‘Khawaja Digar practice continues since 405 years’

“In Kashmir, the disciples of the founder of Naqshbandi order, Awaraad-e-Asriya written by the founder itself is read worldwide.

GKNN
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 12 2018 11:55PM | Updated Date: Nov 12 2018 11:55PM
‘Khawaja Digar practice continues since 405 years’Photo: Habib Naqash/GK

"Khawaja Digar practice continues as a tradition from the times of Hazrat Khawaja Khawand Mahmood from 1017 AH (405 years),” said Er Muhammad Ashraf Fazili who has written a book on sufi saints of Kashmir. 

He said the saint Khawja Moinudin, who is laid to rest at Khawaja Bazar shrine was the son of Hazrat Khawja Khawand Mahmood (RA), who after developing some differences during his visit to Kashmir, fled to Lahore.

He said in memory of the founder of Naqshbandi order, Hazrat Bahaudin Naqshbandi (RA), every year on 3 Rabiul Awal. “The Khawaja-e-Digar were introduced by Hazrat Khawaja Moinudin and since then the tradition is on since past more than 400 years,” Fazili said. He said after the Naqshbandi order gained prominence in Kashmir, the area also named as Khawja Bazar. In Naqshbandi order, almost every kind of “bad smoke” that of cigars, and cigarettes are prohibited. The founder of Naqshbandi order used to wear clothes of highest brand including the traditional gown, Kashmir’s rich and the followers of the saint also wear Karakuli (traditional skull cap) and drape shawls.

Patron Karawan-e-Islam Moulana, Ghulam Rasool Hami, said that wherever there are disciples of Naqashbandi order in the world, the 3 Rabi-ul-Awal is celebrated as a day to remember the founder of the order, Hazrat Bahaudin Naqshbandi (RA). “In Kashmir, the disciples of the founder of Naqshbandi order, Awaraad-e-Asriya written by the founder itself is read worldwide. The booklet comprises verses of repentance, faith and special prayers,” Hami said.

Locals of Khawaja Bazar, who are the followers of saint, said that they have heard about wearing branded clothes on the day of Urs of the saint. “My ancestors were following the practice of wearing turban and draping shawls on the day of saint’s Urs. But wearing turbans slowly vanished after 1947 and now turbans are replaced with Karakulis (traditional skull caps),” said Abdul Aziz Naqshbandi, of Khawja Bazar. “Many of our relatives from various districts of Kashmir had come to our house and participated in the annual Urs and Khoje Digar.”

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