Pakistan is land of great mystics, Sufees, and saints. They had been great devotees and adorers of God. They kept the ever- glowing torch of Islam burning. It was the great saints who spread the mission of the last prophet Muhammad (PBUH) over length and breadth of Indo-Pakistan. Thousands have been benefited and blessed through their supplications. They showed the right path to those gone astray.
Data Gunj Buksh, Baba Bhulley Shah, Baba Farid, Shahbaz Lal Kalandar, Suchal Surmast and Gazi are the well-known names of the poet-saints and suffees. They did not renounce the World. They confronted life and gave lessons to the Muslims to confront life. Their lesson was:
‘you are for the world but the world is not for you.’
Thousands are still guided and relieved of sufferings by them. Devotees from all over Pakistan visit their shrines. Our parents are religious people. They permitted me to visit Data Darbar at Lahore during last winter. Lahore has been called the City of Data. Data means the giver ‘the bestower’. There was a great rush of zaireens those who had come for Ziarat mystic meeting.
Data Darbar is a crowded place. The precincts present an ever busy scene. On the right-hand side there were a number of Bawarchi (cooks) shops attracting visitor to buy Luna variety of preparations for free distribution among the poor and the needy. The visitors believe that charity wards of sufferings by distributing the food. On the left-hand side there were shops selling offerings’ – flowers, garlands, sweets, chadars, rose petals and other sugar candies. By the side of the Tomb, there was a string of beggars, singers and dancers and entertainers.
The main golden entrance was locked so I entered the precincts of the ‘Mazher’ (Shrine) from routine gates. The visitors had to remove their shoes and deposit with the caretakers for two rupees each. As I neared the tomb surrounded by marble verandas, I was overcome with awe. The Mazar was overhung with candiliers and scented drapery. A green, embroidered sheet covered the tomb. Devotees were reciting the holy Quran, praying and supplicating round the tomb. I also collected some blessed offerings for taking home.
The whole place bore a secrad atmosphere, spiritual touch. The affairs are managed by a. Trust but the provincial government spends a lot on the up-keep and beautification of the shrine. There is a beautiful, attractive mosque within the compound. The Moazzir calls the people for the five-time prayers. I also offered my evening prayer in the mosque.
The whole shrine presented a mystic outlook. After presenting my own supplication to the great saint, I took leave with new spirit and hopes.