After two years, the mausoleum of the Sufi Mystic of 13th century AD Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya came alive on his 718th Urs, a memorial function on his death anniversary, with regular celebrations being flagged off on Monday evening.
In the Five-day urs, the devotees from all over the country and even Pakistan, are expected to visit the shrine and pay their obeisance to the Sufi Saint, who is credited with infusing mysticism and spirituality in the Indian brand of Islam.
Though the Covid-19 virus has not vanished from the world yet due to highly successful vaccination in India, its prevalence has substantially come down allowing the life to return to normal and encouraging the organizers to resume the urs.
The festival is famous for its Qawwali sessions and music lovers throng the dargah for it. These most-loved sessions of Qawwali will continue for the next five days. The 18th Sharif Ka, a ritual associated with the occasion, will be held on November 24 at 11 a.m. in the compound of the dargah where Hazrat Nizamuddin and Famous poet Amir Khusro lay buried.
Similarly, the congregation of devotees will be held on November 25 and 26, and day-long memorial foodservice (Fateha Langar) and Qawwali will be arranged on November 26.
The arrival of Pakistani visitors for the Urs is being seen as a welcome change politically and socially.
Farid Nizami, chairman of the committee organizing Hazrat Nizamuddin Urs, said that he too had received information about the arrival of the delegation from Pakistan on Sunday. A delegation of 80 pilgrims has arrived and will participate in the Urs which will continue till November 26.
However, visitors from other countries will not attend this year's Urs due to continuing Covid-19 restrictions on travel.
The urs began on Quran recitation and a session of devotional poetry. Poets Mukhtar Talhari, Afzal Manglori, Matin Amrohi, Azhar Iqbal, Ilyas Amrpuri, Gofran Ashrafi, Muhammad Owais Riaz Qadri, Arif Ashrafi, Raji Mian Niazi, Mian Qasim Khan, Qaiser Khan took part in the poetry recitation.
The coming of Pakistani devotees is a good omen for the relationship between two countries that had gone cold after the 2016 terrorist attack on the Uri Army camp. Since that time, no Pakistani delegation has visited the Dargah of Nizamuddin.
Pakistan had issued 3,000 visas to Indians on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The Kartarpur corridor that takes Indians via a dedicated corridor to the final resting place of Sikhism’s founder without need for a visa was also reopened.
More than 2000 Sikh pilgrims have visited Pakistan between November 17 and 26 giving the hope that the two countries will keep their cultural and religious relations on the upswing.