Panel to look into account books for the first time in its 700-year history after allegations that the 'descendants of Sufi saint' were pocketing the donations running into crores of rupees
New Delhi: For the first time in its 700-year history, the accounts of the famed Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah in Delhi will be subjected to scrutiny by a court-approved panel.
The panel was constituted following a public interest litigation by a voluntary organisation, Hum Aapke, which complained that revenue worth crores of rupees earned by the dargah annually is being pocketed by 'vested interests' who claimed to be descendants of the late Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin.
Believed to be more than 700 years old, the dargah is visited round the year by thousands of people from India and other countries. Followers of the saint make liberal cash donations and offerings in kind.
Hum Aapke alleged that the revenues are pocketed by 'self-styled' descendants of the saint. It urged the Delhi High Court to intervene to ensure that the funds were utilised only for charitable purposes in accordance with Islamic tenets.
Henceforth, a seven-member committee comprising four representatives of the Delhi Waqf Board and three 'descendants' of the noted Sufi saint will monitor the accounts of the dargah.
A division bench comprising Justices M K Sharma and Reva Khetrapal, while granting approval to the committee, asked it to submit a preliminary report within eight weeks. It also asked Waqf Board standing counsel Najimi Waziri to examine the feasibility of including an official representative of the court in the panel.
THE SHRINE'S HISTORY
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia's ancestors were from Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan). They migrated to India, where Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was born in 1238. He became an expert on the Koran and went on to become a Sufi mystic with a dedicated following. He loved Sufi music. Even today, his followers gather at his shrine in the evenings to sing Sufi songs.
He is also referred to as Mehboob-e-Elahi, the beloved of Allah. He died in 1325.
A tomb was built in 1562 in his memory. It is located in south Delhi. It is flanked by a mosque and graves of other important Muslims, including the great Sufi poet Amir Khusro and Jahanara, a daughter of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. On his birthday, the shrine is bathed and the water is distributed among visitors.