Bibi Pak Daman is the name of a mausoleum situated near Empress Road Lahore. It is a crowded and massively visited monument. This place holds graves of six women. Meaning of the name Bibi Pak Daman is “chaste lady” or “Lady of Purity”. This name refers collectively to all six women buried inside the tomb but some say it refers to only one lady, considered as Ruqayya bint e Ali.
Many narratives speak about this particular tomb. It is said to have almost 1000 years old history but exact history of this tomb is still not known or is too much assorted. One of the stories which is generally popular among the people is this that six ladies came at this place traveling far from Iraq soon after the battle of Karbala as the tragedy of Karbala took place . Along with these ladies was Ruqayya bint e Ali who is believed to be the daughter of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Umm ul Baneen. Rest of the five ladies were allegedly sisters and daughters of Hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel, brother of Hazrat Ali (a.s) cousin and emissary of Hazrat Imam Hussain (a.s) who was martyred in a city of Iraq called Kufa, just a few days before the tragedy of Karbala.
Legend says that a Hindu ruler called upon these women to his court after they arrived in Lahore as they were gaining a following. Lahore was under the rule of Hindus at that time. As these pious women observed Pardah (keeping themselves covered with veil and avoiding appearing in front of men), they prayed to God to grant them death instead of coming into sight of men. Prayer was fulfilled. As soldiers of Hindu Raja came to take them to the court, earth was torn apart and all the ladies went inside buried alive.
However, it is very controversial as it is not evident at all that any lady from Ahl e Bait (household of last Prophet peace be upon him) traveled here to Lahore. It is again open to question that after the tragedy of Karbala, it does not make any reason that those ladies would come to a land with an entirely different religion and language and culture instead of going to their own homes that were situated in Madina Munawara. Secondly none of Imam Ali’s (a.s) daughter was Haj and neither it is an Arabic name.
Some say that Bibi Pak Daman is the tomb of a woman named Bibi Haj, (believed as Ruqayya bint e Ali) daughter of Syed Ahmed Tokhta who came to subcontinent from Turkistan (Turkey) in 12th century and whose tomb is in Akbari Gate, Muhalla Chehel Bibiyan. Rest of other five graves too belongs to his daughters and their names are Bibi Taj, Bibi Noor, Bibi Hoor, Bibi Gauhar and Bibi Shehbaz. But then again it is argued that Bibi Haj got married in Mekran and passed away there and had never been to Lahore.
It is also very interesting that historians did not pay any attention and did not take much pain to investigate whom this tomb and graves actually belong to. Another attention grabbing point about Ruqayya bint e Ali is this that her shrine is also claimed to be in Syria and Syrian government officially confirms it. Hundreds of thousands devotee visit that shrine regularly as well.
There might have some pious ladies come to this place from somewhere and is probable that they belonged to Syed family (descendents of Holy Prophet peace be upon him).
However, apart from all these controversies, numerous of people, both from Sunni and Shia Muslims and even from Christian and Hindu community come to visit this place every day.
Tomb of Bibi Pak Daman is divided into three major portions. As you enter from the main gate, you reach to the first part followed by second and third part. In first part there are three graves of khadimeen (servants ). Second part holds grave of Bibi Haj, Bibi Taj and Bibi Noor while in third part graves of Bibi Hoor Bibi Gauhar and Bibi Shehbaz are situated. Some shady Waan trees can also be seen at tomb.
There are many shops outside the tomb on both sides of a narrow street that leads to the tom having literature about the Islamic history especially history of Karbala, soil of Karbala etc. One can find replicas, CDs of Noha (elegy), Naat and other religious speeches .Flowers and their pettls are available on these shops for visitors who buy them to put on graves to show their love and regard towards these blessed beings. There are also sweet shops in the street from where people buy sweets mostly Ladoo to keep them in shrine. It is a service in shrine that if a person wants to get his or her wish come true, takes a Ladoo with a ring inside it and keeps wearing that ring until the wish is fulfilled. Once the wish is fulfilled, more ladoos are kept in shrine for others so the circle goes on. Running Langar can also be observed at tomb.
Devotees pay homage, keeping their wishes in their hearts and seek to get their wishes granted performing several rituals. They believe that their prayers will be fulfilled with the reference of these holy beings and true people and pure souls resting here who are in fact the gift of God for them.
No one passing by can leave without paying homage to Bibi Pak Daman because of the gripping effect of this holy place.