ZAR ZARI ZAR-BAKHSH DARGAH - Khuldabad, Aurangabad, Maharashtra



In the area between the Daulatabad Fort and the Ellora Caves is found a most unique and spiritually significant area known as Khuldabad and the Valley of the Saints.Here among the 1400 Muslim dargahs (tombs) is found Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh,born Muntajib al-Din, one of the great Chisthi Sufi Perfect Masters who migrated from Arabia about seven hundred years ago. Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh, whose name means “the giver of the essence of gold”, was one of the many Sufi saints and spiritual masters, along with his brother the Perfect Master Burhan al-Din Gharib, who were active in the Deccan over a period of hundreds of years.Meher Baba stated that Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh, arguably the most legendary and celebrated saint buried in the Valley of the Saints, was the true master of Sai Baba of Shirdi even though Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh had died 700 years before Sai Baba was born.Meher Baba explained that Sai Baba had won Zar Zari’s greace because of past service to him in another life and, as a result of that connection, attained God-Realization through him even though Zar Zari was not incarnate at that time.


Inside the tomb of Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh is also found the grave of his colleague Pir Bhai (meaning brother in faith), Khaj Muhammad Said. Both served the same master in their lifetime and after Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh attained God-Realization and became a Perfect Master, he did not forget his friend and ordered that he be buried at his side.There is another small shrine nearby belonging to Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh’s mother, Bibi Hajira, to which the local women bring bangles and offerings seeking her blessings.Between her tomb and Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh’s lies the tomb of Sona Bai, (gold woman, in Marathi), a Hindu princess who converted to Islam and became as adept mystic as a disciple to Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh.During the annual Urs celebration (death anniversary) thousands of people from all over the country come to the compound to pay their respects to Zar Zari Zar-bakhsh.

During a visit here in 1979, Eruch stated that the dargah is exactly as it was when Baba used to visit there.Eruch explained that Baba used to come at night and sit inside by Himself while the Mandali remained outside keeping watch.On November 14th, 1951, Baba called the attendant of the Zar Zari-Zar-bakhsh’s dargah to Him, washed his feet and gave him 21 rupees.Thereafter, Baba and His party went to the dargah where the attendant brought seventy-four people from the Muslim community.Baba washed and dried the feet of all after which the attendant read a passage from the first Surah (chapter) of the Koran, called by the Prophet Mohammad the, “exalted reading”, ending with the blessing, “May His (Baba’s) spiritual work, whatever it is, get fulfilled.”Baba then left the dargah for the Hindu village where He begged for food at five homes and later distributed over one thousand rupees as “dakshina”


to the residents of Khuldabad.This begging and gift giving was followed by serving a number of poor Hindu villagers in the same way He had done with the earlier group that morning. Only since He dropped the body did the people learn from the visiting mandali and devotees who the ‘kind philanthropist from Bombay’ really was.
Khuldabad also known as the 'valley of saints' is a sacred town located on the Aurangabad-Ellora path at a distance of 5 km from the Ellora caves and 22 km from Aurangabad. Khuldabad Urs is the popular fair is held here annually for 5 days during the month of Rabi-Ul-Awal (i.e in May according to the lunar Muslim calendar). It is an important religious center due to its abode to two of the most revered Muhammaden saints namely, Burhan-ud-din and Zain-ud-din. During the festive days large number of Muslims gather here to pay honor to the consecrated saints. The tomb of of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangazeb is also located here.

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