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Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat, Maulana Mohammed Maseehullah Khan, one of the greatest of authorities in Tasawwuf of our times, hails from the renowned and distinguished Sherwaani family of Pathans. Although the Sherwaani clan is famed as Pathan, it in reality is Sayyid in its origin, for its ancestral progenitor was Sayyid Husain Ghauri R.A. who migrated from Ghaur during the reign of Khalif Abdul Maalik Bin Marwaan (d. 65 A.H.) and settled in the region neighbouring ‘Koohe Sulaimaan.’ Sayyid Husain Ghauri R.A. settled among the Pathans and married the daughter of Batan Bin Qais Abdur Rashid. She bore him two sons, Lodi and Serwaani. The descendants of Serwaani became known as Sherwaani. It is then to this family of Sayyids that Hadhrat Maseehullah Khan Saheb belongs.

Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb was born in 1329 or 1330 A.H. at Barlah, District Aligarh, India. Born a saint, he was from early childhood the repository of piety and sterling qualities. His virtue, excellence of character, simplicity and dignity were acknowledged by all who came into contact with him even during his childhood. A considerable part of his time during childhood was spent in Zikr and supererogatory acts of Ibaadat. A favourite occupation of Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb during his early youth was to sit in the company of the Saaliheen and Auliyaa.

In this regard the companionship of Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyaas R.A., the Khalifah of Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind R.A. is noteworthy. It was this companionship during childhood days which introduced Hakeemul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi R.A. to Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb. Sitting in the company of Hadhrat Muhammad Ilyaas R.A. the young Maseehullah, heard with eagerness the incidents, talks and advices of Hakeemul Ummat R.A. Studying the works of Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. at the hands of Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyaas R.A. engendered in Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb a yearning, faith and love for Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi R.A. An outstanding feature of Hadhrat Maseehullah’s character is the dominant qualities of ‘hayaa’ (modesty) and tenderness. Hadhrat Allamah Mufti A’zam Saeed Ahmad Lucknowi R.A., Ustaad of Hadhrat Maseehullah, who witnessed the life of Hadhrat Maseehullah from early childhood observed:

"From childhood he (Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb has been the
repository of modesty, dignity, respect, forbearance, ingenuity,
intelligence and commendable attributes (‘ausaffe hameedah’).”

Hadhrat Mufti Saeed Ahmad Lucknowi (rahmatullah alayh) – a great Faqeeh and Muhaddith – who had attained perfection in many branches of learning, despite being the Ustaad of Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb, turned towards him (Hadhrat Maseehullah) for spiritual guidance after the demise of Hakeeemul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi R.A., who had bestowed even the mantle of Khilaafat (spiritual mentorship) upon Hadhrat Mufti Saheb. This act of Hadhrat Saeed Ahmad R.A. is ample testimony of the fact that Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb is a born saint who has attained spiritual perfection.

Hadhrat Maseehullah’s initial educational training commenced in his hometown. The greater part of the Islamic syllabus up to the stage of Mishkaat Shareef was acquired from Hadhrat Mufti Saeed Ahmad. From Mishkaat Shareef and Hidaayah onwards up to completion of the Aalim-Faadhil course was undertaken at the famous Islamic institute of learning, Darul Uloom, Deoband. He passed his student days in perfect solitude and was totally engrossed in the acquisition of ‘Ilm’. At the same time he was a Mureed of Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. and as a result of his elevated spiritual rank, he occupied a distinguished position of honour and respect among students and Ulama as well.

It was already noted that a spiritual link of faith and love with Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. was already established during his early childhood days. The first time that Hadhrat Maseehullah saw Hakeemul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Thanvi R.A. was at Aligarh during the year when he (Hadhrat Maseehullah) left for Deoband in pursuit of his Islamic education. The same year Hadhrat Maseehullah established his ‘Islaahi’ (spiritual rectification) connection with Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. Since that time he has been in constant communication with Hadhrat Thanvi R.A.

The year when Hadhrat Maseehullah qualified in his Islamic studies at Darul Uloom, Deoband, Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. conferred upon him the spiritual Mantle of Khilaafat authorising him to ‘talqeene bai’t’ (initiation of Mureeds) and to conduct the spiritual training of Mureeds.

Among the various Khulafaa of Hakeemul Ummat R.A. Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb occupies a highly distinguished rank. Hadhrat Maseehullah was appointed as a Khaleefah at an early age, however, despite his relative youth. Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. listed him among eleven of his distinguished Khulafaa (Spiritual Representatives). This list was later published.

Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. had special reliance on the spiritual programmes and methods of spiritual training (islaah, ta’leem and tarbiyat) initiated by Hadhrat Maseehullah. As a result of this reliance, Hakeemul Ummat R.A. would refer certain Mureeds to Hadhrat Maseehullah for spiritual training.

As has been already observed that among all the Khulafaa of Hakeemul Ummat R.A., Hadhrat Maseehullah enjoys a distinguished rank of prominence. This was attested to by none other than Hakeemul Ummat himself. Once, upon someone’s enquiry, Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. said:


Isaa here is a reference to Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Isaa R.A. also among the distinguished Khulafaa of Hakimul Ummat R.A. and, Maseeh refers to Hadhrat Maseehullah Saheb. This statement made by Hakimul Ummat R.A. is in fact the stamp of authority on the abundance of spiritual grace, spiritual effulgence and spiritual benefit to the Ummah, which emanates from the person of this great Waarithul Ambiyaa (Representative of the Prophets), Maseehul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Maseehullah. This observation of Hakeemul Ummat R.A. is ample testification to this fact since every word of praise and reproach was meticulously weighed in the court of Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat R.A. Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat R.A. further testified to the spiritual training methods of Hadhrat Maseehullah by saying:

‘There is order and arrangement in his temperament, hence order and
arrangement in his instruction.”

Hakimul Ummat R.A. advised Hadhrat Maseehullah:

“Act according to what enters into your heart repeatedly.”

This instruction of Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat R.A. adequately illustrates the purity of heart and the high standard of spiritual intuition and inspiration of Hadhrat Maseehullah. It is in fact a certificate of qualification of the deep esoteric knowledge and connection with the spiritual realm of Hadhrat Maseehullah. The attainment of such a lofty pedestal of spiritual elevation is explained by Hakimul Ummat R.A. in his famous work, ‘At-takash-shuf’ in which he says:

“When the darkness of the nafs and the impurities of character are
eliminated by means of constant Zikrullah and abundance of
spiritual exercise and abstinence and the heart and soul gain a
special and a distinguished relationship with Allah Ta’ala then
certain spiritual mysteries and esoteric knowledge enter the heart
intuitively and inspirationally without the agency of the senses or
other external material mediums.”

In the Hadith it is stated that the Sahaabah asked Rasulullah (saws):

“O Rasulullah! What are mubash-shiraat?”

Rasulullah (saws) replied:

“True dreams. And, this is the tafseer of Allah Ta’ala’s statement: ‘And,
for them there are ‘bushraa’ (glad-tidings) in this worldly life.”

Hadhrat Maseehullah has been endowed with the capacity for receiving such ‘mubash-shiraat’ (true dreams) mentioned in the Hadith. To this, Hadhrat Thanvi R.A. attested on several occasions.

Hadhrat Maseehullah obtained permission to deliver Wa’z (lectures) from Qutbul Aalam Hadhrat Gangohi R.A. via one such true dream. It was only after obtaining this permission and instruction that Hadhrat Maseehullah commenced the giving of lectures.

Hadhrat Khwaajah Mu’eenuddin Chisti R.A. specially directed Hadhrat Maseehullah in a dream to the duty of Dua. Khwaajah Saheb in this particular dream said:

“We transfer Dua to you. Whoever comes to you for Dua, make Dua on their behalf.”

In this directive is the tidings of Hadhrat Maseehullah being “Mustajaabud Da’waat’ (one whose Dua is readily accepted by Allah Ta’ala).

Jalalabad is a fairly large town in the Uttar Pradesh province of India. In 1357 A.H., upon the express instruction of Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi R.A., Hadhrat Maseehullah came to Jalalabad. Since that time he has settled there permanently. To this day Hadhrat Maseehullah lives in Jalalabad from where he carries out his Islamic activities and duties. Recalling his despatch to Jalalabad. Hadhrat Maseehullah said:

I happened to be present in the ‘khanqah’ when Hadratwaala
(Hakeemul Ummat) said: A teacher is required there. You proceed
to Jalalabad. ‘When I came here (to Jalalabad) there was one
Haafiz Saheb and two rooms. Haafiz Saheb taught in one room
and I in the other.”

The choice of Hadhrat Maseehullah as the spiritual custodian of Jalalabad was the inspirational choice of Hakeemul Ummat R.A. Within thirty years the two-roomed maktab developed into a full-fledged Islamic
Madressa with over six hundred students from all parts of India, South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, England, etc. Islamic education is imparted in the various branches of Islamic Knowledge, right from the elementary stages to the Aalim-Faadhil level.

