IMAM AL HASSAN OF BASRA

Imam Al-Hassan ubn Yasar Abu Saed al-Basri, the great faqih of Basra, leader of the ascetics and scholars of his time. He became known for his strict and encompassing embodiment of the Sunnah; famous for his immense knowledge, asceticism , fearless remonstration of the authorities, and his power of attraction both in discourse and appearance. One of the early formal Sufis in both the general and the literal sense, he wore all his life a cloak of wool. (Suf).

 

Upbringing

Both his parents were freed slaves, yet his lineage and childhood could not possibly have been more exalted. He was raised in the household of Zayd ibn Thabit r.a, who was not only one of the seven sahaba fuqaha (jurists), but also the one to whom the compilation of the Quran was entrusted. He was nursed by Umm Salamah r.a, the wisdom filled wife of Rasulullah swm, who played a crucial role in his upbringing and moral instruction. At his birth, Sayyidna Umar r.a blessed him, saying ‘Oh Allah ! Make him wise in religion and beloved to the people.’ Furthermore, he became the murid of Sayyidina Ali r.a at the age of fourteen. A childhood surrounded by such titanic figures unsurprisingly left and indelible impression upon the great Imam. He one remarked,

“ By Allah ! I have met seventy veterans of Badar. Most of their garments were wool. Had you seen them you would have said they were insane. Had they seen the best among you they would have said, ‘these people will have no part in the Hereafter;’ and had they seen the worst among you they would have said, ‘these people do not believe in the Day of Reckoning,’”

 

Knowledge and Piety

 

In his uncompromising search for Allah, he became one of the greatest saints of his era and was named “ Bab al Wilayah” ( the gateway of sainthood).

He was a hadith narrator of the highest grading, and over 1400 hadith in the nine books have chains running through him. He was also one of the authorized fuqaha among the taabain, having learnt in the household of Zayd bin Thabit, as well as others. His links to Sayyidna Ali r.a , are evident in all his fields of mastery; hadith, fiqh and tasawwuf. Some hadith masters assert that he related hadith directly from Hazrat Ali r.a ; according to Abd ar-Razzaq r.a , the great Khalifah once accepted his recommendation in a judicial case. Finally, of course, it is the consensus judgment of the great Imams of the Way that Sayyidna Ali r.a transmitted the knowledge of tasawwuf to him with a single look.

He lived most of his life in Basra (Southern Iraq), which was at that time the cultural and intellectual center of the Islamic world. It was also here that many theological and metaphysical controversies raged. It was al-Hassan r.a , a staunch defender of  Orthodox Islam, who first mounted a systematic and comprehensive rebuttal of Persian and Greek beliefs. This defense was later continued by such men as the Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Hanbal r,.a, and al-Ashari r.a. Infact , his interpretation of Allah attributes from key components of the aqidah ( doctrinal belief) of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jamaah.

He developed a wide circle of disciples and students and became renowned as a brilliant orator. Arab scholars have preserved many of his speeches, letters and aphorisms. He made, during his time, the acquaintance of many Sufi saints. To some he was a guide, to others a fellow-traveler, and to very few, a pupil. Perhaps the most revered of these was the legendary Hazrat Bibi Rabia of Basra, a female saint whose sanctity and love for God reached mythical dimension.

He was famed and respected not only for his knowledge and wisdom, but also for his tremendous humility and piety. It is reported that for forty years he did not laugh, so completely was he consumed by fear of Allah. Once a man mockingly asked him whether he (al-Hassan) was better or worse than a dog. He replied, “if I am saved from Allah’s punishment, then I am better than the dog; but if His punishment overtakes me, then the dog is thousand times better.” When he saw a dog, he used to supplicate, “ Oh Allah ! Forgive me through the wasilah of this dog.”

