This book which is presented to readers, contains the names and life-episodes
of such noble Auliya and Masha-ikh whose existence constitutes a ni’mat
(divine favour) and whose very mention is a rahmat (divine mercy) for the world.
They have reached Allah and they deliver others to Allah (i.e. they are both
Waasil ilallaah and Mْsil ilallaah). Most aptly does the following gracious
Qur’aanic aayat apply to these illustrious Souls:
“Those first ones who have taken the lead among the Muhaajireen and
the Ansaar and those who have followed them with the firmest conviction of
Imaan (Ihsaan), Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with
They were the true and perfect Mu’mins. They were excellent Muslims.
In reality they were the slaves of Allah. They fully fulfilled the design declared
in the aayat:
“I have not created jinn and man except that they worship Me.”
However, in view of these pages emerging from the pen of a non-entity of deficient
righteousness, they (these pages) do not deserve presentation to friends. Hence,
the written manuscript had laid around for a considerable period of time.
I shall briefly explain the circumstances which constrained me to engage
in writing this book. Although I had acquired the greater part of my academic
knowledge studying under my father (May Allah brighten his abode of rest),
a substantial segment of academic knowledge was acquired in the Madrasah under
the blessed shadow of the Masha-ikh of the Madrasah. When my studies
neared completion, a natural desire to aid the Madrasah developed in me. I
thought that if I cannot financially assist on account of the lack of monetary
means, I could at least aid by presenting a written treatise on the conditions
and progress of the Madrasah. In making such a presentation to the people of
goodwill, I shall at least become one who directs towards goodness.
Since I had not as yet written a book, I initiated my program of writing
for the sake of barkat, with the Chishti Masha-ikh. Every link in this
illustrious Chain of Masha-ikh is a source of virtue and blessing. From
them generate anwaar (divine illumination) and spiritual effects. The writing
of this treatise was interrupted with the commencement of another book, Taarikh-e-Mazaahir
(The History of the Madrasah Mazaaharal Uloom). Thereafter (i.e. even before
completing the second book) I engaged in writing Bazlul Majhood and Aujazul
Masalik. Involvement with the latter two writings did not permit me
to complete the former two. The considerable time lapse dissipated my hope
and enthusiasm for the accomplishment of the former two writings. However,
no one can estimate the limitless bounties of Allah Ta’ala. The grace
and kindness of Allah Ta’ala are not dependent on anyone’s qualification
In submission to the instruction of one of my seniors I had to prepare a
brief compilation of 40 Ahadith. The wide and intensive acceptance of this
compilation encouraged my friends to insist on the publication of the incomplete
manuscript (i.e. Masha-ikh-e-Chisht). I no longer cherished the hope
of completing the book due to the inavailability of time. The deficiency in
the manuscript was only that many accounts had not yet been written. To accomplish
this, it was necessary to refer to certain books of history. However, this
was not such a deficiency which would render the book futile. Hence, I did
not oppose the idea of its publication in its existing form. I, therefore,
handed for publication the manuscript after adding this brief introduction.
In the initial writing, the introduction was very lengthy. It consisted of
the purpose of the book and the literary services of the Akaabireen (Senior
Ulama). For the sake of brevity, these were deleted.
Before presenting the actual subject, I wish to make a necessary request
to readers. Firstly, historical narration and facts are not entirely as authentic
and reliable as the narratives of Knowledge. Secondly, the life-stories of
the Masha-ikh are caught between two groups of extremists – their
devotees and their enemies. It is for this reason that often the reality of
events pertaining to the Masha-ikh becomes blurred. Therefore, if any
anecdote of the Masha-ikh is found to be in conflict with the Shariah,
then to follow will not be permissible nor is it permissible to speak or think
ill of the august person to whom the incident is related.
و ما توفيقى الا بالله عليه توكلت واليه انيب
My taufeeq is with only Allah. I trust on Him and towards Him do I turn (in
Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalwi *
24th Rabiuth Thaani 1349 Hijri
The aforegoing introduction was written 43 years ago in the year 1349 in
the hope of publishing this book. Fate, however, did not permit publication
at that time. Now my grandson (daughter’s son), Molvi Shahid (May
Allah preserve him in safety) is publishing it. May Allah Ta’ala grant
it wide and intensive acceptance. May He make it beneficial and may Allah Ta’ala
grant in full measure the barkat of these illustrious Masha-ikh (May
Allah have mercy on them).
5th Shabaan 1392 (Friday)
* Hadhrat Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya-rahmatullah alayh-of Mazaaharal Uloom, Sahaaranpur, India.- Translator.
The purpose of this treatise is to discuss the Masha-ikh of the undermentioned Shajarah (Spiritual Tree). The prime motive for the Sulahaa (the pious Auliya) is the acquisition of Rahmat (divine mercy). It is quite obvious that it is disrespectful for one spiritually destitute in every respect to write about the illustrious Auliya.
The Shajarah is of Hadhrat Aqdas, Qutbul alam, Murshid-e-lam, Maulana Gangohi (Nawwarallaaha marqadahu).
(The Shajarah is in the form of a poem. Due to the inability of the translator to present an authentic translation of the poem, only the names of the noble Masha-ikh in the Shajarah are presented – Translator).
The aim of reciting the Shajarah is tawassul (to supplicate to Allah for mercy through the medium of these illustrious names). Hence, it is appropriate to begin from the lowest one in the Shajarah progressing to the highest. If the medium of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) is taken first, then there is no need to cite anyone else. Since the life-conditions will now be narrated, it is necessary to commence with the blessed narration of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
It is an undeniable fact that for even the briefest discussion on the adorable attributes of Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم), large volumes are inadequate. None of the departments of his life, be it his character, habits, ibaadat, social conduct, excellencies, miracles, etc., can be presented with justice. To encompass his life is impossible. Thus, purely for the sake of barkat will I present a few droplets from this ocean of treasures.
His blessed name is Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم). It is the name chosen by his paternal grandfather. His mother named him Ahmad. Besides these two names, he is known by many other names and titles, the enumeration of which is beyond the scope of this treatise. In Mawaahib, Allamah Qustulani has indicated more than 400 names while Ibn Dahya narrates that according to some Sufiyaa the number reaches a thousand.
The following is the family tree of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم):
Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, the son of Abdul Muttalib, the son of Hashim, the son of Abd Manaaf, the son of Qusay, the son of Kilaab, the son of Murrah, the son of Ka’b, the son of Luway, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fahr, the son of Maalik, the son of An-Nasr, the son of Kinaanah, the son of Khuzaimah, the son of Mudrikah, the son of Ilyaas, the son of Mudhir, the son of Nazzaar, the son of Ma’d, the son of Adnaan.
Until this point the lineage is recorded in Bukhari Shareef. There is unanimity on this view. However, some books of history record the ancestry right until dam (alayhis salaam).
All historians unanimously aver that the blessed birth of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was on Monday in the month of Rabiul Awwal. With regard to the date, there are two versions. According to one view his date of birth is 8th Rabiul Awwal. The other version is 12th Rabiul Awwal coinciding with 29th August 570 CE. While Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was still in the womb of his mother, his father passed away at the age of 25 years and some months.
Every miraculous event and episode pertaining to his birth and upbringing is captivating. Every anecdote is worthy of mentioning. But, alas! This is beyond the scope of this concise treatise. It is, however, essential to mention that his upbringing was unlike that of other children. During his second month he began to converse by signs. In the fourth month he began standing on his legs. By the end of the year he could fully walk and speak.
At the end of the third year when his Ridhaai mother (Milk - Mother who breast fed him), Halimah had to return him to his mother, she (Halimah) understood thereby the termination of all the special blessings which she had so conspicuously observed and experienced during his 3 year stay with her. Obtaining his mother’s consent, she took him with for another few days. However, on reaching her home when the episode of Shiqq-e-Sadr occurred, she was struck with fear. Thinking that something untoward may befall the child, she returned him to his mother. (Shiqq-e-Sadr is the miraculous event of two angels taking away the little boy Muhammad – صلى الله عايه وسالم – and removing his heart after a physical operation. This episode is described in detail in Hadith literature).
The blessed breast of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was cut open on four occasions. The first occasion was while he was in the custody of his foster mother, Halimah as mentioned above. The second operation occurred when he was 10 years old. This event transpired in the desert. The third occasion was at the time of being conferred with Risaalat (Prophethood). It happened in the Cave of Hiraa either during the month of Ramadhaan or Rabiul Awwal. The fourth occasion was on the night of Mi’raaj.
Shah Abdul Aziz (Nawwarallahu marqadahu) elaborated on this subject in great detail while presenting the tafseer of Surah Alam Nashrah. Those who wish to know more about these episodes should refer to the detailed elaboration which is also to be found in the second volume of Laamiud Daraari (also by Shaikh Zakariyya - translator). The twelve stages of Rasulullah’s blessed heart are also explained in the detailed tafseer. The purpose underlying each operation is also explained.
I am astonished at the amazement which some claimants of intelligence display on account of the operations carried out on the heart of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). In fact, I regard them as rejectors. Such operations occur in abundance in hospitals. It is indeed astonishing! The non-Muslims are able to carry out such operations, but (these sceptics) think that the Malaaikah of Allah Ta’ala are unable. Of greater astonishment is their inability to comprehend the diffusion of Imaan, energy and wisdom into the heart despite their acceptance of the capability of electrical machines generating physical energy into the body.
It is not my intention here to discuss the mu’jizaat (miraculous events) of Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم). The aim is merely to present a few examples of the mujaahadaat (spiritual exercises) and blessed habits of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), which are the fountain from which gush out the mujaahadaat and abundance of ibaadaat of the honourable Sufiyaa (rahmatullah alayhim).
It is difficult to enumerate even the hardships which Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had to bear even in childhood. Before his birth, his father had died. At the age of 6, his beloved mother also passed away. His grandfather, Abdul Muttalib then took him under his care. But after two years, two months and ten days when Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was 8 years old, his grandfather also said farewell to this earthly abode.
Those who have children will be able to understand these sad events which occurred in quick succession. However, in relation to the persecutions which were in store for him in the future, these childhood hardships were insignificant.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) from early childhood was the repository of sterling qualities. Mercy, kindness, honesty, truth, good behaviour, straightforwardness, philanthropy, patriotism, justice, etc. were his praiseworthy attributes. He was famed for his uprighteous character. The title of Al-Ameen (The Honest) was awarded to him. Elderly people honoured him. Throughout Makkah it was common knowledge that Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had never spoken a lie; had not committed breach of trust; did not cast an evil gaze on any woman; never slandered anyone, never spoke abruptly or dishonourably with anyone. By virtue of his noble character everyone loved him.
After the demise of his grandfather, he was placed in the care of his paternal uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib had numerous dependants. He was very hospitable and generous. In addition, he had the status of a chieftain. The financial burden was, therefore, heavy on him. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) at the age of 9, accompanied Abu Talib on a trade journey to Syria. However, along the route when they met Baheerah, the raahib (monk), he advised that the boy be sent back and not taken to Shaam (Syria) because the Jews posed a threat to him. When he was 25 years old, he went with the merchant caravan of Hadhrat Khadijah to Shaam. On his return, he handed his share of the profits to his uncle. This was only natural for one of such sterling character.
The very same year he married Hadhrat Khadijah (radhiyallahu anha) who was 40 years old. He was only 25. Those who are confused and entertain baseless ideas regarding the plurality of his marriages should ponder. This one incident is sufficient to dispel all confusion. When he had spent his youth with an ageing widow, then most certainly, the number of marriages he contracted in later life was motivated by some Deeni expedient. That motive was the unification of the different tribes and families with whom his relationship had been created by virtue of these marriages. This facilitated their entry into Islam.
Hadhrat Khadijah (radhiyallahu anha) bore him four daughters and three sons. According to some versions, four sons. The names of the daughters were Hadhrat Ruqayyah, Hadhrat Zainab, Hadhrat Umme Kulthoom and Hadhrat Faatimah. The names of the sons were Hadhrat Abdullah, Hadhrat Tayyib, Hadhrat Taahir and Hadhrat Qaasim. One other son, Hadhrat Ibraahim was born in Madinah Munawwarah.
Besides Hadhrat Faatimah, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had to bear the separation of all his children. The sons all passed away in infancy. Along with the grief of the demise of his children he had to cope with the ridicule of the ignorant Arabs who mockingly called him ‘a man without tail’ on account of having no male issue.
As the time of Rasulullah’s Nubuwwat approached, he developed an increasing yearning for solitude. He loved to be alone. He would frequently seek the refuge of the Cave of Hira, three miles from Makkah. He would take the barest provision of food with him. He would remain in the Cave in contemplation for many days at a time. He engrossed himself in Hamd, Thana, Tasbeeh and Tahleel. When his food was depleted, he would go back to Makkah, but only to return to the Cave. During the month of Ramadhaan, he would take his wife and children along. The whole of Ramadhaan would be spent there.
Six months prior to nubuwwat, commenced the incidence of true dreams in abundance. These dreams were crystal clear and would materialize exactly as he saw them. Often, while wandering in the mountains, he would hear ‘Assalamu Alaika Ya Rasulullah!’ coming from stones and trees.
During this time, after he had gained the ability to bear the weight of Wahi by virtue of his solitude and contemplation, Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) appeared to him in the Cave with the initial verses of Surah Iqra’ inscribed on a silken cloth, These verses were:
There is difference of opinion regarding the month and exact date. Was it in Ramadhaan or Rabiul Awwal? The author of Majmaul Bihaar narrates five versions in this regard. The Angel instructed him to recite the inscription. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) responded that he was unable to recite. The Angel embraced him with such force which made him perspire profusely. The embrace of the Angel caused him much stress. The Angel again instructed him to recite. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) again declared his inability to read. The Angel once again embraced him. This process was repeated three times. On the fourth occasion when instructed to read, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) recited fluently.
The commentators have tendered a variety of reasons for the Angel’s embrace. However, in his Tafseer, Hadhrat Shah Abdul Aziz presents a subtle interpretation. He says that the purpose of the embrace was to transfer angelic ability and power to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Regarding such transference of spiritual and celestial energy and ability, known to the Masha-ikh as Tawajjuh, there are four kinds:
1. In’iqaasi (Reflectory): An example of this kind of Tawajjuh is that of a person who has applied an abundance of perfume. He transfers his fragrance to the gathering in which he happens to be. However, the effect of the fragrance will remain as long as he is present in the gathering. This is, therefore, the weakest form of Tawajjuh.
2. Ilqaa-i (Inspirational): Its example is like a person preparing a lamp for lighting. He cleans the lamp, fills the oil and lights it. This type has greater efficacy than he first kind. The effect remains even after the departure of the one who effected the Tawajjuh. However, a slight impediment terminates it.
3. Islaahi (Reformatory): This is like a huge mass of water having accumulated in a place and a pathway is dug for the water. The flow of the water along its course will wash away slight obstacles. But if the course is blocked off at some place the flow of the water down its course will be blocked. This type is stronger than the first two kinds.
4. Ittihaadi (Unification): In this type of Tawajjuh, the Shaikh diffuses his rooh into the rooh of the mureed to such a degree that both souls are united into a single soul. It is quite obvious that this form of Tawajjuh is the strongest. As a result of the unification of the two souls, the mureed is not in need of repeatedly seeking spiritual gain. The Sufiyaa regard this form of Tawajjuh to be of great importance although its incidence is rare.
The episode of Hadhrat Khwajah Baqi Billah in this regard is famous. Hadhrat Shah Abdul Aziz has narrated that once several guests were by Hadhrat Baqi Billah. But there was nothing by way of food in his home. With this concern he came out of the house. Nearby was a bakery. When the baker learnt of the arrival of the guests he presented some elaborately prepared food. Out of sheer elation, Hadhrat said to the baker: “Ask whatever you wish for.” The baker replied: “Make me like you.” Hadhrat replied: “You will not be able to bear it.” But, the baker insisted that he be made like Hadhrat. After refusing several times, the adamance of the baker finally prevailed. Hadhrat took the baker into his room and cast Tawajjuh Ittihaadi on him. When they emerged from the room, the Tawajjuh had permeated even his external appearance. The baker’s appearance was identical to that of Hadhrat. However, the difference was Hadhrat’s consciousness and alertness while the baker was in a state of semi-consciousness. On the third day while in this state of semi-consciousness, the baker died. May Allah’s mercy be on him.
It was this type of Tawajjuh Ittihaadi which Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) cast on Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) with his embrace. However, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was already spiritually fortified, hence he had the ability to absorb the Tawajjuh of Jibraeel (alayhis salaam). Nevertheless, the Angel’s repeated embrace made him feverish. On reaching home he exclaimed to Hadhrat Khadijah: “Wrap me up! Wrap me up!” After regaining his composure, he narrated to her his experience in the Cave. He added that he feared for his life. Hadhrat Khadijah, having heard of such occurrences from her brother, Warqah Bin Naufal, was expecting some supernatural enactment in regard to Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم). She, therefore, consoled him, saying: “You are kind to children. You are merciful to widows. You always speak the truth. You have always defended the truth. Everyone is aware of your sterling qualities and high moral character. Your hospitality, concern for the poor and patriotism will show good results. Therefore, fear not.”
Hadhrat Khadijah then went to Warqah Bin Naufal and described the whole event to him. Warqah was an expert of Judaism and Christianity. When he heard the story, he exclaimed: ‘Quddus! Quddus! This is the same Naamoos who would come to Hadhrat Mْsa (alayhis salaam).’ Warqah then heard Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) recounting the whole episode. Kissing the mubaarak (blessed) forehead of Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم), Warqah said:
“Fear not. The mantle of Nubuwwat has been conferred to you. You are the Nabi mentioned in the heavenly Scriptures. I wish I would be alive and young to aid you at the time when your people will be expelling you.”
In surprise, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) asked:
“What! Will these people expel me?”
Warqah said: “Yes. Whenever a Nabi came with Tauhid and Risaalat, he was initially confronted with hatred.”
Later these words of Warqah materialized. It happened just as Warqah had predicted.
Initially, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) propagated Tauhid in secret. But when he increased his tabligh activity by the day, the Kuffaar of Makkah became hostile. As the nascent Tauhid movement gained followers, the flames of envy and hatred of the kuffaar gained further impetus. Although Abu Talib would aid Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), the kuffaar did not refrain from hostility and infliction of hardships and persecution.
Being extremely few in number, the Muslims performed their ibaadat initially in secret. Whenever a kaafir would see the Muslims engaging in ibaadat, he would mock, jeer and even resort to violence. Abu Sufyaan, the chief of Bani Umayya, was an implacable foe of the Muslims. He inflicted severe tortures on those who entered the fold of Islam. They would be laid on the hot desert sands with heavy boulders placed on their breasts. Under such torture were they given the choice of renouncing Islam and to worship idols or to take the road of a gruesome death.
For three years Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and his companions sustained the tabligh mission in secrecy and under persecution. They continued worshipping Allah Ta’ala in concealment. After three years was revealed this gracious aayat:
“And, warn your close relatives.”
Although he was apprehensive on account of the rebellion of his nation, he had to execute the command of Allah Ta’ala. He, therefore, made arrangements for da’wat to his relatives. He thus invited all his relatives. On the first occasion there was no need to utter a word. The fact that a very small quantity of food sufficed for forty people was a sufficient eye-opener and an indication of Muhammad’s (صلى الله عايه وسالم) rank. This miraculous display should have served to create a relationship with the Deen brought by him. On the contrary, Abu Lahab taking all with him, mocked that Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had bewitched the food.
He invited them again a second time. The chiefs of Quraish were invited. After meals, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) presented his message in the most affectionate manner. He exhorted them to accept the belief of Tauhid and to renounce shirk. But, the unfortunate Abu Lahab mockingly said to Abu Talib:
“Abu Talib! This nephew of yours, who is more beloved to you than your own children, says that we should obey him and become his followers.”
So saying, they all mocked and left. On this occasion was revealed the verse:
“Be steadfast in what you have been commanded (to do).”
This aayat commanded Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) to henceforth embark on tabligh publicly. Hence, he went to Mount Safa from where he called all the kuffaar of Makkah by their tribal names. According to the custom of the Arabs, they all gathered. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) first asked: “If I say that an enemy is about to attack you and is hiding behind this mountain, will you believe me?” All replied that they would believe him because they never knew him to speak lies. Then, he warned them of Allah’s punishment. The kuffaar who had a minute ago acknowledged his truth and honesty began mocking him. In a fit of rage, Abu Lahab said: “May you be destroyed. Have you gathered us for this?”
The gathering then dispersed. At every conceivable place obstacles were put in his path. He had to face hardships and great persecution. The kuffaar initiated a series of conspiracies to prevent the spread of Muhammad’s (صلى الله عايه وسالم) mission. Abu Lahab’s wife who was Abu Sufyaan’s sister would gather thorns and scatter these in the path where Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) walked at night. Every kind of persecution was inflicted on Rasulullah’s two daughters who were married to the sons of Abu Lahab. These marriages took place before Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) commenced the propagation of Tauhid. Finally Abu Lahab compelled his sons to divorce both daughters so as to increase the distress of Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
Abu Talib tried in every way to aid Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), but being alone he could not do much. Furthermore, he too had dissociated himself from this new religion. Once a large group of kuffaar came to meet Abu Talib and demanded that he either bans Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) from propagating his Message or he hands him over to them. Abu Talib was in a dilemma. He could not abandon Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) who was entrusted to his care by the last wasiyyat of his father, Abdul Muttalib. Such a betrayal was in total conflict with his lofty character. But at the same time he could not refuse the repeated demands of the kuffaar deputations. He, therefore, called Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and implored that he abandons his mission. However, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) responded with great conviction and firmness:
“O my uncle! If the Kuffaar put the sun in my one hand and the moon in my other hand, I shall not desist from my mission. Either Allah Jall-e-Shaanuhu accomplishes the work of the Deen or I become martyred.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had now understood his uncle’s inability to protect him, but there was no change in his (Rasulullah’s) confidence and composure.
As the Message of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) spread, so did the wrath of the kuffaar of Makkah increase. They left no stone unturned in their persecution of any Muslim on whom they managed to lay their hands. They would specially select the time of Namaaz to persecute Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Once while he was performing Namaaz, a group of kuffaar loaded the intestines and tripe of a camel on his blessed back while he was in Sajdah. He was able to rise only with great difficulty. They expressed their mirth with loud laughter when he could not lift his head. Along the road, they would strike him with stones and throw impurities at him. They plotted to kill him and were always engaging in conspiracies against him.
From the treatment which they meted out to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) could be gauged the hardships which they inflicted on his companions. In so far as the companions were concerned, there was no impediment to prevent them (i.e. the kuffaar). Hadhrat Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu) would daily be laid on his back on the burning sand at midday and be pierced with thorns. A very heavy boulder would be placed on his breast. He could, therefore, not even move under the heavy rock while burning on the sand and pierced by thorns. Fire would be lit on all sides so that he perishes in such torturous circumstances. He was given the choice of renouncing Imaan or death under such extreme torture. When all this torture was in vain, they shackled him with chains at night and took turns to flog him to create open wounds which would give him excruciating pain the next day when he had to undergo the routine torture in the hot sun. But, from the tongue of this sincere devotee of Allah was heard nothing besides ‘Ahad! Ahad!’ (Allah is One! Allah is One!).
Similar tortures were inflicted on Hadhrat Ammar (radhiyallahu anhu) and his father, Hadhrat Yasir (radhiyallahu anhu). As a result of these tortures, Hadhrat Yasir died within a few days. Abu Jahal murdered Hadhrat Ammar’s mother by piercing a spear into her private organ. Neither could Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) or anyone else do anything to aid these oppressed Muslims. It was the time of great patience.
In these few pages I have been unable to record even in brief the sacrifices and extreme hardships Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had to bear in the propagation of the Deen. This inability of mine applies to a greater degree in regard to the life-stories of the numerous Sahaabah. Firstly, the pen shudders. Secondly, every sentence written will increase the volume of the book. I fear that my respected brethren will not find time to peruse a bulky volume. Furthermore, if the book’s price becomes high on account of its size, everyone will not purchase it. It is not the good fortune of everyone to spend money for the sake of the Deen. Yes, everyone is, however, by the means to purchase any number of cinema-tickets.
When the persecution and hardships on the Sahaabah exceeded all bounds, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) permitted them to migrate to seek refuge in some other place. Many of them left for Habshah (Abyssinia). The king of Habshah, Ashimah, whose title was Najashi, granted them asylum and protection. They passed their days in comfort here. This was the first migration to Habshah, which occurred in Rajab of the fifth year of Nubuwwat. The group consisted of 11 or 12 males and 4 or 5 females. The second group which departed for Habshah consisted of 83 males and 18 females. This is known as the second migration to Habshah. Out of sheer stupidity the kuffaar of Makkah attempted to extend their persecution of the Sahaabah to even Habshah.
While the Sahaabah were allowed to migrate, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) remained behind in Makkah undergoing the severest trials and persecution for 6 full years. On the 1st Muharram of the 7th year of Nubuwwat, the kuffaar of Makkah schemed a new plan of persecution. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) along with his entire family were imprisoned in a valley, Sha’b Abi Talib. A total boycott was put into effect. They were not allowed to emerge from the valley. Neither were they permitted to procure any food from outside nor was anyone permitted to enter the valley with any provisions. After a short while when their little food rations were depleted, one period of starvation followed another. Women and children were in dire straits as a result of starvation.
The pledge which the kuffaar had made with regard to the imprisonment and embargo was not a verbal one nor was it the plan of a few. All the chiefs of Makkah had signed the document imposing the embargo and imprisonment. The scribe of this document was Mansْr Ibn Ikramah Abadri. The punishment which Allah Ta’ala inflicted on him was that both his hands become paralysed.
After 3 years of patient suffering and endurance in the prison of the valley, Allah Ta’ala by His limitless mercy inspired some people to violate the pledge. Some persons among the kuffaar and mushrikeen developed pity for the Muslims. While discussion on this issue had become topical, Allah Ta’ala revealed to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) that the document of excommunication had disintegrated and only that piece of the paper on which was written Allah’s Name had remained intact. On this occasion, Abu Talib notified the chiefs of the Quraish that Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had informed him of the disintegration of the document. He added that if this is true, then they should refrain from this action and lift the embargo. When it was discovered that the document had truly disintegrated, those who were initially opposed to the boycott were further embolded to violate the pledge. Thus, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and his family gained their freedom from the prison of the valley.
However, soon two grave events took place. His uncle, Abu Talib died. His presence had restrained the kuffaar of Makkah on many occasions. Also, his beloved and devoted wife, Hadhrat Khadijah (radhiyallahu anha) passed away. This year in which these events transpired was known among the Muslims as Aamul Huzn (The Year of Sorrow). This material support (in worldly form) was thus also taken away. However, inspite of the multitude of difficulties, hardships and sorrows, nothing could detract Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) from his devotion to Allah Ta’ala and from the propagation of the Deen. Although the kuffaar of Makkah perpetually mocked him and hurled at him a variety of epithets such as sorcerer, magician, fortune-teller, madman, etc. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) constantly supplicated for their hidaayat to become Muslim and for their betterment. This was his prime concern. When finally he despaired as a result of their intransigence, he commenced his tabligh in the areas surrounding Makkah. He approached every tribe with the Message of Tauhid. However, they all rebuffed and mocked him.
In Taa-if when he attempted to carry out his mission, the chiefs not only mocked and jeered him, but organised street urchins and other vagabonds to stone him. In consequence of the shower of stones which rained on him his shoes were dyed red with his blood. Returning from Taa-if, he sat at one place, grief-stricken and making the following dua:
“O Allah! With You Alone do I register the complaint of my weakness, my forlornness and my disgrace among people. O Most Merciful One! You are the Rabb of the weak. Only You are my Rabb. Towards whom have You assigned me? Have You handed me to an alien who detests me or to some enemy into whose control you have placed me? O Allah! If You are not displeased with me, then I care for none. Your protection suffices for me. I seek refuge with that Nْr of Your Countenance which brightens all darkness and on which all affairs of this world and the hereafter are rectified, from Your Wrath settling on me or from Your Anger descending on me. Remove Your Anger from me so that You become pleased (with me). There is neither strength not power, but with You.”
Allah Ta’ala bestows His Favour according to the degree of the struggle. The fruits of success are also in proportion to the sacrifices offered in the Path of Allah. The episode at Taa-if was indeed a great struggle and sacrifice. The fruit of this noble sacrifice was the highest Proximity to Allah Ta’ala in the form of the Mi’raaj. No one ever attained such Divine Proximity. The greatest and most wonderful gift bestowed to the Ummah on the occasion of this Mi’raaj is the five daily Salaat which were ordained obligatory. Salaat is a medium for communing with Allah Ta’ala. At the same time it is the most important act of Ibaadat. Alas! The plight of those who turn their faces away from divine proximity (by refraining from Salaat) is most lamentable. In the pursuit of a few coins and for the proximity of rulers of a few moments, they sacrifice their lives and even their Deen.
Inspite of its great significance for Muslims, the episode of Mi’raaj became a target for the mockery of the kuffaar. It provided them with an additional excuse for jeering and reviling the Muslims.
It was, from the inception, the practice of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) to propagate Islam to outsiders who entered Makkah. This practice was the cause for the establishment of an Islamic presence in Madinah in the eleventh year of Nubuwwat. The inhabitants of Madinah while visiting Makkah for their needs or for Hajj would embrace Islam and return to Madinah. The Muhaajireen of Makkah further augmented the number of the Muslims in Madinah. There was thus a substantial number of Muslims now in Madinah. They all desired that Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) settles permanently in Madinah. However, he would repeatedly inform them that Allah Ta’ala has not yet commanded him to migrate. Thus, he waited in Makkah Mukarramah in anticipation of Allah’s command, spending night and day in ibaadat.
Meanwhile the kuffaar were hatching their plots of vengeance without respite. Their persecution of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) continued unabated. But, he endured all the hardships with great patience. Once the kuffaar of Makkah called a meeting at which it was decided to kill Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). It was plotted that the killing should be executed by five people belonging to five different tribes so that it will pose a formidable task for Banu Haashim to take revenge in the event they do decide on this course of action, thus compelling them to accept payment of diyat (monetary compensation for a killing) instead.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was informed of this plot via the medium of Wahi. Simultaneously he was granted permission to migrate. To thwart the kuffaar, he asked Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) to sleep in his bed. He handed over to Hadhrat Ali all articles of trust which the people of Makkah had consigned to his care inspite of their hatred. After having made this arrangement, he stepped out of his home during night time while the kuffaar had surrounded his house. Taking a handful of sand, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) threw it towards these contemptible people. Miraculously, he became invisible to them.
He went to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) and took him along with him. They hid themselves in the Cave of Thaur where they remained for three nights. In the morning when the kuffaar realised that they had been outwitted, their anger knew no bounds. Search parties were sent in all directions. A public announcement was made offering a huge reward for the capture of Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم). But being in the protection of Allah Ta’ala, he remained safe. After a stay of three nights in the Cave of Thaur, they set off for Madinah Tayyibah. En route to Madinah, they stayed four days at Quba. Quba is a small settlement close to Madinah. He arrived in Madinah on Friday 12th Rabiul Awwal.
So far a few episodes pertaining to Hijrat (Migration) and the stay in Makkah have been narrated by way of example. I lack the ability to enumerate these anecdotes in detail. Readers too lack the time for copious reading.
In Madinah, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was plunged into a multitude of different activities. Both social and political affairs devolved on him. The propagation of Islam, dissemination of knowledge, Fiqah, Hadith, Jihaad, despatching delegations to all the rulers of the world were among the activities of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). He also had to cope with the opposition and conspiracies of the Jews and Munaafiqeen (Hypocrites) who were perpetually involved in the creation of obstacles for the nascent Islamic Movement. Inspite of these numerous activities, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) would find time for remembering Allah Ta’ala in solitude in the wilderness. When someone asked Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) regarding Rasulullah’s trips into the wilderness, she replied: “Yes, he would frequent these valleys. Once when he had planned to go into the desert, he sent a rebellious she-camel to me with the instruction: ‘Be kind to it. Don’t be harsh with it. Kindness creates beauty in all things.”
I shall now narrate some anecdotes from the life in Madinah according to the years in which they occurred.
This was the year when the Athaan commenced. When the Muslims migrated to Madinah Munawwarah, they encountered difficulty regarding the Salaat times. The Sahaabah would estimate the time for Jamaat Salaat and gather in the Musjid. Since this was a daily problem, the Sahaabah sought a solution from Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) who himself had already realised the difficulty. Ultimately, all the Sahaabah gathered to discuss this problem. A variety of solutions was offered. One opinion was to raise a flag high up at the time of Salaat. Seeing the flag, all would gather for Salaat. Some suggested the blowing of a trumpet, the ringing of bells, etc. However, since all these methods were prevalent customs of other religions, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) did not approve of them. He said that bells were the way of the Nasaara while the bugle was the method of the Yahood. Muslims should not adopt the ways of the kuffaar. The problem thus remain unsolved.
During the same night an unseen angel apprised Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) of the words of the Athaan. Having seen this dream, he hastened to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and said:
“O Rasulullah! I was partially asleep and partially awake when someone instructed me with these words (i.e. the words of the Athaan).”
Hearing these words, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) sent for Hadhrat Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu). He instructed Hadhrat Bilal to mount an elevated place and announce these words. When Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) heard this proclamation, he hurried dragging along his shawl out of sheer exhilaration and said:
‘O Rasulullah! I too heard someone reciting these words 20 days ago. But due to modesty I did not inform you.’
Although it was Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Zaid who had heard these words in a dream, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) conferred the honour of proclaiming the Athaan on Hadhrat Bilal. In my humble opinion this was to reward him for the tremendous hardships he had to endure in the initial stage of Islam at the hands of the kuffaar of Makkah. Although the reason for this preference is said to be the loud voice of Hadhrat Bilal, it is not negatory of my opinion.
In this first year the fast of Yaum-e-Aashْra (10th Muharram) was made fardh. However, when the fasts of Ramadhaan were decreed obligatory, the fast of Aashْa remained as Mustahab.
This was also the year when Hadhrat Salman Farsi and Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Salam (radhiyallahu anhuma) entered the fold of Islam. The anecdotes of sacrifice and devotion of these noble men are famous. In this very year did Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) call his wife, Hadhrat Saudah (radhiyallahu anha) and his daughters from Makkah to Madinah. The brotherhood between the Ansaar and Muhaajireen was established in this first year. In Sha’baan of this year Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) came to live with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Her marriage to Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was already contracted some time ago.
Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) married Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) in the second year of Hijrat. The items which she received for her wedding were a bed, two sheets, one pillow, two silver bangles, one water-bag and two earthenware jugs.
Fasting, Zakaat, Eid Salaat and Sadqah Fitr were ordained in this year.
Muslims were still facing Baitil Maqdis during Salaat. This year, changing of the Qiblah was ordained. Baitullah became the permanent Qiblah of the Muslims. The very first Salaat of Eidul Adhaa was performed in this year by Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in the Eidgah.
The Battle of Badr also took place in this year. In this battle the small number of Muslims consisting of 313 faced the kuffaar army of 950. Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) was unable to participate in this battle because his wife, Hadhrat Ruqayyah, the daughter of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was gravely ill. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) instructed Hadhrat Uthmaan and Hadhrat Usamah Bin Zaid to remain in Madinah to take care of her. Hadhrat Ruqayyah died a day before Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) reached Madinah after the Battle of Badr. Since Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) had remained behind on the instruction of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم), he too was given equal share in the spoils of war.
The degree of humility, fear for Allah and the realisation of Allah’s independence which settled on Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) during this Battle can be gauged from the dua he had made on the battlefield. In supplication he raised his hands so high that his shawl fell from his blessed shoulders; tears cascaded down his cheeks and he petitioned:
“O Allah! Fulfil Your promise today. Today is the day of aid. If this small band of devotees is eliminated today, there will remain no one to take Your Name. There are only these few who know You. They are called Your devotees. Aiding them is Your responsibility. The honour of Islam is in Your power.”
It was truly a great battle. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) threw a handful of sand towards the kuffaar, saying: “May their faces be disgraced.” By the command of Allah, the sand reached the eyes of every kaafir. Besides this miraculous act, the aid of angels was visible to all.
A Sahaabi says that in this battle while he was pursuing a fleeing kaafir, he suddenly heard a tremendous lash of a whip striking and a voice exclaiming: “O Haizْm! Advance.” But, he could not see the speaker. However, every kaafir whom he (the Sahaabi) pursued fell dead infront of him. The nose of the kaafir was split open and his body had turned green on account of the whip’s lash.
A very weak and thin Sahaabi had apprehended Hadhrat Ibn Abbas. When the Sahaabi was asked about him capturing such a strong wrestler as Ibn Abbas, he said that he was aided by a man whom he had never seen before nor saw again thereafter. Allah’s help was with the Muslims in this memorable and decisive battle. Hence, only five Muhaajireen and eight Ansaar were martyred. They were buried in the very garments they had on their bodies.
After the cessation of the battle, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) ordered the bodies of the slain kuffaar to be thrown into a well. On the fourth day, he came to the well and said: “Now you must be wishing: ‘Alas! Would that we had accepted Allah and His Messenger.’ We have obtained the promise of Allah. Have you too obtained your promise?”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) then reached Madinah Munawwarah safely.
Hadhrat Uthmaan Bin Maz’oon (radhiyallahu anhu) died during this year. He is the first Sahaabi who was buried in Jannatul Baqi (the Qabrustaan in Madinah near to Musjidun Nabawi). He was the first among the Muhaajireen to have died.
Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) was born in this year in the month of Ramadhaan.
The Battle of Uhd in which 700 Muslims participated took place in this year. The number of the kuffaar was 3000. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) on reaching the proximity of Mount Uhd outside Madinah with his devotees set out the battle-formation of his men. He placed 50 archers under the command of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Jubair behind the army to guard a vulnerable point. They were left near to the Hill Dirrah to prevent the enemy from making an attack from the rear. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) issued strict instructions to this group to remain at their post regardless of the success or defeat of the main army.
The Muslims achieved victory and the kuffaar fled in disarray in all directions. The Muslims then started to collect the spoils of war. The archers guarding the rear thought that their instruction to guard the rear was only while the battle was in progress and had now terminated with the ending of the battle and a clear victory for the Muslims. There was no need now to remain there. So they thought. Although their Ameer, Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Jubair (radhiyallahu anhu) vehemently forbade them from abandoning their post, they disobeyed him. Only the Ameer and ten men were left at the post. The danger which Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had foreseen in an unguarded rear thus materialized.
Khalid Bin Walid, who was not yet a Muslim, was swift to take advantage of the unguarded mountain pass. Taking the army he made a sudden attack on the Muslims from this point. In consequence of this sudden swoop, 70 Sahaabah were martyred among whom was Hadhrat Ameer Hamzah (radhiyallahu anhu) as well.
The aim of the kuffaar was to attack the very person of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). In pursuit of this aim, Utbah Bin Abi Waqqas struck Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) with a stone, breaking a tooth and wounding his lower lip. Ibn Qumayyah made a severe attack with his sword on Nabi-e-Kareen (صلى الله عايه وسالم). As a result he fell into a deep ditch with his mubaarak face covered with blood. The profuse bleeding weakened him greatly. Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhahu) repeatedly washed his face. But the flow of blood did not stop. Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha) then burnt a piece of a straw-mat and filled the wounds with the ashes to stem the flow of the blood.
The sudden attack had broken the ranks of the Muslims who were forced to scatter in disarray. The senior Sahaabah such as Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Talhah (radhiyallahu anhum) had remained firm on their places fighting the kuffaar attack. Hadhrat Humzah (radhiyallahu anhu) loudly called the scattered Sahaabah. After regrouping, the Sahaabah valiantly faced the kuffaar in battle. The ultimate result of the ensuing intense fighting was the defeat of the kuffaar who were routed.
Very senior Sahaabah were martyred in this battle. Hadhrat Hamzah fell at the hands of the Habshi slave, Wahshi, who struck him with his sword. Hadhrat Hamzah (radhiyallahu anhu) took two or three steps forward and fell down.
The news of the progress of the battle’s events reached Madinah Tayyibah. Women and old men became fearful. A sense of fear had gripped everyone in Madinah. Everyone was anxiously awaiting news of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and the Sahaabah. Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم) finally entered Madinah on the 15th Shawwaal in this third year. In their sheer happiness to see Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) safe, they forgot about their grief for their martyred ones, although those who had fallen were their brothers, husbands and young sons.
Hadhrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu) was born in this fourth year.
The heart-rending episode of Beer-e-Maْnah (The Well of Maْnah) in which 70 Sahaabah, all of whom were Huffaaz, were martyred, occurred in this year. Only Hadhrat Umar Bin Umayyah (radhiyallahu anhu) escaped. The details of this tragic event are narrated hereunder.
Aamir Bin Malik, an inhabitant of Najd came to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) professing his love for Islam. He expressed his desire to embrace Islam, but added that he feared his people. He requested that a few intelligent Sahaabah accompany him to his people. The purpose was for the Sahaabah to propagate the Deen among the people. Aamir Bin Malik assured that he would be responsible for the safety of the Sahaabah.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) sent a group of 70 Sahaabah under the leadership of Hadhrat Munthir Bin Amr (radhiyallahu anhu) for the purpose outlined by Aamir, the Najdi. He also sent a letter in which the chiefs of Nadj were invited to accept Islam. The group halted at a place between Makkah and Asfaan. This place was known as Beer-e-Maْnah. Hadhrat Hiram Bin Malhan together with two companions went ahead to deliver Rasulullah’s letter to Aamir Bin Tufail. When they came close to their destination, Hadhrat Hiram instructed the two companions to wait while he went on a reconnoitring mission. He said that if he was granted Amaan (Pledge of Safety), the two should also come. If Amaan was not granted, they should return. He added that instead of all three being slain, the better option was for only him to be killed.
On reaching the settlement, Hadhrat Hiram (radhiyallahu anhu) announced:
“I am the envoy of Rasulullah. If I am granted Amaan (immunity) I will deliver his message.”
Before he could say anything further, a mushrik attacked him from behind, plunging his spear into Hadhrat Hiram (radhiyallahu anhu) who collapsed and died after managing to say:
“By the Rabb of the Ka’bah! I am victorious.”
The kuffaar then turned their attention to the other members of the party of Sahaabah. They made a sudden attack and martyred all the Sahaabah. Among the slain Sahaabah was Hadhrat mir Bin Fuhairah who had lived with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) on the occasion of Hijrat. After he was martyred, he was conferred with the honour of the Malaaikah taking his body to the heavens.
When the news of this tragedy reached Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), he was overwhelmed with grief. Although it was his noble habit to refrain from invoking curses, nevertheless, he recited in Fajr Salaat for 21 days Qunْt-e-Nazilah in which he invoked curses on these kuffaar.
The Battle of Banu Nadheer also took place in this year. The natural characteristic of the Jews was always to employ deception and engage in conspiracy. It was their treachery which led to this battle. They had seated Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and his devoted companions, Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Ali behind a wall. They then plotted to kill them by hurling rocks from ontop of the wall. But, he was informed of this treacherous design by means of Wahi, hence they moved away.
In view of their violation of their treaty and pledge, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) despatched an ultimatum to them: either embrace Islam or get out from Madinah. However, these miserable people relying on the promised aid of Abdullah Bin Ubay and other Munaafiqeen, made preparation for war. But, none of these hypocrites came to their aid.
In Rabiul Awwal of the fourth year, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) besieged Banu Nadheer. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) supervised the operations for 6 days. The orchards and properties of Banu Nadheer were razed by fire. Finally, they sued for peace. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) granted them peace. They were allowed to take with them as much of their wealth and belongings as they could carry. They were, however, not permitted to take any weapons with them. While they were departing they demolished their homes to render them uninhabitable for the Muslims. They carried with them even the doors and other timber taken from their buildings and settled in Khaibar.
The prohibition of liquor was revealed during this siege.
During the month of Shawwaal of this year Hadhrat Umm-e-Salmah came into the Nikah of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). During this very year Rasulullah’s wife, Hadhrat Zainab Bint-e-Khuzaimah died after a marriage lasting 8 months.
The Battle of Thaatur Riqaa’ took place in Muharram of this year. In this battle, the Sahaabah on account of their poverty, were bare-footed and without riding animals. Their feet became swollen and wounded. For some relief, the Sahaabah tied pieces of cloth around their feet. It is for this reason that this battle has been named Thaatur Riqaa’ or the Battle of cloth-pieces.
On their return from the battle, the Sahaabah camped in a wilderness at midday. In order to gain some rest they spread out. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) also rested under a cactus tree. He hung his sword on the tree. Suddenly his eyes opened and he saw a kaafir with drawn sword standing over him. The kaafir said: “Muhammad! Tell me who can now save your life?” Maintaining his full composure and confidence he replied: “Allah will save me.” As the kaafir heard these words, his sword dropped from his hand. Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) picked up the sword very calmly and said: “Who will now save you?” The kaafir replied: “No one.” Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said: “Learn mercy from me.” He then lowered the sword. The effect of this attitude of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) induced the kaafir to accept Islam.
Salaat-e-Khauf was ordained in this fifth year of Hijrat.
A famous anecdote of this year was Rasulullah’s falling from the horse and injuring himself. As a result, he had to stay five days at Mashrabah.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) married Hadhrat Juwairiyyah in this year. Also in this year did the Munaafiqeen spread their slander against Hadhrat Aishah. This episode is known as the Episode of Ifq. In an attempt to assail her chastity and honour they spread an evil rumour. Briefly, the incident happened as follows:
Hadhrat Aishah had accompanied Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) on the Campaign of Muraysee’. On its return journey, the army encamped at a certain place. Hadhrat Aishah went into the veld to answer the call of nature. On the way her necklace broke and was lost, but she only realised this when she had returned to the tent. She immediately went back to the veld in search of her necklace. She spent quite a while searching for the lost necklace. By the time she had returned to camp, the army had departed. She was very light in weight, hence the bearers of her hoedaj did not realise that it was empty. (Hoedaj is a small cabin in which ladies of Purdah would be moved from place to place by male-bearers).
She sat down and covering herself fell asleep knowing that when her absence was discovered they will return for her. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had appointed Hadhrat Safwaan Bin Muattal to trail behind the army. It was his duty to retrieve any items which may have been left behind or dropped by members of the party moving ahead. When he arrived at the place where the army had halted and saw Hadhrat Aishah alone in the wilderness, he loudly exclaimed in astonishment:
The sound of his voice woke her from her sleep. When she saw Hadhrat Safwaan, she immediately concealed her face because the law of Purdah had already been revealed. Hadhrat Safwaan observing the greatest degree of honour and respect, alighted from the camel. He made the camel sit down and Hadhrat Aishah mounted. Thus, they continued the journey with Hadhrat Safwaan leading the camel on foot. According to the narration of Bukhari, which is in fact narrated by Hadhrat Aishah, not a word of conversation passed between them. Before midday (of the same day) Hadhrat Aishah reached Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
This is the entire unadulterated episode which had transpired. However, the Hypocrites taking advantage of this event, plotted to accuse Hadhrat Aishah of having had an affair with Hadhrat Safwaan. Three simple Sahaabah whose integrity and sincerity are unquestionable, were also unwittingly embroiled in this plot of the Munaafiqeen. They were two males, Hadhrat Mistah and Hadhrat Hassan Bin Thait, and a female, Hadhrat Hamnah Bint-e-Jahsh.
Hadhrat Aishah was blissfully unaware of the slanderous rumours which were floating around. However, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) having heard the rumour was overcome with grief. He consulted several Sahaabah on this issue. Every one of them emphatically proclaimed her innocence and chastity. Hadhrat Aishah’s slave-girl, Hadhrat Bareerah vehemently vouched for her honour and innocence. Inspite of these assurances, the rumour had been given such prominence that Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was affected by lingering doubts.
On the other side, Hadhrat Aishah was being consumed by grief and sadness. She could not fathom the reason for Rasulullah’s coldness towards her. The former love seemed to have disappeared. During this time, once she went out to answer the call of nature. She was accompanied by her friend who was the mother of Hadhrat Mistah. Along the way, Hadhrat Aishah was informed of the rumour by her friend. She also apprised her of the scandal which was raging in this regard throughout Madinah.
This shocking revelation had a disastrous affect on Hadhrat Aishah. Her already weakened body suffered further. She was overtaken by a severe fever. She came home and wept uncontrollably. When Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) came home, she requested permission to go to her parents home. He gave her consent.
When Hadhrat Aishah met her mother, she cried profusely. Her mother tried to console her, but to no avail. She was heart-broken and distressed. At her mother’s home, she cried and sobbed for a day and two nights without stop. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) visited her and said:
“O Aishah! If you are chaste, most assuredly Allah Ta’ala will exculpate you. If you had erred, then repent. Allah will forgive you.”
Hadhrat Aishah, turning to her father, Hadhrat Abu Bakr, said: “Father! Answer on my behalf.”
He replied: “What do I know? What can I say?” Hadhrat Aishah then turned to her mother with the same request. She too replied similarly. Thereupon, Hadhrat Aishah said:
“I was a young girl who had not yet learnt the Qur’aan properly. Since the slander regarding me has settled in your heart, you will not believe me even if I proclaim my innocence. Now, I can say nothing other that what Hadhrat Yusuf’s father had said: ‘Patience is beautiful. And Allah is the One from Whom aid is sought regarding that which you are fabricating.”
On account of sorrow, grief and anger she was unable to remember Hadhrat Yaqub’s name, hence she said Yusuf’s father. After making this brave stand, her tears dried up.
While the inmates of the house were still around Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم), the signs of Wahi commenced. Allah Ta’ala is Independent and all things happen according to His Wisdom. Hence, a full month had passed without Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) receiving any divine directive. Now the beads of perspiration – a sign of the progression of Revelation – were forming on his mubaarak forehead. Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) appeared with 18 aayaat of Surah Nْr in which Hadhrat Aishah’s innocence, purity and chastity were emphatically asserted.
Upon the cessation of the Revelation, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) smiled and informed Hadhrat Aishah that her innocence has been announced by Allah Ta’ala. Her joy knew no bound. In her state of ecstatic elation she expressed her gratitude to Allah Ta’ala.
Meanwhile, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) mounted the mimbar in the Musjid and after a lecture, recited the verses which were revealed to proclaim Hadhrat Aishah’s innocence. The Shariat’s law of punishment for slanderers of chaste women was also announced. Thus, the slanderers were flogged 80 lashes each.
The Battle of Khandaq (The Trench) also took place in this fifth year. The Sahaabah as well as Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had themselves dug the trench. It is for this reason that this battle is called the Battle of the Trench. The huge trench was dug on the advice of Hadhrat Salman Farsi (radhiyallahu anhu).
The famous episode of Hadhrat Jabir’s invitation happened during the time the trench was being dug. While digging, Hadhrat Jabir (radhiyallahu anhu) noticed a stone tied on the stomach of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). He hastened to his house and instructed his wife to prepare whatever food there was. He explained to her the dire strait of Rasulullah’s hunger. A goat which they owned was slaughtered and some dough was kneed. Hadhrat Jabir (radhiyallahu anhu) then invited Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) for meals, adding that one or two companions could also come along. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) enquired of the quantity of the food. When he was told, he commented: “Well and much.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) then addressing all the diggers of the trench said: “Jabir has invited you all. Let’s go!”
He instructed Hadhrat Jabir not to remove the pot from the stove until he (Nabi-e-Akram) had not arrived and that the bread should be baked only when he had arrived. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) then set off with all the Sahaabah for Hadhrat Jabir’s home.
Meanwhile Hadhrat Jabir ran home in anxiety. He told his wife that Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was bringing along the whole army for meals. Full of concern she said: “I will be put to shame infront of all. The food is very little.” She asked: “Did he enquire about the quantity of food?” When Hadhrat Jabir told her that he did inform Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) of the quantity of food, she was relieved and felt confident.
Soon thereafter, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) arrived at the home of Hadhrat Jabir. He blew on the food and the dough. A short while later the food was ready to be served. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) advised them to eat at leisure. A thousand guests ate and there still remained food. This was indeed a Mu’jizah (miracle) of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) instructed that whatever food was left over should be eaten by Hadhrat Jabir’s family and served to the neighbours. There are many similar Mu’jizaat of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) regarding the miraculous increase in foods.
The eclipse of the sun occurred in this year and Salaatul Kusoof (Salaat on the occasion of the eclipse of the sun) was ordained.
For the past 6 years, the Sahaabah Kiraam had neither seen the Ka’bah nor their homeland (Makkah). Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was yearning to visit the Ka’bah to perform Hajj. During this time he dreamt that together with his Sahaabah he had gone to perform Umrah. When he narrated this dream, all the Sahaabah prepared themselves to visit the Ka’bah. Thus, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) set of with a large body of Sahaabah to perform Umrah.
The first camp put up was at Zul Hulaaifah. From here, Bisr Bin Abi Sufyaan was despatched to reconnoitre the situation in Makkah. After having accomplished his mission, he met Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) at Asfaan. He informed that the kuffaar of Makkah were making preparations for war to prevent the Muslims from entering Makkah. While still at Asfaan, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) told the Sahaabah that Khalid Bin Walid had arrived in the Valley of Ghameem on a reconnoitring mission. He, therefore, instructed the Sahaabah to follow another route. He then called for a guide. Hadhrat Hamzah Bin Amr Aslami volunteered. The Sahaabah were then led by him through torturous mountainous terrain. Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) ordered the Sahaabah to recite: نستغفر الله و نتوب اليه
(We seek forgiveness from Allah and we turn to Him in repentance.)
The Sahaabah repeatedly recited these words. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said that when these words were presented to Bani Israeel, they refused to recite them. He also ordered them to walk on the right side.
At this juncture, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) consulted the Sahaabah. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was of the opinion to refrain from all hostility unless attacked. He said that since the motive of the journey was not to fight, they should continue. If prevented by the kuffaar, then only should measures be taken to repulse them. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) approved this advice. Finally, the party of Sahaabah reached Hudaibiyyah. Here they were met by Budail Bin Warqah accompanied by a group of men. He informed Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) that the people of Makkah were preparing to intercept the party and prevent the Muslims from entering Makkah. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) sent Budail Bin Warqah to inform the kuffaar of Makkah that the motive for coming was not to fight. The intention was only to perform Umrah.
The kuffaar, however, rejected Rasulullah’s request for a peaceful entry and permission to perform Umrah. Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) was sent as the envoy to negotiate a peace treaty with the kuffaar. But the Quraish were adamant in their refusal. They flatly refused permission for Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) to enter Makkah although they consented to Hadhrat Uthmaan performing Umrah if he so desired. But, Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) refused to perform Umrah without Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
The negotiations were prolonged. A rumour spread among the Muslims that Hadhrat Uthmaan was martyred. The Sahaabah and Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) were greatly grieved and perturbed. In consequence of this rumour, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) sat under a tree and took a pledge from all the Sahaabah to avenge the murder of Hadhrat Uthmaan. The name of this Bai’t (Pledge) is Bai’tur (or Baitur) Ridhwaan (The Pledge of Pleasure, i.e. Allah’s Pleasure).
When the kuffaar learnt of this Pledge, they quickly sent their envoy to negotiate a treaty. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) accepted every condition proposed by the kuffaar inspite of these conditions being clearly prejudicial and humiliating to the Muslims. The Sahaabah, in fact, were not prepared to accept these conditions and were determined to fight, but, the kuffaar again exhibited their intransigence. An example of their pettiness was their rejection of Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem being written in the treaty document. They averred that they were not aware of Rahmaan. They insisted on writing their customary invocation ‘Bismillaahi Allaahumma’. They further, rejected the inclusion of the phrase, “Muhammad, the Rasool of Allah”. Suhail who was the kuffaar’s scribe recording the terms of the treaty said:
“If we accept you as the Rasool of Allah, then there will not be this dispute. We shall not agree to you writing ‘the Rasool of Allah’. Write ‘Muhammad Bin Abdullah’.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) replied:
“By Allah! I am the Messenger of Allah regardless of how much you deny it.”
He then instructed Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) who was the scribe of the Muslims to delete the words ‘Rasul of Allah’ and to write Muhammad Bin Abdullah. Hadhrat Ali declared his inability of effecting this deletion. Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) then erased the words himself, and substituted ‘Muhammad Bin Abdullah’. Ultimately, after considerable bickering and obstinacy the treaty was finalised. The following were among the terms of the treaty:
1. The Muslims should go back this year without performing Umrah.
2. They would be allowed the following year for only three days.
3. All warfare to cease for 10 years.
4. Any member of the Quraish who having embraced Islam seeks asylum with the Muslims in Madinah should be returned immediately. If a Muslim comes to Makkah, he shall not be sent back to Madinah.
It is obvious that these conditions were all in favour of the kuffaar. All the Sahaabah, especially Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) were enraged by these unjust terms. Nevertheless the treaty was ratified with the signatures of both parties. Thus, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) returned with the Sahaabah without performing Umrah.
The dream which Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had seen was undoubtedly true. In fact it did materialize. Since the time and year of the predicted Umrah were not specified in the dream, it was not necessary for the dream to have materialized that very year. The authenticity of the dream therefore remains unassailable.
Many events had transpired during the course of the enactment of this treaty. Two significant episodes will be recorded here. From these two events illustrate the extent to which Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) went in honouring the Pledge, and also the devotion of the Sahaabah.
1) Hadhrat Abu Jundal (radhiyallahu anhu) who had embraced Islam was held in captivity by the kuffaar in Makkah. He was in chains and being tortured. He managed to escape from prison. Still in fetters, he stumbled into the Muslim camp believing that he had reached safety. Suhail who was the kuffaar’s delegate in the negotiation of the treaty was Abu Jundal’s father. He slapped his son and insisted on taking him back into captivity. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) responded that the treaty had not yet been finalised. The terms were, therefore, not yet in force. But, Suhail was adamant. Abu Jundal exclaimed that he had embraced Islam and narrated the hardships to which he was subjected. Only Allah Ta’ala is aware of the grief and anger which crossed the hearts of the Muslims. But, on the instruction of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), Hadhrat Abu Jundal was returned to the kuffaar. He consoled Abu Jundal and exhorted him to adopt sabr (patience), adding that soon Allah Ta’ala will be opening an avenue for him.
After the finalization of the treaty, another Sahaabi, Abu Baseer who had embraced Islam, arrived in Madinah Munawwarah. The kuffaar sent two men to bring him back. In terms of the treaty, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) returned Abu Baseer who said: “O Rasulullah! I have embraced Islam and have come. Are you returning me into the claws of the kuffaar?”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) also advised him to adopt patience, adding that soon Allah Ta’ala will be opening up a way for him.
Hadhrat Abu Baseer was led back in the custody of two kaafirs. Along the way he started to flatter one of the guards. He praised the quality of the guard’s sword. The guard feeling flattered removed his sword from the scabbard and boasted: “I have practised with it on many people.” So saying, he handed the sword to Abu Baseer. Taking the sword, Abu Baseer swiftly disposed of the guard. When the other guard saw what had happened he took flight. He went to Madinah and lodged his complaint with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Hadhrat Abu Baseer (radhiyallahu anhu) appeared on the scene and said:
“O Rasulullah! You have honoured your Pledge by having returned me. I have no pact with them, hence am not responsible to them for anything. They have attempted to force me from my Deen, hence I have done this.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said that this incident could spark off a war. “Would that he (i.e. Abu Baseer) had a helper.” Abu Baseer understood the implication of this statement. If the kuffaar came for him, he would again be handed over. He left and set up his hideout along the sea-shore.
