Syed Khawaja GharibNawaz,R.A.
Hazrat Khawaja Garib Nawaz R.A
Biography Khawaja Gharibnawaz, Ajmeri, RA
The greatest preacher ( Dawee ) of Islam and a messenger of peace and love.
Shaikh Moinuddin Ibn Arabi, Hazrat Fariduddin Attar, Hazrat Shams Tabriz and Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, R.A., were all contemporaries of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti, Ajmeri, R.A.
At the close of his life in this world these words were inscribed on his forehead by an unseen Hand;
"He was a beloved of God, and he died in the love of God."
Last Sermon of Garib Nawaz r.a
Born in the town of Sariar, in the province of Siestan, Iran, in the year 535 Hijri of Hussaini Sayed family, and draws his lineage to Zain-ul-Abedeen through 14 of his ancestors.
His father, Syed Ghayasuddin, was a rich merchant and, therefore, he led his childhood in comfort. He was 15 when his father passed away but his mother; Mah-e Noor, did not let him feel the demise of his father, and kept bringing him up to her best capacity. But soon she too passed away leaving him alone in the world.
The demise of his parents effected his economic condition adversely. There was no income from the business. The income from the orchard that he inherited was the only source for his subsistance. He worked on his orchard. Once a Muslim mendicant ( Darvaish ) Ibrahim Qandoozi happened to come to the orchard. The Khawaja offered to him a bunch of freshly picked ripe grapes. He later drew a piece of oil cake from his bag and started chewing on it. He gave the chewed piece to the Khawaja, who par took it. This had an instant effect on him and made him renounce the world and diverted him to spiritual activities. The orchard and other possessions he gave away to the poor and the needy, and set out in the direction of Samarkand and Bukhara in search of education & knowledge.
Knowledge: Khawaja Gharibnawaz RA received education and knowledge at the great centers of leanings; Samarkand and Bukhara, under the tuterage of renowned teachers and scholars of his time. He learnt the holy Quran by heart and then the Tradition, Commentary, Jurisprudence, and other subjects. He then went in search of a perfect spiritual guide or teacher at several places till he reached the town of Haroon, in Neshapur, falling on the high way to Iraq. There he met Saint Khawaja Usman Harooni, whose presence comforted his disturbed soul. Khawaja Usman Harooni, admitted him as his disciple ( Mureed ). Khawaja Usman traced his spiritual relation to Khawaja Ishaq Shami Chishti and therefore Khawaja Moin-uddin suffixed the word Harooni & Chishti after his name.
The Haj and the Travels: He received the permission and the status of spiritual deputy of the teacher; Khawaja Usman Harooni. Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti gained spiritual insight after serving him for 20 years, and in whose company he travelled over many Islamic countries; met many scholars and saints and drew intrinsic knowledge; went on pilgrimage; performed the Haj, visited the holy tomb of the Prophet PBUH.
In Madina he was ordered to go to India: He meditated at the tomb for several days. During this time he received orders from the Prophet, PBUH to proceed to India:
"0, Moin-uddin! You are the helper of the Faith. We have granted you the kingdom of India. Go there and stay, at Ajmer. Your stay there will remove Faithlessness and glorify Islam".
This pleased him greatly but it worried him where Ajmer was in India. He dozed of in the state, and saw the prophet PBUH. He was shown the world and the mountain near Ajmer. He was awarded the title of the Chief of the holy-men ( Qutub ul Mashaiekh ).
He set out on his journey, reached Baghdad where he met Shahabuddin Umar Suharawardy and Davood Kirmani. There from he went to Hamadan then to Tabrez and proceeded to Ispahan. Here he met Khawaja Bakhtiyar Kaki, who was enlisted as his disciple. During his stay at Ispahan, one day he stayed to rest in a beautiful garden of the ruler of the city. The place he sat was meant for the ruler of the city, Yadgar Mohammad. His servants asked the Khawaja to move away but he refused to do so. In the meantime Yadgar Mohammad came there. He saw the Khawaja, grew furious, lost temper, and called names. The Khawaja looked at him angrily, this tremble him and he fell unconscious. The Khawaja took some water and sprinkled on his face. He came to his senses, and was drawn towards him. He offered all his wealth but he declined and ordered him to return all such money as he had acquired unjustly. He compiled the orders. He freed his slaves and became his follower. When he had completed his outward and inner education, the Khawaja granted him the office of his deputy. From Ispahan he went to Kharkan, and then to Astrabad and saw the local saint Sheikh Nasiruddin, Astrabadi. From Astrabad he traveled via Hirat; Subzawar, Hissar, to Balakh and stayed in the monastery of Sheikh Ahmad Khazroya. Here lived one Hakim Ziauddin who was taken over by philosophy and rationalism, and who disbelieved certain fundamentals of Islam. One day the Khawaja Gharibnawaz hunted a deer, and roasted it's meat on fire. The Hakim happened to pass by. Gharibnawaz gave him a piece of the roasted deer to eat. He ate and this changed his condition. He fell on his feet and threw away the books on philosophy and medicine into the river and trudged his way back to the path of divinity.