 

Aphorisms

  • We laugh and yet-who knows? –perhaps Allah has looked at some of our works and said: “ I will not accept anything from you.” Woe to you, son of Adam ! Can you fight Allah? Whoever disobeys Allah is fighting Him.
  • Two thoughts roam over soul, one from Allah and one from the enemy. Allah shoes mercy on a servant who settles at the thought that comes from Him.
  • Whoever knows his Lord loves Him, and whoever knows the world does without it.
  • Humility is to consider everyone nobler than you.
  • The world is a vehicle for you. If you drive it, it will deliver you to your destination. If it drives you, it will lead you to destruction.

Once the great Imam visited his dying neighbor, a Magian Fire worshipper named Simeon. Al-Hassan r.a approached his deathbed and advised him to become Muslim, but the man replied that there were three things stopping him.

“Firstly,” he said, “Muslims speak ill of the world, but day and night pursue worldly things. Secondly, you say death is a inevitability, but yet make no preparations for it. Thirdly, you say that God’s face shall be seen, but you do everything contrary to his good pleasure.”

Al-Hassan r.a conceded the fact, but replied that at least Muslims worship God, and not fire. “Fire is but a servant of Allah,” said the saint. “ and if Allah wishes it will not burn one particle of my body.” So saying, he thrust his hand directly into the burning flame. There it remained, unaffected by the heat, and true knowledge dawned upon Simeon. He converted to Islam, and later died. Al-Hassan r.a saw him in dream walking through the gardens of Paradise wearing a cloak of light. “Lord God!” he cried, “such is your mercy! If you can forgive and unbeliever of seventy years because of one utterance, how will you exclude a believer?”

He attained unity with Beloved in Basra in 110 AH, leaving five Khalifa, one of whom was Hazrat Imam Abd Al-Wahid ibn Zayd.

Hazrat Hafiz Mohammed Ali Khairabadi RA

(as he was popularly known) is the direct descendant of the Holy Prophet SAW, following the lineage of Hazrath Ghausal Azam RA. He was one of the leading Khulafas of the great illuminary of Punjab (India), Rohela of Hazur Qibla-e-Alam Khwaja Maharvi, Hazrath Khwaja Suleman Tawsawi RA.

andHe was born in 1192 AH (1778AC). He committed the Holy Quran to memory  enrolled as a student in Khairabad, later proceeding to Shahjahanpur and finally to Delhi.

On the specific instructions of his Sheikh he started the process of Peeri Mureedi. Thousands of people pledged ba’it on his hand. He established his Khanqah in Khairabad. It proved to be the cradle of learning which later became famous as the Khairabadi school of thought. He was a very practical man who attracted a number of knowledge-thirsty and spiritual-hungry personalities from the length and breadth of India. He also spent ten years in the Haramain (Mecca and Medina).

Hafiz Paak RA was referred to as the “Shibli of the Era” and “Sultan-ul-Mashaikh”. He kept away from kings and affluent arrogant people. He passed away on 19 Zil Qada 1266 AH at the age of 71. One of his most well known Khulafas is Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA, the Pir-O-Murshid of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA

 

Khawaja Sadid Ad-Din Huzaifa Al-Marashi

Through my weakness am I in a state of unconsciousness,

Therefore there is no joy in my heart at all;

I feel tremendously drawn towards him.

Salautations to you, may I be intoxicated by love,

Oh Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa Marashi.

 

 

Hazrat Khwaja Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa al-Marashi r.a was a great saint of early Islamic history, known as ‘the man of secrets.’ IN his childhood, he had already mastered the seven recitations of the Holy Quraan. After completing his studies, he was directed to become the murid of Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham by none other than Hazrat Khidr a.s himself.

Khwaja Huzaifa al-Marashi used to spend all his time serving Hazrat Khwaja Ibrahim Adham r.a and on their travels together, he met the foremost saints of his time. As one might expect, Khwaja Huzaifa r.a received intensive spiritual training from his master. During his travels he used to make dhikr aloud continuously. He never asked any favors from mortals; if he needed anything he sought the aid of Allah alone, and it was produced for him from the unseen world. He also authored several works in the science of Tasawwuf.