Meanwhile Hadhrat Abu Jundal whose story has already been narrated, managed to escape from Makkah. He linked up with Abu Baseer. Thereafter, whoever embraced Islam in Makkah linked up with these fugitives. Soon they had grown into a sizeable group. They had to bear the hardships and austere conditions of the wilderness where there was neither food nor any settlement. But, an avenue had opened up for them. They waylaid every caravan of the cruel kuffaar which passed that way. They fought the infidels and captured the merchandise. They were occupying a vantage point where the caravans of the kuffaar of Makkah had to pass. They thus wrought havoc and rendered the kuffaar helpless. Finally, the kuffaar of Makkah sent an envoy to Madinah to appeal to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in the name of Allah and for the sake of family ties to call this lawless band to Madinah, for then, at least they too will come under the scope of the treaty, clearing the way for the free movement of their caravans.
When Rasulullah’s letter reached Abu Baseer (radhiyallahu anhu), he was in his last illness. With the letter of Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in his hands, he died.
The Jews who had been expelled from Madinah, had settled in Khaibar. Even here they involved themselves in conspiracies against Islam. They instigated the kuffaar to rise against the Muslims. Thus, the Battle of Khaibar took place in the seventh year to put an end to the mischief of the Jews.
On the 20th or 21st of Muharram, an army of 1,400 Sahaabah set off under the command of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) for Khaibar. All the forts were captured. When the Jews lost all hope, they sued for peace and offered to live in subjection under Muslim domination. They offered to take the Muslims as partners in their farms. Since they were experienced farmers, the Jews offered to do the actual farming while the Muslims would receive a share of the yield. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), being Rahmatul Aalameen (Mercy to the worlds), accepted their offer. Thus were the lives of the Jews spared.
Hadhrat Safiyyah who was the daughter of Hubay Bin Akhtab and of the progeny of Harْn (alayhis salaam) was captured in this battle by the Muslims. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) set her free and conferred on her the honour of being his wife.
The prohibition of mu’tah (temporary marriage) was decreed in this 7th year. Also, was prohibited the meat of asses and of all beasts of prey.
The mother of Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha), Hadhrat Umme Rouman passed away during this year.
In accordance with the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah of the 6th year, Rasulullah set off with 2100 Sahaabah to perform the Umrah. In terms of the pledge, they stayed three days in Makkah and returned to Madinah Munawwarah.
On the journey to Makkah, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) married Hadhrat Maimunah. It was his intention to have the walimah feast in Makkah. But the kuffaar would not relent. They refused to extend the 3 day period of grace allowed by the Treaty. The walimah was therefore held at a place called Saraf while returning from Makkah. This was where the Nikah took place and precisely at the spot where the tent was set up, did Hadhrat Maimunah (radhiyallahu anha) die in the year 51.
After the pact at Khaibar, a Jewess sent some poisoned mutton as a gift to Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم). His noble character constrained him to accept the gift. As he placed a piece of the meat in his mouth, the meat spoke by the permission of Allah Ta’ala. It said:
“O Rasulullah! Do not eat me. Poison has been added to me.”
He immediately threw down the meat and informed the Sahaabah of the situation. One Sahaabi who had already ate some of the meat, died. The effect of the poison endured in Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) for as long as he lived. At the time of death the affect of the poison asserted itself.
Rasulullah’s son, Ibraahim was born from Mariah Qibtiyyah during this year.
In the month of Jamaadil Awwal, the Sahaabah went to war against a very large Christian army. This was the famous Battle of Mootah. The incident which sparked off this battle was the killing of Harith Bin Umair (radhiyallahu anhu). Three thousand Sahaabah went to battle against the Christian army which numbered more than 100,000. In view of the great odds against them, the Sahaabah were somewhat apprehensive. Some of them advised that reinforcements be called from Madinah before embarking on the attack. But, the majority of the Sahaabah opposed the proposal of delaying the attack. They were confident of Allah’s aid.
In this battle, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had entrusted the flag to Hadhrat Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) with the instruction that in the event of Hadhrat Zaid’s martyrdom, Hadhrat Ja’far (radhiyallahu anhu) should be appointed the Ameer. In the event of him too being martyred, Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Rawahah should assume the reins of leadership. If he too is martyred, the Muslims should then appoint as their Ameer whomever they wished. A Jew who was listening to this conversation commented that these three persons will most certainly be martyred. He had based his conclusion on similar instruction given by former Ambiya. These instructions implied that the events surmised will definitely happen.
Thus, as it happened, these three stalwarts of Islam were martyred and Hadhrat Khalid Bin Walid (radhiyallahu anhu) became the commander of the army. The appointment of Hadhrat Khalid turned the tide against the Romans. The Muslims swept through the Christian forces like a hurricane. In this battle, Hadhrat Khalid changed his sword nine times. In view of the abundance of blood his sword repeatedly became ineffective. Finally, the Roman army was decisively defeated. Only 12 Muslims were martyred. The Muslim army returned victorious to Madinah Munawwarah.
From the time Musjid-e-Nabawi was built until now (i.e. 8th year), there was no mimbar in the Musjid. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) would stand on the flat ground, leaning against a date-tree-trunk when delivering the Khutbah. One of the women of the Ansaar said that her slave was a good carpenter. If permission is given, she would instruct him to make a mimbar. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) consulted the Sahaabah. It was then decided to have the mimbar made. The slave, Maimoon built the mimbar. The timber for the mimbar was brought from Ghaabah (a place about 9 miles from Madinah).
After the mimbar was prepared, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) no longer leaned against the date-tree-trunk. Unable to bear this separation, the tree-trunk miraculously cried profusely. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) descended from the mimbar and placed his blessed hand on the tree-trunk which was sobbing like a little child. The tree-trunk was then consoled by Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
The author of Ihyaul Uloom writes that after Rasulullah’s demise, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was found crying and saying:
“O Rasulullah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you. A tree-trunk on which you would lean before the erection of the mimbar cried on account of being separated from you. You then had to console it with your blessed hand. O Rasulullah! Your Ummat deserves to cry more than a tree-trunk over your separation.”
The Conquest of Makkah
On 10th Ramadhaan of this year, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) set off with 10,000 Sahaabah to conquer Makkah. En route to Makkah, another 2,000 joined the army. Abu Sufyaan, Hudail Bin Warqah and Hakim Bin Hizam entered the Muslim army surreptitiously on a spying mission. However, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) arrested them and presented them to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Here in the court of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) they once again observed the scene of tolerance and forgiveness. They were greatly influenced and touched by the attitude of Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Allah Ta’ala at last granted them the taufeeq of accepting Islam.
On the morning of 18th Ramadhaan, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) entered Makkah Muazzamah seated on a she-camel. He was reciting the aayat of Surah Fath. His head was bowed in humility. He entered Makkah as an embodiment of gratitude to Allah Ta’ala.
The Battle of Hunain also took place in this year. The Bedouins of the tribes of Hawazin and Thaqeef deemed it expedient to attack the Muslims. They assembled in Hunain and prepared for battle. When Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was informed of this move, he set off on 6th Shawwaal with 12,000 men for Hunain.
The Muslims on this occasion felt a measure of over-confidence because of their large number and equipment. Some Muslims, in fact, became proudful, having reposed their reliance on their material superiority. Allah, The Independent One, disapproved of this attitude. As a lesson to them, Allah Ta’ala inflicted temporary defeat on them in the initial stage of the battle. Their ranks were broken and they dispersed in disarray. Finally, Allah Ta’ala granted the Muslims victory. By the barkat of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), the Sahaabah regrouped and gained a decisive victory.
The Muslim army thereafter laid siege to Taa-if for 18 days. It was announced that whoever left the fort would be free. About 10 persons left the fort after this announcement. After 18 days, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) lifted the siege and returned.
At Ja’raanah, he tied his ihraam and performed Umrah on 24 Thil Qa’dh. After this Umrah he departed for Madinah.
The expedition of Tabْk was undertaken this year. This was the last campaign of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم). On Thursday 5th Rajab, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) marched from Madinah Tayyibah with 20,000 Sahaabah to break the power of Heraclius, the emperor of the Roman Empire. Although defeated in the Battle of Mootah, the Christians still cherished the idea of attacking Madinah Tayyibah.
On this occasion the heat was extreme and the Sahaabah were suffering dire straits of poverty. A great effort was therefore made to raise funds for this campaign. The ladies even contributed whatever jewellery they possessed. Despite this state of the Muslim army, the Christians became very fearful and petitioned for peace. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) accepted their request and a pact of peace was concluded. After a stay of 20 days at Tobْk, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) returned to Madinah Tayyibah. The duration of the whole journey was two months.
On his way back to Madinah, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) set fire to the place known as Musjid-e-Dhiraar. This was not a true Musjid. It was established by the Munaafiqeen as a venue of conspiracy for plotting against the Muslims.
The First Hajj
The first Hajj of Islam was executed in this year. A detachment of 300 Muslims under Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) left to make the necessary Hajj arrangements. Thereafter Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) was despatched to announce the total dissociation from the kuffaar. These verses of Baraa’ah (severing ties with the kuffaar and annulling the pacts) are mentioned in Surah Baraa’ah.
Chief of the Munaafiqeen
In the month of Thil Qa’dh, Abdullah Bin Ubay Salool, the leader of the Hypocrites died. Purely out of goodness and on account of his kindness and lofty disposition, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) presented his kurtah in which Salool was buried. He also participated in the funeral and burial. When Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was about to lead the Janaazah Salaat, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) objected, saying that Allah Ta’ala said about the Munaafiqeen:
“Whether you ask forgiveness for them or not (and even) if you seek their forgiveness 70 times, never will Allah forgive them.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), Rahmatul Lil-Aalameen, responded:
“If I know that they will be forgiven if I seek their forgiveness more than 70 times, then I shall do so.”
Hearing this response, Hadhrat Umar maintained silence. Thus, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) led the Janaazah Salaat. Thereupon, the following aayat was revealed:
“Do not ever perform (Janaazah) Salaat on any of them (the Munaafiqeen/kuffaar) nor stand at his graveside…”
This verse for all time prohibited Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and his Ummah from participation in the funeral and burial of any kaafir.
The King of Abyssinia
Najashi, the emperor of Abyssinia also died during this year. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was informed of Najashi’s death via the medium of Wahi. He assembled the Sahaabah and conducted Najashi’s Janaazah Salaat in abstentia (i.e. without the body of Najashi being present).
According to the Hanafi Math-hab, the performance of Janaazah Salaat with the mayyit (deceased) in abstetia was a privilege exclusive with Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم). The detailed explanation for this could be obtained from the relevant kitaabs.
Hadhrat Umm-e-Kulthoom (radhiyallahu anha), the daughter of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) also passed away in this year.
This is the year when Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) performed Hajjatul Widaa’ or the Farewell Hajj. It is known as such because he passed away three months after this hajj.
He departed from Madinah Munawwarah on Saturday 25th Thil Qa’dh after Zuhr Salaat and reached Makkah Mukarramah on 4th Thil-Hajj. More than a hundred thousand Sahaabah had accompanied him. On the occasion of this Hajj he delivered several discourses. The essence of all his talks was:
‘Learn the laws (of Islam) well because we may not meet here again in future.’
Among the advices and admonition he gave are the following:
Your blood, wealth and reputation are sacred, to be honoured by one another, just as the sanctity of this day, this month and this city.
Soon (i.e. after death) you will be gathered in the presence of Allah Ta’ala. You will be questioned regarding your deeds.
All customs of Jaahiliyyah (the times of ignorance) have been crushed underfoot. Revenge for blood spilled in the times of Jaahiliyyah is not to be demanded.
All debts of riba (interest) are waived.
Do not adopt kufr after my demise by slitting each other’s throats.
Obey the ruler who governs over you according the Book of Allah.
Fear Allah regarding females. Fulfil their rights in full measure.
I am leaving two things with you; the Qur’aan and my Sunnah.
After having concluded his discourse, he asked:
“People! On the Day of Qiyaamah you will be questioned about me. What will you say?”
The assembly responded: “We shall say that you had delivered Allah’s Law to us.”
Thereafter, raising his finger towards the heaven, he exclaimed: “O Allah. Be witness!”
At the time of Qur’baani he scarified one hundred camels. He slaughtered 63 with his own blessed hand while Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) slaughtered the remaining 37.
Signs of the End
When the mission of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was accomplished and the Deen of Islam had spread to every side, the time had approached for him to return to Allah Ta’ala.
According to some Ulama, Surah Nasr
was revealed during this Hajj. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) understood from this Surah that his time for departing from this earthly abode had approached. In this regard, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), in order to test the Masha-ikh of Makkah, asked them about the circumstances for the revelation of this Surah. Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) responded that this Surah conveyed the tidings of Rasulullah’s imminent demise. Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) concurred with him.
There were also other signs which apprized Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) of the approach of his Maut. He, therefore, once said to the gathering of Sahaabah:
“Allah has granted one of his servants the choice of either living on earth or by Allah. The servant has chosen to live by Allah.”
This statement implied that his death was close at hand. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) immediately understood the implication. While shedding tears, he said: “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you. What is it that you are saying?”
Expressing his pleasure at Hadhrat Abu Bark’s intelligence and his fathoming of the meaning of the statement, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“If I have to befriend any person, it would be Abu Bakr, but Abu Bakr is my Deeni brother.”
After having made this statement, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) ordered that besides the window of Abu Bakr, all other windows opening into the Musjid be closed up. According to the Ulama, this instruction pointed towards the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).
His Last Illness
He was at first overtaken by a headache followed by a severe fever. At this time he was staying with Hadhrat Maimunah (radhiyallahu anha). Taking permission from her and his other wives he moved into the apartment of Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha). During these days of indisposition he would attend the Musjid for Namaaz. When the illness had deteriorated greatly, he instructed Hadhrat Abu Bakr to lead the Namaaz. Hadhrat Aishah said: “O Rasulullah! Abu Bakr is very tender of heart. Entrust this service to Umar.”
Hadhrat Hafsah (Hadhrat Umar’s daughter) supported the proposal put forward by Hadhrat Aishah. Reprimanding both his wives, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“Allah and the Muslims will not accept anyone besides Abu Bakr. Therefore, tell Abu Bakr to lead the Salaat.”
While Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was alive, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) led the Salaat seventeen times. On one occasion when Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) felt a slight improvement in his condition, he entered the Musjid and sat at the side of Abu Bakr who was leading the Salaat. Most probably this was on a Saturday at the time of Zuhr.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had learnt that the Muhaajireen and Ansaar were crying with grief on account of his separation from them caused by illness. Being the spiritual father, he could not bear their grief. He therefore came leaning on the shoulders of Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Fadhl Bin Abbas. On account of extreme weakness, he could not walk by himself. He was brought to the mimbar where he sat down on the first step and delivered a brief discourse in which he offered many advices to the Sahaabah. Among the things he said were:
“I have heard that you are fearful of the impending demise of your Nabi. Has any Rasool lived forever on earth? Undoubtedly, I am about to meet Allah. You too will meet me after a short while. Remember! I am going ahead and you will follow to meet me. I shall meet you at the fountain of Kauthar. Listen! Whoever wishes to meet me at the Fount of Kauthar should refrain from misusing his hands and tongue. Hear! When the subjects are virtuous, the king too becomes virtuous and if the subjects are evil, the king too is evil. I exhort the Ansaar and the Muhaajireen to treat one another with kindness.”
After this talk, he returned to the apartment of Hadhrat Aishah. Thereafter he once again, lifted the curtain of his room during Fajr Salaat and for the last time gazed at the Sahaabah. When they observed this, they were close to breaking their Salaat, but Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) beckoned to them to continue and he dropped the curtain. This happened on the 10th Rabiul Awwal. On this day Hadhrat Aishah observed that his gaze was focussed on the heavens and he was repeatedly saying:
اللّهمّ الرفيق الأعلي
“O Allah! The Highest Friend!”
She understood that the time for his departure from this earthly abode was imminent. Within a short while he was united with his Highest Friend.
The news of Rasulullah’s demise spread like wildfire. The Sahaabah whose hearts were brimming with his love were stunned and could hardly accept the reality of his demise. Even a powerful and brave man like Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) lost his composure. He stood with his sword drawn, threatening to slay anyone who said that Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had died. It was only the presence of a man of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s stature who could bring the situation under control.
Taking in the explosive scene, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) entered the Musjid and delivered a speech. Consoling the Sahaabah, he said:
“People! Those who worshipped Muhammad should know that he has died. Whoever worships Allah should know that most certainly He is alive and that He will remain eternally alive.”
He then recited the gracious aayat:
“And, Muhammad is only a Rasool (Divine Messenger). Verily, Messengers have gone by before him. What! If he dies or is killed, will you turn on your heels?”
This discourse restored calm and rationality. The Sahaabah were convinced of Rasulullah’s death. After ghusl, the Janaazah was placed in Hadhrat Aishah’s room. The Sahaabah entered in groups. Each group performed Janaazah Salaat.
صلى اللّه تبارك وتعالى عليه وعلى اله واصحابه وازواجه
وسلم تسليما كثيراً كثيرا
The purpose of this book is not to cover the battles of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). The anecdotes relevant to this book are those episodes which pertain to mujaahaadat (strivings against the nafs), patience, tolerance, etc. Since these lofty attitudes are conspicuously borne out in the stories of the battles, they have been briefly discussed.
Now will be presented some anecdotes regarding the poverty, abstinence (zuhd) and hardships of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). These anecdotes are reproduced from Khasaa-il-e-Nabawi, the Urdu translation of Shamaa-il-e-Tirmizi.
1) Hadhrat Qeelah said that she saw Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) with two worn-out pieces of cloth draped around him (a lower cloth and a cloth around the upper part of his body). Clad in these old garments, he would sit in the style of the poor. Once while sitting in this way with a date-branch in his mubaarak hand, a man came to him. This forlorn state generated in this man so much awe that he began to shiver with fear, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) told him to regain his composure. With this instruction, the man became calm.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) adopted the garments of the poor because of tawaadhu’ (humility). It is for this reason that the Sufiyaa too adopt the state of faqr (poverty). This style inculcates humility and negates takabbur (pride).
2) Malik Bin Dinar (rahmatullah alayh) narrates that Rasulullah would never eat to the point of satiation unless there were guests. For the sake of the guests he would continue eating because if he stopped, the guests too would cease eating and remain hungry.
3) Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said that he did not fear poverty and hunger for the Ummah. On the contrary, he feared that the earth would become generous (pouring out its wealth) for the Ummah as it had become generous for nations of bygone times. “You (Muslims) will then become engrossed in the world as former people had become engrossed. The world will then destroy you just as it had destroyed those people”, he said.
Once Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) supplicated:
“O Allah! Bestow sustenance to the progeny of Muhammad to suffice for their needs.”
4) Hadhrat Nu’man Bin Bishr (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“Are you not engrossed in eating according to your desire? I have seen Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) not having enough of even low quality dates.”
5) Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) said that at times the fire was not lit in their homes for a month. They would be satisfied with dates and water. In another narration it is said that sometimes the fire in Rasulullah’s homes would be lit only after two months had passed. When the moon of the third month was sighted, then only was the fire lit. This means that there was nothing available for cooking, hence the fire would not be ignited.
According to the Ulama, inspite of the abundance of wealth acquired from the battles, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) maintained this condition or poverty from beginning to end.
6) Once Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) presented a leg of mutton to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). It was night time. Although there was no lamp in the house, Hadhrat Aishah engaged herself in cutting up the meat. When someone commented on the darkness, she said that if there was oil for the lamp, she would rather use it in the food.
7) Hadhrat Abu Talhah (radhiyallahu anhu) says that when they complained about extreme hunger and showed Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) the stones tied around their stomachs, he pointed to two stones tied to his stomach on account of the severity of hunger. This indicated that Rasulullah’s hunger was greater.
8) Once Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) came unexpectedly out of his home. It was neither his normal practice to come out at this time nor would anyone visit him at this hour. Suddenly, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) appeared on the scene. When Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) enquired of his coming at this unexpected hour, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“I have come to greet and visit the Beauty which adorns the universe.”
The high degree of compatibility which existed between Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) and Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) rendered them a single soul in two physical bodies. Rasulullah’s unexpected emergence exercised a spiritual influence on Hadhrat Abu Bakr, hence he too came out unexpectedly.
This spiritual unity with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) is the prime factor for the Khilaafat of Abu Bakr immediately succeeding the Nubuwwat of Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
Soon thereafter, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) arrived. When asked for his unexpected coming, he said that extreme hunger constrained him to come. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said that he too was feeling the pangs of hunger. The difference in the ranks of these two senior Sahaabah can be assessed from their respective replies. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) regarded the ziyaarat of Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم) to be the remedy for his hunger. The Ulama have written that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had refrained from mentioning his hunger on this occasion to save Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) from grief.
The three friends set off for the home of Abul Hatheem Ansari (radhiyallahu anhu) who was an affluent man in Madinah. At the same time he was also as ardent devotee of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم). He was, however, not present, having gone to fetch water. The three waited for him. When he returned he was ecstatic with joy at his good fortune. He was immensely proud of the presence of the three noble seniors in his home. He embraced them and took them into his orchard. After spreading a carpet for his guests he presented bunches of a variety of dates. After having eaten the dates, and drinking water, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) whose every moment was devoted for the ta’leem of the Ummah, said:
“I take oath by That Being in Whose control is my life! These (i.e. the dates) too are among the bounties about which a reckoning will be taken on the Day of Qiyaamah.”
This statement refers to the Qur’aanic aayat:
“Most, certainly, you will be questioned regarding the bounties.”
9) Hadhrat Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu) said that in the initial stage of Islam they would wage Jihaad without having had anything to eat. They would eat the leaves of trees and the succulent parts of cactus trees. Their jaws would thus develop sores.
10) Someone asked Hadhrat Hafsah (radhiyallahu anha) regarding Rasulullah’s bed. She said that it was a piece of sack-cloth which she would fold and lay on the ground. Once in an attempt to make it more comfortable she folded the sack-cloth into four layers. In the morning, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) enquired:
“What did you spread last night?”
When she informed him that it was the same sack-cloth which she had folded four times, he said:
“Leave it as usual. Its softness affects rising at night.”
11) Umm-e-Sulaim [or Sulqim] (radhiyallahu anha) said that Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said to her:
“Be patient. I swear by Allah that in the homes of Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم) there has been nothing for the past seven days and for three days the fire did not kindle under the pot. I swear by Allah that if I ask Allah Ta’ala to transform all the mountains of Thaamah into gold, then most assuredly, He will do so.”
Every action and rest of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) are ibaadat. Every statement and deed are manifestations of abdiyat (the condition of being a slave). Every speech and silence are thikr (remembrance of Allah) and fikr (contemplation). A few anecdotes of his ibaadat will be mentioned here.
Mughirah Bin Shu’bah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah’s blessed feet would become swollen on account of the very long raka’ts of Nafl Salaat. When the Sahaabah said:
“You endure so much hardship (in ibaadat) although Allah Ta’ala has completely forgiven you.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) replied:
“When Allah Ta’ala has conferred this great favour on me, should I then not be grateful?”
The Sahaabah’s purpose in asking this question was that apparently the aim of ibaadat is the effacement of sins. Since Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was sinless, they could not understand the reason for undergoing so much difficulty in ibaadat. Rasulullah’s answer implied that this was not the only purpose of ibaadat. Besides the acquisition of forgiveness, there are other aims of ibaadat as well. Now when Allah Ta’ala has completely forgiven him, the aim of the ibaadat is to express gratitude.
Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) said that sometimes the aim of ibaadat is the desire to gain Jannat, etc. This is the ibaadat of traders because the motive underlying this worship is to exchange ibaadat for reward. Sometimes ibaadat is for the fear of punishment. This is the ibaadat of servants who render their service on account of fear for the employer. One type of worship is such ibaadat which is not motivated by either desire or fear, but is rendered solely as an expression of gratitude for the favours of Allah Ta’ala. This is the ibaadat of free people.
Hadhrat Ata (radhiyallahu anhu) said that he once asked Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) to narrate some wonderful act of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). She responded that every act of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was wonderful. Then she added:
“One night Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) came home to sleep. He slept with me. After a short while he said: ‘I shall worship my Rabb.’ He then stood up, made wudhu and engaged himself in Salaat. He started to cry so much that the tears flowed on his blessed breast. He then went into ruku’ where he also cried. He then went into sajdah and again cried. He lifted his head from sajdah and cried again. This condition remained until the morning until Bilal came to call him for the Fajr Salaat. I asked him: ‘Why do you cry so much when Allah has forgiven you completely?’ He replied: ‘Should I then not be grateful.’
He then added:
‘Why should I not do so when today was revealed to me these verses…’ He then recited the last ruku’ of Aal-e-Imraan.”
The Ulama have written that after rising from sleep, a bit of the Qur’aan Shareef should be recited, for this produces cheerfulness. Furthermore it is Mustahab to recite these verses. (The last ruku’ of Surah Baqarah.)
According to the Hadith these aayat should be recited especially at night. The reader will, Insha’Allah, be protected against many calamities – Translator.
1) Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Shikh-kheer (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:
“I came to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and found him in Salaat. On account of crying a sound like the boiling of a kettle was emitting from his breast.”
2) Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:
“Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) once said to me: ‘Recite for me the Qur’aan.’ I said: O Rasulullah! It was revealed to you. How can I recite it to you? He said: ‘My heart desires to hear it from you.’
In obedience to the command, I started to recite Surah Nisaa’. When I reached the verse:
I glanced at his blessed face and saw tears streaming from both his eyes.”
According to the Ulama, there are several reasons for crying:
• On account of the benefactor’s kindness and favour.
• Because of pain, worry, hardship, oppression.
• Crying because of Taubah. Tears flow on account of the remorse for having committed transgression.
• Hypocritical crying. Such crying is to deceive people or to create the idea of one’s piety.
• Customary crying such as on the occasion of a death. People are either paid to cry or they cry gratis. This is merely to uphold custom (which is in vogue in some communities).
• Crying in sympathy when another is seen crying.
Rasulullah’s crying was generally the result of love and mercy or fear for the Ummah or out of fear or love for Allah Ta’ala.
I have observed all my seniors crying much during Namaaz and Thikr. I had the occasion of frequently seeing two buzrugs sobbing profusely – my father and Hadhrat Aqdas Shaikhul Islam Maulana Madani. Sometimes I was roused from my sleep because of their sobbing.
I have heard that the sound of sobbing of Imaam Rabbaani at the time of Zuhr when he would engage in Thikr or Tilaawat, could be heard outside his room.
Since this treatise is a book on the lives of the Chishti Silsilah, the logical demand is to narrate the life of Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) after Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) because in this Silsilah appears Hadhrat Ali’s name after the name of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Nevertheless, something of the lives of the other three Khulafaa-e-Raashideen will be presented because, in reality, the tazkarah (discussion) of the Khulafaa-e-Raashideen is supplementary to the tazkarah of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). In fact, it is the closing chapter of a discussion on Rasulullah’s life.
According to some Masha-ikh the three Khulafaa (radhiyallahu anhum) play an important role in the spiritual and moral excellencies of Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah), the Head of Tariqat. Furthermore, these Masha-ikh also narrate the medium of the Khulafa-e-Rashideen in the Salaasil-e-Ar’ba’ (the Four Chains of Tasawwuf). It is, therefore, considered appropriate to present brief discussions of the three Khulafa before commencing the name-sequence of this treatise (i.e. the sequence of the Masha-ikh as their names appear in the Chain mentioned on page 10.
After the demise of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) his vicegerency in every respect devolved to Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radhiyallahu anhu). By virtue of the Bay’t (Oath of Allegiance) of the Muhaajireen and Ansaar, he was appointed the Khalifah. While Qur’aanic verses allude to Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s khilaafat, the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in this regard are explicit.
“Allah and the Mu’mineen refuse to accept (anyone) but Abu Bakr.”,is explicit on the issue of Abu Bark’s succession. The most important consideration in this regard is the total accord between the hearts of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). This has been stated clearly by Hafiz Ibn Hajr (rahmatullah alayh). – Laami’, Vol. 2, page 452. Numerous incidents bear testimony to the mutual accord and unity of their hearts, e.g. the anecdote of Abul Hatheem’s invitation which has already been explained a few pages earlier. Also on the occasion of Hudaibiyyah, the answers which Hadhrat Abu Bakr gave to the questions of Hadhrat Umar were the same as those given by Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) although he (Abu Bakr) was not aware thereof. Regarding the captives of Badr, the opinion of Hadhrat Abu Bakr conformed to the opinion of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
The description of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) given by Ibn Daghna conforms to the description of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) given by Hadhrat Khadijah (radhiyallahu anha).
In addition to these clear indications of his succession, Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s khilaafat was established by the popular Bay’t of the Sahaabah after the demise of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
According to the most authoritative version, his name was Abdullah. During the time of Jaahiliyyah his name was Abdul Ka’bah. Some say that his name was Ateeq. However, the reliable version is that Ateeq was his title.
His genealogical tree is:
Abdullah the son of Abu Quhafah, the son of Amir, the son of Amr, the son of Ka’b, the son of Tameem, the son of Murrah, the son of Ka’b, the son of Luway, the son of Ghalibil Qurshi Taimi.
The lineage of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) meets with that of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in Murrah Bin Ka’b.
The name of his father, Abu Quhafah was Uthman who embraced Islam in the 8th year of Nubuwwat at the age of 90 years.
Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) is known by a variety of titles. According to Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha), while house-folk would call him Abdullah, he was generally known by the title, Ateeq. Some say that he was called Ateeq because of his handsomeness. Others say that on account of his eagerness for virtue he was named Ateeq. Another view is that he is called so because his lineage was free from the slightest blemish. According to the narration of Tirmizi, the reason for the title of Ateeq is the announcement of his salvation from Jahannam.
His famous title, however, is Siddique. There is difference of opinion regarding the occasion when he was awarded this title. According to some, he was known by this blessed title even during the time of Jaahiliyyah because of his outstanding quality of truthfulness. However, the well-known version is that on the occasion of Mir’aaj, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was apprehensive about people acknowledging the truth of this miraculous journey. Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) assured Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) that Abu Bakr will acknowledge its truth because he is a Siddique.
In Taafikhul Khulafa is recorded the narration of Mustadrak in which Nazal Bin Subrah said:
“We asked Ali regarding Abu Bakr. He said: ‘He is a man who was given the title of Siddique by Allah via the agency of Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) and Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم); in Salaat he was the representative of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). The man whom Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) chose for our Deen (i.e. Salaat), we chose for our Dunya (Khilaafat).”
According to Tibrani, Hakeem Bin Sa’d narrated that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) took an oath that the title Siddique was revealed by Allah from the heavens for Abu Bakr.
Among the first persons to accept Islam was Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radhiyallahu anhu). When he presented himself to Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) for accepting Islam, he did not request for any miracle to be displayed. He only asked about the Prophethood and immediately accepted Islam. According to Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم), he had discerned a degree of uncertainty in everyone to whom he had presented Islam, save Abu Bakr who accepted Islam without the slightest hesitation.
In the inceptional stage of Islam, the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam concealed their Deen because of the oppression and persecution of the kuffaar. When the Muslims numbered 39, Hadhrat Abu Bakr requested permission to propagate Islam publicly. After persisting in his request, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) consented. Taking a small group with him, Hadhrat Abu Bakr went to Baitullaah and delivered a Khutbah. This was the very first khutbah of Islam. Although his prominence and honour were accepted in the community, as he commenced the khutbah, he was so severely assaulted that his face was dyed red with his blood. His nose, ears, etc. were badly wounded. It was difficult to recognise him. He was beaten, pushed and kicked. They did with him whatever they had desired. The severity of the assault rendered him unconscious. His tribesmen brought him home where he revived during the evening. The first words which came to his lips were:
“How is Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم)?”
On hearing these words, those who were caring for him, left. They were astonished and angered because of his devotion for a man who was indirectly the cause of the calamity which he had suffered.
His mother, Umm-e-Khair insisted that he partakes of some food and drink, but he took an oath that as long as he has not seen Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), he will neither eat nor drink. After the greater part of the night had passed and all was quiet, he went to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). He cried profusely and so did Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم). The Sahaabah too broke down with grief and were in tears. In this meeting, Hadhrat Abu Bakr requested Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) to make dua for the guidance of his mother. The dua was made, and she embraced Islam the same day.
A separate volume is required to record the life-story of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique-e-Akbar (radhiyallahu anhu) irrespective of the brevity of the biography one wishes to write. How then is it possible to write comprehensively on even one aspect in these few pages? The fact of him being the first to accept Islam is of the greatest significance. This act of his requires considerable elaboration. Then there is the episode of his contemplated migration to Abyssinia. He set out with this intention, but was met along the way by Ibn Daghnah who persuaded him to return. Ibn Daghnah said:
“A man of your calibre can neither be expelled not leave (of his own accord). You are the source of livelihood of the destitute. You are kind to family members. You lift the burden of people. You are hospitable and you aid others in their affairs.”
Referring to Hadhrat Abu Bakr, the Qur’aan says:
“…the second of the two, when both were in the cave (and he) said to his friend (Abu Bakr): ‘Do not grieve. Verily, Allah is with us.”
The companionship of Hadhrat Abu Bakr with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) is confirmed absolutely by this Qur’aanic aayat. Every word of this Qur’aanic statement attests to the lofty status of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radhiyallahu anhu). There are numerous conspicuous evidences confirming his love and devotion for Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). His migration to Madinah Tayyibah in the company of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) is very significant. What then can one say and write of his excellencies?
In Surah Al-Lail are the praises of the one who spends in the Path of Allah. This pertains to Hadhrat Siddique who rendered his acts of charity for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. He also is given the glad tidings of the happiness of Jannat.
He is the very zenith of Sulook, having attained the pinnacle of Divine Proximity and Association. In the beginning of Hijrat he received this absolute announcement. Thereafter, for ten years he remained in the companionship of Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) acting at times as his vicegerent and representative. What can a humble man such as myself (i.e. the noble author) in this fourteenth century write of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s excellences and lofty status? Never can any pen render justice to this subject.
In his attributes and character he was unique. On the occasion of the irtidaad (reneging from Islam) of certain tribes, he displayed unparalleled courage which stunned even the brave Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) who had cautioned against immediate action. Rejecting the proffered advice of caution, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) taunted Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) for his indecisiveness in dealing with the murtaddeen. He thus said:
أَجَبَّارٌ فى الجاهليّة وَ خوّادٌ فى الاسلام
“What! You were powerful in the time of Jahiliyyah and (now behave) cowardly in Islam!”
Hadhrat Umar’s testimony is ample evidence for the lofty status of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s knowledge, virtues, generosity, munificence, piety, forbearance, patience, humility, intelligence, expertise in the interpretation of dreams, knowledge of genealogy, prose, eloquence, etc.
Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) said that whoever narrates a hadith to him, he would as a precautionary measure put the narrator under oath, except Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). He was far above this measure.
This true and devoted companion and successor of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) embodied in him every excellence and qualification to the degree of perfection.
A few anecdotes pertaining to the abundance of his ibaadat and the force of his Imaan which in fact are the basis of the Chishtiyyah, will now be presented.
Ibn Asakir records the narration of Ibn Sireen in which it appears that Abdur Rahman (the son of Abu Bakr), who had not yet embraced Islam, had joined the kuffaar in the Battle of Badr. One day after he had embraced Islam, he said to his father:
“In Badr you were in my line of action. However, being my father, I turned away from you.”
In other words, although he was in position to slay his father, Hadhrat Abu Bakr, he did not do so due to paternal consideration. Hadhrat Abu Bakr replied:
“If you had come in front of me, I would not have hesitated to slay you.”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was originally a trader. According to historians he possessed 40,000 dinars (gold coins) at the time of entering the fold of Islam. He continued to spend his wealth for the sake of Islam until finally he brought whatever was left to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) for use in a Jihaad campaign. When Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) enquired of the provisions he had left for his family, he replied:
“I have left for them Allah and His Rasool.”
Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was always awaiting an opportunity to surpass Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) in an act of virtue. On this particular day he had brought along considerable wealth. When Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) asked him:
“What have you left for your family?”
Hadhrat Umar replied that he had left half of what he had owned for his family. The other half was his contribution towards the Jihaad effort. He was under the impression that he would surpass Hadhrat Abu Bakr on this day. But, when he learnt of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s answer, he understood that he would never be able to surpass him in virtue.
Precisely on account of these manifold excellencies of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) did Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) say that besides Abu Bakr, he had compensated the favours of everyone else. On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta’ala will compensate him.
Ismaili narrates that Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“When Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) passed away, the episode of irtidaad occurred in Arabia and people of defective faith refused to pay Zakaat, I went to Abu Bakr and said:
‘O Khalifah of Rasulullah! Be tender with the people and win over their hearts. Terror has struck them.’
Abu Bakr said: ‘I was hoping for your aid. During the time of Jahiliyyah you were very strong and hard. But in Islam you have become weak. In which matter should I win over their hearts? Should I win them over by means of fabricating poetry or by bewitching them? Alas! Alas! Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) has passed away. Wahi has ceased. I swear by Allah that I shall wage Jihaad against them as long as I have in my hand the strength to bear a sword. If they withhold from me even a string which they used to present to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), I shall fight them.”
Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) commented:
“I found Abu Bakr firmer and stronger than myself. He had paved the path and this simplified for me the affairs during my khilaafat.”
Ibn Sa’d narrates that Ata Bin As-Saib said that after Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was appointed the Khalifah, he was going to the market-place with some sheets on his arm. When Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) questioned him, he said: “I have been harnessed into the affairs of the Muslims. I am now going to the market-place to obtain food for the family.”
Hadhrat Umar said: “Let us go to Abu Ubaidah. He will arrange a wage for you.”
Abu Ubaidah was in-charge of the Baitul Maal. Both went to Abu Ubaidah. A sum which sufficed for a middle class Muhaajir was fixed as the Khalifah’s wage. According to some narrations the wage was insufficient for his needs because of his large family, hence it was increased.
Tibrani narrates that Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu) said that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) during his last illness, instructed Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha):
“After my death hand over to Umar this milk-camel and dish which were given to me on account of my khilaafat.”
Thus, after his demise these items were assigned to the custody of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Thereupon Hadhrat Umar lamented:
“Abu Bakr! May Allah have mercy on you. You have imposed a great difficulty on the khulafa who will follow you.”
Hadhrat Umar meant that others will not be able to exercise this high degree of caution.
He was born two years and some months after Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). It appears from some narrations that he was older than Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). However, the Ulama say that this latter view is not correct. When he reached the age of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) – 63 years – he died.
Regarding his last illness, there is difference of opinion. According to Hadhrat Umar’s narration in Hakim, a spiritual grief overtook Abu Bakr after Rasulullah’s demise. This increased by the day until he passed away.
According to Zuhri, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was given some poisoned food which he and Harith Bin Kaldah (radhiyallahu anhu) ate partly. Both remained ill for a year and died on the same day. Hadhrat Sha’bi (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“What can one expect from this despicable world? Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was poisoned and so was Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).”
Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) says that the 7th Jamadith Thaani, a Monday, was an extremely cold day. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) after taking a bath became feverish. On account of the cold the fever was severe for 15 days. He was unable to attend the Musjid for Salaat. He died on Tuesday 21st Jamadith Thaani during the night. According to some narrations, he had asked Aishah what day it was. When he was told that it was Monday, he said:
“When I die, do not delay my burial.”
Another narration states that he had asked to be told the day on which Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had died. When he was informed that it was on a Tuesday, he said:
“I too hope to die tonight.”
The duration of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s khilaafate was two years, three months and nine days.
1) Once when his wife expressed the desire for something sweet to eat, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) said that he had no money with which to buy anything. His wife suggested that they should save something from their daily food allowance. Within a few days the amount saved will be sufficient to buy something sweet. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) consented. She began saving a small sum daily. After a few days, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “It is apparent that this amount (which was being saved daily from the food allowance) we are receiving from the Baitul Maal is in excess of our needs.” He then took the savings and handed it to the Baitul Maal. He further issued instructions for his wages in future to be decreased by this amount.
2) Once Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) went to the orchard where he saw a bird sitting in the shade of a tree. He heaved a sigh and said:
“O bird! How fortunate are you! You eat the fruit of trees; you sit in their shade and you will attain salvation in the Hereafter without having to give an account. I wish Abu Bakr too was like you.”
Frequently he would exclaim to himself:
“I wish I was the property of a Muslim servant of Allah.”
“I wish I was a tree that could be cut and eaten.”
“I wish I was grass which animals could eat.”
3) Asma’i said: “When Abu Bakr was praised, he would say:
“O Allah! You know my condition better than me and I know my condition more than these people who are praising me. O Allah! Make me better than what they are thinking of me and forgive my evil of which they are not aware. Do not apprehend me on what they are saying.”
4) Once during his khilaafat he was seeing off the army which was proceeding to the land of Shaam. He accompanied the army for a very long distance. His companions said:
“O Khalifah of Rasulullah! You are walking on foot while we are riding.”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) responded:
“With these steps I am seeking forgiveness for my sins. These steps of mine are in the Path of Allah.”
5) He said:
“Glory to That Being Who has left no avenue of His Ma’rifat for His servants except their inability of acquiring His Ma’rifat.” (i.e. This inability becomes the avenue. Despite effort, man is unable to acquire Ma’rifat of Allah. Allah Ta’ala ultimately, opens up the way for the acquisition of His Ma’rifat.)
(The inner, deeper and spiritual recognition by the baatini heart of Allah Ta’ala is termed ma’rifat. The bandah cannever acquire divine Ma’rifat by his efforts and worship. The created and finite mind and heart of man are wholly incapable of mounting the Platform of Ma’rifat of the Uncreated, Infinite and Eternal Being. But when this weak bandah yearns for his Beloved Creator and Master and he moves his weak hands and legs in the direction of his Rabb, then Allah Ta’ala taking pity on His struggling servant opens up the avenue of His Ma’rifat. This is the meaning of the afore-mentioned statement of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), the greatest Sufi after Rasulullah (Saws) — Translator)
6) He said:
“Once a man has tasted Divine Love, he will have no time for this world and he will feel claustrophobic in the company of people.”
7) During his maradhul maut (last illness) people coming to visit him, said:
“O Khalifah of Rasulullah! Should we call a physician for you?”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) responded:
“The physician has already seen me.”
They asked: “What did he say?”
Abu Bakr said: The physician said:
“Verily, He does as He pleases.”
8) Once when a hunter was brought into his presence, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“An animal is killed and a tree is cut when their term of Thirkullah ends.”
9) Sometimes when the camel’s rein slipped from his hand, he would make the camel sit down, alight and pick up the rein himself. The companions would query: “Why do you not order us?” He would reply: “My Beloved (صلى الله عايه وسالم) ordered me to refrain from asking people.”
10) Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that sometimes when Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) would speak of man’s creation during his khutbah, he would say that man emerged twice from the place of najaasat (impurity): once from the father’s private organ (in the form of a sperm drop) and once from his mother’s private organ (at birth). This reminder of the reality of man’s lowly origin would exercise a profound effect on the audience. Realising their lowly origin, the people truly understood their insignificance. In fact, they felt themselves to be physically and spiritually impure and contaminated.
11) He would say:
“O people! Cry in fear of Allah. If you are unable to cry, simulate crying.”
12) Once in his khutbah, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“Where has gone the handsome one whose face was beautiful; who was proud of his youth? Where is the king who had established cities? Where is the brave soldier who conquered in the battlefield? Maut has destroyed them. They are lying in the darkness of graves.”
13) Among his numerous saying are:
“Beware! Never despise any Muslim. Even a Muslim of low rank is great by Allah.”
“I found holiness in taqwa (abstention from transgression); wealth in yaqeen and honour in tawaadhu’ (humility).”
“I heard your Nabi (صلى الله عايه وسالم) saying: ‘Seek from Allah Forgiveness for sins and safety in the Aakhirat.”
“O Allah! Show me the truth and grant me the taufeeq to follow the truth. Let me recognise falsehood and give me the taufeeq to abstain from falsehood. Do not confuse truth and falsehood for me. Do not enslave me to passion.”
“Whoever becomes displeased with his nafs for the sake of Allah, Allah will keep him safe from His displeasure.”
“The greatest understanding is taqwa and the greatest ignorance is transgression and immorality. The greatest truth is observance of trust and the greatest falsehood is misappropriation of trust (amaanat).”
“If you accept my advice, then of the unseen things love death the most because it will come to you most assuredly.”
“When a person becomes proud on account of some worldly adornment, Allah becomes displeased with him (and remains displeased) as long as he does not completely dissociate from that adornment.”
14) Once when Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) recited some heart-rending poetry, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“Don’t say this. Rather recite this aayat:
“The pangs of death have arrived in truth. This is it from which you would flee.”
After the demise of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), the new khalifah Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) assumed the reigns of the khilaafate by the appointment of his predecessor. The reigns of both the worldly and spiritual leadership came into his hands. His appointment as the khalifah is indeed an interesting episode.
When Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s illness took a turn for the worse and his demise seemed imminent, he summoned Hadhrat Ali, Hadhrat Uthman, some Muhaajireen and Ansaar. He addressed them thus:
“You are observing my deteriorating condition. It has, therefore, become necessary to appoint someone to take care of your affairs after me. If you wish, you may by mutual consultation nominate a man or if you wish, I shall select a man.”
They requested him to appoint a successor.
Hadhrat Abu Bakr then instructed Hadhrat Uthman to prepare a document in which Hadhrat Umar was appointed the Khalifah. Hadhrat Umar said: “I cannot bear this responsibility.” Hadhrat Abu Bakr: ‘Bring my sword. He has disobeyed the order of Rasulullah’s Khalifah.’
He then severely reprimanded Hadhrat Umar who was compelled to accept the khilaafat against his wishes. Soon thereafter, Hadhrat Talhah entered and objected to this appointment. Hadhrat Abu Bakr said:
“By Allah! Umar is the best man for you and you are the worst for him.”
He then proceeded to severely rebuke Hadhrat Talhah and expelled him. He then ordered Hadhrat Uthman to write as follows:
“This directive is being written by Abu Bakr, the Khalifah of Rasulullah at the juncture of his departure from earth and the commencement of his sojourn to the Aakhirah. I appoint after me for you Umar Bin Khattaab as the Khalifah. If he remains pious and just, then this is exactly what I am convinced of (in regard to him). If he changes, then I (have to say that I) lack the knowledge of the unknown. In my opinion I have done the best for you (by this appointment). The burden of a sin is on the one committing it. (He then cited the following aayat).
‘And soon will the transgressors know the direction towards which they are turning.”
His name is Umar and his title is Farooq. His other lesser known title is Abu Hafs. Both these titles were conferred upon him by Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). His genealogical tree is as follows: Umar the son of Khattaab, the son of Nufail, the son of Abdul Uzza, the son of Riyah, the son of Abdullah, the son of Qirt, the son of Razah, the son of Adi, the son of Ka’b, the son of Luway, the son of Ghalib Al-Qurshil Adawi. His lineage links up with Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in Ka’b Bin Luway.
Hadhrat Umar was born 13 years after the event of the Elephants (i.e. Abraha’s march into Makkah to destroy the Ka’bah). He embraced Islam at the age 27. Before him 40 men and 11 women had already entered the fold of Islam.
His acceptance of Islam is a wonderful episode. One day at a meeting of the kuffaar the question arose: ‘Who will kill Muhammad?’ Umar volunteered to execute this task. He picked up his sword and set off. Along the way he met Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqas who asked:
“Umar, where are you off to?”
Umar replied: “To slay Muhammad.”
Sa’d: ‘Banu Hashim, Banu Zahrah and Banu Abd Manaaf will kill you.’
Enraged by this statement, Umar remarked:
“It appears that you too have become a renegade (i.e. a Muslim). Let me first settle with you.”
Thus he drew his sword. Hadhrat Sa’d proclaiming defiantly his Imaan, also drew his sword. As they clashed, Hadhrat Sa’d said:
“Umar, first tend to your own home. Both your sister and brother-in-law have accepted Islam.”
Now, Umar’s rage was beyond bounds. He hastened to his sister’s home. The door was closed, but he heard Hadhrat Khabbab (his brother-in-law) and his sister reciting the Qur’aan. On hearing Umar’s voice, Hadhrat Khabbab concealed himself inside the house. In his haste to hide, he forgot the manuscript on which the Qur’aan was written. When his sister opened the door, Umar who was holding an object in his hand, struck her with full force on the head and blood gushed forth. He shouted:
“Enemy of your life, you too have become a renegade.”
Entering the house, he interrogated her.
“What were you doing? What were you reading?”
Hadhrat Khabbab, emerging from concealment said that they were engaged in conversation. Umar said: “You have reneged from your religion and adopted another religion.”
Hadhrat Khabbab: “If that religion is the truth, then what is wrong?”
Umar ferociously attacking him, dropped him to the ground and mercilessly assaulted him.
When his sister intervened in a bid to shield her husband, Umar struck her on the mouth with a stone drawing blood in profusion. After all, she was of the same mettle as Umar. She blurted out:
“Are you assaulting us because we have accepted Islam. Most certainly, we have embraced Islam. Do whatever you can.”
Umar’s gaze fell on the Qur’aanic manuscript and he said: “Show me what is written in it.”
His sister said: “You are impure. An impure person is not allowed to touch it.”
Although he demanded to handle the manuscript, his sister was adamant in her refusal. She constrained on him to take ghusl. After having purified himself, he took the manuscript in his hands and his eyes fell on the following aayat of Surah Ta Ha :
“Verily, I am Allah. There is no deity, but I. Therefore, worship Me and perform Salaat for My Remembrance.”
This aayat penetrated his heart and his whole being was transformed. He asked to be taken to Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Hadhrat Khabbaab exclaimed:
“O Umar! Yesterday – Thursday night – Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) prayed: ‘O Allah! Grant the taufeeq of Imaan to either Umar or Abu Jahl.’ It appears as if Rasulullah’s dua has been accepted in your favour.”
Hadhrat Umar then presented himself to Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and embraced Islam in the morning on Friday. Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ْd would say that Umar’s acceptance of Islam was a victory for the Muslims; his migration an aid for the Muslims and his khilaafate a mercy.
Even his migration is an interesting anecdote which gives a good picture of his courage and bravery. Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) said that in the beginning people migrated by stealth. When Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) migrated, he strung his sword around his neck and held his bow in his hand. He took along a big supply of arrows. Firstly, he went to the Musjid and calmly performed the tawaaf, then the Salaat. He then confronted the gathering of kuffaar and addressed them as follows:
“Whoever desires that his mother wails for him, that his children be rendered orphans and his wife a widow, should come out of Makkah to combat Umar.”
He then departed. No one dared to oppose him.
His excellences are unanimous. There are numerous issues on which there is unanimity among Muslims. But, there are very few such issues on which there is the consensus of both Muslims and Kuffaar. However, among the exploits of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) there are many examples on which there exists such consensus.
Even enemies concede his wisdom, intelligence, alertness, political foresight, political administration, awe and justice. Besides his immense awe, there are numerous incidents of his zuhd (abstinence) and poverty. I shall cite a few examples, since it is impossible to enumerate all such episodes.
Inspite of the awe and splendour of his life, he lived a life of extreme abstinence. His garments had several patches. Once someone counted 14 patches on his kurtah. Frequently he could not find a piece of cloth to mend his kurtah. He would then use even a piece of leather to effect the patch. Hadhrat Zaid Bin Thbit (radhiyallahu anhu) once counted 17 patches on his dress.
Two varieties of food would never be served at one time. Once his daughter, Hadhrat Safiyyah, poured some butter on the food. He became displeased, saying that she had added two varieties in a single dish.
Once he was a bit late for Jumuah Salaat. The reason for the delay was the lack of another kurtah to wear. He was waiting for his one kurtah to dry.
Once he said:
“If there was not the fear of Hisaab (Reckoning in the Aakhirah) I would have eaten roasted meat.”
Everyone who has performed Hajj in summer is aware of the extreme heat. But never was a tent or shade erected for Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) on any stage of his journey from Madinah Tayyibah to Makkah Mukarramah. A piece of leather would be spread in the shade of a cactus tree. He would rest thereon.
Once during a severe famine which endured for 9 months he abandoned eating of butter and meat in sympathy and solidarity with the fuqara (poor). He took an oath that he would not eat bread with anything besides olive oil. During this famine he made dua: “O Allah! Do not destroy the Ummah by my hands.”
He would visit people in their homes to ascertain their needs. He would stress that they refer their requirements to him.
His constant and abundant crying formed two dark stripes down his cheeks. He would cry so much in Salaat for the fear of Allah, that his sobbing could be heard by three rows of musallis. At times while engaged in tilaawat of the Qur’aan Shareef he would cry so profusely that his breathing would become difficult. Sometimes he would fall down. Sometimes he would lament:
“I wish I was a goat which could be slaughtered and eaten.”
Sometimes he would hold in hand a blade of grass and sigh:“I wish I was this grass.”
Sometimes he said: “I wish my mother had not given birth to me.”
He would say to people:
“Better than your life in the Aakhirat be suffering is that your worldly life suffers.”
In the beginning there was considerable harshness in him. Precisely for this reason did people avoid coming out of their homes in the initial period of Hadhrat Umar’s khilaafat. Observing this, he delivered a lengthy khutbah in which he said:
“People! I was hard until there were among you kind and beneficent men such as Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). The combination of my hardness and their softness has brought about moderation. But, now I shall not be harsh on you. My hardness will be for only the oppressors. O People! If I oppose the Sunnat of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and the way of Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), what will you do?”
After he posed this question several times, a man stood up brandishing a sword and indicated with it that he would sever his (Umar’s) neck. This audacity did not anger him in the least. On the contrary, this answer pleased him.
When he journied to the land of Shaam, he was clad in worn-out garments which had a number of patches. It was said to him that high-ranking priests of the Yahood and Nasaara would be visiting him. What will they think of the Muslims’ leader clad so shabbily? Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) responded:
“We are a people whom Allah elevated by means of Islam.”
In other words, our honour and respect are not by means of garments.
Inspite of him having been given the glad tidings of Jannat, the degree of his fear was overwhelming. And, despite his piety and so much fear for Allah he would ask Hadhrat Huzaifah (radhiyallahu anhu), whether Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had not perhaps mentioned his name too in the list of the Munaafiqeen whose names Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had revealed to Hadhrat Huzaifah (radhiyallahu anhu).
Abu Lu’lu’, the Majْsi (fire-worshipper) had attacked Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in the Fajr Salaat. The wound was fatal. Although blood flowed unabated and he would occasionally lapse into unconsciousness, he would perform Salaat in that very condition when the time for Salaat was announced. He said, while in this state:
“He who abandons Salaat has no share in Islam.”
On 1st Muharram 24 Hijri, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) crossed the frontiers of this earthly abode. At the time of his demise, his head was resting on the thigh of his son, Hadhrat Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu). In these last moments he said: “Put my head on the ground.” Although his son said that there was nothing wrong in having his head on his (Abdullah’s) thigh, Hadhrat Umar insisted that his head be put on the ground. After this was done, he said:
“If my Rabb has no mercy on me, then I am destroyed.”
Hadhrat Suhaib (radhiyallahu anhu) led the Janaazah Salaat and he was buried alongside Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).
His khilaafate was for a period of 10 years, 6 months and 5 days.
1) The human mind is unable to assess the exceptionally high degree of Hadhrat Umar’s humility. Inspite of being the Emperor of emperors and the king of Arab and Ajam, he was unparalleled in his attribute of tawaadhu’ (humility).
When he mounted the mimbar to deliver the khutbah, he sat on the step on which Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) would stand. When it was said to him to sit higher on the mimbar, he replied:
“It suffices for me to sit on that place whereon stood the feet of Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).”
2) One day during the khutbah he said:
“O People! Do not increase the mehr of women. If the mehr is fixed more than the mehr of Rasulullah’s wives and daughters, I shall confiscate the extra amount and hand it to the Baitul Maal.”
An old woman immediately challenged him, saying:
“What right do you have to do so when Allah Ta’ala says (in the Qur’aan):
‘If you (men) have given them mounds of wealth, then do not take back anything of it.’
On hearing this, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) came down from the mimbar and exclaimed:
“All people have more knowledge than Umar, even the old lady.”
3) The food he ate was such that not even a poor person would be inclined to eat it. Once he had some guests from Iraq among whom was Hadhrat Jareer Bin Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu). They were unable to eat the simple food of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).
4) In a year he would acquire only two sets of garments from the Baitul Maal. The cloth too was of a coarse type. Whenever it would become torn, he would patch it. Sometime the patch was of leather and sometimes of sackcloth.
5) During his stay at Baitul Maqdis his kurtah was torn at the back. He gave it to someone to wash and mend. When the washed and patched kurtah was brought to him a new kurtah was also presented. This was specially made for him. Both these kurtahs were put before Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Stroking the new kurtah with his hand, he commented: “This cloth is very soft.” So saying, he returned it and added:
“That kurtah (his own one) is better. It absorbs perspiration well.”
6) One day approximately 50 Muhaajir Sahaabah gathered in the Musjid. They were discussing Hadhrat Umar’s zuhd (abstinence, worldly renunciation, abstention form worldly comforts and pleasures for Allah’s sake – Translator).
It was said:
“Look at Umar in whose control is the empire of Kaisar and Kisraa! His orders operate in the east and west. The delegations of Arab and Ajam visit him. They all see him with a kurtah of a dozen patches. He should be advised to change his dress. He should wear better garments. Garments do create an impression. He should make better arrangements for his food. There should be some elaborate daily arrangement for both meals. The Muhaajireen and Ansaar coming to meet him, should join him in meals.”
Although it was resolved to offer this advice to Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), no one could muster up the courage to tell him. Finally they decided to ask Hadhrat Ali who being Hadhrat Umar’s father-in-law would be able to advise him. When they approached Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) he declined and suggested that they approach Ummahaatul Mu’mineen (The Mothers of the Mu’mineen, viz. Rasulullah’s wives).
Ahnaf Bin Qais (radhiyallahu anhu) says that they then went to Hadhrat Aishah and Hadhrat Hafsah. Both were at the same place. Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) agreed to tell Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). But Hadhrat Hafsah (radhiyallahu anha) said that she would not go. But in view of the insistence of this group of Sahaabah both finally went to Hadhrat Umar. They presented an eloquent introductory speech in this matter. He patiently listened to their advice and broke down crying profusely. He recounted the austerity and poverty of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and both wives cried as well. He then commented:
“Listen! I had two companions. If I should adopt a way which differs from their way which I had observed, I will not be blessed with their companionship (in the Aakhirah).”
This condition of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) endured to the end. Not the slightest change was admitted in his life-style.
7) Once while Hadhrat Abu Mْsa Ash’aari (radhiyallahu anhu) was sweeping the premises of the Baitul Maal, he found a dirham (silver coin). He gave it to one of Hadhrat Umar’s grandsons who was a little child. When Hadhrat Umar saw the dirham in the child’s hand he enquired about it. When the child informed him that it was given to him by Hadhrat Abu Mْsa, Hadhrat Umar became very displeased. He took the dirham from the child and reprimanded Hadhrat Abu Mْsa as follows:
“O Abu Mْsa! Could you not find a home more contemptible than my home?”
8) Towards the end of his life, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) started to fast in abundance. He would fast the whole year excluding the 5 days on which it is not permissible to fast. He adhered rigidly to this practise of fasting day after day in succession.
