Life[ edit ] After the events at Karbala five Muslim women, led by Ruqayyah bint Ali, left Mecca to settle and proselytize in Lahore, as a result of which a sizable portion of the Hindu community entered Islam. It was prophesied that their mission would achieve success. The events of the massacre at Karbala caused many relatives of Muhammad including Ruqayyah to migrate to Makran where she preached Islam for several years. The Hindu Raja of Jaisalmer felt threatened by her missionary work. Umayyad rulers were also displeased and a number of Umayyad spies were dispatched to assassinate her. Among such potential assassins had been Muhammad Bin Qasim who later switched allegiances and became a supporter of Ruqayyah after learning of the sufferings experienced by the family of Muhammad.
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S , and five other revered women. The women are said to have fled Karbala and reached Lahore , where the Raja of the region summoned them. Others relate that the shrine is so ancient, that Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, known as the patron-saint of Lahore, was himself a devotee here — a board proclaiming this has been installed in the vicinity to give the tale an authoritative touch.
In this case the name Bibi Pak Daman, refers to the unmarried sisters. A narrow street lined with shops selling flowers, religious books, chadars sheets with religious inscriptions and souvenirs, leads to the shrine itself.
It is not the wares on offer in this street, but rather the expressions of the people, full of hope and sincerity, which make a mark on us. In present times, the shrine is popularly known as a rare unification point not only for Muslims of different sects, be they Shia or Sunni, but also for people of different religions, such as Hindus, Christians and Sikhs.
The public gathers here in droves every day, and especially on the days of the Urs. One of the shops from the street source: Dost Pakistan In order to reach the main building, we pass through two metal detectors, before being frisked rather carelessly by an elderly gentleman. Spread over a small area of sq. As I later found out, the Punjab government plans to expand it as they recognize its great popularity among people.
Devotees immediately take off their shoes on entering the main compound, and we followed suit. Some devotees seem to have been living here, for they have their carpets spread out underneath.
Graves in the foreground and compound in the background source: Bibi Pak Daman Website Inside, the aroma of roses is overpowering as every grave is covered with them. Having been to Data Darbar, I am surprised that devotees are not being separated based on gender. Some trees located in the courtyard attract my attention and a woman relates that these were the camels of the buried women, which changed shape to shelter their graves.
The verses are powerful beyond measure and we listen entranced. One individual sweeping the white marble floor tells us that naat recitals poems praising Muhammad p.
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