Khwaja Nizam Uddin Aurangabadi R.A

This world of multiplicity has an adverse effect,
Whereas in reality my origin is unity;
These days the garden of my heart is slowly withering.
Salutations to you, O beauty of Aurang Chist,
O Nizamudeen! May my garden be refreshed.

 

Hazrat Shah Nizamudeen Aurangabadi (rahmatullahi alaihi) was a leading saint of southern India. As the khalifa-e-azam of Hazrat Shah Kalimullah Jahanabaadi (rahmatullahi alaihi), the responsibility of propagating Islam, as well as the reformation of the Muslim community at large fell onto his able shoulders. The Mughal empire, the light-bearer of civilisation in India for three centuries and more, was on the wane, and political instability had created an all-time low in morale. In these trying times it was Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) who became the torchbearer for a struggling society.

Khwaja Nizamudeen Aurangabadi (rahmatullahi alaihi)’s birth and early history are somewhat vague, though it is known that he was a descendant of Hazrat Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (rahmatullahi alaihi), the first caliph of Islam. His birthplace is thought to be Kakor, India and it was there that he received his early education. To further his studies he travelled to Delhi, the centre of learning at the time, and sought out a university. Word of the popularity of Hazrat Shah Kalimullah Jahanabaadi (rahmatullahi alaihi) reached his ears, and he decided to meet the great saint. When he arrived at the seminary of Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi), he found the door locked, as the shaykh was engaged in the spiritual musical assembly of Sama, to which outsiders were not permitted. Unaware of this, he knocked at the door and, to the amazement of the other disciples, was welcomed in by Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) and shown great love.

Soon after, he enrolled in the great saint’s university. Initially, his primary aim was to obtain religious external knowledge only; but after a time the intense spiritual atmosphere that surrounded Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) drew him closer to the path of the sufis. One day, as his shaykh prepared to leave, Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) came forward, dusted his murshid’s shoes, and placed them before him. Upon seeing this, Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) inquired,

“O Nizamudeen, have you come to acquire knowledge, or do you seek the path to Allah?” To this Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) humbly replied,

“You know better what is for me;
You know better, for us, for me.”

Upon hearing these lines, Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) recalled the prophecy of Hazrat Yahya Madini (rahmatullahi alaihi) who stated that the one who would utter these words would be responsible for the spread and propagation of the Chishtia silsila. Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi)’s spiritual instruction began immediately.

After a period of strict spiritual training, Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) was made the khalifa-e-azam of Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) and instructed to spread Islam and serve the needs of the community in south India. He travelled extensively throughout the whole of the southern Indian plateau teaching and catering for the needs of the community, before settling down and establishing a seminary in Aurangabad. The seminary had ten doors, and none were forbidden entrance or education. At each door stood a scribe, and whenever anyone came with financial problems, they would write the following lines,

“The remembrance of Allah is the greatest;
On this my heart is fully concentrated.
To this world, Nizamudeen is oblivious.”

 

The poor would then take this to the rich who, because of their great respect and deep love for the great saint, would regard it as the highest honour to fulfill their brother’s needs. Wit this kind of practice, is it any wonder that the sufis of India were loved and venerated by rich and poor alike? Those who spread Islam not only by words but by actions, who not only preach but live the eternal principles of Islam, such men and women have truly sacrificed their lives for Allah. It is they to whom Rasulallah refers in a hadith wherein he states,

“The saint are like prophets unto their communities.”

 

Hazrat Nizamudeen Aurangabadi (rahmatullahi alaihi) was actively involved in the propagation of Islam, and along with this he gave special attention to the spiritual training of his mureeds. Historians have quoted the number of those disciples as being over one hundred thousand. At any given time after salaat, about 300-500 people would gather in his mosque for zikrullah. Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) was strict in his observance of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) . His concern for the welfare of the community, as we have seen above, was sincere and very great. He would always ensure that in whatever way possible he would fulfil the need of anyone who Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) him for assistance. The life of a saint is not only miracles and ecstasies; they live in the real world of ordinary mortals such as ourselves, but yet transcend it, for they breathe Allah’s love with every breath.

 

Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi)’s book, Nizamul Quloob, hold very pertinent lessons for us today, as it stresses the spiritual upliftment of the muslims prior to them commencing propagation of Islam. He states that in order to be a true representative of Islam, one necessarily must possess those qualities of spiritual perfection that would allow the person to spread the religion not only by word but also by practice and principle. Hazrat Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) had thirteen khulafah who continued his work after his demise, foremost of whom was his son Hazrat Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi). He left this world on the 12th Zil Qadah 1142AH and lies buried in his mazaar in Aurangabad. Ample testimony to his great services to Islam both during his life and posthumously can be found in the title afforded to him, “Qutbe Daccan”, or “axis around which revolves the south.”

The beloved sleeps, covering her face with the beautiful locks of her hair.
Khusro, go home! The darkness of evening has engulfed the whole world.

 

 

 

 

Hazrat Khawja Shams-ud-Din Sialvi

Hazrat Khawja Shams-ud-Din Sialvi was born in 1799 A.D.(1214 A.H). He was born of a very religious family. He descended from Hazrat Ali,the fourth caliph of Islam.

Long before his birth,a great saint of Multan ,Ghaus Baha -ul-Haq Zakarya Multani,while travelling to Bhera,got down from horse back when he was right at the place where now the great tomb of Hazrat Khwaja Shams-ud-din Sialvi is situated and picked handful of soil and kissed it. His deciples wre astonished by this gesture.Upon there insistence, he revealed to them, that a Ghaus would be born there.

He had become the hafiz of Quran(one who remembers Quran by heart) at the age of 7 years.He went to some of the renounced institutions to get religious education. He went as far as Kabul where he was awarded Sand-e-Hadith(certification of hadith). The most important of his journeys was to Taunsa Sharif (Distt. D.G Khan), where he becme a deciple of Hazrat Khawja Suleiman Taunsvi.

He went to Mecca twice to perform pilgrimage.He was a stanch follower of Quran and Sunnah. His teachings played an important role in reviving the spirit of Islam in Muslims in the wake of Missionary propaganda by christians and oppression by Sikhs.

He established an institute for religious education. He himself used to teach there. Some of his students went to become known Islamic scholars in the subcontinent.

The most well known his deciples were,

  • Hazrat Khawja Muazam-ud-din Muazamabadi
  • Hazrat Ameer Shah Bhervi
  • Hazrat Khawja Mehr Ali Shah Goladvi
  • Hazrat Khawja Syed Ghulam Haider Shah Jalalpuri
  • Hazrat Khawja Syed Muhammad Saeed Shah Zanjani Lahorvi
  • Hazrat Khawja Syed Muhammad Hasan Shah Gilani
  • Hazrat Khawja Syed Niaz Ali Gardezi
  • Hazrat Mirza Nawab Baig Delhvi
  • Hazrat Mulla Khushnud Yusafzai(Kabul)

Hazrat Khawja Shams-ud-din Sialvi died on 24th of Safar 1300 A.H( 4th of january 1883 A.D). He was buried in Sialsharif about 48 kilometers from Sargodha on Sargodha-Jhang road

 

Hazrat Shah Kalim Ullah of Jahanabad r.a

The greatness of Ali r.a is really great!

