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Annual Urs fair of Gharib Nawaz concludes in Ajmer
Annual two-week long Urs fair of Gharib Nawaz that began in Ajmer with the hoisting of flag on the Buland Darwaza of the Sufi saint's shrine on March 4 concluded peacefully on March 27. Most of the pilgrims called zayreens have left after the last day called 'bara qoul'.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his message on the 806th annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti stated, "Peace, unity and harmony is at core of various philosophies in the country, Sufism is also one of them. When we talk of Sufi saints in India, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti appears as a symbol of great spiritual traditions."

On the very first day of the Urs ceremony, a chaadar was offered at the dargah on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje also offered a chaadar at the shrine later.

Ajmer city and the district administration had made arrangements for the conduct of the fair which drew several lakh pilgrims from different religions and countries since Gharib Nawaz is considered to be the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti order as spiritual chain or silsila of Sufism in the Indian subcontinent.

It is said that an estimated five lakh zayreen attended the Urs marked by community feasts, chaadar offerings, prayers and qawwalis held every day. The devotees including Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and people from other communities visited at the Sufi saint's shrine on the occasion of his Urs or death anniversary to pay homage and pray to seek blessings.

Though Moinuddin Chishti never wrote down his teachings, but the central principles of his preaching that became characteristics of the Chishti order in India are based on oral traditions. Based on the literature available that has been written by the saint's followers, it can be said that he had laid stress on certain values such as renunciation of material goods; dissolution of egoism; self-discipline; personal prayer; meditation for spiritual transformation; reliance on either cultivation or unsolicited offerings for basic subsistence; generosity to others and respect for religious diversity.

ABC of Sufism of Khwaja Mohinuddin Chishti, as I have understood it, could be as follows.

A: Attributes and virtues of Allah to be imbibed to obtain the pure and purifying divine grace

B: Begin by shedding ego which is the source of all evils

C: Cultivate the inspired self and quiescent soul under the guidance of the perfect spiritual guide

D: Devoid of ego, become the faithful witness of the process of unveiling of the Truth.

E: Evolve through the stages of service to mankind; service to God and meditation in the heart.

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