Prime Minister sends Chaddar to Ajmer Sharif

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Jodhpur/ New Delhi, July 6 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday sent the Chaddar to Ajmer Sharif in Ajmer in Rajasthan.

The offering, to be placed on the saint's grave, is being taken to the shrine on behalf of the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened in the state ahead of 'Urs', the 796th death anniversary of the Sufi saint. The state was rocked by serial blasts in May 2008.

Thousands of devotees are thronging the shrine to offer prayers for the annual ten-day Urs that takes place at the dargah of Khwaja Moin-d-Din Chisti in Ajmer.

Jodhpur presented a picture of communal harmony where people of all religions got together to make a long holy cloth offering.

The devotees made a 101-meter long and three-meter wide cloth offering and prayed to the almighty to spread the message of peace.

Hussain, one of the worker who made the holy cloth offering, said that the occasion is symbolic of religious harmony. And indeed the hands that held the cloth in the procession through the thoroughfares of the city were not of any one religion.

"People of all religions, be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians, everybody is enthusiastic about this holy offering. I helped my father in making this holy cloth," said Hussain.

The shrine is of renowned Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddeen Chishti, who is believed to have come from Persia in 516 AD and established the Chishti order of religious belief in India.

He is popularly known as Gharib Nawaz because he dedicated his entire life to the service of mankind.

The shrine is seen as a symbol of religious convergence in the country with both Hindus and Muslims flocking it.

Legend has is that in 1236 AD, the saint had entered his cell to pray in seclusion for six days, at the end of which he died.

Through the fair, devotional music and reciting from Chishti's own works and other Sufis are presented in traditional Qawwali style and sung in chorus. The annual event culminates with readings from the holy Quran and special prayers.

Chishti, some historian have recorded, came to India after a dream in which the Holy Prophet asked him to do so and eventually settled in the tiny town of Ajmer, where his firm faith in the unity of being and equality won him reverence amid the common people.

It was in Ajmer that he laid the foundation of the Chishtiyya order, which interprets religion in terms of human services and lays stress on the renunciation of material goods, self-discipline and generosity to others.

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