Do blossom the bud of my aspirations;

With the pains of separation is there great restlessness.

Salutations to you, Oh comfort to the soul of Ali r.a.

Shah Kalimullah-the saint of Jehanabad.

 

Hazrat Shah Kalimullah of Jahanabad r.a occupies a very important place in the history of the Chishtiya Silsilah, as it was at his hands that the silsilah was revitalized and restored to its former glory. Although the work of the order had been sustained in various regional centers (such as Gujrat), its voice was somewhat drowned out by the rush of false Sufis who appeared in the scene in the confusion that followed the downfall of the Delhi kingdom and the creation of the Mughal Empire.

It was Shah Kalimullah r.a who recreated the infrastructure of the organization, and reasserted its primary aims as they had been in the time of Khwaja Moin Uddin Chihshti Ajmeri Ghareeb Nawaz and his great successors. The order was reinvigorated in the twilight of the Mughal rule, and retained its primary principles; devotion to Allah, service of the poor and separation from the ruling powers.

Shah Kalimullah r.a was born on the 24th Jamad ath-Thani, 1060 AH to a noble and well-renowned family of artisans, mathematicians and engineers. His lineage is directly linked to Sayyidina Abu Bakar as-Siddiqui r.a . His father had been specifically invited to Delhi by the Emperor Shah Jahan to oversee the construction of the Taj Mahal. Shah Kalimullah r.a once remarked that, “my family’s task was to build palaces and edifices; my responsibility is to build a nation, and the heart of a people.” He obtained his religious knowledge under such great ulama as Shaykh Burhani and Abu Wayda al-Hindi, the uncle and instructor of Shah Waliullah r.a. This, combined with his family’s knowledge of mathematics, engineering, astronomy, philosophy and poetry, afforded him an education of unparalleled breadth and depth.

The story of his attraction to the spiritual way is an interesting one. After becoming an alim, he fell head over heels in love with a very beautiful girl. So enraptured was he by her that he passed his days in a madness of unrequited love, and wandered eventually into the company of a great majdhub. He asked the majdhub to make dua from him to Allah, which the saintly man dutifully did. The very next day, Shah Kalimullah r.a found his love returned by the girl. However, at that very moment, Shah Kalimullah realized how limited his love for this mortal being was, and how much greater and deeper was his love for the true inner beauty of the majdhub. Immediately he returned, begging to study under him.

But the saint realizing Shah Kalimulah’s r.a destiny, replied, “my dear son, all I have is fire. But your fire is already burning you up. Rahter you should go to Shaykh Yahya Madni r.a for he possesses an ocean of knowledge. He will be able to cool your fire and guide you along the path.”

So inspired was Shaha Kalimullah r.a by the statement that he immediately lfet for Medinah al-Munawara. Coming into the company of Shaykh Yahya Madni r.a, he immediately understood that though he knew much about religion, he knew little about his Lord. He was accepted as a murid and underwent strict trials and mujhidah for 6 years.Shaykh Yahya Madni r.a then sent him to Mecca to perform the pilgrimage. It is said that upon reaching there, the saints of city declared, “The Qutab of the world has arrived in Mecca”. Eventually, after more strivings and tests, he was awarded the khilafat-e-azam of Shyakh Yahya Madni r.a . Then he was ordered to return to India and to commence the heavy task of restoring the Chishtiya Silsilah in India to its former greatness.

Arriving in Delhi, he founded not only famous Darul Alum, but also a great Khanqah near the Jammia Masjid that his family had built. This khanqah was to become the nerve center of a revitalized Chishtiya Silsilah, as it once again blossomed and sent its seedlings out over India. His major aim was to propogate the religion of Islam, the structures that he had build served this end very well. The university and Khanqah together ministered to all aspects of Muslim education; from the religious sciences, to worldly knowledge such mathematics and astronomy, as well as the inner wisdom-study of tasawwuf.

 

From here to, missionaries were sent out across the whole of India, foremost of who was his Khalifa al-Azam Khwaja Nizam Uddin of Aurangabad. Shah Kalimulla saw no difference between men and women on the spiritual path, training and urging both genders equally to propagate Islam amongst others of their sex. He stressed that women are the mothers of the nation, and that they were the first and most important teachers of their children.

From this headquarter in Delhi; Shah Kalimullah would organize the Chishtiya Silsila across India via this huge network of missionaries and khulafa. In this way, the great internal cohesion that was the Hallmark of the golden era of the Chishtia was re established, He was so adamant about the pre-eminence of propagating Islam that he ordered every murid of his to make it their aim in life to spread the religion. He wished to ensure that all men and women entered and progressed in Islam through love, rather than by any compulsion.

Shah Kalimullah also found the time to write many books, some of which have maintain lasting acclaim. Among these were a Tafsir( Quran al-Quran) and commentaries on books of Hadith. Some of his other works included: Siwa aa-Sabil, Ashrah-e-Kamilah, and Tasnim. Muraqqah Kalemi was a manual preparing a beginner to enter the path to Allah.

His most famous work, however, was Kashkol-e-Kalemi; recorded by the Shaykh of past and present as the foremost work on the training of the spiritual disciple.

The books of Shah Kalimullah, especially Kahskol-e-Kalemi are among the most important of the Chishtiya Silsilah’s text books, and are deemed required reading for the muridin of the order. They are the brilliant works in the science of Reality, Haqaiq and divine knowledge (Maarifah), through which every student may attain spiritual progress.

 

Hazrat Shah Kalimullah lived a life of complete tawwakul ( reliance on Allah). His wealthy family has left him a large house in Delhi, which he rented out, using the income to sustain himself and his family. His personal expenditure was only 2 and half rupees a month, and he had a rented smaller accommodation for his family, for only half a rupee a month. This he maintained despite offers from muridin and students.

 

His manner and teachings, both outward and inward, were exactly in accordance with the sunnah of the Rasululla swm. As was the way of his elders, he maintains a rigorous time table of fasting, abstinence and prayer; although his khanqahs became centers of hospitality, charity and beneficence.

Shah Kalimullah remained steadfast to the original principles of Khwaja Moin Uddin Chishti r.a. to never accept gifts from, or become involved with, the rulers of the time.