After completing his spiritual training, he received the Khilafat from his murshid and became his foremost successor. So great was the love between master and pupil that whatever spiritual wealth Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham received from Khidr a.s, Imam Mohammed Baqir r.a and Hazrat Fuzail bin Ayaz r.a, he gave to him.

He was a man of great humility and filled with tremendous fear of Allah. Once he was asked, “ why do you cry so much? Do you not believe in Allah’s mercy?” He replied, “ in the Quran it is written that a group will be in Paradise, and another in Hell. I do not know which of these I will be in , therefore I cry.” He was then asked, “ if this is your case, why do you accept people’s bayaah?” Upon hearing this, he gave an anguished sigh and passed out. When he awakened, a voice was heard by all those present giving him the glad tidings of Paradise. Upon hearing this, three hundred unbelievers accepted Islam.

Khawaja Sadid ad-Din Huzaifa Maraashi attained unity with Beloved on the 14th Shawal 207 AH. His most famous khalifa was Khwaja Amin ad-Din Habayrah , but it is said that Imam ash-Shafi was another of them.

Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal Al-Chishti

Whoever remembered Hazrat from the depths of his heart,

Became absorbed in the sea of love;

He began reciting then, this verse with zeal.

Salutations to you, Oh Commander of Chishtiya

Khwaja Abu Ahmad-king of the both worlds.

 

Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal Chishti r.a was a great saint and the successor Abu Ishaq, the founder of the Chishtiya Silsilah. The was acknowledge by his contemporaries as an abdal, hence his title’Qutab al-Abdal’( the axis of the substitute-saints). He was the son of Sultan Faransafah, and his lineage is linked to Imam Hussain r.a. His aunt was a saintly woman, and was devoted to Hazrat Khwaja Abu Ishaq r.a. Occasionally the master of the Chishtiya silsilah would partake of meals with her husband at her house. One day he remarked that in the house of her brother (sultan), a very pious child was to be born; he instructed her to go there and ensure that the queen ate no doubtful food during her pregnancy. It was this level of care, even before his birth that contributed greatly to the future wilayah of Khwaja Abu Ahmad r.a

After his birth, his aunt took it upon herself to raise him, with the result that he used to live more with her than with his parents. Whenever Khwaja Abu Ishaq used to visit the house, he used to remark that he smelt the fragrance of sainthood. At the age of seven, he began to attend the Sema gatherings of his future murshid. Seeing this, Khwaja Abu Ishaq said, “(only) lovers should attend Sema, and you are indeed worthy!” The barakah of these blessed words removed all the veils from his eyes, so that nothing in heaven or earth was hidden from his vision. At this young age, whatever he prophesied came to pass, and the great people of his time showed tremendous respect towards him.

When Hazrat Abu Ahmad was twenty, he accompanied his father on a hunting expedition, only to find himself separated from the king’s party. It happened that he wandered onto a barren plain in front of a mountain, upon which he saw forty Auliya Allah standing in the presence of Khwaja Abu Ishaq r.a out of respect. Thus was the greatness of the master of Chisht emphatically revealed to him. Immediately he alighted from his horse and kissed his feet. Then he put off his princely garb and donned the khirqah (woolen robe) of the Sufis.

The family of the sultan was distraught at this turn of events, and the king himself came to cajole, plead and eventually threaten his son to return; to no avail: Abu Ahmad Adbal r.a remained with his murshid and became a Sufi of the first spiritual rank. He used to remain engrossed in dhikr, regularly performing the continuous fast after the fashion of his murshid. It is also reported that he used to complete the recitation of the Quran twice everyday. For seven continuous years, he never missed tahajud , and it was his practice that afterwards he used to make the following dua.

“Oh AllahQ Have mercy on your servants! Forgive the sinners from the Community of Rasulullah swm.” Thereafter, a voice used to say: “ Oh Abu Ahmad! We have accepted your duaa and through it have forgiven ten thousand sinners. On the Day of Qiyamah , they will enter Paradise with you.”

