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Khwaja Abu Mohammed Al-Chishti r.a

Our hopes and our aspirations will now be fulfilled

For instead of tears, blood flows from our eyes;

To us, your door is gateway of healing.

Salutations to you, do treat my ailments

Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed-the guide.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khwaja Amin Ad-Din Hubayrah of Basra r.a

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

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

Crown weary are my feet from constant walking.

Salutations to you, O seer of spiritual stations,

Hazrat Khwaja Amin ad-Din Hubayrah.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

The dwellers of heaven are slaves at this door,

All worshipers are in a state of prostration here;

They regard love of the material world as evil.

Salutations to you, Khwaja Maudud Chishti,

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khwaja Mumshad Uluw Al-Dinawari

In your love I am fully prepared;

At your door do I lay my heart and soul.

Beside it, there is not other portal for me.

Salutations to you, Hazrat Uluw-e-Dinwar

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aphorisms

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

 

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

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

My ship is caught in a storm

And at every moment is violently rocked;

It is receiving not help at all!

Salutations to you, our own Abu Yusuf Chishti!

Do hasten my ship towards safety.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Khwaja Nizam Uddin Aurangabadi R.A

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“The saint are like prophets unto their communities.”

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Hazrat Khawja Shams-ud-Din Sialvi

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

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

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

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

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

The most well known his deciples were,

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

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

 

Hazrat Shah Kalim Ullah of Jahanabad r.a

The greatness of Ali r.a is really great!

Do blossom the bud of my aspirations;

With the pains of separation is there great restlessness.

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

Shah Kalimullah-the saint of Jehanabad.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Hazrath Habib Ali Shah RA

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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