One of the rulers of the time, Sultan Farakhsaier, repeatedly requested him to accept a monthly stipend from his treasury, an offered a large house for him to live in, but Shaha Kalimullah r.a steadfastly refused. The King also used to request audiences with him, but these too were refused. The King and the Sufi master use to go to the same Masjid for Jummah prayers. Such was the power of his holy presence, however, that Kaing and his governors were too in awe of Shah Kalimullah to approach him even there. On the rare occasions that the wealthy and the powerful were allowed into his company they never spoke without permission.

Shaha Kalimullah attained unity with Allah at the age of seventy nine after a lifetime spent in the propagation of Islam. He left behind twenty Khulafa, all of whom were recognized in their time as Auliya Allah. Because of his great services to Islam and tasawwuf, he has rightly been called the revival of Islam in India. SO influential were his teachings and methods of propagation that they had been copied by the Shaykh from his time onwards. He made wisal in the year 1139 AH, and is buried in Delhi. He passed on his principle in the Chishti, Naqshabandi, Suherwardi and Qadriya orders to his successors, Khwaja Nizam Uddin Aurangabadi.

 

 

Hazrath Habib Ali Shah RA

was born at Hyderabad, Deccan, India. He was the fourth son of a philanthropic billionaire, Nawab Ahmad Yar Khan Muhyud Dawlah. His birth was the miraculous prediction made by Hazrath Khwaja Hafiz Muhammad Ali Shah RA of Khairabad, India, who made regular spiritual and educational visits to Hyderabad, that a “spiritual” child will be born in the Nawab’s house. Although the wife of the Nawab had passed child-bearing age, a child was born.

When this child grew up he renounced his title and an estate worth several billion rupees and entered the realms of true faqiri. He showed his ameeri in later life when he hardly had any material possessions and yet during his trips to the blessed city of Ajmer Shareef he was seen distributing countless rupees to the needy and indigent.

The city of Khairabad was a centre of learning and the Khanqah was a popular focal point for the training of ulema. He received his spiritual training here under Hazrath Khwaja Hafiz Mohamed Ali Shah RA who was the Shaikh and teacher at the centre. Before long, the Shaikh appointed him as a Kutub of Kokan and instructed him to serve the community of the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai (Bombay).

He left for Bombay where he established a centre in Dockyard Road, Majgown, which still exists today, perpetuating the legacy of selfless service for which its founder was famous. Hazrath Habib Ali’s entire life speaks of profound spirituality, unblemished service and countless miracles. His spiritual lineage or Silsila was the Chistia, Qadiria as well as various other orders. He not only made mureeds (disciples) but trained them to serve as khulafas (spiritual successors). He sent his renowned khulafas to the different parts of the world with the specific instructions that they provide selfless service to humanity and that they propagate Islam in its pristine purity, restraining from indulging in futile debates and vain arguments.

Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA visited the mazaars of Auli-Allah in India and it was during his meditation at the tomb of Hazrath Khwaja Nasiruddin Chiraag RA in Delhi that he was instructed to post his capable Khalifa, Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA to South Africa in 1895.

Hazrath Khwaja Habib Ali Shah RA passed away in Bombay on 6 Zil Haj 1322 (1904). It was decided that his body be taken to Hyderabad by train so that he could be buried there. The normally twenty-four hour train journey took three days because of the multitudes of people that gathered at every major station along the route and insisted on offering Janaza prayers. Eventually, on 10 Zil Haj, his body was laid to rest next to the mosque in the city of his birth

 

Hazra Khwaja Nizam Uddin Auliya Mehboob-e-Ilah r.a

I am restless now; my state destroyed – With the burden of sin is my record blackened;
I cannot trace the path leading to your door. Salutations to you,
look upon me now with eyes of mercy Oh Nizamudeen! Beloved of the Lord.

 

 

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) is known by many titles, and deservedly so, for he is one of the greatest saints that India has produced. It was this widely renowned and universally respected saint who continued the sterling work of Hazrat Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) as the acknowledged head of the Chishtiyya silsila. Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) founded the Nizamiyya branch of the order just as Hazrat Sabir Paak (rahmatullahi alaihi) had founded the Sabriyya branch.

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) was born in Baduan in 636 a.h.

to Hazrat Sayyid Ahmed Bukhari (rahmatullahi alaihi) a wali and noted jurist; but as with all the Big Five, he lost his father at a young age. His pious and highly intelligent mother ensured that he received spiritual and religious education from the foremost masters of the time. Due to his extraordinary intellect, he became an alim whilst still a child, but the fire in his heart soon turned him towards the path of the spirit. Hearing of the resounding reputation of Hazrat Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi), he became enamoured of the great saint and decided to meet him. Stopping for a time in Delhi, he heard the muezzin call out one night,

Has not the time come for the hearts of the faithful To remember Allah and bend by His love?

 

The words proved a divine call and only inflamed his love for Hazrat Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi). He set out immediately and arrived in Ajodhan to be welcomed by the great saint with open arms. One of his most famous titles, ‘Mahboob e Elahi’, or ‘beloved of God,’ comes from his meeting with the great saint. Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) declared that those words were written upon his forehead in letters of light. After his spiritual training, he was afforded the khilafat-e-azam and sent back to Delhi. Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) prophesied, “You will be a spacious tree under which oppressed humanity will take shelter and find comfort.”

Thus Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) moved to Delhi with his mureeds and settled in Ghyaspur, a secluded township where he could avoid the bustle of the huge city. This village soon became as busy as Delhi itself, and eventually he thought of leaving. Then however, he received a divine message through the tongue of a young sufi who said, “true courage lies in finding peace and seclusion amidst the bustle of the worldly crowd.” Thus warned, he remained in Ghyaspur until his last breath. A khanqah was built for him by one of his mureeds, and soon became a mighty centre of learning.

Courtiers, princes and the rich, who had previously led lives of debauchery, drinking and sin were so powerfully influenced by the austere, moral life and spiritual lessons of Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) that they adopted in their thousands a new and clean style of living. Most devoted themselves to the service of the great shaykh for the rest of their lives.

Under Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi), the sun of the Chishtiyya silsila reached the zenith, and its power and influence attained heights that it has never equalled. In addition to being a spiritual master and distinguished alim, Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) was also an administrative genius. Throughout India, he established literally thousands of khanqahs after the model of Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani’s (rahmatullahi alaihi); he sent his khulafa across the length and breadth of the great nation, especially to the hitherto unexplored south. His primary khanqah in Delhi became a veritable fountain of divine wisdom and knowledge, and the centre of religious, moral and social education for hundreds of thousands of aspirants throughout the eastern Islamic world.

Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) lived for near a century, during which time Delhi witnessed the rise and fall of no less than seven kingdoms. Some of the sultans were the great saints devoted followers, others his avowed enemies. Despite many rich and influential men wishing to meet and pay homage to him, Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) never entertained them, remembering Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti’s (rahmatullahi alaihi) warning never to mix with the worldly. He used to say, “My khanqah has two doors. When they enter one, I will leave through the other.” Because of his great generosity and influence, Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) was extremely popular amongst the people of Delhi, and this naturally aroused the ire of kings and courtiers.

