Krishna to offer chaddar at Lahore's Data Gunj Baksh shrine

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Islamabad, July 16 (ANI): Indian External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna will offer a chaddar at the Data Gunj Baksh shrine in Lahore via Punjab Chief MInister Shahbaz Sharif, whom he will meet shortly.

Mr.Krishna will meet with Mr.Sharif at the Punjab House in Islamabad.

Since he is leaving for New Delhi shortly, Mr. Krishna would not be able to visit the Sufi shrine which was attacked by suicide bombers earlier this month.

The bombing resulted in the death of at least 40 people and injuries to over 170.

It took place on July 2, when multiple suicide bombers blew themselves at night.

The first of the two explosions took place in the basement of the shrine, while the second took place within three minutes in front of the shrine's main building.

Ten to fifteen kilograms of explosives were used in the incident.

The shrine is named after Abul Hassan Ali Ibn Usman al-Jullabi al-Hajweri al-Ghaznawi or Abul Hassan Ali Hajweri (sometimes spelled Hujwiri), and also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh (in Persian and Urdu), a 11th century Persian Sufi saint and scholar, who significantly contributed to the spread of Islam in South Asia.

He was born in Ghazna (in present day Afghanistan) in the beginning of Ghaznavid period (around 990) and died in Lahore in 1077.

His most famous work is The Kashf Al Mahjub ("Unveiling the Veiled") written in Persian language.

The work debates Sufi doctrines of the past.

Hujwiri belonged to the Junaidia school of Sufism. These sufis followed Junaid Baghdadi of Baghdad. Hujwiri is also viewed as an important intercessor for many Sufis.

Indians are also known to visit this shrine, often seen as the second most important Sufi shrine after Ajmer Sharif.

It has a been a practice of Sufi saints coming to the Indian subcontinent to first visit the shrine of Hazrat Usman Ali Hujwiri.

Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti first came to Lahore to pay his respects at Data Ganj-Bakhsh upon his arriving in the subcontinent. There, he was directed to settle in Ajmer Sharif and commence his spiritual mission in India.

Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti paid homage to Hazrat Usman Ali Hujwiri in the following words:

Ganj Bakhsh-e faiz-e aalam, mazhar-e Nur-i Khuda; Naqisaan ra pir-e kaamil, kaamilaan ra rahnuma

Translated it means: "Ganj Bakhsh is a manifestation of the Light of God for the people, a perfect guide unto the imperfect ones and a guide unto the perfect ones."

Culturally people living close to the shrine have become emotionally and economically dependent on the shrine. Food stalls, flower sellers and numerous beggars are dependent on Shrine visitors.

On special occasions, the shrine is lit up with lights, dinner is prepared for hundreds of people and Fakirs dance around and musicians play music for hours.

In the boundary of shrine, Muslims recite Qur'an, and pay tributes to Muhammad. By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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