The old woman is whirling into a blur. Qawwals are singing. It’s a joyous mood. Tonight, the sufi shrine of Hazrat Shah Farhad in Bageecha Pirji, near Sadar Bazaar, is lit up with lamps. It is Shah Farhad’s Urs, his 286th death anniversary. He died in 1723 AD. In Sufism, the death of a saint is celebrated as the occasion when his soul gets united with that of his beloved, the God. Urs means ‘wedding’ in Arabic.
Shah Farhad was born in Delhi but grew up in Burhanpur in central India where his father was a governor. As a child, he got attached to a mystic who initiated him into an offshoot of the Chishti order. Shah Farhad later settled in Delhi where he acquired a following. This evening’s crowd is a proof of his popularity.
The Shah’s sufis Every morning before opening their stores, the traders in the neighbourhood come to the dargah to get their shop keys blessed by Shah Farhad. Childless women come asking for children. Students come to get their books blessed.
The shrine is also a place where you come to get rid of djinns, the mysterious beings who, according to Islamic beliefs, are made of smokeless fire. These creatures trap vulnerable people in their spell and make their life miserable. The ‘possessed’ men and women then visit fakeers and shrines to become normal again.
Some come to the dargah of Shah Farhad, also known as the master of djinns. Clinging to the grills, the tormented scream and shiver in agony, asking the djinns to leave. If they become free, they become life long followers of the saint. There must be many such people in this multitude tonight.
Nearest Metro Station: Pratap Nagar