However, though his strongly held principles often led him to open conflict with the rulers, he absolutely refused to compromise the

commandments of Shariah and traditions of Sufism.Once sultan Qutbuddin Khilji issued an edict that forbade anyone from donating any money to him; the saint responded by doubling his khanqah’s expenses and increasing its beneficiaries to 16,000 every day. The royal order thus had no effect whatsoever, and the sultan who persecuted Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) came to a miserable end.

As with all sufis and the pious, the lessons we learn from the life of Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) are myriad. A sufi teaches not only through words, but also in the lofty moral standards he or she sets. Love for Allah, Rasulallah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) and Islam is radiated not only through their sermons, but in the very purity of their lives wherein can be found the highest principles of Islam. In the very simplicity of their material existences we learn the true meaning of tawakkul, or absolute trust in Allah. And through observing their actions and deeds, we discover exactly how we should lead our lives.

Rivers of wealth flowed daily into the khanqah, and was given out even more freely to the poor and the destitute, but the attire of Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) consisted of a cloak and some badly torn clothes. Banquets were prepared every day, but Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) subsisted on a piece of barley bread and some water for sehri – and sometimes he would not even eat that much, thinking of all the needy who could not even afford this. He loved even his most staunch enemies; once when they scattered thorns in his path, he walked over them uncaringly. Then, with his bare feet bleeding, he prayed that every thorn that had pierced him might become a rose in the grave of the thrower.

He used to recite 300 rakats of nafil salaah in twenty four hours, fast every day, and spend the entire night in worship. His mujaheda only increased with age; at eighty years, his only rest would be the nap that is sunnah for a short while after zuhr. Even so, he used to instruct his mureeds that should anyone come to see him during this time, he should be woken immediately.

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) had twenty four khulafa who were sent to every part of India, though his khalifa-e-azam, Khwaja Nasirudeen Chiragh e Dehlawi (rahmatullahi alaihi), remained in the capital on his orders. Hazrat Amir Khusro (rahmatullahi alaihi), the near legendary poet, composer, inventor, linguist, historian and scholar, one of the intellectual giants of Indian history, was his most loved and devoted mureed.

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) died at the age of eighty nine, after Rasulullah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) himself visited him in a dream and told him, “I am very eager to meet you.” With almost his last breath, he ordered that all the food and money remaining in the khanqah be distributed amongst the poor and needy. After more than sixty years of heading the Chishtiyya silsila, as the sun rose during his ishraaq salaah, this great spiritual sun of India set. The whole of Delhi and the lands beyond were plunged into deepest mourning at his passing away, and his like has rarely been seen ever since. As the grief-stricken Amir Khusro (rahmatullahi alaihi) himself said upon arriving at his pir-o-murshid’s tomb,

The beloved sleeps, covering her face with the beautiful locks of her hair.
Khusro, go home! The darkness of evening has engulfed the whole world.

 

 

Hazrat Khwaja Haji Sharif of Zandan

May the autmn of my heart be refreshed

Day by dau it has become weaker;

With humility I, the hardened, now implores you.

Salutations to you, our shaykh, Haji Sharif;

With sorrow and afflicition have I become weak.

 

Khwaja Haji Sharif Zandani was one of the outstanding Sufi personalities of his time. Little is known about his early life, though it is known that he was the murid of Khwaja Qutab ad-Din Madudu CHishti r.a. When he was bestowed with the khirqah of khilafat a divine voice called out, “Oh Haji Sharif! We have accepted you and made you a beloved in our court.”

Hazrat Haji Sharif r.a spent 40 solitary years in the wilderness performing strict mujahhdahs, sustaining himself only on salt-less food, fruit and water. He disliked the comforts of this world so intensely that he would refuse even to talk about material things, and those visiting him used to be forewarned not to mention them. He became so engrossed in performance of his salah that he would remain unaware of people who attempted to disturb or even harm him. He used to say, “A lover should be such that when he takes the name of his beloved nothing else should remain. I swear by Allah, that when taking the name of the beloved, I become so intoxicated in my love for Him that even is the entire world was changed into wine and I were to drink it, it would not intoxicate me like that.”

Once a man came to him bearing a gift. As soon as he entered his presence; Hazrat Haji Sharif r.a told him that he had no need for any such present; such were the gifts that Allah had given him. He than told the man to look outside, and when he did so, he saw to his wonderment that the entire surrounds had turned to precious stones and gold. Such was the spiritual wealth of the great saint. When Sultan Sanjari passed away, he was seen in a dream and asked what his fate had been. He replied he had stood before the angels of death and answered for his deeds; but that, just as they were about to begin his punishment, Allah had intervened. He had said that, because the sultan had once afforded great respect to this beloved of Allah, Allah was forgiving his sins.

He was a man of great humility and fear of Allah. Whenever he used to think of the verse, “ We have not created man and jinn except that they might worship me,” he would become so filled with fear and regret that he would lapse into unconsciousness. He used to say, “we have been created for Allah’s worship, yet we occupy ourselves with other things.”

Hazrat Khwaja Sharif Zandani showed such respect for the poor and the needy that people were overcome by amazement. He used to take the dust from their feet and place it on his eyes, saying, “O Allah! Haji Sharif is at the service of the poor. Keep me steadfast in my love for them.” He never associated with the rich and wealthy.

The treatises of haji Sharif r.a on the unity of Allah admit no equal; unfortunately, as with many of the works of the early Muslims, they are now lost to us. He used to teach on tahwid nad love for Allah to all those who came to him. One of his pupils was Hazrat Khwaja Uthman Haruni r.a to whom he eventually gave his khilafat. Hazrat Haji Sharif Zindani attained unity on 3rd Rajab 612 AH and lies buried in Syria.

Hazrat Khwaja Moin Uddin Hassan Chihsit Sanjagri r.a

With every breath, my restlessness increases; Why does the bud of my heart not blossom?
Grant you my wishes, for the sake of Ali (radiallahu anhu). Salutations to you, O
Khwaja, the saint of Hind! May this devotee’s aspirations be fulfilled.

 

The small town of Ajmer, 400 kilometres south and west of Delhi, is unremarkable to the eye at first glance. However, on closer inspection, one beholds the reason that it stands out; pilgrims. In thousands upon thousands they come, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, of all nationalities; raising their voices in celebration and prayer, in praise and remembrance of one of the greatest saints ever produced in the long and illustrious history of Islam. The deservedly titled Sultan of India, the Qutb or spiritual axis of the eastern Islamic world; he is the fountain from whose spiritual light have sprung all the beautiful, mighty saints of the Chishtiyya silsila: Hazrat Khwaja Moinudeen Hassan Chishti Gharibun-Nawaaz Ajmeri ( rahmtullahi alaihi).

