Glory of Bharath  »  Bharath Darshan

Dear Sai Brothers and Sisters,
The shores of Arabian Sea are awaiting our arrival this month to visit the famous Haji Ali.

Haji Ali
Haji Ali Dargah is one of the most popular religious places in Mumbai, visited by people of all religions alike. Haji Ali Dargah is one of India's most famous and prestigious landmarks situated about 500 yards from the Mumbai shoreline in the middle of the Arabian Sea off Lala Lajpatrai Marg. The structure was erected on a set of high rising rocks and was given its present day shape in the early 19th century after the Trust was legally formed as an entity in 1916.

Haji Ali Dargah is the complex housing the tomb of the Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.). Along with the tomb, there is also a Masjid at Haji Ali. This monument has been sentinel to the shores of Mumbai since a long time.

The structure has white domes and minarets reminiscent with the Mughal architecture of the period. The Dargah is a renowned pilgrimage site among the Muslims. Non-Muslims are also allowed to visit the Dargah. The white-coloured structure attracts visitors in large numbers. About 10 - 15 thousand people visit the Dargah daily. The number of visitors increases to 20 - 30 thousand, on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Lakhs of devotees visit the Dargah on the second day of Ramadhan Eid and Bakri Eid (Eid-ul-Uzha), and during which the pathway leading to the Dargah Complex looks like a Sea of Humanity.
People from all parts of the world without restrictions of caste, creed and religion visit the Dargah, to offer their prayers and for the fulfillment of their wishes by the blessings of the Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

Dargah Complex of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari
Haji Ali Dargah Sharief, the shrine of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari is located on a small islet in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai. It is a one and only structure of it's kind in the world having a Dargah, a Masjid and a Sanatorium in the middle of the Sea which accommodates thousands of people at a time. Haji Ali Dargah is a handsome example of Islamic architecture standing on an island. The structure has typical white domes and minarets reminiscent with the Mughal architecture of the period.

Haji Ali Dargah comprises of the Dargah Complex, the Kinara Masjid adjacent to the entrance of Haji Ali Dargah on Lala Lajpat Rai Road, the concrete pathway leading from Lala Lajpat Rai Road to the Dargah Complex and the Haji Ali Dargah Trust Offices. A short flight of marble steps leads into the Dargah Complex where the body of the Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari is enclosed in a tomb.

The pathway leading to the Dargah Complex from Lala Lajpat Rai Road up to the Main Gate of Haji Ali Dargah Complex was constructed in 1944, from the trust funds. The pathway was reconstructed between 1984 & 1990 from the Trust fund and the width and height of the same was also increased. Street lights were fixed by the Trustees along the side of pathway by the Trust fund for beautification & convenience to public, from time to time.

The tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari
Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari
There have been several saints who have traveled from far and wide to India, spreading the word of Islam like Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz and many other saints who migrated to India from the Arab countries and Persia. They came as and when informed by their own intuition or will or as per the instructions of Prophet Mohamed as envisioned in their dreams or by Ilm (Wisdom of Faith) i.e. as pointed out by spiritual power given to them by Allah. The spread of Islam as a whole in India is a story of the gradual growth of the Islamic religion essentially through various itinerant Sufi Saints and traders who settled amongst the local indigenous population.

A magnificent example of such spread of Islam by an Iranian Saint is that of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. It is a belief of the Muslims that the holy saints who sacrifice and devote their lives in the way of Allah are immortal. Their stature is equivalent to that of the Martyrs (Shaheed) as they have renounced their worldly lives for Allah and are called Shahadat-e-Huqmi. There are many miracles that have happened during the life of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari and after his death. Whatever is known about Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari is learnt from the caretakers and trustees from generation to generation as the Saint never married and has no descendents.

It is learnt from "Rivayat" (Legends) that Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari was sitting at some lonely place in his hometown and was busy in his prayers when a lady passed-by from there crying and screaming. When the Saint enquired about her crying, she pointed to an empty vessel in her hand and said that she had dropped some oil. And if she goes home without the oil her husband would beat her. She was crying in need of help. The Saint asked her to be calm and went with her to the place where the oil had been dropped. He then took the vessel from the wailing lady and pushed the earth with his thumb. The oil came out like a fountain and the vessel was full. The Saint gave her the vessel with oil and she went away happily.

However, after that, the Saint was troubled by dreams of having wounded the earth by striking it in this manner. Full of remorse and grief from that day he became very serious and was not keeping well. Then with the permission of his mother he traveled to India with his brother and finally reached the shores of Mumbai near Worli or at some place opposite the present tomb. His brother went back to their native place. Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari sent a letter with him to their mother informing her that he was keeping good health and that he had decided to reside at that place permanently for the spread of Islam and that she should forgive him.

Till his death he was praying and giving knowledge about Islam to the people and devotees regularly visiting him. Before his death he has advised his followers that they should not bury Him at any proper place or graveyard and should drop his shroud ('kafan') in the ocean such that it should be buried by the people where it is found. His wish was obeyed by his followers. That is why the Dargah Sharief is built at the very site where his shroud came to rest in the middle of the sea where it was perched on a small mound of rocks rising above the sea. The Tomb and Dargah Sharief were built in the years to come.

- October 11
- December 09

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