Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s annual Urs in Sehwan today

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Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar's annual Urs in Sehwan today

ISLAMABAD: The 766th annual Urs celebrations of Hazrat Laal Shahbaz Qalandar (R.A.) will be held in Sehwan on Saturday with participation of thousands of pilgrims from all provinces of the country.

The Urs will continue for three days with colorful ceremonies and programmes. Sindh police and all other law enforcement agencies have finalized foolproof security arrangements. The celebrations will feature cattle show, agricultural and industrial exhibition besides other activities.

Make-shift stalls selling flowers, food, clothes and jewelry have propped in the courtyard. Many are lit up for the occasion. The organizers headed by deputy commissioner Jamshoro have setup drinking water and medical camps, and arranged events like Sindhi wrestling, horse and cattle show, literary conferences and a concert, Private news channel reported.

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, son of Pir Syed Ibrahim Kabeeruddin, was born in Marwand. His ancestors had migrated from Baghdad and settled in Mashhad, before moving again to Marwand. He lived when the Ghaznavid and Ghurids ruled the Indus region.

A contemporary of Rumi, he travelled around the Muslim world and settled in Sehwan where he was eventually laid to rest. Lal Shahbaz lived a celibate life and died in the year 1300 at the age of 151.

In Multan, he met Bahauddin Zakariya of the Suhrwardiyya, Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar of the Chishtiyya and Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari. Following his death, Hindus within Sindh began to identify Lal Shahbaz Qalandar as an incarnation of their patron deity, Jhulelal.

This connection was emphasized by the popular spiritual song Dam-a-Dam Mast Qalandar which referred to him by the name Jhulelal. The tomb of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is located in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh, Pakistan. The shrine was built in 1356 and decorated with Sindhi ‘kashi-tiles’, mirror-work and a gold-plated door donated by the Shah of Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi. – NNI