The Madressa is operated purely on the basis of ‘Tawakkul’ (Trust in Allah Ta’ala). No appeal for funds are sent out nor has the Madressa any source of fixed income. It serves the Cause of Islam and Allah Ta’ala sees to its operation and existence. Since its inception, the functioning of the Madressa has been under the direct care and supervision of Hadhrat Maseehullah. However, of recent, Hadhrat Maseehullah is increasingly according greater time to the affairs of the ‘khanqah’.

Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat is truly one of those great saints and Ulama of Islam – of which there are few living today – of which the world is rapidly becoming empty. Once they depart, no replacements are found. Each departure heralds the approach of the Final Hour – in the words of Rasulullah (saws) .

“Verily, Allah Ta’ala will not eliminate Knowledge by way of extracting it (from the hearts) of servants. But, he will eliminate Knowledge by taking away the Ulama. And, when there no longer remains an Aalim, people will take for their leaders the ignorant. They (the ignorant ones) will be questioned, and they will issue verdicts. Thus they will be astray and lead (others) astray.”

Hadhrat Maseehul Ummat Maulana Mohammed Maseehullah Khan belongs to the auspicious chain of Auliyaa, which is linked to Rasulullah (saws) Every name in this holy ‘tree’ is a Star of immaculate piety and spiritual excellence in the firmament of Ma’rifat and Tasawwuf. The Tasawwuf of the members of this great Spiritual Order is deeply rooted in the Quraan and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (saws).

Hadhrat Mohammed Maseehullah Khan (died 1413 A.H.)
Khalifah of
Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (died 1362 A.H.)
Hajee Imdaadullah Makki (died 1317 A.H.)
Hadhrat Noor Muhammad (died 1259 A.H.)
Hadjee Abdur Raheem (died 1246 A.H.)
Shah Abdul Baari (died 1226 A.H.)
Shah Abdul Haadi (died 1190 A.H.)
Shah Adhdud-din (died 1172 A.H.)
Shah Muhammad
Shah Muhib-Bullah (died 1058 A.H.)
Shah Bu Sa-eed (died 1040 A.H.)
Shah Nizaamuddin Balkhi (died 1005 A.H.)
Shah Jalaaluddin (died 989A.H.)
Shah Abdul Quddus (died 924 A.H.) or is it 944AH [MC]
Shaikh Muhammad (died 989A.H.)
Shaikh Ahmad Aarif (died 882 A.H.)
Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haq (died 837A.H.)
Shah Jalaaluddin (died 765 A.H.)
Shaikh Shamsuddin (died 716 A.H.)
Shaikh Alaauddin (died 690 A.H.) or is it 590AH [MC]
Shaikh Fareeduddin Shakar Ganj (died 669 A.H.)
Khwaajah Qutbuddin Maqtool (died 633 A.H.) or is it Qutbud Deen Bakhtiyar [MC]
Shah Mu-inuddin Habeeb (died 632 A.H.) or is it Mu-eenud Deen Chishti 627 AH [MC]
Khwaajah Uthmaan (died 597A.H.)
Shah Shareef Zindani (died 584 A.H.)
Khwaajah Maudoon Chisti (died 577A.H.) or is it 527AH [MC]
Shah Bu Yusuf (died 559A.H.) or is it 459 AH [MC]
Shah Abu Muhammad (died 411 A.H.)
Shah Ahmad Abdaal Chishti (died 355 A.H.)
Shaikh Abu Ishaaq Shaami (died 329A.H.)
Khwaajah Mumtaaz Alawi (died 299A.H.) or is it Khawaaja Mumshad [MC]
Shah Abu Habeerah Basri (died 275 A.H.) or is it 279 AH [MC]
Shah Huzaifah Mur-ashi (died 252 A.H.) or is it 152 AH [MC]
Shaikh Ibraahim Adham (died 266 A.H.) or is it 266 AH [MC]
Shah Fuzil Ibn Iyaaz (died 187A.H.)
Khwaajah Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid (died 176 A.H.)
Imaam Hasan Basri (died 110 A.H.)
AMMERUL MU’MINEEN SAYYIDINA HADHRAT ALI (radhiyallahu anhu) (died 40 A.H.)
MUHAMMAD RASULULLAH (saws) (died 10 A.H.) or is it 11AH [MC]