No property of
any kind was endowed in favor of the Dargah Sharif until the reign
of Mughal Emperor Akbar who, in 1567, granted it the revenue of
eighteen villages, and a levy of 1 per cent on the sale of salt at
Sambhar (Rajasthan), to pay for the distribution of food from the
shrine. Another document (1574-5) from Akbar's reign shows that the
emperor provided oil for the lamps within the mausoleum. The pargana
of Sambhar was to provided 1 maun of oil annually for this purpose.
Shah Jahan issued a new farman in 1637 in place of Akbar's endowing
the shrine with lands producing Rs. 15,723 per annum in rent from
seventeen villages, and Rs. 10,057 in cash. The management was
directed to use this to defray the cost of the 'urs, distribution of
food, the lighting of the mausoleum, prayer carpets, flowers for the
tomb, prayer leaders for the shrine's mosques, the muezzin, reciters
of the Quran, servants for the shrine, and good works in general. In
1717 Farukh Siyar granted two more villages to the Dargah Sharif,
which added Rs. 3,984 per annum to the income of the shrine.
The next bequest came in 1850 when the Nizam of Hyderabad issued an
order that the entire income from certain villages in the suba of
Berar should be assigned to the Ajmer Dargah Sharif. This estate was
worth Rs. 6,480 per annum. When this part of the state of Hyderabad
fell into British hands the Nizam issued a new sanad to give the
Dargah Sharif another estate. This second grant, made on 23rd
Shawwal, AH 1278/23 April 1862, was worth Rs. 18,471 per annum.
From 1893 onwards the Nizam gave Rs. 12,000 per annum from the waqf
income of the Hyderabad state to the Dargah Sharif, of which one
share went to the mutawalli and was used for the expenses of the
langar, scents, sandal, and other requirements for the tomb; and the
other to the Khuddam Hazraat. The Nizam also granted 1200 rupees a
year to the Dargah Moinia Usmania School, and about 600 rupees a
month for the new Naqqar-Kaana, etc. In 1948, the Nizam set up a
charitable trust to benefit the Dargah Sharif.
Offereings to the Dargah Sharif
A substantial proportion of the
Dargah Sharif's revenue has always come from offerings made by
devotees. The visits of the Emperor Akbar were always marked by his
making generous gifts, which the Akbarnama extols:
He divided a large sum of money among those who sat at the
threshold of the shrine. Dirbams and dinars were showered down like
In AH 988/1580-1, Akbar sent his son, Prince Daniyal, with Rs.
25,000 to the Ajmer shrine.
The Tuzuk-i Jahangir records the generosity of Akbar's successor on
the occasion of his visits to Ajmer:
I bestowed on the darvishes with my own hand and in my own presence
55,000 rupees and 190,000 biga of land with 14 entire villages and
26 ploughs and 11 karwar [ass-loads] of rice. On the night of Sunday
(Rajab AH 1615), as it was the anniversary of the great khwaja, I
went to his revered mausoleum and remained there till midnight. The
attendants and Sufis exhibited ecstatic states, and I gave the
faqirs and attendants money with my own hand; altogether there were
expended 6,000 rupees in cash, 100 saub-kurta [ankle length robes],
seventy rosaries of pearls, corals and amber.The servitors of the
shrine contract to adhere to the following systems: The offerings
will be divided into 5½ shares of which, Shaykh Hashim, the son of
the late Shaykh Fathullah would receive half of one share. In the
fifteenth year of Jahangir's reign (1619) a farman was issued to
modify this system. Now the offerings were to be divided into 6½
parts of which Shyaykh Hashim would get half of one share. During
his reign, Shah Jahan sent a gift of fifty ashrafis to the
attendants of the shrine. A sanad had to be issued to ensure that a
certain Shaykh Khubullah received his rightful share, and that the
mutawalli followed the procedure established in Jahangir's reign.
of Other Officials
The land was assigned from the waqf of the Dargah Sharif, and in
case of special need this revenue was supplemented by an allowance
of commodities from the Dargah Sharif's stores. The essence of the
relevant documents is set out below:
1616-17 30 biga of land from the
Dargah Sharif waqf, together with a daily allowance of 2 seers of
wheat is assigned to two of the shrine's qawwals and their mother.
Four seers of wheat from the Langar Khana
of the Dargah Sharif are to be given daily to the sons of Abd al-Rahman
who was killed by lightning.
Shaykh Hashim and his brother, Shaykh Ibrahim,
½ maun of wheat from the Dargah Sharif's Langar Khana, and
I seer of oil from the Dargah Sharif's
waqf is to be given to them.
1617-18 A document confirming the grant of
160 biga of land from the waqf of the Dargah Sharif.
1623-4 Tow seers of wheat from the
Langar Khana had been assigned as a daily allowance to Fatimah,
daughter of Shaykh Qutub. Fatimah has died, and her sons are now to
receive I seer of wheat daily.
1630-1 Two tankas are to be spent daily on flowers for the tomb of
Bibi Hafiz Jamal, the dauther of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty.
Saiyid Fath Muhammad, khadim of the shrine, is detailed to purchase
and present the said flowers.
1646-7 Two qawwals who play in the sama on Thursdays and during the
'urs are assigned 300 biga of land and 5 seers of wheat per day from
the waqf of the Dargah Sharif.
1717 One rupee is assigned to Muhammad Saleh, son of Muhammad
Daulat from the Waqf of the Dargah Sharif.