Thousands to converge at Naqashband Sahab (RA) shrine in Old City today

Srinagar: ‘Khawaja Diggar’ a popular religious gathering is being held on the 3rd Rabbi-ul-Awwal every year at the Naqshbandh Sahab shrine in old city here in remembrance of the Sufi saint, Hazrat Khawaja Syed Bha-u-Deen Naqsaband Sahab (RA).

A huge gathering of devotees converges at the shrine on the 3rd of Rabbi-ul-Awwal, of the Islamic month. Devotees, who throng the shrine on this day-to pay respect to the Sufi saint, who left for the heavenly abode in the year 1674 make it a point to spend some time here and offer their respects to the revered saint.

On Wednesday, a huge gathering is likely to be witnessed at the shrine with Khaddims (caretakers) saying that all the arrangements have been put in the place for the devotees who would start thronging the shrine from ‘Zuhar’ (afternoon prayers).

The congregational prayers at the ‘Asr’ (post afternoon prayers) has its own significance as the Khawaja Naqshband Sahab (RA) left for the heavenly abode at this time on 3rd Rabbi-ul-Awwal, a religious cleric, Ghulam Rasool Haami informed ‘Kashmir Vision’.

The followers of the Sufi saint said that the Naqashband Sahab (RA) has shown people of the Valley a path to righteousness.

Ghulam Qadir, one among the followers said that his ancestors are following the teachings of Naqashband Sahab (RA) and so is he. “There is a considerable devotion associated with Peer Naqashband Sahab (RA), which attracts us to pay our obeisance to the revered saint,” he said.

He said that every year he along with his family comes to pray at the and offer their reverence to the Sufi saint.

Naqashband Sahib (RA) shrine is named after the well known Bukhara mystic, Khawaja Syed Bha-u-Deen Naqsaband (RA, the founder of a Sufi order. It is one of the important shrines, located in Old city.

The area in which this shrine is built was called Sikander-pore because it was built by Sultan Sikandar (1389-1413) (Sikandar Butshikan). During the Chak times Sulatn Hussain Chak (1563-1570) built a garden in this area.

In 1633 Khawja Khawand Mahmood obtained a fatwa to demolish the old shrine and used the same material to build the present Naqahband shrine, in what at that time would have been Hussian Chaks old garden. Because of Khawja Khawand Mahmood’s name the neighborhood is still called Khwaja Bazzar.

After Khawja Khawand Mahmood’s death in 1640 in Lahore, his son Khawaja Moin-Ud-Din Naqashbandi came to Kashmir to look after the shrine. He died in 1674 and is buried at the shrine.

When the holy relic of prophet Mohammad’s hair was brought to Kashmir in 1699, it was first kept at this shrine. There was not enough space to accommodate the crowds that came to see the holy relic. So the Mughal Governor at that time donated what was then called Sadiq Khan Bagh. This place became the present Hazratbal Shrine that has since then housed the holy relic. In 1886 Nawab of Dhaka Sir Khwaja Ahsanullah, whose ancestors were from Kashmir, sent money that was used for major renovation of the present building of the shrine.


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