9) In 13 Hijri, the first year of his khilaafate, he appointed Hadhrat Abdur Rahmaan Bin Auf (radhiyallahu anhu) as the Amir of Hajj. Thereafter he went himself every year for Hajj. During his khilaafate he performed ten Hajj. In 23 Hijri which was the last year of his khilaafate, he took along the Azwaaj-e-Mutahhaaraat (The Holy Wives of Rasulullah) as well.
10) His fear for Allah was unparalleled. One day he was reciting . As he recited the aayat (And when the books will be scattered), he fell down unconscious. He remained ill for several days.
11) One day he passed by a house where the owner was reciting Surah Tْr. When he heard the man reciting the aayat: (Verily, the punishment of your Rabb will most certainly occur.)
Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) dismounted and leaned against a wall for a long while. On returning home he fell ill for a month. People visiting him could not fathom his sickness.
12) Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) once despatched the army under the command of Saariya (radhiyallahu anhu). The enemy had concealed a group of their men behind a mountain. When the Muslim army was about to be entrapped, Saariya heard Hadhrat Umar’s voice commanding:
“O Saariya! Be alert of the mountain pass. O Saariya! Be alert of the mountain pass.”
Hearing this command, Saariya was alerted and he took the necessary precautions to advert what would have been a disaster for the Muslim army.
Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) while delivering the Jumuah Khutbah was divinely apprized of the state of the Muslim army, hence he called out to Saariya, commanding him even while hundreds of miles away. By the permission of Allah, the voice of Hadhrat Umar reached the ears of Hadhrat Saariya.
13) It was his practise to go on nocturnal excursions in the streets of Madinah Tayyibah. One night, after considerable trudging, he sat down tired, leaning against a wall. He heard a woman instructing her daughter to add water to the milk. The daughter responded:
“Amirul Mu’mineen has issued an instruction prohibiting the mixture of water with milk.”
The mother ordered the daughter to add water to the milk saying that neither Amirul Mu’mineen nor his announcer is present to see. The daughter said:
“Wallah! I shall never do so.”
14) Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Imran Bin Hafs (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that once Hadhrat Umar loaded onto his back a goatskin waterbag full of water. When people made some comments in this regard, Hadhrat Umar said:
“My nafs appeared pleasing to me, I, therefore, desired to disgrace it.”
15) Once his son donning beautiful dress came to him. Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) struck him with his whip and the boy cried. When Hadhrat Hafsah asked the reason for beating him, Hadhrat Umar said:
“He was proud of himself. I desired him to understand that his nafs is contemptible.”
16) Hadhrat Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:
“A year after Umar’s demise, I supplicated to Allah for him (Umar) to appear in my dream. Thus, after a year I saw him in a dream wiping the perspiration from his forehead. I said:
‘May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! O Amirul Mu’mineen! What is this condition?’ He replied: ‘I have just now been released (from the Reckoning). I was close to destruction, but I found Allah Ta’ala Most Merciful.’ ”
17) Once when he saw an intoxicated man, he desired to punish him, but the man insulted him. Thereupon Hadhrat Umar came away. When he was asked for the reason for allowing the man to go free inspite of the insults, he said:
“His insults angered me. If I had punished him, my nafs too would have had its share therein. I do not approve of punishing any Muslim for the sake of the desires of my nafs.”
18) When Hadhrat Umar would see a male dressed in fine garments, he would punish him with his whip and say: “Leave fine garments for females.”
19) His famous dua was:
“O Allah! Grant me maut in the pure city of Your Rasool and grant me shahaadat in Your path.”
How would he attain martyrdom in Allah’s Path while residing in Madinah Tayyibah, the capital of Islam, was a mystery. However, it was not difficult for Allah Ta’ala, The Cause of all causes, to fulfil a dua which emanated from the innermost recesses of the heart. Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) attained shahaadat while performing Salaat and in the midst of his devoted companions.
20) Once when Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) permitted Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) to go on Umrah, he (Nabi-e-Kareem) said:
“O my brother! Remember me too in your dua.”
21) It was Hadhrat Umar’s practise to visit the abattoir with whip in hand. When he saw someone purchasing meat on two consecutive days, he would whip him and say:
“Can’t you keep your stomach empty for the sake of your neighbours and relatives?”
By this statement, he implied that one should tend to the needs of neighbours and not be selfishly concerned with only one’s own comforts.
22) Many a time when he desired to eat something, he would delay it for a year.
23) When he passed by a dump, he would say:
“This is your world for whose greed and desire you are perishing.”
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) is the third Khalifah. He assumed the reigns of the khilaafate on a Saturday in Muharram 24 Hijri. He was appointed by the decision of the Ahl-e-Shْra (the senior Sahaabah who constituted the Shْra committee).
According to Hafiz who wrote in Isabah, Hadhrat Uthman was born 6 years after the Episode of the Elephants. He accepted Islam as a result of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s efforts. When he accepted Islam, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) gave his daughter, Ruqayyah in marriage to him.
His blessed name is Uthman and his title is Thun-Nurain (the one with two lights). He was thus titled because Rasulullah’s two daughter’s, Ruqayyah and Umm-e-Kulthoom came into his Nikah one after the other. There is no man besides Hadhrat Uthman who had the good fortune of marrying two daughters of a Nabi. After the demise of Hadhrat Ruqayyah, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said that he had been commanded by Allah to perform Umm-e-Kulthoom’s nikah to Hadhrat Uthman. When Hadhrat Umm-e-Kulthoom too died in the year 9 Hijri, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) observed that if he had another daughter, he would have given her in marriage to Hadhrat Uthman.
His genealogy is as follows:
Uthman the son of Affan, the son of Abil ‘Aas, the son of Umayyah, the son of Abdush Shams. His ancestry links up with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in Abdu Manaf who had two sons. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was of the progeny of the one son while Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) was of the progeny of the other son.
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) was an embodiment and a treasurehouse of modesty and shame. Even when taking a bath in an enclosed bathroom, his modesty did not permit him to be in the nude. In the presence of Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) would appear with his dress in any state. But, he would take care of correctly arranging his attire when Hadhrat Uthman came into his presence.
Tilaawat and Ibaadat in abundance were his special characteristics. He perpetually fasted. Even on the day he was martyred he was fasting. He would sleep a short while in the early part of the night and spend the rest of the night making tilaawat of the Qur’aan Shareef. He would complete the recitation of the entire Qur’aan in a night.
Inspite of being extremely wealthy, his dress was generally of a very cheap and inferior kind. But, he was very generous in charity. It was his practice to emancipate a slave every Friday. When sometimes he failed to observe this Friday practice, he would compensate the omission by emancipating two slaves on the next Friday.
In view of the extreme difficulties which Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and the Sahaabah experienced on the occasion of the Tabْk campaign, the name Jaishul Usrah (the Army of Hardship) is famous for this expedition. Exhorting the Sahaabah to contribute, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“He who contributes for this army will receive Jannat.”
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) presented ten thousand gold coins. Seated on the mimbar, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) transferring the coins from one hand to the other, said:
“After today, it does not matter if Uthman does not render any act of virtue.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said of Hadhrat Uthman:
“Every Nabi had a close companion. My close companion in Jannat will be Uthman.”
“After Nabi Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Lْt (alayhis salaam), Uthman is the first person who had migrated with his entire family.”
Once Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) had contributed substantially for the army. His contribution was loaded on several camels. On this occasion Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) raising both hands towards the heavens, supplicated:
“O Allah! I am pleased with Uthman (He repeated this thrice). You too be pleased with him.”
The Sahaabah too repeated this dua.
The duration of Hadhrat Uthman’s khilaafat was 12 years minus 12 days. He was brutally martyred on 18th Thil Hajj, 35 Hijri. When he was martyred, he was reciting the Qur’aan Majeed. His blood fell on the aayat:
Allah will suffice for you against them. And He is The One Who Hears, The One Who knows.
Long ago Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had predicted Hadhrat Uthman’s brutal assassination. According to the narration of Tirmizi, once while explaining to the Sahaabah about a great anarchy (fitnah), Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) pointed to Hadhrat Uthman and said: “He will be slain unjustly in that fitnah.”
In another Hadith also in Tirmizi, Hadhrat Huzaifah narrates that Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“I take oath by That Being in Whose control is my life! Qiyaamah will only come when you have killed your Imaam and shed each other’s blood.”
1) Once Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) said to his slave:
“I had twisted your ear. I want you to extract compensation.”
The slave then twisted Hadhrat Uthman’s ear. Thereupon Hadhrat Uthman said:
“Twist it strongly. The compensation extracted here on earth is best. After such compensation, there is no apprehension in the Aakhirah.”
2) Once Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“Who will purchase the Well of Zire for the benefit of the Muslims? In return Allah Ta’ala will quench his thirst on the Day of Qiyaamah.”
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) then purchased the well for 35,000 dirhams and declared it as waqf for the benefit of all Muslims.
3) Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) says that during the era of khilaafate he saw Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) sleeping in the Musjid. His body bore the marks of the pebbles on the ground on which he was sleeping. People said: “He is the Amirul Mu’mineen, but look at his condition.”
4) Abdullah Bin Shaddaad (rahmatullah alayh) says that he saw Hadhrat Uthman during the time of his khilaafate on the mimbar delivering the Jumuah Khutbah. The value of the garments on his body on this occasion was not more than 4 or 5 dirhams.
5) Once a man who had gazed at a woman in the street came into the gathering of Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) who said:
“Some people come to me with the effects of zina (fornication) in their eyes.”
“Does Wahi descend even after Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم)?”
Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) responded that this awareness is the effect of firaasat (the inner spiritual faculty of the purified spiritual heart capable of discerning such things – Translator).
6) He would say:
“Worship is to safeguard the commands of Allah, to fulfil the promise made with anyone, to be contented with whatever is obtained and to be patient when things are unobtainable.”
“Worldly concern produces spiritual darkness. Concern of the Aakhirah produces spiritual Lightness.”
“The sign of piety is that one considers all others to be saved and oneself to be doomed.”
“The greatest destruction is old-age accompanied by indifference for the Aakhirah.”
“The grave will be a comfort for the one for whom this world is a prison.”
“If your hearts are purified, you will never tire of reciting the Qur’aan and listening to its recitation.”
7) Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh) narrates that one day Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) passed by a place called Hash Kaukab. While standing there, he said:
“Soon a pious man will be buried here.”
The first person who was buried there was Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu).
8) Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) would feed guests from the Baitul Maal. However, he would not join them in eating. Rather he would eat his simple food at home.
9) He would cry much when passing the Qabrustaan. His beard would be soaked with his tears. Once someone asked:
“You do not cry as much when Jannat and Jahannum are discussed.”
“I heard Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) say:
‘The grave is the first station of the stations of the Aakhirah.’
Therefore, whoever is successful in the grave will traverse all stations successfully. If he fails here, ahead is only hardship.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“I have not seen any more dreadful scene than the qabr.”
In the year 35 Hijri after the shahaadat of Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) the reigns of the khilaafat were taken up by Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah). Since he is the external dimension of Rasulullah’s spiritual munificence (faidh) in the Chishtiyyah Chains, discussion on him is of pivotal importance.
His name is Ali and his nicknames were Abu Turab and Abul Hasan. His title is Asadullah (The Lion of Allah). The following is his ancestral tree:
Ali the son of Abi Talib, the son of Abdul Muttalib, the son of Hashim, the son of Abd Manaf. His lineage links up with Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in the third ancestral generation, i.e. Abdul Muttalib. It is indeed a wonderful coincidence that the one furthest in ancestral ties (i.e. Abu Bakr) was the closest regarding Khilaafate and the one whose ancestry was closest (i.e. to Nabi-e-Akram) was furthest in the matter of the Khilaafate.
According to Hafiz Bin Hajr who wrote in Isabah, the correct view is that he was born ten years prior to Nubuwwat. He was in fact brought up in the lap of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). He therefore enjoyed an exceptionally high degree of resemblance, close relationship and affinity with the morals, habits and attitudes of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). All agree that Hadhrat Ali is among those fortunate ones who was blessed with Islam since childhood. However there are differences regarding the age when he had accepted Islam. There are three versions, viz. 8, 9 and 10 years. He would say:
“I commenced Salaat seven years before others.”
According to Hadhrat Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (rahmatullah alayh) there is no other Sahaabi whose excellences and virtues are narrated in such abundance as those of Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah). It is the view of some Masha-ikh that on account of the hatred for Hadhrat Ali during the era of Banu Umayyah, the Ulama-e-Haqq would make it a point to profusely narrate his excellence in a bid to counter and refute the opposition. Imaam Nisai and others have in fact complied treatises on the excellences and virtues of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu).
Courage, bravery and dare in the battlefield are among his special qualities while his special occupation was the dissemination of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah and Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah.
During the Battle of Khaibar, he received the honour of Hubbullah (Love of Allah) and Hubbur Rasool (Love of the Rasool) from Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said: “Tomorrow the flag will be given to the one who loves Allah and His Rasool and Allah and His Rasool too love him.”
Inspite of Hadhrat Ali’s eyes paining, Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) handed him the flag. He rubbed his mubaarak saliva on Hadhrat Ali’s eyes and the pain miraculously disappeared.
The fear which overwhelmed him in his acts of Ibaadat and obedience was unique. Numerous episodes of this kind are narrated of Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) in the books of history. When it was time for Salaat his body would shiver and his face would become pale. When asked about this state, he said:
“It is the time for the execution of that trust (Amaanat) which the heavens, the earth and mountains were unable to bear when Allah Ta’ala presented it to them. But I have accepted to bear this responsibility.”
Kumail narrates that once he accompanied Hadhrat Ali to the qabrustaan. Turning his attention to one grave he said:
“O inmate of the grave! O decomposed one! O one of fear and solitude! What is your condition? It is in our knowledge that your wealth has already been distributed. Children have been rendered orphans and wives have married other husbands. This is what we know. Now inform us of your condition.”
He then turned to Hadhrat Kumail and said:
“If he (inmate of the grave) had permission to speak, he would have said:
‘The best provision is taqwa.’ ”
So saying, Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) broke down crying and said:
“O Kumail! The grave is a container of deeds. At the time of maut one will become aware of one’s deeds and misdeeds.”
Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) was appointed the Khailfah in the year 35 Hijri. He occupied this post for five years minus three days. On 18th Ramadhaan in the year 40 Hijri, Abdur Rahman Ibn Muljim martyred him in Kufa.
After the Battle of Nahrwaan, three members of the Khaarji sect gathered in Makkah Muazzamah. They were Abdur Rahman Bin Muljim, Amr Bin Bukair and Bark Bin Abdullah. These three evil elements plotted to kill Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah), Hadhrat Muawiyah Bin Sufyan (radhiyallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Amr Bin ‘Aas (radhiyallahu anhu). Ibn Muljim undertook to kill Hadhrat Ali. Amr Bin Bukair agreed to assassinate Hadhrat Amr Bin ‘Aas and Bark assumed the task of killing Hadhrat Muawiyyah. Ibn Muljim succeeded in his evil plot thereby coming within the scope of the aayat:
“He has lost this world and the Aakhirah.”
The other two failed in their evil missions.
Hadhrat Ali’s practise was to proceed very early to the Musjid. On the way to the Musjid he would arouse sleepers by announcing: ‘As-Salaah! As-Salaah!’ One night Ibn Muljim hid himself along the road leading to the Musjid. As Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) passed near to him, Ibn Muljim struck his forehead with his sword which penetrated Hadhrat Ali’s brain. His beard was drenched with blood. People having witnessed the attack rushed forward and arrested Ibn Muljim. Hadhrat Ali forbade them from killing him. However, he issued the following instruction: Should I survive, I shall do with him as I please. If I die, strike him a single blow as he had done to me. After Hadhrat Ali’s death, Ibn Muljim was executed.
Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had already predicted this evil event. Once he said to Hadhrat Ali:
“O Ali! Among the former Ummats the vilest man was the one who had cut the legs of Nabi Salih’s camel. The vilest man of later times will be the one who will colour your beard red with your own blood.”
1) Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) said:
“Several days would pass without us having anything to eat nor would Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) have anything.
I was walking along the road when I saw a dinar laying on the ground. I was uncertain whether to pick it up or leave it. Finally I picked it up because we were in dire straits of want. I brought some flour and presented it to Fatimah, telling her to bake some bread. She began to knee the dough. Her weakness was so much that the hair from her forehead was drooping into the basin. Finally, she baked the bread. I went to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and explained this incident to him. He said:
“Eat it, for it is rizq which Allah has bestowed to you.”
2) Hadhrat Qais Bin Abi Hatim narrates that Hadhrat Ali said:
“If there is taqwa, no act is insignificant. How can an accepted deed be insignificant?”
3) He would say:
“Whoever is contented with the taqdeer (decree) of Allah will be rewarded for his contentment even though the decree will come to pass (as Allah Ta’ala wills whether one is pleased or displeased). Whoever is discontented with Allah’s taqdeer, his deeds will be destroyed (go unrewarded) while his discontent will not change taqdeer.”
(It is, therefore, futile to be displeased. Man’s displeasure or pleasure cannot change Allah’s Decrees. But, Man’s contentment will be rewarded and his discontent punished although such discontent cannot change taqdeer – Translator).
4) Hadhrat Ali said:
“The world is carrion and its lovers are dogs. Whoever loves to take anything from this world, should therefore associate with dogs.”
Explaining this statement, Allamah Sha’rani (rahmatullah alayh) said that the meaning of the world in this context is a reference to things in excess of needs.
5) Hadhrat Ali (karramallahu wajhah) narrates:
“Once Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) emphasised to me:
‘O Ali! Regarding you, two groups will be destroyed. The one group will be those who will become extreme and fanatical in your love and they will praise you for such things which are not in you. The other group will be those who will harbour malice for you. On account of their malice they will slander you.”
His blessed name was Hasan and his nickname Abu Saeed. Another two nicknames are also attributed to him – Abu Muhammad and Abu Nasr. His father’s name was Yasar who was the maulaa (emancipated slave) of Hadhrat Zaid Bin Thabit (radhiyallahu anhu). His mother’s name was Khairah who was the Baandi (slave girl) of Hadhrat Umm-e-Salmah (radhiyallahu anha), the noble wife of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). His father had embraced Islam in 12 Hijri at the hands of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu).
Hadhrat Hasan (rahmatullah alayh) was born in Madinah Munawwarah during the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), two years before Hadhrat Umar’s demise. When he was born, he was taken to Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) who carried out the tahneek rite. He instructed:
“Name him Hasan because his face is hasan (beautiful).”
Hadhrat Umm-e-Salmah (radhiyallahu anha) played a prominent role in his upbringing and moral training. According to Hadhrat Abu Zar’ah, at the age of 14 years Hadhrat Hasan became the mureed of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). Thereafter Hadhrat Hasan migrated to Kufa and Basrah.
Hadhrat Hasan had three sons – Ali, Muhammad and Saeed.
Hadhrat Hasan was an embodiment of all the lofty attributes necessary for a Wali-e-Kaamil (a perfect saint). A very large segment of the Ummah has always glowingly praised him. Among his contemporaries he was incomparable. Hajjaaj Bin Irtat says that when he asked Ata Bin Abi Rabaah concerning Hadhrat Hasan, he said:
“Cling to him strongly. He is a great Imaam who is followed (by the Ummah).”
Hammad Bin Salmah said:
“We have seen many Fuqaha. But we have not seen anyone with such a high moral culture as Hasan Basri.”
Hadhrat A’mash said:
“Hasan Basri always accumulated hikmat (wisdom), then disseminated it.”
Hadhrat Baqir would say:
“Hadhrat Hasan Basri’s speech resembled the speech of the Ambiya.”
He remained perpetually in the state of wudhu. One night his sleep was disturbed more than 70 times. Each time he awoke, he performed wudhu and two raka’ts Namaaz. In taqwa he was unique. In this regard he would frequently say: “Taqwa is the basis of Deen. Desire and greed destroy this basis.”
His relationship with the Sunnah of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was one of burning love and devotion. He went to extremes in following the Sunnah and instructing others to also follow the Sunnah.
Khauf (Divine Fear) was excessive in him. Frequently this fear would reduce him to tears because he feared that Allah Ta’ala may rebuff him on account of sin which he had committed and reject his ibaadat. Once he accompanied a janaazah to the qabrustaan. After the burial, he stood at the graveside shedding tears in abundance. Then he said:
“People, beware! The end of the world and the beginning of the Aakhirah is this grave. The Hadith says that the grave is the first of the stations of the Aakhirah. Why love such a world, the end of which is the grave. Why do you not fear Qiyaamah, the inception of which is this grave?”
The moving eloquence of his naseehat reduced the gathering to tears.
He said that when a person dies and the inmates of the house begin to cry, then Malakul Maut, standing in the doorway, says:
“I did not consume his provisions (rizq). He has completed his provisions. I have not decreased his age. Remember, I have to repeatedly visit this house.”
Hadhrat Hasan then said:
“I swear by Allah! If the house folk could see the Angel at this time and hear him, they would forget about the dead person and worry about themselves.”
Humility was overwhelming in him. He always regarded himself to be the most contemptible person. Once when someone asked him:
“Hasan, are you or the dog better?”, he responded:
“If I am saved from Allah’s punishment, I am better than the dog. But if I am apprehended by Allah’s punishment, the dog is a thousand times better.”
At times when seeing a dog, he would supplicate:
“O Allah! Accept me through the medium of this dog.”
According to Hadhrat Hasan, the omission of Tahajjud Salaat is because of a sin committed. He therefore advised observance of muhaasabah before going to bed and repentance for any sin committed during the day to ensure the acquisition of Tahajjud Salaat.
(Muhaasabah means to take stock of oneself. This exercise entails thinking about the day’s acts and utterances. For every good act recalled, be grateful to Allah Ta’ala and for every sinful or futile deed committed, regret and repent. When a man who regularly performs Tahajjud Salaat misses this Salaat, the omission, after deep reflection, can be traceable to some sinful deed. In relation to the Sulahaa (Pious) even futility and idle talk are tantamount to sins which produce spiritual darkness – Translator.)
Tahajjud is difficult for a person who indulges in transgressions.
Allah Ta’ala had bestowed to him a wonderful ability in lecturing. His lectures were most eloquent. He would deliver a wa’z (lecture) once every week. A very large number of people–laymen and even Auliya–attended his discourses. However, if Hadhrat Rabiyah (rahmatullah alayha) was not present, he would not deliver his discourse. When asked to explain the reason for this, he said:
“The drink which fills the water-trough of elephants cannot be poured for ants.”
Once when Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) visited Basrah, he attended one of Hadhrat Hasan’s discourses. Hadhrat Ali asked:
“Hasan, are you an Aalim or a Searcher of Knowledge?”
Hadhrat Hasan responded: “I am neither. However, I deliver (to others whatever has reached me from Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).”
Hadhrat Ali then said:
“This young man is qualified to deliver discourses.”
So saying, Hadhrat Ali departed and banned all other incompetent lecturers from lecturing.
Once it was reported to Hadhrat Hasan Basri that in the city was a man who loved to live in solitude. One day Hadhrat Hasan visited him and enquired:
“You appear to love solitude. Why do you not meet people?”
He replied: ‘The duty in which I am occupied does not permit me to meet people.’
Hadhrat Hasan: “In this place resides Hasan Basri. You should frequent him.” (The man was unaware that it was Hasan speaking to him).
The man: ‘The duty which keeps me away from others, also restrains me from visiting Hasan Basri.’
Hadhrat Hasan: “What is this duty?”
The man: ‘When I contemplate, I see Allah’s bounties and my sins. I am thus occupied in rendering shukr for the bounties and repenting for my sins.’
Hadhrat Hasan: “You are more intelligent than Hasan Basri. It suffices that you remain occupied in your duty.”
Once when Hadhrat Hasan Basri saw a youth indulging in laughter, he said: “Have you already crossed the Siraat?” (The Bridge over Jahannum.)
Hadhrat Hasan: ‘Do you know whether you are going to enter Jannat or Jahannum?’
Hadhrat Hasan: ‘Why then this laughter?’
The narrator says that the youth was never again seen laughing. (Such was the electrifying effect of Hadhrat Basri’s naseehat – Translator).
Some sayings of Hadhrat Hasan Basri:
A man will be released after a thousand years in Jahannum. How wonderful, if I could be that person. (At least this man’s salvation is assured, hence Hadhrat Hasan’s yearning – Translator)
When Allah intends to do good to a bandah (Allah’s devotee), He prevents him from engrossment in his family. (It should be understood that fulfilment of the huqooq of the family and engrossment with the family are two different issues. While the former, i.e. Huqooq, is obligatory, the latter is spiritually detrimental.)
The requisite for tawaadhu (humility) is to believe everyone else to be nobler than oneself.
A true repentance produces proximity to Allah Ta’ala.
When a man complained of the hardness of his heart, Hadhrat Hasan said:
“Attend gatherings of Thikr.”
I have met such Auliya whose dislike for even halaal things exceed your dislike for haraam things.
Tama’ (Worldly desire) blemishes the Aalim.
I swear by Allah! Allah disgraces a person who loves money.
The world is a vehicle for you. If you drive it, it will deliver you to your destination. If it drives you, you will be destroyed.
Abstain from being an enemy of Allah’s obedient servant. Allah will never assign him to your control. If he is a sinner, refrain from being his enemy because he will see the consequences of his misdeeds.
A man who claims Allah’s Love but does not dislike sins, is false in his claim of love.
Once he heard a man reciting the hadith: “A man will be together with the one whom he loves.”
Hadhrat Hasan Basri, commented:
“Do not be deceived. This companionship will be acquired only if one practises such deeds as the person (whose companionship is desired).”
When anyone would make gheebat about him, Hadhrat Hasan would send him a gift of dates with the message:
“Your gift (i.e. the gheebat) is vastly superior to my insignificant gift.”
According to conflicting narrations, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) passed away during the reign of Hisham Bin Abdul Malik either on the 4th Muharram, or 1st Rajab in the year 110 Hijri at the age of 90 years. He was buried in Basrah. On the occasion of his demise, a wonderful episode was enacted.
During his final moments he laughingly exclaimed: ‘Which sin?’ ‘Which sin?’ Thereafter he died. In a dream a buzrug asked Hadhrat Hasan the reason for his laughter and the meaning of the statement. He replied:
“At the time of death I heard a voice saying: ‘O Malakul Maut! Be harsh with him. There yet remains a sin on him.’
I was pleased to hear this and laughingly enquired about the sin.
The author of Siyarul Aqtab has enumerated five of Hadhrat Hasan’s khulafaa. Among them, Shaikh Abdul Wahid Bin Zaid (rahmatullah alayh) belongs to our Silsilah (Chishtiyyah). We shall now proceed to discuss him.
He was among the senior khulafaa of Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh). He would fast the whole year and stay awake in ibaadat the entire night. He would eat three or four morsels only after three days.
Zuhd had overwhelmed him totally. He gave in the Path of Allah whatever he possessed. If he had to hold money in his hands to even give to others, he would wash his hands.
He is a student of the illustrious Refuge of the Fuqaha, viz. Imaam A’zam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). Before becoming bay’t, he engaged in mujaahadaat for forty years. He is also the student of Hadhrat Hasan Basri in Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah (Knowledge of the external dimension of the Shariah, e.g. Fiqh, Hadith, Tafseer). He was fortunate to be honoured with the companionship of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) as well.
His initiation into Sulook was occasioned by the following episode.
He had a slave whom he had exempted from him from night service on the condition of a payment of one dinar per night. Someone complained to him that the slave was stealing the kafans of dead bodies.
One night Abdul Wahid stealthily followed the slave who went into a qabrustaan. Here the slave engaged himself in Namaaz until Fajr time. Then he made dua and petitioned Allah Ta’ala:
“O my Great Master! Give the wage of my small master.”
A dinar miraculously appeared and settled in the slave’s hand. While the slave left, Abdul Wahid remained concealed.
After the departure of the slave, Hadhrat Abdul Wahid made wudhu, performed two raka’ts Salaatut Taubah and repented for the baseless suspicion he had entertained of his slave. He resolved to set the slave free.
A further astonishing revelation shocked Hadhrat Abdul Wahid in the morning. He was lost, searching for the direction of his home. When he enquired from the people around, they informed him that the place of his home (mentioned by him) was a two-year journey away. He sat down in bewilderment. A passing horse-rider soon stopped and asked: ‘Abdul Wahid, why are you sitting here?’ Abdul Wahid narrated his story. The horse-rider said:
“Don’t leave. With a swift horse it will take two years to reach your home. The same slave will come at night. Go with him.”
Abdul Wahid was left no option, but to wait.
During the night the slave appeared with a variety of food. He presented the food to Abdul Wahid, saying: “Eat and don’t ever do so again.” While Hadhrat Abdul Wahid was eating, the slave engaged himself in ibaadat. In the morning as usual, the dinar arrived. He presented both dinars to his master who walked only a few steps with the slave and miraculously reached home. The slave said: ‘You had intended to free me.’ Hadhrat Abdul Wahid immediately emancipated the slave who expressed his profound gratitude. In return for his freedom the slave gave Hadhrat Abdul Wahid a few pebbles and disappeared.
In the morning he discovered that the ‘pebbles’ were priceless gems which he sold and distributed the money to the fuqara. He thus commenced the journey of renouncing the world.
Shaikh Abdul Wahid said that once on account of pain in his leg, he experienced considerable difficulty in Salaat. One night when he woke up, the pain was intense and he performed Salaat with the greatest difficulty. After completing the Salaat, he went to sleep. In a dream he sees a girl in the company of other girls coming to him. She sat down close to him. The other girls sat behind her. She instructed one of the girls to lift me and warned: ‘Don’t wake him up.’ All the girls together lifted me. He continues:
“They placed me on the most luxurious and comfortable bed. Never in my life had I seen such a beautiful bed. I was looking at her and listening to her instructions. She instructed: ‘Put flowers around the bed.’
The girls complied with her order. She then approached me and placing her hand on my painful leg said: ‘Stand and perform Salaat. Allah Ta’ala has cured you.’
My eyes suddenly opened. The pain was gone. From that day until today I never became ill. To this day the sweetness of her instruction: ‘Stand and perform Salaat. Allah has cured you.’, is in my heart.”
He also narrates the following episode:
“One night I was overcome with sleep and I missed all my auraad and wazaa-if. In a dream I saw the most beautiful girl approaching me. Never had I seen such beauty. She was dressed in silk garments. Her shoes were reciting Tasbeeh and her shoe laces Taqdees (proclaiming Allah’s holiness). She said to me:
‘O Ibn Zaid! Strive in my pursuit. I am in search of you.’
She then recited a verse, the translation of which is:
‘He who purchases me and becomes the comfort and rest of my heart, his trade is profitable.’
I asked: ‘What is your price?’
She said: ‘My price is love for Allah and along with love, obedience to Allah. And, my price is deep contemplation blended with sadness.’
I asked: ‘Girl! Who is your master?’
She said: ‘My Master is He Who does not refuse my price offered by one who desires me.’ (i.e. Allah is the Master.)
Hearing this answer, Shaikh Abdul Wahid (rahmatullah alayh) woke up and took an oath that he would never again sleep. Thus, he performed Fajr Salaat with Isha’s wudhu for forty years.
He narrates the following episode:
“I arrived at the monastery of a monk in Chi???. I called out: ‘O Raahib (monk)! O Raahib!’ But he did not respond. I called a second time. Again there was no response. After I called him the third time, he appeared and said:
“I am not a Raahib. A Raahib is one who fears The Allah Who is in the heavens; he honours His greatness; he has patience in the calamities of Allah, he is contented with Allah’s decree; he praises Allah for His forgiveness; he expresses gratitude for His bounties; he is humble in the presence of His Glory; he accepts His Power; he fasts during the day; he performs Salaat at night; the mention of Jahannum keeps him awake. Such a person is a Raahib. On the contrary, I am a wild dog which preys on other animals. I have imprisoned myself here for fear of devouring people with my tongue.”
I asked: ‘O Raahib! What has misled people from Allah Ta’ala?’
He said: ‘O brother! After having recognised Allah, it is
the love of the world which has led people away from Allah. Love of the world is the root of transgression. An intelligent person is he who expels this love from his heart and repents for his sins. He focuses his attention on things which bring about nearness to Allah.”
Narrating another episode, Hadhrat Abdul Wahid (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“Ayْb Sakhtiyani and myself were journeying along the road leading to the land of Shaam. We met a Habshi man carrying a load of wood on his head. We asked: ‘O Habshi! Who is your Rabb?’ He said: ‘You ask a man like me.’ He placed his load on the ground and turning his face towards the heaven said:
“O Allah! Transform this load into gold.”
The load turned into gold. He said to us: ‘Watch it.’ He again supplicated:
‘O Allah! Transform it into wood.’
The gold became wood. Then he added:
‘You may ask the Aarifeen. Their wonders will not cease.’
Hadhrat Ayْb says that he was astonished and dumbstruck by the condition of the Habshi. I felt greatly ashamed. We then asked if he had some food. The Habshi made a sign with his hand and a dish of honey appeared. The honey was clearer than ice and its fragrance sweeter than musk. He told us to eat it, adding that it is not the honey of bees. There was nothing more delicious than this honey. When he saw our surprise and bewilderment, he said:
“A person who is surprised by such miracles is not an Aarif. He who expresses surprise is far from Allah. He who worships after seeing miracles is ignorant of Allah Ta’ala.”
He had displayed numerous karaamaat (miracles). Once he was at the river bank. The boatman allowed only those onto the boat who could pay the fee. Those unable to pay were not allowed onto the boat. Addressing the fuqara, he said: ‘Convey to the river from Abdul Wahid the message: ‘Become dry!’
The fuqara conveyed this message to the river. Consequently, the water decreased so much, that the fuqara crossed with ease.
Once a group of fuqara was seated by him. He had nothing to offer. Hunger forced them to make a request to Hadhrat Abdul Wahid. He made dua and dinars began to shower down on them. Food was bought. Everyone except Shaikh Abdul Wahid ate.
Once the boat in which he was, was driven to a remote island by strong winds. There he found an idol-worshipper. When Hadhrat Abdul Wahid asked: ‘Who do you worship?’, the idolater showed the idol. Hadhrat Abdul Wahid invited him to accept Islam, saying that only the Creator of all things deserves to be worshipped.
Idolater: ‘How does one know of the existence of such a Creator?’
Abdul Wahid: ‘By the news conveyed by the Rasool.’
Idolater: ‘Where is the Rasool?’
Abdul Wahid: ‘After delivering his message and completing his mission he has departed from this world.’
Idolater: ‘Did he leave any sign of his truth with you?’
Abdul Wahid: ‘The Book of Allah.’
After Hadhrat Abdul Wahid recited the Qur’aan to him, the idolater said:
‘Truly, this is the speech of a Being Who cannot be disobeyed.’
He then accepted Islam with a sincere heart. When Shaikh Abdul Wahid left, this person also left the island and accompanied the Shaikh. When they arrived at a certain place, the Shaikh collected some money from his friends and presented it to the island-dweller. But he declined to accept and said:
“When I was worshipping an idol and did not know Allah, He did not destroy me. Will He now forsake me while I am worshipping Him?”
At night when everyone went to sleep after Salaat, he said: “Does Allah too sleep at night?”
All said: “He is the Living One Who neither sleeps nor slumbers.”
The island-dweller said: ‘What type of slaves are you? While your Master is awake, you are asleep.’
This island-dweller was engaged in ibaadat all the time. After a few days he died. Hadhrat Abdul Wahid in a dream saw this person occupying lofty stations in Jannat.
Towards the end of his life Hadhrat Abdul Wahid became severely ill. It is said that he was paralysed, hence unable to make wudhu. Once when it was time for Salaat, no one was present to assist him with wudhu. He became extremely restless. He made dua and immediately he was cured. Thus he performed his Salaat very calmly. After the Salaat, the sickness returned.
Hadhrat Abdul Wahid says that for three nights he asked Allah Ta’ala to reveal to him here on earth who will be his companion in Jannat. After three days it was revealed to him that his companion will be Maimْnah Sauda’ who was an intensely black woman, hence the name Sauda’. After he asked for her whereabouts, it was revealed to him that she was living with a certain tribe in Kufa. He continues the narration as follows:
“On reaching Kufa I made enquiries about her whereabouts. I was informed that she was a shepherdess and could be found in a certain forest tending to the goats. When I reached there, I found her wrapped in a cloak engaging in Namaaz. The goats were grazing while wolves were mingling with the flock without causing any harm to the goats. As I came closer she shortened her Namaaz. After ending the Namaaz she said: ‘Abdul Wahid! Not today. Go today. The promise of meeting is tomorrow (i.e. Qiyaamah).’
I said: ‘May Allah have mercy on you. How did you know I am Abdul Wahid?’
Maimْnah: ‘Don’t you know that in eternity all souls were gathered like an army. Those who had recognised one another there, recognise one another here. (This what Maimْnah said is in fact mentioned in a highly authentic hadith).
Abdul Wahid: ‘Give me some naseehat.’
Maimْnah: ‘It is surprising that such a great lecturer like you asking others for naseehat. It has reached me from the pious ones that Allah Ta’ala eliminates the love of communing with Him in solitude from a person who engrosses in the pursuit of such worldly bounties which Allah Ta’ala has already bestowed to him. Instead of nearness to Allah, he is made to drift far from Allah Ta’ala. Instead of enjoying love with Allah, terror is instilled in him.’
Thereafter she recited five verses. The gist of which is as follows:
‘O Lecturer! You counsel and admonish others. You prevent others from transgressions while you, yourself are involved in such transgression. If you reform yourself and repent, your speech will penetrate their hearts. But being yourself trapped in sins, you doubt what you are saying to others.’
I asked her to explain why the goats and wolves are together. She said: ‘Go and concern yourself with your work. I have made peace with my Master. He has created peace between the goats and the wolves.’
Some say that he died on 27 Safar 170 Hijri while others say 177 or 176 or 186 Hijri. His grave is in Basrah. Khwajah Fudhail Bin Iyadh, Khwajah Abul Fadl Bin Razeen and Khwajah Abu Yaqْb Sْsi are his three senior khulafaa. Since the first of these three seniors is a link in our Silsilah, we shall now discuss him.
His nicknames are Abu Ali and Abul Fadhl. Some have also mentioned Abul Faidh. His original homeland was Kufa. He was born in Samarqand or Bukhaara.
Besides being the Khalifah of Hadhrat Abdul Wahid, he also acquired khilaafate from Abu Iydh Bin Mansْr Bin Ma’mar Salmi who was the khalifah of Muhammad Bin Habeeb who was the khalifah of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radhiyallahu anhu). In this way this Silsilah reached Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) through the medium of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radhiyallahu anhu).
He fasted continuously, not eating for five days at a time (besides merely breaking the fast at the time of iftaar). He would perform 500 raka’ts Salaat every day. The author of Anwarul Aafireen narrates that once Hadhrat Fudhail washed a limb twice by error in wudhu instead of thrice. At night he saw Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) telling him in a dream:
“Fudhail, it is not expected of you to omit my Sunnat in wudhu.”
His eyes opened with shock and fear. To compensate for the omission and as a penance he imposed 500 raka’ts Salaat on himself daily for a full year.
In the beginning (before he entered Sulook), Fudhail Bin Iyadh was the leader of a band of highway robbers. All members of his band always were in his company. Inspite of his profession of dacoity, he was strict in performing Salaat with Jamaat, Nafl Salaat and Roza (fasting).
Once on a mission of robbery, he heard someone reciting this aayat:
“What! Has the time not dawned on the Believers for their hearts to melt for the thikr of Allah?”
The effect of this aayat on his heart reduced him to tears and sobbing. He repeatedly said:
“Yes, the time has arrived and I have turned to Allah.”
* When Allah Ta’ala wishes something to happen, He creates the appropriate conditions for it. From the very inception of his profession, he would keep a proper account of the details of whomever he and his band robbed. The amount, name, etc. were recorded. This record proved highly beneficial when he repented and abandoned his evil profession. He made amends and compensated everyone whom he had robbed.
However, one Jew refused to forgive him, claiming that the bag which was taken from him was filled with gold. No matter how many oaths Hadhrat Fudhail took, the Jew was adamant in his refusal. Finally the Jew said:
“I have already taken an oath not to forgive you as long as you do not give me the bag full of gold. Therefore, enter my house and you will see a box in which there is a bag of gold. Bring it to me so that my oath can be discharged. I shall then forgive you.”
Hadhrat Fudhail brought the bag to the Jew. When the Jew opened the bag, it was full of gold. He then said:
“I was convinced of your sincere repentance. This bag had contained pebbles. I have read in the Taurah that even sand will turn into gold in the hands of a person who repents sincerely.”
The Jew then accepted Islam.
* One day Hadhrat Fudhail passed by a caravan. The people of the caravan were speaking among themselves and were saying that in this area there is a notorious robber named Fudhail. The people were full of fear as the caravan had to journey through the territory where Fudhail’s band of robbers formerly operated. Hadhrat Fudhail hearing this conversation said:
“Good news for you. Fudhail has repented. He now fears you and flees from you just as you fear him.”
* Khwajah Fudhail migrated to Kufa after his repentance and stayed for some time in the company of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). With the intention of becoming bay’t to Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh), he went to Basrah. When he reached Basrah, to his dismay he discovered that Hadhrat Hasan (rahmatullah alayh) had passed away. He, therefore, became the mureed of Hadhrat Abdul Wahid (rahmatullah alayh).
* He earned a livelihood for himself and his family by working as a water-carrier, filling water for people in their homes.
* Khwajah Abu Ali said:
“I stayed thirty years in Hadhrat Fudhail’s company, but saw him laugh only once.”
* Hadhrat Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (rahmatullah alayh) said that he heard Hadhrat Fudhail (rahmatullah alayh) say:
“He who pursues leadership will be disgraced.”
When Hadhrat Imaam Ahmad requested for naseehat, Hadhrat Fudhail said:
“Remain insignificant. Do not live as a great man.”
* Hadhrat Fudhail said:
“He who acquires the Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala without love will be destroyed by pride. He who acquires Khauf without love, will find himself off from Allah by terror and despondency.”
Cultivation of divine fear tempered with love for Allah results in qurb (nearness to Allah). Allah Ta’ala will honour a man of such fear and love.
“Imaan becomes perfect only when one fulfils all commands, abstains from all prohibitions, is contented with the decrees of taqdeer and fears the possibility of divine rejection.”
“To abstain from doing an act to show others is riya and doing an act to show others is shirk.”
“If you live in a place where you see no people nor does anyone see you, then you are most fortunate.”
“I am grateful to a man who does not greet me nor visits me when I am sick.”
“Of greater surprise than seeing someone crying in Jannat is to see someone laughing on earth.”
“Never hope to find three persons: An Aalim who practises according to the degree of his knowledge; a person who has ikhlaas according to the degree of the virtuous deed; a brother who is without fault. You will never find these three.”
In other words, if you search for perfection in human beings, you will be deprived of the acquisition of goodness and benefit.
“Two acts corrupt the heart: Sleeping much and eating much.”
Once people asked for his opinion regarding the people of Arafaat. He responded:
“If Fudhail is not among them, they will be forgiven.”
People asked: “When will friendship with Allah Ta’ala be perfect?” Fudhail replied:
“When Allah’s bestowing and withholding (of bounties) are equal in one’s estimate.”
“Allah Ta’ala afflicts worldly worry on the bandah He loves and He grants worldly comfort to the one He dislikes.”
“La’nat (curse) descends on a man who professes friendship for a brother while his heart hates him. Such a person may become blind and deaf.”
Once while he was sitting in the Musjid, a man came and sat close to him. When Hadhrat Fudhail asked his reason for sitting by him, the man replied: “To derive spiritual love from your heart.” Fudhail said:
“This is terror, not love. Either you leave or I shall leave.”
The man reluctantly departed.
Once in Arafaat, crying and sobbing, Hadhrat Fudhail looked towards the sky as the sun was about to set. Holding his beard, he exclaimed:
“Even if you (i.e. himself) are forgiven, you will be a great embarrassment for me.”
“People! Always be grateful for the bounties of Allah. Seldom has Allah Ta’ala re-instated the favours which he had snatched from people.”
“Even if the entire world is bestowed to me with the assurance that no reckoning will be taken, then too, I shall abhor it just as you abhor a dead animal.”
“Entry into the world is simple. Emergence from it is difficult.”
“A man who desires that people listen attentively to his discourses is not a Zaahid (one who has renounced the world).”
“When someone slanders you, know that he is more beneficial to you than a friend because he transfers his virtuous deeds to you (by slandering you).”
“Once when Hadhrat Sufyan Bin Uyainah (rahmatullah alayh) visited Hadhrat Fudhail, he (Fudhail) said:
“At one time you, the Ulama, were the lanterns (of Hidaayat) for the cities. But now, you are darkness for the cities. You (at one time) were for people stars of guidance like the stars in the heaven by means of which people acquire their direction. Now, you have become for the world a source of confusion. You (the Ulama) have no shame for Allah. You visit the wealthy and accept their gifts without investigating whether halaal or haraam. Then you stand in the mihraab narrating Ahaadith.”
While Hadhrat Fudhail was admonishing, Hadhrat Sufyan with lowered head was reciting Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala).
“Hadhrat Luqman (alayhis salaam) who was a Habshi slave, was the Qaadhi of Bani Israaeel. He acquired this rank by abstaining from futile speech and acts, and by the truth of his tongue.”
“If the Ulama adopt Zuhd, the necks of great oppressors will bend in submission infront of them. But, Alas! They spend their knowledge on the affluent people of the world in exchange for worldly gain. They (Ulama) have, therefore fallen in the estimate of people.”
“One who indulges in association with people will most certainly be trapped in riya (show).”
“I lament the Aalim with whom the world plays. If the hearts of the people of the Qur’aan and Hadith (i.e. the Ulama) become disenchanted with the world, people will not be able to manipulate them.”
“My heart is agitated greatly when I hear that an Aalim or an Aabid went for Hajj with the money of a trader.”
“If the intention for the acquisition of Ilm is correct, then there is no superior act (than the acquisition of knowledge). But, generally, the intention for pursuing of knowledge is not amal (righteous deeds).”
Hadhrat Shaikh Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (rahmatullah alayh) died in the Haram Shareef on 3rd Rabiul Awwal 187 Hijri and is buried in Jannatul Ma’la (the Qabrustaan in Makkah Mukarramah). His grave is near to the grave of Hadhrat Khadijah (radhiyallahu anha). Some people claim that he had died in the month of Muharram.
When he heard a Qaari reciting القارعة (Al-Qaariah), he let out a heart-piercing scream and died. Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mubarak says that when Hadhrat Fudhail passed away, the heavens cried and an ominous silence settled over the world.
Hadhrat Fudhail had five Khulafaa, viz. Sultan Ibrahim Bin Adham, Shaikh Muhammad Shirazi, Khwajah Bishr Hafi, Shaikh Abu Raja’ Attar and Khwajah Abdullah Sabari (rahmatullah alayhim). Of these five illustrious souls, Hadhrat Sultan Ibrahim Bin Adham (rahmatullah alayh) appears in our Shajarah (Spiritual Tree). We shall now proceed with his discussion.
His ancestry through the medium of five predecessors, links up with Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Some people claim that he was a Sayyid of the line of Hadhrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu). He was born in the city of Balkh. His nickname was Abu Ishaq. Khwajah Fudhail Bin Iyadh (radhiyallahu anhu) had conferred the mantle of Khilaafate to him. Besides being the Khalifah of Hadhrat Fudhail, he was also the Khalifah of Khwajah Imran Ibn Mْsa, Khwajah Imaam Baqir, Khwajah Shaikh Mansْr Salmi and Khwajah Uwais Qarni (rahmatullah alayhim).
It was his regular practice to remain hungry for four and five days at a time.
In the beginning he was the king of Balkh. First he was adopted as a son by the king of Balkh. Later he became the king. Allah’s special grace was on him, hence the circumstances for adopting the Path of Renunciation went on unfolding for Hadhrat Ibrahim Bin Adham.
Once while his court was in full session a man of considerable reverence, awe and dignity entered. The awe-inspiring countenance of the man was so overwhelming that no one had the courage to question his identity. When he was close to the throne, the king asked: ‘Who are you?’ He replied:
‘A traveller searching for an inn.’
King: This is not an inn. It is my palace.
Traveller: Who was here before you?
King: The king before me.
Traveller: And before him?
King: His father. But never was this an inn.
Traveller: All are gone. Thus it means that this is an inn.
This conversation had a profound affect on the king who now developed the yearning to search for Allah.
Once while sleeping at night he heard footsteps on the roof of the palace. When he asked; ‘Who is there?’, a voice replied: ‘I am searching for my camel.’
King: ‘Who can be more ignorant than you, searching for a camel on the palace roof?’
Voice: The person who searches for Allah while sitting on a royal throne is more ignorant.
The arrow of Divine Love pierced Ibrahim Adham’s heart. All of a sudden he renounced the throne and set out into the wilderness. He took up residence in a mountain. On Thursdays, he would descend from the mountain, gather firewood and sell it. Whatever he acquired from the sale of the wood, half would he spent in the path of Allah. The other half was used to buy food for the following 7 days. After spending a considerable time in the wilderness, he was divinely instructed to go to Makkah Mukarramah where he entered into the spiritual companionship of Hadhrat Fudhail (rahmatullah alayh). As a result, Hadhrat Ibrahim Bin Adham gained spiritual distinction and great spiritual heights. Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi (rahmatullah alayh) observed:
“The key of spiritual knowledge which is bestowed to the Auliya is Ibrahim.”
After he had abandoned the throne, the leaders and rulers of Balkh repeatedly appealed to him to return. However, Hadhrat Ibrahim Bin Adham never again accepted the throne.
Once along the river banks Hadhrat Ibrahim was sewing his tattered shawl when some royal courtiers appeared and appealed to him to come back. They were saddened by his forlorn and tattered state and wondered what he had gained by having sacrificed the throne of Balkh. Hadhrat Ibrahim threw his needle into the river and said:
‘You are ministers (of a country) and rulers. Retrieve my needle.’
When they obviously were unable, he addressed the fishes in the river and commanded them to bring his needle. Innumerable fishes simultaneously appeared on the surface of the water, each with a needle of gold in its mouth. None of the fish had his original needle. He commanded that his original needle be retrieved. A tiny fish surfaced with his needle in its mouth. Hadhrat Ibrahim took the needle and said:
‘My kingdom now extends over the whole world. What can I do with your insignificant kingdom?’
Once while sitting on Mount Abu Qubais with a companion, he said that there are some servants of Allah whose command causes a mountain to move. As he said this, the mountain shook. Hadhrat Ibrahim commanded:
‘Be stationery. I was narrating an episode, not issuing an instruction.’
The mountain became calm.
Once he asked a buzrug who was a master of karaamat:
“What profession have you adopted for your livelihood?”
Buzrug: ‘I eat whatever comes my way. If there is nothing, I adopt patience.’
Ibrahim: ‘This is what the city dogs too do. The proper attitude is to sacrifice what you obtain and adopt sabr.’
Once someone asked Hadhrat Ibrahim:
“Whose worshipper are you?”
On hearing this, Hadhrat Ibrahim shuddered and fell down unconscious. When he regained conscious, he recited the aayat:
“Everything in the heavens and earth will come to Rahmaan as a slave.”
When the man asked why he did not answer in the beginning, Hadhrat Ibrahim said:
“If I say that I am Allah’s slave, I fear because of my inability to fulfil the rights of serving Him. How can I then claim to be a slave? If I say that I am not His slave, I fear the danger of kufr.”
For many years he lived in the wilderness and for 9 years he lived in the Cave of Nishaapur engaging himself in rigorous spiritual training. He ate always from his own earnings. Sometimes he sold firewood and sometimes he worked in someone’s orchard.
Once a policeman approached him while he was employed in an orchard and demanded a fruit. Hadhrat Ibrahim Adham refused. The policeman struck him with a whip on the head. Hadhrat Ibrahim lowered his head and said:
“The head which has disobeyed Allah Azza wa Jal deserved to be thrashed.”
Hearing this expression, the policeman apologised. Hadhrat Ibrahim said:
“The head for which apologies would be offered has been left in Balkh.”
Once at the time of tawaaf while giving naseehat to a man, he said:
“Until five valleys have not been traversed, the rank of the Saaliheen cannot be attained. First: Close the door of ni’mat and open the door of hardship. Second: Close the door of respect and open the door of disgrace. Third: Close the door of comfort and open the door of difficulty. Fourth: Close the door of sleep and open the door of wakefulness. Fifth: Close the door of wealth and open the door of poverty.”
Some people came and complained that a lion was blocking the road. Hadhrat Ibrahim went to the lion and said:
“O Abul Harith! If you have been commanded by Allah, then act accordingly, otherwise clear off.”
The lion immediately went away.
Once after Isha Salaat, the Imaam ordered Hadhrat Ibrahim out of the Musjid as he wanted to close up. Since it was extremely cold outside, Hadhrat Ibrahim requested permission to spend the night inside the Musjid. However, the Imaam refused permission, saying that travellers steal the Musjid’s items. When Hadhrat Ibrahim insisted, the Imaam said that even if Ibrahim Bin Adham comes, he too will not be allowed to sleep in the Musjid. When Hadhrat said: “I am Ibrahim Bin Adham”, the Imaam became furious accusing him of speaking lies. The Imaam dragged him and pushed him out of the Musjid.
Hadhrat Ibrahim then went towards a hammaam (public bathroom). A man was lighting a lantern at the hammaam. Hadhrat Ibrahim greeted, but the man did not reply. He was engrossed in his work and was glancing fearfully in all directions. After having done his work, he replied to the Salaam. When Ibrahim asked the reason for the delay in answering, he said:
“I am working for someone. I thought that I will be abusing his trust if I became involved in replying to you as his work will be delayed.”
Hadhrat Ibrahim asked about his glancing this way and that way. He said:
“I fear the Angel of Death may come.”
After a short discussion, he said:
“For the past 20 years I am making dua:
‘O Allah! Don’t let me die before meeting Ibrahim Bin Adham.’
This wish has not yet been fulfilled.”
Hadhrat Ibrahim then revealed himself, saying:
‘I have been sent to you rolling on my head.’
This was a reference to the Imaam having pushed him out violently from the Musjid. The man sighed with relief and said:
“Al-hamdulillah! My wish has been granted.”
He embraced Hadhrat Ibrahim and said:
‘Now I have no more wishes. O Allah! Now grant me union with You.’
Allah Ta’ala accepted this wish. The man died immediately.
People asked: ‘Why does Allah not accept our dua?’ Hadhrat Ibrahim said:
“You know Allah, but you don’t worship Him. You know His Rasool and the Qur’aan, but you do not obey. You eat his bounties, but you are not grateful. You do not make preparations to acquire Jannat nor to abstain from Jahannum. You know Shaitaan is your enemy, but you do not hate him. You know Maut will be coming, but you are not concerned. You bury your parents in their graves, but you derive no lesson. You know that you have defects, yet you search for the faults of others. How then can your dua be accepted?”
He said: “The people of the world pursue peace and comfort on earth, but fail to find these. If they know of the kingdom we have, they will fight with swords to acquire it.”
Once someone presented 10,000 dirhams to Hadhrat Ibrahim. Refusing it, he said:
“Do you wish me to accept this money and have my name struck off the roll of the fuqara? Never shall I do so.”
Once Hadhrat Ibrahim saw an intoxicated man laying unconscious in the road. His mouth was frothing. Hadhrat Ibrahim washed his mouth and tongue and commented:
“This tongue should engage in the thikr of Allah. Alas! What a calamity has befallen it!”
When the man came to his senses, people told him what had happened. He was greatly ashamed of himself. He repented and promised never again to consume liquor.
After this incident, Hadhrat Ibrahim heard in a dream someone saying:
“You had purified his tongue for My Sake. I have purified his heart for your sake.”
Someone wanted to know at what time people could come to Hadhrat Ibrahim to listen to his talks. He said:
“I am engrossed in four activities. When I have completed them, you may come.
1) In eternity when Allah Ta’ala took the Pledge from all, he divided mankind into two groups – one for Jannat and one for Jahannum. At all times I am occupied with this worry because I do not know to which group I belong.
2) When the baby is formed in its mother’s womb, an Angel asks Allah Ta’ala: ‘Should I record him fortunate or unfortunate.’
My constant worry is: Have I been recorded fortunate or unfortunate.
3) When the Angel takes possession of man’s rooh, he asks: ‘Should I assign this soul to the group of Muslim or Kaafir souls?’
I do not know what answer the Angel will receive regarding my rooh.
This is my constant fear.
4) It will be commanded in Qiyaamat:
“Become separated (from the pious ones) today, O transgressors!”
I constantly worry in this regard because I do not know into which group I shall be assigned.”
“The heaviest deed in the Scale on the day of Qiyaamah will be the deed which was most difficult on earth.”
Once a man stayed for some time in the company of Hadhrat Ibrahim. When the man was about to depart he said:
“If there is any fault in me, tell me.”
Hadhrat Ibrahim said:
“I did not see any fault in you because I had always viewed you with love. You should therefore put this question to someone else.”
An Aalim requested some advice. Hadhrat Ibrahim said:
“Stay like a tail. Don’t be like a head. The head is cut off and the tail is left.”
A man complained of inability to rise for Tahajjud Salaat. Hadhrat Ibrahim said:
“Don’t disobey Allah Ta’ala during the day. To stand in the presence of Allah at night is a great honour. A disobedient man does not qualify for this honour.”
A well-known claim of the Sْfiyah is that a person is deprived of Tahajjud Salaat because of committing sins.
There are different views regarding the year of his death. According to Hafiz Bin Hajar, Hadhrat Ibrahim passed away in the year 162 Hijri; according to Sam-ani, in 161 Hijri. From this it appears that he died in Shaam 25 or 26 years before his Shaikh, Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyadh. His age was 102 years.
On the occasion of his demise, a voice was heard exclaiming:
الآن امام الارض قد مات
“Now the Imaam of the world has died.”
His grave is said to be in Shaam (Syria). Some say that it is in Madinah Munawwarah.
Hadhrat Shaikh Ibrahim Bin Adham (rahmatullah alayh) had two Khulafaa – Khwajah Shaqeeq Balkhi and Huzaifah Al-Mur’ashi. The latter will now be discussed.
His title is Sadeedud Deen. At the age of seven he was already a Hafiz (Expert) of the seven Qira’ts. At the age of 16 after completing the acquisition of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah (academic knowledge) he linked up with Hadhrat Ibrahim Adham by means of the guidance of Hadhrat Khidhr (alayhis salaam). Within six months he achieved perfection in Sulook. He is an author of many books on Sulook.
He would eat only after six days as a rule and say:
“The nourishment of those who have hearts is
. لآ إله إلا الله
Crying was dominant in him. When asked: “Why do you cry so much? Do you not believe in the grace and mercy of Allah?”, he responded:
“A group will be in Jannat and a group will be in Jahannam.”
I do not know in which group I shall be.”
It was said: “If this is your condition, why do you make bay’t of others?”
On hearing, this Hadhrat Huzaifah drew a long sigh and fell down unconscious. When he regained his conscious, a voice from the ghaib (unknown and unseen realm), which everyone heard, conveyed the glad tidings of Jannat for him. It is said that on hearing this voice 300 kaafirs accepted Islam.
