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Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai

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About Haji Ali Dargah

Situated in southern Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the Haji Ali Dargah is both a mosque and tomb of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, and till date continues to be one of the most famous places of tourist attractions in the equally famous Mumbai city.

It was built in the year 1431, in the loving memory of Bhukhari who used to be a wealthy Muslim, and gave up all his wealth and luxurious life and proceeded to Mecca, devoting the rest of his life to the almighty. The architecture in the dargah is a perfect illustration of the blend of Indian and Islamic art and often the place has been associated with a legend of doomed lovers, which technically lead to more tourist interest.

Many Sufi singers perform musical events on Fridays and more than 40,000 pilgrims regardless of their faith as well as religion visit the dargah to offer prayers and seek blessings from the popular saint. The qawalis that are performed here are enjoyed by masses.

History of Haji Ali Dargah

Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and tomb located on an islet off the coast of Mumbai, India. The dargah is dedicated to the Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who is believed to have died while on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

The dargah is said to have been built in the 1431 by a wealthy Muslim merchant, Haji Ali, who gave away all of his wealth before embarking on his pilgrimage. He died during the journey and his body is believed to have washed up on the shores of the islet where the dargah now stands.

Over the centuries, the dargah has become a popular pilgrimage site for people of all faiths. The structure of the dargah has been rebuilt several times, with the most recent renovation taking place in the early 2000s.

Haji Ali Dargah is visited by thousands of people every day, and is particularly crowded during the Urs (death anniversary) of Haji Ali. The Dargah is considered to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful place in Mumbai, and is also known as one of the most iconic landmarks of Mumbai.

Why ladies are not allowed in Haji Ali Dargah?

Ladies were allowed in Haji Ali Dargah until 2011. However, in 2011, the management committee of the dargah decided to restrict the entry of women into the inner sanctum of the dargah, citing religious and cultural reasons. This decision was met with widespread criticism and protests.

In 2016, the Bombay High Court ruled that the ban on women’s entry into the inner sanctum of the dargah was unconstitutional and ordered the management committee to allow women to enter the dargah. However, the ban was not lifted immediately, and the management committee filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of India.

In August 2016, the Supreme Court of India upheld the High Court’s ruling and ordered the management committee to allow women to enter the dargah. Since then, women are allowed to enter the dargah and it is open for all.

It’s worth noting that the ban on women’s entry was not related to any religious teachings or beliefs, but rather it was a decision made by the management committee of the dargah.

Can Hindu visit Haji Ali Dargah?

Haji Ali Dargah is a Muslim shrine and a tomb of a Muslim saint, Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, so it is open to people of all religions, including Hindus. People of different religions, including Hindus, visit the dargah to pay their respects to the saint and to seek blessings. The dargah is considered to be a sacred place by people of different faiths, and it is not limited to Muslims only.

It’s worth noting that while the dargah is open to visitors of all religions, there may be certain customs and traditions that are specific to Islam that visitors should be aware of and respect. Visitors should dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering the dargah.

In India, people of different religions coexist in harmony and visit each other’s places of worship. It’s common to see people of different religions visiting shrines, temples and mosques, and it is a good way to learn about different cultures and beliefs.

What is the best time to visit Haji Ali Dargah?

The best time to visit Haji Ali Dargah would depend on your personal preferences and the purpose of your visit. The dargah is open for visitors every day, and you can visit at any time during the day. However, there are certain times of the day when the dargah may be more crowded or have special events taking place.

  • Early morning: The dargah is relatively quieter in the early morning, and it’s a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds. The early morning light also makes for some beautiful photography.
  • Evening: The dargah is beautifully lit up in the evening and it’s a good time to visit if you want to see the dargah in a different light. Evening prayers also take place at this time, which can be an interesting cultural experience.
  • Urs: Urs is the death anniversary of the saint and it is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. During Urs, a large number of people visit the dargah to offer their prayers and seek blessings from the saint. If you want to experience the Urs, you can check the schedule and plan accordingly.
  • Friday: Fridays are considered to be a holy day for Muslims and a large number of people visit the dargah on Fridays. If you’re interested in observing the Friday prayers, it’s best to visit the dargah on a Friday.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Haji Ali Dargah is whenever it is convenient for you, and also consider the crowd and the weather conditions.

Can we wear jeans in Haji Ali Dargah?

When visiting Haji Ali Dargah, it’s important to dress modestly and respectfully. Jeans can be worn but it is advisable to wear traditional and loose clothes that cover the body. Wearing clothes that cover the arms and legs is considered respectful when visiting a mosque or dargah. Also, it’s customary to remove shoes before entering the dargah, so it’s best to wear footwear that is easy to remove.

It’s also important to note that while Jeans may be acceptable, wearing too tight clothing may not be appropriate, especially for women.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and dress conservatively when visiting religious sites, as it shows respect for the culture and customs of the place you are visiting.

What should I wear in Haji Ali?

When visiting Haji Ali Dargah, it’s important to dress modestly and respectfully.

Men should wear traditional Indian attire such as kurta-pyjama or a lungi. Avoid wearing shorts, short-sleeved shirts, or anything that is too revealing.

Women should wear traditional Indian attire such as salwar kameez, saree or churidar-kurta. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight, revealing or shorts. It is also recommended to cover the head with a scarf or dupatta while inside the mosque.

It’s also important to note that it is customary to remove shoes before entering the dargah, so it’s best to wear footwear that is easy to remove.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and dress conservatively when visiting religious sites, as it shows respect for the culture and customs of the place you are visiting.

Haji Ali Dargah Mumbai Timings

The Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai is open for visitors every day, and the timings of the dargah may vary depending on the day of the week and the season. Here are the general timings of the dargah:

  • Morning: The dargah opens at 5:00 AM and closes at 10:00 AM
  • Afternoon: The dargah opens at 4:00 PM and closes at 9:00 PM

It’s worth noting that the timings may change during Ramadan and other special occasions, so it’s best to check the official website or with the management committee of the dargah before visiting.

It’s also good to note that the dargah is closed for a few hours during the day for cleaning and maintenance.

Also, the approach to the Dargah is through a causeway and you may have to walk for a few minutes to reach the Dargah, and the walk is generally better during low tide, so it’s best to check the tide schedule before planning your visit.

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