It happened that his father has a large winery wherein he used to store all his liquor. One day Abu Ahmad r.a returned to this place and destroyed all the wine-stocks. When the sultan saw this, he became enraged and hurled a large rock at the saint. However, by the power of Allah it was suspended in the mid-air, injuring no-one. Awed by this miracle, the sultan immediately asked forgiveness from Allah and became a disciple of his son.

Once he was founded by a group of infidels whose hatred of Muslims was so intense that they used to burn alive any that they captured. When they taunted him as to his fate, he replied serenely, “The Holy Prophet r.a has said that fire cannot burn one in whose heart there is true faith.” To prove his point, as he approached the blaze, he willingly laid down his musallah and calmly entered the fire. When the Kuffar saw that the fire did notburn the great saint, they immediately repented and converted en masse.

Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal Chishti is regarde as a patriarch of the Chishtiya order. He attained Unity on the 1st or 3rd of Jamad- al Ukra 355 AH and lies buried in the village of Chisht, present day Afghanistan.

Khwaja Abu Ishaq al-Chishti of Sham

I now have no fear, nor am I in danger,

In this love I have become entirely absorbed;

Oh God, take me at last unto his door.

Salutations to you, O head of the Chishti !

Khwaja Abu Ishaq Chishti..the celebrated.

 

Although Khwaja Moin ud Din Chishti r.a the great saint of India, is widely regarded as the pivotal figure in the Chishtiya silsilah, the actual founder of the mighty order lived over two hundered years before him. Khwaja Abu Ishaq Chishti r.a is called Taj al-auliya, or “the crown of the Saints”. He was born in Chisht, a small village in Afghanistan, and probably acquired his religious knowledge from Damascus (al-Sham) in Syria.

Seeking a spiritual teacher to perfect himself, he performed salat al istikhara (the prayer of seeking guidance). After forty consecutive days, he received his response: “if you seek to reach the destination, go to Mumshad al-Dinawari.” When he arrived in Baghadad, Khwaja Mumshad asked him for his name. He replied

“ I am Abu Ishaq al-Shami,” ( referring to the place he had acquired his religious instruction). His murshid, however, diving through spiritual intuition, replied,

“ NO; you are Abu Ishaq al-Chishti ! From you the peole of Chisht and all the surrounding areas will receive guidance; and the spiritual order (silsilah) you found will be known as al-Chishtiya until the Day of Qiyamah.

After these glad tidings, he was trained in the tariqah—the path of Tasawwuf. He became known as a great zahid (ascetic). Among his extraordinary mujahadahs was the seven day fast, and he used to declare, “ the miraaj of the fuqara is hunger.” It is said that such was the power of his companionship that those who sat with him thereafter refrained from sin, and the sick were miraculously cured. Once a king came to him complaining that his lands were undergoing a drought. Through the grace of Allah, it immediately began to rain. The next day the king returned with some other problem, and Khwaja Abu Ishaq began to wep. When asked why, he replied, “ I fear that I have committed a sin. Why else would Allah punish me with the company of rich and deprive me of the company of the poor?”

Upon perfection of his suluk, he was granted khilafat in a total of fourteen spiritual orders. Thereafter, he returned to his home town, where he founded the Chishtiya silsilah, about which mention has been made. Its foundations and practices, which today are almost emblematic of the Chishtiya , were laid by Khwaja Abu Ishaq r.a, who lived out the rest of his life in Chisht and spread the order from there. Many people accepted Islam and became muridin at the hands of Khwaja Abu Ishaq, including Khwaja Abu Ahmad al-CHishti who eventually became his foremost khalifa. He attained unity on the 14th Rabi al-Akhir 329 AH and lies buried in Acer, on the border of Syria,

 

 

Khwaja Abu Mohammed Al-Chishti r.a

Our hopes and our aspirations will now be fulfilled

For instead of tears, blood flows from our eyes;

To us, your door is gateway of healing.