The chieftain and founder of the Chishtiyya silsila, one of the four great orders that radiate throughout the world, Khwaja Gharibun-Nawaaz (radiallahu anhu) is one of the most respected and universally recognised figures in Sufism and Islam. He stands tall as a great spiritual leader; a reformer and purifier of hearts at the most turbulent of times. Most of the saints before his time had been concentrated around the lands of the Middle East, but he was a pioneer, a missionary who was responsible for spreading the Sufi and Islamic sphere of influence to the remotest regions of polytheistic India.

His pious character was a true picture of Islam; his practice exactly in accordance with the dictates of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, and his teachings beautiful lessons in godliness, truthfulness, and equality which enlightened the hearts of multitudes. Authentic estimates place the number of people he guided to the path of Islam at nine million. It is a historical fact that his Chishtiyya silsila wielded a direct and crucial influence on the course of Indian history, the development of the embryonic Bhakti Consciousness Movement of Hinduism, and modern (pantheistic) Buddhism.

Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) was born in the year 536AH in Sijistan, the son of Khwaja Ghyasuddin Chishti, a pious and influential man of what is now Iran. He was a direct descendant through both his parents of Hazrat Ali (radiallahu anhu). It was a time of chaos and great upheavals in both India and the Muslim Empire as a whole. In the year of his birth, Sultan Sanjari was finally defeated before the implacable advance of the Mughals, spelling the beginning of the end of the Sultanate; and in Khurasan, where he was brought up, religious sects and barbarism had lain waste a once civilised country. He was orphaned at the tender age of fourteen, and was thus raised in the same condition as Rasulallah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam).

But social evils, moral degradations and personal tragedy stirred something deep within the young man, and he began to turn towards the spiritual life. Once when watering his father’s garden, he came across a dervish, Hazrat Ibrahim Qanduzi (radiallahu anhu). He was deeply affected by the saint’s holy manner, and Hazrat Ibrahim (radiallahu anhu) for his part transformed Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu)’s inner being. His eyes became opened to the ultimate realities of the spiritual world. Renouncing all material things, he sold his father’s garden, all his possessions and distributed the money among the poor.

Still at a young age, he arrived at the great centres of learning in Samarkand and Bokhara, where he swiftly became a hafiz and distinguished alim, fully conversant in all aspects of Islamic thought. Unsatisfied with this, he began a strict regime of prayers, meditations, fasting and self-renunciation which continued for years and grew more intense and vigorous until Allah granted him the exalted rank of sainthood. He used to fast for seven days and nights, breaking fast on the eighth with a small crust of bread soaked in water. At this point, he felt the need for a shaykh, or spiritual guide, feeling the truth of the Qur’anic injunction,

 

O YE WHO BELIEVE! BE MINDFUL OF YOUR DUTY TOWARDS ALLAH, AND SEEK A
MEANS OF APPROACH UNTO HIM, AND STRIVE IN HIS WAY IN ORDER THAT YE MAY SUCCEED. (5:35)

He himself used to state, “success is not possible without a guide.” He travelled extensively throughout the near East, finally finding a spiritual guide in Hazrat Khwaja Uthman Haruni (radiallahu anhu). In twenty years he spent under his murshid’s guidance, he attained perfection in tasawwuf and was awarded the khilafat-e-azam by Khwaja Uthman (radiallahu anhu). He offered many pilgrimages both with his murshid and alone. It was during one of these, while in Madinah Sharif, that he was directed spiritually by Rasulallah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)) to go to India and spread Islam there. He left immediately with 40 of his disciples, on the long and arduous journey.

Along the way, he stopped in several places including Baghdad, Isfahan and Balkh. In Baghdad Sharif, he was the guest of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (radiallahu anhu), the greatest of saints and founder of the Qadriyya silsila. Hazrat Ghaus-ul Azam (radiallahu anhu) organised a qawwali in his own house for the visitors, and he himself stood outside that night, with eyes closed and his staff tightly held against the ground. When asked the reason for his actions, he replied, “I needed to stop the ground shaking, such was the power of Khawja’s wajd.”

In Sabzwar, he came across a ruler of such corruption that he would not even hesitate to denigrate the holy sahaabi of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam). Yet one glance from the great saint sufficed to render the man unconscious. When he awoke, his personality had changed completely; he gave up his kingdom, renounced all his possessions and became a mureed of Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu).

Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) and his disciples were in a cave in the mountains of the Hindu Kush when one of the most famous events in sufi history occurred. Hundreds of miles away, in Baghdad Sharif, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (radiallahu anhu) pronounced his chieftainship of all auliya-allah by saying, “My foot is on the neck of all walis.” Spiritually hearing the great saint’s statement, Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) immediately threw himself down and stretched his neck against the floor, signifying his submission to that truth.

It was because of this type of humble obedience that Allah granted him the title, “Sultan-e-Hind”, for he is the leader and spiritual head to all the hundreds of walis that have blessed India in after-times. So it was that Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) arrived in India at a time of tremendous upheaval and moral decay. The Ghaznavi dynasty was in its death throes, and the Rajput kings were gaining power. Tyrannical rulers were making life unbearable for common people, especially the muslims whose numbers were diminishing day by day.

Yet India is not named for no reason, “the land of saints and sufis”; its people had inherited a wealth of spirituality that yearned for expression. It was into such an arena that Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) stepped, a torch to India’s tinder. First he went to Lahore, a centre of learning where resided a great number of Muslim theologians, philosophers and sufis. Yet he soon left this place, for his divinely guided mission was not to men such as these, but rather to those who were deprived of the light of Islam.

Thus he arrived in Delhi, which was to become the seat of his most famous successors. At the time, the city was a place of much fear and mutual hatred between Hindus and Muslims, but Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) began delivering his sermons in a soft tongue, dipped in honey. As a result of this kindness and forbearance, both Hindus and Muslims were turned towards the path of truth. The great wali was revered and loved by those of both religions, a trend which, was to be the hallmark of Sufism in India.

Soon, however, he left Delhi too, heading instead for the remote city of Ajmer, deep within the kingdom of the most powerful Rajput prince in Northern India, Raj Prithviraj.

This city was completely alien to Islam; no muslims at all lived within its bounds. It was in this hostile environment that Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) and his forty disciples settled and began the bulk of his teaching. Very soon, however, he changed the entire civic atmosphere, gathering people of all races, castes and stations to the shining truth of Islam. His high morals and frugal lifestyle deeply impressed the Hindus and all the while, the beautiful messages of the Qur’an and Sunnah entered deep into their hearts. Soon they started to convert, in multitudes upon multitudes, and the raja became alarmed as even his courtiers and high-ranking servants took up Islam.

