Gyarvi Sharif

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Gyarvi Sharif
Arabic Calligraphy representing the name of Huzoor Gaus e Paak 

Gyarvi Sharif is an Islamic Sufi festival commemorating Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (R. A.). He was the benefactor of Qadri Tariqa, flourishing in the entire world. Sufi community celebrate it annually on 11th Rabi-al-aakhir or on the 11th day of Islamic lunar month. It is marked by various religious reunions along with sharing of Niyaz or Tabarruk (freely given sacred meal). People regard it as Fateha e yazdaham or Fateha doazdaham.

Etymology

The term Gyarvi Sharif is derived from Urdu- Hindi word ''Gyarah'' which means 11 (eleven) in English. Sharif represents the honorifics.

History of Gyarvi Sharif

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani in his lifetime used to distribute foods among his student on 11th of every lunar month and pays the Isaale Sawab to Rasul Alllah Sallalahu alaihi wa sallam. So after his Wisal, his students continued this tradition of Shaykh and they also started paying Isaale Sawab to Shaikh Jilani along with prophet (peace be upon him) on this day. When this tradition came to Indian subcontinent, the people of subcontinent also started the traditions of remembering Gaus Pak by discussing his life, reciting manqabat in his Shaan, along with the traditions which had come from Iraq. All these traditions joint and took the shape of a distinct festival among the Sufis known as Gyarvi Sharif.

Scholarly Opinions on Gyarvi Sharif Celebration

Basis 

The Principal motif of its celebration is to remember Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani R.A (unanimously considered as the friend of Allah by all the sects of Islam, either Salafi or Sufi) and to perform Isaal e Sawab.

From Quran e Majeed 

In Quran Allah said in Surah Maryam verse no 16 "And mention in the Book ˹O Prophet, the story of˺ Mary". which means Allah has commanded his beloved Prophet to remember Mary (Bibi Mariyam who was the pious lady and saint (Wali Allah)), which proves that it is the command of Allah Subhana hu wa taala to remember his Wali (friend of God). The mainstream Sunni Ulema has already accepted Isaal e Sawab as permissible act .

Observances of Gyarvi Sharif in various parts of the world

In Britain, "langar" is provided during monthly rituals in the remembrance of Shaykh Jilani. These monthly rituals, known as Gyarvi Sharif and are organized in most of Zinda pir's sufi dormitories ("khanqah") and mosques. Various British Sufi organization including Minhaj-ul-Quran organization and Surrey mosque, celebrate it monthly.

Baghdad

In Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, annual observance of Gyarvi Sharif draws lakhs of Pakistani inhabitants, along with thousand of pilgrims from diverse lands comprising India, Afghanistan, and other countries of Middle East.

The annual festival starts at the dawn of the 11th Rabiussani, the gathering of well-dressed men with robes and women in abayas in the main hall of the mausoleum. Inside the shrine’s masjid, the pilgrims carry  perfumed chadars on their head and offer those chadar on Gaus Paak’s Mazar Sharif. They keep there these coverings for a short while before caretaker (Khadim) gives them as Tabarruk to anybody who wants to have them. One chadar remains on the Mazar Sharif throughout the year and a select number of Sayyads (heirs of Huzoor Ghous-e-Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, offers this special chaadar after a religious ceremony of Ghusl (sacred washing of the grave). Mosque attracts the reverential rush. Outside, joyous locals chants, “Ya Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA)!” Kids, puts on their brightest dresses, rushed around as individuals offers them sweets and bangles in observance of the festival. Locals honor the day as Eid, rejoice in the daylight, and greet the foreign pilgrims. The widows of the Iran-Iraq war and their girls get preference over others to go in the principal hall of the mausoleum for ziyarat. During the festival, unaccompanied young men are not allowed to enter into the mausoleum in requiring to prevent any harassment of the women. As twilight settles Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan descends on the mausoleum in droves to represent the Sufi Ruks night long. They assembles encircling, putting on a special red turban (headgear) and recites, twists and twirls. If a tired dervish fells to the ground, another moves forward to pick up his place.

