India’s 800-year-old connection with Jerusalem: Baba Farid’s lodge, now a rest stop for Indian travellers

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Source: The post is based on the article “India’s 800-year-old connection with Jerusalem: Baba Farid’s lodge, now a rest stop for Indian travellers” published in “Indian Express” on 1st November 2023

Why in the News?

India’s connection with Jerusalem dates back to 800 years to the establishment of Baba Farid’s lodge.

Who was Baba Farid?

Birth1173 (Talwandi, Punjab, present-day Pakistan)
OccupationSufi Saint
Belongs toChishti Sufi Order
ContributionProminent Punjabi Sufi poet; His works are part of the Sikh scripture Granth Sahib
PhilosophyEmphasized love, devotion, and unity with God; Simplicity in life
Famous DiscipleShaikh Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325). He was responsible for making Delhi an important centre of the Chishti silsilah.

What was Baba Farid’s connection with Jerusalem?

Shrine: Baba Farid is said to have meditated at a place in Jerusalem for 40 days. 

– Indian Muslims on their way to Mecca started coming to the walled city of Jerusalem to pray at this location. 

– Over time, this spot transformed into a shrine and a significant historical and religious site for Indian travelers.

Lodge: Baba Farid during his travels to Jerusalem prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque and stayed at a lodge.

– This lodge later came to be known as Zawiya Al-Hindiya, meaning “the Lodge of Hind.” After Baba Farid’s departure, the lodge maintained its association with India.

– The medieval traveller Evliya Chelebi described Zawiya Al-Hindiya as one of the largest Zawiyas in the city in 1671. 

– This lodge is currently under the ownership of the Waqf Board of India and is accessible only to individuals of Indian citizenship or heritage.

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