Dastgir Sahib Shrine in Srinagar
Dastgir Sahib Shrine has been built 18th century AD in honor of the famous Sufi Saint Sheikh Syed Abdul visiting Kashmir. Yet he is revered by people of all faith. While the Muslims in Srinagar refer to him as Ghaus-e-Azam Hindus call him Kahnoow.
Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir GelaniSheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gelani was born in 1077 AD in the town of Na'if I located in the present day Iran. On his father’s side, he was a descendent of Hassan ibn Ali, the eldest son of Ali and Fatima and on his mother’s side he was a descendent of Husayn ibn Ali, the younger son of the said couple.
It may not be out of place to note that Fatima was the daughter of Prophet Muhammad; Ali was both his son-in-law and a cousin. Therefore, we can see that he came from a distinguished family held in high esteem by the followers of Islam. In addition to that, he himself was a great saint and a scholar.
Life of Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir GelaniSheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gelani spent his first 18 years in Na’if. In 1095, he went to Baghdad to pursue his studies under famous Islamic scholars. After completing his education Gelani spent 25 years as recluse wandering about in the deserts of Iraq. He returned Baghdad in 1127 and became a teacher. He joined the school where he himself was educated. He also began to preach Islam and said to have converted many Jews and Christians. His greatest strength was that he was able to integrate the mystical nature of Sufism with the teachings of Qur'an. Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gelani died in 1166 AD at the age of eighty nine in Baghdad and buried within the boundary of the school where he had taught so many students.
Story Behind Dastgir Sahib Shrine in Srinagar
It is said that a holy relic belonging to Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gelani was first brought to Srinagar by an Afghan traveler. It was then handed over to Sayed Buzargh Shah, an eminent Sufi saint of Qadri Order. In 1806, a shrine was constructed in the Khanyar region of Srinagar town to house the relics. In 1877, the shrine was enlarged by Khwaja Sanaullah Shawl. It was again renovated in 1920.
According to another story, the relic was brought from Thatha Sindh by Hazrat Sakhi Shah Muhammad Fazil who was descendant of the Geelani clan.
Religious Importance Dastgir Sahib Shrine
Indeed, on occasions such as the above, thousands of devotees visit this shrine not only to pray, but also to watch the ziyarat. There are also five graves located inside the shrine. One of them is said to be belonging to a member of Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Gelani’s family.
Architectural Wonder of Dastgir Sahib Shrine
Fire in Dastgir Sahib ShrineOn 25th June in 2012, an unfortunate fire destroyed major part of shrine. Since the holy relics were kept in fireproof vaults, they were left undamaged. The authorities with the help of local residents also took timely action; they were thus able to rescue them from the devastated building. The relics were later sent to the nearby resident of Syed Khalid Geelani for safe keeping.
The Renovation of Dastgir Sahib Shrine in Srinagar
Visiting Hours for Dastgir Sahib ShrineThe shrine is now open to public. You may visit it according to the following schedules:
09:00 am – 06:00 pm on Sunday
09:00 am – 08:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
09:00 am – 06:30 pm on Thursday