From Balakh he proceeded to Ghazni where he impressed the importance of Jihad upon the people. Then he entered India and reached Multan where he learnt Sanskrit and Pali languages. He then travelled to Lahore and meditated at the tomb of Data Ganj Bukhsh Hajveri, RA, for some time. He then proceeded to Ajmer via Dehli. In Dehli he stayed for a while, and continued his journey towards Ajmer.
Condition of India: On his arrival in India, the country was in a state of depression. On her northwestern border the kingdom of the Ghaznavite was fighting her civil strife. Foreign invasions weakened her and the previous Islamic domination on India was on the decline, Social condition in India was deteriorating. Every man was at war with the other. Un touchability was rampant. Good things of life were reserved for the elite's. People suffered. The author of 'Seair-ul-Auliya' says "The darkness of Ir. religion had overcast the eastern part of India and idolatry was common. People worshipped stone, trees, houses, cow, and dung. People were thrown deep into the pits of irreligious.
Arrival at Ajmer: Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti arrived at Ajmer in 561 Hijri ( 1165 AD). There were no Muslims far and near, in and around Ajmer yet Khawaja Sahib selected this place as a center for his activities. In the initial stages of his stay some incidents so occurred that made him well known far and near.
Wondrous Powers: Raja Rai Pithora of the Chauhan dynasty of Ajmer ruled over the place. He stayed at a place where Raja's camels were stabled. The camel drivers returned with the camels from the grazing grounds in the evening and objected to his stay and the Royal sepoys fircibly removed him from the place. Khawaja Sahib moved away to another place saying; " Now the camels shall sit here". The following day when the camel drivers came back to work and tried to raise the camels from their sitting places, they failed to do so. The camels refused to stand up, no matter what they did to got them stand up. They realized of their misbehavior to the holy man, beseeched of his pardon, which he readily granted. He told them that whoever made the camel sit would make them stand up. When the camel drivers returned they saw the camels standing and moving about. The news of this strange anecdote reached the ears of the Raja and the people flocked to him in droves.
The non-Muslims grew angry with him because he was staying by the side of Ana-Sagar especially because he and his followers made their ablution on its bank. The conservative Brahmins believed that the Muslims were impure and their touch had turned the tank dirty so they put restrictions with regard to their use of it for ablution. His followers complained to the saint of the unjustified behavior of the Brahmins. The Saint asked them to bring water from the tank in a 'kooza' ( bowl ). As the bowl was filling, the water in the tank began receding, and in a short time the Ana Sager Lake was dried up.
The Raja was not happy with Gharibnawaz's stay in Ajmer, and started harassing him one way or the other. When nothing worked, he put the yogis after him. Jiapal, the Chief priest of the temple, came to face him along with his disciples. Holy man's presence cowed him with fear. The saint gave him some water to drink, as soon as he drank it, his condition changed and was. Drawn towards Islam.
Many of the royal servants embraced Islam because of the saint. Raja's daughter too became a Muslim whose Muslim name is Bibi Jamal and is buried near the saint's grave. The events made the Raja all the angrier and he threatened him to evict from Ajmer. In reply to the threats he said:
"We turned him out and entrusted him". The holy man's words proved prophetic. Shahabuddin Mohammad Ghouri was directed by him in dream to invade India. He succeeded in his attacks.
Propagation of Islam: From the land of atheism i.e. Ajmer he started the spiritual movement of the propagation of Islam. His efforts bore fruit and within a short period of sixteen years the condition of Ajmer changed. It became the nerve center of moral and spiritual leadership in India, leveled the way for a grand religious and social revolution, and provided opportunity to countless people to lead a life of equality and honor. The mission continued for about 50 to 60 years and brought seven lakh people into the folds of Islam. He spent most of his life in ushering the social and spiritual change and in the service of Islam.
