KHWAJA MOINUDDIN CHISHTEE (رضئ الله تعالی عنه)
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
Hind al-Wali, Shaikh Moinuddin Hasan Chishti, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) is Khwaja-e-Khwajgan. All Awliya Allah in India, irrespective of their lineage, stand in front of him like a student is standing in front of his teacher. He is undisputed Sultan-ul-Hind. Whatever reward is given to any Wali Allah in Indian Sub Continent, is given with his approval. To some deserving Sufi Shuyookh, the bounties of Allah are given by him personally.
Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) is my Grand Shaikh in Chishti Silsila from whose hand I received so many bounties. His guidance and assistance has been vital for me during my journey on the intrinsic path of Islam.
I have written many encomiums in his praise in Urdu and English. The following are a few couplets in his praise which are part of my English Kalam (poetry).There are status & ranksIn Sufi orders and their shanksHadhrat Khwaja Moinuddin ؓIs pivot in Chishtee swanksHe is a distinguished preacherAnd my prominent teacherI held his hand on Sufi wayAnd walked along, extended deeperHe is rare, in many waysEven Awliya, are amazeFamous as, Gharib Nawaz ؓSultan-ul-Hind ؓ, is his apt praiseIn Awliya, he is leaderBelongs to, top cadreI met many dignitariesBut he is an exclusive beaverHis presence, is so importantAnd his mercy, gushing torrentFor over one milleniumOn Indian Muslims, is constantHe is part of, a grand teamOf Ghousul Azam’s ؓ streamCorrect faith propagationBecause of them, is agleamThis book provides a brief account of his life and works. It is an interesting read for all sincere Ahle Sunnah.
Shaikh Moinuddin Chishti Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was born in 530 AH (1136 AD) in Sanjar, part of Sistan (Sijistan) which was comprised of present day Eastern Iran, Baluchistan and Southern Afghanistan. He was direct descendant of Khalifat-e-Rasulullah, Amir-ul-Momineen, Hadhrat Ali Ibn Ali Talib ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه) from both mother's and father's side.
At the time of birth of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه), it is reported that Sistan was under attack from Tartars. Therefore, Hadhrat Khawaja Ghyasudddin (رضئ الله تعالی عنه), father of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) moved his family from country side to the city of Neshapur. He purchased a plantation with a windmill in one of the suburbs of the city and settled down with his family. However, Nishapur, the capital of Khorasan province, was also affected by Tartars' trouble. The Tartars attacks weakened the Sultan Sanjar of Sistan and eventually he was defeated and there was chaos in the entire region. Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) watched this all during his early years.
Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) received early education at home. He also studied at a local Madrasa where he learned Hadith, Fiqh and other subjects. He memorized Quran when he was nine years old.
Gharib Nawaz's (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) father died in 1150 AD, when he was 15 years old. His mother Sayyeda Bibi Ummul-wara bint Syed Daud (رضئ الله تعالی عنها) had already died by then. In 1151 the Tartars attacked again and thousands of people were killed. The destruction of the country and the loss of his parents had a profound affect on Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه).
It is reported that one day when Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was watering the plants in his orchard, Shaikh Ibrahim Qandozi (رحمة الله عليه) entered. Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) did not know him but he gave him a lot of respect, brought him a chair to sit and offered him fresh grapes of his orchard. Shaikh Qandozi (رحمة الله عليه) was moved by the respect and reception accorded to him by Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). He saw the spark and potential in Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). He took out a piece of bread from his bag and chewing a portion of it, gave the rest to Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) to eat. When he ate the piece of bread, he underwent a spiritual transformation never experienced before. He closed his eyes and sat on the ground. When he opened his eyes, Shaikh Ibrahim Qandozi (رحمة الله عليه) had already left.
The meeting brought a profound change in Gharib Nawaz's (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). He lost interest in worldly things and sold all his inheritance and belongings and distributed the proceeds into the poor. In 1152 AD he left for Bukhara to seek Islamic knowledge. In Bukhara, he was taught by numerous Ulema. He received Ijaza from Shaikh Hissamuddin Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) and Maulana Sharfuddin.
