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Friday, 14 January 2011

CONSTRUCTION OF THE MAUSOLEUM

Hazrat Babuji (R.A), who occupied the spiritual throne of Golra for 37 years (from 1937 to 1974), made it a point to regard every person who came to him for bai’at (formal pledge of fidelity) as in reality Hazrat himself, and passed him (or her) on to Hazrat’s spiritual care. As for himself, he admitted to being no more than a servant of the Golra shrine, consecrated as it is to the memory of Hazrat Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A) emanating from it. Even though his own name became, in course of time, as much as of a household word as that of Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) himself, Babuji never elevated himself to a position higher than the latter. In line with this self-image, he devoted his energies through out his lifetime to the improvement and expansion of the facilities at the Shrine, in order to ensure that people visiting here in ever-increasing numbers were duly taken care of. It is principally due to these efforts of Hazrat Babuji (R.A) and after him of Hazrat Ghulam Muinuddin (R.A) and Shah Abdul Haq, (Sajjada Nasheen Dargah-e-Ghausia Mehria, Golra Sharif), that the Golra shrine today ranks as one of the best-managed shrines in the country.
On the advice of some of the devotees present on the occasion, Hazrat’s body had been buried towards the left and close to the mosque at Golra Sharif. This followed the pattern of the tomb of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) at Madina Munawwara which is also situated next to Masjid-e Nabavi on the left. For this purpose, the orchard next to the mosque had been selected, and since the surface of the orchard was substantially lower than that of the mosque. This meant that body of Hazrat was covered by as much as 20 feet of earth work.
Sometime later, in visions to some devotees, Hazrat (R.A) expressed disapproval of this situation, and questioned being pressed by so much of earth work. As a result, expert advice was sought as to how the position could be rectified. The engineer-in-charge of the work of mausoleum construction, Babu Lal-Muhammad Chughtai, who was then Assistant Chief Architect of the Punjab Government and was also a murid of Hazrat (R.A), advised that the surface of the grave itself should be raised to a depth of no more than 6 feet below the ground level. This would of course mean disinterment of the coffin from its existing place advised by the engineer in charge.
Hazrat Babuji (R.A) arranged to have this operation carried out with the utmost caution and discreetness in order to avoid any publicity. The coffin was taken out in the late evening, and was placed behind the closed doors near the tomb of Hazrat’s father, Ajji Sahib (R.A) where it had to be kept for two days and nights while the work of the new grave was completed. Despite the care exercised by Hazrat Babuji (R.A), however, word about the disinterment of the coffin leaked out, and hundreds of devotees rushed to Golra to earn the privilege of seeing the Holy coffin once again.
A strange incident
When the coffin was taken out in the evening, Hazrat Babuji (R.A) happened to see a small slit on one side of it, and could not resist looking through it inside the coffin. As he did so, he saw dazzling light emitting from Hazrat’s (R.A) brow, the like of which could not be compared to any earthly light. This magnificent sight instantly reminded Babuji of the following Persian verse of Khwaja Hafiz of Shiraz: 
Translation: " I swear by Allah that I feel envious of my two bright eyes (which are looking at the beloved’s face) because normal eyesight is incapable of absorbing the brilliance of such a super-fine and delicate face."
Construction of the mausoleum
The construction of Hazrat’s mausoleum took nearly twenty years to be fully completed. High quality marble for the mausoleum was requisitioned from the famed “Makrana” mines in Jodhpur princely State in un-divided India. The builders were also invited from Jodhpur. These men stayed on in Golra Sharif until the completion of the work, and have now become Pakistani citizens. The mausoleum is a beautiful structure and presents an eye-cooling view. Its design conforms to the traditional Islamic style of architecture, with an imposing dome in the middle and arched verandahs on all sides.
Just below the ceiling height on all sides both inside and outside the building, carefully-selected verses of the Quran along with excerpts from the Prophet’s  (P.B.U.H) ahadith of similar meaning, both of them with their translations, and equally well-selected Persian verses of eminent Sufi poets such as Maulana Rumi, Khwaja Hafiz of Shiraz, Shaikh Saadi, and others, have been engraved with black stone in exquisite calligraphy.   
“There is no extravagance in good things”   
Hazrat Babuji (R.A) was considerably concerned about the question whether the construction of a mausoleum over Hazrat’s (R.A) grave would be proper from the shariah point of view. Although most of the ulama ruled such construction as permissible in itself under the shariah, one of them, while agreeing with the majority view, opined that such a structure was likely to involve such large expenditure as to fall within the definition of “undue extravagance”, which is looked upon with disfavour by the shariah. Thereupon, Hazrat Babuji (R.A) consulted various scholarly writings on the subject in order to make some definite decision. In this process, he came across a ruling of Hazrat Shaikh Abu Saeed Abul Khair (R.A) in these words: 
Translation: "There is no extravagance in good things".  
 

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