Salutations to you, do treat my ailments

Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed-the guide.

 

Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed was the highly respected saint of the early Chishtiya order. He used to spend most of his time in a state of spiritual intoxication, overwhelmed by the beauty of Creator everywhere he looked. His wilayah was evident even before his birth, manifesting in miracles.

When she was four months pregnant, his blessed mother used to hear dhikr coming from her womb at the time of tahjud. When Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal heard about this, he began to pay regular visits and, addressing the unborn child said, “Peace be upon you, oh firend of Allah.” He than declared, “Dear lady, I have seen the name of your son written on the Lauh al-Mahfuz. He will be among the greatest auliaya of this era. His name shall be Abu Mohammed, and he will be my murid and khalifa”. When he was born, on the night of Ashura, he recited the Kalima seven times and thereafter refused to drink milk from the time of sehri. When this was brought to the attention of Khwaja Abdal, he said,

“ I have been informed this child is a friend of Allah. He is fasting out of respect for the holy day. Oh Allah! Make Abu Mohammed a perfect Sufi and protect him from the whisper of Shaytan.

Hazrat Abu Mohammed began performing congregational salah from the age of four. He received his religious learning and spiritual instruction not only from Khwaja Abdal, but also directly from Hazrat al-Khidr , the teacher of phrophets and saints.He also became engrossed in mujahidahs, including the seven-day continous fast of the Chishtiya. For twelve years, he also performed salat al-makus. Such was the power of his tawajuh that if he put it on a kafir, he would become Muslim; and if he put it on a Muslim, his spiritual state would be heightened almost until wilayah. It is said that in the lifetime of Hazrat Abu Mohammed r.a, there remained not a single unbeliever in chisht.

He became murid at the age of seventeen, and despite his obvious wilayah, it took a full seven years of rigorous spiritual training before he was awarded the foremost Khilafat of Hazrat Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal. As Khwaja Abdal r.a handed over the deed of ijazah and made dua, he heard and unseen voice saying, “Oh Abu Ahmad! We have accepted your supplication. Mohammed Chishti will be the chief of the Sufis, and on the day of Qiyamah, he will have a place near the Holy Prophet”.

He was a great lover Sama, and used to enter states of wajd whilst listening. Once, upon emerging from this state, he placed his head at the feet of his murshid, and asked him: “Oh my Master, is there any joy that can compare to the joy that lovers feel during Sama?” Khwaja Abu Ahmad r.a replied

Oh Mohammed Sama is a hidden secret. If we were to make it known the whole world will enter a state of wajd. But not everyone is capable of withstanding it. Only the people of Sama; understands its secrets.”

Hazrat Khwaja Abu Mohammed r.a was completely detached from the world, and used to stay away from those who desired it in any way. Once he was washing his clothes by a river, and he was approached by the son of the king of that place, who kissed his hand and asked him for advice. The saint replied that Rasulullah swm had stated that is even on old woman was left starving in a country, then on the Day of Qiyamah Allah would demand of the king as to why he has been unable to provide for her. So overwhelmed was the prince by this statement that he presented some gifts to the saint; but Khwaja Mohammed r.a smiled and told him that it was the practice of the Sufis not to accept anything from kings or from the wealthy. Then he raised his hands and asked Allah to show the prince the riches that He afforded to his servants. Immediately Allah instructed all the fish to come to the surface of the river with gold coins in their mouths.

Once the Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud; was engaged in a battle against unbelievers. Khwaja Mohammed r.a, by now seventy years old, was instructed by Allah to assist him; so with a few of his muridin, he went to give his aid to the king. It came to pass at one point that the sultan’s army was retreating from the field. The great saint called out spirituality to one of his khalifa, Khwaja Mohammed Kaku, instructing him to help them. Soliders state that this man suddenly appeared on the battlefield and fought with such might and ferocity that the enemies of Islam were driven from the field. However, it is also reported that at the very same time, Mohammed Kaku was in Chisht, throwing stones at the people there. When they asked him what he was doing, he replied that he was following the orders of his murshid and fighting the kuffar. It was with the help of such miracles that Sultan Mahmud was able to establish the Pan Islamiyah as far off as northern India.

