A three-day long festival marking the 973rd Urs [religious/sufi gathering] of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Al-Hajveri, popularly known as Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, began on Saturday in Lahore.
Federal Minister for Finance and Chairman Data Darbar Religious Affairs Committee Ishaq Dar inaugurated the Urs by laying a chaddar [Shawl] at the shrine.
During the festival the shrine is lit with candles and lights, donated food is prepared for the people, sufis perform dhamal [ritual dance] and musicians play music for hours.
Hundreds of mashaikh, religious scholars and sufis are participating in the Urs. The distribution of 'sabeel' started at 11:30 am.
Data Ganj Bakhsh was a Persian sufi and scholar during the 11th century. He was born in Ghazni, Afghanistan (990 AD) during the Ghaznavid Empire and settled and died in Lahore spreading Islam in South Asia.