From Bukhara, he went to Samarqand for higher studies. In 1156 he traveled to Baghdad in search of a Shaikh on whose hands he can take baya. On his way, he visited a place called 'Haroon' where he met Khwaja Uthman Harooni (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) who was a very famous Shaikh at that time. He took baya on the hand of Shaikh Uthman (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) and stayed in his company for the following 20 years.
Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) described the event of his baya (initiation) on the hand of Shaikh Uthman Harooni (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) as follows:
"I showed up before Hadhrat Uthman (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) and bowed my head in veneration. Hadhrat Uthman (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) asked me to offer 2 rakah Nafil Salah. I did it. Then he asked me to sit facing towards Ka'aba. I did it. He asked me to recite Durood-e-Sharif 21 times and 'Subhanallah' 60 times. I did it. Then he took my hand and said let me show you to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). After that he trimmed my hairs and gave me a cap (Kullah) to wear. I did it. Then he asked me to sit down and recite Surah Ikhlas 1000 times. I did it. Then he said, among our Murideen, there is a 24 hours Mujaheda. Go and do it today. I did it. The next day he asked me to recite Surah Ikhlas 1000 times more. I did it. Then he asked me to look up and inquired, 'how far do you see? I said, up to Arsh-e-Mo'alla. He then asked me to look below 'Tahtus Sara'. I did it. Then he asked me to recite Surah Ikhlas 1000 times more. I did it. Then he asked me to look up again and inquired, 'how far do you see'? I said up to 'Hijaab-e-Azmat', the radiance of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). Then he asked me to see in between his two fingers and asked 'what do you see'? I said, I saw 18000 'Awalim' (worlds). Then he asked me to lift a mat lying in the room. When I lift it, I found a few gold dinars. He asked me to go out and distribute them among the needy. I did it. Then he said your work is over. Now you can stay with me."
The following 20 years Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) stayed with Shaikh Uthman Harooni (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) and traveled many places along with his Shaikh, mostly on foot carrying his bedding and tiffin on head. During these travels he had the opportunity to meet with many Shuyookh. He cited many incidents that occurred during these travels. About one such incident, he said as follows:
"During one of those travels there was a town called 'Ray' between Iran and Iraq which was inhabited by 'Fire worshipers'. They had a huge blaze sanctuary where tons of timber was used to keep the flame ablaze 24 hours of the day. When we reached this town, Shaikh rested under the shade of a tree. In the night when he was busy in prayers, one of his disciples Fakhruddin approached the fire worshipers and requested them for some burning coal to prepare food for the next day. They refused and said it is their God and they cannot part with it. Fakhruddin returned and described the episode to the Shaikh. On this, Shaikh personally went to the fire worshipers and found an old man, whose name was Mukhtar sitting nearby the fire along with his 7 year old kid. There were some others who were busy in worshiping the fire. Shaikh addressed the old man saying how do you worship a god that can be dowsed with a handful of water. Why don't you worship the Almighty who has created this fire? The old man got angry and said 'fire is our religion and we are sure that it will not burn us on the Day of Judgment. Shaikh said, if this is your belief, then put your hand into the fire. Since you are worshiping it for centuries, it should not burn you. The old man said, 'to burn is the nature of fire, how can I put my hand in it? Shaikh said, the fire is the creation of Almighty God and without his order, it cannot burn anything. Saying this, he took the son of this old man and threw him into the burning blaze saying - بِسْمِ اللهِ الرّحمانِ الرحِيم [In the name God, the most Beneficent and most Merciful.]. Then he recited this Quranic verse - يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ [ O' fire! be a coolness and comfort to Ibrahim (عليه السلام)]. (Al-Anbiyaa - 69).The son vanished into the blaze. The fire worshipers were aghast to this and the father started sobbing profusely. Shaikh waited for a while, then himself entered the blaze and disappeared. A little later, we saw Shaikh coming out of the blaze with the son in his arms unscathed from the fire. Looking at this miraculous event, all inhabitants of the town renounced fire worship and embraced Islam. Shaikh stayed in this town for a couple of years to teach Islam to the inhabitants. A mosque was constructed at the place of fire sanctuary."
