Hadhrat Khwāja Azīzān Alī Rāmītanī quddisa sirruhu (585-715 AH) was born in Ramitan, a town located near four miles from Bukhara (now Uzbekistan), circa 585 AH. He was also called Nassāj, meaning weaver, as initially he used to weave clothes.
By the orders of Khwāja Khidr, he became a disciple of Khwāja Mahmood Anjīr-Faghnawī and received spiritual mentorship. He was the chief deputy and was appointed as the main successor by the shaykh. According to some reports, he also benefited from Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī.
He migrated to a town called Bāward, and later migrated to Khwarezm where he lived to the end.
Although his name was Alī Rāmītanī, he was often remembered as Khwāja Azīzān as he used to call himself Azīzān. People of Khwarezm used to call him Khwāja Alī Bāwardī.
He had two sons:
- Khwāja Muhammad alias Khwāja Khurd. He was the elder son. He passed away 19 days after his father’s death, on Thursday the 17th of Dhu’l-Hijja, 715 A.H (11 March 1316 CE) [Rashahāt].
- Khwāja Ibrāhīm. He was younger son, and was made a deputy by Khwāja Azīzān. He died in 793 AH (1391 CE).
His younger son Khwāja Ibrāhīm wrote a book about his father and master.
Among his deputies, following are recorded in Rashahāt and other books:
- Khwāja Muhammad Khurd quddisa sirruhu, his elder son
- Khwāja Ibrāhīm quddisa sirruhu, his younger son
- Khwāja Muhammad Kulāhdūz quddisa sirruhu
- Khwāja Muhammad Hallāj Balkhī quddisa sirruhu
- Khwāja Muhammad Bāwardī quddisa sirruhu
- Khwāja Muhammad Bābā Sammāsī quddisa sirruhu
He reached an extraordinary age of 130 years. The author of Rashahāt records his date of death as Monday, the 28th of Dhu’l-Qa’da, 715 AH (23 February 1316 CE). He is buried in Khwarezm where his shrine is a place of pilgrimage.
He was once asked: what is Iman (faith)? He replied: (it is) to get out (from ego) and meet (the lord).
He once said: be a companion of Allah Almighty; if you cannot accompany the God, then accompany those who are companions of God. Because one who accompanies a companion of God, is also a companion of God.
He once said: “supplicate with a tongue that has never sinned.” It means you should please the friends of God with humbleness so that they supplicate to God on your behalf.
He said: “do not sit with an egotist; sit with one who is free from ego.”
Once, while Khwaja Azizan was sitting in meditation, some pretender asked him as a test: “what is Tasawwuf?” He said: “to break and to meet”. It means to break from everything other than God and meet with God.
The next in the Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Tāhirī spiritual golden chain is Khwāja Muhammad Bābā as-Sammāsī.
- Rashahāt Ain al-Hayāt, by Mawlānā Alī ibn Husain Safī, English translation by Muhtar Holland, 2001.
- Hadhrāt al-Quds, by Shaykh Badr ad-Dīn Sirhindī.