776th Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Fariduddin Ganjshakar Rahmatullah Alahi

776th Urs 2018 of Hazrat Khwaja Fariduddin Ganjshakar Rahmatullah Alahi

Hazrat Khwaja Fariduddin Ganjshakar Rahmatullah Alahi also known as Baba Farid or Shaikh Farīd is celebrated every year for six days in the first Islamic month of Muharram, in Pakpattan, Pakistan. 

The 776th urs of Baba Farid begins from 15th and 16th September 2018.

776th Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Fariduddin Ganjshakar Rahmatullah Alahi

During this period, on 5th and 6th of Muharram, The Bahishti Darwaza (Gate of Paradise) is opened only once a year. Devotees wash this place with rose water before the opening ceremony. Thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all over thr world come for the blssings of Khwaja Fariduddin Ganjshakar Rahmatullah Alahi.

The mazar is located in the city of Pakpattan and was first constructed under the supervision of Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Auliya. The shrine is now made entirely of marble. It is open all day and night and it is visited by thousands from all walks of life. Charity food known as Langar is distributed during the day.

The Urs is celebrated every year from the fifth through the tenth of Muharram. Some of his personal belongings were taken by his descendant Sheikh Salim Chishti, and kept in a fort built by his descendants in Sheikhupur, Badaun, where they are preserved in a conatiner called Pitari. To this day it is taken out in a procession for the first six days of Muharram.

Baba Farid's small tomb is made of white marble with two doors, one facing east and called the Nuri Darwaza (Gate of Light) and the second facing north called Bahishti Darwaza (Gate of Paradise). There is also a long covered corridor. Inside the tomb are two white marbled graves, one belonging to Baba Farid and the other belonging to his elder son. The graves are always covered by green sheets of cloth called Chadders and flowers that are brought by visitors.

The 776th urs of Baba Farid begins from 15th and 16th September 2018.

Mehfil-e-Sama (Qawwali)
One of the significant features of the daily life of the shrine is Qawwali. It is performed all day at some part of the shrine, but at night it attracts a huge gathering. Every Thursday evening, there is a big Mehfil-e-Sama just outside the tomb, that lasts all night and attracts hundreds of people. Many famous and popular Qawwals (Qawwali singers) of the country participate in the Mehfil. Many listeners become so mesmerised that they start dancing a traditional religious dance called Dhamaal. The first Thursday evening of every lunar month attracts extra thousands of people, making the shrine jam packed.

Visit of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

During this period, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer arrived in Delhi to see Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin. When Khwaja Moinuddin heard of Baba Farid's extraordinary success, he went to see him at his hujra with Khwaja Qutbuddin. As soon as Baba Farid saw both of these illustrious Murshids at the dooro f his hujra, he immediately got up to pay his respects but due to extreme weakness, as a result of his difficult 'mujahedas', he fell down. He was however picked up and embraced affectionately by both the great saints. At the very first glance, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti recognised what marvellous qualities Baba Farid had and then, turning to Hazrat Qutbuddin, the great saint of Ajmer said:

“ Baba Qutub, shahbaaz-e-azeem dar daam awurdayee ke hajuz Sidrat- ul-Muntaha aashian nagirad —shama aist ke zaanawada-e-dervishaan munawwar saazad. ”

“ Baba Qutub, you have captured a great shahbaaz (hawk) whose nest is not lower than "Sidrat-ul-Muntaha" (7th heaven). From his light, the progeny and silsila of dervishes will be illuminated." ”

This prediction of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of course proved to be true. After his meeting with Baba Farid, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin bestowed a "Khil'at" (dress of honour) upon him and Hazrat Qutbuddin wrapped the "Dastar-e-Khilafat" (a turban symbolic of this recognition) upon Baba Farid's head. When Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin prayed for his success after the ceremony, a "nida" (divine voice) declared: "Farid raa bargazidaim" — "We have accepted Farid".

