Makhdum Abul Qasim Naqshbandi Thattvi (1138 AH)

The venerable Makhdūm Abul-Qāsim Thattvī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī was one of the illustrated saints and Sufi masters of the Naqshbandī Path in Sindh during the early eighteenth century.

He was a murīd of Makhdūm Ādam Thattvī and a deputy of Khwāja Saifuddīn Fārūqī Sirhindī (d.1096 AH).

He was born in Thatta, then a city of knowledge, in Southern Sindh (Pakistan). Initially he was initiated in the Sufi Path by Makhdūm Ādam Thattvī, a deputy of Khwāja Muhammad Maʻsūm Sirhindī (d.1079 AH). When his shaykh saw his aptitude and talent, he guided him to go to Sirhind, where he met Khwāja Saifuddīn Sirhindī. There he competed the spiritual journey and was awarded deputyship.

When he returned to Thatta, he soon became popular and seekers flocked to him from far and wide. In Sindh, other Sufi Paths were more popular such as Qādrī and Suhrawardī. Makhdūm Abul-Qāsim made the Naqshbandī Path very popular in Sindh for the first time.

His personal room, where he slept and worshiped, was known as the Chamber of Presence. One day it so happened that while he was alone in the room, one of his disciples heard two persons talking in the room, one of whom he recognized as the Shaykh. The next day, the disciple asked him about this. He replied that I was talking to the Holy Prophet sallAllāhu ʻalayhi waSallam.

Hundreds of people used to stay at his dervish convent, although there was no apparent source of income for the convent. Whenever the servants asked him for money, he would raise his empty hand in blank air and gold coins would appear in his hands that he would give to the servants.

He passed away on 10 Shaʻbān 1138 (1726) and was buried in the famous cemetery of Thatta called Maklī.

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Books related to Mawlid written by Naqshbandi scholars

Hundreds, rather thousands of books and treatises have been authored by a vast number of Sunni scholars on the topic of Mawlid (Mīlād) for many centuries. There are indices of such works available (one index in Urdu, a list in Arabic). However, here I have tried to list the writings related to Mawlid authored by Sufi masters and scholars of the Naqshbandī Order.

Mahmūd ibn Husayn al-Afḍalī al-Ḥāẓiqī (d.970 AH)

He was Shāfiʻī by madhhab and Naqshbandī by tarīqah, and lived in Madīnah Munawwarah. He authored many books, among these was a book of Mawlid titled “Mawlid an-Nabī”.

Muhammad ʻAlī Ibn-ʻAllān al-Makkī (d.1057 AH)

He was a great scholar and author of several books. He wrote Mawrid aṣ-Ṣafā Fi Mawlid al-Muṣṭafā, a manuscript of which is preserved in Berlin.

Imām ʻAbd al-Ghanī an-Nābulusī (d.1143 AH)

He was a great scholar, author of several books, and a  third generation deputy of Khwāja Bāqī-Billāh Dahlawī (d.1012 AH) from the non-Mujaddidī branch. He wrote a short book on Mawlid titled “Al-Mawlid an-Nabawī”. Continue reading

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Celebrating the noble Mawlid and Mujaddid Alf-i Sani

During the blessed month of Rabīʻ al-Awwal, the whole Muslim nation celebrates the blessed birth of the Master of All Prophets ṣallAllāhu ʻalayhi waSallam. However, there are a few extremist sects that oppose this noble tradition of Muslims and follow the Wahhabi creed. In fact, they oppose every tradition that is related to the dignity of the Best of Creation and his noble household [Ahl al-Bayt].

Some ignorant people have spread this false propaganda that the great saint of the Naqshbandī order, Imām-i Rabbānī, Mujaddid Alf-i Sānī, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindī Fārūqī raḍiyAllāhu ʻanhu had stopped his followers from celebrating the noble tradition of Mawlid. They use some words from the Maktūbāt out of context and try to prove that the Great Mujaddid opposed Mawlid.

However, this is either mere ignorance or a deliberate act of false propaganda. The first person who started this accusation was probably Mīr Mahbūb ʻAlī Jaʻfarī, a companion and follower of Maulawī Ismāʻīl Dahlawī. He wrote a book in which he not only claimed Mawlid to be a wrong and evil innovation, he also tried to prove this from the Maktūbāt. However, the great Naqshbandī master Shāh Ahmad Saʻīd Mujaddidī refuted his false accusations and proved from the Maktūbāt that Imām-i Rabbānī had allowed this blessed tradition in which Muslims show their love and devotion to the Best of Prophets ʻalayhi as-salām. Continue reading

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Dates of demise of the Awliya in Gregorian calendar

Following are some of the verified dates of demise of the well known Islamic saints in Gregorian calendar. Since most of the recorded dates are in Hijri calendar, there is no standard way to translate it in Gregorian calendar without an error of 1 to 2 days. However in some cases, the day is also recorded, which helps in removing this small error.