It is interesting here to note that the raja’s mother had predicted the arrival of Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu), and had warned her son not to interfere with him lest he suffer total destruction. Whether Raj Prithviraj forgot this prophecy or ignored it is unknown, but he began to harass the shaykh and trouble his followers. But Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu), holding firm to the Islamic doctrine that, “Allah is with those who patiently persevere,” steadfastly carried on his peaceful mission. One day, however, he said, “the raja will be captured alive, and his kingdom snatched away.” This prophecy was proven true not months later. The raja, was defeated by Sultan Shahabuddin, was captured alive and brought into the presence of the sultan, who ordered him executed. The power of the Rajputs was thus broken for more than three hundred years.

Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (radiallahu anhu) carried on his work in Ajmer for 45 years, and millions entered Islam through his spiritual light and endeavours. Besides this great service, he also established permanent sufi centres which were run by such mighty disciples as Khwaja Qutbudeen Khaki, Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya, Hazrat Baba Farid Ganj Shakar and Khwaja Nasiruddeen Chiragh Delhawi (rahmatullahi ta’aala ajmaeen).

On the 29th Jamaad-us-Saani, before entering his bare cell for his usual meditations, he advised his attendants that he should not be disturbed until his khalifa-e-azam, Khwaja Qutbuddeen Khaki (radiallahu anhu), arrived from Delhi. On the 6th Rajab, 633 AH, his khalifa arrived and, receiving no answer to his polite knocking, the mureeds broke down the door. There they found that their beloved murshid had already left the world, at the ripe old age of ninety-six. To the wonder and amazement of all, upon his forehead was inscribed in letters of light,

LOVER OF ALLAH, AND HE DIED IN THE LOVE OF ALLAH

 

Such was the passing of one of the greatest saints in Islamic history. Undoubtedly, if not for him and his enormous sacrifices, many of those who read this would not have been born into the mercy of this beautiful religion. One can only imagine the hardship he endured in his early years in Ajmer, in the kingdom of a hostile king, surrounded by a nation of polytheists, a people even whose native tongue – Sanskrit – was foreign to him.

How similar was his situation, and his conduct under adversity, to the Holy Prophet (saw) himself! How he managed to convert so many Hindus to Islam, working from the heart of their own kingdom, at a time when the only words that the two religions could address each other with were hatred and war, is a miracle in itself

He not only moulded the character of a people, but also led them to a more prosperous, nobler way of living, and cultivated in them the qualities of humanity and truth. Through him and his immediate successors, the entire culture and civilisation of India underwent a profound change.

As alluded to before, apart from the millions of converts to Islam, the Bhakti Consciousness movement, modern Buddhism and Sikhism, all monotheistic or pantheistic in outlook emerged from the ancient religions of Hinduism and Buddhism due in great part to the Chishtiyya silsila’s efforts in the path of Islam. As is stated in Sura al-Nasr,

When Allah’s succour and triumph cometh, and thou seest mankind
entering the religion of Allah in troops, then hymn the praises of thy Lord,
and seek. forgiveness of Him Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy.

 

Hazrat Khwaja Nizam Uddin Mehboob Illahi R.A

I am restless now; my state destroyed – With the burden of sin is my record blackened;
I cannot trace the path leading to your door. Salutations to you,
look upon me now with eyes of mercy Oh Nizamudeen! Beloved of the Lord.

 

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) is known by many titles, and deservedly so, for he is one of the greatest saints that India has produced. It was this widely renowned and universally respected saint who continued the sterling work of Hazrat Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) as the acknowledged head of the Chishtiyya silsila. Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) founded the Nizamiyya branch of the order just as Hazrat Sabir Paak (rahmatullahi alaihi) had founded the Sabriyya branch.

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) was born in Baduan in 636 a.h. to Hazrat Sayyid Ahmed Bukhari (rahmatullahi alaihi) a wali and noted jurist; but as with all the Big Five, he lost his father at a young age. His pious and highly intelligent mother ensured that he received spiritual and religious education from the foremost masters of the time. Due to his extraordinary intellect, he became an alim whilst still a child, but the fire in his heart soon turned him towards the path of the spirit. Hearing of the resounding reputation of Hazrat Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi), he became enamoured of the great saint and decided to meet him. Stopping for a time in Delhi, he heard the muezzin call out one night,

Has not the time come for the hearts of the faithful To remember Allah and bend by His love?

 

The words proved a divine call and only inflamed his love for Hazrat Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi). He set out immediately and arrived in Ajodhan to be welcomed by the great saint with open arms. One of his most famous titles, ‘Mahboob e Elahi’, or ‘beloved of God,’ comes from his meeting with the great saint. Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) declared that those words were written upon his forehead in letters of light. After his spiritual training, he was afforded the khilafat-e-azam and sent back to Delhi. Baba Faridudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) prophesied, “You will be a spacious tree under which oppressed humanity will take shelter and find comfort.”

Thus Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) moved to Delhi with his mureeds and settled in Ghyaspur, a secluded township where he could avoid the bustle of the huge city. This village soon became as busy as Delhi itself, and eventually he thought of leaving. Then however, he received a divine message through the tongue of a young sufi who said, “true courage lies in finding peace and seclusion amidst the bustle of the worldly crowd.” Thus warned, he remained in Ghyaspur until his last breath. A khanqah was built for him by one of his mureeds, and soon became a mighty centre of learning.

Courtiers, princes and the rich, who had previously led lives of debauchery, drinking and sin were so powerfully influenced by the austere, moral life and spiritual lessons of Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) that they adopted in their thousands a new and clean style of living. Most devoted themselves to the service of the great shaykh for the rest of their lives.

Under Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi), the sun of the Chishtiyya silsila reached the zenith, and its power and influence attained heights that it has never equalled. In addition to being a spiritual master and distinguished alim, Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) was also an administrative genius. Throughout India, he established literally thousands of khanqahs after the model of Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani’s (rahmatullahi alaihi); he sent his khulafa across the length and breadth of the great nation, especially to the hitherto unexplored south. His primary khanqah in Delhi became a veritable fountain of divine wisdom and knowledge, and the centre of religious, moral and social education for hundreds of thousands of aspirants throughout the eastern Islamic world.

Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) lived for near a century, during which time Delhi witnessed the rise and fall of no less than seven kingdoms. Some of the sultans were the great saints devoted followers, others his avowed enemies. Despite many rich and influential men wishing to meet and pay homage to him, Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) never entertained them, remembering Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti’s (rahmatullahi alaihi) warning never to mix with the worldly. He used to say, “My khanqah has two doors. When they enter one, I will leave through the other.” Because of his great generosity and influence, Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) was extremely popular amongst the people of Delhi, and this naturally aroused the ire of kings and courtiers.