Hazrat Khwaja Abu Mohammed al-Chishti r.a attained unity with the beloved Allah on the 4th of Rabi al-Awal, 411 AH and is buried in Chisht. Before his demise, he bestowed his khilafat upon his dear murid and nephew, Khwaja Abu Yusuf al-Chishti.

Khwaja Amin Ad-Din Hubayrah of Basra r.a

From the tray of bounty, may I too have some blessings?

I am one of your own-regard me not as stranger!

Crown weary are my feet from constant walking.

Salutations to you, O seer of spiritual stations,

Hazrat Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah.

 

Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah r.a is another of the early Islamic saints. His knowledge of Islam, irfan ( divine illumination) and the realties of Tawhid were regarded as unequelled in his time. He was a renowned scholar of Basra, at that time still a center of intellectual activity in the Islamic Empire. Amin ad-Din’s r.a life history is somewhat sketchy except to tell of his complete bewilderment in the love of Allah and his constant striving to help others along this path.

He compeleted his Islamic Studies to an advance degree by the age of 17, and used to finish the recitation of the Quran four times every day. For thirty years he cried profusely, though, believing himself to be a failure in the spiritual way. Eventually, he received divine inspiration giving him glad tidings of Paradise and then instructing him to make Bayaah to Khwaja Huzaifa , in order to learn the way of perfection ( suluk). Although he made such tremendous mujahadahs throughout his life, it took him only one week in the company of his murshid to attain perfection.

His muridin were called the Hubayriyyah, and were widely respected for their piety. Their every moment was passed in wudhu and strict mujhadas, and they used to perform their salah with complete consciousness of Allah. Never would anything be spoken of in the company of Khwaja Amin ad-Din except the dhikr of Allah. The Hubayriyyah used to spend their days and nights in the depths of the wilderness, refraining from the company of those attached to the world, and they used to make iftar with the fruits of the jungle. The ultimate aim of the master was to ensure that the internal purity of his pupils would manifest itself externally in their every action and word; that they might be held up as shining examples to the rest of the world and thus inspire them to walk upon the spiritual path.

Hazrat Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah r.a strove to lead his muridin to a complete understanding of Taqhid and perfect their absorption in the love of Allah, that it might permeate their entire lives after the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet swm. He attained unity with Beloved on 7th Shawal 279 AH and lies buried in Basra. He has several Khulafah, but most prominent among them was Khwaja Mumshad al-Dinwari

 

Khwaja Qutab Ad-Din Maudud Al-Chishti r.a

The dwellers of heaven are slaves at this door,

All worshipers are in a state of prostration here;

They regard love of the material world as evil.

Salutations to you, Khwaja Maudud Chishti,

May the garden of my heart be the envy of heaven.

 

Khwaja Qutab ad-Din Maudud al-Chishti  r.a was the last in an unbroken line of five great Persian Sufis to hail from the blessed village of Chisht, which by this time had become renowned as a major center of tasawwuf in the eastern Islamic world. He was the son and spiritual successor of Khwaja Abu Yusuf Chishti r.a. He was thus raised in an environment of holiness and sanctity, and received his internal and external knowledge from the great master. He was particularly noted for, among other things, the excellent education he afforded his muridin in the fields of both shariah and tariqah.

Khwaja Qutab ad-Din was a hafiz by the age of seven and upon becoming his father’s murid , was told, “ Oh Maudud, adopt the path of faqr.” Thereafter he immersed himself in seclusion and meditation for twenty years. He used to complete the Quran twice daily, and engaged himself in dhikr and contemplation. He also began to perform the continuous fast of the Chishtiya. Khwaja Abu Yusuf sent him to another great Sufi of the time, Shaykh Ahmad Jami, to complete his studies in shariah and tasawwuf. By sixteen, he had completed his advanced Islamic studies and had already written a text book of fiqh (Khulasat ash-Shariah) and a manual of tasawwuf ( Minhaj al-Arifin).