There was another incident described by Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) as follows:
"Once we were required to cross river Tigris which was flooded and was over flowing from its banks. Looking at the fury, I was scared. Shaikh realized my hesitation and asked me to close my eyes. After a while he asked me to open my eyes. When I opened my eyes, I found myself and the Shaikh on the other side of the river. He said, he recited Surah Fateha 5 times and crossed the river".
During those travels, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) visited Makka and Madina several times. He mentioned about one such visit, as follows:
"Shaikh Uthman Harooni (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) took me to Baghdad and from there to Makka and prayed for my prosperity in front of Ka'aba. A voice came saying ‘O' Uthman, We have acknowledged Moinuddin as one of our Mahboob. I was then taken to Madina and was instructed by the Shaikh to offer salutation to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ). 'I did that as per the instructions of my Shaikh and heard a voice - وعليكم السّلام يا قطب المشائخ البحر و البر [Wa-alaikum-as-Salaam Ya Qutb al-Mashaikh bahr-o-bar]. On hearing this, Shaikh said 'now you have reached completion of your training. He gave me Khilafah in Chistia Silsila and handed over a 'Sacred Staff', wooden sandals and prayer mat saying "these relics have come down from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in succession".
After the Khilafa, his Shaikh parted from Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). After parting with his Shaikh, Garib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) traveled many placed and met with people. He also visited Makka and Madina. During one of his visits to Masjid-e-Nabawi, he was commanded by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying - “O Moinuddin, you are the Helper of my religion. I entrust you Hindustan (India). Proceed to Ajmer and spread the light of truth." The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) showed him the location of Ajmer.
Ghousul Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) lived during 1077-1166 AD. At the time of death of Ghousul Azam (رضئ الله تعالی عنه), Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was 30 years old. It is reported that he met Ghousul Azam (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) during one of his early visits to Baghdad. However, it is not known if Shaikh Uthman Harooni (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) who lived during 1116-1220 and visited Baghdad several times, had the opportunity to meet Ghousul Azam (رضئ الله تعالی عنه).
It is reported that when Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) declared, “My foot is on the necks of all Awliya Allah ( قدمي هذه علٰى رقبة كل ولي الله )”, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) heard this spiritually and lowered his neck and said, “your blessed foot is on my eyes and on my head.” It is said that it was through the blessing of this act of submission he was made 'Sultanul Awliya al-Hind'.
After Prophet 's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) command, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) started from Madina to Ajmer, India. On his way he visited Khirqan and met Sheikh Abul Hasan Khirqani and then Astrabad where he met Shaikh Nasiruddin Astrabadi. He then left for Herat where he stayed at the tomb of Hazrat Abdulla Ansari for some time. When people started visiting him in large numbers, he moved to Sabzawar in Afghanistan and then to Ghazni where he met Shaikh Abdul Wahid and stayed with him for sometime. .ARRIVAL IN INDIA
In 1191 AD Khawaja Muinuddin Chishti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) arrived in India along with his 40 Murideen and proceeded to Delhi via Fort Shaadman, Multan, Lahore and Samana. At Lahore he stayed for 40 days at the Dargah of Shaikh Abul Hassan Ali Hajvari (رحمة الله عليه), also known as Data Ganj Baksh. During his stay, he wrote the following couplet in Shaikh Hajvari's (رحمة الله عليه) honor.
گنج بخش ہر دوعالم مظہرِ نُورِ خدا
نا قصاں را پیر کامل ، کامِلاں را پیشوا
Ganj Baksh is the manifestation of noor in both the worlds. To the people of the way of Tariqah, he is a complete guide. And for the Shuyookh of Tariqa he is a supreme guide.
