Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai
Haji Ali Dargah is an important landmark in Mumbai. Not only Muslims, but Hindus and foreigners also visit the Dargah seeking the blessings of Pir Haji Ali. At any time of the day, you can find numerous people walking towards Dargah. They include people of all faiths and nationalities.
The Haji Ali Dargah is situated in the middle of the Arabian Sea about 500 yards from the shore of Mumbai. The structure stands on a set of high rising rocks.
Entrance to Haji Ali Dargah – the dargah houses the tomb of Saint Haji Ali Shah Bukhari
Haji Ali Dargah houses the tomb of the Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. In addition to the tomb, there is a Masjid at Haji Ali. With its white domes and minarets, the building is an example of Mughal architecture. The Dargah attracts about 15,000 people a day. Non-Muslims can also visit the Dargah and offer prayers. On Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, it attracts more than 30,000 visitors. Haji Ali is one of the most important pilgrimage places for Muslims.
Pilgrims from all parts of the world visit the Dargah every day seeking the blessings of the Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. It is believed that the Saint fulfills the wishes of devotees who pray at his tomb. The Dargah has been voted as one of the Seven Wonders of Mumbai.
Pathway to Haji Ali Dargah
The Dargah stands amidst the sea. The narrow pathway leading to the main gate of the Dargah from the Lala Lajpat Rai Marg was built in 1944. It connects the shore to the Dargah. It should be noted that the pathway isn’t protected by railings. So devotees can only visit the Dargah when the tide is low. In the 1980’s the pathway was raised by a few feet. This has made the Dargah accessible throughout the year. One of the major highlights of the trip to Haji Ali is the walk on the pathway which has sea on both sides. Devotees believe that the Saint will protect them from the waves.
Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari was an Iranian saint who played an important role in spreading the word of Islam in India.
Muslims believe that holy saints who devote their lives to spread the message of Allah are immortal. Since they renounce worldly pleasures for the service of Allah, they assume the stature of martyrs (Shaheed). Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari was one such saint. He performed many miracles during his life and after his death.
Before he became a saint, Haji Ali Shah Bukhari was a wealthy Iranian merchant. The Dargah was built in AD 1431 in his honor. He had given up all of his possessions before going on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Bukhari had travelled to many countries around the world before he decided to settle in Mumbai.
There are several legends surrounding his life. According to one legend, the Saint once saw a poor woman crying. She had an empty vessel in her hand. He asked her why she was crying and she replied that she had tripped on a stone and accidentally spilled the oil she was carrying in the vessel. She was worried that her husband would beat her up if she returned home with the empty vessel. The saint asked her to take him to the spot where she spilt the oil. Upon reaching the spot, he jabbed his finger into the soil and the oil gushed out. The woman filled up the vessel and went home happy.
After this incident, however, Bukhari started having a disturbing dream that he had hurt earth by his act. Full of remorse, he soon fell ill. Although he was not keeping good health, he traveled to India and reached the shores of Mumbai. He decided to settle there. Bukhari spent the rest of his life spreading the message of Islam in India.
Before his death, he had told his followers that they should not burry him at any proper place. Instead he wanted them to cast his coffin into the Arabian Sea. After his death, they did so and the casket carrying his mortal remains floated back to the shores of Mumbai. It got stuck in the string of rocky islets off the shores of Worli, Mumbai. The Dargah is built at the very site where the casket came to rest.
Dargah Ziyarat Timings 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.