This list will be updated continuously.

January

26: Demise of Khwāja Muhammad Usmān Dāmāni of Musa Zai Sharif, khalifa of Khwāja Dost Muhammad Qandhāri, died 26 January 1897 (Tuesday, 22 Shaban 1314 AH [1]).

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Sayyid Wilayat Shah Hamdani

Hadrat Sayyid Wilāyat Shāh Hamdānī Bilāwalī was one of the blessed deputies of Khwāja Muhammad Sirāj ad-Dīn Naqshbandī Mujaddidī of Mūsā Zaī Sharīf, Pakistan.

He lived in village Danda Shāh Bilāwal, established by one of his pious great-grandfathers. He was a direct descendant of the Holy Prophet sallAllāhu ʻalayhi wasallam and a relative of Sayyid Laʻl Shāh Hamdānī.

Not much is known about him, except some oral traditions about him in his family. He had two sons and four daughters. His eldest son Sayyid Muhammad ʻĀrif (d.1984) was his khalīfa and successor, and did not have any children. His younger son Sayyid Ghulām Rabbānī was a murīd of his elder brother. One of his pious daughters is still living.

Sayyid Ghulām Rabbānī Hamdānī had two sons and two daughters. His sons are: Sayyid Hāmid ʻAlī Shāh and Sayyid Haibat ʻAlī Shāh.

Hadrat Sayyid Wilāyat Shāh spread the noble Naqshbandī Order in areas near Multān, Pakistan.

References

  1. Family history
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Sayyid Muhammad Shah Hamdani

Hadrat Sayyid Muhammad Shāh Hamdānī Bilāwalī was nephew of Sayyid Laʻl Shāh Hamdānī who was one of the greatest deputies of Khwāja Muhammad Usmān Dāmānī quddisa-sirruhumā.

Sayyid Muhammad was a direct descendant of the Holy Prophet sallAllāhu ʻalayhi wasallam, and was from the Hamdānī branch of Sayyids. He lived in a town Danda Shāh Bilāwal, located in Punjab Province, Pakistan.

He was initiated into the Naqshbandī Order by his uncle. After the demise of his uncle, he went to his uncle’s shaykh Khwāja Muhammad Usmān along with many of his family and friends who were also murids of Sayyid Laʻl Shāh. They all were initiated again by the Shaykh, who immediately awarded deputyship to Sayyid Muhammad Shāh and gave him the certificate of authorization (khilāfat-nāma) which was written by Mawlānā Mahmūd Shīrāzī. Continue reading

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Malfuzat (speeches) of Shaykh Fazal Ali Qureshi Naqshbandi

Following are some of the malfūzāt (speeches and advice) of Hadrat Shaykh Fazal Alī Qureshī Naqshbandī Mujaddidī qaddasAllāhu sirrahū (d.1935). Most of them are translated roughly from the published Malfūzāt of the shaykh which were written by his chief khalīfa Shaykh Abdul-Ghaffār Fazalī quddisa-sirruhū (d.1964).

Malfūzāt of the Shaykh

The shaykh used to read the following verses:

“Pride and arrogance looted three homes: the sayyid, the scholar, the tribal chief,
They consider themselves great, but have forgotten The Greatest.”

The Shaykh was outspoken and would not hesitate to say the truth regardless of who he was speaking to. Once he came to the Sabīl masjid in Delhi (where Mawlānā Abdul Ghafoor Madanī was the imam) where hundreds of people including many scholars came to see his eminence. Many people there had a habit of chewing Paan. The shaykh started watching them anxiously, from one corner to the other, and finally he remarked:

“In our area, women menstruate; but here the men (do), though from the mouth” (referring to the red saliva of a Paan chewer).

The people were so ashamed that many of them pledged not to use the Paan from that day. [1]

He said to his faqīrs:

“Do not listen to the speeches of common scholars whose hearts are ignorant of the remembrance of Allah. Their company will destroy your good beliefs and practices. Listen only to those scholars who have purified their Self with the company of perfected Awliyā and have adorned their hearts with the zikr” [7].

He said:

“If you wish to understand the Qur’ān then observe Taqwā. Taqwā is the name of leaving aside all Harām, doubtful and unnecessary things” [1].

