along with the council of his advisers, introduced the Din-i-Ilahi (“Divine Faith”) a syncretic religion intended to merge the best elements of the religions of his empire (primarily Hinduism and Islām; elements were also taken from Christianity, Jainism and Zoroastrianism) and thereby reconcile the sectarian differences that divided his subjects. Shah Jamal fought against Akbar’s Din-i-Ilahiand brought the people back towards the actual spirit of Islam. The saint died in 1671 CE and was buried near Ichra in Tomb of Shah Jamal. The area has been named Shah Jamal in his honour.

Mian Mir

Mian Mir is regarded as one of the greatest Sufi saints of the Subcontinent. He belonged to the Qadiria order of the Sufis. He was famous for being a spiritual instructor to Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who also held Mian Mir in great esteem. Mian Mir’s Mazar (mausoleum) attracts hundreds of devotees every day. Sikhs and Muslims equally revered the great Sufi saint of the Subcontinent. The shrine is square in shape, green in color, and elevated above the stone courtyard. On Thursday evenings and the `urs (death-day anniversary) of Mian Mir it has hundreds of devotees, qawwali singers, drummers, and harmonium players.

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