Friday, December 22, 2023

Khwaja Khizr: The Mysterious Saint of Water

 Khwaja Khizr is a Sufi saint who is associated with water, wisdom, and eternal life. He is revered by Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs in various regions of South Asia, especially in Pakistan and India. He is also known by other names, such as Zinda Pir, Khwaja Khidr, Khizr Elias, and Khwaja Pir.

Khawaja Khizr’s life and miracles

The date calculated from the slab states that the shrine was built in 341 AH (952 AD). However, this is a still contested fact by historians and archaeologists.

A niche for lighting earthen lamps.

The throne or gaddi of Khwaja Khizr.


     According to some traditions, Khwaja Khizr is the son of Darya Khan, a ruler of Multan in the 15th century. He was a devout Muslim who spent his life in prayer and meditation. He also performed many miracles, such as healing the sick, reviving the dead, and controlling the waters. He is said to have a green complexion and a green cloak, symbolizing his connection to water and vegetation. He is also believed to have the power of invisibility and to appear and disappear at will.

     Some scholars identify Khwaja Khizr with al-Khidr, a figure mentioned in the Quran as a righteous servant of God who possessed great knowledge and mystic insight. He was the companion and teacher of the prophet Musa (Moses), who questioned him about his seemingly unjust actions, such as sinking a ship, killing a young man, and repairing a wall. Al-Khidr explained that his actions had hidden wisdom and benefits that Musa could not comprehend. Al-Khidr is also considered to be a prophet, an angel, or a wali (friend of God) by different Islamic sects and schools of thought.

     Another possible identification of Khwaja Khizr is with Utnapishtim, a character from the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. He was the survivor of a great flood that wiped out humanity, and he was granted immortality by the gods. He lived on an island at the mouth of the rivers, where he met Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, who sought the secret of eternal life. Utnapishtim told him the story of the flood and tested him with various challenges, but Gilgamesh failed to achieve his goal.

     Khwaja Khizr is also associated with various other figures and legends from different cultures and religions, such as Saint George, Elijah, John the Baptist, Sargis the General, and Jhulelal. He is seen as a patron of travelers, sailors, fishermen, and seekers of spiritual knowledge. He is also a protector of rivers, lakes, springs, and wells. He is believed to appear to his devotees in times of need and to grant them blessings and guidance.

     Khwaja Khizr is honored and celebrated in various ways by his followers. He has many shrines and tombs dedicated to him, such as the Khwaja Khizr Tomb in Sonipat, India, the Zinda Pir Shrine in Sukkur, Pakistan, and the Khwaja Khizr Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. He is also commemorated on the festival of H─▒d─▒rellez, which marks the arrival of spring and the meeting of Khwaja Khizr and Elijah. On this day, people make wishes, offer prayers, and perform rituals near water sources, hoping to receive the grace and favor of Khwaja Khizr.


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