His father then granted him the khilafat of the chishtiya order. He blessed him and opened his heart to the knowledge of the unseen, teaching him the ism al-azam. He then said.

“Oh Qutab ad-Din Maudud! The cloak of the dervishes’ is worn by one who walks the path of spiritual striving, one whose heart is free from jealousy, and one who neither becomes happy with the praise nor offended by insults. Always remain steadfast in the remembrance of Allah.”

Khwaja Maudud Chishti was the great knower of Allah ( arif/gnosis) who had investigated the secrets of the hidden world. Once, whilst he was lecturing on one of the hidden realms, a man seated in the audience felt some suspicion about the truth of what he was saying. Immediately, Khwaja Maudud went into Muraqbah and both of them disappeared for an hour. When they returned and were asked what happened, the stunned man replied that the great saint, reading the suspicion in his mind, had taken him to that very same hidden world that he had been lecturing about. When asked how he knew so much about the knowledge of the Unseen, he replied simply, “whatever I know or I say is by the permission of Allah”.

Khwaja Maudud Chishti r.a continued to serve the cause of Islam and the Chishtiya Silislah in this manner, and many thousands became Muslims at his hand. He is reported to have made khulafah to continue his work, whom he dispatched to every corner of the Islamic world. Chief among these was Khwaja Haji Sharif Zandani r.a

When his last time came, a huge man terrifying to behold appeared with a letter for him. Having read this letter, he kissed it and placed it on his eyes, immediately passing away. As the people prepared to read his funeral prayers, they were frightened away by a deafening awful sound, as though the earth was being rent asunder. From their hiding places, they observed thousands of jins and angels appearing to perform their own janazah for him. When the mourners attempted to lift the funeral bier, it rose into the air of its own accord and floated to the grave wherein it was to be buried. Thousands of non-Muslims saw this miraculous event and converted, convinced of the truth of Islam. He passed away in Rajab 527 AH, and up to the present day, many devotees visit his mazar for spiritual blessings.

Khwaja Mumshad Uluw Al-Dinawari

In your love I am fully prepared;

At your door do I lay my heart and soul.

Beside it, there is not other portal for me.

Salutations to you, Hazrat Uluw-e-Dinwar

Do hasten to the fulfillment of my heart’s desires.

 

Khwaja Mumshad Uluw al-Dinawari r.a , named “ the Effulgent Sun” by his peers, is regarded as being one of the greatest saints of his era. His knowledge of Allah was unparalleled; and his inner purity was admired by his fellow-travellers among the Sufis.

He was a very wealthy in his home city, and spent vast sums looking after poor and needy. Because of his great generosity he was given the title Karim ad-Din ( the kindness of the religion). After being initiated into suluk, he gave away the rest of his worldly possessions and took the path of faqiri ( spiritual contentment in material poverty)

It is reported that the day he was born, he refrained from drinking his mother’s milk until iftar. Astonish, he carried this practice of fasting during the day throughout his entire life. When asked why, he replied that he wished to break his fast on the day of Qiyamah with the vision of Allah. His nights used to be spent in deep ibadah and muraqabah (contemplation of Allah)

Khwaja Mumshad r.a was inspired to become the murid of Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah by Hazrat al-Khidr, and was given khilafat immediately after making baayah. His shaykh cast away his tawajjuh upon him, causing Mumshad Uluw to lose consciousness forty times in succession. Only after Amin ad-Din applied some of his saliva to his murid mouth did he completely recover. When asked what he had seen, he replied,” in thirty years of study and mujahadah, I did not receive what I gained from that one glance.”

