BHITSHAH: Syed Waqar Hussain Shah wore the attire of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in a spiritual ritual to become the 12th Sajjada Nashin of the great mystic poet’s shrine.
The simple but impressive ceremony coincided with the soyem of his father Syed Nisar Hussain Shah, who passed away on Dec 29.
Waqar, a young man with a masters degree in business administration, vowed to work for inter-faith harmony in the region in line with Bhittai’s message of peace and harmony.
“This [the position of Sajjada Nashin] will give me more strength to work for peace,” he told journalists.
Waqar confidently said that Sindh would become the Sindh of Bhittai.
He condemned those forces who commit crimes in the name of Islam, saying they are in fact enemies of Allah and humanity.
He pledged to work for religious minorities because Bhittai’s message was for all mankind.
“I’ll serve without discrimination and will work stronger now for the people,” he said.
As part of spiritual tradition, the Sajjada Nashin of Shah Karim Bulri’s shrine (located in Tando Mohammad Khan) always presents attire to incumbent Sajjada Nashin of Bhittai’s shrine.
Since Syed Shahid Hussain Shah, that shrine’s Sajjada Nashin is in the US, his son Syed Mohammad Hyder did the ritual on his behalf.
The dress, called “Haal Dhaga” in Sindhi language, includes a sleeveless piece of cloth, a shawl, a cap and ‘amama’ turban. The turban was worn-out as it has been 271 years since Bhittai died.
The 271st Urs of Bhittai concluded on Dec 9.
A large number of devotees including, disciples, family members, friends, people of Bhitshah and other parts of Matiari district gathered in the shrine’s courtyard to attend the ceremony.
The atmosphere around the shrine remained gloomy.
After presentation of attire, Waqar Shah, surrounded by devotees, visited Bhittai’s shrine to seek his ‘murshid's’ blessings.
He later visited ‘bari autaq’ (place where Bhtitai used to sit with his raagi or faqir) and then went inside his house so that female devotees may have a glimpse of him and seek his blessings. His return to the courtyard marked the end of the ceremony.