However, though his strongly held principles often led him to open conflict with the rulers, he absolutely refused to compromise the commandments of Shariah and traditions of Sufism.Once sultan Qutbuddin Khilji issued an edict that forbade anyone from donating any money to him; the saint responded by doubling his khanqah’s expenses and increasing its beneficiaries to 16,000 every day. The royal order thus had no effect whatsoever, and the sultan who persecuted Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) came to a miserable end.

As with all sufis and the pious, the lessons we learn from the life of Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) are myriad. A sufi teaches not only through words, but also in the lofty moral standards he or she sets. Love for Allah, Rasulallah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) and Islam is radiated not only through their sermons, but in the very purity of their lives wherein can be found the highest principles of Islam. In the very simplicity of their material existences we learn the true meaning of tawakkul, or absolute trust in Allah. And through observing their actions and deeds, we discover exactly how we should lead our lives.

Rivers of wealth flowed daily into the khanqah, and was given out even more freely to the poor and the destitute, but the attire of Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) consisted of a cloak and some badly torn clothes. Banquets were prepared every day, but Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) subsisted on a piece of barley bread and some water for sehri – and sometimes he would not even eat that much, thinking of all the needy who could not even afford this. He loved even his most staunch enemies; once when they scattered thorns in his path, he walked over them uncaringly. Then, with his bare feet bleeding, he prayed that every thorn that had pierced him might become a rose in the grave of the thrower.

He used to recite 300 rakats of nafil salaah in twenty four hours, fast every day, and spend the entire night in worship. His mujaheda only increased with age; at eighty years, his only rest would be the nap that is sunnah for a short while after zuhr. Even so, he used to instruct his mureeds that should anyone come to see him during this time, he should be woken immediately.

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) had twenty four khulafa who were sent to every part of India, though his khalifa-e-azam, Khwaja Nasirudeen Chiragh e Dehlawi (rahmatullahi alaihi), remained in the capital on his orders. Hazrat Amir Khusro (rahmatullahi alaihi), the near legendary poet, composer, inventor, linguist, historian and scholar, one of the intellectual giants of Indian history, was his most loved and devoted mureed.

Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya (rahmatullahi alaihi) died at the age of eighty nine, after Rasulullah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) himself visited him in a dream and told him, “I am very eager to meet you.” With almost his last breath, he ordered that all the food and money remaining in the khanqah be distributed amongst the poor and needy. After more than sixty years of heading the Chishtiyya silsila, as the sun rose during his ishraaq salaah, this great spiritual sun of India set. The whole of Delhi and the lands beyond were plunged into deepest mourning at his passing away, and his like has rarely been seen ever since. As the grief-stricken Amir Khusro (rahmatullahi alaihi) himself said upon arriving at his pir-o-murshid’s tomb,

The beloved sleeps, covering her face with the beautiful locks of her hair.
Khusro, go home! The darkness of evening has engulfed the whole world.

 

 

Hazrat Khwaja Uthman Haruni r.a

Since love for you became fixed in my heart,

The outer body has become immaterial,

And not a moment is there fearfulness.

Salutations to you, Khwaja Uthman Haruni,

Make me independent of both the worlds.

 

The greatness of Hazrat Khwaja Uthman Haruni r.a can be measured simply glancing at the auliya-allah that sprang from his disciples, foremost of whom was the mighty saint of India, Khwaja Moin Uddin Chishti r.a. He was born in the village of Harun in Khurasan, a direct descendant of the Holy Prophet swm. By virtue of his knowledge and striving in the path of Allah, he became known as one of the greatest shaykh of his time. Khwaja Uthman travelled very widely, and it was during one of these journeys that he encountered Haji Shairf Zandani. When he saw the glorious face of Haji Sharif r.a, he immediately placed his head at his feet and begged him to initiate him as his murid. He then devoted most of his time to seclusion and the conquering of his base desires. Upon receiving the Khalifat from Hazrat Haji Sharif Zindani r.a, a four-sided Topi was placed on his head Khwaja Sharif told him, “this cap represents four renunciations renouncing desire, renouncing sleep. Renouncing the world and renouncing the hereafter for Allah alone. This is the path of the Chishtiyah.”

For ten years he undertook strenuous mujhadahs, during which period he did not sleep by night nor eat his fill. Hazrat Khwaja Uthman was a hafiz al-Quran, and performed two complete recitations daily. It was due to these great strivings that he attained the pinnacle of spiritual glory. The effect of his tawajhu was such that whomever he bent his gaze on would renounce sin; and his muridin were characterized by a disdain for the world and proximity to the Divine.

One such murid was the great master of Indian tasawwuf, Khwaja Moin Uddin Chishti r.a , whose suluk Khwaja Uthman completed over a period of twenty-four hours. After he had molded this great servant of Islam, Uthman dispatched him to Ajmer in accordance with the instructions of Rasulullah swm. Often tales are told of the love that disciples have for their masters; but in this case, such was the longing of master for disciple that Khwaja Uthamn r.a decided to follow him to India. He embarked on this journey with another of his disciples, Khwaja Fakhr ad-Din, bringing many more people into the fold of Islam along the way.

Once they stopped in an area inhabited by Zoroastrians and needed a fire to break their fast. Coming across a great palace, they were refused permission to use the sacred fire to cook. Greatly upset that people should worship a creation of Allah rather than Allah Himself. Khwaja Uthman met with the king, whose name was Mohisa. He found him sitting on an iron throne with his seven-year old son on his lap. The Zoroastrians’ argument was that fire was divine because it was pure and burnt all that was exposed to. Khwaja Uthman laid down a challenge that if he could walk into the fire without being burnt, the king and his subjects should accept Islam. As soon as Mohisa agreed, the great saint suddenly snatched the king’s son off his lap and, to the horror of all, walked fiercely into the huge blaze. As he did so, he recited the following Quranic aayah”

“We (Allah) Said, Oh Fire! Be thou Cool and a place of safety for Ibrahim.”

Immediately, Allah caused the same miracle to work for Khwaja Uthaman r.a neither he nor the child were burnt even the slightest. Upon emerging and being asked what it had been like, Mohisa’s son replied that it was as though they had been in a beautiful garden. At this manifest miracle, the king and all his subjects became Muslim, and Khwaja Uthman r.a spent another year and a half in their company, teaching Mohisa and his son about the inner aspects of Islam. In time, by the grace of Allah, they too became saints.

Another time, an old woman whose son had disappeared forty years ago came to him for aid. He instructed everyone present to recite sura al-Fatiha five times and then told the woman to go home. He used to say, “ a friend of Allah has three qualities; generosity like the sea ( which gives unceasingly), affection like the sun(which warms all without discrimination) and humility like earth ( which considers itself lowly enough for all to tread upon it.)”

