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Data Durbar, Hujwiri's shrine in Lahore, Pakistan

Abul Hassan Ali Ibn Usman al-Jullabi al-Hajvery al-Ghaznawi or Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery (Arabic: علی بن عثمان الجلابی الهجویری الغزنوی‎) (sometimes spelled Hujwiri), also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh (Persian/Urdu: داتا گنج بخش ) or Data Sahib, was a Persian Sufi and scholar during the 11th century. He significantly contributed to the spreading of Islam in South Asia.[1]

He was born in Ghazna (in present day Afghanistan) in the beginning of Ghaznavids period (around 990) and died in Lahore (in present day Punjab, Pakistan) in 1077 CE. His most famous work is The Kashf Al Mahjub ("Unveiling the Veiled") written in Persian language. The work debates Sufi doctrines of the past.

Hujwiri belonged to the Junaidia school of Sufism. These sufis followed Junaid Baghdadi of Baghdad. Hajwiri is also viewed as an important intercessor for many Sufis.



To Read About Life Of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh (ra) In Urdu Language Please Follow This Link * Life Of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh In Urdu Language Hujwiri probably entered the Sufi path very early in his life and spent many years travelling to Iran, Iraq, Syria etc, during which he met several Sufi saints. He studied Sufism under Abu'l-Fadl Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Khuttali through whom he is spiritually connected) with Junaid Baghdadi.[2]. He settled for some time in Iraq where he had a short experience with married life. Finally he was taken as a captive to Lahore[3], where he spent the rest of his life and compiled the major portion of his book, The Kashf Al Mahjub.

Although a Sunni Hanafite, Hujvery's theology was reconciled with the concept of Sufi annihilation. However he strenuously campaigned against the doctrine that human personalities can be merged with God, instead likening annihilation to burning by fire which allows the substance to acquire fire like properites while retaining its own individuality. He also was a great upholder of the Sharia and rebuffed the idea that outward observances of Islam are not important for Sufis. Hujwiri believed that individuals should not claim to have attained "marifat" or gnosis because it meant that one was prideful, and that true understanding of God should be a silent understanding.

Practice of Sufi Saints Migrating to the Sub-Continent

It has a been a practice of Sufi saints coming to the Indian subcontinent to first visit the shrine of Hazrat Usman Ali Hujwiri. Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti first came to Lahore to pay his respects at Data Ganj-Bakhsh upon his arriving in the subcontinent. There he was directed to settle in Ajmer Sharif and commence his spiritual mission in India. Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti paid homage to Hazrat Usman Ali Hujwiri in the following words:[4][5]
Ganj Bakhsh-e faiz-e aalam, mazhar-e Nur-i Khuda
Naqisaan ra pir-e kaamil, kaamilaan ra rahnuma

Ganj Bakhsh is a manifestation of the Light of God for the people
A perfect guide unto the imperfect ones and a guide unto the perfect ones

Cultural Significance

His mausoleum, popularly known as Data Durbar, is located in Lahore, Pakistan.

Culturally people living close to the shrine have become emotionally and economically dependent on the shrine. Food stalls, flower sellers and numerous beggars are dependent on Shrine visitors.

On special occasions, the shrine is lit up with lights, dinner is prepared for hundreds of people and Fakirs dance around and musicians play music for hours.

In the boundary of shrine, Muslims recite Qur'an, and pay tributes to Muhammad.


His book, Kashf-ul-Mahjoob, is one of the earliest writings on Sufism. It has been translated in various languages, including English done by Reynold Nicholson. He wrote few more books, but he himself mentions that all of those were stolen by other people. Kashf-ul-Israr (or Kashf-ul-Asrar) is another short book which is available today.


  1. ^ Pilgrims of Love: The Anthropology of a Global Sufi Cult; Pnina Werbner, Pg 4, Published 2003 C. Hurst & Co
  2. ^ Preface to Nicholson's translation of Kashf Al Mahjub
  3. ^ The Kashf Al Mahjub, Nicholson's translation, Pg 91
  4. ^ Preface of Kashful-Mahjoob, Edited by Zhokovski, Preface by Qasim Ansari, Tahori Publications 1999, Tehran, Iran
  5. ^ Gul Ahmad Shefta, Emergence of Persian in the World, LINK

See also

External links



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