The demand by the religious head of Ajmer dargah to ban visits by film stars and producers to the shrine to pray for the success of their films has drawn flak from the community of khadims (caretakers) and some artistes,though clerics have supported his stand.
Anjuman committee,representative body of khadims who perform ziyarat in the dargarh,said that Dewan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan’s objection was uncalled for.
“Those who have faith in Khawaja come here irrespective of caste and creed. They come here for the great saint Khawaja and bow to him,not Dewan,” said Wahid Hussain Chisti,Secretary of Anjuman Committee.
“It is totally an objectionable stand. People come here with their wish and pray to Khawaja Sahib. It is between the Khawaja and the devotee,” he said.
Qutbuddin Sakhi,a khadim,said that film producers,actors and actresses usually come with the first print of their films and seek blessings for the success of their work.
“Many of them come with first print,which only contains the names of director/producers/actor/actress/crew,not the entire film and they seek blessings for the success of their performance. I do not think that there should be any objection to this,” he said.
According to him,the Dewan has no right to interfere in the matters related with ziyarat and he is just doing for “publicity”.
Actor Raza Murad,a frequent visitor to the shrine,said film stars have been visiting the dargarh for a long time and such objections should be rejected.
“The kaum (community) is already backward and such statement has only worsened the situation. The dargah of Sufi saint is not a personal property. It is open for all and such statement at the time of Ramzan is really not acceptable,” he said.
“If he has talked about Islamic law,then the entry of women should also be banned. Why are female devotees allowed to enter the dargah,” he asked.
Rajasthani folk singer and actress Ila Arun,who has expressed her wish to organise a Sufi performance in the dargah,said that if something is against spirituality or a law,it should be avoided.
“If one has ill-wish or something unfair and prays to the God in mind for that,no one can stop him or her from doing so. Such wishes would not be addressed so why is there a need to create a hype,” Arun said.
“If the wish is for such a film which has vulgarity or obscenity,it will not be successful,” she said.
However,Arun said,that if offering of CD/DVD/print in the dargah is obejectionable,it should be banned.
On the other hand,scholar Mohammad Salim said that the Dewan was correct in principle because things which are prohibited from an Islamic point of view should not be promoted.
“In principle,he is correct but my view is that when it comes to offering prayers,one should pray to the supreme God and seek blessings from Him only,” he said.
Peer Abdul Ruab Chisti of Nagaur dargah,Maulana Mashkoor of Lucknow and other religious people also supported Dewan’s statement.
They said that he was fundamentally correct as far as Islamic law is concerned.
The dargah Dewan in a statement yesterday objected to actors and producers visiting the shrine to pray for the success of their films saying that they were seeking blessings for something which is taboo in Islam.
He had said in that his objection was only over the visit with this particular purpose,not for a general visit.