The generosity and kindness was evident in his won character, as can be gauged from the following story. A jealous neighbor bore great dislike for the saint, and used to go out of his way to trouble him. After the man died, he was seen in a dream and asked about his experiences in the grave. He said that just as the angels were about to begin his punishment, Khwaja Uthamn r.a came and forbade the angels from punishing him. Allah then tols the angels that he had forgiven the man because of the wasilah of His beloved. When Khwaja Utham r.a was asked why he done this for a man who detested him, he replied that it was the practice of his beloved Rasullualh r.a to make duaa for both friend and enemy alike.

In this way Khwaja Uthman r.a attained unity in Madina on the 5th Shawwal 617 AH, and was buried close to the mazar of his namesake Sayyidna Utham al-Ghani r.a. Unfortunately both these blessed places were destroyed by the Saudi regime, a result of its adherence to the narrow wahhabi doctrine.

Hazrat Shah kalim Ullah Jehanabadi R.A

The greatness of Ali (rahmatullahi alaihi) is really great!
Do blossom the bud of my aspirations;
With the pains of separation is there great restlessness.
Salutations to you, Oh comfort to the soul of Ali (rahmatullahi alaihi)
Shah Kalimullah – the saint of Shah Jehanabaad

Hazrat Shah Kalimullah Jehanabaad (rahmatullahi alaihi) occupies a very prominent place in the history of Islam and the Chishtia silsila. The golden era of the Chishtia silsila ended with the passing of Khwaja Nasirudeen Chiragh Dehlawi (rahmatullahi alaihi); for though his successors such as Hazrat Kamaludeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) carried on his work ably, the saints of the silsila became outnumbered by numerous false sufis who claimed the rank of sainthood to try and emulate the great power, reverence and influence that the Chishtia order held. Thus despite the utmost attempts of the true mashaaikh, the lofty principles and noble aims of the Chishtia silsila became drowned in a sea of false mystics searching only to increase their own prestige, and their popularity dwindled. It was Shah Kalimullah Jehanabaad (rahmatullahi alaihi) who was responsible for revitalising and restoring the silsila to its former glory. He recreated the infrastructure of the organisation, and reasserted its primary aims as they had been in the time of Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (rahmatullahi alaihi) and his great successors, which were the propagation of Islam and Sufism.

Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) was born on the 24th Jamaad-us-Saani 1060 AH to a noble and well-renowned family of artisans, mathematicians and engineers. His lineage is directly linked to H Abu Bakr Siddiq (rahmatullahi alaihi). His father had been specifically invited to Delhi by the Emperor Shah Jehan to oversee the construction of the Taj Mahal. Hazrat Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) once remarked that “my family’s task was to build palaces and edifices; my responsibility is to build a nation, and the hearts of a people.” He studied religious knowledge under such great ulema as Shaikh Burhani and Shaikh Abu Waida al-Hindi, the uncle of Hazrat Shah Waliullah (rahmatullahi alaihi ajma’een). Along with his families knowledge of mathematics, engineering, astronomy, philosophy and poetry, he was thus afforded an education of unparalleled breadth and depth.

The story of his attraction to Sufism is an interesting one. After becoming a learned alim he fell head over heels in love with a very beautiful girl. So enraptured was he by her that he passed his days in a madness of unrequited love, and wandered eventually into the company of a great majzoob. The majzoob made dua for him to Allah, and the very next day Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) found his love returned by the girl. However, at that very moment, Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) realised how limited his love for this mortal being was, and how much greater and deeper his love for the inner, eternal beauty of the majzoob was. Immediately he returned to the majzoob and begged to study under him. But the saint, realising that Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) was already burning up with Allah’s love, replied that all he had was fire; rather Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) should go to Shaykh Yahya Madini (rahmatullahi alaihi), for he was a sea of knowledge who would be able to cool his fire and guide him along the path. So inspired was Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) by this statement that he immediately left for Madinatul Munawwarah. Coming into the company of Shaykh Yahya Madini (rahmatullahi alaihi), he realised that there was another, deeper aspect of Islam that even he, a learned professor of deen, knew nothing of. Accepted as a mureed, he underwent strict trials and mujahedas for six years before being given the Khalifa-e-azam of Shaykh Yahya Madini (rahmatullahi alaihi). Then he was ordered to return to India and given the heavy task of restoring the Chishtia silsila in India to its former greatness.

Arriving in Delhi, he founded not only a famous Darul Uloom, but also a great Khanqah near the Jaami Mosque which his family had built. This khanqah was to become the nerve centre of a revitalised Chistiyya silsila as it once again blossomed and sent its seedlings out over India. His aim in life was to propagate the deen of Islam, and his university served this end very well. Not only did people receive outward knowledge of deen and sciences such as mathematics and astronomy, but also the inward knowledge of sufism. From here missionaries were sent out across the whole of India, such as for example his khalifa Khwaja Nizamudeen Aurungabaadi (rahmatullahi alaihi).

Hazrat Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) lived a life of complete tawakkul or reliance in Allah. His manner and teachings, both outward and inward, were exactly in accordance with the sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). He renewed the original principles of Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (rahmatullahi alaihi) of never accepting gifts or having anything to do with the rulers of the time, a practice that had slipped into disuse after Khwaja Nasirudeen Chiragh (rahmatullahi alaihi). Such was the power of his holy presence that even the King of Delhi used to be awestruck by him, and never spoke in his company without permission. From his khanqah in Delhi, Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) would organise the Chishtia silsila across India via a great network of missionaries and khulafa. In this way the great internal cohesion that was the hallmark of the Golden Era of the Chishtis was re-established. He was so adamant about the pre-eminence of propagating Islam that he ordered every mureed of his to make it their aim in life to spread the religion. He wished to ensure that all men and women entered and progressed in Islam through love, rather than by any compulsion.

Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) wrote many books in his time as well which have been received by international acclaim. Among these were a tafseer or commentary on the Holy Quran and books of hadith. His most famous work, Kashkhol e Kaleemi, is regarded by the mashaaikh of past and present as the foremost work on the training of a spiritual disciple. Ruqqa, another book of his, prepares a beginner to enter the path to Allah. Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) saw no difference between men and women on the spiritual path, training and urging both genders equally to propagate Islam amongst others of their sex. He stressed that women are the mothers of the nation, and that they were the first and most important teachers of their children.

Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) passed away at the age of 79 after a lifetime spent in the propagation of Islam. He left behind twenty khulafa, all of whom became great walis of their times. Because of his great services to Islam and sufism he has rightly been called the Reviver of Islam in India. So influential were his teachings and methods of propagation that they have been copied and referred to by all the shaikhs from his time onwards. Khwaja Habib Ali Shah used to keep copies of Kashkhol-e-Kaleemi with him all the time, and used the great wali’s methods in his own great Khanqah in Hyderabad. May Allah give us the ability to follow the practice of this great shaikh and servant of Islam with our actions, thoughts and hearts.

The beloved sleeps, covering her face with the beautiful locks of her hair.
Khusro, go home! The darkness of evening has engulfed the whole world.