Hadhrat Shaykh Muhammad Usman Damani Naqshbandi Mujaddidi (d.1897), may Allah sanctify his soul, was one of the greatest Naqshbandi shaykhs and spiritual successor to Khwaja Dost Muhammad Qandahari (d.1868), may Allah sanctify his soul, who established the noble khanqah Musa Zai Sharif, in district D.I. Khan, Pakistan.
Birth and life
He was born in 1244 AH (1828/1829 C.E) at Luni, a village in tehsil Kulachi, district Dera Ismail Khan, now in Pakistan. He was son of Mawlana Muhammad Musa Jan, son of Mulla Ahmad Jan, son of Mulla Abdul-Haleem, son of Mulla Abdul-Karim, son of Mulla Qazi Shamsuddin. He was from the Achakzai branch of the Durrani tribe of Afghans. His grandfather Qazi Shamsuddin was a Qazi (Judge) of Qandahar during the times of Ahmad Shah Abdali.
His father passed away when he was only five or six years old, leaving behind him and his younger brother Mawlana Muhammad Saeed. His maternal uncle Mawlana Nizamuddin took the guardianship of the two brothers and educated them in Islamic sciences.
He was granted absolute authority in eight Sufi orders by his shaykh Hazrat Khwaja Dost Muhammad Qandahari.
- The chief tariqa Naqshbandī-Mujaddidī, founded by the Great Mujaddid Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (971-1034 AH, Sirhind)
- Qādrī (Qādriyyah), founded by Ghaws al-A’zam Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jīlanī (470–561 AH, Baghdad)
- Chishtī (Chishtiyyah), founded by Khwaja Mu’īn ad-Dīn Hasan Chishtī Ajmerī (d.627 AH, Ajmer)
- Suhrawardī (Suhrawardiyyah), founded by Khwaja Umar Ibn Muhammad Shihabuddīn Suhrawardī (539-632 AH)
- Kubravī (Kubrawiyyah), founded by Khwaja Najmuddīn Ibn Umar al-Kubra (540-618 AH, Khwarazm)
- Madārī (Madāriyyah), founded by Khwaja Badee’uddīn Shah al-Madar
- Qalandarī (Qalandariyyah), founded by Khwaja Najmuddīn Qalandar Ibn Nizam al-Ghaznavī
- Shattārī (Shattāriyyah), founded by Shaykh Abdullah Shattar (d. 1406 CE)
The complete chains of these orders are listed in biographical works such as Majmua Fawaed Usmaniya and other books. The golden chain of the Naqshbandi order goes to Imam Rabbanī Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindī as follows:
- Hazrat Khwājā Muhammad Usmān Dāmānī
- Hazrat Khwājā Dost Muhammad Qandahārī
- Hazrat Shāh Ahmad Saeed Mujaddidī Fārūqī
- Hazrat Shāh Abū Saeed Mujaddidī Fārūqī
- Hazrat Shāh Ghulām Alī Dehlavī
- Hazrat Mirzā Mazhar Jān-e-Jānān
- Hazrat Sayyid Noor Muhammad Badāyūnī
- Hazrat Hāfiz Muhammad Mohsin Dehlavī
- Hazrat Khwājā Saif ad-Dīn Sirhindī
- Hazrat Khwājā Muhammad Ma’soom Sirhindī
- Hazrat Imām Rabbānī Mujaddid Alf Sānī Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindī Fārūqī
Miracles and Visions
Once, a disciple of him Mawlānā Hussain Alī was in doubt whether the Awliyā (saints) possess the knowledge of the Unseen or not, and that what kind of knowledge of Unseen do they possess and in what matter? Thinking this, he went to Shaykh Dāmānī’s presence who was talking to some Pashtuns in Pashto language, and sat behind those people. The venerable Shaykh suddenly turned to him and said in Persian: “Molvī Sāhab! The Awliyā know every thing but it is not allowed for them to unveil it”.
Similarly, once Mawlānā Hussain Alī who doubted the Awliyā’s possession of the knowledge of Unseen, was present in his presence. The venerable Shaykh said to him:
“Molvī Sāhab! Go to your home, then when you come back, whatever happened during that time, I will tell you everything exactly in full detail. You will not find any detail as wrong.”
Hadhrat Shaykh Dāmānī used to eat very little. Once during a journey of a month, he ate only half a kilogram of cereal food. On the other hand, he was quite healthy and overweight. People used to wonder about this.
Once Hazrat Shaykh took out hundred rupees (large coins) from his pocket and gave them to his servant Noor Alam Khān to buy lambs for the Langar (free food for the visitors and guests of khanqah). Noor Alam wondered how did the Shaykh take out hundred coins from his small pocket? How does he take out money from his pocket for every necessity at the khāniqāh sharif, having no visible source of income, and yet the money doesn’t end? Hazrat Shaykh got informed over his thoughts and replied: “Faqir’s (referring to himself) pocket is an Afghan sack, it will not end up at least until my life.”
He departed to the hereafter in the morning of Tuesday, 22 Shaban 1314 AH (26 January 1897). He was reciting the Kalima Tayyiba until the last breath. His Janaza prayer was led by his son Hadhrat Shaykh Muhammad Sirāj ad-Din, attended by thousands of his followers and lovers. He was buried besides the noble grave of his shaykh, at the noble shrine of Musa Zai Sharif.
Shaykh Dāmānī awarded deputyship to more than 30 of his qualified disciples. Some of those blessed names are listed below.
- His eldest son and successor, Hadhrat Shaykh Muhammad Sirāj ad-Dīn Naqshbandī Mujaddidī
- Hadhrat Mawlānā Sayyid Laʿal Shāh Hamdānī Bilāwalī
- Mawlānā Mahmūd Shīrāzī
- Shaykh Fāzil Aʿwān
- Mawlānā Muhammad Rasool Laoon Khurāsānī (died on Tuesday 29 Dhu al-Hijja 1314 AH / 1897)
- Hāfiz Sayyid Ahmad Alī Dahlavī (died on Sunday 2 Ramadān 1300 AH)
- Mawlānā Sayyid Akbar Alī Dahlavī, author of Majmua Fawāed Usmānia (Persian)
- Mawlānā Noor Khān Awān Chakrālvī
- Mawlānā Muhammad Hāshim Baghārvī (died Sunday 27 Rajab 1313 AH / 1896)
- Khwājā Mairā Qalandar, Pashīn
- Sayyid Amīr Shāh Hamdānī Bilāwalī
- Mawlānā Husain Alī
- Mawlānā Beg Muhammad Khurāsānī
- Qāzi Abdur-Rasool Angvī
- Mawlānā Mahar Muhammad Aʿwān Angvī
- Sayyid Muhammad Shāh Hamdānī Bilāwalī, nephew of Sayyid Laʿal Shāh Hamdānī
The next in the Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Tāhirī spiritual golden chain is Shaykh Muhammad Sirāj-ud-Dīn Naqshbandī.