Data Ganj Bakhsh

Abdul Hassan Ali al-Hajveri was Persian Sufi in the 11th century. He significantly contributed…

Abdul Hassan Ali al-Hajveri was Persian Sufi in the 11th century. He significantly contributed in spreading Islam in South Asia. He was borned around 990 CE near Ghazni, during the Ghaznivid Empire and died in 1077 CE at Lahore.

Data Darbar (or Durbar), located in the city of LahorePunjabPakistan[1] is one of the oldest Muslim shrines in South Asia. It houses the remains of a Sufi saint, Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery (more commonly known as Daata Ganj Baksh, or “the master (Daata) who bestows treasures gifted (Ganj Baksh) by Allah Almighty”). He is said to have lived on the site in the 11th century.

Location and Visit

The shrine is located near the Bhati Gate into Lahore‘s Walled City. It was originally built by the Ghaznavi king Sultan Zakiruddin Ibrahim in the late eleventh century, and has been expanded several times. For centuries his tomb was visited by Muslims and non-Muslims in search of his blessings and people of all religions are welcomed in Data Durbar. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a frequent visitor. On special occasions, the shrine is decorated with lights, dinner is prepared for hundreds of people and visitors dance while musicians playSufi music for hours. At the boundary of the shrine, Muslim faithful recite the Qur’an, and pay tributes to Muhammad.

Terrorist attack

There have been rising security fears in recent years after threats by Pakistan’s Taliban militants. The large size of the complex which houses the shrine and the fact that it is open at all hours to the public makes protecting it extremely difficult. On 1 July 2010, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the shrine. At least 50 people died and 200 others were hurt in the blasts. This was the biggest attack on a Sufi shrine in Pakistan since 2001.