The shrine, located about 30 kilometers east of Jalalabad, was founded over 300 years ago by Mia Sayed Ali Shah, known also as Mia Ali Baba, an adherent of the Chishti order of Sufism who also developed the treatment methods employed there.
Since its founding, the shrine was used to treat people suffering from mental disorders or suspected of being possessed by evil spirits.
The people admitted to the shrine end up chained to a wall in small solitary cells devoid of any furnishings.
Those seeking treatment only receive bread and water for sustenance, and are only allowed to wash their faces, hands and feet; their hair and nails must be left uncut, and they aren’t permitted to change clothes or to use soap during their ablutions.
The 'patients' are being held at the shrine for at least forty days. Those who get discharged have to drink a broth made of simmered ram’s head as part of the cleansing ritual.
However, if their relatives are not in a hurry to collect them, or if the staff deems that their charges require further time to be cured, patients may remain at the shrine for months. Those who end up dying during their confinement, as the diet of bread and water often proves inadequate in terms of sustenance, are buried at the shrine’s courtyard.
The shine is currently being managed by a group of about 70 people, the descendants of its founder.