Shaykh Fazal Alī Qureshī once said:

“A saint used to write down whatever he spoke during the day. In the evening, he would review his list: he would be satisfied at the good speech and he would repent from the indecent speech.”

Once the Shaykh said:

Befriend the Friends of Allah, (as) they are attentive to you.

Once he said:

A saint used to say that I have a quality in me that is not in God. Someone asked what it is, he said it is humbleness and humility, and God is free of it.

Khwāja Fazal Alī once told following story:

A murīd of Ḥaḍrat Bāyazīd Bastāmī was traveling in a trade caravan. Suddenly, bandits came and started looting the caravan. All the caravan people called upon God, but to no avail. That murīd called upon his master, and he was the only one in the caravan who was protected from looting. The caravan people were astounded from this. Later, some of them asked Khwāja Bāyazīd about the fact that their supplicating God did not help them, while that murīd’s calling his master for help protected him. Khwāja Bāyazīd replied: he (that murīd) supplicated me and I supplicated God. Since I had a strong bond of love with God, my supplication was granted immediately, while you did not possess that strong connection with God, you were not granted.

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Majzub Salik: A distinctive quality of the Naqshbandi Sufi Path

One of the sublime qualities of the Naqshbandi tarīqah, that distinguishes it from all other Sufi paths, is the initial Jazba that precedes Sulūk.

Jazba means passion, the plural is Jazbāt (passions). It is an emotional quality that takes a seeker’s spiritual subtleties (Laṭāʼif) upwards (fawq). Sulūk is the spiritual journey towards perfection, which requires effort and endurance. All tarīqahs except the Naqshbandī, start a seeker’s journey with Sulūk in order to purify him of all spiritual ills and evils, before taking him to the higher stations where he receives Jazba. The Naqshbandī tarīqah starts with the subtleties of the Command-World (ʻĀlm al-Amr), and the seeker enters jazba in the very beginning of the path. This jazba is a reflection of the jazba that a perfected seeker receives in the journey’s end. After tasting this jazba, it becomes extremely easy for the seeker to traverse the spiritual path (Sulūk) without much effort and difficulty. Continue reading

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An incident of “Istighatha”: Using Intermediaries and Intercessors

(Written by Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad, reproduced with permission)

In SP AH wrote:

One night, the Prophet of Allah ﷺ may Allah bless him and grant him peace – was in his house and was heard to proclaim ‘I am here!’ three times and ‘You have been granted help’ also three times. Umm al-Muʼminīn, Maymūnah – may Allah be well pleased with her – asked the Prophet – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – whom he had been talking to since there was no one present. He ﷺ may Allah bless him and grant him peace – replied, ‘I was talking to a person called Rajiz from the tribe of Banī Kaʻab. He asked for help from me against the Quraysh.’ Umm al-Muʼminīn, Maymūnah – may Allah be well pleased with her – said that when she finished fajr prayer the next morning, she heard Rajiz calling out in the streets of Madina: “Yā Rasūl-Allāh! Help us and call the servants of Allah to help us.”

Shaykh Yūsuf al-Nabhānī, Allah have mercy on him, cites two hadiths in this respect with their full wording in the chapter of the Prophet’s ʻilm al-ghayb in his encyclopedia of the Prophetic miracles, “Hujjat Allāh ʻala al-ʻĀlamīn bi-Muʻjizāt Sayyid al-Mursalīn” (p. 493): Continue reading

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Tawajjuh, Tasawwur, Suhba, Rabita

(Written by Shaykh Gibril Fuad Haddad, reproduced with permission)

Wa ʻalaykum as-Salām wa rahmatullāh wa barakātuh:

Is the concept of tawajjuh a common and accepted practice in Sūfī Tarīqahs? By Tawajuuh I don’t mean during the prayer towards the qibla. Rather, it was explained to me that a mureed must imagine he is facing his Shaykh when doing dhikr. I have heard it described that it is like trying to see the sun by facing a mirror. Similarly if you want to connect to God, you must orient yourself towards your Shaykh.

This is a rather technical question best answered by the Naqshbandīs, may Allāh Most High bless them and benefit us with their lights.

Tawajjuh literally means orientation and refers to the turning of one’s heart to Allāh Most High. In the Naqshbandī Tarīqa it can refer either to the murīd’s turning to Allāh Most High, similar to vigilance (murāqaba) and mentioned alongside it; or it refers to the accomplished guide’s (al-murshid al-kāmil) intent duʻa for individual murīds. Continue reading

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