Every year before the commencement of the annual Urs of Sheikh Salamat the domes of the shrine are washed with milk as per the centuries-old ritual
By Kamran Khamiso Khowaja
Sujawal: The Shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Salmat alias Mugarbeen, situated around 30 kilometers away from here in the coastal town Jati, carries unique importance in the history of the subcontinent as it is washed with milk before the start of the annual Urs of Sheikh Salamat.
Every year before the commencement of the annual Urs of Sheikh Salamat the domes of the shrine are washed with milk as per the centuries-old rituals called “Dargah Jo Acho”- The Ritual of Bathing the shrine with milk, as an expression of love and reverence. “Cattle-owning devotees donate milk in a huge quantity for the performance of this centuries-old ritual,” said the custodian of the shrine.
He further said that tens of thousands of people from across the province converged at the shrine to witness the ritual being performed by devotees, who got themselves registered by paying a registration fee that was around 150 rupees per devotee to take part in the ritual. He claimed that it was the only shrine of a Muslim saint in the subcontinent being washed with milk.
Sheikh Salamat who was known for his bravery and valor laid down his life while safeguarding the lives of Sayyed’s in a war against Rai Kannauj. According to eminent historian Dr. Mohammad Ali Manjhi, Rai Kannauj was the ruler of the Kannauj state that included major parts of Gujarat, the state of present India.
There was no direct conflict between the two but the King became his enemy after he gave refuge to the family of Sayyed’s that had fled the rage of Rai Kannauj who was at odds with them over a petty issue.
Following the malevolence of the King Sayyed’s had to leave their homes and hearths and come to Jati where Sheikh Salamat Aka Mugerbeen, a renowned spiritual figurehead of the area gave refuge to them.
The King warned Sheikh Salamat either to hand Sayyed’s over to him or be ready for the war. The Sheikh opted for the war. The war led to the massacre of Sheikh Salamat, his devotees, and Sayyeds. This war is known as the war between Good and Evil and is celebrated by the devotees of Sheikh. The shrines of those Sayyeds are alongside the Shrine of Sheikh Salamat.
People from different sects and religions attend the annual Urs particularly the ceremony of bathing the shrine with Milk breaking the barriers of culture, color creed and promoting interfaith harmony.
The zeal and zest of devotees would be to the brim this year as the event could not be held last year following the pandemic. The 840th Urs would begin from 12th of this month and continue for a week.