Khwaja Mumshad Uluw r.a was very fond of Sema, and used to celebrate the urs of his elders with they mystical musical assembly. He explained that Sema aroused the love of Allah in the heart, leading to closeness and eventual wasul with the Lord-which was the ultimate goal of all seekers of the Truth.

He was the murshid of Khwaja Abu Ishaq Chishti r.a after whom the Chishtiya Silsila was founded, and it was he who blessed it and prophesied the impact it would wield on the course of Islamic history.

Aphorisms

  • Tasawwuf is abandonment of that which is futile; tawakkul is abandonment of what the heart desires.
  • The changing conditions of life do not influence the man whose goal is Allah.
  • When a man goes to a shaykh with his own spiritual states, he is deprived of the benefit of that company, because he is engrossed in his own knowledge.
  • A man who considers himself significant even in the company of a saint, will gain nothing from the advice of that saint.

 

He attained unity with Beloved Allah on 14th Muharram 299 AH and lies buried in Baghdad. At the time of his death, seeing a man making a duaa that Allah grant him Paradise, he laughed and said, “ for thirty years Jannah and all its adornments appeared before me, but I barely gave it a glance. I yearn for the Master of Paradise!” His Major Khulafa include the founder of the Chishtiya Silsilah, Khwaja Abu Ishaq Sahami Chishti.

Khwaja Nasir Ad-Din Abu Yusuf Al-Chishti r.a

My ship is caught in a storm

And at every moment is violently rocked;

It is receiving not help at all!

Salutations to you, our own Abu Yusuf Chishti!

Do hasten my ship towards safety.

 

Khwaja Abu Yusuf al-Chishti r.a was one of the great Persian saints of Afghanistan. The level of his marifah and love for Allah is rare even among the saints. Khwaja Abu Yusuf r.a was the son of the sister of Khwaja Abu Mohammed r.a. His mother was waliayah of great sanctity who was so engrossed in the remembrance of Allah that she refused to get married until instructed to do so by divine inspiration. As Khwaja Abu Mohammed r.a had no children, he took Khawaja Abu Yusuf into his own care and gave him all the benefits of his spiritual learning.

Once, seeking to test his uncle’s knowledge, he asked him a question. Hazrat Khwaja Abu Mohammed gave him fully seven hundred answers. Humbled by this oceanic knowledge, Khwaja Abu Yusuf became his murid. His murshid made him recite his name (Ya Aba Mohammed!) seven times looking towards heaven and seven times facing the earth. Thereafter, he taught him the ism al-azam, upon which the mysteries of the Unseen became known to him. Abu Yusuf used to spend his time in seclusion and mujahadahs , frequenting the mazars of great saints such as Hazrat Abu Ishaq Chishti r.a. It is said that once he became slightly lax with his ibadah, and out of penance did not drink water for twenty years. He remained in the company of his murshid for a period of forty years before attaining Khilafat. His shaykh passed the ijaza with these words,

“Oh Nasir ad-Din ( his title)! You have donned the garb of the ethics. You should consider yourself to be the lowliest of people, and see everybody else as greater than you. Always love and respect the poor and down-trodden; because for us, showing love for the poor is showing love for the King of Madinah, Rasulullah swm.

As Khwaja Abu Yusuf’s fame spread, he received seekers of knowledge from all over the Islamic world. The muridin and khulafah of the order of Khwaja Junaid Baghdadi used to pay him regular visits, and join in him in gatherings of dhikr and Sama. One of his major khulaffah was the revered Hanbali jurist and Sufi Abdullah al-Ansari.

One day he came across some people building a masjid. However, they had miscalculated, with the result that the roof was shorter than the enclosed area and would not fit. Such was Khwaja Abu Yusuf’s r.a karamah that he climbed the wall of the building, recited bismillah, and pulled the roof into place himself. Miraculously, it suddenly became the correct size. Khwaja Abu Yusuf Chishti attained unity in 459 AH, although opinions vary regarding the month of his wisal. His shrine is in the village of Chisht.