Tighten security for pilgrims to Ajmer; Maulana Illyasi

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New Delhi, Jul 6 (UNI) Condemening the threat issued by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) and Bajrang Dal that they will disrupt the progress of the pilgrims to the holy shrine of Ajmer-e-Sharif in Rajasthan, Maulana Jamil Ahmed Illyassi, President of the All Indian Organisation of Imams of Mousques, today appealed to the government to ensure the safety of the people visiting the place.

Mr Ilyasi enjoined upon these groups to desist from issuing provocative remarks, saying that the Khwaja was a symbol of communal harmony, peace and all that Indian culture is known for.

He said thousands of pilgrims from India and abroad were proceeding to the Shrine to mark the Urs of Ajmer-e- Shariff, unmindiful of the threats that were being issued.

The Maulana said it was not only Muslims who go to Ajmer to mark the Urs, but in equally large number people from other religions visit the "holiest of holy" shrines to pay obeisance to the revered Saint.

Urs, which falls on July 9, is observed as the Khwaja left for his heavenly abode on this day.

The VHP and the Bajrang Dal on Wednesday last warned that they will not allow pilgrims to reach the Ajmer Dargah where annual Urs has begun unless the Jammu &Kashmir Govt withdraws its latest order not allowing transfer of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board(SASB).

The representatives of the saffron outfits said they will block buses carrying pilgrims to Rajasthan.

They said 40 hectares of controversial forest land should be allocated to SASB and demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir Government be dismissed, the army withdrawn from the State, the subsidy of Rs 22,000 for a Haj pilgrim stopped and all Haj houses be converted into children's homes.

The prominent muslim asked these organisations to see reason, adding that the Khwaja stood for communal harmmony, oneness of mankind and was an appostle of peace and symbolised compassion.

Mualana Illyasai said that he as also many Imams(Muslim religious leaders) would reach Ajmer on the final day of the Urs.

The Urs at Ajmer celebrates the anniversary of the death of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty with six days of music, fairs and night-long qawwali singing. The anniversary is celebrated in the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

Popularly known as 'Khwaja Gharib Nawaz,' the widepread belief is that prayers offered at the nearly 800 year old shrine are always answered.

Explaining the importance of the event, the Maulana said the word Urs has been derived from 'UROOS' which means the "ultimate meeting of an individual with God." He said 'Huzoor Gharib Nawaz' spent last six days of his life in seclusion in a 'Huzra'-- a room meant for prayers--and on the sixth day of the Islamic month of Rajab, his "noble soul" left the corporeal body. Every year Urs Mubarak is celebrated on his death anniversary in the Islamic month of Rajab.

The Maulana said an important feature of the Urs is singing at the main entrance of the Shrine by Qwwals( musicians and singers) which are poems and verses in praise of the Allah, His Holy Prophet and famous Sufis.

Mr Illyasi said like other years many pilgrims from across the lenght and breadth of the country have been making their journey on foot. A large number of people have also come from countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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