Character: Love of the Prophet: The saint bore deep love for God and His Prophet. He mentions the Prophet with intense love in his writing. Usually he cried when read the Tradition and instructed his followers to follow them.
Hard Life: He spent most of his time in prayer and meditation; slept little, said his morning prayers with the ablution of the late night prayers; recited the whole of the Qu'oran during the night and one during the day.
Kind and Forgiving: He was kind and forgiving. Once a man came to him with the intention of murder. He read his intention he treated him very kindly and asked him, to do what he had intended. The man was ashamed and requests him to punish him. The saint replied, " The mendicant's habit is: whoever does evil to them, they treat him well." He forgave the man who became his follower.
Loved his Followers: He loved his followers and treated them kindly. He prayed in the Kaaba for the continuance of the Chistia order, till the Day of Resurrection. The order for the reason still survives and peoples flock to it irrespective of caste and creed. Saints of the Order are also found everywhere in India.
Magnanimity and Generosity: In spite of his renunciation of worldly things and frugality his monastery was famous for his generosity and magnanimity. So much food was cooked in his kitchen that a poor, a beggar, or needy never went hungry from his gate. One who demanded got. He is so called the Gharib - Nawaz (One who endears the poor). A large Kitchen even today serves the hungry and the poor from the campus of his monastery. His tomb is one of the holiest places in India where pilgrims come from every corner of the subcontinent to pay their homage of love and respect.
Books: The Saint did not leave a regular book but several books have been brought after editing his numerous articles. One such book is Dallil ul Arfeen edited by Khawaja Bakhtiyar Ka'aki, RA.
Death: The book 'Sier ul Aqtab' ( Biographies of the Saints ) states that he closed the door of his room after the late evening prayers. People sitting out of the room heard as if some one was stamping his feet. They thought that the Saint was deep in trance. Towards the end of the night the stamping noise ceased. There was no response from inside when knocked at the time of early Morning Prayers. The door was broke opened, people saw that the Saint had already passed away. The date was 6, Rajab ul Marjjab 632 Hijri.
Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan, Ajmeri, RA
- One who forsakes the Namaz or the Shariah is a dis-believer.
- Charity is better than saying prayer a hundred times.
- To abuse a believer is like raping his own sister or mother. The prayer of such a man is unacceptable.
- Crying in distress, saying elegies, tearing of clothes, is equal to shedding of the blood of 70 Muslims.
- The faithful keeps three things friendly Renunciation, Illness, and Death.
- Three persons will not smell the paradise, one is the liar, two is a miser, and three is a cheat.
- Four are great sins in the spiritual conduct:
- Laughter in the grave-yard,
- Eating and drinking in the grave-yard.
- Teasing the people, and
- Not to tremble at the mention of the name of God.
Chronology of biography:
Birth: Born in the year 530 AH (1115 AD) ( the date is also stated to be between the years 532 and 537 AH ), at Sanjar, Isfahan, Iran and brought up in Khorasan.
Full name: Moinuddin Hasan.
Title: Upon reaching Madina, he offered his respects to the Holy Prophet PBUH. His salams and respects were acknowledged and he was awarded the title of "Qutbul Mashariq Barro wo Behr" (Lord of the spiritual health of the land and the sea).
He is remembered and addressed by various other titles, e.g., Hind ul Wali (the Saint of India); Gharibnawaz (the patron of the poor); Naib-e Rasul Fil Hind ( The Deputy of the Prophet, pbuh in India ).
Chishti order: Originated in Syria, the founder was Hazrat Khwaja Abu Ishaque Shami RA, who moved to 'Chisht' from Syria as commanded by his spiritual guide, Hazrat Abu Ishaque. His disciples came to be known as Chishti, and so was Gharibnawaz, who brought new vigor and vitality to the Chishti order.
Father: His father's name was Khwaja Ghyasuddin Hasan. He died in Baghdad when Gharibnawaz was 15 years old. His father was an eminent sufi scholar mong the sufis of Khorasan.
Ghaus ul Azam, Hazrat Abdul Qadir Gilani, RA and Gharibnawaz were related to each other, paternal and maternal sides both.
