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HazratData Gunj Bakhsh. RA, Lahore

Data Darbar. RA

Hazrat Syed Ali bin Usman Hajweri, RA, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh ( Bestower of Spiritual Treasures ) or in lay man's term simply - Data Darbar Lahore, belonged to a place called Hajwer in the town of Ghazni, Afghanistan. He lived during the 5th century AH ( 11th century AD ), and was well versed in all the Islamic sciences such as Tafsir; ( exegesis ) of the Holy Qur'an, Hadith; ( Traditions of the Prophet ), Fiqh; ( Muslim Law ) and dogmatic theology; ( Ilmu Kalam ). Al Hajweri's spiritual lineage traces back to Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi, RA, through the three intermediaries al-Husri, an-Nasrabi and Shibli.

In the course of his spiritual journey to God, he journeyed physically to many countries, often alone and with hardship. These places included Turkestan, Transoxania, Iran, Iraq, and Syria where he met innumerable Sufi sheikhs, many of whom he has mentioned in his book 'Kashf ul Mahjoob'. He came to Lahore in the later part of his life for the specific purpose of Tablegh ( preaching and teaching ) Islam, converting large numbers of people into Muslim Ummah. He passed away in Lahore in 469 AH (1077 AD), where his Muquam currently stands, is visited by people of all walks of life, from far and near.

Dargah Sharif Data Ganj Bakhsh, RA: The mausoleum of the great mystic saint Abu Hasan Ali Hajweri is situated near Bha'tee Gate, one of the gates of the walled city of Lahore, Pakistan. The Ghaznavi king Sultan Zakiruddin Ibrahim built his mausoleum. Day and night devotees come in large numbers to pay homage to the saint. On Thursdays, groups of musicians sing the mystic song 'Qawali' and the dervaishe of the saint dance the mystic 'Dhamal'.

He was the proud author of 'Kashaf ul Mahjoob', a beautiful book on Islamic mysticism.

Book: Kashaf ul Mahjoob
His book 'Kashful Mahjoob', originally in Persian, was written at the request of the than a student of Sufism at that time. He had asked the shaikh to compile a comprehensive study on tasawwuf (Sufism) as a guide for spiritual aspirants. Although al-Hajweri was a master in the science of Islamic scholasticism and his judgements based on logic, the conclusions he arrived at were the result of his deep spiritual experience, where he has shown the absence of any conflict between true Sufism and Islamic Shariah.

Starting from the life of the Prophet's brimful experience of Divine nearness, Presence, Union and Communion, this book describes the spiritual experiences of the Companions of the Prophet, Companions of the Companions (tabi'in), their Companions (taba-tabi'in), and the Imams (heads) of the four schools of Islamic law (Ahli Sunnah wal Jama'ah ), showing in truth, "when Sufism was made to leave Islam," and that it is not the so called question of "when Sufism 'entered' Islam." This book also explains the various aspects of Sufism in a thorough yet simple manner.

The book ( Kashful Mahjoob ), contains for the first time ever, an invaluable comprehensive English Commentary by a practising Sufi Sheikh, further clarifying in today's language and context, the various subtleties of Sufism in an understandable form rarely found elswhere.

This is a book that must be read not only by those interested in Sufism, but by all who yearn for tranquility and inner-peace in this present day of lop-sided, imbalanced and over-materialistic tendencies, where man has deplorably failed to strike a balance between his physical and spiritual life. This imbalance is now resulting in untold misery, restlessness, frustration, worries, woes, conflicts and confrontations which have virtually torn this world as under.

The translator and commentator of this book, was Hazrat Maulana Wahid Bakhsh Rabbani, RA; one of the eminent Sufi Saints of this century. He spent 12 years in the company of his sheikh Hazrat Maulana Syed Mohammed Zauqi Shah (r.a.), and was a practising Sufi for over 55 years until his passing away on the 21st of Zulkaedah 1415 Hijri (April 1995). Like his sheikh, he had written numerous books on Sufism of which 'Islamic Sufism', a comprehensive manual on Sufism in English, was one of his masterpieces. He also translated many valuable Sufi works from Persian into Urdu including "Mirratul Asrar", "Maqabis ul Majalis" and "Talqin-e Laduni". He was without adout a recognised Master of Sufism of his time.

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