Ajmer/Mumbai: A ‘chadar’ (sacred cloth) sent on behalf of the people of United State of America and President Barack Hussein Obama, was ceremonially presented at the Dargah Ajmer Sharif on Monday morning.
The ‘chadar’ was presented by Haji Syed Salman Chishty, the ‘Gaddi Nashin’ to mark the 803rd annual Urs celebrations of Hazrat Khawaja Moinudeen Hasan Chishty, a revered Sufi saint.
US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, had handed over the ‘chadar’ on behalf of President Obama to Haji Chishty in New Delhi last week.
“On behalf of the United States government, I convey greetings of deepest friendship and respect to the community of Dargah Ajmer Sharif and the people of Ajmer,” said a message from Verma which was read out on the occasion.
“On this day, the 803rd Annual Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Moinudeen Hasan Chishty, our thoughts are with the community in Ajmer and we give thanks for the work of the Dargah Ajmer Sharif and its legacy of striving for understanding, peace, and respect between all faiths and peoples of the world,” the message said.
Quoting President Obama, it added: “Whatever our beliefs, whatever our traditions, we must seek to be instruments of peace, and bringing light where there is darkness, and sowing love where there is hatred.
On behalf of the US government, Verma commended the Dargah Ajmer Sharif for its commitment to these noble goals and conveyed the goodwill of the American people and partnership of the US Embassy in their work to make the world a better place.
“It’s a historic day and a welcoming moment. It’s the first ever gesture of extending spiritual greetings of peace to Ajmer Dargah Sharif from a non-South Asian country’s Head of State,” a pleased Haji Chishty told IANS, on the gift of the ‘chadar’.
The 32-year-old Gaddi Nashin explained that such ‘chadars’ and offerings are received with much respect and grace from presidents or prime ministers and other top leaders of several South Asian countries, including regulars like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
“This is the first time that any non-South Asian country’s head has sent a ‘chadar’ to the Ajmer Dargah Sharif. It will set a new trend for global peace among communities,” said Haji Chishty who represents the 27th continuous generation of ‘Gaddi Nashin’ of the world famous Dargah Khawaja Saheb.
Hundreds of thousands of Zaireens, or pilgrims from all over the world, who have converged for the 803rd Urs, witnessed the ‘chadar’ presentation at the Dargah, said Haji Chishty, who is director of Chishty Foundation, Ajmer Sharif here.