Early education: His father was his teacher. At age nine, committed the Holy Quran to memory. Then at a private school, concentrated on Hadith (Traditions of the Prophet) and Fiqh (jurisprudence - Islamic Law) and in a short period of time acquired fairly good knowledge of the sujects. From an early age he enjoyed the company of saints, mystics and Dervishes. Meeting with Hazrat Ibrahim Qandoozi, a mystic. became a turning point in his life. In the year 544 AH, Hazrat Ibrahim Qandoozi entered Gharibnawaz's garden. He received great respect and hospitality from Moinuddin Hasan. With a hearty welcome and utmost courtesy, Gharibnawaz presented him with a bunch of grapes. In return Hazrat Ibrahim Qandoozi took out a piece of oil-cake and having chewed it, gave it to Gharibnawaz. Upon eating it, Gharibnawaz felt an inner chage and great spiritual effect within himself, causing him to become disgusted with worldly affairs. He sold his inherited garden and the grinding stone and distributed the proceeds to the poor and the needy. Thus his travels began in search of Truth.
Khwaja Gharibnawaz had the occasion of meeting Ghaus ul Azam Abdul Qadir Gilani, RA twice; first in 551 H (1155 AD) when he was 21 years of age; second time, 30 years later, when he was 51 in 581 AH (1185 AD).
Gharibnawaz then left for Arabia. On his return in 554 AH (1159 AD), went to Haroon, Iran. He took initiation for the first time and thus became the disciple of Hazrat Khawaja Usman Harooni, RA. Spent two years in spiritual training, asceticism and acquiring spiritual attainments under his guidance. He was then given permission to initiate disciples and was raised to the position of his spiritual successor.
First visit to India, via Multan and Lahore: 10 Muharram 561 AH ( Nov.11, 1165 AD). Spent two weeks at the tomb of Data Ganj Baksh, RA. Returned to Baghdad, where in 562 Hijri took discipleship of Khawaja Usman Harooni for the second time.
Second visit to India via Multan, Lahore, Dehli to Ajmer, with 40 followers in 587 AH (1191 AD). Left Ajmer for Baghdad in 598 AH (1200 AD), where he stayed for some time.
Third visit to India -- returned from Balkh in 602 AH (1213 AD). Gharibnawaz passed 22 years of his life in the company and service of his spiritual guide his mster / sheikh.
Death: On Monday, the 6th of Rajab, 627 Hijri ( May 21, 1229 AD ), Gharibnawaz, RA went into his chamber after the night prayers and closed the doors. He did not permit anyone to enter with him into the room. All night long, the people outside heard a mystical sound coming from inside of his room. At the approach of dawn, the sound stopped. Sensing that there was something unusual because the door remained closed at the time of early morning prayers, his devotees opened the door and found him dead. On his forehead were written the words:
"He was the beloved of God, and he died in the love of God."
His funeral prayers were led by his eldest son, Khwaja Fakhruddin Abul Khair, and the funeral was attended by a large number of people belonging to every religion, caste, creed, status or class. He was buried in the same room where he breathed his last.
His tomb is in Ajmer and is visited by a large numbers of people, throughout the year, and from every walk of life, especially at the occasion of his death anniversary (Urs), which is celebrated with regal splendour. It begins on the first of Rajab and ends on the sixth.
His wife's name was Bibi Ummat Ullah. Three children were born out of this union: two sons, Khwaja Fakhruddin and Khwaja Hissamuddin, and a daughter, Bibi Hafiz Jamal. He married a second time to Bibi Asmat Ullah. Hazrat Khwaja Ziauddin Abu Saeed was born out of this union.
Hierarchy of Hazrat Khawaja Garib Nawaz r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Moin Uddin Hasan Chishti r.a Mureed(disciple) of
Hazrat Khawaja Usman-e-Harooni Chishti r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Haji Sharif Zindani Chishti r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Qutub Uddin Moudood Chishti r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Nasir Uddin Abu Yusuf Chishti r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Abu Mohammed Chishti r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Abu Ahmed Abdul Chishti r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Abu Ishhaq Chishti r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Mumshad Ala Denoori r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Amin Uddin Hoobera Al Basri r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Sadeed Uddin r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Ibrahim r.a son of Adham of Balkh r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Abu Fuzel r.a son of Ayaz r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Wahid r.a son of Zaid r.a
Hazrat Khawaja Hassan of Basra R.A
Imam ul Aulia Syedna Hazrat Ali R.A
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