The Dargah Sharif of Khawaja Baba is indeed a blessing and ornament to the city of Ajmer. It is one of the holiest place of worship in whole Indian sub continent, not only for the Muslims but also for the people of other faiths, who hold the Saint in high esteem and reverence.
The Dargah is situated at the foot of the hill at north side in Ajmer. Its main attraction is the mausoleum containing the Tomb of the Saint, which is the sanctum sanctorum of the Dargah. There are many other attractive historical buildings within the Dargah, like- Shahjani Mosque, Mehfil Khana, Dalaan, Courtyards, Hauz for abolution, Bulund Darwaza, Nizam Gate and Degs. Some of them are exquisite specimens of the Mughal architecture and were erected during the different Mughal Period.
The first recorded visit to the Dargah Sharif (Holy Shrine) was by Mohammed Bin Tughlaq in 1332.
Since then the Dargah Sharif is main attraction for Ajmer Sharif and there are thousands of faithful and afflicted devotees/visitors twenty four hours a day to seek Khawaja Baba’s blessings, thus this Dargah Sharif has become the place of moral strength and spiritual enlightenment.
Though Dargah Sharif is open 24 hours a day, except Aastana Sharif (Holy Shrine), there are some important rituals on daily basis which are carried out by Khadim Community only.
1) Khidmat Sharif (Opening and Cleaning Of Holy Shrine)
2) Roshini ( Lights)
3) Kardka ( Closing of Holy Shrine)
Khidmat Sharif, It begins before dawn, when the main entrance of the holy shrine is opened, devotees are allowed inside only upto second door and only the Khadim-E-Khawaja enter the inner sanctum to perform the Khidmat, like removing Chaadar (Gilaaf), flowers (rose petals) from the Mazar Sharif of the previous day, cleaning all around the Aastana Sharif, cleaning inside and around the Mazar Sharif with feather brush and then after applying the sandal paste on to the Mazar Sharif, the new Chaadar (Gilaaf) and fresh rose petals are presented on Mazar Sharif., it is followed by Fatiha and Dua. After conclusion of this ritual the devotees are allowed to enter right inside the holy shrine. This ritual is repeated second time around 1500 hours on daily basis and this time the male devotees are allowed inside the holy shrine, while Khadims perform the Khidmat sharif.
Roshini, it means ceremony of lightening at Dargah Sharif, Roshini start before the Magrib prayer, Khadims take unlighted candles at Aastana Sharif and at the fixed time the Dargah drummer in Naqqar Khana start to play the drums and all the devotees and Khadims gather around the holy shrine and inside the shrine the candles are lit and placed in four silver lamps and after holding these lamps above their heads the Khadim-E-Khawaja recite Persian verses in praise and honour of Khawaja Baba and then placed them at each corner of Aastana Sharif and at the same time all the lights of holy Tomb and Dargah Sharif are on.
Kardka; Closing ceremony, when one fifth of the night has passed, around 2200 hours the drummer again start playing the drums in a very light manner and the Khadims begins cleaning and sweeping of the floor of Aastana Sharif (Holy Shrine) with feather brush and the door of the Aastana Sharift is closed and locked till the next morning and at the same time, the Qawwal start reciting Kardka, without any music instruments, which are also Persian verses.
Therefore our connection with holy shrine is not only ancient but its intimate.
Urs Sharif is celebrated every year in the first week of Rajab (Islamic Month) and upon seeing the moon, the drums are played in Nakkar Khana to herald the commencement of the annul Urs ceremony.
The word Urs has been derived from “Uroos” which means ‘Ultimate meeting of an individual with God’. Every year Urs Mubarak is celebrated on Khawaja Baba’s death anniversary.
Although Urs held for six days of Rajab, yet the 6th day is regarded to be the most special and auspicious day and it is called chatti sharif. On this day between 10 PM to 1:30 PM only Khadim community is allowed to go inside the Aastana Sharif and there they start reading Shijra and they perform Fariyaad and Dua, for all the devotees present there and for those who are not present and for Country and its people and for whole mankind, for their prosperity, welfare, peace, security, health and promotion of brotherhood.
Just before the Qul (Conclusion of Urs) on Chatti sharif the Bhadawa is sung by Qawwals at the main entrance of Holy Shrine. (Bhadawa means- poem in praise of Auliya Ikram, Saint).
After this the ceremony of Qul comes to an end and the Fatiha is recited and the ceremony is marked closed by firing the cannon at the hill around 1330 hours.