Hadhrat Huzaifah said:
“If someone takes an oath and says that my (referring to himself) deeds do not resemble the deeds of a man who believes in Qiyaamah, I will say: ‘You have spoken the truth. You don’t have to discharge kaffaarah for the oath.”
“The best virtue is to remain at home. If I had some excuse for not going out for Fardh Salaat, I would have availed myself thereof and remain always at home.”
According to the popular view, Hadhrat Huzaifah (rahmatullah alayh) passed away on either 14th or 24th Shawwaal 206 Hijri. Sha’raani says that he died in 207 Hijri.
He had several Khulafaa, the most famous being Khwajah Hubairah Basri (rahmatullah alayh). It is said that Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullah alayh) was also among his Khulafa.
Most Masha-ikh write his name only as Hubairah. Some say Abu Hubairah. His title was Ameenud Deen. He was born in Basrah in the year 167 Hijri. By the age of 17 he was an Aalim, Faadhil and Hafiz of the Qur’aan. Mujaahadah was his habit from an early age. He would recite two Qur’aan Majeed daily.
After striving for 30 years, he cried profusely, for he believed himself to be a failure in the spiritual path. A voice from the ghaib gave him the glad tidings of Jannat and he was instructed to join the company of Khwajah Al-Mar’ashi to learn Faqeeri (i.e. Sulook). Since he had already struggled (made mujaahadah) for 30 years, within a week he achieved perfection under Hadhrat Huzaifah Al-Mar’ashi. After a year he was appointed khalifah.
He loved solitude dearly. His entire life was spent in one room. He would cry so much that people thought he would die. He abandoned all delicious foods.
Whenever he intended to probe an issue, he would be apprized thereof by a moment of tawajjuh (spiritual concentration). Knowledge would thus be revealed for him inspirationally.
Hadhrat Hubairah says that when the mantle of khilaafat was conferred to him, the Rooh of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and the Arwaah (souls) of all the Akaabir (Seniors) of Sulook were revealed. All were making dua for him.
Hadhrat Hubairah (rahmatullah alayh) passed away on 7th Shawwaal 287 Hijri. Some have written 279 Hijri. His grave is in Basrah. He reached the age of 120 years.
All Branches of Tasawwuf which emanated from him are called Hubeeriyyaa. He may have had several khulafaa. However, I am aware of only Khwajah Mumshaadi who is a member of our Silsilah. His discussion will now follow.
His title was Karimud Deen Mun’im. Dinwar is a city between the cities of Hamdaan and Baghdaad. He hails from Dinwar. He is known by the title Karimud Deen Mun’im because of his generosity. He was very wealthy. He attended to the requirements of a great number of needy and poor. Afterwards he adopted poverty and went to Makkah Mukarramah.
He acquired perfection in mujaahadah and riyaadhat (spiritual exercises and penances). He was a Hafiz of the Qur’aan and an Imaam in Uloom-e-Zaahiri and Uloom-e-Baatini.
He was honoured with the company (suhbat) of Ibn Jala’ and his seniors. Besides Khwajah Hubairah, he (Hadhrat Mumshad) had acquired Ijaazat (i.e. Khilaafate – Permission to initiate Mureedeen) in several other Silsilah as well.
There is some uncertainty in whether Khwajah Mumshad Dinwari and Khwajah Ilw Dinwari are the same person or two different persons. Since the date of death and other anecdotes attached to both names are identical, it appears that both names refer to the same person. However, on account of the Silsilah attached to the names being different, some claim that these two names refer to different persons. Khwajah Ilw Dinwari is enumerated in the Chishti Silsilah while Khwajah Mumshad Dinwari is said to belong to the Suharwardi Silsilah. However, the first view is more reliable.
He was a perpetual faster. It is said that even during infancy he would sometimes abstain from drinking his mother’s milk. He is therefore called a born wali.
Before becoming bay’t, he was in the suhbat (company) of Hadhrat Khidhr (alayhis salaam) who instructed him to attach himself to a Shaikh. Immediately on becoming bay’t, he was given Ijaazat (appointed Khalifah). His Shaikh cast Tawajjuh on him and made a special dua for him. Simultaneously with the dua Hadhrat Ilw Mumshad became unconscious. He regained conscious only to become unconscious again. After this state (consciousness and unconsciousness) occurred forty times, his Shaikh applied his saliva to Hadhrat Mumshad’s mouth. This completely stabilised him. The Shaikh asked: “Ilw, what did you see?” He said:
“In thirty years of mujaahadah I did not acquire what I gained in a little tawajjuh of the Shaikh.”
Hadhrat Mumshad’s words had a powerful effect on the hearts of people. Once when he saw a few idolaters worshipping an idol, he said:
“Does it not shame you to worship something besides Allah?”
This statement alone constrained the whole group of idolaters to accept Islam. (A person whose words exercise overwhelming influence on the audience is called Saahib-e-Ta’theer).
Some of His Sayings
A man who considers himself significant even while in the company of a buzrug will gain nothing from the advices of that buzrug.
Sitting in the suhbat of the people of rectitude (i.e. the Auliya) produces rectitude in the heart while the company of the people of corruption produces corruption in the heart.
Abandonment of futility is called Tasawwuf. Abandoning things to which the heart inclines is called tawakkul.
Until I had left behind all my knowledge and conditions (spiritual states), I did not go into the company of a buzrug. After I had left my Uloom and Haalaat (spiritual states), I entered into the service of a buzrug and waited in expectation of the barakaat (spiritual blessings and benefits) which are obtainable from his ziyaarat (looking at him) and his discourse. When a man goes with his own spiritual states to a buzrug, then he is deprived of the fuyoodh (spiritual benefits) of that buzrug because of engrossment in his own knowledge.
If you accumulate the wisdom of former and later times and if you claim to possess the spiritual states of the Auliya, you will not reach the rank of the Aarifeen as long as your baatin (spiritual heart) is not at peace with Allah and as long as you lack complete reliance on what has been predestined for you.
The changing conditions (of life on earth) do not influence a man whose goal is Allah Ta’ala.
On one of my journeys I saw a Shaikh from whom the signs of goodness exuded. I requested him for naseehat. He said:
“Keep up your courage and guard it. Courage is the forerunner of a man’s righteous deeds. All acts and states become simple for one whose courage is high.”
In Tabqaat, Imaam Sha’rani says that Khwajah Mumshad (rahmatullah alayh) died in the year 297 Hijri. However, according to the author of Khazeenah 298 Hijri is the unanimous claim of the historians. The author of Anwar records the date as 14th Muharram 299 Hijri which was the era of the reign of the Abbasi Khalifah, Muqtadir Bil-lah. His grave is in Dinwar.
On the occasion of his death, a buzrug who was sitting near to him was making dua for Jannat (i.e. May Allah grant Hadhrat Mumshad Jannat). Hadhrat Mumshad laughed and said:
“For 30 years Jannat with all its adornments appeared before me, but I did not take a proper look at it even once. I yearn for the Master of Jannat.”
Khwajah Abu Muhammad, Khwajah Abu Ahmad Baghdaadi, Khwajah Abu Ishaq and Khwajah Isti’dad Ahmad Dinwari are his khulafaa. Among them Khwajah Abu Ishaq is a member of our Shajarah.
His title was Sharfud Deen or Sharifud Deen. He was an embodiment of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah and Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah. He was born in the town of Chisht. He was a great Zaahid. He would eat only after seven days. He would say that the pleasure and taste obtainable in hunger are not experienced in other things. He also said that the Mi’raaj of the Fuqara is hunger.
When he contemplated to become bay’t he made Istikhaara for 40 days in succession. He then heard a voice saying:
“If you desire to reach the destination, go to Mumshad Dinwari.”
The name Chishtiyyah for our Silsilah initially gained recognition from his time. After him, another four Masha-ikh were also from Chisht. It is for this reason that the name, Chishtiyyah attained fame.
When his Shaikh, Khwajah Mumshad asked his name, he replied: “Abu Ishaq Shami.” The Shaikh said: ‘From today you will be known as Abu Ishaq Chishti because the people of Chisht will acquire guidance from you and your Silsilah will be known as Chishtiyyah until the day of Qiyaamah.’
His karaamaat are peculiarly significant. Whoever had the good fortune of sitting in his majlis (gathering), would not again commit sins.
Sick persons entering his majlis would be cured. When he contemplated going on a journey, a hundred or two hundred people would accompany him. He would close his eyes and in moments be at his destination with his entire entourage.
Once during a drought, the king came to Hadhrat Abu Ishaq and requested him to make dua. Hadhrat cast his tawajjuh and the rain came. When the king came the next day again with some need of his, Hadhrat Abu Ishaq wept. The king asked the reason for his grief. Hadhrat replied:
“The frequency of the king’s visits puts in me the fear that I have committed some sin, hence association with the affluent has increased so much resulting in a corresponding decrease in my association with the poor. I fear that suddenly my end comes in the company of the wealthy and not with the masaakeen (the poor).”
He passed away on 14th Rabiuth Thaani 329 Hijri. His grave is in Akkah which is on the borders of Shaam. His khulafaa are Khwajah Abu Ahmad Abdal, Khwajah Abu Muhammad, Khwajah Tajuddeen and others. The first one, namely, Khwajah Abu Ahmad Abdal, will now be discussed.
His title was Qudwatud Deen. By birth he was a Sayyid Hasani (i.e. of the progeny of Hadhrat Hasan – radhiyallahu anhu). His father’s name was Sultan Farsanafah. He was born in Chisht on 6th Ramadhaan 260 Hijri. His outward appearance and handsomeness were incomparable. His face glittered so much that it will not be an exaggeration to say that it lit up the darkness.
Khwajah Abu Ishaq would often visit Sultan Farsanafah. One day he told Sultan’s sister that you will be having a nephew. Take well care of your brother. Do not permit a doubtful (mushtabah) morsel of food to enter his mouth. Accordingly, she went to great lengths to ensure this. Finally, Abu Ahmad was born during the reign of the Abbasi Khalifah, Mu’tasim Bil-lah. From the age of 7 he started to frequent Khwajah Abu Ishaq.
He acquired both Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah and Baatiniyyah from Khwajah Abu Ishaq. At the age of 16 after completing his pursuit of academic knowledge, he became bay’t to Khwajah Abu Ishaq. According to some accounts he was initiated as a mureed at the age of 13.
Once while with his father on a hunting trip, he lost the way in a mountain range. He was left alone. Inspite of his efforts, he could not find the road. After trudging a considerable distance he suddenly saw Khwajah Abu Ishaq sitting with 40 Auliya standing in his presence. Abu Ahmad fell at the feet of Khwajah Abu Ishaq and remained with him.
After a few days it was discovered that Abu Ahmad is with Khwajah Abu Ishaq on a certain mountain. The king sent people to bring him back. Although they tried to persuade him to return home, he refused. As a result of the spiritual transformation he underwent, he chose the rigorous and austere life on the mountain. After extreme mujaahadah for eight years, he acquired the mantle of khilaafate. It is said that for 30 years he never slept on a bed.
By a gaze of Hadhrat Abu Ahmad, a man could be transformed into a performer of karaamat.
His father was the owner of a liquor store which stocked vintage wines. During Hadhrat Abu Ahmad’s childhood he once went into the store. He closed the door and broke all the liquor vats. His father was informed of the destruction being wrought to his expensive wines. Since he could not enter the locked premises, he climbed the roof and from there shouted furious threats in a bid to prevent the child from further destruction. But Abu Ahmad ignored the threat. His father in desperation hurled a large stone which remained suspended in mid-air. His father was amazed. Realising his error he repented at the hands of his child and gave up his liquor.
Once he journeyed through an area occupied by only kuffaar. There was no Muslim living in the surroundings. This particular community of kuffaar was extremely hostile to Muslims. If a Muslim ventured into their settlement, it was their practise to torture and set the Muslim alight. Although they assaulted Hadhrat Abu Ahmad, they did not have the courage to set him alight. The Shaikh told them not to worry as he, himself would fall into the fire. A fire had already been prepared. Throwing his musalla on the fire, he entered it. As Hadhrat entered, the fire instantaneously died out. The kuffaar, in their amazement, began to venerate him. Hundreds accepted Islam on this occasion.
It was his regular practice to complete one Qur’aan during the day and two during the night.
Although he was aware of spiritual mysteries, he would not divulge these. According to the unanimous claim of the Auliya of his time, he was a Qutub and an Abdaal.
He would not accept gifts and he abstained from delicious food and fine garments.
His death was on 3rd Jamaadil Ukhraa 355 Hijri. His grave is in Chisht. Among his Khulafaa are Khwajah Abu Muhammad and Khwajah Khuda Bandah.
His title was Waliyud Deen or Naasihud Deen. He was a born wali. During his mother’s pregnancy, the sound of Thikrullah could be heard from her body. He was a Sayyid, being a descendent of Hadhrat Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). He was born in Muharram 331 Hijri. At the time of birth he recited the Kalimah seven times. Even while being breast-fed, he engaged in Thikrullah. In infancy he would raise his eyes upwards to the heavens at the five Salaat times and recite the Kalimah in abundance. When a non-Muslim would come to witness this phenomenon, he would accept Islam. His father had gained the mantle of khilaafate from Khwajah Abu Ahmad.
At the age of 7 he became bay’t and until the age of 12 he lived alone in a room. Every day he fasted. He practised mujaahadah excessively.
Once at the river bank while he was patching his shawl, the king arrived and gave him a bag full of dinars (gold coins) which Hadhrat refused to accept. When the king insisted that he accepts the gift, Hadhrat said that accepting gifts was not the way of his seniors, hence he too would not accept. When the king persisted, Hadhrat Muhammad turned his gaze to the river and immediately shoals of fish surfaced, each holding a dinar in its mouth. The fish swam towards the river bank where Hadhrat was. Hadhrat Shaikh said:
“When a man has at his disposal such a vast treasure, what value will he attach to your bag?”
Khwajah Abu Muhammad’s sister too was extremely pious. She was perpetually engrossed in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala, hence she had no inclination for marriage. Once Khwajah Abu Muhammad said to her:
“Sister, it has been decreed that a son will be born to you. This son will be the Qutubul Aqtaab. Therefore do get married.”
But because of her engrossment in thikrullah, she refused. After a few days she saw in a dream her father giving her the same instruction. Muhammad Sam’an with whom her nikah was destined also saw a similar dream. Even Khwajah Abu Muhammad saw this dream. Finally, the nikah was performed in the morning. Khwajah Abu Yusuf who is the Khalifah of Shaikh Abu Muhammad was born of this union.
At the age of 70 years he was divinely inspired to join Sultan Mahmْd Ghaznawi in the Jihaad against Somnath (in India). Taking a few Mureedeen with, he joined in the battle field.
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 4th Rabiul Awwal or in the beginning of Rajab in the year 411 Hijri at the age of 80. His grave is in Chisht.
Khwajah Abu Yusuf, Khwajah Muhammad Kaku and Khwajah Ustad Marwan were his khulafaa. We shall now discuss Khwajah Abu Yusuf.
Through thirteen ancestral links his lineage reaches Hadhrat Imaam Husain (radhiyallahu anhu). He was born in Chisht. Nasirud Deen is his title. His maternal uncle, Khwajah Abu Muhammad Chishti conferred the mantle of Khilaafat to him.
One day Hadhrat Abu Yusuf was walking in the extreme heat with a group of his companions who were overcome by thirst. Water was not available anywhere. Hadhrat struck a rock with his staff and a fountain began bubbling. Hadhrat and his companions drank of this water.
He grieved much because he was not a Hafiz of the Qur’aan. On one occasion when the grief was extreme he saw his Shaikh in the spiritual realm (Aalam-e-Waaqiah). His Shaikh instructed him to recite Surah Faatihah 100 times for elimination of the grief. As he completed the 100th recitation of Surah Faatihah, miraculously he became a Hafiz of the Qur’aan. Thereafter, he would daily complete the Qur’aan several times.
Once when Hadhrat Shaikh was on a journey he came to a place called Kang where a durwaish was living. Hadhrat was his guest. At night the durwaish’s daughter dreamt that the full moon came into her lap. In the morning she related her dream to her father who went to Hadhrat Shaikh for an interpretation. However, before he could explain the dream, Hadhrat Shaikh Abu Yusuf informed the durwaish of the dream and presented its interpretation. The durwaish performed the nikah of his pious daughter to Hadhrat Shaikh. Maudood Chishti whose discussion will follow next, was born of this union.
Once he became a bit lax in his ibaadat. As a penance for having committed negligence in ibaadat he abstained from drinking water for 20 years.
He had set aside a small enclosure in his house and for 12 years he remained therein in solitude.
Once he passed by a Musjid which was under construction. A roof beam which had been purchased was too short. There was no way of solving the problem. When this was explained to Hadhrat Shaikh, he dismounted from his horse and climbed onto the Musjid’s roof. He then took hold of one side of the beam. The people were amazed and bewildered because the beam was now found to be a metre longer.
According to the majority, Khwajah Sayyid Abu Yusuf died on 3rd Rajab 459 Hijri. However, some have said that he died in the beginning of Jamaadil Ukhraa while others again say, 1st Jamaadil Ula. 4th Rabiul Aakhir has also been claimed. His grave is in Chisht. His age was 84 years.
When the time for his maut was near, he appointed his son, Khwajah Maudood as his representative. Khwajah Abdullah Ansari is also among his Khulafaa.
His titles are Qutubul Aqtab and Qutbud Deen. He is also known by the titles Shama’ Sufiyan (The Candle of the Sufis) and Chiragh-e-Chishtiyan (The Lamp of the Chishtis).
He was born in the year 430 Hijri and was a Husaini Sayyid. His father was Khwajah Abu Yusuf from whom he had received the mantle of Khilaafate.
By the age of 7 years he was a Hafiz of the Qur’aan and at 16 he had completed the course of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah. It was during this time (after completion of his academic career) that he wrote the kitaabs, Minhajul Aarifeen and Khulasatush Shariat.
When he was 29 years, his father died. He discharged the right of his father’s office commendably in guiding mankind. So numerous were the people who flocked to him for spiritual and moral guidance that his khulafaa alone numbered ten thousand while his mureedeen were countless.
He had acquired the miracle of Tay’ul Ardh (i.e. to traverse great distances in moments). When he wished to perform tawaaf, he would in moments be miraculously in Makkah Mukarramah.
He associated much with the Fuqara, never wearing beautiful garments. The degree of his tawaadhu (humility) was exceptionally lofty in perfection. He was always the first to initiate Salaam and he would stand in honour of every person.
He had also acquired the capabilities known as Kashf-e-Quloob (Revelation of the hearts) and Kashf-e-Quboor (Revelation of the graves). Once a prince came to him and requested for some tabarruk (any item of the Shaikh). Shaikh Madood refused. The prince brought along a few sincere persons to intercede for him. Thus, the Shaikh presented the prince a topi. But he added: “Guard it otherwise you will regret.” On his return the prince became engrossed in his play and amusement. When the Shaikh discovered this, he said:
“What, did the topi not perform its function?”
After a few days, the prince was arrested for some crime and his eyes were taken out.
It is impossible to enumerate Khwajah Maudood’s Khulafaa. For the sake of barkat, a few are mentioned hereunder.
Khwajah Abu Ahmad, Khwajah Shareef Zandani, Shah Sanjan, Shaikh Abu Naseer Shakeeban, Shaikh Hasan Tibti, Shaikh Ahmad Baderoon, Khwajah Sabz Paush, Shaikh Uthman Awwal and Khwajah Abul Hasan. Among them, the link in this (Chishti) Silsilah is Khwajah Shareef Zandani who will soon be discussed.
Shaikh Maudood passed away in the beginning of Rajab 427 Hijri at the age of 97 years. His first Janaazah Salaat was performed by invisible (ghaib) men. Thereafter the general public performed the Janaazah Salaat. After the Janaazah Salaat, the Janaazah of its own accord, moved in mid-air. Seeing this miraculous event of Khwajah Maudood, numerous people accepted Islam.
His grave is in Chisht.
His title was Neerud Deen. He was born in the year 492 Hijri in the town of Zandanah. He received the mantle of Khilaafate from Hadhrat Shaikh Khwajah Maudood Chishti.
He stayed in a forest for 40 years, fleeing from people. He subsisted on the leaves of trees and whatever he could find in the forest. He loved poverty and starvation. He would break fast only after three days. When he ate food, it was only saltless vegetables.
Once a faqeer came and informed Hadhrat with great humility that he had seven daughters, but no means of support whatsoever. He sought Hadhrat’s advice regarding the marriage of his daughters. Hadhrat said that he would arrange some plan the following day. On the way back, the faqeer met a kaafir who initiated a conversation. The faqeer mentioned his meeting with Hadhrat Shaikh and what had transpired. The kaafir commented that since the Shaikh himself was a faqeer, he would not be able to arrange anything. The kaafir added: “Tell him that if he works for me for seven years, I will give him seven thousand dinars.”
The Faqeer reported this offer to Hadhrat Shaikh Shareef who and he accepted. He went with the faqeer to the kaafir. He prevailed on the kaafir to give the seven thousand dinars to the faqeer in lieu of the service which the Shaikh had agreed on. When the king heard of this incident, he immediately sent a gift of seven thousand dinars to Hadhrat Shaikh. But, the Shaikh distributed the king’s gift among the fuqara and said that his contract with the kaafir stipulated employment, not monetary compensation. When the kaafir saw this steadfast, independent and honourable attitude of Hadhrat, he was astonished and he immediately released him from the contract. Hadhrat made the following dua for the kaafir:
“You have set me free from your prison. May Allah set you free from Jahannum.”
This statement exercised a profound influence on the heart of the kaafir who, there and then, accepted Islam. He stayed in the service of Hadhrat Shaikh pursuing the knowledge of Sulook.
Once a follower presented a gift. However, Hadhrat Shaikh refused, saying that he had no need of it. Pointing towards the forest (where they were at the time), Hadhrat said: “This forest is full of it (i.e. gold which was presented as a gift).”
When the man looked, he saw a stream of gold flowing.
It is said that whoever ate any food left over by Hadhrat, would become a Majzْb.
Crying was dominant in him. He would often let out a scream and cry, then lapse into unconsciousness. Once when someone asked him to explain his abundance of crying, he said:
“I am unable to contain myself when I think of the aayat:
‘I have not created jinn and man (for any purpose) except that they worship Me.’
While I have been created for Allah’s ibaadat, I am occupied with others.”
His demise was on either the 3rd or 10th Rajab 612 Hijri at the age of 120 years. According to some, his grave is in Qunooh. Others say, in Zandanah. It is also said that he is buried in Shaam. His well-known Khalifah is Uthman Harْni who will now be discussed.
His title was Abun Nْr or Abul Mansْr. He was born in the town Harْn in the year 526 Hijri. He had excelled in the knowledge of both Shariat and Tariqat. He was a Hafiz of the Qur’aan. He would recite a Qur’aan a day. He lived in Harْn which is in the district of Nishapْr. He adopted Mujaahadah for 70 years, never eating to satiation in all this time. He would drink a mouthful of water only after seven days.
When appointing him a khalifah, his Shaikh placed on his head a topi of four sections and said:
“This symbolizes four renunciations. Renunciation of the world, renunciation of the Aakhirah except Allah Ta’ala, renunciation of sleep and renunciation of nafsaani desires.”
Hadhrat spent the greater part of his life in travelling. Once he passed through a city of fire-worshippers. A huge fire had been lit. Hadhrat sent his khaadim to bring some fire for preparing food, but the people refused, saying that the fire is for worship, hence it was not permissible according to their religion to give any of the fire.
Hadhrat went to them and explained that the fire is not worthy of worshipping and that only Allah Ta’ala, The Sole Creator should be worshipped. Fire itself is a creation. He told them that by worshipping the fire, it will burn them (on the Day of Qiyaamah). But, if they refrained from worshipping it, the fire will not burn them on the Day of Qiyaamah. They retorted:
“You do not worship the fire. So enter it and prove that it will not burn you.”
Hadhrat made wudhu and performed two raka’ts Salaat. Then taking the chief’s little child went into the fire. He remained two hours inside the fire which did not affect even the little child. This type of action is called Wilaayah Ibrahimi which means the execution of the act as a reflection of Hadhrat Nabi Ibrahim’s (alayhis salaam) Mu’jizah. All the fire-worshippers present, together with their chief, accepted Islam. The chief was named Abdullah and his son Ibrahim. They joined the company of Hadhrat Shaikh.
Khwajah Muinud Deen says that once he was on a journey with Hadhrat Uthman Harْni. When they reached a river, there was no boat to take them across. Hadhrat Shaikh instructed him to close his eyes. After a few moments Khwajah Muinud Deed was told to open his eyes. He saw that they had already crossed the river and were on the other side.
A man came to Hadhrat Shaikh saying that his son had disappeared for a long time and was untraceable. He, therefore, requested Hadhrat for dua. Hadhrat went into muraaqabah (meditation) for a short while, and said:
“Your son has arrived home.”
When he returned home, he was astonished to see his son. Immediately, he brought his son to Hadhrat Shaikh to express his gratitude. It transpired that the son had been held a prisoner on an island. He narrated:
“At this time suddenly a saintly man looking like Hadhrat Harْni appeared and told me to put my feet on his feet and to close my eyes. After a few moments he instructed me to open my eyes. When I opened my eyes, I was at home.”
In one day and night, Hadhrat Harْni had delivered Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen to the goal of Sulook, i.e. he attained (Divine Proximity). (The high degree of Divine Proximity which is the goal is known as Wusool ilallaah.)
Hadhrat Shaikh said that a man who has in him these three characteristics may regard himself to be Allah’s friend:
1) Generosity like the sea
2) Affection like the sun.
3) Humility like the ground.
According to Khwajah Muinud Deen, once Hadhrat Harْni was present at the burial of a spiritual brother (i.e. mureed of the same Shaikh). After burial, the people spread out while Hadhrat remained there for some time. The state of the Qabar’s inmate was revealed to him. The Angels of Athaab (Punishment) approached the inmate of the grave because of a certain crime he had committed. Khwajah Uthman Harْni said to the Angels that he (the inmate of the grave) is one of his associates. As a result of his intercession the mayyit was saved from punishment.
Hadhrat Harْni died on the 5th Shawwaal 617 Hijri. There are other conflicting versions of the year of his demise as well. He is buried in Makkah Mukarramah. He had four famous khulafaa, viz. Khwajah Muinud Deen Ajmeri, Khwajah Najmuddin Sughra, Shaikh Sْri Mangohi and Khwajah Muhammad Turk. In Hindustan the first link of the Chishti Chains is Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen who will now be discussed.
His father’s name was Ghiyathud Deen Sanjari. He was born in the year 537 Hijri according to the consensus of the historians. His birthplace is in the town of Sanjar which is in the Irani province of Seetaan.
He is the Imaam of Tasawwuf of Hindustan. The commencement of Uloom-e-Ma’rifat in Hindustan was with Khwajah Muinud Deen. The Silsilah of the Chishtiyyah spread in Hindustan with the advent of Khwajah Muinud Deen.
There are eleven ancestral links between him and Hadhrat Imaam Husain (radhiyallahu anhu). His excellences and virtues constitute a limitless ocean. His gaze was sufficient to transform a man into a Saahib-e-Ma’rifat. He had gained perfection in both Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah and Baatiniyyah. His father passed away when he was 15 years old.
He had inherited an orchard from his father. He would occupy himself to the care and development of the orchard. One day while occupied in the orchard, a Majzْb by the name Ibrahim Quhanzari approached him. Hadhrat Muinud Deen honoured the Majzْb and presented some fruit to him. Ibrahim Majzْb, after chewing some of the fruit, gave it to Hadhrat Khwajah. As Hadhrat Khwajah ate the fruit, a Nْr appeared in the orchard. A profound transformation took place in him. His heart turned completely away from the world and a special strong yearning for Allah Ta’ala consumed him.
He sold the orchard and distributed the proceeds to the fuqarah. He set off on a journey, reaching first Samarqand where he engrossed himself in Hifz of the Qur’aan and the acquisition of academic Shar’i knowledge. After this accomplishment he travelled to Iraq. He reached the town of Harْn and became bay’t to Hadhrat Uthman Harْni. By virtue of Hadhrat Shaikh’s tawajjuh he attained perfection in Sulook in a single day. He stayed 20 years in the service of his Shaikh.
Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat, Maulana Shah Ashraf Ali writes in his Malfoothaat:
“I have read the stories of the Auliya of former times. It is apparent that their condition and style were not like that of the majority of Masha-ikh of today. These (present-day) Masha-ikh do not consider obedience to the Shariah a requisite for Wusool ilallaah (Attainment of Divine Proximity). In fact, they believe Shariat and Tariqat to be two separate entities. On the contrary, the state of Taqwa, tahaarah and ittibaa-e-Sunnat (obedience to the Sunnah) of the former Masha-ikh resembles that of the Sahaabah.
It is narrated that once Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen Chishti (rahmatullah alayh) while making wudhu forgot to make khilaal of his fingers. A voice from the Ghaib (Unseen Realm) reprimanded:
“You claim love for the Rasool, but abandon the Sunnat of the Rasool!”
He immediately repented. Whenever he saw a fire, he would shiver with fear because of the feeling that on the day of Qiyaamah he may be punished for having omitted the Sunnat (of Khilaal). Thus, the condition of those Masha-ikh regarding obedience to the Sunnah was similar to the state of the Sahaabah.”
His Shaikh leaving him in charge of his Wilaayat of Hindustan (i.e. his spiritual kingdom), went for Hajj.
After returning from his Shaikh, he met and derived benefit from the famous Masha-ikh, Shaikh Najmuddin Kubra and Hadhrat Ghauthul A’zam Muhyud Deen Abdul Qadir Jilani and others. Thereafter he settled in Hindustan.
Hadhrat Shaikh’s karaamaat are numerous and beyond the scope of this concise treatise. Once during his travels he went to Heraat where lived a hostile Shiah chief. His hostility and hatred were so much that he would put to death any person who adopted the name Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. Hadhrat Shaikh had to pass by this Shiah’s orchard. Hadhrat went and sat by the side of the pond. The Shiah appeared in a furious state and contemplated to severely punish Hadhrat Shaikh. But when Hadhrat glanced at him, he fell down unconscious. After a short while, Hadhrat Shaikh sprinkled some of the pond’s water on him. When the Shiah came to his senses he was a transformed man. He was now a staunch follower. Along with his associates he became bay’t to Hadhrat. Hadhrat also conferred the mantle of khilaafate to him. Hadhrat refused to accept a large sum which the chief presented as a gift, commenting:
“This wealth does not belong to you. You have no right in it.”
Along this journey many other karaamat were demonstrated. He would meet all the Masha-ikh of different places along the route. Finally, on the 10th Muharram 561 Hijri he reached Ajmer. The first person who became his mureed in Ajmer was Mir Sayyid Husain who originally was a Shiah. He abandoned Shi’ism, became bay’t to Hadhrat Muinud Deen and attained lofty spiritual accomplishments. Thereafter, thousands of people entered the Silsilah.
He had in fact come to Hindustan on the instruction of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). It is obvious that he chose Ajmer on this instruction. The story pertaining to this episode is famous and lengthy. It shall, however, be narrated here in brief.
When Hadhrat Muinud Deen arrived, he sat down somewhere on the outskirts of Ajmer. The royal camelherd informed him that this was the sanctuary of the king’s camels, hence he should leave. Hadhrat left and sat down by a lake named Ranasagar. Meanwhile the king’s camels sat down and could not get up. The camelherd informed the king, Raja Parthuraj of this incident. The king said that there was no option other than to go to the dervish, fall at his feet and apologise. The king himself suffered many set-backs. Every magician he called to combat Hadhrat Shaikh, not only failed, but became Hadhrat’s mureed.
Hadhrat slaughtered a cow near to the pond, Ranasagar. The kuffaar attacked him, but failed miserably in their attempt to harm him. The people then went to their holy man to solicit his aid. He resorted several times to magic, but failed miserably against Hadhrat Shaikh. Seeing this, the Hindu holy man also embraced Islam. Finally, having been rendered impotent, the king gave up his opposition. Hadhrat Shaikh then came to live among the people.
For seventy years Hadhrat never slept at night. It is impossible to enumerate his excellences. The best testimony of his excellence is that his Shaikh was proud of having initiated him as a mureed.
Hadhrat Khwajah Qutbud Deen narrates:
“I lived in Hadhrat’s service for 20 years. Hadhrat never refused anyone. Whenever someone came to ask anything, Hadhrat would put his hand under his musalla and hand to the person whatever had been decreed for him.
In 20 years I never saw Hadhrat becoming angry.”
Hadhrat Muinud Deen said:
The sign of Allah’s ma’rifat is to flee from people.
The ibaadat of the Ahl-e-Ma’rifat is Paas Anfaas (Thikr by a breathing exercise) and the sign of an unfortunate man is that inspite of involvement in disobedience, he believes himself to be maqbool (an accepted friend of Allah Ta’ala).
For twenty years while in the service of Hadhrat Shaikh (Khwajah Harْni) I never allowed my nafs any respite. I did not distinguish between night and day. When Hadhrat Shaikh paid attention to my service, he conferred limitless favours on me. I am unable to explain the abundance of favours.
Whatever is acquired is by way of khidmat (service to the Shaikh).
When someone asked:
“When does the mureed become steadfast?”, Hadhrat Muinud Deen responded:
“When the Angel has not recorded any sin of the mureed for twenty years.”
He passed away during the reign of Sultanush Shams. According to the majority of historians his date of demise is Sunday 6th Rajab. Some claim that it is 30th Thil-Hajj. There is considerable conflict regarding the year in which he passed away. 632, 633, 636 and 637 Hijri are contended. There is conflict regarding his age as well. Some say that his age was 96 years. Other versions are 104 and 107. His grave is in Ajmer. His Khulafaa are innumerable. There are 13 or 14 famous ones. These names appear in other voluminous books.
Hadhrat Shaikh is among the Akaabir Auliya. He was Mustajaabud Da’waat (i.e. one whose duas are readily accepted). His lineage links up with Hadhrat Imaam Ja’far Sadiq (rahmatullah alayh). He was born in the town of Aush in the year 582 Hijri. This town is situated in Tajikstan. He was born during the middle of the night. However, on account of an abundance of anwaar (celestial light) accompanying his birth, people thought day had commenced.
When he was one and a half years old, his father Sayyid Kamaluddin Ahmad Bin Sayyid Mْsa passed away. When he was five years, his mother sent him with a neighbour to a Muallim (Deeni teacher). Along the way they met a buzrug who asked: “Where are you taking this lad?” When he was told that the boy was being taken to the maktab, he said:
“Leave him with me. I shall entrust him to a Muallim.”
The neighbour left the child with the buzrug who took him to Khwajah Abu Hafs Aushi. The buzrug said to Khwajah Abu Hafs:
“It is the command of Ahkamul Haakimeen that you teach this lad with great care.”
The buzrug then left. Hadhrat Ustad putting a hand of affection on the lad’s head said:
“You are most fortunate. Hadhrat Khidhr (alayhis salaam) has entrusted you to me.”
It is said that when Khwajah Qutbud Deen reached Aush he was 4 years and 4 months old. He was brought to Hadhrat Shaikh for Deeni Ta’leem. As Hadhrat took the slate to write something, he was informed by a voice that the academic knowledge of Khwajah Qutbud Deen has been entrusted to Qadhi Hamidud Deen Nagori. Hadhrat Shaikh therefore put down the slate. He then completed the Qur’aan Majeed under Qadhi Hamidud Deen.
This episode is briefly referred to in Ta’limuddin. It is written that a voice of an unseen being (Haatif) instructed Qadhi Hamidud Deen to close his eyes. Within moments he reached the place where the boy Qutbud Deen was. Taking the slate he said:
“O Qutbud Deen! What should I write?”
The four year old boy said:
Qadhi Sahib in astonishment asked him about his knowledge of the Qur’aan. The boy replied: “I have memorised 15 Paras by my mother.”
Within four days he learnt the other 15 Paras under Qadhi Hamidud Deen. Furthermore, he accomplished the acquisition of his academic knowledge in a very short period of time.
As he approached buloogh (maturity), he developed an intense desire for Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah. He therefore entered into the company of Khwajah Muinud Deen. On the 5th Rajab he took bay’t in Musjid Abul Laith. At the age of 17, the mantle of khilaafate was conferred to him. He is the very first khalifah of Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen. On the instruction of his Shaikh, he took up residence in Delhi.
When Hadhrat Qutbud Deen Bakhtiyar Kaki took up residence in Delhi he would not accept any gift from anyone. He remained mustaghraq (completely absorbed in divine contemplation which made him oblivious of his surroundings). During these days he had no servant to tend to the needs of the house. Sharfud Deen, a Muslim shop-owner was his neighbour. Sometimes Sharfud Deen’s wife visited Hadhrat Shaikh’s wife.
At times there was absolutely nothing to eat in the house. On one such occasion, Hadhrat’s wife acquired a very small loan from the neighbour’s wife – just sufficient for some food. One day this woman said to Hadhrat’s wife:
“If I had not given you the loan, you would have starved to death.”
This statement hurt Hadhrat’s wife who resolved never again to ask for a loan.
Sometime thereafter she informed Hadhrat Shaikh of this incident. After a brief pause, Hadhrat said:
“You should not borrow anything from this woman.”
Pointing to a shelf, Hadhrat Shaikh said:
“When in need, recite Bismillah and take cake from it and distribute it to whomever you wish.”
Thereafter, she would always do so – taking from the shelf and distributing it. Whenever she placed her hand on the shelf, cake would be present miraculously.
It is for this reason that his title, Kaki became so famous.
In Aalam-e-Arwah, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said to Khwajah Muinud Deen that Qutbud Deen is Allah’s friend and the mantle of khilaafate should be conferred to him. The spiritual kingdom (wilaayat) of Delhi was also assigned to Hadhrat Qutbud Deen by the command of Allah Ta’ala.
Once during his stay in Delhi he went to Ajmer (to stay at his Shaikh’s khaanqah). The people of Delhi were grieved considerably by this separation. After appealing to Hadhrat Muinud Deen, he was sent back.
Beside his other ma’mulaat (acts of ibaadat), he would every night recite 3000 times Durood Shareef. When he married, he was unable to keep up this ma’mool (of Durood) for about two or three nights. His servant, Anees Ahmad, saw in a dream a beautiful palace. A huge gathering was outside the palace, but no one was entering. However, there was a buzrug of short physical stature who was going in and out. It transpired that Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) was inside the palace. This buzrug was Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ْd (radhiyallahu anhu). He would carry the messages of the outsiders into the palace. Anees Ahmad (the servant) expressed a desire for ziyaarat, hence he sought permission to enter. From the palace it was said:
“You are not yet worthy of ziyaarat. However convey Salaams to Qutbud Deen and inform him that for three days his gift had not arrived.”
Another ma’mool of Hadhrat was 100 raka’ts Nafl Salaat daily. He was generally in the state of Istighraaq (absorbed in divine love). When someone came to visit him, he would only become aware of the person’s presence after some time. He had performed many karaamaat.
Once when he heard a man reciting the following couplet
he lapsed into the state of Sukr for four days and on the fifth day he died.
Those slain by the dagger of Ridha and tasleem are granted a new life everytime.
(Ridha is to be pleased and happy with the decrees of Allah Ta’ala. Tasleem is complete submission to the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.)
Khwajah Shamsud Deen Altamush, the Sultan of Delhi gave the ghusl. Thereafter, Hadhrat’s khalifah, Khwajah Abu Saeed Tabrezi read out Hadhrat’s wasiyyat. In his wasiyyat was written:
“My Janaazah Salaat should be performed by the person who never committed a haraam act (with a female), who never missed the Sunnat raka’ts of Asr and who never missed Takbeer-e-عla of Jamaat Salaat.”
Hearing these conditions, a silence fell on the crowd. After some time, the Sultan stepped forward and said:
“I desired my condition to remain concealed, but Hadhrat Shaikh has exposed it.”
Hadhrat Aqdas Thanwi has narrated this episode in the following way:
“Hadhrat Shaikh had made a wasiyyat stating that his Janaazah Salaat should be performed by a man who never cast a gaze on a ghair mahram in his entire life. Great people (Ulama, Masha-ikh, etc.) were present, but all were bewildered. Where can such a person be found? Finally, when the people lost hope, Sultan Altamush was constrained to reveal himself. He said: ‘If Hadhrat had not instructed, I would never have exposed myself. However, since the Shaikh, himself has revealed this secret, I have to say that Allah Ta’ala has bestowed this ni’mat to me.’ He then conducted the Shaikh’s Janaazah Salaat.” (Al-Qoulul Jaleel)
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 14th or 24th Rabiul Awwal in the year 633 or 634 Hijri on a Saturday. His grave is in the town of Mahroli.
He had many khulafaa. The names of 22 appear in books. However the Silsilah continued with only three, namely, Khwajah Faridud Deen Shakar Ganj, Shaikh Badrud Deen Ghaznawi and Shah Khidr Qalandarawi. Khwajah Shamsud Deen Altamush, the Sultan of Delhi was also among his famous Khulafaa.
His father was Shaikh Jamalud Deen, the maternal cousin of Sultan Mahmْd Ghaznawi. His name is Mas’ْd and title, Faridud Deen. He was the descendent of Amirul Mu’mineen, Hadhrat Umar Bin Khattaab (radhiyallahu anhu).
He was born in 584 or 585 or 569 Hijri in Kohtwaal which is in the district of Multaan. His grandfather, Qadhi Shuaib migrated from his homeland, Kabul during the era of Halaku, the Mongol, and went to Lahore. Qadhi Mansْr of Lahore, who had acquired his knowledge in Kabul, informed the king in Delhi of the arrival of Qadhi Shuaib. The king offered him a post. However, he declined and went to Multaan. The king instructed the governor of the Multaan province to arrange a fief (land) for Qadhi Shuaib. This was arranged in Kohtwaal where he finally settled.
Shaikh Faridud Deen acquired part of his academic knowledge in the Musjid of Qadhi Minhajud Deen. It was here that he became bay’t to Khwajah Qutbud Deen. He completed his academic career in Kabul.
Hadhrat Shaikh Nizamud Deen says that once while Hadhrat Shaikh Faridud Deen’s mother was performing Salaat, a thief entered. When he gazed at her, he immediately became blind. The thief cried out:
“I came with the intention of stealing and have became blind. I pledge never to steal again.”
At this time Hadhrat’s age was approximately 6 years. He made dua and the man’s sight was restored. In the morning he came with his entire family and accepted Islam. He was named Abdullah. He remained in Hadhrat’s service to the end.
There are several views for him being known by his famous title of Shakar Ganj. When he decided on mujaahadah, his Shaikh advised hunger. He therefore began fasting. After three days a man came and presented some bread. Thinking this to be by divine direction, he accepted and ate the bread. Within a few moments he became nauseous and vomited out whatever he had eaten. He reported this incident to his Shaikh who said:
“After three days you ate the food of a drunkard. Shukr unto Allah that the food did not remain in your stomach. Now remain hungry for another three days and then eat what comes from the Ghaib.”
After three days nothing came. He was overcome by weakness. On account of the extreme hunger he put some pebbles into his mouth. The pebbles turned into sugar. Fearing that this may be some deception, he spat it out. A short while later, the extreme hunger again constrained him to put pebbles into his mouth. These too became sugar which he again spat out. This happened again for a third time. In the morning he reported to his Shaikh who said:
“It would have been good if you had ate it.”
Since that day he was called Shakar Ganj.
According to another version, on the seventh day of hunger he came tottering to his Shaikh. Sand on his mouth had become sugar.
Another explanation is that when he once asked a trader for some sugar, the trader falsely said that he had only salt. Hadhrat said:
“It must be salt.”
When the trader looked, the sugar had become salt. The trader apologised and the salt again became sugar.
Hadhrat Faridud Deen resorted to extreme methods of mujaahadah initially.
Hadhrat Sultanul Masha-ikh said:
“A hair came out from Hadhrat Shaikh’s beard. I requested permission to use the hair in a ta’weez. He granted me permission. I wrapped it in a cloth. When someone became ill, I would give him the ta’weez. When the sick person was cured I retrieved the ta’weez. I observed many benefits of this ta’weez. Once when a friend became ill he asked for the ta’weez. Although I searched much, I could not find it. The friend died. On another occasion when I searched for it in order to give it to another person, I found it on the same shelf where I had left it. I then realised that since the maut of the friend had been ordained for that time, I could not locate the ta’weez.”
Hadhrat Faridud Deen’s spiritual grandfather (his Shaikh’s Shaikh), Hadhrat Muinud Deen spoke in glowing praise of him. Once he said:
“Qutbud Deen has imprisoned a great royal falcon.”
On another occasion he said:
“This is a candle which will brighten the homes of dervishes. He will be the Ghauth and Qutub of his time.”
When Hadhrat Khwajah Qutbud Deen was on his death-bed, he called Hadhrat Faridud Deen and appointed him his representative of his spiritual kingdom.
Hunger was a dominant feature in his life. Many a time even his wife and children had to experience hunger.
His famous statement is:
“When you don the Mantle, know that you have donned the Kafan.”
Once Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen was the guest of Hadhrat Khwajah Qutbud Deen. The beds of both host and guest were in the same room. Khwajah Faridud Deen, according to his normal routine, went at night into the room to press the feet of his Shaikh, Khwajah Qutbud Deen, who signalled to him to press the feet of Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen. After pressing his feet for a few minutes, Khwajah Faridud Deen came to his own Shaikh and said:
“My heart is here. Where else can I go?”
Khwajah Muinud Deen commented:
“Qutbud Deen, at least give him something.”
(This was a reference to the spiritual treasures.)
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 5th of Muharram in the year 664 or 668 Hijri on a Monday. Another version gives the year 660. His grave is in Paakpatan in the district of Multaan. This place is between Lahore and Multaan. He has innumerable khulafaa. The number is said to be as high as seventy thousand. In Jawahirul Farid, the names of 584 of his khulafaa are enumerated. The most famous among them is Hadhrat Shaikhul Masha-ikh Khwajah Alaud Deen Ali Ahmad Sabir Kalyari whose discussion will now follow.
He was the nephew (sister’s son) and among the senior khulafaa of Hadhrat Shaikh Faridud Deen Shakar Ganj. He was born at Kohtwaal in the district of Multaan in the year 592 Hijri. He is a descendant of Hadhrat Imaam Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu). His ancestral chain is as follows: Khwajah Alaud Deen the son of Shah Ibrahim Abdur Raheem Abdus Salam, the son of Shah Saifud Deen Abdul Wahhab, the son of Hadhrat Ghauth Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.
He served in the general mess (langar khaanah) of Khwajah Farid for 12 years. In all this time he never ate of the food because of the lack of express permission. He would always be fasting. Finally when Hadhrat Farid enquired from him in this regard, he said:
“What right does this slave have to partake of anything without the permission of Hadhrat?”
On hearing this reply, Hadhrat gave him the title of Sabir (The Patient one).
A khaadim taking the permission of Hadhrat Faridud Deen, went to visit Hadhrat Alaud Deen Ali Ahmad Sabir. Since Hadhrat Alaud Deen was generally in an overwhelming state of Istighraaq, he was unaware of those who came and went. Hadhrat Shamsud Deen Turk who remained in attendance, loudly made Hadhrat aware of the arrival of the khaadim, saying:
“The khaadim of Hadhrat Peer o’ Murshid has come bringing Hadhrat’s Salaam.”
Hadhrat Alaud Deen responded:
“How is my Shaikh?”
Thereafter he instructed on Hadhrat Shamsud Deen to honour the khaadim. He then again lapsed into the state of Istighraaq.
Thereafter, the khaadim visited Hadhrat Sultanul Auliya. Here he saw a royal system prevailing. The khaadim was honoured greatly and showered with considerable hospitality and gifts. When the khaadim returned, Hadhrat Faridud Deen asked about the condition of his two khulafaa. The khaadim spoke in glowing praise of Sultaanul Auliya. Regarding Hadhrat Alaud Deen the khaadim said:
“He does not even speak with anyone. There is nothing by him.”
Hadhrat Faridud Deen asked:
“Did he say anything about me?”
The khaadim said: “He said nothing.”
When Hadhrat Faridud Deen asked: “After all, he must have said something.”, the khaadim responded: “He only asked: ‘How is my Shaikh?” With tears in his eyes, Hadhrat said:
“Today he occupies such a lofty rank which no one can aspire. It is only within his capability to have remembered me in even that state. This (remembrance in such a lofty state of Istighraaq) is because of the perfection of his love for me.”
It is a well-known fact that after Hadhrat Sabir’s demise, some Hindus had asserted their control in Kaliyar, hence they converted the qabrustaan into a centre of idolatry. As they continued with their evil sacrilege, a lion appeared and killed many among them. The others all fled.
The attribute of jalaal (splendour, grandeur) was dominant in him. Even after his demise, a flame could be seen glittering on his grave. On account of this celestial flame no one had the courage to go to his grave. Once after Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddْs visited the grave, the flame disappeared because of Hadhrat’s request.
Khwajah Alaud Deen passed away on the 13th Rabiul Awwal 690 Hijri. His grave is in Piraan Kaliyar, near to Roorki in the district of Sahaaranpْr.
He was of the Sayyids of Turkestan. After having completed his academic career, he set out in the quest for Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah and travelled to the cities of Central Asia. But he could not find solace there. Finally, he went to Hindustan in this same quest and became bay’t to Hadhrat Alaud Deen in Kaliyar. When the time of Hadhrat’s demise drew near, he conferred the mantle of khilaafate to Shaikh Shamsud Deen. Hadhrat Alaud Deen wrote out the authorisation and appointment with his own blessed hand. He also revealed to him the Ism A’zam and instructed:
“The Wilaayat (spiritual kingdom) of Paanipat has been allocated to you. After my death proceed to Paanipat and take up residence there. Don’t stay more than three days here (i.e. in Kaliyar).”
Shaikh Shamsud Deen is among the very senior khulafaa of Hadhrat Alaud Deen Sabir. According to the author of Siyarul Aqtaab, besides being the khalifah of Hadhrat Sabir, he is also the khalifah of his spiritual grandfather, Hadhrat Khwajah Faridud Deen Shakar Ganj.
To what extent can anyone record the karaamaat of these illustrious souls? Indeed, every act was a miracle. Nevertheless, by way of a sample, one or two will be mentioned.
Once he had taken employment in the king’s army. During the severely cold winter season, the section of the pond’s water where he would make wudhu, would miraculously become warm. The servant in charge of the king’s water discovered this strange phenomenon. The king was thus made aware. He therefore became an ardent devotee of Hadhrat Shamsud Deen.
A considerable time had passed in the attempt to capture a fortress. The king appealed to Hadhrat to make dua for victory. After much persistence and begging by the king, Hadhrat simply promised to make dua. He added:
“Attack and the doors of the fort will open.”
The king led the attack and the doors of the fort opened as Hadhrat had said. This episode increased the king’s faith in Hadhrat. But, since his condition had now become revealed, Hadhrat did not desire staying there. He therefore left.
According to the majority, Hadhrat Shaikh passed away in the year 715 Hijri. Some say 716 and 718 Hijri. There are also conflicting versions regarding the date of his demise. According to one version the date of his demise was 19th Sha’baan. Others claim 10th Jamaadil Ulaa or Jamaadil Aakhir.
His name was Muhammad Bin Mahmْd or Khwajah Mahmْd. His Shaikh conferred on him the title, Jalaud Deen. He was a descendent of Amirul Mu’mineen, Hadhrat Uthman Bin Affan (radhiyallahu anhu). Apparently he was born in the year 695 Hijri.
Mujaahaadat was dominant in him. During the later part of his life he was overwhelmed by the state of Istighraaq. His khuddaam (those mureeds in his service) would make him aware of the time for Salaat. After Salaat he would once again lapse into Istighraaq.
He had forty khulafaa. From each one a separate Silsilah originated. Hadhrat Shaikh Bharaam whose grave is in Badoli is also Hadhrat Jalalud Deen’s khalifah. Hadhrat had initially appointed him to be in the town Barnaawah. However, Hadhrat’s most senior khalifah, Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq transferred him to Badoli on account of commencement (INSERT)
Shaikh Shahabud Deen Jhanjhanwi and Peer Samaud Deen Hairanwi were also among his khulafaa.
In Sirayul Aqtaab it is written that once Hadhrat Shaikh was walking along the river bank where a Hindu yogi was sitting with closed eyes in meditation. Soon he opened his eyes and said to Hadhrat:
“Congratulations! You had come at a most auspicious time. I have an elixir* by me. I took a vow that I shall give it to the first person I see after opening my eyes. Now, coincidentally, I have found you.”
Brimming with elation and pride he handed the stone to Hadhrat who took it and threw it into the river. The yogi was enraged. Stopping Hadhrat he said in anger and consternation:
“What have you done? Is this the appreciation you show for such a valuable and unattainable jewel? Give back my stone.”
Hadhrat responded: “You had already given it to me. I had the right to do with it as I deemed fit.”
But the yogi was unable to restrain himself. He demanded the return of the stone. Hadhrat said:
“Dive into the river and retrieve your stone. But, remember to take only your stone.”
When the yogi dived into the water he found on the river-bed numerous stones more precious than the one he had possessed. In addition to his stone, he took another one also. Hadhrat exclaimed: “You have violated your pledge.”
In amazement the yogi ultimately came to Hadhrat and put down both stones. He then accepted Islam.
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 13th Rabiul Awwal or Thil Qa’dh in the year 765 Hijri at the age of 70. His grave is in Paanipat.
He had five sons, viz. Khwajah Abdul Qadir, Khwajah Ibrahim, Khwajah Shibli, Khwajah Kareemud Deen and Khwajah Abdul Ahad.
Although many of his spiritual Silsilah flourished through the media of his khulafaa, the number of Silsilah emanating from Shaikh Abdul Haq Radoli exceeded those of all others. The continuation of this Chishti Silsilah (i.e. the one under discussion in this book) is also from Shaikh Abdul Haq Radoli. We shall now discuss him.
His ancestral chain links up with Amirul Mu’mineen Hadhrat Umar Bin Khattab. His actual name is Ahmad and his title is Abdul Haq. He was born in Radoli. His paternal grandfather, Shaikh Dawood who is related to Shaikh Nasirud Deen Chiragh Delhawi migrated from Balkh during the reign of the Mongol, Halaku Khan. He reached Hindustan during the reign of Alaud Deen Khalji.
From a very early age Hadhrat Shaikh Ahmad was in the practise of mujaahadaat and riyaadhaat. He began performing Tahajjud from the age of 7 years.
First he turned his attention to the acquisition of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah, hence he proceeded to Delhi. During his student days an interesting episode happened. Hadhrat Thanwi (nawwarallahu marqadahu) narrated it as follows:
“The elder brother of Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq Radoli, lived in Delhi. The prince in Delhi was his ardent follower. Shaikh Ahmad questioned his brother regarding an example appearing in the primary Arabic grammar book which he had just started. The example is:
ضرب زيد عمروًا
‘Zaid hit Amr.’
He wanted to know why Zaid had hit Amr. His brother told him that it was only an example and no one had hit anyone. Thereupon he said:
“If he had hit someone without valid cause, it is injustice. If he did not hit, then it is a lie. I do not want to study a book which teaches injustice and falsehood from the very inception.”
This was his attitude during his childhood. His brother related this incident to the prince who said that he (Shaikh Radoli) is a person of ecstasy (Saahibul Haal) and they should not bother to teach him Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah.
However, Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah attracted him in full force. Even before completing his academic career he adopted solitude, wandering in the forest. After some time divine inspiration guided him to Paanipat. His arrival was revealed to Hadhrat Shaikh Jalalud Deen. The Shaikh wanted to put him to test. He therefore instructed his khuddaam to prepare a sumptuous feast for that day. Different varieties of food were set out. Fruits, etc. and even some forbidden items were spread out on the eating cloth. A few beautiful horses with golden reins were tied outside the khaanqah.
Finally, Hadhrat Radoli arrived. Seeing the effects of the world at the door, he became disillusioned. When he saw the state of the food arrangement, he could no longer tolerate it. When he saw the forbidden items he was unable to remain. He then left. This show was enacted purely as a test. He wandered around the whole day. In the evening he arrived on the outskirts of a city. On enquiring, he was told that it is the city of Paanipat. He was truly bewildered. He could not understand how he had forgotten the road. However, since there was no other logical possibility, he concluded that he had taken a wrong route and had arrived again at Paanipat from where he had left in dismay. However, the same bewildering occurrence was repeated for another two days. All day long he would walk only to find himself back in Paanipat in the evening. He was lost and dismayed. Suddenly he saw a man dressed in white. When he enquired about the road, the man replied:
“You have left the right road by Shaikh Jalalud Deen.”
His bewilderment was further compounded.
He carried on walking until he met two people from whom he also enquired about the direction. Both gave the same reply which the man in white garb had given. He thus understood the reality of the situation. With a firm resolution he went to the khaanqah and fell at the feet of Hadhrat Shaikh. He became bay’t and after only a few days of spiritual striving, he gained the mantle of Khilaafate.
He had much simplicity and gullibility in him. His brothers had made marriage arrangements for him, but he refused saying that they should free him from this burden. When his brothers refused to heed his objections, he went one day to his future in-laws. Standing at the door he said:
“I am impotent. Your daughter’s life will be ruined.”
By this tactic the proposed marriage was cancelled.
However, after some time he did marry and had children. But, all of them died. Every child which was born would die after proclaiming ‘Haq, Haq, Haq’ (thrice). Once his wife broke down crying because every child died. He said:
“Now when a child is born, it will remain alive.”
When the next child was born, it did not say ‘Haq, Haq, Haq’, but remained alive.
Once Hadhrat had prepared a big pot of food and had it put in the road, saying:
“Insha’Allah, people passing in the road will eat the food and it will not decrease.”
For three days wayfarers ate of the food without it decreasing. Then a thought came into his mind: ‘This will bring fame. Fame can bring about spiritual harm.’ He then resolved:
“Allah is The Raziq. He is aware of His creation.”
When he was convinced of the correctness of this thought, he struck the pot on the ground breaking it.
Hadhrat Shaikhul Masha-ikh, Shah Abdul Quddْs Gangohi wrote in his book, Anwarul Uyoon that there are numerous miracles of Shaikh Radoli. Whoever wishes to know these in greater detail, should refer to his book.
It was his regular practice to go early to the Musjid, i.e. at Awwal Waqt (when the Salaat time just commences). He would sweep the Musjid. However, the state of Istighraaq was so dominant in him, that the khuddaam had to repeatedly make him aware of the road to the Musjid.
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 15th Jaamaadil Ukhraa in the year 836 or 837 Hijri. His grave is in the town of Radoli in the district of Barahbinki.
He had a few sons. Each one of them was a Saahib-e-Karaamat at birth. But life was not destined for them. Only one son, Shaikh Muhammad Arif lived. The Silsilah was perpetuated through his agency. Besides him, Miah Farid Shaikh Bakthiyari and others were also among the khulafaa of Hadhrat Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq Radoli.
He was the son of Hadhrat Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq, as well as his father’s Khalifah. He was thus both the physical and spiritual son of Hadhrat Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq. Furthermore, he is among his father’s most senior khulafaa. He mounted the spiritual throne of Hidaayat after his father’s demise. He was an authority of the knowledge of both Shariat and Tariqat, quenching the spiritual thirst of creation. An outstanding feature of his lofty moral character was that every person who met him gained the impression that the Shaikh’s gracious attention was mostly directed to him to the exclusion of others.