There were significant political developments in India at the time of arrival of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). Shahabuddin Ghouri (1149-1206) was defeated by Prithviraj Chauhan (1166-1192) of Ajmer in the first battle of Tarain, (present day Haryana State) in 1191. The atmosphere in the Rajput state was tense as they had just defeated the Muslim invader. On his way to Delhi, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) met some of the army men of Ghouri's defeated army. They advised him not to enter Delhi at that time as the atmosphere in Delhi was tense. Ignoring their advise, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) proceeded, and as expected, he faced resistance from the people, particularly, the Governor of Delhi Khandey Rao, who was the cousin of Prithiviraj Chauhan. But, it so happened that whoever approached him with hate and enmity, found him to be charismatic and down to earth simple. His conciliatory approach and his heart touching sermons attracted one and all. Soon crowds started gathering, who embraced Islam in large numbers.
Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) stayed in Delhi for sometime then proceeded to Ajmer. Hadhrat Khaja Qutubuddin (رحمة الله عليه), his first Khalifa, was made in-charge in Delhi.
Ajmer was the capital of Rajput State. Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) faced severe opposition in Ajmer as well. He was evicted by the Rajput Army from the place where he wanted to stay in Ajmer on the pretext that the area was marked for the stable of Kings Camels. Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) and his Murideen moved to a place close to Ana Sagar lake.
The place where Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) stayed at Ana Sagar Lake in Ajmer
Gharib Nawaz faced a lot of resistance in Ajmer. There were many temples nearby the place where Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was staying. His Murideen used to draw water and catch fish from the lake along with others. The priests of these temples resisted it and complained to Raja Prithviraj Chauhan. The Army men arrived. The Army along with the local Hindu priests mobbed Gharib Nawaz's (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) men and attacked them with the intention to lynch them to death. Looking at the trouble, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) took some sand from the ground and threw it towards the mob. The sand turned into a hurricane which damaged they eyes of the attackers, some of whom lost their senses. The mob ran for their lives in utter confusion.
When Prithiviraj heard of this, he got furious. He summoned his Hindu Guru Ajaipal who was an expert in Black Magic and Witchcraft. Ajaipal had scores of disciples who assisted the King by their magic.
Ajaipal, along with his disciples, and Prithiviraj along with his security men arrived at the place where Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) was staying. The Murideen got frightened at the sight of this development. To ward off their fear, Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) asked them to draw a large circle on the ground and stay within this circle to keep themselves safe from the possible attacks by the magicians and army men.
Ajaipal started displaying his magical powers. He threw a whirlwind of 'chakras' (sharp round discs) that revolved in the air and cut anything they touched into pieces. However, instead of harming the Murideen, these chakras could not cross the circle and turned back on Ajaypal's men and many were hurt. Ajaipal tried various other magical attacks which were repulsed back by the grace of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). Ajaipal was aghast to see his attacks going futile. He was an expert in magic and knew that Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was doing nothing to protect himself. He could not understand how Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) was protected from his attacks. He sent a man to Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) to inquire as to who he was. Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) replied, he is a human being, who believes in the Almighty God who is the protector of all. And he invited them to surrender to their creator by embracing Islam. The simple words and the message had a profound effect on Ajaipal and his men who had realized the truthfulness of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). They all became Muslim on the hands of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). Prithiviraj did not yield and returned back to his fort along with his personal guard.
The above episode brought many people into Islamic fold. The new converts requested Gharib Nawaz to shift to the center of Ajmer where many people can have access to his teachings. He agreed to their requests and shifted to a place where his Dargah is located.
In 1192, Shahabuddin Ghouri attacked Rajput State again. The opposing armies met in the famous battle of Tarain again, but this time, Prithiviraj Chauhan was defeated and was killed and his state came under Muslim rule.
When Shahabuddin Ghouri came to know about the presence of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) in Ajmer, he paid a visit to the Shaikh and requested him to pray for his success.
Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) continued his visits to other places while he was stationed at Ajmer. It is reported that he visited Baghdad in 1200 AD. He visited Delhi twice during the reign of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltumish. He visited Delhi in 1214 AD again and stayed in the Khanqah of Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (رحمة الله عليه). It is reported that during his stay, he conferred a robe to Shaikh Fariduddin Ganjshakar (رحمة الله عليه), the Khalifa of Shaikh Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (رحمة الله عليه).
