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A holy tomb in Pakistan’s Sindh where male donkeys are offered to fulfil the desire of a male child

People who want a male child offer male donkeys at the Shrine of Pir Syed Rajan Qattaar Jahania in Sindh in Pakistan

We all have seen chadars, sweets, flowers being brought to Islamic shrines as offerings to the almighty for the fulfilment of vows. In the bandwagon of heaps of offerings and prayers being answered in return, a story from Pakistan’s Sindh province stands out. A shrine dedicated to a local saint in Khairpur’s village of Bibarlo, the tradition of offering living male donkeys is famous.

Tradition has it that in the tomb of Pir Syed Rajan Qattaar Jahania, live male donkeys are offered to secure the saint’s blessings in the Mannat so offered. Local myth says that the saint loved to ride the animal in his lifetime and hence the story behind the offering. While all kinds of offerings are done in the shrine, the practice of offering live male donkeys to the saint is a must if a vow from a devotee is to be fulfilled. Those who cannot afford to buy a full-fledged donkey can also offer comparatively inexpensive small donkeys, according to the tradition.

According to Atif Shah Jahania, the caretaker of the shrine, Pir Syed Rajan Qattaar Jahania was from the Makhdoom Jahania family of Uch Sharif ad migrated to Sindh in the latter half of the nineteenth century. When once sent a vehicle by his followers to receive him, he refused to step in and asked for a ride on a donkey instead. On longer journeys, he often used to take rides on a donkey. Devotees to this date, offer a decorated live male donkey at the tomb of Pir Rajan Qattar Jahania, popularly called ‘Rajan Mast’ after their wishes (mannats) are fulfilled.

A devotee in an interview by Geo News narrated his experience of following the Rajan Mast cult. “My niece was finding struggle in conceiving a child. After I asked her to pray at the Rajan Mast, she was blessed with a baby boy. We have come here to offer flowers, sweets and a donkey as our wish is fulfilled.” In his lifetime, the saint asked his followers to gift him donkeys in return for a divine favour. While he used the donkeys for riding, he often used to pluck the hair of those donkeys and gift them to his followers as that would bless them with a baby boy.

The donkeys offered at the shrine are sold further. The tradition of offering male donkeys is particularly popular among followers who want a male child in their house. While the superstitious practice behind the cult is way beyond debate, the realm of religion and belief offers much amusement while devotees in the third world keep expecting a male child.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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