Chilla at Ajmer (Chilla Baba Farid) 
After the death of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Hazrat Baba Farid visited the saint's shrine at Ajmer where he performed a chilla in an underground cell which is still preserved today and is known by the name of "Chilla Baba Farid". It remains closed throughout the year and is opened for visitors only for a day on the 5th of Moharrum, the date of Hazrat Baba Farid's annual death anniversary. This underground cell lies just below the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin at his Dargah in Ajmer.

Title of Ganjshakar

First Story
According to Siar-ul-Arifin, when Baba Fariduddin was under the spiritual training of his Pir-o-Murshid, Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki at Delhi, he was asked to fast for 7 days at a stretch. One day, during this period, when he was proceeding from his hujra' (cell) in Ghuzni Gate towards Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin's Khanqah (monastery), his foot accidentally slipped in a marshy pothole and he fell down in the mud, some of which entered into his mouth which, by the grace of God, became sugar. When he related this incident to his Pir, Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin, the saint said: "If mud has become sugar in your mouth, then God most gracious will make you a very sweet personality and you will become sweet-tongued for the benefit of the people." After this incident, people began to call him 'Ganjshakar'. ("Ganj" in Persian means 'treasure' and 'Shakar" means 'sugar')

Second Story
According to Siar-ul-Aqlaah, once Baba Fariduddin was on a continuous fast for several days and did not get anything to eat to break the fast at the time of 'Iftaar'. During the night, in a state of acute hunger, he put a few small particles of stone into his mouth which immediately became particles of sugar. When news reached his Pir, Hazrat Qutbuddin, he said: "Farid is a treasury of sugar".

Third Story
Referring to "Tazkarat-ul-Aashqeen" the author of "Khazinat-ul-Asfiar" writes: "A trader was taking a caravan of camels laden with bags of sugar from Multan to Delhi. When he was passing through Ajodhan (now Pakpattan), Hazrat Baba Fariduddin casually asked him as to what was he carrying on his camels? The trader foolishly replied, "it is salt".

Hazrat Baba Farid affirmed: "Yes, it may be salt". When the trader reached Delhi, he was perturbed to find that all his bags of sugar had turned into salt. He immediately returned to Ajodhan and apologised before Baba Farid for his impertinent behaviour. Baba Farid said: "If it was sugar then it shall be sugar." The trader returned to Delhi and was pleased to find that the salt had turned into sugar by the grace of God. This was the third confirmation of his title as Ganjshakar.

The famous poet Bairam Khan, Khan-e-Khanaan, has mentioned this miracle of the saint in a Persian couplet:

Kaan-e-Namak, Juhaan-e-shakar, shickh-e-bahr-o-bur,
Aan kaz shakar namak kunad-o-azz namak shakar.

The great saint (Hazrat Baba Farid) who rules over both the seas and the land,
is a mine of salt and a world of sugar, because he turns sugar into salt and salt into sugar.

Fourth Story
During a period when Hazrat Baba Farid was wandering though jungles and mountains, practising his devotional mujahedas, one day, tortured by intense thirst, he went to a well in order to get some water. But he had neither any rope nor a bucket to draw out water from the well. As he was standing helplessly disappointed, he saw two deers approaching the well with water swelling up to its brim. The deers drank the water then went away. However, when Hazrat Baba Farid went near the well to retrieve water, it subsided.

He was surprised to see this phenomenon and, raising his face towards the sky, complained; "O God gracious, you provided water to those animals but deprived a human being of it." A 'nida' (divine voice) sounded: "Because the animals trusted Us and depended upon our mercy, they, got the water, but because you depended upon the rope and the bucket, you were deprived as you had no faith in Us." Hearing this, Baba Farid felt extremely sorry and ashamed. He went away and started a 40 day fast of repentance a jungle during which period he did not drinking a drop of water. When this fast was over, he put some dust into his mouth which immediately turned into sugar. At this time, he again heard a 'nida' which declared:

O Farid, We have accepted your chilla (40 days fast) and have selected you as one of Our beloved friends. We have included you among our sweet tongued devotees and have made you 'Ganjshakar'.

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