LAHORE: The ghusal (washing) ceremony of the Shrine of Hazrat Ali Bin Usman Ali Hajveri, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh was performed here on Saturday.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, provincial ministers – Zaeem Qadri, Bilal Yaseen and others participated in the ceremony, which is performed ahead of the Sufi saint’s annual Urs ceremonies. The tomb was washed with rose water.
All arrangements have almost been finalized for the three-day long festival marking the Urs of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh. Stringent security measures have been put in place to avoid any untoward incident during the Urs.
People from all walks of life and far flung areas of the country throng at the shrine to participate in the Urs festivities. Food and Sabeel being distributed among devotees, sufis perform dhammal (ritual dance) and musicians play music during the three-day long rituals.
Data Ganj Bakhsh was born in Ghazni in Afghanistan during the rule of Ghaznavi dynasty and later came to Lahore where he settled, guided his disciples and passed away.
He contributed significantly to the spread of Sufi teachings of Islam in South Asia through his teaching and preaching. Some historians have described him as one of the most important figures to have spread Islam in the Indian subcontinent.