India

Gyarvi Sharif
11 chirag lit during Badi Gyarvi Sharif over Malida.

Fateha e yazdaham or Gyarvi Sharif is observed in all the Indian states with different Sufi practices and traditions.  

Fateha-e-yazdaham is a public vacation in Assam and West Bengal, with religious observances in different Khanqahs. In Assam, various Islamic contests held during the Gyarvi Sharif.

Sayyad Mushtaque Hussain Ali Mast Qadri Shattari organizes four (4) Gyravi Sharif at his residence during the month of Rabiussani. Preparing "Malida (kind of sweet dish)" along with the lightening of Chirag (lamps), recitation of Shajra, etc, is seen during the occasion at his place .

Burkhalter Flueckiger described the various Sufi practices in Amma’s healing room during the celebration, including changing the old holy flags with new ones.

Dastgeer Sahib, a sacred architecture established in the remembrance of Huzoor Gaus Paak, attracts pilgrims from various parts of Kashmir on this pious occasion.

Gyarvi Sharif
Dastgeer Sahib during Gyarvi Sharif


Juloos e Gausiya

The term Juloos e Gausiya is derived from an Urdu language, which means procession (Juloos) dedicated do Huzoor Gaus e Azam Dastageer (Gausiya). Many states, including Tripura, Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh etc witness juloos e Gausiya, a day long procession in the remembrance of Huzur Gaus paak. In Nagpur Mufti Nazir [Imam of Munshiji Masjid, Nagpur] leads Juloos e Gausiya, the arrangement of Niyaz on the route of Juloos is seen in Nagpur.

Pakistan

In Pakistan, it is celebrated monthly in many Khanqahs like Golra Sharif and annually nation-wide. Darbar-e-Gausiya, Lahore, organizes "Mehfil-e-Manqabat-e-Gyarvi Sharif" an annual congregation on this occasion, which is broadcasted annually on Ary Qtv

Bangladesh

Fateha e Yazdaham is observed by the most of Sufi the society of Bangladesh living in Sylhet, Chittagong, Dhaka etc. Observances include a recital of the Quran e majeed, organizing Milad Mahfil, discussing the life of Huzoor Gaus e Paak, seeking for Allah’s mercy through Du’a, Munaajaat or Tawassul of Huzoor Gaus e paak, and making and sharing tabarruk, prepared for the celebration. There is an optional vacation in many academic institutes of Bangladesh on this occasion. Miyan Sahab Maidan Khanqah Sharif is celebrating Fateha e Yazdaham for over three centuries. 

Celebration of Gyarvi Sharif in Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, Bangladesh

Every year, Islamic Foundation Bangladesh organizes a waaz mehfil in Baitul Mukarram National Mosque on the occasion of Holy Fateha e Yazdaham. The annual waaz begins after Maghrib prayer which involves the presence of senior Muslim leader of Bangladesh including the Imam of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. Post waaz Milad is the characteristic feature of the occasion.

In Popular Media

Many religious songs, including manqabat and qawwalis dedicated to the festival, has been recited by the famous naat-khwan and Qawwals. "Mere Gyarvi Waale Peer" by Hafiz Tahirul Qadri is one of the most popular manqabat admired by the devotees living in Indian subcontinent and abroad.

Gyarvi Sharif 2021

Insha Allah in 2021, the annual Gyarvi Sharif will start in the evening of 16 November and will continue till 17 November, 2021. 

See Also

Waris Pak

Tajuddin Baba Urs and Sandal

Sailani Baba

Musa Suhag 

References

* Financial Express, December 7, 2019.

Ary Qtv .

* Bangla Pedia, 15 February 2015 Fateha e           Yazdaham.

* Tribune.com.pk. March 22, 2015.

* Dastgeer Sahib Image : source Kashmir Life

* Darul Ifta Ahle Sunnat

* lecture on Gyarvi Sharif by Mufti Akmal on     Ary Qtv

Pilgrims of Love: The Anthropology of a           Global Sufi Cult By Pnina Werbner.

* Golra Sharif official.