Then the first Khadim who holds a single lit candle in his hand,
lights the four candles of the shamadan, which are raised above
their heads by the waiting Khadims. The first Khadim from the
left then starts reciting Persian verses in praise of Gharib
Nawaz after which the whole Shrine is illuminated.
Persian verses are recited daily at dusk by a Khadim when the
Roshni ceremony (candle lighting) is performed within the
of Masters (-Khwajgan) Moinuddin (is);Noblest (ashraf)
of all saints (auliya) of the world,.
Sun of sphere that Lords the Universe (kon-o makan).
Emperor who graces the throne of the dominion of faith
and certitude (yaqin),
What can be uttered about your beauty (jamal) and
For, it is evident from the impregnable(Spiritual)
An opening verse (matla) in praise of your attributes I
which in purity is like a precious pearl (durr-i samin).
Oh ye, whose threshold is an altar (qiblah) for the
Where the sun and the moon rub their forehead.
It is thy royal threshold that faces are in reverence
By hundreds of Kings (maliks) of the stature of the
Emperors (khusro) of China.
The atendants (Khadiman) at thy shrine are all like the
keeper of Paradise(Ridwan);
As is your mausoleum (roza) in sanctity certainly a
(where) A particle of dust is ambergies (abir) in
And a drop of water transparent and pure (maen)
Oh, Almighty as the Sun and the Moon endure;
May the Chishti lamp resplendently sparkle.
Karka is the term for the
ceremony which is connected with the closing of the doors of the shrine
for the night. It takes place generally between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Except the inner part of the first railings, the whole Shrine is
cleansed by three Khadims. Pilgrims are not permitted to enter the
shrine but are allowed to stand in the corridor of Beghmi Dalan (built
by Princess Jehan Ara) in two rows, giving way to the Khadim who come
out from the Shrine, one by one, at short intervals. They carry
farrashas in their hands and touch them over the heads of the devotees
while moving towards the sandal Khana mosque, where in a permanently
fixed small dustbin they put all the flowers, dust etc. gathered from
the shrine in a duster. When the Khadims are engaged in cleaning the
floor of the shrine, outside in the courtyard, the groups (chauki) of
musicians (qawwals) perform qawwalis.
As soon as the third and last Khadim comes out with the Farrasha (broom
made up of peacock feathers) in his hand, the ghariyali (time keeper)
loudly announces that six gharis (each ghari of a duration of 24 minutes
in the medieval days) have passed.
The qawwals and all the people within the campus at once get up, and the
qawwals start reciting karka verses in Bhojpuri and local dialect,
composed by Roora Mithu, who was a musician during the reign of Jahangir.
After that the doors of the shrine are closed, people perform taslim,
and the ceremony comes to an end.
Karka is sung by the Hereditary qawwals of the shrine daily at night at
the time of closing of the doors of Khwaja’s mazar (Shrine).
Karka means folklore (lokdhwani) or verse (pad) or cantos (charan). Its
ragni (musical mode) is Gidara/Kidara and tal (musical measure) is jhap,
in musical terminology, which is generally sung during moonlit nights.
It is called Karka and is sung, to motivate the devotees always to keep
on the path of Truth. It is also the final or last ceremony of the day
at the Shrine.
However, in one of the verses of Karka, Khwaja Moinuddin has been
referred to as Khwaja Hassan Dan. Hassan being Khwaja’s real name, while
Dan most probably appears to be his title (abbreviation of Dana i.e.
ariff Gnostic or Dani/generous or indicates the abbreviated form of
Danani, (person possessing divine wisdom) or of his full name Moinuddin,
and also seems his nom-de-plum
Oh ye Moinuddin,
truly Lord Protector who graces fortunes.
You have lit the Chishti lamp (of spirituality) the world over,
Oh ye Moinuddin, truly Lord Protector who graces fortunes.
The cunning (Jogi Ajaipal) tried many a magician’s trick;
52 practices in all, but failed and was himself ultimately
vanquished! As at the orders of Pir (Khwaja} flew his wooden
sandals in the air;
(and forced Jogi’s) throne to land on earth head bowed with
Oh ye, Moinuddin truly Lord Protector who graces fortunes.
You, the strong pillar for both here and the hereafter (duniya-o
The saint (wali) of India, the light (noor) and beloved of Allah
(huda), door to Him (Hardawara).
When Ajmer was besieged by the Raja (who also harassed you)
You spread Islam and ended polytheism;
Oh ye, Moinuddin truly Lord Protector who graces fortunes.
Polytheism was ended and Islam spread;
Such a Master of masters (Jagat Guru) whose shrine (darhar) his
unique splendor and fame.
Reaches the four corners - North, South, East as well as the
Whose Pir’s prayer was accepted at Makkah.
Moinuddin Khwaja, the pillar of din (righteousness).
Cast but a glance and bestow gnosis at me! Oh! Pillar of din,
Khwaja Hassan Dan i.e. Khwaja Moinuddin became bridegroom, (chatar-dulah).
Performing only a single miracle (defeated Ajaipal) and
established himself (great);
Oh! Khwaja the pillar of din, Moinuddin Khwaja;
The Great Emperor (Sultan) Oh! Hazrat-i Chishti.
A throne and dominion befit only you;
Mercy on Roora Mithu. Relieve him of all pain of life and heart!
Oh Moinuddin Khwaja, the pillar of din.
Besides these rituals, naubat
is played twice a day, i.e. in the morning, and at sunset. Langar (a
free meal consisting of soup of barley) is also prepared daily at the
langar-khana and distributed twice (after Fajr and after Asr prayers)
among the general public including pilgrims and the poor.
