Hazrat Shaykh Muhyi ad-Din Yahaya Madni r.a

Do grasp the helpless with your grace

Do grant us a sip from the goblet of love

Be good to us, for the sake of the best of creation

Salutations to you, oh Qutab of Madinah, salutations

Have mercy Shaykh Yahya, Master of kindness.


Shaykh Aby Yusud Yahya ibn Mohammed was a great master of the Chishtiya Nizami order; he whose renown spread beyond the borders of the Indian subcontinent, the Arab world and even the Hijaz. Such was his greatness that he was afforded the title of Muhyi ad-Din-the reviver of religion-by his contemporaries.

It is reported that he was a born wali, and upon completing his formal training in the Islamic sciences, he began his search for a spiritual guide. He soon became the murid of the now-elderly Khwaja Mohammed Chishti r.a., the famed Sufi master of the Gujrat. Such was his degree of spiritual perfection, even at such a young age, that he was immediately awarded the khilafat-e-azam of Khwaja Mohammed r.a for every silsilah in which he was authorized. He also (later) received khilafat from both of his father and grandfather whilst still in India. He settled in Delhi where he began the spiritual instruction of the people there, His fame soon spread to such a degree that Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal emperor , often sent messengers requesting to meet him. IN the tradition of the Chishtiya, however Shaykh Yahaya r.a consistently refused to see him. Eventually, clearly growing exasperated, Emperor Aurangzeb decided to arrive, unannounced at his kanqah. He arrived with his entourage and presented to himself before the great saint, asking a question about dhikr. Khawaja Yahya r.a, however , wasunfazed by the appearance of Aurangzeb, the most powerful man in the known world at that time. He merely recited a verse from the Holy Quran-most likely “Oh ye who believe, do not enter another;s house without permission of the owner and without greeting him with peace….”.as well as instructing the mighty Emperor about the Sunnah of visitation. Then he dismissed him, warning him that if he returned without permission he would suffer the consequences.

This astounding display of indifference in the face of one of the greatest temporal powers the world had ever seen-who was also notorious for his lack of tolerance or humility-merely enhanced the respect in which Shaykh Yahya Madni r.a was held. It promoted comparisons with the actions of the great elders of the Chishtiya order and their struggle with the ruling powers.

Shaykh Yahya was a great lover of Sama’ and often used to arrange gatherings of Sama at his khwanqah, for the benefit of his muridin. His love for Rasulullah swm was deep and intense, so much so that he eventually emigrated to Madinah to live at the feet of Holy Prophet swm. This, of course, is the reason for his title(ism al-nisbah) ‘al-Madni’ in fact; he would be more correctly described as ‘al muhajir al-Madani- the one who emigrated to Madinah.

There are various reasons, mentioned for his emigration. One states that during one of his Sama sessions, a qawal recited a verse about going to Medinah and meeting one’s beloved. At his he went into state of ecstasy and declared, ‘I will go tomorrow!” There awoke in him a great longing to live in the illuminated city of the blessed Prophet swm. Another story says that  Raulullah came to him in a dream and requested him to journey to Medinah in order to live with him. One way or another, his longing grew too intense that he left his Khanqah and all his worldly possessions in order to end his physical separation from his beloved.

Before he left, however, he asked his mother’s permission, which she granted on condition that he would return for her Janazah. He thus left on the long and hard journey to Medinah, but immediately upon arriving, received word that his mother was gravely ill. Having only just arrived, he promptly returned to his homeland in time to be with his mother through her final illness.

He performed her Janazah, than left once again for Medinah, where he settled until his won wisal, on the 28th of Safar 1122 AH. He was buried in Jannah al-Baqi near the mazar of Sayydinah Utham r.a although his won grave was later destroyed.