The Fair Of A Saint
Pakistan is a land where fairs and festivals are held very frequently. The Pakistani people are devotedly religious so these fairs are usually held at the grave of a great saints. A fair of gathering connected with the shrine of a saint on his death anniversary is called an urs fair. One of the most celebrated sants of Pakistan is Makhdum Ali Hajweri commonly known as Data Ganj Baksh.
Every year after the month of Muharram an Urs fair Is held in Lahore to commemorate his death anniversary. The urs lasts for two or three days. Millions of people from far and wide participate in the Urs. The spectacle of the Urs is the most colorful and exciting men and women and children dress themselves in their best and reach the place. It is a sacred themselves in their best ant reach the place . It is a sacred holiday for them. Shops and booths are set up on both sides of the road leading to the shrine. Flowers Incenses Batashas Illachi Dane and Sweet Kheelen are the things for sale. People buy them in order to offer on the shrine. Outside the shrine there stands a host of beggars. People are bound to give them some money.
Before the Urs starts the bomb is washed . That water is considered holy. It is preserved in vials and is given to the patients. It is said that it has a healing power. Then the tomb is covered with a green sheet of cloth. When the Urs starts the people crowded the shrine. Some sit near the grave in meditation. Others recite the Holy Quran. Some offer Fateha. Others spend nights in prayers. Some kiss the grave others prostrate before it. People seek the intercession of the saint for the fulfillment of their unfulfilled desires.
The greatest attraction are the Qawwalis. Parties of singers come to the shrine. They have their musical instruments such as harmonium violin and tables. As they sing they clap their hands. They repeat a verse again and again with strange facial expressions. One man raises his voice recites a verse and soon after the others join him in chorus. They sing in Urdu Punjabi and Persian. People are inspired with divine love and pay money to them. Sometimes somebody is so much overwhelmed by music and his emotions that he jumps in and begins to away one side to the other. This state is called hal or ecstasy and transportation.
The Auqaf department arranges sermons on this occasion. Various aspects of the life of the saint are retold. Light is thrown on the various degrees and stages of mysticism. Data Sahib's serviced for the cause of Islam in the sub continent are recounted. People are advised to follow his example. Nearly all the Urs in Pakistan have the same pattern.
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