All the mundane rituals at the Mazar-e-Aqdas (Holy Shrine) are performed
by Khuddam-e-Khwaja alone.
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)’s Urs is celebrated every year in the first
week of Rajab, on seeing the moon of Rajab, the seventh month of the
Islamic calendar, drums are beaten to herald the commencement of the
annual ceremony. The permanent Chauki (troupe) of qawwals arrive, and
after Maghrib (sunset prayers) sit infront of the Shrine and sing the
Saqia-badao-paimana mubarak bashad”
(Felicitation to thee for this blessed and majestic assembly;
salutation, ‘Oh Saqi for your bountiful goblet of sacred wine).
(Oh God, may this Shrine of the beloved exist till the last day, may
this refuge of the poor remain forever!)
The word Urs has been derived from “UROOS” which means “ultimate meeting
of an individual with God” it is said that Huzoor Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)
spent last six days of his life in Seclusion in a cell and the 6th day
of Rajab, his noble soul left the corporeal body. Every year Urs fair is
celebrated on his death anniversary.
Although Urs held for the first six days of Rajab. Yet the 6th day is
regarded to be the most special and auspicious. It is called “Chhati Sharif”. It is celebrated on the 6th Rajab between 10:00 A.M. to 1:30
P.M. Inside the Mazar Sharif Shijra is read by Khadims then Fariyad
(Prayers) start for people present at the Dargah and for the country and
its people for the peace and prosperity and also those who are not
present but have sent Nazar-o-Niyaz to the Khadims to mark their
presence for their welfare and for the promotion of brotherhood amongst
them. Khadims tie small turbans on each others head and present Nazar
(offerings in cash).
Just before the Qul (conclusion of 6th Rajab Chhati Sharif) Badahwa is
sung at the main entrance of the Shrine by Qwwals which literally means
a poem or verses in praise of Allah, His Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) or famous
Badahwa is the only recitation which is accompanied by talis (clapping)
only, and no other instrument is played. It was composed by Behlol
Chishti, one of the ancestor of Khadims who again refers to Khwaja
Moinuddin Chishty as Khwaja Hasan Dan. After its recitation, the
ceremony of the Qul comes to an end and Fatiha is recited. The ceremony
is marked closed by firing a cannon at 1:30 P.M. in afternoon.
(din-o duniya) be sacrificed,
At your Behest O! Khwajal
With Divine Attributes, O! Ye Pir Moinuddin
Lord of all Created beings : ajapati. gajpati, narpati, bhupati
(all earth, all animals and all mankind)
The sole Emir controlling the four corners (chowk) of the
I do rounds of thy four-walled (doored) dome in profound
Oh! What ethereal splendour cascades from the balcony (jhajha)of
Poor petitioner Behlol Chishti pleads to Khwaja Hassan Dan
To protect and preserve his honour in this world as well as
After this Khadim Hazrat
distribute Tabarruk (Prasad) amongst the people present and post them
for those who are not present, but have sent Nazar-o-Niyaz to the
Khadims. The Mazar Sharif is washed by rose water by Khadims at night
for six day from 1st Rajab to 6th Rajab during Urs period. On 9th Rajab
at 9:00 A.M. the Mazar Sharif is washed with rose water by Khadims.
Finally the Urs is marked closed.
These ceremonies are attended by members of all creeds, communities
without the distinction of rank, region or religion and thereby
subscribe to the ideals of universal love the Khwaja had preached and
practised in his life time. This creates a sense of unity in that
thinking which tends to break social and religious barriers and paves
the way for emotional integration.
This system of Baridari/Kalidbardari settled the issue that only Khadims
are the real custodians of the Mazar-e-Aqdas (Shrine) as they perform
all rituals, and do Khidmat, kept the keys of the Shrine, open and close
the Mazar, receive pilgrims and guide them in performance of Ziyarat as
their Vakil and thus have sole right to collect all Nazar offered by
them. It appears that the system of Haft Baridar is based on the Haft
Chowki pattern of the Mughals, by which every important noble was given
a day of the week to look after the place and patrol around it at night.
Moreover, Baridari (Rota) system has also been prevalent in many famous
Hindu temples of India, and is still in practice at the famous Vishnu
Devi temple at Katra. It should also be kept in view that the Prophet of
Islam, after the occupation of Makkah, did not disturb the prevailing
practice of the key keeping (Baridari) and custodianship of Kaba which
was held by a particular tribe (clan) of Quraish since time immemorial
and was known as Hijaba or Sidana. The times of India dt. Wednesday 15,
January 1997, Asanid-us-Sanadid, pp. 210-4, M.H. Haykal: The life of
Muhammad: (tr Reprint, Delhi, 1976), pp. 407, 413. A short history of
Aurangzeb’s Reign, op. cit; Mughal administration, op. cit.
Certainly it was due to the extra ordinary grass root work of our
ancestors (Hereditary Khadims) who carried the mission of Khwaja Sahib
at his Shrine, vigorously, against all odds, that we are still attached
to the Shrine and are held in high esteem by pilgrims, duly respected
and offered Nazar (offering).
People all over the world respect us (Khadims) because of our Nizbat to
Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.). Whatever we eat & wear whatsoever
privilege we enjoy is a Sadqa of our Aaqa (master) Huzoor Khwaja Gharib
‘Agar har-mui-tan gardad zubanam,
If every hair of my body were given voice, yet I won’t be able to
express my thanks for my Khwaja.