Every child born to him was a master of excellence and virtue. From birth his children were repositories of karaamaat. Like with his father, every child was born a Thaakir and would die after birth.
Some record his name as Shaikh Ahmad. At the time of his father’s death he was 17 years. Thus, he had already achieved spiritual perfection at this age.
Towards the end of his life, he appointed his son, Shaikh Muhammad as his khalifah handing over to him the ancestral spiritual trust of the Silsilah.
There is considerable conflict regarding the date of his demise. This cannot be reliably established. However, it is believed that his death was on 17th Safar 882 Hijri. Among his khulafaa, only the name of his son, Shaikh Muhammad is known. However, it is very likely that he had other khulafaa as well.
He was indeed a most worthy vicegerent of his illustrious and noble father, Hadhrat Shaikh rif. Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddْs Gangohi who is among the famous and most sincere Masha-ikh was bay’t to Hadhrat Shaikh Muhammad. Initially he wanted to become bay’t elsewhere, but Hadhrat Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq instructed him to become bay’t to his (Shaikh Ahmad’s) physical (i.e. biological) and spiritual grandson (Shaikh Muhammad).
He had gained Istighraaq to the degree of perfection in the spiritual state known as Mushaahad-e-Mutlaq (being in the divine presence with the baatini heart at all times).
When the time of his maut was imminent, his son, Shaikhul Auliya known as Shaikh Buddah, was in Shahaabaad by Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddْs Gangohi. By means of Tasarruf-e-Baatini (spiritual action) Hadhrat Shaikh summoned Hadhrat Abdul Quddْs and his son to come. Both arrived at the time of niza’ (i.e. when the occurrence of maut is in progress). At that time Hadhrat was overwhelmed in the state of Istighraaq and Sْkr. He would repeatedly revive from these states and comment:
“Al-hamdulillah! I have understood.”
When Hadhrat Shaikh Gangohi asked him what he had understood, he said:
“I have understood Tauheed.”
Hadhrat Shaikh Muhammad entrusted all his spiritual trusts and treasures including the Ism-e-A’zam (which were handed down by the Masha-ikh in succession) to Hadhrat Qutbul lam Shaikh Abdul Quddْs Gangohi. Hadhrat Gangohi requested permission to settle elsewhere, saying that he would not be able to live here (in Radoli) on account of the sorrow and grief which the memory of his Shaikh would kindle in him. Hadhrat consented and also entrusted his son, Buddah to Hadhrat Gangohi with the instruction to leave him in Radoli after he became qualified for spiritual vicegerency. Hadhrat Gangohi fully complied with his Shaikh’s instruction. In the opinion of some, Hadhrat Shaikh Buddah had in fact acquired the mantle of Khilaafat from his father.
The correct date of his demise is not known. However, in the Shajaraat (Documents listing the names of the Silsilah) 898 Hijri is cited as the year of his death. In some Shajaraat, even the date 17th Safar is given. Among his Khulafaa only Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddْs Gangohi is known
The author of Nuzah [or Nuzhah] depicts his ancestral tree as follows:
Shah Abdul Quddْs the son of Ismail, the son of Safi, the son of Nasirul Hanafi Radoli Gangohi. Some say that his name was Ismail while his title was Shah Abdul Quddْs. He is, however, known by only his title. He was apparently born in 860 Hijri. He excelled in both, Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah and Baatiniyyah. His obedience to the Sunnat was of the loftiest standard.
Although he is among the Khulafaa of Hadhrat Shaikh Arif, the perfection of his spiritual excellences was by the direct Faidh-e-Roohaani (spiritual emanation or spiritual attention) of Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Haq. Hadhrat thus writes in his book, Anwarul Uyoon:
“Among the tassarrufaat (spiritual actions) of Hadhrat Ahmad Abdul Haq is that 50 years after his demise he attended to the tarbiyat (spiritual training) of this insignificant entity (i.e. Shaikh Abdul Quddْs) by means of his Roohaani Faidh.”
Hadhrat Abdul Quddْs Gangohi’s son writes:
“It was my father’s intention to become bay’t somewhere else. However, Hadhrat Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq instructed from Aalam-e-Kashf (the Realm of Spiritual Revelation):
‘Don’t contemplate bay’t at any other place. I shall attend to your accomplishment (takmeel).”
Since Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddْs cherished the idea of becoming physically bay’t, Hadhrat Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq referred him to his grandson, Shaikh Muhammad Bin Shaik rif.
Thus, Hadhrat Shaikh was initiated into the Silsilah both by physical and spiritual bay’t, his Roohaani Shaikh being Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Haq Radoli. Beside this Shaikh of his, he had also gained the mantle of khilaafate from Shaikh Qasim Oodhi who was among the Akaabir of the Suharwardiyyah Silsilah.
He was a born wali. He was a Saahib-e-Karaamat from childhood.
In the beginning he did some farming. From the yield of the farm he would first spend on the Fuqaraa.
He had an inclination for Simaa (spiritual singing of the Auliya). The Ulama have enumerated ten conditions for the permissibility of Sima sessions. These conditions are elaborated in great detail in the explanations of the Auliya. Hadhrat Aqdas Thanvi has written a treatise, Haqqus Simaa’, in which he mentions five conditions taken from Imaam Ghazali’s Ihyaul Uloom, as well as five factors of prohibition. In the seventh section of his treatise, he writes:
“Are there any conditions for its (Simaa’s) permissibility and any prohibition’s or not? And are those conditions found in our time or not or are the prohibitions present? In Ihyaul Uloom, Imaam Ghazali states five conditions and five prohibitions. The conditions are:
1) Time, place and participants.
Hadhrat Junaid said that Simaa’ depends on three things. In their absence, never listen to it. These are zamaan (time), makaan (place) and ikhwaan (the brothers participating).
Zamaan means such a time which is free from any necessary Shar’i or other activity, e.g. Salaat, study, eating-time, etc., or any action which will distract the heart.
Makaan means that the venue of Simaa’ should not be a public place or a place where people pass nor should there be any such activity which could distract the heart.
Ikhwaan refers to the participants of the Simaa’ session. The reason for this condition is that the presence of an alien, namely, a person bereft of the spirit of the wealth of the baatin, is detestable and burdensome as he distracts the heart. Similarly, if a proud worldly person arrives, and he is treated respectfully or if a Sْfi of riya joins in and on account of riya the fake feigns wajd (ecstasy) and tears his clothes, then the spiritual pleasure of the Simaa’ vanishes.
Now consider to what extent is this condition adhered to in our times? In most cases Simaa’ is held nowadays at the times of Namaaz, leading to it’s neglect. Missing Jamaat and the approach of the expiry of the Namaaz time are even considered unimportant. Furthermore no grief is felt when Jamaat and Namaaz are missed for the sake of Simaa’. The importance attached to Simaa’ is not accorded to the Sunnats and Faraa-idh. In fact, some say that Sima is the actual and true ibaadat, even superior to Namaaz, Naْthubillah!
In most cases Simaa’ takes place at such venues where all and sundry attend. Even immoral and corrupt persons gather to see the comedy being enacted. No arrangement whatever is made for privacy.
People of affluence and worldly prominence also attend in most cases. Special treatment is accorded to them even while the Simaa’ session is in progress. People of riya also attend in abundance. In fact, the majority at such sessions consists of them. Sometimes the critics too attend, making a mockery of the people of ecstasy. Sometimes the consequence was even violence and the police had to be called. Thus, the condition does not exist even partially.
2) Now, regarding the second condition, Imaam Sahib (i.e. Imaam Ghazali) says:
‘The second condition is the state of those who are present. The Shaikh should not listen to Simaa’ in the presence of such Mureeds who will be adversely affected by Simaa’. Three kinds of persons are adversely affected by Simaa’:
First is the person who is not yet aware of Tareeqat. He knows only the external actions.
Second: A person who although having a baatini affinity with Simaa’, still has in him carnal desires and emotions. The evil power of the nafs has not yet been thoroughly broken. When such a person listens to Simaa’, carnal passion will be stirred in him. This poor fellow will therefore fail miserably and not attain spiritual perfection.
Third: A person who has vanquished his carnal emotions, has wide spiritual vision and the love of Allah is dominant in him. But, he lacks qualification and firmness in Zaahiri Uloom and is not properly aware of the masaa-il of the Divine Names and Attributes. He will not be able to understand what is lawful to attribute to Allah and what is not lawful. When such a person listens to Simaa’ he will attribute everything (he experiences) to Allah Ta’ala.
The damage which such kufr ideas will wrought, far outweighs any benefits of Simaa’. It is furthermore not lawful for a person to listen to Simaa’ when he is corrupted with the love of the world and love for fame. Simaa’ is also not permissible for a person who listens for the sake of pleasure because of the grave danger of addiction. In consequence, his important duties and ibaadat will suffer and his Path of Sulook will come to an end.
Thus, Simaa’ is an extremely slippery act fraught with grave pitfalls. It is, therefore, waajib for weaklings to refrain therefrom.
Now consider our times. The majority of participants are such people for whom Simaa’ is detrimental. Leave alone their spiritual condition. Even their zaahiri (practical) deeds are corrupt. So many of them do not perform Namaaz. They are beardless, devourers of bribes, oppressors, of loose morals, of un-Islamic appearance, young, saturated with lust, worshippers of external beauty, etc. If there happens to be present among them a pious person who is an aabid, then too, he lacks adequate zaahiri knowledge of the Shariat. Neither is he an expert of Ilm-e-Haqiqat. He does not understand correctly the subtle points of these masaa-il nor is he aware of the terminologies and subtleties of the Aarifeen to enable him to interpret the verses he hears. He is unable to reconcile between Shariat and Haqiqat. On account of ignorance he will accept any corrupt thoughts occurring to him. Whether it be a bid’at or kufr, he is not concerned as long as he derives pleasure. Thousands are involved in clear beliefs of kufr because they misunderstood poetry sung at Simaa’ sessions.
To correctly understand poetry of ambiguous meanings, two things are essential. Firstly, the knowledge of the terminologies of the Auliya, e.g. the meaning of sea, waves, manifestation, descent in different substrata, etc. Secondly, the knowledge of the applicability of the meanings of these terminologies to Allah Ta’ala. Can such meanings be ascribed to Him or not? Both these requirements are dependent on adequate knowledge.
How many participants in Simaa’ nowadays possess such taqwa, mujaahadah and knowledge? Even if these qualities are found in one or two, they are lacking in the remainder of those who indulge in Simaa’. In the presence of unworthy persons even worthy persons are not permitted to participate.
3) Regarding the third condition:
Imaam Sahib (Imaam Ghazali) says that it is total concentration. One’s full attention should be towards the Simaa’. The gaze should not wander nor should the eyes fall on the faces of the other participants. No attention should be paid to the wajd (ecstasy) of anyone. There should be stability in concentration. No act which distracts another should be committed. The participant should remain seated motionless and emotionless. Neither should he cough or yawn. His head should be lowered in contemplation. There should neither be clapping of hands nor jumping nor should there be any simulative act. Without any extremely important need, there should be no talking. However, any state of ecstasy which develops without one’s volition is understood and cannot be criticised.
After the termination of the state of ecstacy, the participant should immediately become silent and immobile. It is highly improper to continue the display of wajd by pretence solely because people may sarcastically or disparagingly say that his wajd has quickly ended. One should not display wajd by deliberate design. The pretence of wajd is to prevent people from attributing his inability to sustain the wajd to the deficiency in him or because they may say that his heart is devoid of purity and tenderness.
Now ponder the condition of the people of this age. To what extent is this condition adhered to? Firstly, there are extremely few who even understand the meanings of the subject matter. When they lack this understanding, what attention will they pay? Secondly, they stare (with desire) at the singer. In some places is found the evil practise of immoral women being employed for the singing. The question of spiritual enlightenment thus does not arise. Rather, the participants are entrapped in worshipping their shahwat (lust and desire). It is further shocking that some consider these evil gazes to be ibaadat, and–Naْthubillah–a means of Qurb-e-Ilaahi (Divine Proximity). How can Imaan remain safe with such vile beliefs and in such circumstances?
Assuming someone guards his gaze, droops his head and even experiences some kaifiyat (ecstatic feeling), then firstly, in view of these factors of corruption, the kaifiyat will not be roohaani (spiritual). And, even if it is not this calamity, he will (on account of the slight kaifiyat) make a mountain of an anthill. He will scream, moan, fall on people, etc. A storm will be created in the whole gathering. Thus, show, pretence and creating problems are fully discharged at such assemblies.
After dissipation of the slight temporary kaifiyat, he continues to maintain a false outerfacade of aloofness and engrossment in spirituality to create the impression that he is a Saahibul Haal. He thus, occasionally erupts into slogans of
هو حق (Allah – He is The Truth). Thus, this third condition too has been displaced.
4) The fourth condition, Imaam Ghazali says is to refrain from standing up and screaming as long as one has the power of controlling one’s movements and emotions.
Even this condition has been banished by the people of the age. A man fully in his senses and having his emotions under control, simply to create the impression that he is the ka’bah and qiblah of all the people of ecstasy, creates a hue and cry in the assembly by his deceptive antics to project an image of spirituality so that people become his followers.
5) With regard to the fifth condition, Imaam Ghazali says that if a man of genuine ecstasy stands up (in ecstasy), all should conform to his action (and stand up). The reason for this is to show consideration for one’s friend and companion.
Some people hearing this condition may feel very pleased and say: “That is exactly what we are doing.” Firstly, of what use is it to adhere to only one condition? If all conditions are not executed it will be like someone who while making wudhu washes only his face, leaving out all the other acts. Saying that he has already washed his face, he begins to perform Namaaz. Everyone is able to understand the futility and invalidity of such a Namaaz. Secondly, upon reflection it will be understood that in reality even this condition is not being acted on because the basis of this condition is to show consideration for friends. Conforming by standing is an external form of showing such consideration. Consideration by both parties is essential. For example, just as it is necessary for the muqtadis to conform with the Imaam to take into consideration the muqtadis. Thus, he should be considerate of their comfort, time, etc. Similarly, is it with regard to Simaa assemblies. While the gathering should regard the Saahib-e-Haal and conform with him, so too should he observe consideration for the people in the gathering. Some persons even after passing of the ecstasy continue standing (demonstrating simulated acts), imposing extreme distress on the others who are constrained to also remain standing (since they are under the illusion of the endurance of the man’s state of ecstasy).
Thus, this condition too is no longer found in present-day Simaa’ assemblies. So far the conditions necessary for the permissibility of Simaa’ have been outlined. Now the prohibition will be discussed. The prevalence of these prohibitions renders Simaa’ unlawful. It is a fact that Simaa’ sessions of the present age are adorned with these prohibitions.
Imaam Ghazali (rahmatullah alayh) says:
“If someone asks: ‘Does Simaa’ under any circumstances become haraam?’, then we shall reply: ‘Yes! There are five factors, the presence of even one of them will render Simaa’ haraam. No. 1 pertains to the composer of the poetry. No. 2 pertains to the instruments of Simaa’. No. 3 pertains to the poetry itself. No. 4 pertains to the audience who has developed the habit of listening (to Simaa’). No. 5 pertains to the general public.’
These elements, viz. the singer, the audience and the instruments, are the fundamentals of Simaa’.
With regard to the first factor of prohibition, Simaa’ will be haraam if the singer is a woman on whom it is haraam to cast a gaze or if the singer is a young boy. If such persons are the singers, the elements of corruption are present.
You must have observed at the mazaaraat (mausolea) of the Saints, prostitutes who have the special expertise of deceiving and captivating hearts, singing shamelessly, destroying the taqwaa of thousands. In some places young lads decorated and adorned in beautiful ornamental attire sing in places of amusement. This is even worse.
The second factor of prohibition pertaining to instruments is the musical instruments which are the salient features of immoral persons. In the present age (at Simaa’ sessions) these instruments are most certainly employed.
The third factors of prohibition is such poetry/songs which describe the beauty and attributes of lovers. Although such verses by themselves are not haraam, nevertheless, it is incumbent to abstain from presenting such poetry to a person for whom it is not lawful, for it will corrupt his mind. It is absolutely essential for a person with such corrupt ideas to abstain from Simaa’.
With regard to the prevalence of this element, in the present age, the reality is not hidden. Present at such assemblies where this type of poetry is sung, are young people of lust who are involved in illicit love affairs. This type of singing further arouses their evil passions.
Regarding the forth factor of prohibition, Imaam Ghazali says that it pertains to a person in whom shahwat (carnal lust) is dominant. Added to this, he possesses the vigour of youth which overshadows his other attributes of virtue. For such a person Simaa’ is absolutely haraam regardless of whether there is the love of an earthly beloved in his heart or not. In all circumstances such a person’s lusts will be aroused when he listens to songs/poetry which depict love scenes. Shaitaan will inspire his heart and fabricate for him a beloved one about whom he will fantasize. The fire of passion will blaze in him and the evil lustful capacities will be given powerful impetus. Thus, the forces of shaitaan will be reinforced while the army of Allah, viz. Aql (Intelligence) will be emaciated. It is, therefore, waajib for such a person to abstain from Simaa’ gatherings.”
It is worthy to note that Imaam Ghazali has declared the mere factor of youth to be a source of detriment even though the young person’s heart has not yet been ensnared by a love-affair. In fact, Imaam Ghazali instructs that such people be expelled from the Simaa’-gathering. Along with youth, if other elements of prohibition are also present, then the dangers are exacerbated.
Now study the Simaa’ assemblies of the present age. Most participants in fact are the young. Forget about expelling them. They are, on the contrary, being brought to these sessions by invitation.
The fifth factor of prohibition is the audience comprising of members of the general public. Neither is divine love dominant in them nor shahwat (carnal lust). When such people develop the habit of attending Simaa’ sessions, they become mardْdush Shahaadat (i.e. their testimony is not admissible in an Islamic court).
In the present age, Simaa’ has become an amusement and a sport for the public. The slightest excuse in their opinion justifies the organisation of a Simaa’ session.
We have explained the conditions and elements of prohibition. Readers, themselves, can now decide. There is no need for us to comment further.”
After the demise of Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Quddْs Gangohi, Shaikh Ruknud Deen after completing the ghusl, placed his hand on the blessed breast of Hadhrat. He felt the movement of Thikr-e-Qalbi (Thikr of the heart).
Hadhrat Gangohi’s Maktْbaat (letters) are famous. His Maktْbaat brim with Ma-aarif (Divine Knowledge and Subtleties). Since the Maktْbaat are in the Farsi language they are not reproduced here. Furthermore, I lack the ability to present in Urdu the spiritual realities (Haqaa-iq) which are in the original (i.e. in the Faarsi) language. Nevertheless, those who are versed in Farsi should study these Maktْbaat in kitaabs such as Anwarul Aafireen. They will derive immense benefit therefrom.
Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Gangohi said:
“Whenever I experienced any uncertainty regarding Sulook, I would ascertain the answer by reference to the Maktْbaat.”
Among the works written by him is Anwarul Uyoon which is divided into seven chapters in which the realities, subtleties and mysteries of Sulook have been compiled. The first chapter is predominantly devoted to the excellences of Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Haq. The following too are his works: Ta’leeqaat ala Sharhis Sahaa-if which is in the subject of Ilm-e-Kalaam (Islamic Philosophy) and Haashiyatut Ta’arruf is a voluminous exegesis of Awaariful Ma-aarif.
Much of his life is discussed in Lataa-if-e-Quddْsi which is the works of his son and Khalifah, Shaikh Ruknud Deen. Many anecdotes of his life are also recorded in Mir’atul Asraar, Iqtibaasul Anwar and Anwarul Aarifeen.
Since this brief treatise lacks the scope for a detailed presentation of Hadhrat Gangohi’s life, I shall narrate a few anecdotes..
A waswasah (stray thought) occurred to a Mureed of Hadhrat Shah Abdul Haq Quddْs Gangohi. He thought that he had already gained whatever knowledge (of Sulook) there was here (i.e. by Hadhrat Gangohi). He thought that there are also other famous Masha-ikh and there was nothing wrong in seeking divine knowledge elsewhere, hence he should visit the other Masha-ikh as well. But he felt it improper to reveal this thought to his Shaikh. Hadhrat Shaikh realised this either by way of kashf or some other signs. Hence, he told the Mureed:
“Brother! Allah Ta’ala says: (“Travel in the earth...”). Therefore, if you for some time wander a bit here and there, you will obtain some relaxation as well as be honoured with the ziyaaraat and barakaat of different Masha-ikh and then it will not be wrong to enquire from anyone about Allah’s Name (i.e. Divine Knowledge).”
In his heart the mureed felt pleased at this coincidence. He took leave and began his visiting spree. Every Shaikh whom he visited, instructed him with the same shaghl of Paas Anfaas which he had been given to practise in the very initial stage. He was extremely perplexed, thinking to himself: ‘Everyone to whom I go, begin me off with Alif, Baa, Taa. Whatever else I had hitherto practised has become futile.” Ultimately, feeling very embarrassed, he returned to Hadhrat Shaikh Gangohi and repented. Hadhrat said:
“Brother, are you now satisfied? Now sit in solitude and with undivided attention take Allah’s Name.”
Muhammad Gauth Gawaliyari, the author of Jawaahir-e-Khamsah, was an aamil. He was apparently a contemporary of Shaikh Abdul Quddْs Gangohi. Once he sent some jinns to bring Hadhrat to him. Hadhrat Shaikh on this occasion was engrossed (in thikr) in the Musjid. The jinns arrived, but could not muster up the courage to go to Hadhrat. When the Shaikh noticed someone, he asked: ‘Who is it?” The jinns replied: “Muhammad Gauth wishes to see you, hence he has sent us. If you consent, we shall take you without causing any inconvenience.” Hadhrat said:
“I order you to bring Muhammad Gauth here.”
The jinns obeyed. Taking hold of Muhammad Gauth they set off to Hadhrat. Muhammad Gauth said to the jinns:
“What is wrong? You were in subjection to me. Why this disobedience?”
The jinns responded:
“With regard to others, we are obedient to you, but not in regard to the Shaikh. As far as he is concern-ed, we cannot obey you.”
They delivered him to Hadhrat Shaikh who said:
“Have you no shame?”
Hadhrat severely reprimanded him. Finally he became bay’t to Hadhrat and attained a lofty spiritual status of divine proximity (i.e. he became a Saahib-e-Nisbat). His grave is in Gawaaliyar.
Once a wealthy and prominent personality of the community, who was also Hadhrat’s khaadim had invited the wealthy and the poor of the city to attend the Walimah of his son. Hadhrat Shaikh presented himself in order to test the khaadim. He went incognito. He changed his attire and arrived at night and sat among the poor. Hadhrat Shaikh observed that the khaadim was treating and attending to the rich and poor in the same way. Hadhrat Shaikh remained seated among the poor, but the khaadim did not have the remotest notion of his presence. Afterwards when the khaadim came to Hadhrat (i.e. at the khanqah), Hadhrat displayed his displeasure. When the khaadim enquired the reason of his displeasure, Hadhrat said:
“I was at your gathering of feasting, but you did not recognise me.”
The khaadim presented the excuse of his inability to have recognised Hadhrat because of the circumstances which precluded recognition. Hadhrat Shaikh said:
“Why did you not perceive my fragrance? If you could have perceived the fragrance, you would certainly have recognised me inspite of the different garb. Since you could not perceive the fragrance, it is clear that you lack love for me.”
(The spiritual rationale of this attitude may not be comprehensible to those who are barren – bereft of spiritual insight and divine love. The spiritual bond with the Shaikh for the sake of developing the Love of Allah, produces Roohaani fragrance in the relationship. Such fragrance becomes spiritually perceptible according to the degree of truth in the mutual love of the spiritual partners in this celestial bond. – Translator).
Hadhrat Aqdas Thanwi narrates several anecdotes of Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Quddْs in his book, Assunnatul Jaliyyatu fi Chishtiyyatil Ulyah. I reproduce two here.
1) Once Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Quddْs came to Delhi. Shaikh Haji Abdul Wahhab Bukhari who was a descendent of Sayyid Jalalud Deen Bukhari, sent the written manuscript of his tafseer to Shaikh Abdul Quddْs. When Hadhrat Shaikh opened the manuscript his eyes fell on the aayat pertaining to the tahaarat (purity) of the household members of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). In its tafseer, Shaikh Abdul Wahhab stated that the successful end (Khaatimah bil Khair – death with Imaan) of all descendants of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) is assured. Their death will most certainly be beautiful. Shaikh Abdul Quddْs wrote in the margin:
This view is in conflict of the view of the Ahlus Sunnah was Jama’at.”
He then returned the manuscript. Meanwhile, the Ulama of that place deliberated many days on this question. Finally, all accepted the ruling stated by Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Quddْs.
2) Once the Imaam of the Musjid did not arrive on time, hence his nephew, Shaikh Abdul Ghani went forward and became the Imaam. He paused slightly between الذين and انعمت . Hadhrat Shaikh repeated the Namaaz and furiously said:
“Young men should be prevented from Imaamate and invalidating the Namaaz of the people. Does he not know even that the mousْl and silah (these are terms of Arabic grammar) join to form a single word, hence it is improper to create an interruption between the two. Waqf between them is not permissible.”
He had seven sons who all were men of virtue and excellence. They were educated in Delhi. Whenever they wished to meet their father, he (Hadhrat) would himself go to Delhi to avoid any disruption to their education.
Shaikh Ruknud Deen states in Lataa-if-e-Quddْsi that Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 11th Jamadil Ukhraa 977 Hijri. On Sunday, Hadhrat became feverish and started to shiver. On Friday his condition improved, enabling him to perform Namaaz comfortably. After Namaaz, the fever resumed. Even during his maradhul maut (the last illness) his ibaadat did not undergo any change. He remained fully engrossed in ibaadat despite his illness. At the very end, he signalled for wudhu and he performed two raka’ts Namaaz. He made Ruku’ and Sajdah by means of signs. On the ninth day, on Monday, while performing Namaaz, he passed away.
Some people record the year of his demise as 945 Hijri. Hadhrat’s age was 84 years. For 35 years he had lived in Radoli. In 896 Hijri, he settled in Shahaabad on the request and insistence of Umar Khan Kashi who was a minister of Sultan Sikander Ludhi. He also lived for 35 years in Shahaabad. In 893 Hijri, during the reign of Zahirud Deen Babar, Hadhrat settled in Gangoh and lived 14 years there.
Presently, Gangoh is divided into two areas. The one area commonly known as Gangoh is the city. The other area is to the west of the city and is known as Seraa-e. This area at the time of Hadhrat’s arrival was a complete forest. It is here where Shaikh Gangohi took up residence. The development of this area commenced about this time. It is here where the three Pillars of the Chishtiyyah Silsilah (Hadhrat Qutb-e-lam, Hadhrat Shah Abu Saeed Gangohi and Hadhrat Imam-e-Rabbani Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi) are lying in rest.
Although there are different versions regarding the year of his demise, the most reliable view is 944 Hijri.
Hadhrat had many khulafaa. The well-known ones are Shaikh Bhْru, Shaikh Umar, Shaikh Abdul Ghafْr A’zampْri, Shaikh Ruknuddin and Shaikh Abdul Kabeer who is better known as Bala Peer. The latter two are his sons as well as his spiritual offspring. Hadhrat Shaikh Jalalud Deen Thanesri who is also his senior khalifah will now be discussed.
He is among the most senior khulafa of Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Quddْs Gangohi. He is a descendent of Hadhrat Umar Bin Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu). His homeland was Balkh. His father, Qadhi Mahmْd was among the noted Ulama.
Apparently, Hadhrat Shaikh was born in the year 894 Hijri. At the age of 7 he had accomplished Hifz of the Qur’aan Shareef. By the age of 17, he had completed the acquisition of Zaahiri Uloom. He then became occupied in tadrees (teaching) and Iftaa (the issuance of rulings in matters of the Shariah). He was also involved in writing books.
Ibaadat, Taa-at (obedience to the Shariah), Wazaa-if and punctuality were his special characteristics. Obedience to the Sunnah was his second nature as it was of all the Chishti Masha-ikh. Once when he was bedridden with illness, medicine was presented to him. Although he could not even sit, he instructed those by him to lift him off the bed and place him on the ground. In obedience to his instruction this was done. After he was seated on the ground, he took the medicine and said:
“It is not confirmed that Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) ate anything while sitting on a bed or chair.”
Abundance of riyaadhaat and mujaahaadat had physically emaciated him. He would remain lying down but at the time of Athaan he would gain strength and vigour wonderfully and would then perform his Namaaz with tranquillity, taking his time.
Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Haq Quddْs Gangohi’s letters addressed to him contain wonderful Haqaa-iq (spiritual realities).
The story of his initial bay’t is interesting. Since he was an Imaam of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah, he taught at a Madrasah. Always there was a gathering of students with him. Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Haq Quddْs Gangohi happened to visit some of his mureeds. Hadhrat Jalalud Deen (out of curiosity) also went there and said to the mureeds:
“I have heard that your peer (Shaikh) has come and that he also dances. Convey my salaams to him. Tell him when I find time I shall come to visit him.”
He had described Hadhrat Gangohi’s states of ecstasy as dancing.
The mureedeen conveyed the salaams and the message. After replying to the salaam, Hadhrat Gangohi said:
“Tell him, that the peer himself dances and causes others to dance as well.”
Sometime thereafter, Hadhrat Gangohi heard a voice saying:
“We have granted Maulana Jalal to you. Bring him into your circle.”
In obedience to this ghaibi instruction (i.e. from the celestial realm) Hadhrat Gangohi went to the Madrasah where a circle of students was sitting around Maulana Jalalud Deen. After completing the lesson, Maulana Jalalud Deen turning to Hadhrat Shaikh, said: “Which buzrug are you?” Hadhrat Gangohi said: “The same dancing peer.” So saying, Hadhrat Shaikh cast a powerful gaze of tawajjuh on Maulana Jalalud Deen. In consequence, his entire treasure of knowledge was effaced. Maulana then profusely apologised and pleaded. Hadhrat Shaikh then satisfied him and revealed to him the Knowledge of spiritual realities. After subjecting Maulana to several rounds of tawajjuh, Hadhrat instructed him in the observance of ashghaal, mujaahadah and solitude.
Some days thereafter, there settled over Maulana a state of obliviousness. He kept Hadhrat Gangohi informed of his condition and Hadhrat would guide him. The state of Istighraaq was dominant in him most of the time.
Hadhrat Jalalud Deen was a performer of karaamaat. Once it crossed the mind of a mureed that in former times there were men of such lofty spiritual accomplishment who could transform a man into a Saahib-e-Kamaal by a gaze. Hadhrat Shaikh becoming aware of this thought, said:
“Even now there are such persons.”
He then cast a sharp gaze at the mureed who fell unconscious and so he remained for three days. A few days thereafter he died. When the news of his death reached Hadhrat, he commented:
“Every man does not have the capability of bearing this weight. This poor man too lacked this capability.”
In Thaanesar an annual fair takes place. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus gather on this occasion. One day Hadhrat asked his khuddaam about the fair. He wanted to know the reason for so many Hindus assembling. He was told that although it was their religious festival, the main attraction and cause of the crowds attending was a yogi who was an expert in the performance of supernatural feats. He would dive into solid ground, penetrate deep and surface at another point. He would display this feat several times, each time diving into at a new point and emerging out of the earth at a different point. Hadhrat expressed the desire to see this demonstration. The people were surprised at this request of the Shaikh. They said: “Will Hadhrat Shaikh also attend this sport?”
But no one had the courage to say anything to Hadhrat Shaikh. He instructed them to take him to the fair. They took Hadhrat close to the spot where the yogi would be performing.
When the time arrived for the yogi to commence his act, he dived onto the ground which split open and he disappeared inside. Immediately, Hadhrat Shaikh swiftly placed his blessed foot on that spot. Now the yogi failed to emerge. The yogi remained and died there in the bowels of the earth.
Irshaadud Taalibeen is his book in which he says:
“People of (divine) love do not hanker after kashf and karaamaat. On the contrary, their entire concentration is on ibaadat, zuhd and taqwa. They never abandon these under any circumstances. In fact, they destroy their nafs and they die before death.”
This statement (i.e. the last sentence) refer to a Hadith of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) who said:
“Die before you die.”
Elsewhere in his book, he writes:
“Ignorant sufis who slip from the Road (i.e. Sulook) mislead people. The Sufi Masha-ikh said in this regard: ‘These jaahil sufis are deprived of Wusْl ilal-laah because they have abandoned the usْl (principle). The principle (for success) is to observe the pure and sacred Shariah.”
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 14th or 22nd or 25th Thil-Hajj in 980 or 989 Hijri, on a Friday at the age of 95 or 96 years.
He was the nephew (sister’s son) as well as the son-in-law of Hadhrat Shaikh Jalalud Deen. His father, Shah Abdush Shakْr too was the khalifah of Hadhrat Jalalud Deen. Hadhrat Nizamud Deen acquired the mantle of khilaafate from Hadhrat Shaikh Jalalud Deen.
He delivered numerous discourses on Uloom-e-Asraar (Knowledge of spiritual mysteries) and Haqaa-iq, (spiritual realities). Most of his statements have been recorded by his khuddaam.
According to some sources he acquired distinction in Uloom-e-Zaahiri without having pursued an academic career. Night and day he engaged in Thikr Nafi-Ithbaat (a form of Thikr) and Thikr bil jahr (audible thikr). He engaged in such intensive Thikr that he would not emerge from the room for a full month.
He was an expert of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah and Baatiniyyah. Besides the knowledge of Ma’rifat and Spiritual Mysteries, he was an expert in chemistry and other branches of knowledge as well. As a result of his fame in all fields of knowledge, envious persons harboured malice for him. They would repeatedly complain about him to the king, Akbar who had Hadhrat twice exiled from Hindustan. The first time he was sent to the Haramain Shareefain. After spending some time there he returned to Hindustan. The second time he was exiled to Central Asia. Here too envious people complained about him to the governor of Balkh who intended to expel Hadhrat Shaikh. But, in a dream Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) forbade the governor. In consequence of this dream the governor became and ardent devotee and became Hadhrat’s mureed.
It is a karaamat of Hadhrat that the malaa-ikah in human form would join him in Salaat. He would be the Imaam and they the muqtadis.
Taking 6 months leave from his Shaikh he went to Balkh, saying that he will either attain the goal of his quest or if this has not been destined for him, he will die there. On his departure Hadhrat Shaikh instructed him to make thikr of the Ism-e-Zaat (Allahu) 90 times in a single breath, gradually increasing the number in accordance with his ability. Ultimately, he developed his ability to the extent of up to 400 times with a single breath. Only a month had passed when the manifestation of Tajalliyaat-e-Khaassah (Special Divine Illumination which defines rational understanding and expression) began. Since he had no need for much solitude, Hadhrat Shaikh, discouraged him from it. Hadhrat Shaikh then ordered him to guide and instruct others (in Sulook). It is a well-established fact that during his very lifetime Hadhrat Jalalud Deen had referred all his khulafaa and mureedeen to Hadhrat Shaikh Nizamud Deen.
Hadhrat Shaikh Nizamud Deen attended to their ta’leem and talqeen. He attended to the accomplishment (takmeel) of Shaikh Abu Saeed Gangohi who was to be his khalifah and representative in Hindustan. Any person on whom Hadhrat cast his gaze, would become a Saahib-e-Shuhood immediately. (Saahib-e-Shuhood is a high-ranking Wali whose soul dwells in a lofty state of Divine Presence and Perception – Translator)
It was for this reason that he became known as Wali Taraash (Maker of Saints).
He had several children. The eldest son, Shaikh Muhammad Saeed returned to Hindustan from Balkh to settle in his homeland, the town of Thanesar. The younger son, Shaikh Abdul Haq settled in Karnaal while the others remained in Balkh.
Sharah Sawaanih-e-Ghazaali, two commentaries of Lam’aat, Riyaadh-e-Qudsi, Tafseer Nizaami, Risalah-e-Haqiqat and Risalah-e-Balkhiyyah are among his works.
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 8th Rajab in the year 1024 or 1035 or 1036 Hijri. His grave is in Balkh. His senior khulafaa are his son, Shaikh Abdul Kareem and Sayyid Ali Ghawwas who remained in Balkh while Hadhrat Shah Abu Saeed took over the spiritual representation of his Shaikh in Gangohi. Another senior Khalifah was Shaikhullah Dad Qadhi Salam.
He is a No’maani being a descendent of Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). His father’s name was Shaikh Nْr. His mother was the daughter of Hadhrat Shaikh Jalalud Deen Thanesari. Initially he was employed in the army.
From the beginning Divine Love was dominant in him. He concealed his condition for some time. Afterwards he presented himself to Hadhrat Shaikh Jalalud Deen. Since Hadhrat Shaikh on account of his weakness and old age had already referred his khuddaam and mureedeen to Hadhrat Shaikh Nizamud Deen, he likewise referred Shaikh Abu Saeed to Shaikh Nizamud Deen. However, he was smitten by heartache in grief of having been separated from Hadhrat Shaikh who had departed for Balkh. As a result of the extreme grief he suffered because of the long separation, he neglected all his ashghaal.
One day he visited the grave of his illustrious grandfather Shah Abdul Quddْs. There he heard a ghaibi voice encouraging him to go to his Shaikh in Balkh. He continued hearing this encouragement for three days. Finally, he set off on foot until he reached Balkh. His arrival became known to his Shaikh by way of kashf. Some guidance in regard to him was also revealed (by kashf) through the medium of Shaikh Abdul Quddْs. Thus, Shaikh Nizamud Deen accompanied by the Sultan of Balkh set out to welcome Abu Saeed. It has already been mentioned earlier that the Sultan of Balkh had become an ardent devotee of Hadhrat Shaikh Nizamud Deen. He welcomed him warmly and honoured him highly. He further informed Shaikh Abu Saeed that the ghaibi voice and the aid which was with him along the journey were the acts of his grandfather, Shah Abdul Quddْs Gangohi. According to his instructions (which he received by kashf), Hadhrat Shaikh honoured his guest and served on him for three days with great hospitality.
After a few days had passed with this royal treatment being accorded to him, Shah Abu Saeed said:
“Hadhrat I have walked from Gangoh to Balkh not for being honoured with feasts.”
Hadhrat Shaikh responded:
“Son explain clearly your purpose.”
He said: “I came to take that treasure which you had acquired from my home.”
The Shaikh’s colour changed and he said:
“If you wish to acquire that treasure, then bid farewell to this pomp and splendour. From today the service of attending to the toilets is assigned to you.”
Hadhrat Shaikh gave instructions to the manager in charge of the general mess to give Shah Abu Saeed some bread morning and evening. He further ordered Hadhrat Abu Saeed not to appear in his presence without having received permission. Neither did he prescribe any thikr or shaghl for him. He only had to perform Salaat, fast and tend to the bathing facilities (of the khanqah).
A considerable period passed in this way. One day, Hadhrat Shaikh told the cleaner to dump the basket of dirt onto Abu Saeed. The cleaner did as instructed. In anger Abu Saeed blurted out:
“If you were today in Gangoh, you would have seen the consequences.”
The cleaner reported to Hadhrat Shaikh who commented:
“Oh! The devil is still in his head. The odour of Gangoh’s kingdom has not left yet. He still has to attend to the toilets.”
After some time, Hadhrat Shaikh instructed the cleaner to repeat the performance. On this occasion Shah Abu Saeed said nothing, but glared in anger at the cleaner. When he Shaikh was informed, he said:
“There is still deficiency in him.”
This service continued for some more time. The cleaner was again instructed to dump the dirt on Abu Saeed. On this occasion his nafs was completely docile and submissive. He gathered the dirt which had fallen to the ground and strew it onto himself. When Hadhrat Shaikh was informed, he commented:
“Alhamdulillah! The first stage has been traversed.”
Truly, it is this takabbur which constitutes the main barrier in the Path. If it is eliminated, the Path will be crossed swiftly.
After this exercise Shah Abu Saeed was granted permission to enter the majlis to listen to Hadhrat Shaikh’s discourses. After some time he was instructed with thikr. After commencement of thikr which resulted in some kaifiyaat (spiritual states), Hadhrat Shaikh discerned some ujub (vanity) in Abu Saeed. Immediately he ordered the cessation of all thikr and shaghl. He imposed on Abu Saeed the duty of tending to the hunting dogs.
One day when he took the dogs for a walk in the forest they saw an animal and ran after it. Shah Abu Saeed who was holding the chains too ran with the dogs for a while. Finally he was exhasuted. He lost control of the two powerful dogs. He feared that if he let go of the chains the dogs may disappear, inviting the displeasure of Hadhrat Shaikh. He therefore tied the chains around his waist. He managed to run behind for a while chained to the dogs. Exhausted he fell down. The dogs running with speed were dragging him along on the ground. They dragged him along a path of stones and thorns. His body was wounded and he bled. However, a special tajalli manifested on him in this state and the pleasure of it made him forget all the hardship.
At the other end, this condition which he was enduring was revealed to Hadhrat Shaikh (by kashf). He said to his khuddaam:
“At this moment faidh (Allah’s special grace) has been bestowed to Abu Saeed. Allah has honoured him with a special tajalli. Go to the forest and bring him.”
When the khuddaam hurried to the forest, the Roohaaniyat (spiritual substance pertaining to the Soul) of Shaikhul Masha-ikh Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddْs manifested itself to Sultanul Auliya Nizamud Deen and said:
“Nizamud Deen! Although you are entitled to impose on him even more hardships, I did not extract so much hardship from you.”
This was a reprimand tempered with love which exercised a profound effect on Sultan Nizamud Deen’s heart. When Shah Abu Saeed now appeared, Hadhrat Shaikh affectionately embraced him. He henceforth applied Shah Abu Saeed to thikr and shaghl, and began to treat him with much honour and concern.
Shah Abu Saeed meanwhile was yearning for the tajalli which he had experienced on the day the dogs had dragged him. Daily he engrossed himself in thikr and anxiously waited in anticipation of that ecstatic experience. When the experience did not occur even after a number of days’ thikr, he one day sat down doing the shaghl of Habs-e-dam (withholding the breath). He resolved that he will not breath as long as the tajalli does not manifest on him even if it means death which he preferred to the insipid life he felt he was leading
He held his breath for several hours until finally the manifestation of the tajalli occurred. In sheer elation and ecstasy he released his breath with such force that his rib broke. Simultaneously, a hand holding a spoon of medicine appeared from the Ghaib (Unseen celestial realm) and administered the medicine to him. The rib was cured immediately. Along with the medicine he heard a voice directing him to drink chicken soup for a few days.
After the passing of this state, he informed Hadhrat Shaikh. Chicken soup was immediately prepared and given to him for several days.
Finally, after Abu Saeed had accomplished his spiritual course, Hadhrat Shaikh conferred the mantle of khilaafate to him and sent him back as his representative to operate the spiritual kingdom. After returning, Hadhrat Shah Abu Saeed lived as an unknown entity for some time. However, after Shaikh Muhammad Sadiq became bay’t to him, people turned towards him in great numbers.
He passed away on the 2nd Rabiul Awwal or Rabiuth Thaani in the year 1040 Hijri. His grave is in Gangoh. The following are his well-known senior khulafaa: Shaikh Muhammad Sadiq Gangohi, Shaikh Ibrahim Rampْri, Shaikh KhwAjah Muhibbullah Ilahabad, Shaikh Ibrahim Saharanpْri and Shaikh Khwajah Panipat.
His original hometown was Sadarpْr. After having accomplished his pursuit of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah he developed a yearning for Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah. He therefore went to the grave of Hadhrat Khwajah Qutbud Deen Bakhtiyar Kaki in Delhi and sat there in meditation. By spiritual communication Hadhrat Qutbud Deen instructed him to join the Saabiriyyah Silsilah of Shaikh Abu Saeed in Gangoh. In obedience to this instruction he became bay’t to Shaikh Abu Saeed.
He is among the distinguished khulafaa of Hadhrat Shah Abu Saeed. Only a few days after having taken bay’t, Hadhrat Shaikh said to him:
“Muhibbullah, come I shall deliver you to the destination.”
Immediately after this statement, Hadhrat Shaikh effected Khwajah Muhibbullah’s takmeel (spiritual accomplishment). – This was effected by the process of Tawajjuh in which roohaaniyat is transferred into the mureed by the Shaikh – Translator.
On seeing this, some Mureeds who had already been with Hadhrat Shaikh for a considerable time were somewhat grieved because inspite of the long duration of their stay, Hadhrat Shaikh had not accorded them the same attention as he had done with the newcomer of a few days, who was richly rewarded and honoured with the Shaikh’s tawajjuh. When they raised this issue with Hadhrat Shaikh, he said:
ذلك فضل الله يؤتيه من يشآء
“That is the grace of Allah. He bestows it to whomever He pleases.”
He then explained to them that everyone was not of the same mettle. While some people are dependent on severe and prolonged mujaahadah, others acquire tajalliyaat after only a little effort.
When Maulana Muhibbullah was appointed a khalifa, he believed himself to be unqualified for this office. But along with the appointment Hadhrat Shaikh applied his tawajjuh which effected Maulana’s accomplishment. While Hadhrat Shaikh was engaging in tawajjuh on Maulana, the latter said:
“Hadhrat I cannot bear more than this. Enough! Enough!”
The Seven Methods of Khilaafat
There are seven ways in which Khilaafate is acquired. These are:
Ijazatan, Ijmaa-an, Waarithan, Hukman, Takallufan and Uwaisiyan.
It has been said that Hadhrat Shaikh Muhibbulah was appointed khalifah by the method known as Uwaisiyan. After his appointment he went to Delhi, then to his hometown, Sadarpْr. After a short stay in Sadarpْr, he settled in Ilahabad where his faidh spread greatly among the people. Numerous Ulama entered his Silsilah.
Ilahabad, this Star of Hidaayaat finally set on the 9th Rajab 1054 or 1058 at sunset on Thursday. His grave is in Ilahabad.
He was born on the 14th Shawwaal 1021 Hijri. He was a Sayyid. Initially he led a care-free life. But his father, Shaikh Isa Hargami, would always admonish and rebuke him. Once when his father subjected him to prolonged naseehat and admonition, he developed a desire for knowledge. He thus engaged himself in the pursuit of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah after which an urge for Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah developed. In this regard he came to Khwajah Muhibbullah and began the process of acquiring Ma-aarif (spiritual knowledge).
He stayed 14 years with Hadhrat Shaikh, rendering every kind of service to his Shaikh. There are some very blessed statements and glad tidings mentioned by Hadhrat Shaikh Muhibbullah in regard to Shaikh Sayyid Muhammadi. Such glowing statements of the Shaikh are a wonderful fortune and happiness for the Mureed. In all this time he only once visited his father in Hargaam in the district of Sitapْr.
He was fond of travelling, hence he spent a great deal of time in his wanderings. After departing from Ilahabad, he stayed for some time in Amrohah on the request and insistence of its inhabitants. He then settled for a while in Akbaraabad. He set the practise of alternating between Akbaraabad and Amrohah staying a few days in each town. In the end he settled permanently in Amrohah.
Usually men of excellence are targeted by envious persons. These people fabricated falsities regarding Hadhrat Shaikh Sayyid Muhammadi and lodged complaints about him to the king, Alamghir (Auranzeb) who ordered Hadhrat to go to the Haramain Shareefain. Thus, in the year 1090, Hadhrat journeyed to the Haramain. After a stay of five years, he returned in 1095 Hijri. His wife had accompanied him on this journey and Shah Muhammad Makki and Shah Muhammad Madani were born.
When he returned, the envious enemies could not tolerate him. They conspired against him and fabricated charges of treason against him. Alamghir succumbing to this pressure of his courtiers, had Hadhrat imprisoned in Aurangabad.
On the 3rd Rajab 1107 Hijri, Hadhrat Shaikh Sayyid Muhammadi while still in prison bid farewell to this abode of hardships. He is buried in Agra in Mahallah Moti Katrah.
He was a Sayyid and the son of his Murshid, Shah Muhammadi. Since he was born in Makkah, he is known as Muhammad Makki.
In the Shajaraat (Papers listing the Spiritual Tree) although his name appears as the link between Shah Adh-dud Deen and Shah Muhammadi, it is stated in Maqaasidus Saadiqeen, which is the work of Shah Adh-dud Deen himself, that the latter gained khilaafate directly from Shah Muhammadi. This is also confirmed by other books of history. Even according to Hadhrat Thanwi, Shah Adh-dud Deen is Shaikh Muhammadi’s khalifah without the intermediate link of Shah Muhammad Makki. In Ta’leemud Deen, Hadhrat Thanwi writes:
“At this juncture there is some difference in the Shajaraat of our (spiritual) family. In some, the name of Muhammad Makki appears between Shaikh Muhammad Hamid Shah and Adh-dud Deen. In some, only the name of Shah Hamid appears. History confirms that Shah Adh-dud Deen acquired khilaafate directly from Shah Muhammad. This implies that there is no other link between these two Masha-ikh because the accepted sequence (of the names in the Shajaraat) will be disturbed.
This research has been from Nukhbatul Tawaarikh Amrohi wherein it is said that Shah Muhammadi and Shah Muhammad Hamid were two brothers. Shah Muhammad Hamid had acquired khilaafate from his brother, Shah Muhammadi whose two sons were born in Haramain Shareefain. The one is Shah Muhammad Makki who is the subject of discussion at this juncture. The other is Roushan Muhammad Madani. Both had acquired khilaafate from their father.
Shah Hamid had a son, Adh-dud Deen who had also gained khilaafate from his paternal uncle, Shah Muhammadi. At the same time he acquired fuyْdh from his father. Thus, the explanation of there being no link between Shah Muhammadi and Shah Adh-dud Deen is obvious, viz., the acquisition of khilaafate from Shah Muhammadi without any intermediary.
The explanation for the separation (i.e. the appearance of the intermediate link of Shah Muhammad Makki) is that faidh from Shah Hamid reached Shah Adh-dud Deen as well as from his (Shah Hamid’s) younger brother (Shah Muhammadi). The summary of this explanation is:
He (Shah Muhammad Makki) derived faidh from his father, Shah Muhammadi while Shah Adh-dud Deen derived faidh from his brother (?) and from his paternal uncle, Shah Muhammad Makki (?) as has been surmised. Thus, all the Shajaraat are in reconciliation.”
(There appears to be some conflict and ambiguity in the Urdu text, which we believe to be a misprint – Translator.)
It is probable that Shah Adh-dud Deen had acquired khilaafate from Shah Muhammadi directly. However, part of his spiritual accomplishment was obtained from his paternal cousin, Shah Muhammad Makki. His other brother, Roushan Muhammad Madani was born in Madinah Munawwarah.
In some quarters Hadhrat’s name is given as Sa’d Muhammad Makki. In some Shajaraat the date of his demise is 11th Rajab. Further information on the year of his demise has not become available.
He is a Sayyid. He is popularly known by the name Sayyid Izzud Deen. However, the research of some people has established that his actual name is Adh-dud Deen, hence this name had later attained greater recognition. He is the son of Shaikh Hamid Bin Shaikh Isa Hargami. His ancestral hometown is Hargam. However, in 1073 Hijri, his father, Hadhrat Shah Muhammad Hamid came to Amrohah. Here he married and settled permanently. Here, Shah Adh-dud Deen was born on 24th Rajab 1077 Hijri. He is, therefore, popularly known as Amroohi.
According to his own writings, he was the nephew (brother’s son) of his Murshid, Shaikh Muhammadi. He had gained the highest accomplishment in Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah. From the very beginning, taqwa and zuhd were his habits. Inspite of the insistence of the rulers, he refused acceptance of their gifts.
A yogi, observing Hadhrat’s virtues and excellences, became his ardent admirer. He prepared an alchemy and presented it to Hadhrat. (Alchemy is a substance which transforms base metals into gold – Translator). Hadhrat refused to accept it. But, the vehement insistence of the yogi constrained him to accept the gift which he put on a shelf in the khaanqah. Some years later when the yogi visited Shah Adh-dud Deen, he noticed that the alchemy was still on the same shelf and had gathered much dust. He said:
“Hadhrat, you did not make use of it.”
Hadhrat responded: “The need never arose for it. We have a greater elixir than it.”
When the yogi asked what that was, Hadhrat said:
After he had completed his Arabic and Urdu studies, the idea of learning Sanskrit occurred to him. In learning this language, he underwent considerable difficulties. Finally, he gained expertise in this language and wrote a kitaab in Sanskrit.
He also was an expert of dream-interpretation. Kashf was a frequent incidence for him. Once when someone desired to learn dream-interpretation from him, he said:
“Learning this knowledge is difficult because it is most difficult to encompass every kind (of dream). It is related to the incidence of Kashf. After kashf, the acquisition of dream-interpretation is natural.”
Maqaasidul Aarifeen is his work which he completed in 1124 Hijri. It is an excellent book on Aqaa-id and Sulook.
Hadhrat Shah Adh-dud Deen passed away on the 27th Rajab in the year 1170 or 1172 Hijri at the approximate age of 100 years. His grave is in Amrohah in close proximity to the Jaami’ Musjid.
He is by birth a Shaikh Siddiqui. He was the son of Shaikh Muhammad Hafiz and the khalifah of Shah Adh-dud Deen. He was born in the neighbourhood of Karishiyaan in the town of Amrohah on Wednesday the 14th Rajab 1084 Hijri.
When he was 4 years old, Shah Muhammadi happened to visit his home. When he prepared for Namaaz, he could not ascertain the Qiblah direction because of his poor eye-sight. He was somewhat facing away from the Qiblah. Inspite of Shah Abdul Hadi’s tender age of 4 years, he turned Hadhrat Shaikh towards the right direction. After completing his Namaaz, Hadhrat said that this boy will one day become the leader of the nation, guiding them. These words of his spiritual grandfather exercised a profound effect on the child. The effect could be discerned on the child from that very moment.
After a few days, his mother entered him into the local Maktab where he started learning elementary Farsi. One day when the teacher had gone to attend to some work, a fearsome looking beggar appeared. All the children became fearful. The beggar chewed something and instructed the boy, Abdul Hadi to eat it. Out of fear, he obeyed. As the morsel descended into his throat, a fear settled over him. He developed a dislike for company and became claustrophobic in settlements. He wandered into the forest and would spend most of his time there.
In the outskirts of Amrohah there lived a Majzْb by the name Yateem Shah. Coincidentally, Hadhrat Abdul Hadi met Yateem Shah who said:
“I have been ordered to keep you with me.”
After Hadhrat had stayed with the Majzْb for some time, he (the Majzْb) said that his Silsilah links up with Shaikh Nizamud Deen Balkhi through five intermediaries. He, therefore, advised Hadhrat Abdul Hadi to become bay’t to Shah Adh-dud Deen. In obedience to this command, Shaikh Abdul Hadi went to Amrohah and entered into bay’t with Shah Adh-dud Deen.
Once during the middle of the night while he was pressing the feet of his Shaikh, he (Shaikh Abdul Hadi) said:
“Hadhrat, make dua that the Repository of Rahmat frees me from the prison of egoism (khْdi).”
Hadhrat Shah Adh-dud Deen said:
“You have imposed on yourself the encumbrance of many relationships, yet you desire to become like us.”
Hadhrat Abdul Hadi said:
“It is my wish to become like a dog of Hadhrat.”
Hadhrat Shaikh was pleased with this answer. After a few days Hadhrat conferred the mantle of khilaafate to Shaikh Abdul Hadi.
Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Hadi was a Saahib-e-Kashf and generally he was apprized (by means of kashf) of the thoughts of people, hence he would answer them immediately.
Since he loved solitude, he spent considerable time in the wilderness. Once, in a dream, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) instructed him to live in the town so that the creation of Allah derives benefit. In obedience to this command, he took up residence in a place called Baraah. He would also stay now and then at other places. Thus his visits to Amrohah decreased substantially.
He had a vast number of khuddaam and mureedeen. People in large numbers derived spiritual benefit from him. Finally, on the insistence of Qadhi Shaikhul Islam and other seniors, he came to Barely and took up residence in Khaikherah which adjoins Barely.
Soon after setting in Khaikherah he became ill. On Friday 4th Ramadhaan 1190 Hijri, he passed away. His grave is in Amrohah in the orchard of Shaikh Zuhْrullah Siddiqui.
He was the son of Shaikh Zuhْrullah and the khalifah of his illustrious grandfather, Hadhrat Shah Abdul Hadi. They were two brothers. Hadhrat Abdul Bari was of weak physical disposition while his brother of strong temperament. Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Hadi would therefore impose lesser mujaahadaat on him than his brother.
He entered the service of his Shaikh at the age of 12. Hadhrat would tell him to clad himself in good quality garments. Although his external appearance did not resemble the fuqaara, his heart brimmed with Divine Love. He perpetually fasted.
After Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Hadi’s demise, he continued with his Shaikh’s mission and watered the Chishti Silsilah with his spiritual efforts.
On the 28th Muharram or the 11th Sha’baan in the year 1226 Hijri on a Friday, Hadhrat Shah Abdul Bari passed away. He left behind one son, Shaikh Rahman Bakhsh and the following seven Khulafaa: Shah Abdur Raheem, Sayyid Hatim Ali Shah, Haji Khairud Deen, Hafiz Kulan Shah, Shaikh Muhammad Muneer, Shaikh Aminullah and Hafiz Abdul Karim.
He was among the Sayyids of Afghanistan. He came to Hindustan in the quest of Ma’rifat. At first he gained distinction and accomplishment in the Qadariyyah Silsilah from Shah Raham Ali Sadhْri. Thereafter, he gained further accomplishment in the Chishtiyyah Silsilah from Hadhrat Shah Abdul Bari.
After the demise of his Shaikh, he (Hadhrat Abdur Raheem) took bay’t of Jihaad on the hands of Hadhrat Ghazi Fillah Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Shahid of Barely. Occasionally both these noble men would sit in Muraaqabah and the Nisbat (i.e. divine bond of proximity) of the one would influence the other.
Someone asked Hadhrat Shah Abdur Raheem:
“You are a man of great spiritual excellence. In baatini perfection you are not less than Sayyid Sahib. In fact, you surpass him. Why then are you so devoted to him? You, yourself have become his Mureed and you enjoin your Mureeds to become his Mureeds.”
“Inspite of all this, we do not know how to perform Namaaz and fast. With the barkat of Sayyid Sahib, we have learnt to perform Salaat and fast.”
On 27th Thil Qa’dh 1246 Hijri, Hadhrat Abdur Raheem was martyred in the battlefield along with Hadhrat Sayyid Sahib and Maulana Ismail Sahib in the Jihaad campaign against the Sikhs. He is buried in Panjtaar Mulk Wilaayat.
He was born in 1201 Hijri. His hometown is Jhanjhaanah. His father’s name was Sayyid Jamal Muhammad Alawi. He is of the children of Hadhrat Shah Abdur Razzaq Jhanjhanwi. He is by birth an Alawi. In the ninth ancestral link, Hadhrat Mianji’s lineage links up with Shah Abdur Razzaq.