Shaikh Uthman Harooni (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) visited Delhi around this time and stayed with Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) for some time. Sheikh Sa'di (رحمة الله عليه), the renowned Sufi Shaikh of Shiraz, also visited Delhi and had the privilege of meeting both the Shuyookh.
Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) was busy in Islamic propagation for a long time and had no time to marry and raise a family. However, in 1194, on the command of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), he married and had three Children, two sons; (i) Khwaja Fakhruddin (رحمة الله عليه), (ii) Khwaja Husamuddin (رحمة الله عليه), and (iii) a daughter Bibi Hafiza Jamal (رحمة الله عليها). Later he married again and had a son Khwaja Ziauddin (رحمة الله عليه) from his second marriage.
On Monday the 6th of Rajab, 627 AH, corresponding to May 21, 1230 AD Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) died. Eye witnesses said that his forehead was glittering with these Arabic words - هذه حبيب الله مات في حُبّ الله [This Habib Allah died in the love of Allah].
Dargah of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) in Ajmer, Rajisthan, India. His urs is celebrated annualy in the month of Rajab.
Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) wrote many books in Persian; like (i) Anis-ul-Arwah, (ii) Risala Maujudia, (iii) Kanj-ul-Israr, (iv) Kashf-ul-Israr, (v) Afaaq-o-Anfas, (vi) Hadis-ul-Ma'arif, etc. Also, he was a great Sufi poet. Compilation of his poetry in Persian is available in the market.
Spiritual Golden Chain (Shajrah-e-Treeqa) of Khwaja Moinuddin Hassan Chishti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) is as follows:(1) Ahmad Mujtaba, Mohammad Mustafa (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
(2) Ameer al-Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(3) Hadhrat Hassan al-Basri (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(4) Hadhrat Khwaja Abdul Wahid Bin Zaid (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(5) Hadhrat Khwaja Fuzail Ibne Ayaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(6) Hadhrat Khwaja Ibrahim Adham Balkhi (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(7) Hadhrat Khwaja Huzaefa Marashi (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
(8) Hadhrat Khwaja Aminuddin Habeera (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(9) Hadhrat Mumshad Uluvi Deenwari (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(10) Hadhrat Khwaja Abu Ishaque Shami Chisti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(11) Hadhrat Khwaja Abu Ahmed Abdal Chisti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(12) Hadhrat Khwaja Abu Mohammed Chisti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(13) Hadhrat Khwaja Nasir Uddin Abu Yousuf Chisti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(14) Hazrat Khwaja Qutubudin Maudood Chisti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(15) Hadhrat Haji Sharif Zindani (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(16) Hadhrat Khwaja Uthman Harooni (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )(17) Hadhrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hassan Chisti (رضئ الله تعالی عنه )
There were 5 well known Sufi Shuyookh who continued the legacy of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) in succession in India, as follows:
(i)(رحمة الله عليه), the Khalifa and successor of Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه).
(ii)(رحمة الله عليه), the Khalifa and successor of Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (رحمة الله عليه).
(iii)(رحمة الله عليه), the Khalifa and successor of Hadhrat Fariduddin Ganjshakar (رحمة الله عليه).
(iv)(رحمة الله عليه), the Khalifa and successor of Hadhrat Fariduddin Ganjshakar (رحمة الله عليه).
(v)(رحمة الله عليه), the Khalifa and successor of Hadhrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Awlia (رحمة الله عليه).
(vi)(رحمة الله عليه), the Khalifa and successor of Hadhrat Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi (رحمة الله عليه).
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) is among Awliya-e-Kubaar. He taught people Islamic Tawheed, the tenets of Islam, love of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), his Ahle Bait-e-At Haar, dignitaries of Islam and Awliya Allah. He followed Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in every aspect of his life and was known to receive his instructions throughout his life in wakefulness and in dreams. His services in spreading Islam in Indian Sub continent are unparalleled.