Haji Ali Dargah - Tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.)

 

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History of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.)

There have been several saints who have traveled from far and wide to India, spreading the word of Islam like Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz (R.A.) 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 (S.A.W.S. - Peace Be Upon Him) as envisioned in their dreams or by Ilm (Wisdom of Faith) i.e. as pointed out by spiritual power given to them by Allah (S.W.T).

 

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 (R.A.). It is a belief of the Muslims that the holy saints who sacrifice and devote their lives in the way of Allah (S.W.T) are immortal. Their stature is equivalent to that of the Martyrs (Shaheed) as they have renounced their worldly lives for Allah (S.W.T.) and are called Shahadat-e-Huqmi.

 

There are many miracles that have happened during the life of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.) and after his death. Whatever is known about Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R. A.) is learnt from the caretakers and trustees from generation to generation as the Saint never married and has no descendents. Some people tried to portray themselves as his descendants or heirs and have destroyed the exact history of the Saint, his Tomb and the Dargah.

 

It is learnt from "Rivayat" (Legends) that Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.) 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 (R.A.) 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.

 

 

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