He acquired the Nisbat of Tareeqat from Hadhrat Shah Abdur Raheem. He took the utmost care to conceal his spiritual state. He had occupied himself with teaching the Qur’aan Shareef to little boys in the town of Lohaari which is near to Thaanabovan.
His obedience to the Sunnat was of a very lofty degree. For 30 years he never missed Takbir-e-عla of any Jamaat Salaat. His extreme concealment did not permit anyone to know of his excellences. It was a dream of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah which ultimately revealed Hadhrat Mianji’s elevated status. Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah Sahib in his quest for a Shaikh was extremely restless. This will be explained in detail later. During this time, he saw Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). But on account of extreme awe, he was unable to advance a step. Hadhrat Haji Sahib’s grandfather, Mullah Bulaqi arrived. Taking Haji Sahib’s hand, he propelled him (Haji Sahib) to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم) took the hand of Haji Sahib and placed it in the hand of Shaikhul Masha-ikh Hadhrat Mianji.
Since he had no awareness of Hadhrat Mianji, he was completely baffled after the dream. Who is this buzrug? Where can he be found? These were the perplexing issues for Hadhrat Haji Sahib. Several years passed in this condition of bewilderment and extreme agitation.
When Hadhrat Imdadullah’s Ustaad, Hadhrat Maulana Qalandar observed this restlessness, he advised Haji Sahib to go to Lohaari and meet with Hadhrat Mianji. “Perhaps your restlessness will decrease”, he said. On receiving this guidance from his Ustaad, Hadhrat Haji Sahib did not delay a moment. He set off on foot immediately for Lohaari. Restlessness and enthusiasm impelled him on with such force that his feet became blistered.
Finally, he reached Lohaari and went to meet Hadhrat Mianji. As his gaze fell on the auspicious face of his future spiritual father, the image he saw years ago in his dream stood before him. He had reached the end of his long quest and his dashed hopes suddenly came into full bloom.
Haji Imdadullah immediately fell at the feet of Hadhrat Mianji who simultaneously lifted Haji Sahib’s head. Embracing him, he said:
“Have you complete confidence in your dream?”
This very first Karaamat of Hadhrat Mianji further solidified the conviction of Haji Imdadullah.
Hadhrat Mianji’s Murshid was Hadhrat Shah Abdur Raheem who had made bay’t of Jihaad (as was mentioned earlier) at the hands of Hadhrat Sayyid Ahmad Shahid. He had sent a messenger to bring Hadhrat Mianji to make bay’t with Hadhrat Sayyid Ahmad. When the messenger arrived in Jhanjhaanah, Hadhrat Mianji was holding the reins of his horse in his hand and giving water to it. When the message was delivered, a kaifiyat settled over Hadhrat Mianji. The horse too was affected by this kaifiyat so much that it began rolling.
In response to the message, Hadhrat Mianji went to Sahaaranpْr and linked up with Hadhrat Sayyid Sahib’s caravan. When he reached Baalaakot in Punjab, Hadhrat Sayyid and Shah Abdur Raheem instructed him to return to Lohaari. In compliance with their instruction he returned to Lohaari and settled down permanently.
Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah narrates that Hadhrat Mianji once after Juma’ Salaat was giving people some Naseehat. People thinking that he was about to leave this world for the Aakhirat were much grieved and they even displayed their sadness. Conveying their feeling, they said to Hadhrat:
“We thought that in our homes we had a treasure to benefit from whenever we desired.”
“In the homes you have with you many of my friends. Consider them as my representatives.”
Hadhrat Mianji had appointed Hafiz Muhammad Zamin his khalifah at a public gathering and by implication others too were appointed. After a short while, Hadhrat Mianji became ill. He instructed his associates to take him to his hometown, Jhanjhaanah. Haji Imdadullah continues:
“When the cart in which he was journeying reached Thaanabovan, it was made to halt near to the Musjid. I too was present. Hadhrat said: ‘You are single while Hafiz Zamin Sahib and Shaikh Muhammad Sahib have families. It was my intention to impose mujaahadah and difficulty on you, but there is no escape from the Will of Allah Ta’ala. The call for the Journey of Aakhirah has arrived.’ When Hadhrat was speaking, I was leaning against the cart and crying. Consoling me, Hadhrat said: ‘The Faqir does not die. He is simply transformed from one abode to another. The same benefit which was experienced during the Faqir’s physical life will be acquired from his grave.’ ”
Finally, Hadhrat Mianji died a the age of 58 on Friday, 4th Ramadhaan Mubaarak 1259 Hijri. In terms of his wasiyyah he was buried in the field of Imaam Nasirud Deen Mahmْd Shahid Sabzwari.
Once a Saahib-e-Kashf who came to Jhanjhaanah visited the grave of Hadhrat Mianji. Afterwards he commented:
“Alas! Some zaalim (cruel person) has buried him near to Imaam Sayyid Mahmْd. On account of respect, he is withholding his anwaar (rays of spiritual illumination). If he had been buried in a desolate place, the world would have glittered with his anwaar. If there was not the danger of fitnah (strife), I would have exhumed him and buried him elsewhere so that all could witness his anwaar and blessings.”
Some people had intended to raise the height of the grave. However, in a dream he forbade them, saying that to do so is in conflict with the Sunnah.
1) Hadhrat Nْr Muhammad left Lohaari and came to Jhanjhaanah because the Pathans of Lohaari had displeased him on some issue. After Hadhrat had left Lohaari, a series of fires, one after the other, raged through the different neighbourhoods of the town. The Pathans felt that the cause of this calamity was the displeasure of Hadhrat Mianji. They came to Jhanjhaanah and after considerable pleadings, they brought Hadhrat back to Lohaari. After Hadhrat’s return, there never again was a fire.
After sometime, the Pathans enquired from Hadhrat the reason for the fires after he had left. Hadhrat said: “The only thing I know is that occasionally on account of love for Lohaari, I would think of its neighbourhoods.”
2) Once when there was a severe drought, several people came to Hadhrat Mianji to request him for dua. At the time Hadhrat was sucking sugar-cane. Among these people, there was one with whom Hadhrat had a very informal and cordial relationship. Hadhrat said to him:
“If you suck the stalks which I had sucked, Insha’Allah, the rain will come.”
The person at first hesitated, but when pressed by the others, he started to chew and suck the stalks. As he did so, the rain clouds gathered and it began raining in torrents.
3) Once a farm caught fire. The farmer ran in consternation to Hadhrat and related what had happened. Hadhrat removed his topi from his head and gave it to the farmer, saying:
“Make haste and throw it into the fire.”
The farmer ran back to his farm and threw the topi into the raging fire which immediately died out.
4) Whenever Hadhrat Mianji would go to the market-place, all the traders would stand in respect. Once a non-Muslim objected to this. He convinced the traders to discard this practise and they agreed. Sometime thereafter when Hadhrat Mianji came to the market-place the non-Muslim too was present. Surprisingly, the non-Muslim was the first one to stand up in respect. All the other traders did likewise as usual. After Hadhrat left, the traders questioned the non-Muslim objector. He said: “I was helpless. I had no option other than to stand. When Hadhrat came, it seemed as if an invisible force had caught hold of my ears and commanded me to stand.”
5) Once an Aalim from Karnaal said to Hadhrat Mianji:
“We hear stories of people having seen the dismemberment of the bodies of the Auliya. Their heads, hands, feet, etc. all separated from their bodies.”
“My maternal uncle narrated that once he went to visit Hadhrat Mian Sahib at midday. The door of his room was closed although not bolted. He says: ‘When I opened the door I was shocked to see the entire body of Hadhrat Mian Sahib dismembered. As he saw me, the various limbs reunited. Hadhrat Mian Sahib sat up and told me not to divulge what I had seen.’ ”
6) Once a very prominent Sadhu was Hadhrat Mianji’s guest. As he was departing, he said:
“Mianji, in my bag is an elixir. Take it. It seems as if you are lacking in funds.”
(Elixir of Alchemy is a substance which transforms base metals into gold – Translator).
Hadhrat Mianji refusing acceptance said that he had no use for it. The Sadhu again insisted, but Hadhrat refused. When he insisted the third time, Hadhrat picked up a stone and flung it against the wall in front of them and said to the Sadhu: “Look!” When the Sadhu looked, he stared in astonishment at the wall, the whole of which had turned into gold.
The Sadhu commented:
“Mianji, truly you don’t need it.”
7) Hadhrat Shaikhul Islam, Maulana Madani said that the same kaifiyat (spiritual state) which constrained Mansْr al-Hallaj to proclaim: “Anal Haq” (I am The Truth, i.e. Allah) prevailed for six months on Hadhrat Mianji. But no one knew of this. He restrained himself admirably and continued with his teaching.
8) Once some people came to Hadhrat Mianji and asserted their desire for islaah (self-reformation). At that time Hadhrat was engaged in teaching the children. Instructing the children to continue with their lessons, Hadhrat went into his room with the people and closed the door. Inside Hadhrat began casting tawajjuh on the group. The biggest of the children (from the group of children learning their lessons) came and peeped through the keyhole. He saw Hadhrat Mianji with closed eyes sitting facing the people. The child narrated to the other children what he had seen. He then, with a group of children, imitated the scene. He pretended to be the shaikh and sat infront of them. All the children closed their eyes. When later Hadhrat Mianji learnt of the children’s act, he instructed the boy to sit infront of him with closed eyes. He, however became scared very quickly. Unable to bear it, he got up and went away. In his old age he said that at the time during his childhood when he had set with closed eyes infront of Mianji, it seemed as if a burning flame was put on his heart, which he was unable to bear. Immediately thereafter the flame lifted. He continues:
“Nevertheless, the effect of that childhood experience is such that even now on a dark night, inside the house, during winter with my face covered under the blanket, I am aware of the movement of the leaves of the Neem tree outside the house.”
9) Either Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi or Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi narrated that someone informed Hadhrat Mianji of a man who had an exceptionally beautiful voice. The informer suggested to Hadhrat to sometimes listen to a na’t (song) of this person. Hadhrat Mianji said:
“Sometimes people ask me to be the Imaam. On the question of singing even without the accompaniment of musical instruments there is difference of opinion. Further it is negatory of caution to listen to it. Therefore, I shall not listen to it.”
After narrating this episode, Hadhrat Thanwi commented:
“This indicates the degree of his respect and regard for the post of Imaamate. He abstains from even an ikhtilaaf (an act which some say is permissible and others say is not permissible). This was a pure Sْfi who cared so much for the Shariah.”
10) When Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah took up residence in the Peer Muhammadwali Musjid of Thaanabovan, there was no veranda to the Musjid. There were some graves and some trees. A buzrug by the name Hasan Ali Shah who participated in Simaa’ lived there. But he was not a man of the world. He was sincere. When Hadhrat Imdadullah arrived, this buzrug, out of respect, left the place and went to Shah Wilaayat Sahib (this is the name of a suburb). This buzrug inspite of his advanced age, vacated the place for Haji Imdadullah who was at the time a young man.
Hadhrat Mianji Nْr Muhammad would occasionally visit the place. In this place was a family whose land was expropriated. The family was contesting the action in a bid to reclaim the land. They came to Hadhrat Mianji for dua in this regard. Hadhrat said:
“My Haji (i.e. Haji Imdadullah) finds it difficult to sit here. Build for him a veranda here. I shall make dua.”
They promised to build the veranda.
The matter was heard in court at Ilahabad. The family was successful and the land was restored to them. The outcome of their application was conveyed to them by a special letter of the authorities. In happiness they informed Hadhrat Mianji who said:
“Do you also remember your promise?”
They said that they could afford only half the cost of the veranda. Hadhrat Mianji commented:
“Very well, even if it is half.”
Soon thereafter came the following official notification from Ilahabad:
“The expropriation will be reinstated after the death of the owner.”
They hastened to Hadhrat with this news. Hadhrat said:
“After all, you, yourselves, have halved it. Now, what can I do?”
That Hadhrat Mianji was a fountainhead of faidhaan and Irfaan (spiritual benefits and divine knowledge) and that his system of tarbiyat (spiritual and moral training) was of exceptionally lofty degree and most effective, can be ascertained from the fact that the Irfaani and Roohaani pedestal of his Khulafaa are of such elevated status that each one of them constituted a Star and Sun of spiritual guidance in their time. The following are the names of these illustrious khulafaa of Hadhrat Mianji:
Haji Imdadullah Muhaajire Makki, Hadhrat Hafiz Muhammad Zamin Shahid, Hadhrat Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Farْki Thanvi, Hadhrat Shair Muhammad Khan Lohari, Hadhrat Sayyid Muhammad Amir Jhanjhanvi and Hadhrat Barkat Ali Shah.
Hadhrat Hafiz Zamin was martyred on the 24th Muharram 1274 Hijri on a Monday at the time of Zuhr in the Jihaad campaign against the British at Shaamli. He is buried in Thaanabovan.
Hadhrat Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Thanwi passed away at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 7th Rabiuth Thaani 1296 Hijri. He is buried near the Eidgah in Thaanabovan.
Since the elevated name of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah is listed in our Shajarah, we shall now discuss him.
He was the Shaikh of Arab and Ajam’, a fountain of spiritual benefit and knowledge; a veritable treasure-house of spiritual realities and a repository of spiritual subtleties and mysteries. The original name given to him by his father was Imdad Husain. However, the spiritual authority of the time, Shaikhul Masha-ikh Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ishaq who had miraculously discerned the spiritual abilities of the boy, advised the name, Imdad Ilahi. It was this reason that Hadhrat became known by the name Imdadullah. His father’s name and ancestry were Hafiz Muhammad Amin Bin Shaikh Hafiz Buddha Bin Shaikh Hafiz Bulaqi Bin Shaikh Abdullah Bin Shaikh Muhammad Bin Shaikh Abdul Karim.
In the 55th ancestral line his lineage joins with Hadhrat Ibrahim Bin Adham who is also Hadhrat’s spiritual ancestor in the spiritual Silsilah. Although this is the popular view, Hadhrat Thanwi proves in his Tarjihur Raaji’ that in Hadhrat’s ancestry there is Farkh Shah Farْqi, but not Hadhrat Ibrahim Adham.
Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah is a descendent of Amirul Mu’mineen Hadhrat Umar Farْq Bin Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu). He was a follower of the Hanafi Math-hab and an Imaam of Tariqat (Tasawwuf).
He was born on Saturday, 22nd Safar 1233 Hijri, at Naanotah in the district on Sahaaranpْr. Naanotoh is approximately 20 miles from Sahaaranpْr. Naanotoh is the hometown of Hadhrat’s maternal grandfather.
Hadhrat had two elder brothers – Zulfiqar, the eldest, and Fida Husain. The youngest brother’s name is Bahadur Ali Shah. He also had a younger sister, Bi Wazirunnisa’.
At the age of 3 years, Hadhrat was given into the lap of Hadhrat Sayid Ahmad Shahid who favoured him with a symbolical bay’t of Tabarruk. When Hadhrat was 7 years old, his mother Bibi Haseeni, the daughter of Hadhrat Shaikh Ali Muhammad Siddiqui Nanotwi, passed away. Her love for Hadhrat was so intense that she could not tolerate even anyone’s stare at him. She had therefore made wasiyyat:
“Honour this wasiyyat of mine. No one should touch this child of mine.”
In consequence of the strict observance of this wasiyyat, even Hadhrat’s education was not given much attention. However, since he was destined to one day become a guide for humanity and a repository of Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah and spiritual mysteries, there was embedded in his heart a natural yearning for Hifz of the Qur’aan. Thus, inspite of the absence of encouragement from others, he of his own accord, memorised the Qur’aan Majeed. Despite many obstacles, he finally completed the Hifz of the Qur’aan with divine aid.
In 1249 Hijri when Hadhrat was 9 years, he accompanied Maulana Mamlْk Ali to Delhi where he commenced the acquisition of Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah from the renowned Masha-ikh of the time. He had just about begun with some primary Farsi and Arabic grammar books, when there developed in him a yearning for Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah. Allah’s relationship varies with different people. Allah Ta’ala arranges the circumstances, ways and means for the execution of a task which He intends imposing on a person and He then creates the relative ability (taufeeq) in the person who has to perform the function. Hence, even prior to Hadhrat’s accomplishment in Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah, the intense yearning for Uloom-e-Baatiniyyah developed in him. Thus, at the age of 18 Hadhrat took bay’t with Hadhrat Shaikh Maulana Nasiruddin Naqshabandi. He acquired from him the various Athkaar (plural of thikr) of the Naqahabandi Silsilah.
Hadhrat Shaikh Nasiruddin was the Khalifah of Shaikhul Masha-ikh Shah Muhammad afaq as well as the student and son-in-law of the Hadith Authority of the time, namely, Shaikhul Hadith Shah Muhammad Ishaq. He also had the proud honour of being the student of Hafizul Hadith Shah Abdul Aziz.
After only a few days with his Shaikh, the mantle of khilaafate was conferred to him (Haji Imdadullah). He then commenced the study of Mishkaat Shareef under Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qalandar Muhaddith Jalaalabadi. He further, studied Hisn-e-Haseen and Fiqh Akbar under Hadhrat Maulana Abdur Raheem Nanotwi. Both these august personalities were the elite students of Hadhrat Mufti Ilahi Baksh Kandhalwi, the author of the Seventh Section of Mathnawi Ma’nwi. Hadhrat Imdadullah studied Mathnawi Ma’nwi which is the Mine of Uloom-e-Ma’rifat, under Hadhrat Shah Abdur Razzaq who had studied it under Maulana Abul Hasan Kandhalwi who had acquired it from his father, Hadhrat Mufti mentioned above. Hadhrat Mufti Sahib had acquired the knowledge of Mathnawi in Aalam-e-Ru’yaa (the Realm of Visions and Dreams) from the author, Maulana Rْmi himself, who had also appointed him (Mufti Sahib) to compile the Seventh Dafter of Mathnawi.
Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah with his already purified and highly adorned heart, benefited tremendously from the study of such a wonderful treasure-house of Ma’rifat as Mathnawi under the supervision of such a noble authority on the subject as Hadhrat Mufti Sahib. Hadhrat had made the study of Mathnawi a regular practice. The consequence was a constant increase in the burning intensity of his yearning for divine love.
At the peak of his restlessness he was blessed and honoured with the fortune of seeing Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in a dream, which has already been explained in the section dealing with Hadhrat Mianji. It was on the basis of this dream that Haji Imdadullah became bay’t with Hadhrat Mianji. Only after a few days in the association of Hadhrat Mianji, was the mantle of khilaafate conferred to him.
After having conferred the khilaafate, Hadhrat Mianji subjected Haji Imdadullah to one final test. He thus asked his newly-appointed khalifah:
“Do you desire taskheer or kimiyyah?”
(Taskheer is the power to subjugate and control the minds of others. Kimiyyah is the alchemy to transform metal into gold. – Translator.)
On hearing this, Haji Imdadullah broke down crying and said: “The desire is only for Mahbْb-e-Haqiqi (i.e. Allah Ta’ala, the True Love). I wish for nothing of this world.”
In response to this answer, his spiritual father, in a state of ecstatic elation embraced him and showered him with many duas. The chain of faidh continued until 1296 when the spiritual shadow of Hadhrat Mianji was lifted.
After the departure of Hadhrat Mianji from this earthly abode, an absorbing state overtook Haji Imdadullah. In consequence, he developed a stong fear and detestation for people. He withdrew himself from the midst of people and wandered in the wildness of Punjab, which became his home. His love and obedience for the Sunnah made faqr (poverty) a salient feature in him. He would refrain from eating for up to eight days. Not a grain would go down his throat in these periods of self-imposed starvation.
“Once, in dire straits, I asked a person for a loan. Despite him having the ability to advance the loan, he refused.”
Initially, Hadhrat had been slightly affected by this refusal. However, he quickly understood that what had happened was the act of the True Operator (Allah Ta’ala). Thus, the slight despondency was replaced by pleasure.
Thereafter, commenced the incidence of Mubash-shiraat (true dreams). On one occasion he saw in a dream Hadhrat Jibraeel and Hadhrat Mika-eel which symbolised the divine gifts of knowledge, guidance and sustenance (Ilm, Hidaayat and Rizq). In this regard Hadhrat Nanotwi said that Hadhrat Haji Sahib was a producer of Ulama.
Finally, after spending 6 months wandering in the wilderness, in 1260 Hijri Hadhrat was blessed with seeing Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in a dream. Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said: “Come to us.” Simultaneou-sly, Hadhrat was overcome by a strong urge for going to Madinah Munawwarah. Ultimately on 8th Thil Hajj 1261 Hijri, he landed at Bandares which is a port close to Jiddah. From there he set off directly to Arafaat.
After completion of Hajj he remained in the association of Hadhrat Shah Ishaq Muhajire Makki and others, deriving spiritual benefit from them. Some of the advices which Hadhrat Shah Sahib gave him were:
“Regard yourself as the most inferior in the entire creation. Abstention from haraam and mushtabah food is of extreme importance. A haraam or mushtabah morsel most certainly harms.”
Hadhrat Shah Sahib instructed him to observe the muraaqabah (meditation) of
“What! Do you not know that Allah sees?”
Hadhrat Shah Sahib further informed Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah that after ziyaarat of Madinah Tayyib, it will be imperative for him to return to Hindustan. He added:
“Insha’Allah, after severance of all relationships, you will come again. Then you will remain.”
Hadhrat Sayyid Qudratullah Benaresi Makki who was famous for his karaamaat sent several of his mureeds to accompany Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah to Madinah Munawwarah with the instruction:
“Take him with care and bring him back here.”
At last his long desire was fulfilled. After Ziyaarat of Rasulullah’s sacred Grave, he derived the fuyْdh of that holy place. During his time in Madinah, while in muraaqabah in the area known as “A garden of the gardens of Jannat” (i.e. the area between the Sacred Grave and blessed Mimbar), he had the honour of making ziyaarat of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) who placed an amaamah (turban) on his head.
While in Madinah, Hadhrat expressed his desire for living in Madinah Munawwarah to Hadhrat Shah Ghulam Murtaza Jhanjhanwi Madani who also advised him to be patient for a while, for he will, Insha’Allah return. After a few days he went back to Makkah Mukarraamah. Here he stayed a few days before returning to Hindustan.
In the year 1296 Hijri after having returned to Hindustan, the seekers of Sulook insisted on becoming bay’t to Hadhrat. However, his humility constrained him to refuse. But a directive from the Ghaib compelled him to submit to the wishes of the Taalibeen (Seekers). Thus commenced the process of bay’t
Only a few days had lapsed when Hadhrat’s sister-in-law saw in a dream Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) saying:
“Get up! (i.e. Move away!) I shall prepare the food of Imdadullah’s guests who are Ulama.”
Among the Ulama, the first who became Hadhrat’s mureed was Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Apparently he became bay’t in the year 1263 Hijri. A few days thereafter, followed Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi, the founder of Daarul Uloom Deoband.
It is surprising that Hadhrat Nanotwi was a devotee of Hadhrat Imdadullah before Hadhrat Gangohi. At that time Hadhrat Gangohi had no association whatever with Hadhrat Haji Sahib. When occasionally the Ustaad would skip the lesson of Muslim Shareef, on account of the arrival of Hadhrat Haji Sahib, Maulana Gangohi would say:
“A good Haji has come. In fact our lessons have closed.” (This was said with some sarcasm).
Hadhrat Nanotwi would respond:
“Oh! Don’t say so. He is extremely holy and among the chosen.”
Furthermore, Haji Imdadullah had granted khilaafate first to Hadhrat Gangohi during the stay in Thaanabovan in 1266 Hijri while Hadhrat Nanotwi acquired Khilaafate during Haji Imdadullah’s stay in Makkah in about 1282 Hijri.
When these two leading Ulama became bay’t to Hadhrat Haji Sahib, other Ulama also turned towards him. The following Ulama entered the Silsilah at the hands of Haji Imdadullah:
Maulana Abdur Rahman Kandhalwi, Molvi Muhammad Hasan Panipati, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb (the first Mudarris of Deoband), Hafiz Muhammad Yusuf (the son of Hafiz Muhammad Zamin), Maulana Hakim Ziyauddin Rampْri, Maulana Faizul Hasan Saharanpْri and other senior Ulama.
The enthusiasm and yearning which were increasing day by day in is heart produced in him the urge to migrate. However, in view of the movements of the Aakabir (Senior) being subject to command, this idea remained a burning desire in is heart. Coincidentally, the Mutiny of 1276 Hijri (1857) against the British took place. Mischief-makers wanting to save their skins implicated others. In this way they began currying favour with the government. In the aftermath of this upheaval, Hadhrat Haji Sahib bid farewell forever to Hindustan.
The innumerable karaamat which had emanated from Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah are beyond the scope of this brief book nor are they surprising because karaamat are not viewed as anything special by the Ahlullah (Auliya). In fact, their every act is a karaamat. I shall therefore omit them. Anyone desirous of knowing of these karaamat should refer to the treatises Karaamaat-e-Imdadiyyah and Kamaalat-e-Imdadiyyah which are the writings of Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi. Although in these books, he has ensconced an ocean in a cup, it nevertheless, is a drop. However, being the work of Hadhrat Thanwi, it is certainly reliable. Also in Shama-im-e- Imdadiyyah are to be found some of Hadhrat’s karaamaat and anecdotes.
Once a man saw in his dream that Hadhrat Haji Sahib was wearing the mubaarak cloak of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim said that the dream was clear and needed no interpretation. Hadhrat Haji Sahib was covered in the cloak of Shariat and Tariqat.
Hadhrat Haji Sahib left via Punjaab. Enroute he visited the graves of the Auliya at Hyderaabad, Sindh. He embarked at Karachi for Makkah Mukarramah. For some days he stayed at the Ribaat of Seth Ismail on Mount Safaa. He spent most of the time in solitude and in muraaqabah (meditation), hence he did not have the occasion to associate much with the inhabitants of Makkah. However, during the days of Hajj on account of the wishes of the thirsty devotees of Hindustan to meet him, Hadhrat would mostly remain in public view.
After some time had passed in this condition, a directive from the Ghaib drew his attention to the fact that an Aarif should not abandon any Sunnat of the Nabi (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Nikah was, therefore, also essential. On account of his solitude, Hadhrat had hitherto no inclination for marriage. But, because of this directive he married Kْbi Khadijah, the daughter of Haji Shafa’at Khan Marhoom Rampuri, on 21st Ramadhaanul Mubaarak 1282 Hijri. Her parents were already deceased. The mehr was fixed at 60 riyals, the equivalent of 125 rupees or slightly more.
In 1294 some of Hadhrat’s khuddaam, after considerable insistence and pleading, bought for Hadhrat a house in Haarratul Baab. Hadhrat whose glittering heart always regarded himself a musaafir in this transitory abode, did not take a liking to the house. But, the insistence of the khuddaam constrained him to accept the gift.
Hadhrat Haji Sahib was of frail physical stature. In addition to this, mujaahadat, riyaadhaat, reduction of food and sleep melted away his body so much that towards the end it became difficult for him to even turn onto his side.
Hadhrat Aqdas Thanwi gives in his Malfuzaat a description of Hadhrat Haji Sahib’s ma’mool (regular practice) of staying awake at night. This was during Haji Sahib’s stay in Hindustan. Hadhrat Thanwi narrates this on the bases of the narration of Hafiz Abdul Qadir who was the student and mureed of Hadhrat Haji Sahib. Hadhrat Thanwi’s words are:
“After Ishaa, Hadhrat firstly laid down on his bed. All (who were present) saw Hadhrat going off to bed after Ishaa. After all the musallis had left, Hadhrat would instruct the Muath-thin to close the door (of the khaanqah). He would then spread a musalla in the Musjid and become engrossed in Thikrullah. According to Hafiz Sahib, Hadhrat Haji Sahib would sleep for an extremely short while. Whenever his (Hafiz Sahib’s) eyes opened, he would see Hadhrat in the Musjid engrossed in Thikr. He never missed a day nor did there pass a day without him crying and reciting poetry with a sorrowful heart.”
After having brightened this dark world for 84 years, 3 months and 20 days, he reached his Mahboob (Beloved Allah) at the time of Fajr Athaan on Wednesday the 12th or 13th Jamaadil Ukhra 1317 Hijri, giving the people of the world the blemish of his separation. He is buried in Jannatul Ma’laa (in Makkah Mukarramah) alongside the grave of Maulana Rahmatullah Keranwi, the Founder of Madrasah Saulatiyyah (in Makkah Mukarramah).
In memory of Hadhrat Haji Sahib, there are several books written by him. These are still available and are enumerated hereunder.
1. HSHIYAH MATHNAWI of MAULANA RعM
This is an annotation in Farsi on the Mathnawi of Maulana Rْmi. During Haji Sahib’s lifetime only two parts could be printed. The remainder was printed later after his demise.
2. GHIZ-E-ROOH (The Nourishment of the Soul)
He wrote this book in 1264 Hijri. Hadhrat Mianji Nْr Muhammad is also discussed. This book consists of 1600 verses of poetry.
3. JIHAAD-E-AKBAR (The Greater Jihaad)
He composed this book in 1268. This is actually a Farsi work in poetry of another author. Hadhrat translated it into Urdu. In consists of 17 pages with 679 verses.
4. MATHNAWI TUHFAHTUL USH-SHAQ (Mathnawi – A gift for Lovers)
This consists of 1324 poetical verses and was compiled in 1281.
5. RIS LAH DARD GHAMNK (The Treatise of Painful Sorrow)
It consists of 5 pages with 175 verses.
6. IRSHD-E-MURSHID (The Directive of the Murshid)
This book deals with wazaa-if, muraaqabaat, auraad and the shajaraat of the four Silsilah. It was written in 1293 Hijri.
7. ZIYUL QULOOB (Glitter of the Hearts)
This book is in Farsi. Hadhrat wrote this book in Makkah Mukarramah in 1282 Hijri on the request of Hafiz Muhammad Yusuf, the son of Hadhrat Hafiz Muhammad Zamin.
Hadhrat Thanwi writes in his Malfْzaat that Haji Imdadullah said:
“I have deleted two thirds of Ziyaul Quloob because I was informed by ilhaam (divine inspiration) that it is inappropriate to reveal it. In it (the two thirds) is written the effects of Ashgaal.”
8. WAHDATUL WUJD
9. FAISLAH HAFTE MAS’ALAH
This latter book is now known by the title, Kulliyaat-e- Imdaadiyyah.
Some Miscellaneous Episodes
1) Hadhrat Maulana Thanwi narrates that a Sْufi said:
“Our proof for Haji Sahib being kaamil (spiritually perfect) is that the Ulama turn to him in abundance. Usually the Ulama oppose the Sufiyyah. Now when the Ulama have become followers, who can oppose?”
2) Daily after the lesson of Mathnawi Shareef by Hadhrat Haji Sahib, there would be a dua. He was asked:
“Hadhrat what should we make dua for?”
He replied: “Make dua that we too acquire what is written in it (Mathnawi).”
3) Once in the Musjid of Keraana, a pious butcher was sitting by Hadhrat Sahib. While sitting there the thought came to his mind: “Is the rank of Hadhrat Sahib higher or that of Hadhrat Haji Sahib?” Hadhrat immediately commented:
“It is disrespectful to compare the ranks of the Ahlullah: Who is big and who is small? Allah is aware who is more maqbool (accepted) by him. A good opinion should be held for all. What need do you have for this investigation?”
4) Hadhrat Maulana Muhibbuddeen Wilayati was Hadhrat’s khalifah. He was a man to whom occurred the incidence of kashf in abundance. Once the thought came to him that the Hadith mentions great virtues of a Namaaz for which a perfect wudhu was made and the Namaaz is performed without there being any stray thought in it. He was an Aalim as well. He lamented in his heart: “Alas! My whole life has passed without me achieving such a Namaaz. Let me at least make an attempt to perform such a Namaaz.” He was successful in the attempt. In view of the abundance of stray thoughts assaulting the mind, he had closed his eyes during the Namaaz because with open eyes generally a variety of thoughts enters the mind. Thus, by closing his eyes he was able to concentrate and all thoughts were blocked out.
He then desired to know of the form of that Namaaz in Aalam-e-Mithaal (the Spiritual Realm of Symbols). In his contemplation he saw that Namaaz in the form of an extremely beautiful women. She was beautiful in every respect. She had beautiful eyes too. When, however he looked carefully, he saw that she was blind. He was surprised and thaught of the possible defect which had caused his Namaaz to assume this form.
For clearing the doubt, he narrated this incident to Hadhrat Haji Sahib without explaining the method in which he had performed the Namaaz. He had only stated in brief that the Namaaz he had performed was completely devoid of thoughts. Haji Sahib spontaneously responded:
“It appears that in order to avoid the incidence of thoughts you had closed your eyes.”
After he had conceded this, Hadhrat said:
“Since it is in conflict with the Sunnah (i.e. the performance of Namaaz with closed eyes), the defect was shown to you in this form. The Namaaz performed with open eyes has greater acceptability because it conforms to the Sunnah regardless of the abundance of stray thoughts.”
5) Once a sum of money came to the Shareef of Makkah (The Turkish governor), which was for distribution among the Muhaajireen (those who had migrated to Makkah). Hadhrat Haji Sahib sent a message to him informing that he (Haji Sahib) being a Muhaajir was also entitled to a share. In response three annas (three cents) were sent as his share. At that time Maulana Muhammad Muneer Nanotwi was also present. Hadhrat said to Maulana:
“Of what benefit are three annas to me? Nevertheless, I considered it expedient to ask for my share because the peculiarity of this place is that when a man leads a life of some istighnaa (independence), people begin to become jealous for no reason whatever. Since it is my intention to live permanently here, I choose to live humbly to avoid projecting the image of the slightest bit of istighnaa.”
6) A labourer told Hadhrat that a jinn was interfering with his daughter, hence he should come. Hadhrat said that he was not an aamil (therefore his coming would be of no avail). However, on the insistence of the labourer, Hadhrat went. When Hadhrat entered, the jinn made Salaam and expressed his regret and shame because Hadhrat had to come. The jinn said that if Hadhrat had sent a paper with only his name written, he would have left. He further promised never again to cause any difficulty to those related to Hadhrat’s Silsilah.
7) Once a man asked to be shown a wazifah (thikr formula) which will enable him to see Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in a dream. Hadhrat said:
“You have high aspirations. I am not worthy of gaining the honour of making ziyaarat (in a dream) of even the gracious Dome (over Rasulullah’s Grave).”
8) Haji Abdur Raheem who was Hadhrat’s close khaadim said:
“Once black shoes were presented to Hadhrat. Hadhrat gave the shoes to me. I said:
‘The gifts you bestow to us khuddaam are a great treasure and a barkat. But people make gifts to Hadhrat so that you make use thereof. Therefore, if Hadhrat gives it to me after having used it for a few days, then I too will be honoured and the people will also be happy.’
However, Hadhrat said: ‘Go! You don't know.’
When I pressed him for an explanation, Hadhrat said:
‘From the time I saw the black ghilaaf (cloth) of the Ka’bah, I lack the courage to wear black shoes. The thought of the Ka’bah’s colour and my feet come to mind. Similarly, I saw the green curtains of Rasulullah’s Raudah At’har (The Purest Grave), I refrained from wearing shoes of green cloth.”
9) Haji Abdur Raheem also said:
“I served Hadhrat for ages, during the night and day. I never saw Hadhrat stretching out his legs when sleeping. His legs would always be drawn in. At first I never took notice of this. But after a considerable time in which he never even occasionally stretched his legs, I realised that his style of sleeping was by deliberate design. Finally I asked him for the reason, saying that there can hardly be any sleep or comfort in that position. Hadhrat said: ‘Simpleton! Go and wander around with comfort. Don’t you know that it is disrespectful to stretch your legs in the presence of your Mahboob (Beloved)?’ ”
10) Someone faked a letter in Hadhrat’s name and succeeded in obtaining some money on it’s basis from a wealthy person. A man informed Hadhrat and advised him to admonish the person who had frauded the letter in Hadhrat’s name. Hadhrat responded:
“Brother! I have been unable to pass on Deeni benefit to anyone. If someone can acquire the carrion of this world through my agency, I feel ashamed of myself in Allah’s presence for being niggardly in even this respect.”
11) Once a man from Hindustan sent some money as a gift for Hadhrat via the agency of a trader in Makkah Muazzamah. The trader sent a message informing Hadhrat of the arrival of the money. His message had also requested Hadhrat to send someone to collect the money from the shop. With great istighnaa (independence), Hadhrat responded:
“I have not asked for money from Hindustan nor will I send for money to the shop. The Allah Who has delivered the money from Hindustan to Makkah Muazzamah will deliver it from the shop to me.”
The trader felt highly ashamed of himself and immediately sent the money.
12) When Hadhrat was once sick and alone, others heard him laughing loudly. They were surprised to hear him laugh in solitude, all by himself. Sometime thereafter, when he was well, he was asked for the reason of the laughter of that occasion. Hadhrat responded:
“I experienced so much pleasure in my illness that I laughed uncontrollably.”
13) Hadhrat said:
“Every person sees me in a different colour (according to his understanding) while in fact I have no colour. I am like water which appears to have the colour of the bottle in which it is filled.”
14) “Stray thoughts (in Salaat) which agitate people, and refuse to disappear, should not be actively combated. Rather say: ‘Allahu Akbar! How wonderful is the power of Allah. He has created such a constant stream of thoughts which cannot be eliminated.’ This method is suitable for the Saalik. Become engrossed in the contemplation of Allah’s Qudrat.”
15) Regarding the Hadith: “Gheebat is worse than zina.”, Hadhrat commented:
“Zina is a humiliating sin of lust while gheebat is a sin motivated by pride. Kibr (pride is worse than shahwat (lust).”
Hadhrat Aqdas Thanwi further commented:
“Such subtleties are found by our Seniors.”
16) Once someone said: “Whatever spiritual benefit has been achieved, was by virtue of Hadhrat’s barkat.” Hadhrat responded: “Whatever has been gained, is in fact, in you. But, you should think that the benefit has been gained from the Shaikh otherwise you will suffer harm.”
17) Hadhrat said:
“Allah Ta’ala bestows a tongue to some of his servants who are not academically speaking Ulama. Thus, the tongue bestowed to Hadhrat Shams Tabrez was Maulana Rْmi who had elaborated the Uloom (Knowledge) of Hadhrat Shams Tabrez in great detail. In the same way I have received as a tongue Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi.”
18) Hadhrat would say:
“I don’t want to make anyone my servant. I desire to transform people into Allah’s servants.”
Hadhrat would publicly announce:
“I have presented whatever I had. Now everyone has my permission to go anywhere where they feel the Maqsad (Purpose) is attainable. I am not tying anyone to myself.”
19) Once Hadhrat said:
“I am tired of being the one followed by people. I take oath by Allah and say that my heart desires that people brand me a heretic and an infidel and abandon me so that I could be free to engross myself with my Mahboob. Your confidence in me has ruined my time.”
20) Hadhrat said:
“It is better for the heart to be in Makkah Muazzamah and the body in Hindustan than the body in Makkah Muazzamah and the heart in Hindustan.”
21) “There is no barkat in the ta’leem of a Shaikh who himself does not practise even though he may not be in need thereof. But, he should engage in some thikr and shaghl with the intention of receiving (spiritual benefit) so that he may pass it on to others. If he does not receive, he will not be able to give.”
22) When a man complained of not realising any benefit of his thikr, Hadhrat said:
“Is your constancy in thikr slight benefit? You have been given the taufeeq of engaging in thikr.”
(This by itself is a great benefit.)
23) Hadhrat said:
“Even if you are doing an act (of goodness) for the sake of riyaa (show), don’t abandon it. While initially it will be riyaa, later (by constancy) it will be transformed into aadat (habit). Ultimately, the aadat will become ibaadat.”
24) “Drink cold water so that ‘Alhamdulillah!’, emanates from the innermost recesses of the heart.”
25) “I take on mureeds with this intention: If mercy is bestowed to the Shaikh, he will take the mureeds along with him to Jannat, and if mercy is the lot of the mureeds, they will drag their Shaikh to Jannat.”
26) “I regard those who come to me as the medium of my salvation.”
27) A durwaish asked: “Hadhrat when the mind fails to concentrate (in Namaaz), of what benefit are the (external) movements of getting up and sitting?”
“The value of this getting up and sitting will be appreciated there (i.e. in Qiyaamah). In fact, these movements are everything. If Allah Ta’ala grants the taufeeq for these actions, they constitute a valuable treasure even without concentration.”
28) Regarding one’s Shaikh, one should hold the belief that among those Masha-ikh who are living, one is unable to find a Shaikh who is more beneficial than one’s Shaikh for one’s own islah.
29) When any mureed asked Hadhrat whether he should renounce the world, he (Hadhrat) would say:
“If the dunya (world) is halaal, don’t abandon it of your own accord. Engage in the Name of Allah (i.e. Thikrullah). When His Name becomes dominant in a person, the dunya itself will abandon one.”
30) Hadhrat said:
“I dislike taking service from three types of persons – an Aalim, a Sayyid and an old man.”
31) He said:
“The search for fame from people is reprehensible to all. But, according to the Muhaqqiqeen (the Auliya), the quest for fame from even Allah Ta’ala is dislikeable because in such a quest there is a degree of personal vanity, hence the feeling of worthiness which makes one feel that one is holding some lofty rank by Allah. This attitude is in negation of Abdiyat (being a slave of Allah). Abdiyat is lowliness and humility.
32) Hafiz Abdur Raheem Thanwi narrates that Hadhrat Haji Sahib said:
“I do not refuse bay’t to anyone for the fear of him becoming entrapped in the clutches of some Bid’ati. Then, Allah Ta’ala may apprehend me and demand:
‘He had come to you. Why did you reject him? On account of your rejection he became ensnared.’ ”
33) Hadhrat said:
“The searcher of the world should become the renouncer of the world.”
Elaborating this statement, Hadhrat Thanwi said:
“The world cannot be acquired by hankering after it. The way of its acquisition is to shun it. He will then gain it.”
34) Hadhrat said:
“The basis of unity is tawaadhu’ (humility). Those who have humility, will enjoy unity.”
35) Once Hadhrat said:
“There came two students to me. The one claimed that there is no Salaat without concentration which is the apparent meaning of the Hadith:
لا صلوةَ الا بحضور القلب
(There is no Salaat except with the presence of the heart.)
The other student countered with the saying of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu):
لأجهّز جيشي و انا في الصّلوة
(I organise my army while I am in Salaat.)
Who can claim that Hadhrat Umar’s Salaat is defective despite the lack of concentration? Most certainly, thinking of the army and preparing it while performing Salaat is obviously negatory of the presence of the heart in Salaat. It therefore follows that presence of mind (or concentration) is not among the essentials of the perfection of Salaat. The other student was unable to effectively answer this explanation. I told them that Hadhrat Umar’s preparation of the army is not negatory of hudhoor-e-qalb (presence of heart). On the contrary, it is in fact hudhoor-e-qalb. When a king has assigned a rank to a person and imposes on him a duty then when he is present in the royal court, the perfect state of his proximity to the king is for him to present a report of his assignments and await further directives. Similarly, the rank of khilaafate was bestowed to him by Allah Ta’ala. The time of Salaat is the time of presence in the Divine Court. At this juncture, for him to have sought Allah’s counsel and directive regarding the duties entrusted to him, is in fact, hudhoor-e-qalb. Thus, Hadhrat Umar’s involvement in the duty of preparing the army was by ilhaam (inspiration) from Allah Ta’ala. It is baseless and erroneous to compare Hadhrat Umar’s ilhaam with our wasaawis (shaitaani thoughts). Such thoughts are bu’d (remoteness, i.e. being far from Allah) while his inspirational cognition was qurb (Divine Proximity).”
This explanation satisfied both students. After writing this episode, Hadhrat Aqdas Thanwi commented:
“Subhaanallah! In what a simple and clear way has Hadhrat eliminated the conflict! Truly, customary knowledge is mere worship of words. Comprehen-sion of the meanings and recognition of the realities are the capital of only these sages.”
36) Whenever Haji Sahib would discuss a question of Haqaa-iq (spiritual realities) in the presence of Ulama, he would say:
“Brothers, I am unaware. You are the Ulama. I have explained whatever has crossed my heart. If there is anything in conflict with the Kitaab (Qur’aan) and Sunnah, don’t be inhibited. Inform me. On the Day of Qiyaamah I shall say:
‘I had told them, but they had not informed me.’ ”
37) Hadhrat Haji Sahib would occasionally say:
“My khulafaa are of two kinds. The one kind consists of those to whom I gave Ijaazat (Permission) to take bay’t (i.e. to initiate mureeds into the Silsilah). This Ijaazat I gave without their requesting. In reality, they are the true khulafaa. The second type consists of those who themselves requested to show others the Name of Allah (i.e. ways of thikr). On their request I granted them Ijaazat. This latter Ijaazat is not like the first kind (in quality).”
Those who acquired khilaafate and ijaazat from the court of Haji Sahib are the following:
Imaam-e-Rabbani Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi, Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat Maulana Shah Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Maulana Ahmad Hasan Amrohi, Maulana Muhyuddin Khatir, Maulana Jaleel Ahmad, Haji Sayyid Muhammad Deobandi, Maulana Manthْr Ahmad, Maulana Nْr Muhammad and Maulana Abdul Wahid Bengali.
Since the auspicious name of Imaam-e-Rabbani Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi appears in our Shajarah, he will now be the subject of discussion.
South-west of Sahaaranpْr is a town known as Gangoh. Allah Ta’ala has blessed this town with three Akaabir (Seniors) of the Silsilah. Two of them have already been discussed, namely, Hadhrat Shah Abdul Quddْs and Hadhrat Shah Abu Saeed. The third illustrious personality is Hadhrat Imaan Rabbani. At one and the same time he was an Aalim of the Deen, an Authority of the Shariat and Tariqat, an Aashiq (Lover) of the Nabi and a staunch follower of the Sunnah. He is that noble soul who has been designated Imaam Rabbani by his ardent devotees.
His name was Rashid Ahmad. Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani was born on Sunday 6th Thil Qa’dh 1244 Hijri (1829) at the time of Chaasht (about 2 or 3 hours before midday) in Gangoh. His father, Maulana Ahmad Sahib died in the year 1252 at the age of 35 years. Imaam Rabbani’s age at the time was 7 years. After the demise of his father, Hadhrat was taken care of and trained by his grandfather. Birth on a Sunday and being orphaned in early childhood are two features of Rasulullah’s (صلى الله عايه وسالم) life which Allah Ta’ala bestowed to Imaam Rabbani.
His very first Ustaad was Mianji Qutub Bakhsh Gangohi. Even during early childhood his Ustaad spoke glowingly of his intelligence and alertness. It was the habit of Mianji Qutub to smell the mouths of his pupils and question them of the food they had ate. When the pupils informed him, he would say: “You ate alone. Why did you not bring anything for me?”
In view of this habit, Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani had adopted the practise of bringing along his food. He would not eat of it. Rather he would present it to his Ustaad. For several days the house folk were unaware of this sacrifice. However, after a few days when they observed oily marks on his clothes, they admonished him and demanded an explanation. In this way they learnt of his sacrifice. This was the effect of that good fortune and that ability to sacrifice which were naturally endowed to him.
He would occasionally say that it was in either his 4th or 5th year when his mother gave him and his elder brother, Molvi Inayat Ahmad some milk to drink. He continues:
“I insisted that the quantity of milk be increased. My elder brother did not view my insistence with favour. My brother, after drinking his share, drank my share too. I then realised that the outcome of obstinacy is deprivation.”
It has not been established where Hadhrat had learnt the Qur’aan Majeed. Probably he learnt it from his mother at home. In those times the females of the nobility were fully versed in the Qur’aan Majeed and knowledge of the Shariat. He studied Farsi by his maternal uncle, Maulana Muhammad Taqi in Karnaal. Part of his Farsi was also learnt under Molvi Muhammad Gauth. He studied the primary text books of Arabic grammar by Molvi Muhammad Bakhsh Rampْri. On his encouragement, Hadhrat went in the pursuit of further knowledge to Delhi in 1261. At this time he was 17.
In Delhi he joined the classes of different Ustaads. However, he was not satisfied to stay in any place here. By a sheer good coincidence and the Qudrat of Allah Ta’ala, the Ustaad of all subjects, Hadhrat Maulana Mamlْk Ali was returning from his Hijaaz (Arabia) trip and on his way to Naanotah, passed by Delhi. The holidays were about to end, hence he brought along Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi for pursuing knowledge in Delhi.
Imam Rabbani who had not yet commenced his studies systematically because of his inability to settle down, arrived by Maulana Mamlْk Ali. Thus, Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani acquired his Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah under the guidance of one Ustaad. He studied the Kitaab, Sadraa Shams-e-Baazigah by Maulana Mamlْk Ali in the same way as a Hafiz teaches the Qur’aan. He stayed a few years in Delhi until he had accomplished his academic pursuit.
His other Ustaads in the philosophical branches are Maulana Mufti Sadruddin and Qadhi Ahmaduddin. His Ustaad in Hadith was Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Naqshabandi. He engrossed himself so thoroughly in the acquisition of knowledge that he devoted only seven hours to all his needs such as eating, sleeping, etc. (This means that 17 hours daily were devoted to studies).
After completion of his studies, he returned home at the age of about 21. For the entire duration of his stay in Delhi, he had made his own food arrangements. He never imposed on anyone. Every month 3 rupees were sent from home. This would suffice for all his needs.
Now he began teaching in Gangoh. He taught a variety of subjects. This occupation continued until the end of 1300 Hijri. From 1301 his preoccupation was only with Hadith. He alone would teach all six kitaabs of Sihah-Sittah (The six authentic books of Hadith). Hadith lessons would commence during the month of Shawwaal. By Sha’baan all six books would be completed.
Imaam Rabbani himself had explained many times his initiation into Sulook. He said:
“When Maulana Muhammad Qasim and I were studying in Delhi, we intended to study the kitaab, Sullam. But in view of the heavy engagement of Hadhrat Ustaad it was decided that the kitaab (Sullam) would be taught only twice a week. Once while the lesson of Sullam was in progress, a man with a green lungi over his shoulders entered. Spontaneously Hadhrat Ustaad together with all the khuddaam stood up and greatly honoured the man. Hadhrat Ustaad then said:
“Rashid, the lesson will continue another day.”
I lamented much the loss of that day’s lesson. I said to Molvi Muhammad Qasim (with some sarcasm):
‘This is some good Haji. Our lesson is lost.’
Molvi Muhammad Qasim responded: ‘Don’t speak like that. He is a buzrug and among the chosen ones.’ ”
After having narrated this incident, Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani said: “Little did we know that it would be this selfsame Haji who would guide us.” He also said:
“During my student days on account of studying Hadith, I remained for a considerable time in the service of Hadhrat Abdul Ghani Muhajire Madani. I, therefore, repeatedly resolved to become bay’t to him, but every time Maulana Nanotwi would put me off saying that we should make bay’t with Hadhrat Imdad.”
Thereafter, his relationship and affection for Haji Sahib went on increasing until he became wholly dedicated to Haji Sahib, culminating in bay’t on his hands of truth. The episode of his initiation is as follows:
Imaam Rabbani went to Thaanabovan to discuss an issue with Hadhrat Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Thanwi. Before engaging in the discussion, he went to visit Hadhrat Haji Sahib. On his arrival he found Hadhrat Haji Sahib engaging in tilaawat of the Qur’aan Majeed. This was Hadhrat Gangohi’s fifth meeting with Hadhrat Haji Sahib. Haji Sahib met him most affectionately, asking him the reason for coming. Hadhrat Gangohi said that he had come with the intention of debating with Maulana Shaikh Muhammad. Haji Sahib said:
“Oh! Oh! Don’t intend so. He is our buzrug.”
Hadhrat Gangohi said: “If he is your senior, then he is my senior as well.”
Thereafter, finding an opportunity, Hadhrat Gangohi requested to become bay’t. In order to test his eagerness, Haji Sahib refused. However, the love for Haji Sahib was firmly embedded in his heart, hence inspite of the refusal, Hadhrat Gangohi’s resolve did not slacken. After two of three days Haji Sahib initiated him (i.e. Hadhrat Gangohi became bay’t to Haji Sahib). At the time of bay’t, Hadhrat Gangohi told Haji Sahib that he was unable to practise thikr and shaghl, mujaahadah and riyaadhat, nor could he stay awake at night. Haji Sahib smiled and said:
“Good! It does not matter.”
One of Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani’s close associates then asked: “Hadhrat, what happened then?”
Imaam Rabbani replied: “Then, death and annihilation happened.
Two or three days thereafter, Haji Sahib instructed him recite the Thikr formula known as Baarah Tasbeeh.
According to this usual practise Hadhrat Haji Sahib got up at night for Tahajjud. After wudhu he went into the Musjid. Imaam Rabbani also woke up, made wudhu and performed Tahajjud and engaged in thikr in another corner of the Musjid. He was young at the time and he made the thikr enthusiastically and forcefully. In the morning Hadhrat Haji Sahib said:
“You made thikr like an expert.”
Imaam Rabbani said that from that day onwards he was in love with Thikr.
A week after bay’t, Hadhrat Haji Sahib said:
“Molvi Rashid Ahmad! The Ni’mat (Bounty) which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed to me, I have given it to you. In future, it is your duty to increase it.”
Imaam Rabbani would occasionally comment:
“This statement (of Haji Sahib) at that time greatly surprised me. What did he give me? Finally after 15 years I understood what it was he had given.”
After a stay of 22 days, he left enriched with baatini treasures and roohaani wealth from Thaanabovan. At the time of seeing Imaam Rabbani off, Hadhrat Haji Sahib held his hand and in privacy said:
“If anyone request you to accept them in bay’t, do so.”
Hadhrat Gangohi replied: “Who will ask me?”
Haji Sahib responded: “Do as I say.”
After leaving Thaanabovan, Imaam Rabbani arrived at Gangoh. On reaching Gangoh a state of enthusiasm and spiritual ecstasy had settled over him. Regarding this condition, Hadhrat’s cousin, Maulana Abun Nasr says:
“After returning from Thaanabovan, Hadhrat stayed at my home. At midnight he would wake up and set off straight to the Musjid. I would follow him at a distance. When Hadhrat engaged in Thikr Bil Jahr, it seemed as if the whole Musjid was shuddering. Only he knows the state which must have settled over him.”
After having acquired the khilaafate, Hadhrat’s humility and crying increased considerably. Entire nights would pass with him sobbing. His mother had made for him a green shawl for covering him when he goes to the Musjid in the cold nights. He would wipe the constant flow of tears with the shawl. Soon the shawl’s colour changed as a result of the profuse moisture of his tears.
Once while in Thaanabovan, Hadhrat Haji Sahib subjected Hadhrat Gangohi to a test to ascertain his degree of patience, tolerance and self-control. Imaam Rabbani explaining this test said:
“I had stayed a few days in Thaanabovan. I detest to impose the burden of providing my food on Hadhrat. I also thought that to make arrangements elsewhere would be both difficult and detestable. I, therefore sought permission to leave, but Hadhrat declined and told me to stay another few days. I was silent. Although I had resolved to stay the extra few days, I also decided to make my own food arrangements. After a short while, Hadhrat said, just before going home:
‘Rashid Ahmad, don't worry about food. Eat with me.’
In the afternoon when the food came from Hadhrat’s home, one plate contained very delicious kebaab. The other plate contained an inferior type of gravy. After we sat down to eat, Hadhrat kept the kebaab far from me. At that juncture Hadhrat Hafiz Muhammad Zamin Sahib entered. Seeing this, he said to Hadhrat Haji Sahib: ‘Brother, it is difficult for Rashid Ahmad to stretch his hand so far. Why don’t you put the plate near to him?’
Hadhrat Haji Sahib said sharply:
‘He should be grateful that I am at least allowing him to eat with me. In fact, I had intended to give him a piece of bread in his hand to eat elsewhere.’
While making this comment, Hadhrat Haji Sahib was looking at me to detect any change in my expression. But, Al-humdulillah! There was no affect on my heart. I accepted that whatever Haji Sahib had said, was the truth. In fact, to get a piece of bread from his royal court is a great favour, regardless of the way it is obtained. Thereafter Hadhrat never again put me to test. Therefore I know nothing.’ ”
Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah had written to Imaam Rabbani enquiring about his condition. In response, Hadhrat Gangohi wrote a letter which has been printed in Makaateeb-e-Rashidiyyah. The letter is reproduced here.
“O my refuge of both worlds! You have requested information about the haalaat of this useless one. What can this non-entity present of his insignificant conditions in the presence of the Fountain of excellence and perfection? (This is a reference to Hadhrat Haji Sahib). By Allah! I am highly ashamed. I am nothing. But on account of Hadhrat’s instruction, I am constrained to write something, Hadhrat Murshid! Regarding the condition (haal) of Ilm-e-Zaahiri, in the period of approximately more than seven years since I have departed from your august presence, until this year, more than 200 have qualified in Hadith. The majority of them have initiated dars (the profession of imparting Deeni Knowledge) and they are active in the revival of the Sunnah. They have been responsible for the dissemination of the Deen. There is no greater honour than this honour if it is accorded Divine acceptance.
In a nutshell, the fruit of my presence in Hadhrat’s service is that my heart is not concerned with either benefit or harm from anyone besides Allah Ta’ala. Wallah! Sometimes I am separated from my Masha-ikh, hence I am not concerned with the praise or criticism of anyone. I regard both the one who praises me and the one who criticises me to be distant from me.
I have developed a natural dislike for sin and a natural inclination for obedience. This effect is due solely to that relationship (nisbat) which has reached me from the spiritual effulgence of Hadhrat.
To say more will be disrespectful. May Allah forgive that I be a liar, for I have written on the instruction of Hadhrat. In reality I am nothing. It is only Your shadow – only Your existence. What am I? I am nothing. Only He is. You and me are shirk upon shirk. Astaghfirullah! Astaghfirullah! Astaghfirullah! Wala haula wala quwwata illa billah. Kindly absolve me from saying more.
Wasalaam. 1306 Hijri.”
When Abdul Haq Sahib Rampْri had decided to go for Hajj, he invited Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani to accompany him. Considering this a divine gift, Hadhrat happily accepted and expressed his profound gratitude to Allah Ta’ala. In the beginning of 1280 Hijri he departed on the journey. On this journey were also Hakim Ziyauddin, Hafiz Wahiuddin, Haji Alauddin, Haji Muhammad Yusuf and Hadhrat’s maternal cousin, Maulana Abun Nasr.
In Makkah Muazzamah, Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah received them with tremendous affection and showered his love and hospitality on them. As long as they were in Makkah, they remained Haji Sahib’s guests. In Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafaat, Hadhrat Haji Sahib’s camel was always alongside Hadhrat Gangohi’s camel.
During his stay in Makkah Muazzamah, Imaam Rabbani saw in a dream a caravan of Ahl-e-Khidmat on the move. In his dream he made this dua:
“O Allah! Join me with them.”
After making this dua, he ran after them and linked up with them. In the morning when he narrated his dream to Hadhrat Haji Sahib, he (Haji Sahib) smiled and said: “What else do you desire? You have already linked up.”
Also during his stay in Makkah Muazzamah he developed a rash. Initially it was a dry rash. Later it became watery. He embarked on board a ship for the return voyage in this condition. On board, his condition became extremely bad. He contracted such a severe fever that he remained unconscious for three days. He suffered extreme diarrhoea. During his lengthy illness, he was cared for by his maternal cousin, Maulana Abun Nasr. He alone gained the limitless thawaab for his unflinching and devoted service to Hadhrat. Frequently, Imaam Rabbani would say about him:
“Even a blood-brother is unable to do what Abun Nasr had done for me. He tended to me like a loving mother…”
On the seventh day, the ship docked at Bombay. The sickness had become so deeply-rooted during this time that there was absolutely no change in Hadhrat’s condition. After treatment by different people in Bombay, there appeared a slight improvement, but nothing satisfactory. During this duration he would lapse into convulsions. His already weakened body suffered further. His last physician was Hakim Muhammad A’zam Khan, the author of Ikseer-e-A’zam. At that time Hakim Sahib was living in Indore as the physician to the Raja, earning a monthly salary of 1000 rupees. Hakim Sahib came to the place where Hadhrat was staying and after a very thorough examination, treatment commenced. From the very next day an improvement in Hadhrat’s condition was perceivable. Hakim Sahib would daily visit Hadhrat, without any motive of monetary consideration. He would come on foot. Gradually Hadhrat’s condition improved although he was unable to sit. Hakim Sahib now being confident of recovery advised that Hadhrat be taken home. Thus, Maulana Abun Nasr arrived safely with Hadhrat in Gangoh during Muharram 1282. In Gangoh, Hadhrat recovered completely.
Imaam Rabbani went on his second Hajj in 1294 Hijri. This was the time when hostilities had erupted between Turkey and Russia. Among the people circulated the rumour that the Hajj journey was merely an excuse and that the actual purpose of the trip was to organise an army for a Jihaad campaign in aid of Turkey. But this rumour was utterly baseless. Hadhrat’s sole intention was to visit Baitullah and the City of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
He left from Sahaaranpْr on 12th Shawwaal accompanied by a large group of Ulama. In this blessed caravan were the following illustrious Ulama:
Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi, Hakim Ziyauddin, Maulana Muhammad Mazhar with his wife, Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb, Maulana Rafiuddin, Maulana Mahmْd Hasan, Maulana Hakim Muhammad Hasan and Molvi Muhammad Ismail.
The group consisted of approximately a hundred members who travelled by train to Bombay. Along the way a number of miraculous events transpired with this holy group. Molvi Azizur Rahman who is the nephew of Imaam Rabbani narrates that when the train halted at one station, it was time for Fajr Namaaz. Imaam Rabbani alighted and after wudhu performed two raka’ts Sunnat. Seeing that he had resolved to perform the Salaat with Jamaat, almost all the Muslims came out of the train, quickly made wudhu and joined the Jamaat. A very large number of people had joined the Namaaz on the station platform. Meanwhile, the whistle announcing the train’s departure was sounded. Many people broke their Namaaz and hurried into the train. But Imaam Rabbani continued calmly with the Namaaz. There was absolutely no change in the manner in which he was conducting the Namaaz. Although the train made several attempts to move ahead, it failed. After a full 15 minutes, Imaam Rabbani completed the Namaaz and climbed into the train. As he took his seat, the train moved. The 15 minutes delay was made good by the train increasing speed. This was a conspicuous karaamat of Imaam Rabbani.
This group stayed 22 days in Bombay awaiting the arrival of the ship. But, the ship did not arrive. Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb said:
“Today it transpired that Molvi Muhammad Qasim has been the cause for the delay of the whole group. Several of his associates have still to come from Muzaffarnagar. As long as they are not here, the ship will not arrive.”
And so it happened. The very day the group arrived from Muzaffarnagar, Haji Qasim, the agent, started selling tickets for a German shipping company. The very next day the ship left from Bombay. On the eight day, the ship dropped anchor at Aden. After a day and a night in Aden, they sailed for Hijaaz. On the fourteenth day they arrived at Jiddah. After a stay of four days in Jiddah, they left on 20th Thil Qa’dh and reached Makkah Muazzamah the next evening.
Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah was already informed of the coming of this party. He therefore came in great elation to welcome them. As the caravan entered all saw Hadhrat Haji Sahib with a girdle around his waist standing at Baab-e-Makkah (The Portal of Makkah). Imaam Rabbani immediately dismounted and embraced Haji Sahib who took the entire caravan to his ribaat (lodge) where they all stayed. In the morning he invited everyone for meals. Inspite of Imaam Rabbani’s protests, saying that the party was very large, Haji Sahib adamantly said that his pleasure was in the whole party eating with him.
After Hajj, Imaam Rabbani left with the whole party for Madinah Munawwarah where they stayed for about twenty days before returning to Makkah. After a month’s stay in Makkah Mukarramah some of Hadhrat’s close associates decided that it was time to leave. But no one had the courage to speak to Hadhrat on this issue. Finally, a few associates who were in need, approached Hadhrat Haji Sahib and requested him to instruct Imaam Rabbani to leave. Haji Sahib accepting their request, said to Imaam Rabbani:
“Maulana, although my heart does not wish to separate from you, your companions have very little funds. Furthermore, the benefit which the people of Hindustan gain from you is apparent. It therefore seems best that now you leave for Hindustan.”
In obedience to this instruction, Imaam Rabbani took leave. The ship was about to sail from Jiddah. Although there was very little place available on board, Imaam Rabbani decided to buy the tickets and leave immediately. He said:
“Now that Makkah is lost, it is pointless lingering in Jiddah thinking of comfort.”
The ship sailed that same evening and on the thirteenth day docked safely at Bombay. From Bombay they arrived safely in Gangoh.
In 1299, Hadhrat Gangohi made preparations for his third Hajj. Everything happened suddenly. Early preparations had not been made and so little time was left that many people thought that they would not be able to participate in the Hajj.
On the 4th Thil Qa’dh, Hadhrat left for Bombay where he discovered that all the Hujjaaj had already left. Only a handful was seen. These few persons had lingered around hoping for some development which could open up a way for them to go for Hajj. Friends advised that tickets for Jiddah should not be purchased as this would be futile. Extremely little time was left. The new quarantine law of 10 days complicated the matter further. However, Imaam Rabbani was adamant. He purchased his ticket and boarded the ship.
The ship sailed from Bombay and on the seventh day docked at Aden. After a stop of a few hours, the ship sailed for Hijaaz. On the ninth day the ship dropped anchor in Jiddah. The passengers alighted into small boats and went ashore. No one here even knew of the Quarantine law. However, the ship-owners encountered some problem for having violated the quarantine law.
The Hajj was accomplished in peace and comfort. For the third time Imaam Rabbani had the good fortune and honour of meeting Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah.
This was Imaam Rabbani’s last Hajj. Thereafter, he fully engrossed himself with teaching, tarbiyat and tazkiyah (i.e. tending to the moral reformation of his mureeds).
The process of teaching Zaahiri and Baatini knowledge continued until the end of 1313 Hijri. In the beginning of 1314 he lost his sight. The time which was formerly devoted to Uloom-e-Zaahiriyyah was, therefore, now also used for the moral training of mureeds, i.e. for Tazkiyah Nufoos.
On Friday, 8th Jamidith Thaani 1323 Hijri at the time of Jumuah Athaan, Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani bid final farewell to this ephemeral physical abode. Among the many bounties of Allah Ta’ala conferred on him, was also the favour of Shahaadat (martyrdom). He died as a result of having been bitten by a highly venomous snake. By virtue of his total absorption in Tahajjud Namaaz, he was even unaware of the snake-bite. In the morning-light when he went for Fajr Namaaz, his khuddaam observed his foot and lower part of the trousers soaked in blood. Only then Hadhrat became aware. After hurriedly changing, he led the Namaaz.
Regarding the snake-bite, Hadhrat commented:
“I never felt anything biting me nor do I feel any pain now.”
The incident of the snake-bite occurred on the 12th or 13th Jamaadil Ula 1323 and he died on the 8th or 9th Jamaadith Thaani 1323 at the age of 78 years, 7 months and 3 days. Thus, in terms of the Hadith which states that death by poison is shahaadat, Hadhrat died a martyr.
Hadhrat Maulana Mahmْdul Hasan Shaikhul Hind performed the Janaazah Salaat. Some people suspected the perpetration of sahr (magic) on Hadhrat. Every kind of medical treatment was resorted to, but when the time comes to depart, there is no delay. May Allah Ta’ala elevate his status, brighten his resting place and confirm us as his followers. And, that is not difficult upon Allah.
Six days prior to his demise, Hadhrat was waiting in anticipation of Friday. On Saturday he asked:
“Is it Jumuah today?”
In surprise, the khuddaam said that it was Saturday. Thereafter again before Friday, he several times asked the same question. Even in the morning of Friday, the day he died, he asked if it was Jumuah. When it was said that today is Friday, he responded:
A few days after receiving the news of the demise of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah, a companion of his saw in a dream Haji Sahib coming to Deoband. His face shone like the sun. He said:
“I have already died and I have come to take Molvi Rashid Ahmad. By the 20th Thil Hajj I shall take him.”
Sincere friends were perturbed by this dream. They reported the dream to Hadhrat Gangohi who allayed their fears by an interpretation of the dream. Nevertheless, he many a time said:
“An interpretation after all is an interpretation. In such a long time a man can die many times.”
Sometimes he would say with much pleasure:
“When Hadhrat comes to fetch me, most certainly he will take me beautifully.”
In one of the villages in the district of Surat, there was an Imaam of the Musjid, whose name is Sulaiman Mia. He dreamt that two buzrugs with the holiest countenance were sitting on a throne. Another man was standing below the throne. Sulaiman Mia asked this man: “Who are these great people?” He replied: “The great one is Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) and the other is Maulana Rashid Ahmad, the Shaikh of Molvi Ahmad Buzrug, former principal of the Dhabel Madrasah.”
Sulaiman Mia narrated his dream to Molvi Ahmad who asked: “When did you see this dream?” After reflecting, he said: “Either on the 8th or 9th of Jamaadith Thaani.” This was the date of Imaam Rabbani’s death.
1) A man came with the intention of bay’t. Hadhrat said:
“Tell me, will you make taubah or be a faqir?”
He replied: “I am not making taubah. I shall become a faqir.” Hadhrat said:
“If you will make taubah, I shall assist you in it. But, I myself am not a faqir, how can I make you a faqir?”
The man responded:
“Then I shall go to someone else.”
2) Once Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb, the son of Hadhrat Maulana Mamlْk Ali (Hadhrat’s Ustaad) came to Gangoh. Asr Jamaat was ready to begin. Hadhrat Gangohi beckoned to Maulana Yaqْb to lead the Namaaz. When Maulana began walking to the Musalla, Hadhrat Gangohi started to wipe with his shawl the dust and sand which had collected on the feet of Maulana Yaqْb who had walked on foot to Gangoh. Maulana remained standing silently allowing Maulana Gangohi to clean his feet.
3) A certain man had annoyed and hurt the feelings of Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani. Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad fearing the possibility of Hadhrat cursing the man, said:
“Hadhrat, please do not curse him.”
Hadhrat Gangohi was overcome with fear and said:
“Taubah! Taubah! Does one ever curse a Muslim? Astagfirullah!”
4) Hadhrat said:
“If in one gathering all the Auliya have gathered including Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi and our Hadhrat Haji Sahib also happens to be there, then we shall not turn our attention to Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi or anyone else. We will go to Hadhrat Haji Sahib. Yes, Hadhrat Haji Sahib should turn his attention to them. Our concern is with only Hadhrat Haji Sahib.”
5) In Ambheta was a man by the name, Munshi Tajammul Husain. He was a mureed of Hadhrat Haji Sahib. He used to meet often with dervishes, going hither and thither. Once his wife complained about him to Hadhrat Gangohi who asked him for an explanation. He said:
“Undoubtedly, no one is as perfect as our Hadhrat. By the fadhl of Allah, everything is found. However, I desire that my heart begins to vibrate, hence I wander hither and thither.”
Hadhrat Gangohi said: “What is there in it?”
Munshi Husain said: “I am fully aware that in it (i.e. in this condition) there is nothing. But, what can I do? My heart yearns for it.”
Hadhrat said: “Now go and sit in the Musjid.”
He complied with the instruction. Hadhrat made wudhu and walked towards the Musjid. As Munshi Husain heard the sound of Hadhrat’s clogs, his heart flared into operation (i.e. into continuous thikr).
(The word clogs has been used for lack of an English term for the wooden sandals used for wudhu. – Translator).
Munshi Husain ran and fell at Hadhrat’s feet and said: “I have gained what I had desired. Now I shall no longer search for anyone.” Thereafter he abandoned his restless wanderings.
6) Once Qadhi Ismail Manglori said to Hadhrat Gangohi:
“Hadhrat, occasionally do focus tawajjuh on the Taalibeen (Searchers of Allah’s Proximity).”
“Why should I perform like yogis?”
Qadhi Ismail was surprised by this answer which had likened the practice of the Masha-ikh to the act of yogis. Thereafter at the Jalsah in Deoband, Hadhrat Gangohi delivered a wa’z (lecture). Qadhi Ismail was also present. The effect of Hadhrat’s lecture was profound on the assembly. People cried and sobbed. Some swooned and fainted. After the wa’z, Qadhi Ismail approached Hadhrat Gangohi and exclaimed:
“Yes, Molvi Sahib, occasionally you should do so.”
Hadhrat said: “What have I done? I have done nothing.”
7) A simple villager came to Hadhrat at a time when the khuddaam were pressing his body, and said:
“Molvi, you must be very happy to have people serving you.”
Hadhrat said: “Brother, I do feel pleased because of the comfort. But, Al-hamdulillah! There is no pride in the heart. I do not think of myself to be superior to those who are serving me.”
Hearing this answer the villager said:
“Then there is nothing wrong in taking service?”
8) Once during Hajj, Imaam Rabbani was wearing a kurtah of fine muslin while making tawaaf. In the mataaf (Tawaaf area) was sitting a blind buzrug who uttered ‘خشّن خشّن’* when Hadhrat passed by him during the shaut (Tawaaf circuit). On account of Hadhrat’s absorption, he did not near the buzrug’s comments. When Hadhrat passed by the buzrug in the second shaut, he repeated the same word. Now Hadhrat clearly heard him and was convinced he was being addressed. Hadhrat therefore, looked at him. The buzrug said:
“Wear the garments of the Saaliheen.”
Hadhrat pointed at his kurtah and said:
“This too is the garment of the Saaliheen.”
The buzrug said: “No! No! (The garments of the Saaliheen are) thick and coarse.”
Imaam Rabbani saying: “Very good. Allah give you barkat.”,
continued with his tawaaf.
9) Once Hadhrat came outside after performing Ishraaq Namaaz. Contrary to his normal practise, he covered his face with his shawl and laid down. A day before, a wedding party had arrived from Karnaal. In the party was also a female dancer. Several persons in the group had an acquaintance with Hadhrat. They came to greet him, but found him sleeping with his head covered. Although they sat waiting for a long while, Hadhrat did not open his face. Finally, one of them said:
“Hadhrat! We have come to see you.”
Hadhrat while keeping his face covered responded with anger and grief:
“What benefit is loaded in seeing me?”
Ultimately, an old man in the party understood that it was on account of the dancer that they were being deprived of Hadhrat’s ziyaarat. Apologising, he said:
“Hadhrat, we did not bring the dancer. The girl’s party is responsible for this.”
Hadhrat spontaneously said:
“The girl’s party is not anyone’s god to be obeyed.”
Many of those present were profoundly affected by this reply. After these people left, Hadhrat opened his face and sat up.
10) The urs of Shah Abdul Quddْs (Hadhrat’s grandfather) greatly pained Hadhrat Gangohi. But, he was unable to put a stop to it. The grief caused to him by this urs made tolerance extremely difficult for him. This was a supreme mujaahadah for him. In the beginning Hadhrat would leave Gangoh during the urs days and go to Raampْr. Later he remained in the khanqah suffering tremendous pain. He would become angry with any of his relatives who attended, and refrained from speaking with them.
Once Maulana Muhammad Salih Jalandhai who is Imaam Rabbani’s khalifah, in his enthusiasm for meeting Hadhrat, came to Gangoh. Coincidentally, it was the time for the urs. When he arrived Hadhrat did not entertain him. Besides replying to his Salaam, Hadhrat said nothing else, neither enquiring about the food arrangements of Maulana Salih. Hadhrat was absolutely cold towards him. Only Maulana Salih knew what torture he had to endure from this cold treatment. He tried his best to figure out the reason for Hadhrat’s attitude, but could not arrive at any conclusion. He would come to Hadhrat, sit silently and sorrowfully and return. Finally, unable to bear it any longer, he came crying to Hadhrat and implored:
“Hadhrat, what is the crime for which I am being punished? I am unable to bear it. For Allah’s sake forgive me.”
Hadhrat took his hand and said:
“It is not a crime against me that I can forgive. The crime is against Allah. Seek His forgiveness.”
Maulana Salih then understood the reason. He had come to Gangoh during the days of the urs, which was detestable to Hadhrat. Maulana Salih then said by way of apology:
“Hadhrat, Allah is witness. From the very beginning I had no liking for urs, etc. Wallah! I did not come to Gangoh with the idea of urs nor was I aware of the urs taking place here nowadays.”
Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani said:
“Although it was not your intention to participate in the urs, but on the road where two persons who were coming to the urs. You were the third. Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
‘Whoever augments the gathering of a community, he is of them.’ ”
11) Once Hadhrat went to Deoband’s Jalsah of Dastarbandi (the turban-tying ceremony for final year students). One day at Asr time, Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb went forward to lead the Salaat. On account of the huge crowd and abundance of musaafahah (hand-shaking), when Hadhrat Gangohi joined the Jamaat, the Qiraat had already commenced despite Hadhrat’s haste in joining. After the Salaam it could be seen from his expression that Hadhrat was dejected. Sorrowfully he said:
“Alas! After twenty two years, today I missed Takbir-e-عla.”
12) Once a blind man came to the khanqah and with considerable emphasis expressed his sincerity and eagerness for meeting Hadhrat. He said that he had come walking from Meerat for the sole purpose of learning the Name of Allah. The inmates of the khaanqah were immensely impressed by his claims. They were very hospitable towards him.
When Athaan was called and Hadhrat came to the Musjid, the blind man offered his hand for musaafahah. Hadhrat rebuffed and completely ignored him. Inspite of him professing his yearning and his long desire for meeting Hadhrat, he was ignored. Hadhrat did not pay any attention to him. Those who had heard the statements of the blind man who had expressed so much love for Hadhrat, were surprised by the reaction of Hadhrat Gangohi. But no one had the courage to say anything. A sincere associate interceding on behalf of the blind man said:
“Hadhrat, the blind man is extremely worried.”
Hadhrat even disliked this intercession and said angrily:
“When something is not of your concern, why do you speak? Look at his heart. It is filled with the world.”
Thereafter, no one had the courage to say anything further. Finally, the blind man left. Later he was seen participating in qawwaali, feigning states of ecstasy.
Sufi Karam Husain who had witnessed this episode from the beginning and was surprised at Hadhrat’s attitude, was stunned by this development. He asked the blind man:
“What has happened to the love and yearning for Hadhrat?”
At least he was honest. He said:
“Brother, I had thought of creating an impression on your elder so that I could be accommodated for a few days until the time of the urs. In fact, there was neither yearning nor any love. I am a wanderer spending my time in this way.”
13) Hadhrat said:
“Nisbat means nearness to Allah. No one can snatch it away. How can anyone snatch something bestowed by Allah?”
14) People would come to Hadhrat Rabbani and along with telling him about their circumstances, they would complain about others. Hadhrat would very calmly give them a hearing. Once Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya asked:
“People narrate their complaints to Hadhrat. Does it not affect Hadhrat?”
Hadhrat Gangohi said:
“I understand that there is some ill-feeling towards the other party. As long as I have not heard the other side, how can I accept (the complaint to be correct)?”
15) In the days of his youth, Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani had written an article on the reality of Tariqat. It is reproduced hereunder.
“The knowledge of the Sufiyyah means the knowledge of the zaahir and baatin of the Deen and of the power of Yaqeen. This is the loftiest knowledge.
The reality of Tasawwuf is adornment with the attributes of Allah Ta’ala, the elimination of one’s will and total engrossment in the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. The character of the Sufiyyah is in fact the character of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) as stated by Allah Ta’ala:
“Most certainly, you (O Muhammad!) have been created on a great character.”
Further, whatever has been stated in the Ahaadith is executed within the scope of the characters of the Sufiyyah. The list of the akhlaaq (attributes and characteristics) of the Sufiyyah is as follows:
1. To believe oneself to be the most inferior. Its opposite is takabbur (pride).
2. Kindness to creation and to tolerate the difficulties and inconveniences they cause one.
3. Tenderness and cheerfulness and to abandon anger.
4. Sympathy for others and to give preference to them. This implies priority to the rights of others over one’s pleasures.
5. To be generous.
6. To overlook the wrongs of others and to forgive them.
7. To abstain from pretence.
8. To spend in moderation, without being miserly or wasteful.
9. To have trust in Allah.
10. To be contented with little worldly possessions.
11. To adopt piety.
12. To refrain from arguing, quarrelling and being wrathful except for the truth.
13. To abstain from malice and envy.
14. To abstain from the desire of respect and fame.
15. To fulfil promises.
16. To be tolerant, far-sighted and supportive of brothers.
17. Gratitude to the benefactor.
18. To sacrifice reputation for the sake of Muslims.
The Sufi in regard to akhlaaq adorns his zaahir and his baatin. The whole of Tasawwuf is in fact Adab (respect). The adab of the Divine Court is to shun everything besides Allah Ta’ala on account of shame for Allah’s splendour and grandeur.
The worst sin is to converse with the nafs, for it is the cause of spiritual blindness.”
16) Once Maulana Wilayat Husain asked:
“It is said that shaitaan cannot appear in the form of one’s Shaikh. Is this correct?”
Hadhrat Gangohi said:
“Yes, if the mureed has acquired Tauhid-e-Matlab which means that the mureed’s faith in his Shaikh is so grounded that he believes no one else besides his Shaikh in the whole world to be his medium of hidaayat.”
17) Hadhrat said:
“The faces of those who insult and vilify the Ulama turn away from the Qiblah in the grave. Whoever wishes can ascertain this.”
18) “Since the Ghair Muqallideen vilify the Aimmah-e-Deen, performing Salaat behind them is Makrooh.”
19) One day Maulana Muhammad Hasan asked:
“Is it permissible to give a bayaan (lecture) on the birth of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم), reading from a kitaab and without observing the prevalent customs (associated with moulood)?”
“What wrong is there in it?”
Thereafter Hadhrat added:
“Pirzaada Sultan Jahan sent a message:
‘Read that Moulood which is permissible and show us.’ ”
Such a moulood was arranged in a house. Hadhrat continues:
“I sent Molvi Khalil Ahmad with the kitaab Taareekh-e-Habibe Ilaah, the author of which is Mufti Inayat Sahib. I told him to recite from the kitaab. He first recited the aayat,
لقَدْ جاءَ كُمْ الرسول ... (Verily, the Rasool has come to you…). Then he gave a bayaan on this aayat and narrated the statements and actions of Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Quddْs. Then he discussed the customary acts of bid’ah prevalent. He fully exposed the artificial sufis of the time. Then he recited from the kitaab historical events pertaining to Rasulullah’s birth, etc., and then closed the talk. (This was the end of the moulood).
Although many people were annoyed with the owner of the house for having called Maulana for this moulood, there resulted much out if it. Many people are under the impression that the refuters of moulood reject the very idea of discussing the birth (moulood) of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Many people became convinced of their error.”
20) Hadhrat said:
“If Allah Ta’ala eliminates pride from the heart,, everything has been gained.”
Those persons who had attained the lofty status of being khulafaa as a result of Hadhrat’s faidh-e-tarbiyat (blessings of moral training) are as follows:
Hadhrat Maulana Al-Haj Khalil Ahmad Muhajire Madani, Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmْd Hasan Deobandi, Hadhrat Maulana Shah Abdur Rahim Raipْri, Hadhrat Maulana Siddique Ahmad Ambhetwi, Hadhrat Shaikhul Islam Maulana Sayyid Husain Madani, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Raushan Khan Muradabadi, Maulana Hakim Muhammad Ishaq Nahtْri.
Besides the aforementioned, approximately another 22 or 23 others trained by Imaam Rabbani are also his khulafaa. Their names are listed in Tazkaratur Rashid. Since the name of Hadhrat Aqdas Maulana Khalil Ahmad appears in our Silsilah, he will now be discussed.
Hafizul Qur’aan wal Hadith Hadhrat Aqdas Maulana Khalil Ahmad Bin Shah Majid Ali Bin Shah Ahmad Ali Ayyْbi Ansari, was born towards the end of Safar in the year 1269 Hijri, (December 1852) in Ambheta, District Sahaaranpْr. His mother, Bi Mubarakun Nisa’, was the sister of Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb, the Sadr Mudarris of Daarul Uloom Deoband. She was the daughter of Hadhrat Maulana Mamlْk Ali.
In his fifth year he was admitted to the Maktab. For the sake of barkat, Hadhrat Maulana Mamlْk Ali initiated the Bismillah of his primary learning in the Maktab. In view of his natural intelligence and brilliance he completed the Qur’aan Majeed very quickly. He studied the primary Urdu and Farsi text books in Ambheta by several Ulama. Thereafter he accompanied his paternal uncle, Maulana Ansar Ali to Gawaliyaar where he commenced the study of the primary text books of Arabic grammar.
After a short while his father, Shah Majid Ali resigned from his work and returned home. He recalled Hadhrat Saharanpْri from Gawaaliyar. His education was assigned to Maulana Sakhawat Ali Ambhetwi. During this time some relatives insisted that he be admitted to English school. He had no affinity with secular education and absolutely abhorred it, believing it to be a great calamity imposed on him. Nevertheless, he commenced this secular pursuit in obedience to his seniors. But, his heart was wholly attached to the knowledge of the Deen. He always prayed and hoped for freedom from the fetters of this imposed English education. His prayers were answered by the opening of Daarul Uloom Deoband in Muharram 1283. His maternal uncle Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb was appointed the chief Mudarris. Hadhrat Saharanpْri then bid farewell to English education. Taking the permission of his parents, he went to Deoband where he commenced studies from Kaafiyah.
Six months later the foundation stone of Mazaahirul Uloom was laid in Rajab 1283. Here too a maternal uncle of Hadhrat Aqdas, viz. Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Mazhar who was the Khalifah of Hadhrat Gangohi, was appointed the Sadr Mudarris. Since Allah Ta’ala had willed that Hadhrat become one of the trained products of Mazaaharul Uloom, the circumstances were created for his transference to Mazaaharul Uloom. Here he entered the class of Mukhtasarul Ma’ani. He completed his entire academic career at Mazaaharul Uloom.
After accomplishment of his academic studies, he was employed by the Madrasah at a monthly wage of three rupees. This was the year 1288 Hijri (1871) when Hadhrat Aqdas was 19 years. Thereafter he proceeded to Lahore to pursue further Uloom-e-Adabiyyah (Arabic Literature and Eloquence). In this regard Hadhrat Aqdas himself says:
“I went to Lahore and stayed there a few months. After studying Maqaamaat and Mutanabbi by Maulana Faidhul Hasan (rahmatullah alayh), I returned to Deoband. Hadhrat Maulana Yaqْb (rahmatullah alayh) arranged for me to be employed to translate Qaamoos into Urdu. The wage was ten rupees per month. I was sent to a mountain to execute this duty. After about two months I returned.”
Thereafter he was sent as the Sadr Mudarris to the Madrasah of Hadhrat Manglore (Tadhkaratur Rashid, Vol. 1).
Since Allah Ta’ala had destined Wilaayaat-e-Khaassah (Special rank of Sainthood) for Hadhrat Aqdas, it was during his stay in Manglore that he urge and yearning for the acquisition of the true Noor (Divine Love) developed in his heart. This was only natural for one destined to be the Shaikh of the age. In this regard Hadhrat Aqdas himself explains in Tazkaratur Rashid.
“Prior to entering into the holy relationship (Bay’t), I had no special connection with Hadhrat Gangohi nor were there any close family ties between us. During my student days I had a slight acquaintance with Hadhrat. I would only regard him as a holy Aalim. One day my paternal uncle, Molvi Ansar Ali Sahib under whom I was studying said:
‘After your studies, you should acquire Tasawwuf from Molvi Sahib (i.e. Hadhrat Gangohi).’
Once during Ramadhaan I went to Gangoh and at night went to the khaanqah to listen to his (Hadhrat Gangohi’s) Qur’aan. I was standing under a Neem tree listening to his recitation. At the time he was conducting the Taraaweeh Salaat. He was a Hafiz with an exceptionally beautiful voice. He was reciting with such beauty that its sweetness is in my heart to this day. He was reciting Surah Ahzaab at the time.
My marriage took place in Gangoh during my student days, hence I had greater occasion of studying in Gangoh. During my stay in Gangoh I would spend the time in the blessed company of Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh). I remember well that at that time I had the feeling of the sun’s presence and a celestial light in that mubaarak confine (the khaanqah). I experienced peace and serenity in my heart despite the fact that I was not his mureed nor a devoted follower. Secondly, those who were present for spiritual and moral reformation, viz. Hafiz Abdur Rahman Sahib, Molvi Altafur Rahman Sahib, etc., had become embodiments of simplicity and virtue. Their moral character shorn of all evil attributes and adorned with lofty angelic qualities coupled with their love for the Sunnat and dislike for bid’at, made them replicas of the Sahaabah. Nevertheless, the thought of requesting Hadhrat for bay’t did not occur to me.
After termination of my studies when I was sent as a Mudarris (teacher) to Madrasah Manglore in the district of Sahaaranpْr, there developed in me a peculiar condition and inclination towards ibaadat. At that time the Halqah (gathering) of Janaab Qadhi Muhammad Islam was in great prominence. The thought of joining his gathering occurred to me. However, I also felt that I should first consult my seniors and seek their permission. Thus, I consulted with Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb (rahmatullah alayh) who wrote to me in reply:
‘The paths towards Allah are according to the souls of people. Reaching Allah is not confined to the way you have adopted. Although it is also a way of reaching Allah, presently it is not appropriate for you to join the Halqah.’
About this time – 1288 or 1289 – the idea of bay’t occurred to me. Coincidentally, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh) happened to come to Roorki. On my invitation he stayed at Manglore on his return. At night, in privacy I said:
‘I have the thought of bay’t. In our surroundings are several buzrugs. Yourself, Maulana Rashid Ahmad Sahib, Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Sahib and Qadhi Muhammad Ismail Sahib. I do not know what is best for me. If you feel that it is best for me to enter into the association of your khuddaam (i.e. mureedeen), then do accept me. Alternatively, whatever you feel best for me, do instruct me.’
In reply, Hadhrat Maulana (rahmatullah alayh) made a long speech, the essence of which is this: There is none better than Maulana Rashid Ahmad Sahib at this time. I said:
‘He is extremely reluctant regarding bay’t. If you intercede on my behalf then this matter will be finalised.’
‘Good, when I come to Gangoh, then be there.’
I thus waited anxiously for the opportunity. When I was informed a few days later that Hadhrat Maulana was going to Gangoh, I immediately went and said (i.e. to Hadhrat Nanotwi):
‘When a gracious man promises he fulfils (i.e. honours his promise).’
He smiled and said: ‘Well and good.’
During the morning after he had discussed with Hadhrat, he called me. I entered, made salaam and sat down. Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Sahib (rahmatullah alayh) was silent. Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) with a slight smile on his countenance said:
‘Humble and lowly people become my mureeds. You are the son of a Peer and a selected one. Why do you want to enter into bay’t with me?’
I was already awe-struck when I had entered his august presence. This statement further incapacitated my senses. I could only stammer:
‘Hadhrat, I am worse, more contemptible and useless than them (the humble folk).’
He responded: ‘Enough! Enough! Make Istikhaarah. I am coming to the Musjid.’
I proceeded immediately to the Musjid, made wudhu, performed two raka’ts and recited the Masnoon Istikhaarah Dua. On Hadhrat’s arrival he asked:
‘What is your opinion?’
I said: ‘My opinion is the same. Accept me in your subjection (ghulaami).’
Incidentally, Molvi Muhammad Ishaaq Ambetwi who was the son of Brother Hameed Ali who was studying by Hadhrat, was also present, waiting for the initiation. Hadhrat (rahmatullah alayh) instructed us both to repent. Thereafter he initiated us into the System of Subjection (i.e. accepted them as his mureeds). All praise is for Allah for that bounty.”
During the same time an offer of employment from Bhopal came for Hadhrat Maulana Yaqْb (rahmatullah alayh) for a salary of 300 rupees a month. Much pressure was put on him to accept this offer. However, inspite of him earning at that time 30 rupees per month, he declined the offer. He was then pressed to send another reliable person to take up the post. Hadhrat Maulana Yaqْb (rahmatullah alayh) sent his nephew, Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh). Thus, by the choice of his honourable uncle and on the approval of Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh), he left during the year 1293 Hijri to take up the post in Bhopal at the salary of 50 rupees per month.
His residence was in the mansion of Madaarul Mahaam and every arrangement was made for his comfort and wants. However, the spiritual effulgence which he had experienced in the former place (viz. Sahaaranpْr/Deoband) was lacking here in Bhopal. Furthermore, the weather did not agree with him. Maulana Khalil Saharanpْri (rahmatullah alayh), therefore handed in his resignation to his Shaikh, Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) and requested permission to return. The reply which Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) wrote is recorded in Tadhkiratul Khalil. It is reproduced here.
“Brother Molvi Khalil Ahmad Sahib! May your fuyoodh (spiritual grace and benefit) endure for a long time. Your letter was received today. In view of the weather there not agreeing with you, your return is necessary. Relocating on account of the weather is confirmed by the Hadith. However, since it involves livelihood, the matter is somewhat delicate. Therefore, until alternative arrangements are not made, leaving is not appropriate. It is, therefore, advisable to stay there for a while. You were much in demand in Muraadabaad. However, Molvi Abdul Haq Pْri has now taken up the post there, but he is unable to fulfil his duties as are required. If it becomes advisable, I shall endeavour (to acquire a post for you) there or elsewhere. I shall inform you after arrangements are made, Insha’Allah.
18th Rabiul Awwal, 1293 Hijri.”
In accordance with the instructions of Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh), he (Maulana Khalil) stayed on in Bhopal until the Hajj season dawned. The urge to go for Hajj became over-powering. Hadhrat Maulana Khalil was granted leave. He also received a few months salary in advance. Although this money was not sufficient, his enthusiasm impelled him to proceed. This episode is described in detail in Tadhkiratul Khalil.
On reaching Makkah Mukarramah, he presented himself at the home of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah (rahmatullah alayh). The pleasure of Anwaar-e-Baatiniyyah (spiritual light) there was most wonderful. This was the first Hajj of Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh). It has been discussed in great detail in Tadhkiratul Khalil.
After completing Hajj, his intention was to proceed to Madinah Munawwarah. However, the road to Madinah was dangerous. Even those people who had already commenced the journey to Madinah were returning because of the danger. Anarchy, strife and killing were rampant. Hadhrat Haji Sahib said:
“Molvi Khalil Ahmad, what is your intention? I have heard the Hujjaaj are returning home in large numbers on account of the danger and unsafety of the road to Madinah.”
Maulana Khalil Ahmad replied:
“Hadhrat, I have resolved to go to Madinah Tayyibah. The appointed time of maut cannot be delayed anywhere. If it comes in this Road (to Madinah), what greater fortune does a man wish for? It is by the grace of Allah Ta’ala that he has brought me thus far. If now, I abandon the journey to Madinah on account of the fear for death, then who can be more unfortunate than me?”
Hadhrat Haji Sahib’s face brightened up with pleasure, and he commented:
“Enough! Enough! For you the advice is that you should certainly go. Insha’Allah, you will reach.”
Thus, Hadhrat Maulana Khalil took leave and set out for Madinah Munawwarah. He said:
“Only I know of the great peace and comfort I experienced along the journey. I stayed about two weeks in the sacred precincts and reached home safely.”
In this journey, Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) received authorisation in Hadith from Shaikhul Haram Maulana Shaikh Ahmad Dahlan and from Shaikhul Masha-ikh Hadhrat Shah Abdul Ghani Mujaddid Naqhshabandi Dehlawi who had taken up residence in Madinah. This is recorded in detail in the beginning of Musalsalaat. The authorisation from Shaikh Ahmad Dahlan was acquired in Makkah Mukarramah while that of Hadhrat Shah Abdul Ghani was obtained in Madinah Munawwarah after Hajj in the year 1294.
After returning from Hajj, Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) had no intention of returning to Bhopal because the weather conditions there were not favourable. After staying a few days in his hometown, Ambheta, he left in Jamaadil Ula, 1294, for Sikanderaabaad in the district of Balandshahr where he took up a post as Mudarris in Madrasah Arabiya Jaami’ Musjid.
However, here the people of Bid’ah vehemently opposed him. They left no stone unturned to harm him, hence he sought permission from Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) to return. However, Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) refused permission and wrote the following letter:
“Molvi Khalil Ahmad Sahib, Assalaamu Alaikum warahmatullah wa barakatuhu!
Your letter has been received and contents noted. Do not permit the latest developments to alarm you. In this world occur events which please and displease. Continue with your mission. If the opponent is bent on harming you, then know that the Supporter is protecting you.
As far as possible, do not resort to abandonment. … It is better to keep all happy. Perhaps it will prove beneficial. Allah Ta’ala said:
“Thus, because of the mercy of Allah, you are affectionate towards them.”
However, there is no hope that this sect (viz. Ahl-e-Bid’ah) will become pleased, especially when they are exhorted by their lecturers (to oppose you).
Friday, 16 Jamadith Thaani 1294”
However, despite the affection and affability shown by Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Sahib, the intransigence of the people there went on increasing, hence with the permission of Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh), he handed in his resignation and returned.
In that very year, 1294, in the month of Shawwaal an august group consisting of the Akaabir of Hindustan departed for Hajj. In this group were the illustrious stars of Knowledge and Piety, viz. Hadhrat Gangohi, Hadhrat Nanotwi, Hadhrat Maulana Mazhar, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb (Chief Mudarris of Daarul Uloom Deoband) as well as other senior Ulama. Although Hadhrat Saharanpْri (Maulana Khalil – rahmatullah alayh) had a great desire and wish to accompany this august caravan of seniors, Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) did not consent on account of some difficulties regarding travelling arrangements. Moreover, because Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Sahib had just returned from Hajj. This illustrious group returned from Hajj in the month of Rabiul Awwal 1295.
On their return, a letter from Molvi Shamsuddin, Chief Justice of Bhawalpْr, was awaiting Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb Sahib. The letter was a request for a very highly qualified Ustaad. Many qualities were stipulated in the letter. The Ustaad had to be a young man, extremely intelligent, an expert in all branches of Knowledge, an embodiment of virtue and character, who could be an exemplar for students, etc. Hadhrat Maulana Yaqْb (rahmatullah alayh) selected Maulana Khalil Ahmad for this post.
Hadhrat would often say that he had declined the offer, saying that he was not adequately qualified. However, Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“The Ahl-e-Ilm (the Ulama) usually consider themselves in this way (i.e. that they are not adequately qualified). You consider yourself unqualified because you still have your seniors above you. However, when you go outside you will not find anyone as qualified as yourself.”
Finally, by the unanimous opinion of Hadhrat Maulana Yaqْb (rahmatullah alayh) and Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh), Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) took up the post in Bhawalpْr for a monthly salary of 30 rupees.
While he was in Bhawalpْr, he undertook a second Hajj journey which he, himself describes in his Biyaadh. This journey is also described in Tadhkaratul Khalil. It took place in the month of Shawwaal 1297. The year 1296 mentioned in Tadhkaratur Rashid is a printing error.
It was on this blessed journey that Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah (rahmatullah alayh) bestowed the mantle of Khilaafate to Hadhrat Saharanpْri (rahmatullah alayh) and presented his mubarak amaamah (turban). This is mentioned in the second volume of Tadhkaratur Rashid as follows:
“When the honourable Maulana went on Hajj the second time to Makkah Muazzamah, Imaam-e-Rabbani (Maulana Gangohi) wrote to Haji Sahib (Haji Imdadullah) requesting him to confer the mantle of Khilaafat to Molvi Khalil Ahmad Sahib.
On seeing Maulana, Hadhrat Haji Sahib became extremely happy. During Muharram 1297 he presented the document of Khilaafat adorned with his seal and in a state of elation he removed his blessed turban from his head and placed it on Maulana’s head.
The honourable Maulana presented both gifts to Imaam-e-Rabbani and said:
‘I am not deserving of these. This is only your affection and grace for me.’
Hadhrat Gangohi replied:
‘May these be blessed for you. He then signed the Khilaafat Naamah (Document of Khilaafat) and handed it together with the turban to Maulana Sahib.
The respect of Maulana Khalil was such that whenever he would initiate (make bay’t of) a Mureed, he would instruct him (the Mureed), after having made taubah for past sins, to say:
‘I have made bay’t to Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Sahib on the hands of Khalil Ahmad.’ ”
In this narrative, the date Muharram 1297 is a printing error. Hadhrat’s departure for Hajj was in Shawwaal 1297.
The turban mentioned above, is the same blessed turban which Hadhrat Saharanpْri (rahmatullah alayh) presented to my father, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya Sahib (rahmatullah alayh) on the occasion of the bestowal of the mantle of Khilaafat to him. This episode is narrated by Maulana shiq Ilahi Sahib in Tadhkaratul Khalil. He writes:
“Molvi Muhammad Yahya Sahib marhoom was my benefactor and sincere friend. His hidden excellencies and auspicious states require a separate volume. After all, he must have been a somebody for Imaam-e-Rabbani to love more than his own offspring. Hadhrat Rabbani (i.e. Maulana Gangohi) often said that he was the staff of old age and the eyes of the blind.
Occasionally if he (Maulana Muhammad Yahya) would disappear for a few minutes for some work, Imaam-e-Rabbani would become perturbed and restless. He spent twelve years in such love and affection which cannot be explained. This endured until the demise of Hadhrat Imaam-e-Rabbani.
Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) whose foresight had discerned the worth and value of Maulana Muhammad Yahya twelve years ago, went specially to Gangoh to present the turban which Murshidul Arab wal Ajam (i.e. Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah) had presented to him. On this occasion while placing the mubaarak amaamah on Maulana Muhammad Yahya’s head with his blessed hands, he said:
‘You are deserving of this. Until this day I was its protector and trustee. Alhamdulillah! Today, I have handed the haq (right) to the rightful one and am now relieved of the responsibility of this amaanat (trust). I authorise you to initiate any seeker into the four Silsilahs and to show him the Name of Allah.’”
The third and all subsequent Hajj journeyes of Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) were undertaken from Sahaaranpْr. The third Hajj was after the heart-rending demise of Hadhrat Qutub-e-lam Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh). Consolation for the immense grief which he suffered as a result of this event could be obtained only from his presence at the Holy Grave of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
His fourth Hajj was in 1328. In this year Hadhrat Aqdas Shah Abdur Raheem (rahmatullah alayh) went for Hajj accompanied by a large group of his khuddaam (mureeds) and companions. Hadhrat Saharanpْri accompanied Hadhrat Aqdas Raipuri (i.e. Hadhrat Abdur Raheem) as far as Delhi. On his return from Delhi, Janab Shah Zahid Husain Sahib of Bahat prevailed on Hadhrat Saharanpْri to also proceed for Hajj. He said that he too would accompany Hadhrat. Perhaps this insistence was the effect of the yearning and enthusiasm which over-whelmed the heart of Hadhrat Saharanpْri as a consequence of the departure of Hadhrat Raipْri (rahmatullah alayh). Hence, he accepted the offer after much pressure was brought on him to do so by Shah Zahid Husain. Thus, he departed from Sahaaranpْr during the middle of Thil Qa’dh and reached Makkah Mukarramah on 6th Thil Hajj.
After Hajj he went to Madinah Munawwarah via the route of Yamboo’. He stayed 22 days there. He returned to Sahaaranpْr at the end of Safar 1329.
The fifth Hajj was a momentous occasion which took place in Shawwaal 1332 in the company of Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind (rahmatullah alayh). However, he did not obtain the companionship of Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind (rahmatullah alayh) from the beginning of the journey. However, a week before the journey, four illustrious personalities gathered for top-secret discussions in the library of Mazaahirul Uloom. These august personalities were Hadhrat Saharanpْri, Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind, Hadhrat Aqdas Shah Abdur Raheem Raipْri and Maulana Al-Haj Hakeem Ahmad Rampْri (rahmatullah alayhim). No one else besides these four was allowed to participate in the talks
For a full week these discussions continued in privacy. Daily after Ishraaq Salaat, they would go into privacy. At midday word would repeatedly come from the home of Hadhrat Saharanpْri to announce that meals were ready.
They would reply: “We are coming.” They would descend from upstairs just before Zuhr Athaan and after quickly having their meals, perform Zuhr Salaat, then immediately seclude themselves to continue their talks until after the Athaan of Asr. After Asr there would be no majlis (gathering at which Deeni instructions was imparted). However, sometimes after Maghrib there would be a majlis.
Everyone was curious to know what transpired at such lengthy and secret talks which lasted for a whole week, but no one had any inkling.
At the time, I was a child. I would ask every senior about these talks. My father had some idea what these discussions were about. He, therefore, made some allusions which would satisfy my curiosity.
During the absence of Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind (rahmatullah alayh), the responsibility of his duties was assumed by Hadhrat Raipْri (rahmatullah alayh).
Although these personalities held high aspirations (this is a reference to their Jihaad Plan for unshackling India from British imperialism – Translator), Allah’s Decree did not permit their attainment.
In Makkah, on account of the excesses and oppression of Shareef Husain (the Turkish governor of Hijaaz), Hadhrat Saharanpْri was compelled to return before Hajj during Shawwaal 1334, while Hadhrat Aqdas Shaikhul Hind (rahmatullah alayh) was imprisoned and exiled to Malta (by the British government).
Although in Tadhkaratul Khalil it is mentioned that Hadhrat Saharanpْri returned from this journey in Shawwaal, he in fact departed from Makkah Mukarramah at the end of Shawwaal and his ship reached Bombay on the 8th Thil Qa’dh. As he disembarked from the ship he was handed the telegram announcing the demise of my honourable father, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya (rahmatullah alayh). This news aggravated the grief he suffered as a result of the difficult events which transpired in the year of his residency in Makkah Mukarramah.
To compound all this, as he alighted from the ship, he along with his wife and brother, Haji Maqbool Ahmad Sahib who was Hadhrat’s right-hand man, were taken into custody. The three together with their luggage were taken to Nanitaal. The episode of their prolonged interrogation which lasted several days is quite lengthy. Finally, by the fadhl of Allah Ta’ala, they were released.
His sixth Hajj took place in 1338. He left from Sahaaranpْr on 2nd Sha’baan. I too accompanied him on this journey. There was some delay in Bombay regarding embarkation because the retinue of Hadhrat’s companions was approximately 300 and Hadhrat disliked to embark without all his companions. Two ships sailed without them since passage for the entire group was not available on any one of these. Tickets for the entire group were purchased well in advance on a third ship.
Those were very difficult days in Bombay where it was extremely difficult for Deobandis to live publicly. Some sincere friends had, therefore, arranged accommodation for the group in a tent pitched in the veld on the outskirts. Finally, they reached Makkah Mukarramah on the 11th of Ramadhaanul Mubarak.
Inspite of Hadhrat’s weakness and dizziness as a result of the ship’s rocking, he himself conducted the Taraaweeh Salaat while standing. He would recite half Juz in 8 raka’ts and another quarter Juz in the remaining 12 raka’ts was recited by me. On reaching Makkah Mukarramah, Hadhrat performed Taraaweeh behind a highly qualified Qaari who recited two Juz nightly. This recitation was from the beginning. In addition, Hadhrat would recite his own Qur’aan in Nafl Salaat.
When Hadhrat reached Makkah Mukarramah, Hadhrat Maulana Muhibbuddin Muhajir-e-Makki who was among the Khulafaa of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah (rahmatullah alayh), and who was a great Saahib-e-Kashf (one who receives divine inspiration), while embracing him (Hadhrat Saharanpْri) said:
“Maulana, why have you come here? The greater Qiyaamah is about to be enacted here. Return immediately to Hindustan after Ramadhaan.”
Hadhrat said to us (his companions):
“It was my intention to take up residence in Madinah Tayyibah, but Maulana Muhibbuddin Sahib vehemently forbids it. I have already visited Madinah Tayyibah several times. Since this is your first Hajj and it is not known if you will again get this opportunity, therefore, proceed to Madinah.”
The times were so unsafe and dangerous that before Hajj some people would hazard the trip to Madinah and after Hajj a very few would venture to Madinah. Neither life nor property was safe.
The government of Shareef Husain had no control beyond the confines of Makkah. Killing and plundering were rampant. Only three-day visas were granted to stay in Madinah Tayyibah. If anyone wished to stay more than three days, a daily fee of one guinea (gold coin) had to be paid to the Bedouin in charge of the caravan. But this extended stay was possible only with the consent of the Bedouin.
A few of us khuddaam (servants/companions), with the blessings of Hadhrat and the mercy and grace of Allah, finally reached Madinah Tayyibah, travelling clandestinely, initially along the coast, then through the valleys of Mount Ghaa-ir. The story of this journey is indeed long and interesting.
One of the manifestations of the innumerable bounties and grace of Allah Ta’ala, which have always been with this humble one (Hadhrat Shaikh Zakariyyah – Translator), was that instead of three days, I was able to stay 40 days in Madinah Tayyibah. This is truly an example of the bounties stated in the Qur’aanic aayat:
“And, if you count the bounties of Allah, never will you be able to enumerate them.”
On reaching Madinah, one of the camels of our caravan died on account of sheer exhaustion. Neither did the jammaal (owners of the camel) have sufficient funds to purchase another mount, nor did we possess enough money to advance a loan with which another camel could be purchased. Hadhrat Saharanpْri had calculated our expenses for the journey and for a three-day stay in Madinah. Thus, we were given sufficient money only for this. The rest of our funds were left in the safe custody of the trader, Haji Ali Jan.
Whenever the jammaal would ask us for a loan to enable him to purchase a camel, we would ask him for a loan to buy food, saying that we had made arrangements for only three days. May Allah Ta’ala grant him a good reward. The poor man repeatedly presented excuses for the delay. When one of our associates would sometimes complain to the Ameer of Madinah, he too would apologise and instruct us to be patient. He would also threaten the Bedouin (in charge of our caravan).
The stay of this journey is very interesting and wonderful. But, it is not my intention to write my autobiography here. I have simply digressed from my topic and wrote these few lines.
After Hajj we returned with Hadhrat Saharanpْri. Hadhrat reached Sahaaranpْr during Safar 1339.
The seventh Hajj was the journey in which Hadhrat bid a final farewell to Hindustan. On the insistence of the Khuddam of Hyderabaad, it was arranged for Hadhrat to stay over, one week in Hyderabaad. The departure from Sahaaranpْr for Hyderabaad was on 16th Shawwaal 1344.
It was also agreed that I accompany Hadhrat as far as Hyderabaad. However, at the station, precisely at the moment of departure after taking up seats, it was discovered that Hadhrat’s main item of luggage was left behind in his room. This suitcase contained all his amaanaat (items of trust) as well as the funds for the journey. I, therefore, had to return as the train departed. I reached Hyderabaad the next day with Hadhrat’s suitcase.
After staying about a week in Hyderabaad, Hadhrat left for Bombay. According to plan, the rest of the companions together with Ammajee (his wife) left from Sahaaranpْr directly for Bombay on the 23rd Shawwaal while Hadhrat departed from Hyderabaad at 9 a.m. on Saturday 25th Shawwaal. He reached Bombay on Sunday morning.
From Bombay, the ship sailed on the 7th Thil Qa’dh. The ship docked on the 17th at Kamraan, and sailed from there on the 18th, reaching Jiddah on the 21st. From Jiddah the journey to Makkah Mukarramah was by camels. The party reached Makkah Mukarramah on the 25th.
Hadhrat had rented a house in a narrow street opposite Baab-e-Ibrahim. Hadhrat together with three or four Khaadims stayed in this house.
On the 8th we left for Mina. Hadhrat and Ammajee were on one camel. Some other close companions were nearby on other camels. Some of us, Khuddaam, walked on foot alongside Hadhrat’s camel. In Mina we stayed in the tent of the Mutawwif. One tent was for the ladies, in which Ammajee and a khaadimah (female companion) stayed. In another tent, Hadhrat and we, the khuddaam stayed. After completing the Hajj, the stay in Makkah Mukarramah was for a few days. It was then decided to proceed to Madinah. On the 22nd Thil Hajj, Tabrez started. A few camels at a time would leave and stop over at Jarwal.
Tabrez is a well-known practice associated with travel by camel-caravan. The caravan halts for a night about a mile or two outside Makkah. The purpose for this halt is to enable people to return to Makkah to bring any goods or persons left behind. The actual journey commences after this halt at Tabrez. Nowadays, in view of modern transport, people are no longer aware of the practice of Tabrez.
The departure was planned for the 24th, but the government confiscated 23 camels. This resulted in a delay of two days. Therefore, we left two days later after Asr Salaat at 9 o’ clock Arabic time from Jarwal. Some had left and performed Asr Salaat in Tan’eem. At 6 o’ clock, Arabic time, we reached Waadi Faatimah where there were many orchards of very tall date trees. There was also a small stream of very sweet water. We bathed in the stream and ate of the dates.
From here we left at Zuhr on Thursday and reached Asfaan on Friday morning at 12 o’ clock, Arabic time. The camels of the caravan trailed in until 2 o’ clock, Arabic time. Here was a well. It is said that the saliva of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) had mingled in the water of this well. Here were many scattered date trees. There were no orchards. There were also several wells, the water of which was very sweet. Dates, fowls, goats and sheep were in abundance and very cheap.
We left Asfaan at 8 o’ clock Arabic time. We accomplished the long and arduous mountain climb before Maghrib and reached Daf at 6 o’ clock Arabic time on Saturday night. However, on account of the steep mountain climb, the camels trailed in until 9 o’ clock at night. Here too, dates were in abundance. Delicious bread was being sold very cheaply. Milk too, was available in abundance.
We departed from here after Asr Salaat and reached Qadeemah on Sunday morning at 9 o’ clock Arabic time. Qadeemah was a big town where government offices, officials and police were much in view. The different routes from Makkah converged here. Also, those coming from Jiddah would converge here.
There was a shortage of water and the available water was brack.
After Zuhr Salaat at 6 o’ clock, we left and reached Raabigh at 2 o’ clock Arabic time in the morning on Monday. Raabigh was quite a big city. However, on account of war between the Najdis and Shareef, the city was destroyed and desolate. Nevertheless, there was a market-place catering for needs. Some traders here performed a postal service. For a fee would they deliver letters for Yamboo and Jiddah to the post office. All caravans stopped here compulsorily for one night.
We departed from Raabigh Tuesday evening after Asr at 9 o’ clock Arabic time and reached Mastْrah on Wednesday morning at 12 o’ clock. Generally, all the wells were very brack. Whatever was cooked with this well-water also became bitter. However, with the barkat of Hadhrat we located very sweet water. It was learnt that the government had just recently dug a few wells from which sweet water was obtainable by the fadhl of Allah Ta’ala. This water was sweeter than the water of even Raabigh and Qadeemah.
Wednesday evening at 9 o’ clock after Asr we departed and reached Bir-e-Shaikh on Thursday morning at 11 o’ clock Arabic time. Although there existed a market-place, milk was not available.
After Asr we left and reached Bir-e-Banil Hassaan on Friday at the time of Sahri. This place was also called Bir-e-Shaikh Abdullah at the time. It is said that Hasaan was a famous chief who had seven children. He was very wealthy. This settlement is named after him. Several roads from here lead to Madinah Tayyibah. Some caravans accomplish this journey in three manzils (halts), while others do it in four manzils.
The caravan of Hadhrat left Bir-e-Hassaan on Friday after Zuhr Salaat and reached Ghals on Saturday morning, leaving again after Zuhr Salaat. On Sunday morning the caravan reached Fareesh. The various caravans had all gathered here.
From Fareesh we left during the evening of Sunday and reached Madinah Munawwarah (May Allah increase it in dignity and honour) on Monday at the time of Chaasht. If Thil Qa’dh had 30 days, then the date on this day would have been the 8th Muharram and if Thil Qa’dh had 29 days, the date would be the 9th Muharram. Azeezul Hasan Kandhalwi Marhoom whose camel had separated from our caravan, halting at other places, writes in his Biyaadh that the date of arrival in Madinah Tayyibah was the 19th July, Monday morning. In Taqweemul Aam, the date of arrival is said to be the 19th July corresponding with the 8th Muharram on Tuesday. However, in Arabia a difference of a day in the dates is common, hence the 19th July corresponds with the 8th Muharram (Tuesday) in Arabia.
Hadhrat Aqdas Maulana Al-Haj Sayyid Ahmad (the elder brother of Shaikhul Islam Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Husain Ahmad Madani (rahmatullah alayh) had rented a house in Madrasah Shariyyah Qadeem. Qadeem is mentioned here in relation to the present new building which was erected as a consequence of the great changes and re-development schemes during the Saudi regime. The old (qadeem) Madrasah building was a very simple and appealing structure. Its main portal was located on the main road facing Baabun Nisaa. The small door was on the southern side opening into a narrow street.
The ground floor of this house was taken up by Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Sahib. Hadhrat Saharanpْri occupied the second floor where he wrote the kitaab, Bazlul Majhood. The third floor was occupied by the females of Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Ahmad. Adjacent to this, towards the side of Baabun Nisaa was the residence of the Hadhrat Saharanpْri’s females.
After Ishraaq Salaat, Hadhrat Saharanpْri (rahmatullah alayh) would go to the room where he would write his kitaab and remain there for a few hours in complete solitude engrossed in writing Bazlul Majhood. He would thereafter have his meals in the same room. The food of Hadhrat would come from his home and from upstairs would come the food of Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Sahib. I was regarded as their guest by both these seniors, hence I would participate in their meals. This became apparent when once during my year-long stay I could not join them for meals due to a severe fever. Meals would be sent to me by both seniors separately, after Zuhr, on a regular basis. Throughout the duration of the year’s stay, I did not have to make my own arrangements for food.
After meals, Hadhrat would go to the zanaanah (the quarters occupied by his females). After a short nap (qailْlah), he would leave for Musjid-e-Nabawi before Zawwaal (midday). The Zuhr Athaan would be announced soon after Zawwaal. Hadhrat would engage in tilaawat of the Qur’aan Shareef for about an hour from a few minutes after Zuhr Salaat. Thereafter, he would be occupied studying (the book) Wafaa-ul Wafaa. After Asr Salaat, he would proceed to the home of Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Sahib (rahmatullah alayh) on the ground floor and remain there until Maghrib.
Here (at the home of Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Sahib), Hadhrat would keep his majlis which would be open to the public. Both local residents and foreigners coming for Ziyaarat attended the majlis. On these occasions Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Sahib took great delight serving green tea to all present.
During Rabiul Awwal 1345, Hadhrat Abdul Qadir Raipْri (rahmatullah alayh) arrived in Madinah Tayyibah with a few of his close associates. Despite his illness, he would regularly attend Hadhrat Saharanpْri’s majlis after Asr. However, some of Hadhrat Raipْri’s associates would not attend. In this regard Hadhrat Raipْri one day complained to Hadhrat Saharanpْri:
“Hadhrat, insensitivity is predominating. Firstly, these people (referring to his associates) should have realised that when I am attending regularly, they too should ensure their attendance. Secondly, I have even reprimanded them for their absence.”
Hadhrat Saharanpْri (rahmatullah alayh) responded forcefully:
“Hadhrat, never! I feel highly embarrassed in this (i.e. in any attempt to canvass others to attend his bayaan). I never exhorted anyone to become bay’t to my Shaikh (Hadhrat Qutb-e-lam Gangohi). I consider my Shaikh to be the Sun (of spiritual guidance and illumination). Whoever is not keen to derive celestial illumination from him, is the loser himself.”
Hadhrat then pointing to me said:
“It is the habit of this father and son (referring to myself and my father) to cling to the person who offers even the slightest attention to them.”
In fact, I had for several days repeatedly requested Hadhrat:
“Hadhrat, a certain person is very sincere. Although he is devoted to Hadhrat, he completely abstains from thikr and shaghl. Hadhrat should write instructing him to observe thikr.”
Each time Hadhrat’s response would be:
“When he asks, I will instruct. Why should I show him when he does not enquire?”
A day before the episode of Hadhrat Raipْri, I said to Hadhrat Saharanpْri (rahmatullah alayh):
“If you permit, I shall myself write to that person (i.e. the sincere devotee referred to above).”
“Don’t write anything on my behalf. You may write whatever you wish.”
As mentioned earlier, on arrival in Madinah Tayyibah, Hadhrat engrossed himself in the completion of his Kitaab, Bazlul Majhood which had reached the forth volume prior to arrival in Madinah Tayyibah. On reaching Madinah Tayyibah, Hadhrat commenced with Kitaabul Janaa-iz. In the beginning of the manuscript of Bazlul Majhood written in Madinah Tayyibah, the following is recorded:
“13th Muharram 1345 Hijri, Saturday in Madinah Munawwarah.”
The solitude which Hadhrat experienced, coupled to the barakaat of Madinah Tayyibah enabled him to complete one and a half volumes in 7½ months. Three and a half volumes of Bazlul Majhood were completed in approximately 9½ years while one and a half volumes were accomplished in 7½ months. The work was written in Maulana Sayyid Ahmad’s room as mentioned earlier. But for the acquisition of barkat, its completion was rendered in Musjidun Nabawi in the blessed place known as Raudhatum min Riyaadhil Jannat (a Garden from the Gardens of Jannat). Thus, at the end of Bazlul Majhood Hadhrat wrote:
“With the taufeeq and strength granted by Allah Ta’ala, it has been accomplished in Madinah Munawwarah, in Raudhatum min Riyaadhil Jannat near to the Grave of the Leader of the progeny of dam, the Leader of creation and the universe, on the 21st Sha’baan 1345 from the migration of Nabiyyul Ameen. O Allah! Accept it from us as you accept from Your close and pious servants. Make it purely for your Gracious Sake and forgive us for our sins, errors and acts which are not pleasing to you. Verily, You are most forgiving and gracious. You are the Rabb Who is oft-forgiving and merciful.”
Hadhrat was overwhelmed with happiness on the completion of Bazlul Majhood. On the accomplishment of his work, Hadhrat entertained the Ulama of Madinah to a lavish feast. The invitation was printed in Arabic. The original invitation is together with the manuscript of Bazlul Majhood in the Madrasah library. It is reproduced hereunder:
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
All Praise is due unto Allah, The One. Salaat and Salaam be upon him after whom there will be no Nabi.
Honourable Hadhrat Shaikh ………
May your fuyoodh endure.
Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
Allah Ta’ala has favoured the one who in extending this invitation, with the compilation of Bazlul Majhood which is the Sharah (commentary and elucidation) of Abu Dawood. He has granted its completion in the Holy City of Saahibul Mu’jizaat (the Performer of Miracles). May the choicest blessing be on him and his family. May Allah Ta’ala accept it for His Gracious Sake and may He permit Islam and the Muslimeen to derive benefit therefrom, Aameen.
Your presence is desired after Salaatul Juma’ on the 23rd Sha’baan 1345 at Madrasatul Uloomish Shariyyah to participate in meals in conclusion of my happiness. Your presence is being anticipated. Shukr unto Allah. Was-salaam.
Khaadim of the Talabah
The dotted lines are the space where the name of the invited person was written.
After the completion of Bazlul Majhood, the morning part which was formerly devoted to writing this Kitaab, as was explained earlier, was now utilized also for studying Wafaa-ul Wafaa and other books which had accumulated during Hadhrat’s stay in Madinah Tayyibah.
A few days later, the mubarak month of Ramadhaan commenced. During the holy month, Hadhrat would engage in tilawat after Ishraaq for a considerable time. Then after a short nap would he return to the Musjid before Zawwaal. He would return home after Zuhr. Ammajee, as well as myself would listen to Hadhrat’s Qur’aan. After Zuhr, I would present myself at Hadhrat’s place of residence at the appointed time.
According to the usual practice, Hadhrat would proceed after Asr to the residence of Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh). He would leave for Musjid-e-Nabawi a short while before Maghrib and make iftaar there with dates and Zam Zam water. After Maghrib, Hadhrat would recite two juz in Nafl Salaat on the roof of Madrasah Uloom-e-Shariyyah and I would listen to his recitation. He would sit and perform this Nafl.
After performing Isha Salaat in Musjid-e-Nabawi, Hadhrat would return to the Madrasah and perform Taraaweeh behind Qaari Muhammad Taufeeq Sahib who recited two juz with utmost reverence and tranquillity. The Taraaweeh would end at 5 o’ clock Arabic time or 12:30 a.m.
He would then retire for a rest at about 6 o’ clock Arabic time (1:30 a.m.). I was instructed to wake him at 8 o’ clock Arabic time (3:30 a.m.). Besides one or two occasions, I cannot remember finding Hadhrat sleeping.
Thereafter Hadhrat would listen to two juz of two students of Madrasah Shariyyah. He would listen to them separately, following each student (in Nafl Salaat). Hadhrat was enthusiastic about listening to the Qiraat of Naafi’. Both these students were Maalikis and recited according to the Qiraat of Naafi’.
Towards the end of the Holy Month Hadhrat became affected with paralysis, hence he moved about with difficulty. The paralysis had in fact begun after accomplishment of Bazlul Majhood when he was afflicted with severe fever, colds, etc. But, as the result of the barkat of the Holy Month, these illnesses disappeared with the dawn of Ramadhaan Mubaarak. However, the illness reappeared two or three days before Eid and then paralysis set in. Sometimes the sickness would disappear and sometimes reappear. This pattern remained until the time of his demise.
In reality, Hadhrat health and strength were in the accomplishment of Bazlul Majhood. At the end of the Holy Month he experienced the effects of partial paralysis. This too, would sometime disappear, only to reappear later. Even on Eidul Fitr, the effect of the paralysis was predominant. He was, therefore, unable to attend the Eid Salaat in the Haram Shareef. However, later (after all had left for the Eid Salaat), he regained some strength. With the aid of a stick he limped towards the Musjid Shareef.
After we had returned from Madinah Tayyibah, Hadhrat would continue attending the Haram Shareef, albeit with some difficulty. In the month of Rabiuth Thaani 1346, the severity of his illness intensified. Fever, colds and paralysis increased. Sometimes, the sickness would lessen. When the severity of his illness increased he could not go to Musjid-e-Nabawi. However, when he felt somewhat better, he would go to the Musjid with the support of a stick and an assistant.
In the first week of Rabiuth Thaani 1346 he experienced a pain in the chest, which would disappear by massaging.
In the second week, on the request of some Ulama of Madinah, he opened the dars (class) of Abu Dawood Shareef after Asr at the residence of Maulana Sayyid Ahmad. After imparting lessons for two days, Saturday and Sunday, while returning from Zuhr Salaat on Monday, he mentioned that he was again experiencing pain on the chest. He added that he had felt a similar pain three or four days earlier, which disappeared within two or three hours after massaging. On reaching the house, he was massaged. At the time of Asr although the pain had decreased, the weakness did not permit him to go to the Haram Shareef. He performed Asr Salaat at home behind Molvi Sayyid Ahmad Sahib. Inspite of his weakness, he stood and performed Salaat.
His weakness increased and instead of feeling feverish he started to feel cold and perspired. He could not perform Maghrib standing. Even while sitting, he requested Molvi Sayyid Ahmad Sahib to perform the Salaat short and quickly. His condition deteriorated and he performed Isha Salaat sitting on the bed. He spent the night in restlessness reciting the Kalimah, Istighfaar and Durood. He did not get a wink of sleep.
Tuesday morning he again performed Fajr Salaat sitting on the bed. His perspiration and coldness went on increasing. It was clear that this morning was his last morning. Medication carried on during the day.
At the time of Zuhr he was overcome with so much weakness that he was unable to make wudhu. With tayammum he performed Salaat sitting on the bed. Thereafter, movement became very difficult.
By Asr time his condition had further deteriorated greatly. He performed Asr with much difficulty. By Maghrib he no longer had any strength to lift himself. The khuddaam performed their Salaat separately and were waiting in anticipation for Hadhrat to slightly recover for Maghrib Salaat. But Hadhrat’s relationship with the world was completely severed. Besides Paas Anfaas (this is a method of thikr by breathing), nothing else was discernible. He did not respond to any talk nor ask anything.
Twenty four hours had passed in complete silence and on Thursday 16th Rabiuth Thaani 1346 in Arabia, and 15th Rabiuth Thaani 1346 in India, Hadhrat reached his final destination proclaiming aloud ‘Allah! Allah!’ And, suddenly he closed his eyes and was silent.
Inspite of the short time available, the arrangements for burial were quickly accomplished. Sayyid Ahmad Tawwab Sahib gave the ghusl while Abus Saud handed on water. Molvi Sayyid Ahmad and Molvi Abdul Kareem assisted. The Janaazah was quickly prepared and was brought outside the Musjid Shareef and placed near the Baab-e-Jibraeel for the Janaazah Salaat. After Maghrib Salaat, Maulana Shaikh Tayyib, the Rector of Madrasah Shariyyah conducted the Janaazah Salaat. The Janaazah was thereafter taken to Jannatul Baqi (the qabrustan in close proximity to Musjidun Nabawi).
Inspite of the fact that because of little time available, the news of Hadhrat’s demise could not be disseminated, the crowd was so large that numerous people could not gain the opportunity to apply their shoulder to the Janaazah as much as they endeavoured to do so. In fact, it was considered a great boon to be able to simply touch the Janaazah.
Finally his celestial body which had dissolved and was consumed by the fire of Divine Love was assigned to the grave before Ishaa. That night was the night of extreme happiness, for Hadhrat had repeatedly expressed in both word and writing:
“Would that my sand (body) be mingled with the holy sand of Baqi.”
Al-hamdulillah! His wish was fulfilled.
1) On the occasion of Hadhrat’s fifth Hajj when he went to Musjidul Haraam for Tawaaf-e-Qudoom, I (i.e. Maulana Zafar Ahmad Thanwi) was sitting by Maulana Muhibbuddin who was among the senior Khulafaa of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah. He was also well-known as a Saahib-e-Kashf (one who receives inspiration from Allah Ta’ala). At that time Maulana was reciting his wird from a Durood Kitaab. Suddenly he turned to me and said:
“Who has entered the Haram at this time? The entire Haram is filled with anwaar (celestial illumination).”
I remained silent. Suddenly we observed Hadhrat Saharanpْri (rahmatullah alayh) who had just completed his tawaaf heading towards Baabus Safaa for the Sa-ee. He came near to Maulana Muhibbuddeen Sahib who stood up, smiled and commented:
“I too can say who has today come to the Haram.”
He then shook hands and embraced Hadhrat who proceeded for the Sa-ee.
Maulana Muhibbuddeen sat again on his place and said to me:
“Brother Zafar, Maulana Khalil is an embodiment of Noor. He is nothing besides Noor. I did not see Maulana Rashid Ahmad Sahib. I was told that he was a Qutubul Irshaad. Having seen Maulana’s Khulafa I can say that truly, he was Qutubul Irshaad, hence he produced such perfect men (such as Hadhrat Khalil Ahmad).”
2) Maulana shiq Ilahi Sahib writes:
“Hadhrat rarely employed the power of his heart. He would resort to it only on special occasions of need. There was a debate in Sahaaranpْr between Muslims and an Aryah. The Aryah was transferred from Roopri to Sahaaranpْr. Hadhrat was present in the gathering. Molvi Kifayatullah and Molvi Ahmadullah were appointed by the Muslims to record in writing the proceedings. However, Molvi Ahmadullah became tired and the duty devolved entirely on Molvi Kifayatullah.”
In the debate, on the side of the Aryah was a young, handsome Saadhu clad in red garb. He was reclining in an arm-chair. When a Muslim speaker would commence his speech, the Saadhu would sit up, lower his head (i.e. he resorted to his power of mesmerising/hypnotising). In consequence, the speeches of the Muslim speakers would be extremely disjointed and poor. Even Maulana Abdul Haq Haqqani was unable to present his speech on Daur and Tasalsul (these are technical terms in the science of logic).
I (i.e. Maulana shiq Ilahi) then wrote a note to Mirza Azeez Beg, the chairman, informing him that when a Muslim speaker took the stand to speak, then this yogi cast his hypnotising influence, therefore, Maulana Khalil Ahmad Sahib should be notified. The chairman passed the note to Hadhrat. Immediately after reading the note, Hadhrat cast down his head. Thus commenced the battle of Haqq and Baatil between the spiritual hearts of the two. Within two minutes, the Saadhu stood up from the arm-chair looking restless, and left the gathering.
Thereafter, the speeches of the Muslim speakers were like the ocean let loose. In the end, eleven people embraced Islam.
During the afternoon meals on the same day, Hadhrat said:
“I firmly believed that Islam would remain dominant. ‘Haq dominates and cannot be dominated.’
But, Allah Ta’ala is independent. His fear should be at all times and with everyone.
3) After the annual Jalsah of Madrasah Mazaaharul Uloom, the visitors from outside had left. The train for Punjaab arrived first and the travellers for Punjaab took up their seats.
A Saadhu coming from Hardawaar, who also happened to be on the train enquired about the large gathering on the station. A khaadim of Hadhrat informed him that here in Sahaaranpْr was a great Shaikh and people from various places had come to meet him. They were now returning home. After the Saadhu enquired further about Hadhrat, he sat down silently.
The khaadim afterwards explained that after a while he experienced an alien feeling and severe pressure on his heart. There was no indication as to the cause of this condition settling over the khaadim. His heart was gripped by fear and bewilderment. He was unable to distinguish night from day nor was he aware whether he was in a gathering or alone. He was caught in a spell of extreme bewilderment inspite of the coach being packed to capacity. He even lost the ability of speech.
While embroiled in this fearful state, he suddenly saw the resemblance of Hadhrat Saharanpْri whose reflection commenced to fall on his heart and he heard an inner voice commanding:
حَسْبِىَ اللهُ ونِعْمَ الو كِيْل
Although the tongue was dumb and numb, he started this thikr with his heart. Within a few minutes the terrible condition disappeared and serenity was restored to his heart and his ears resumed hearing. He heard the Saadhu saying:
“Truly, your Gْru (i.e. Hadhrat) is highly qualified and very powerful.”
The khaadim said that he then understood that the spell over him was the inner influence which the Saadhu was exercising. He (the khaadim) then taunted the Saadhu:
“Is this all you could display? At least you should have demonstrated better ability!”
The Saadhu was dejected and his face displayed his defeat. He turned away and never spoke again.”
4) Maulana Zafar Ahmad narrates:
“I was six years in the service of Hadhrat Saharanpْri. I do not remember Hadhrat missing Takbir-e-Tahrimah except on one occasion. While making wudhu, his gums bled. The bleeding continued for a considerable time. He sent the khaadim to the Musjid with the instruction not to delay the Namaaz. On that day he missed Takbir-e-Tahrimah because of a valid reason, but even on that day he did not miss the raka’t.”
5) On the occasion of Hadhrat Gangohi’s demise, the people were grieving. It was the time of Jumuah. Hadhrat observed a man wailing in grief and professing his love for Hadhrat Gangohi. He was crying out:
“Oh! Let me make ziyaarat of Hadhrat.”
It became difficult for people to perform Namaaz (on account of his antics), but because they regarded this man to be an ardent devotee of Hadhrat Gangohi, no one said anything. Hadhrat Saharanpْri went into the Musjid and after whispering something to Shaikhul Hind Hadhrat Mahmْdul Hasan, he came outside. In anger he admonished the man saying:
“I know that you are very much grieved. I know that you are Hadhrat’s devotee.”
Then Hadhrat ordered the man to be expelled from the Musjid. He said:
“Put him out of the Musjid. He is neither Hadhrat’s khaadim nor has he love for Hadhrat.”
All the people were surprised.
Afterwards it was ascertained that he was a bid’ati who had applied to his hand a kind of powder which would blacken the face if rubbed on. This discovery was indeed a karaamat of Hadhrat Gangohi and the firaasat of Hadhrat Saharanpْri who saw through the pretence of this man.
6) Once on the occasion of the annual Jalsah of Mazaaharal Uloom, more than the expected number of guests came from the villages. The food prepared was not sufficient for even half the number. The Madrasah’s officials were greatly perturbed. There was no time to prepare more food. Maulana Abdul Latief explained the position to Hadhrat. He said: “Cover the food with sheets. I am coming now.” Hadhrat came, read something, made dua for barkat and blew on the food. He then instructed that the pots be kept covered with the cloths and the food should be taken out from under the cloths. Alhamdulillah! All the guests ate and a large quantity of food was left over.
7) Once Hadhrat Saharanpْri, taking with him Maulana Zafar Ahmad went to see Molvi Abdullah Jan (an attorney). Along the way Maulana Zafar Ahmad wondered:
“Why does Hadhrat go to such gentlemen without being called. If he invites (Hadhrat), then it would be different.”
As this thought occurred, Hadhrat turning to Maulana Zafar Ahmad said:
“Molvi Abdullah Jan’s heart is very good even though he appears like a man of the world.”
Maulana Zafar Ahmad was highly embarrassed.
8) A malicious Barelwi (Bid’ati) complained about Hadhrat to the senior officer in charge of the Haram-e-Nabawi (Musjidul Nabi). He informed the officer who was a Turk, as follows:
“At this moment a man is sitting in Musjid-e-Nabawi imparting lessons. His beliefs regarding Nabi-e-Akram (صلى الله عايه وسالم) are not good. In fact he is disrespectful.”
The Turkish officer went red with anger and stormed off to Baabur Rahmat where Hadhrat was engaged in dars. When the Turkish officer’s eyes fell on the blessed face of Hadhrat Saharanpْri, his anger immediately dissipated. He remained for a while standing and listening to the talk. He then spontaneously exclaimed:
“O Shaikh! A man complained about you, but having seen your face I understand him to be a liar. This is not the face of a liar.”
After the officer had explained the complaint, Hadhrat said:
“They slander us and our seniors, distort our words and publicise falsehood. We have assigned our mutual dispute to Allah Ta’ala.”
The officer told Hadhrat to continue with his auspicious dars in peace.
9) A khaadim wrote to Hadhrat:
“Hadhrat, the fear of publicity is attached to Thikr bil Jahr (making thikr audibly). People will regard one as a pious person. Thus, there exists the possibility of riya (show).”
“Insha’Allah, there will not be the fear of show and publicity. In this age, those who take Allah’s Name or pursue Deeni knowledge are branded mad. Thus, the question of riya does not apply. Riya pertains to such acts which are viewed with favour by people.”
10) Hadhrat said:
“Thikr should be with wudhu. In fact, a Saalik should be perpetually with wudhu and should recite Ism-e-Zaat or Nafi-Ithbaat carefully and with serenity. Attention should be paid to the meanings. It is best to wake up in the later part of the night and engage in thikr after Tahajjud. It is the time of barkat (blessings) and qubْliyat (acceptance). Furthermore, greater peace and tranquillity settle on the heart at this time.”
11) Hadhrat would frequently say:
“My relationship (with a person) is along with the beard. If the beard disappears, my relationship (with that person) too comes to an end.”
12) Hadhrat said:
“The dress of Christians, shaving the beard or cutting it, women wearing male-like shoes, reduction in purdah, etc., have become a universal calamity which has spread like an epidemic. Whomever one looks at, is caught up in this disease, except a few. According to them, keeping a beard is neither a salient feature (shiaar) of Islam nor the way of Muhammad (صلى الله عايه وسالم). In fact, they have an abhorrence for the appearance of Islam. In such conditions the acquisition of Allah’s love is impossible.” (I.e. Poeple of this attitude cannot gain divine love.)
13) He said:
“The Saalik should ensure that he consumes halaal food so that nooraaniyat (spiritual glitter) develops in him. It is necessary to abstain from haraam and mushtabah (doubtful things) because these produce zulmat (spiritual darkness).”
14) “Gifts should be accepted from only such people who give out of true love or who have a Deeni relationship for a lawful motive. Gifts should not be accepted from those who have worldly motives or unlawful motives.”
15) “If the greater part of a man’s earnings is haraam or mushtabah (doubtful), do not accept him invitation. However, do not pry into the affairs and conditions of Muslims without valid reason.”
16) “The essence of Muraaqabah (meditation) is to guard the heart. The aim is to keep the heart alert by diverting it of all thoughts besides Allah Ta’ala. The practise of closing the eyes and sitting with head lowered is merely to create in beginners the habit of developing solitude. Gradually the heart becomes accustomed to solitude (and concentration). Then muraaqabah becomes a permanent condition, never ending at any time.”
17) “The little ibaadat rendered with sincerity and constancy is far superior than the abundant ibaadat rendered without sincerity and constancy. All the barakaat of ibaadat and riyaadhat are related to khuloos (sincerity) and mudaawamat (constancy).”
18) “Greater attention should be accorded to Tahajjud Namaaz. It is the outstanding feature (shiaar) of the Saaliheen (Auliya). It is exceptionally beneficial for developing roohaaniyat (spiritual lustre and strength). If it is missed during the night, 12 raka’ts should be performed after sunrise.”
19) “The purpose of Tariqat (Tasawwuf) is to lose interest in the world and in whatever there is in it, and to ground in the heart the love of Allah and His Rasool. The gaze should not be diverted from this purpose.”
20) “Kashf-e-Quboor (revelation of the realm of the graves) and Kashf-e-Kauniyah (revelation of the spiritual realm of activities) are not worthy of attention. All such things are the sports of the infants of Sulook. Frequently such things become for most people dangerous and prevent them from attaining the true goal of Sulook.”
21) “Two things are extremely harmful for the Saalik – relationship with bid’ah and ingratitude for the bounties of Allah.
Remain attached to the Men of Allah. If one has their love in the heart, Insha’Allah, one’s khaatimah (end or death) will never be bad. It there is malice in the heart for the Men of Allah, a bad khaatimah (death in kufr) is a very strong likelihood and danger. Even if one does nothing, mere entry into the Silsilah is also not without benefit.”
22) “Qurb-e-Ilahi (Nearness to Allah) and barkat will increase according to the degree of increase of the presence of heart and obedience to the Sunnah.”
Allah Ta’ala has created Hadhrat Saharanpْri a man of many attributes. While his spiritual benefits on the one hand are being perpetuated in the form of Madrasah Mazaaharal Uloom, on the other hand a great and wonderful organisation of tarbiyat is related to him. Then there are his books which he had compiled and written after long and thorough research and in-depth study. These are wonderful objects in his memory. Some of his works were occasioned by specific circumstances. These books will be briefly outlined.
1) After completion of his academic studies in 1288 Hijri (1871), his natural desire for the subject of Adab (Arabic Literature) took him to Lahore. After accomplishing his study at Lahore, his maternal uncle, Hadhrat Maulana Yaqْb sent him to Munsْri Hill to translate Qaamْs (a famous Arabic dictionary) into Urdu. Although this was Hadhrat’s first literary undertaking, it could not be ascertained if the book was completed or not.
2) Hadhrat had written a voluminous book of 888 pages in refutation of Shi’ism in 1306 while he was employed as the Sadr Mudarris (Chief Ustaad) of Madrasah Dinyaat in Bhawalpْr. The name of the book is Hidaayaatur Rashid ilaa Ifhaamil Aneed.
This book was the outcome of numerous debates and disputes initiated with Hadhrat by a malicious, anti-Sunni follower of Shi’ism, viz. one Sayyid Chiragh Shah who was the administrative officer (in charge of Deeni education in Bhawalpْr).
3) Molvi Abdus Sami’ Rampْri had published a book, Anwaar-e-Saatiah on the issue of Moulood and Faatihah. This book was an endeavour to prove the validity on the customary acts of bid’at related to these practices. In this book the author made a concerted attempt to pass off innovationary customs in the guise of Sunnat and Mustahab. In refutation of this book, Hadhrat wrote, Al-Baraahinul Qaatiah alaa Zullaamil Anwaaris Saatiah in 1304. It consists of 279 pages.
4) Hafiz Amirullah Barelwi was involved with a Shiah in a debate on some contentious masaa-il. He went to the Ulama of Barelwi for aid. But, they could offer none. Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan said in response to his request: “Give a thousand rupees and take the answer.” When asked the reason for wanting this large sum, he replied that it was needed to purchase books on Shi’ism which will be studied. Thereafter an answer would be forthcoming.
Finally, Hafiz Amirullah was constrained to go to Hadhrat Saharanpْri who wrote down the answers immediately. He then commenced writing a book on the subject. The book consists of 143 pages and its name is Matraqatul Kaaraamat alaa Mir’atil Imaamat.
After publication of this book, Hadhrat lived for 40 years, but no votary of Shi’ism could refute it. Hafiz Amirullah, despite his differences (with Hadhrat on the issues of Bid’ah) was stunned by the answers given by Hadhrat. Throughout his life he acknowledged that Hadhrat was a unique Allaamah of his time.
5) In a book, Hussaamul Haramain, Molvi Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi had attributed false beliefs to the Ulama of Deoband and on the basis of this falsehood he branded the Ulama of Deoband as kaafir. He managed to secure the signatures of the Ulama of the Haramain in support of his false pronouncement.
In consequence, the Ulama of Madinah sent a questionnaire of 27 questions to Hadhrat Saharanpْri. In these questions, they sought to ascertain the Aqaaid (Beliefs) of the Ulama of Deoband. Hadhrat furnished answers corroborated by detailed proofs. This book is known as; Al-Muhannad alal Mufannad. However, its popular name is Tasdiqaat li Daf-it Talbeesaat. It was written in 1325 and consists of 72 pages.
6) Tansheetul Athaan fi Tahqiqi Mahallil Athaan is a booklet of 32 pages, written in substantiation of the second Athaan of Jumuah being recited inside the Musjid. The issue is proved by means of Qur’aanic and Hadith proofs, by the Ta-aamul (Practise) of the Salf and by Ijmaa.
7) Itmaamun Ni’am was written in 1313 on the instruction of Hadhrat Imdadullah. It is a translation of the Arabic Kitaab, Tabwibul Hikam which deals with the subtleties of Tasawwuf and Ma’rifat.
8) Bazlul Majhood fi Hal-li Abi Dawood is a unique Sharah (Commentary) of Abu Dawood Shareef. This highly authoritative commentary was the product of Hadhrat’s natural affinity for Hadith and Fiqh. The fruit of his expertise and depth in these two subjects could only be an incomparable and highly authoritative work on which the Ulama of Hadith can repose their confidence while viewing it with pride.
The inspiration to embark on this work had repeatedly occurred to Hadhrat, but due to various circumstances, the most important being his preoccupation with his teaching profession, commencement was delayed. Overwhelming enthusiasm finally compelled Hadhrat to begin this task. On 2nd Rabiul Awwal 1335 all those books needed for this undertaking, were acquired from the library of Mazaaharal Uloom. On the 3rd or 4th Rabiul Awwal 1335 the work of writing this kitaab was commenced in that room of Daarul Talabah which today is the Madrasah’s treasury.
Shaking palsy had already begun in Hadhrat’s hand. The duty of writing, therefore, devolved on this humble one (i.e. Shaikh Zakariyyah). Although there was an occasional change of scribes, the Eternal Scribe (Allah Ta’ala) had chosen this fortune for me. The writing ultimately devolved entirely on me.
On 30th Thil Qa’dh 1335, after 9¼ months, one chapter of Abu Dawood Shareef was completed. At the time of commencing this commentary, Hadhrat never imagined that it would be accomplished. In fact, the intention initially was to complete only one Para (chapter). After having accomplished the first chapter, work started on Kitaabut Tahaarat and then on Kitaabus Salaat. With the ending of Kitaabus Salaat, the urge to accomplish the first volume developed.
The work was in progress until 1344 when Hadhrat departed for Hijaaz. In his enthusiasm to complete the task, he took me along. In Madinah we were fully occupied in this work. On the 21st Sha’baan 1345 after 10 years, 5 months and 10 days the Sharah (Annotation) was finally accomplished. In happiness Hadhrat had invited the Ulama of Madinah. This Kitaab consists of 2063 large pages.
The names of Hadhrat’s khulafaa appear hereunder:
Hadhrat Hafiz Qamruddin, Imaam of the Sahaaranpْr Musjid
Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya Kandhalwi
Maulana Abdullah Gangohi
Al-Haj Muhammad Husain Habshi (in the Naqshabandi Silsilah)
Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas (Founder of the Tablighi Jamaat)
Hafiz Fakhruddin Ghaziabad
Maulana Hafiz Faizul Hasan Gangohi
Hadhrat Maulana ashiq Ilahi Meerati
Maulana Rashid Ahmad (Mudarris of Anjuman Hidayatur Rashid of Garَt).
As mentioned at the beginning, the manuscript of this book had commenced in 1335 Hijri. Like many other manuscripts, this one too remained incomplete on account of my involvement with Hadith which was increasing by the day.
Nowadays my grandson, Molvi Shahid, mudarris at Madrasah Mazaaharal Uloom, is in possession of my manuscripts. As a result of his efforts and devotion, checking of these manuscripts has been completed after several months. Changes and deletions had also to be made. Important additions were also effected.
I have always regarded the presence of Maulana Al-Haj Mufti Muhmْd Hasan Sahib the Sadr Mufti of Daarul Uloom Deoband, of Maulana Muhammad aqil and of Molvi Muhammad Salman necessary. However, due to their occupations they could make time available for checking this book only on Fridays. Every Friday they would spend a few hours on this book.
Today, the 16th Rabiul Awwal 1393 Hijri, this book was completed purely by the kindness and grace of Allah Ta’ala.
الحمد لله اوّلاً و آخرًا
Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandhalwi.
While this book on the history of the Chishti Masha-ikh was being complied and prepared, the idea was always in my mind to end this compilation with an account of the life of my Shaikh, Hadhrat Aqdas Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Sahib, because he too is a link of this golden chain.
My hope and wish of this made me clamour night and day for the quick completion of this book. But the biggest hurdle for the realisation of my wish was the fact that a second glance had necessarily to be given to this addendum (pertaining to Hadhrat Zakarriyah’s life). But, the personality (viz. Shaikh Zakariyyah) who had listened to the whole book from the first line to the last, making correction, additions, etc., was not prepared to listen to even a single line pertaining to himself. I have experienced this self-same attitude many times in the past.
On this occasion, during a meeting of the Ulama, I alluded to my wish (to have his life story included in the book). But he abruptly and emphatically refused. Expressing his refusal with vehemence he said:
“It shall not be so. Absolutely not.”
I therefore had no hope of gaining his co-operation on this score. But, to publish the book without someone checking it, was difficult. However, the honourable Maulana Mufti Mahmْd Hasan Gangohi acceded to my request. He has read this article from beginning to end. In this manner, Alhamdulillah, this addendum has become reliably accredited and authentic.
7th Rabiul Awwal 1393 Hijri
Hadhrat Shaikh was born in the town of Kandhlah, district Muzaffarnagar on 11th Ramadhaanul Mubaarak 1315 Hijri, Thursday 11 p.m. On the seventh day his father, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya came to Kandhlah. Standing at the door of the house he expressed the wish to have a quick look at the new-born baby. This desire was in conflict with the customary practice of shame and honour in vogue in that age. Since this was unheard of and in violation of custom, most inmates of the house were surprised. However, some womenfolk said:
“After all, he is the father and desires to see his child. What is wrong in this?”
The baby was sent to him. Hadhrat Maulana Yahya had brought along the barber. At a sign, the barber shaved off the baby’s hair. He sent the hair inside with the message:
“I have attended to the hair. You can slaughter the goats and give in Sadqah silver equal to the weight of the hair.”
In this way Hadhrat Maulana Yahya managed to terminate a customary practice for which elaborate arrangements and plans were instituted. He accomplished this with such simplicity.
(The custom referred to here is the practice of organising a feast for naming the child, etc. Many un-Islamic activities occur at such customary functions – Translator)
Hadhrat Shaikh lived in Kandhlah until he was two and a half years old. In about the year 1318 he was moved to Gangoh where Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya until this time lived with Hadhrat Gangohi.
Hadhrat Shaikh Zakariyyah said that during his early childhood he would climb onto Hadhrat Gangohi while he was sitting under a tree and hug him much. When Hadhrat Shaikh was older, he says, he would stand in the road waiting for Hadhrat Gangohi to come. When he would arrive, Hadhrat Zakariyyah would sing “Assalaamu Alaikum” loudly in the form of a qiraat. Hadhrat Gangohi too would respond with great affection in the same way.
After reaching Gangoh, Hadhrat Shaikh commenced his primary education by a pious doctor, Abdur Rahman Sahib. Qaidah Baghdadi was also learnt under him. Thereafter he began Hifz of the Qur’aan Majeed by his father, Hadhrat Maulana Yahya who ordered that his daily new Hifz lesson be recited 100 times. After Hifz of the Qur’aan, the other kitaabs studied while in Gangoh were Beheshti Zewer, Farsi and Urdu Deeni kitaabs. Most of the Farsi books were taught to him by his paternal uncle, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas. Only the primary text books of Nahw (Arabic grammar) were taught to him by his father.
In Rajab 1328 Hadhrat came to Sahaaranpْr at the age of 13 while his father had already settled there two or three years earlier. Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya had come to Sahaaranpْr to teach Hadith on the insistence of Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad. In Sahaaranpْr, Hadhrat Shaikh Zakariyyah was taught a few primary Arabic text books by his father. His Ustaads in the philosophical sciences were Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Latief and Maulana Abdul Wahid Sambhali.
In 1333 Hadhrat Shaikh was doing his final year, Dôre Hadith. Besides Ibn Majah, he studied all the Hadith Kitaabs by his father. Since Ibn Majah was being taught for a number of years by Maulana Thabit Ali Sahib, Hadhrat Shaikh studied it by him. Bukhari and Tirmizi Shareef were pursued a second time by Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad on his return from Hijaaz. Hadhrat expended great effort and concentration in the pursuit of his study in Hadith. He observed two things rigidly: Never would he miss a lesson and never would he study without wudhu. In this regard, Hadhrat Shaikh write in his biography, Aap Beti:
“Marhoom Ahmad Hasan was my class-mate. During the course of the lessons in class if any of us (Ahmad Hasan or I) required to take wudhu, he would nudge the other with his elbow and leave immediately (to make wudhu). Meanwhile the other one would simultaneously raise a query with my father (i.e. Ustaad, to keep him occupied until the other one came back). However, this method had to be resorted to seldom – maybe once in two months. My father had grasped from our actions what was happening. This, in fact, gave him pleasure. Once on one such occasion when Hasan Ahmad left after nudging me, I said to my father:
‘Hadhrat, in Fathul Qadeer it is said… I had spoken without thinking and did not know what was written in Fathul Qadeer.’
My father burst out laughing and said:
‘Until the return of Hasan Ahmad I shall narrate you a story. What can I do fighting with your Fathul Qadeer.’ ”
After completing his academic studies when Hadhrat was 32 years, he was appointed on 1st Muharram 1335 as a teacher in the primary level at Mazaaharal Uloom. The monthly wage was 15 rupees. Kitaabs such as Usْlush Shaashi, Ilmus Sigha, etc. were assigned to him. These two kitaabs were transferred to Hadhrat Shaikh from other senior Ustaads. Usْlush Shaashi was formerly taught by Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas and Ilmus Sighaa by Hadhrat Maulana Zafar Ahmad Thanwi. Besides these, he taught another five kitaabs, viz. Miat-e-Aamil Manzoom, Sharh-e-Miak, Khulaasah Nohmir, Nafhatul Yaman and Munyatul Musalli.
In the next year, 1335, he taught the following kitaabs: Mirqaat, Qudْri, Sharah Tahzib, Kaafiyah, Nْrul Iedhaah, Usْlush Shaashi, Sharah Jaami and Beheth Fel-Beheth Ism. In 1336 there was further promotion. Higher kitaabs such as Maqaamaat, Sab’ah Muallaqah, Mir Qutbu, Kanzud Daqaa-iq, etc., were assigned to Hadhrat Shaikh.
In view of the commencement of writing the kitab, Bazlul Majhood in 1336, most lessons during 1337 were imparted after hours. Thus, Hamaasah was taught after Isha and some other lessons after Asr.
In 1338 Hadhrat accompanied his Shaikh, Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad to Hijaaz. They returned in Muharram 1339. The search for the subject matter for Bazlul Majhood and recording it were the responsibility solely of Hadhrat Shaikh. In consequence thereof, it became difficult to accomplish the prescribed syllabus assigned to him. Therefore, from Muharram 1340 he was released during the mornings from his teaching, to devote to Bazlul Majhood.
In Rajab 1341, three chapters of Bukhari Shareef were transferred from Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Latief to Hadhrat Shaikh. From Shawwaal 1341 to Sha’baan 1344, teaching Mishkaat Shareef was his responsibility.
In Shawwaal 1344 Hadhrat again accompanied Hadhrat Shaikh Maulana Khalil Ahmad for Hajj. After spending a year in Hijaaz, they returned on the 18th Safar 1346. On the very same day Abu Dawood Shareef was transferred from Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Latief to Hadhrat Shaikh. In this year he also taught Nisaai, Muatta Imaam Muhammad and from the 12th to the 16th Para of Bukhari Shareef.
In 1246 the authorities of the Madrasah resolved to assign Tirmizi Shareef to Hadhrat Maulana Abdur Rahman and Bukhari Shareef to Hadhrat Shaikh because the administrative duties of the Madrasah’s Nazim, Maulana Abdul Latief had multiplied considerably. This plan greatly saddened Hadhrat Nazim Sahib because of the loss of his occupation of teaching Hadith. Hadhrat Shaikh’s sensitive and honourable disposition perceived the adverse affect this plan had on Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Latief. He therefore submitted an alternative plan to the Madrasah authorities. His plan envisaged that Tirmizi Shareef should always remain by Hadhrat Maulana Abdur Rahman. The opening of Bukhari Shareef should be by Hadhrat Nazim Sahib and after Baqri Eid the first volume of Bukhari Shareef should be assigned to him (i.e. Shaikh Zakariyyah). The second volume should be taught by Hadhrat Nazim Sahib after Maghrib. This plan was gladly accepted and Hadhrat Nazim Sahib’s displeasure dissipated.
The Madrasah had also assigned Abu Dawood Shareef to Hadhrat Shaikh. This remained the position until 1375 on account of Hadhrat Nazim’s journey to Rangoon in 1373. In 1374, on account of Hadhrat Nazim Sahib’s prolonged indisposition, Abu Dawood Shareef and both volumes of Bukhari Shareef were assigned to Hadhrat Shaikh. When Nazim Sahib passed away, Abu Dawood Shareef was transferred to Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad As’adullah while Bukhari Shareef was assigned to Hadhrat Shaikh. During this period of teaching a very large number of students and other’s sat in front of Hadhrat Shaikh acquiring the knowledge of Hadith.
However, in 1388 his eyesight began failing. In consequence he was compelled to terminate that auspicious occupation of his life, viz. teaching Hadith, which was for him the light of life. This, in fact, was a divinely bestowed favour. The commentator and disseminator of Uloom-e-Rashidiyyah (the knowledge of Imaam Rabbani Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi) had to abandon his post (of teaching Hadith) for the very same reason which obliged Imaam Rabbani in the beginning of 1314 to give up his post of teaching. (Imaam Rabbani also lost his eye-sight). But Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah! After the termination of Dars-e-Zaahiri (teaching kitaabs of Zaahiri Uloom) commenced the engrossment in Dars-e-Baatini (instructing the mureedeen in moral and spiritual upliftment). The number of the participants in these moral lessons increased by the day. The time which was formerly confined to the four walls of Daarul Hadith, was now devoted to the tarbiyat (moral training) and tasfiyah-e-qalb (purification of the heart) of countless people.
Mazaaharal Uloom had always enjoyed a special characteristic which sustained its lofty ruhaaniyat (spirituality), viz., the presence of a Sahib-e-Nisbaat whose roohaani fuyْdh always rained onto the Madrasah. Innumerable people quenched their spiritual thirst from these rains of roohaaniyat. From the auspicious zaat (being) of Qutb-e-lam Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani to the august personality of Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad Muhajire Madani is a long chain of such pure souls who were the Akhyaar (noblest) and Sulahaa (pious or saints) of the Ummah and whose shadows shaded the Madrasah.
If Destiny (Taqdeer) had not delivered Hadhrat Shaikh to Hadhrat Khalil Ahmad Saharanpْri, the latter would have been the last link of this speciality enjoyed by the Madrasah. In 1333 Hijri when Hadhrat Saharanpْri was leaving with the intention of a long stay in Hijaaz, numerous people became bay’t to him. Seeing this, Hadhrat Shaikh decided to also become bay’t. When he requested to be accepted, Hadhrat Saharanpْri said: “After completing the Nawaafil of Maghrib, come.” Maulana Abdullah Gangohi who was Hadhrat Saharanpْri’s khalifah had requested for renewal of bay’t. Both of them became bay’t to Hadhrat after Maghrib at the appointed time.
Hadhrat’s honourable father, Maulana Muhammad Yahya and Hadhrat Shah Abdur Rahim Raipْri were viewing with much surprise this scene (i.e. the abundance of people becoming bay’t). Hadhrat Raipْri expressing his approval made much dua.
Thereafter Hadhrat Shaikh wholly submitted himself to his Shaikh. He devoted and sacrificed the entire stock of his mental and academic abilities for the sake of his Shaikh. One such sample is in the form of the kitaab, Bazlul Majhood consisting of thousands of pages for which Hadhrat Shaikh had to devote all his capabilities and time. Hadhrat Saharanpْri himself had time and again acknowledged this yeomen service and sacrifice of Hadhrat Shaikh. He had expressed his gratitude to Hadhrat Shaikh (Zakariyyah) for the present form of Bazlul Majhood.
Hadhrat Saharanpْri had in fact claimed that Hadhrat Zakariyyah’s bond of love with him was stronger than that of a son. Once someone asked whether Molvi Zakariyyah was Hadhrat’s son. In response Hadhrat Saharanpْri said:
“Yes! Even more than a son.”
Some anecdotes regarding the mutual love and concern between this Shaikh and his Mureed will now be narrated.
1) Hadhrat Shaikh’s first marriage took place in his hometown, Kandhlah. Hadhrat Saharanpْri and Hadhrat Maulana Shah Muhammad Ilyas went to Kandhlah to attend the marriage. On returning to Sahaaranpْr, Hadhrat Shaikh had refused to take his wife with, saying:
“Kandhlah is our home. I will stay here a few days before going to Sahaaranpْr. It is difficult to take her to Sahaaranpْr.”
Hearing this, Hadhrat Saharanpْri said: “Who is he to refuse? I have come as the father to arrange this marriage.”
2) Once Hadhrat Saharanpْri had resolved to expel a student from the Madrasah. Hadhrat Shaikh opposed the idea of expulsion, saying that this move was fraught with certain danger. However, Hadhrat Nazim Sahib rejected this view and Hadhrat Saharanpْri expelled the student. The fear which Hadhrat Shaikh had voiced immediately materialized. Hadhrat Saharanpْri became very worried and Hadhrat Nazim Sahib was full of regret. Hadhrat Saharanpْri said:
“My Qalandar (Sufi) had opposed this idea from the beginning, but we did not heed.”
Hadhrat Shaikh said:
“Hadhrat, do not worry. Make dua and tawajjuh. Insha’Allah, the problem will be solved”
With Hadhrat Saharanpْri’s dua and tawajjuh the difficulty was immediately overcome.
3) “On numerous occasions in Hindustan as well as in Madinah Tayyibah when I would join Hadhrat for meals, he (Hadhrat Saharanpْri) would present some delicacy to me with utmost affection. I never took notice of anything in this regard because Hadhrat’s affection in other respects was much greater. However Hadhrat Raipْri said to me:
‘I really envy you. When Hadhrat presents something to you for eating, he first stares at it intensely, then gives it to you. I wish he would do this for me too.’
Thereafter, I too observed that Hadhrat Raipْri had spoken correctly.” (Aap Beti)
4) Hadhrat Shaikh said:
“My father would frequently say:
‘Zakariyyah respects me for fear of the shoe (i.e. getting a paternal hiding) while he respects his Hadhrat with his heart.’ ”
5) In 1344 Hadhrat Saharanpْri had gone to Hijaaz. Hadhrat Shaikh too had accompanied him. Every time that Hadhrat Saharanpْri went on the journey to Hijaaz he expressed the yearning and hope of being assigned to the sand of Jannatul Baqi’. Thus, the journey of 1344 was his last. In 1346 he was buried in the sand at Jannatul Baqi’.
Hadhrat Shaikh had returned to Hindustan while Hadhrat Saharanpْri was still alive. Before Hadhrat Shaikh left Madinah Tayyibah to return, Hadhrat Saharanpْri conferred on him the mantle of Khilaafate in all four Silsilahs in elaborate style. Hadhrat Saharanpْri removed his amaamah (turban) from his head. Handing it to Maulana Sayyid Ahmad, the elder brother of Hadhrat Aqdas Madani, Hadhrat Saharanpْri requested him to tie it on Hadhrat Zakariyyah’s head. At that moment people were loudly sobbing on account of Hadhrat Saharanpْri’s profuse crying. Hadhrat Shaikh also shed tears.
Hadhrat Shah Abdul Qadir Raipْri was present on this occasion. For fear of this episode being publicised in Hindustan, Hadhrat Shaikh fell at the feet of Hadhrat Raipْri imploring him not to inform anyone in Hindustan. But, Hadhrat Raipْri was not prepared to conceal this episode. He publicised the appointment and its method in Hindustan. Then too, Hadhrat Shaikh refused to accept anyone in bay’t for a long time. He would refer those who came with the intention of bay’t, to other Masha-ikh. Finally, on the instruction of Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, he initiated the process of bay’t which occurred in the following way:
Once Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas and Hadhrat Shaikh went to Kandhlah to visit relatives and friends. On reaching Kandhlah, the womenfolk of the house insisted in Hadhrat Maulana Ilyas to instruct Hadhrat Shaikh to accept them all in his bay’t. He sent someone to the neighbourhood Musjid to call Hadhrat Shaikh. When he reached home, he sensed the anger of Hadhrat Maulana Ilyas. He also observed the womenfolk of the home had assembled. Hadhrat Maulana was sitting on a bed while the other bed was vacant. Hadhrat Maulana removed his amaamah and gave one end into Hadhrat Shaikh’s hand and the other end he passed to the ladies. Then very sharply he commanded: “Take them into your bay’t.” When Hadhrat Shaikh mumbled some excuse, Hadhrat Maulana scolded him and ordered him for the second time: “Quickly initiate them.” This, then was the commencement of Hadhrat Shaikh’s process of initiating mureeds.
6) Hadhrat Maulana Shah Abdul Qadir had on a number of times pointed to Hadhrat Shaikh and Maulana Muhammad Yusuf and said:
“Where it was our end, from there is your beginning.”
Frequently he said:
“The matter of this uncle and nephew (i.e. Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas and Hadhrat Shaikh) is something different.”
Once he observed:
“Hadhrat Gangohi’s Nisbaat has been transferred to Hadhrat Shaikh.”
(Nisbaat means Qurb-e-Ilaahi or the relationship of closeness with Allah Ta’ala – Translator)
Hadhrat Shaikh had married twice. These marriages will be briefly described.
1) When Hadhrat Shaikh’s father, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yahya passed away on the 19th Thil Qa’dh 1334, his mother sent a message to Hadhrat Saharanpْri in which she expressed her desire to see Hadhrat Zakariyyah’s marriage take place during her lifetime. She indicated that her health was not good and there could be no reliance on life.
At that time Hadhrat Shaikh was already engaged to the daughter of Maulana Rauful Hasan. Hadhrat Saharanpْri immediately wrote a letter to the relatives in Kandhlah enquiring about their intentions in this regard. The reply came that the matter has been left to Hadhrat’s discretion. If he so wishes, a date for the nikah could be fixed by Hadhrat.
On the day fixed for the Nikah, Hadhrat Saharanpْri, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas and other seniors arrived in Kandhlah and Hadhrat Saharanpْri performed the Nikah on Saturday the 29th Safar 1335. At the time of the Nikah, someone indicated that the family’s Mehr-e-Mithl is 80,000 rupees. Hadhrat Saharanpْri exclaimed:
لا حول و لا قوّة إلا بالله
The Nikah was finalised on a Mehr of 1,500 rupees.
2) After the death of Hadhrat Shaikh’s first wife, there was pressure on him from all sides to get married again. But, on account of his Ilmi preoccupation, he ignored every advice and demand in this regard. However, when Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas asked him to marry his daughter, Hadhrat Shaikh was unable to refuse. Finally the Nikah was performed by Hadhrat Maulana Madani on Friday, 8th Rabiuth Thaani 1356 after Jumuah Namaaz. The mehr fixed was Mehr-e-Faatimi. The Walimah was prepared by Hadhrat Raipْri.
Allah Ta’ala bestowed upon Hadhrat Shaikh the wealth of several Hajj. A brief account of the Hajj journeys of Hadhrat Shaikh is being presented here. A detailed account of these journeys have been given by Hadhrat Shaikh himself, in his auto-biography, Aap Beti, Volume 4.
His very first Hajj was in 1338 Hijri in the company of Hadhrat Saharanpْri. The departure was on the 2nd Sha’baan 1338. The following are the names of some of the members of the group: Hadhrat Saharanpْri and his wife, Hadhrat Maulana Manzْr Ahmad Khan, Haji Maqbْl, Haji Anees Ahmad Ambhetwi, Molvi Muhammad Ishaq Barelwi, Maulana Latiefur Rahman Kandhalwi Mutawali Tufail Ahmad and others.
On arrival at Bombay it was learnt that the number of those accompanying Hadhrat was approximately two hundred. This number had increased considerably by the time the ship was set to sail. Hadhrat Saharanpْri had missed two ships because all the companions could not be accommodated on any one of the two, and he wanted the whole group to be together. Finally, the party left on board the ship which sailed on 27th or 28th Sha’baan and arrived safely in Jiddah. After a day’s stay in Jiddah, the party left for Makkah Mukarramah. The month of Ramadhaanul Mubaarak was spent in Makkah.
(The further details of this Hajj as well as of the second and third Hajj which were also in the company of Hadhrat Saharanpْri, are deleted here to avoid repetition. These Hajj journeys have already been described in the section dealing with Hadhrat Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpْri – Translator)
The forth Hajj was undertaken on the insistence of Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf. On 6th Thil Qa’dh 1383, on Saturday morning, Hadhrat departed from Sahaaranpْr. On his way he visited Jalalabad, Thaanabovan and Jhanjhaanah. After Maghrib he reached Nizaamuddin and left for Bombay on Thursday 10th Thil Qa’dh. On the 14th Thil Qa’dh, Hadhrat went from Bombay to Jiddah by plane. After Asr, he left with his party which consisted of a large number of associates, for Makkah Mukarramah and arrived after Maghrib. He performed Salaat in Madrasah Saulatiyyah.
In Makkah he stayed at the residence of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah and Maulana Rahmatullah. On the 27th Thil Hajj he left for Madinah Munawwarah. He performed Zuhr Namaaz at Badr. After Asr, the party went to the graves of the Martyrs of Badr. Maghrib and Isha Namaaz were performed in Musjid Areesh. They reached Madinah Tayyibah on the morning of the 28th Thil Hajj.
In Madinah they stayed in Madrasah Uloom-e-Shariyyah. After a stay of 20 days, the party left for Jiddah on the 1st Safar 1384. Maghrib Namaaz was performed in Musjid Hudaibiyyah. They reached Makkah Mukarramah at the time of Isha.
On the 8th of Safar 1384, Hadhrat Shaikh participated in the Tablighi Ijtimaat held at Taa-if in Musjid-e-Ibn Abbaas and elsewhere. At Jiddah he stayed a day and participated in the Ijtima’ there. On the 19th July 1963, Hadhrat finally reached Kandhlah and at the time of Maghrib he was back in Sahaaranpْr.
In view of his sickness and physical disabilities, Hadhrat Shaikh did not entertain the idea of again having the opportunity of Hajj. Nevertheless, after persistent requests by associates, and performance of several Istikhaarah Namaaz, arrangements for his Hajj journey were made. Considering these arrangements to be divine assistance, Hadhrat Shaikh embarked on his fifth Hajj. On the 10th Thil Qa’dh 1384 he left for Bombay and on the 30th February 1967 he left by air, arriving in Jiddah after Zuhr, by Maghrib, he was in Makkah Mukarramah. He stayed in Madrasah Saulatiyyah. On 21st Thil Hajj, just before Maghrib, he left for Jiddah to participate in the annual Tablighi Ijtima’.
On the 24th Thil Hajj at the time of Ishraaq he left for Madinah Tayyibah. In Madinah, Hadhrat stayed with his khalifah, Sufi Iqbal. On Saturday 11th Muharram, in the morning, he left from Madinah and went to Makkah via Jiddah. He performed an Umrah on behalf of his Shaikh, Hadhrat Saharanpْri. On the 30th April, he reached Sahaaranpْr safely.
His sixth Hajj was the result of Maulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Nadwi’s insistence. Hadhrat Shaikh left Sahaaranpْr with the intention of Umrah on the 5th Safar 1389. On the 13th Thil Qa’dh 1389 he was back in Saharanpْr.
1) It is the saying of our seniors that whoever looks at our end will be unsuccessful, and whoever looks at our beginning will be successful, because the initial period is the stage of mujaahadah while the final period is the stage for the opening of the door of futْhaat (spiritual realities). If anyone viewing the final stage fixes it as the standard, he will be unsuccessful.
2) It comes in the Hadith that there are many of Allah’s servants with dishevelled hair and laden with dust, who are buffeted from the doors of people. If they take an oath in the Name Allah (for something to happen), Allah will fulfil it.
By means of riyaadhat and mujaahadah this rank can be attained.
In another Hadith it is said that by means of Nafl Salaat a man can reach closeness to Allah Ta’ala. This process by way of Nafl Salaat continues until “I (Allah) make him my beloved.” Thereafter, whatever he does will be in conformity with Allah’s pleasure.
Indeed, Allah’s path is easy to follow. Experience proves this.
3) Brother, whatever you do, do it for Allah’s pleasure. Don't do it for your desire and pleasure. Do at least something. Practise it in Ramadhaanul Mubaarak. None of our seniors says that you should not be employed (i.e. earn a living).
4) Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said that there are 360 joints in the human body. When man rises safely in the morning, then in gratitude it is incumbent to give Sadqah for each joint’s health and safety. In the same Hadith it is mentioned that sexual relations with one’s wife is also Sadqah. The Sahaabah said that a man fulfils his own desire with his wife. What, therefore, is the Sadqah in it? May Allah Ta’ala elevate the ranks of the Sahaabah. By asking for explanations on insignificant issues, they had in fact left a great treasure for the Ummah. In answer to this query of the Sahaabah, Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“If a man spends his energy in haram, will he not be sinful?”
The Sahaabah said: “Yes, most certainly.”
Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) said:
“If he engages in relations with his wife with the intention of abstaining from haram why will he not be rewarded?”
5) My friends! Submit to Malik (Allah Ta’ala), then all things will submit to you. You are aware of the stories of the Sahaabah. Once, there was a need for the Muslims to set up camp in one of the jungles of Africa which was teeming with wild animals. Hadhrat Uqbah, the commander of the army, took a few Sahaabah with him to a spot in the jungle and announced:
“O wild beasts! We are the Companions of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). We intend to set up camp here. Vacate from here. After this, we shall kill whomever we find.”
Was this an announcement or some bolt of lighting? The animals taking their little ones immediately left.
6) It is my experience that fasting produces strength while abstaining from food during other months (other than Ramadhaan) produces weakness.
7) My Hadhrat Aqdas Saharanpْri said that in the Qur’aan Majeed Allah Ta’ala says:
“If you enumerate the ni’mat (bounty) of Allah, you will not be able to enumerate it.”
Here the singular (i.e. ni’mat) is used because in even a single ni’mat there are many bounties.
8) Whatever you do, do it for Allah’s pleasure. The Namaaz which is performed to show other’s will be struck back on your face.
9) Towards the end of his life, Hadhrat Gangohi lost his eyesight. My father was the close khaadim of Hadhrat Gangohi. Once Imaam Rabbani asked my father: “Molvi Yahya, who all are here?” Whenever Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani wanted to say something important, he would pose this question. My father said: “Ilyas and I.” Imaam Rabbani then said with much enthusiasm:
“Irrespective of the indifference (ghaflat) with which Allah’s Name is taken, it will exercise its effect.”
This is also my opinion. A kaafir becomes a Muslim by taking Allah’s Name. If it is recited with conviction, it effaces kufr. However, in the beginning the thaakireen are diligent and they experience good states (haalaat). This is a very delicate stage. One should not be deceived by it. When the heart becomes accustomed to thikr, those haalaat decrease. One should not despair on account of this (i.e. the decrease in the initial pleasurable states).
10) Abstain from adopting the dress and appearance of aliens (i.e. non-Muslims). We Muslims should adopt the Islamic dress-style of our Masha-ikh. Ten or fifteen years ago it was my fatwa that people wearing tight-fitting garments should stand in the last saff.
11) It becomes easy to do something which has become grounded in the heart. It has been heard that people watching cinema, stood the entire night until the morning. If we say that a certain buzrug performed Fajr Namaaz with Isha’s wudhu – performing Tahajjud the entire night – then people are astonished. The basis for such endurance is eagerness and enthusiasm.
12) You engage in thikrullah here. But after leaving from here, people write complaining that the same effects are not experienced. If you establish the environment of this place over there, those effects will remain. Over here are the effects of the environment. Punctual adherence to Ma’mْlaat (Ibaadat practices) is the ladder of progress.
13) Save up in the bank of the Akhirah whatever there is to save. The Ulama and the Masha-ikh (of this age) are involved in evil gazes, evil deeds and in every kind of sin. In fact, we regard gheebat to be nothing (i.e. not sinful). The fourth chapter of (the kitaab) I’tidaal is worthy of studying.
14) The aim of tablighi work is to develop piety.