Hadhrat Shaykh Hājī Dost Muhammad Qandahārī Naqshbandī (1801-1868), may Allah sanctify his soul, was the chief deputy and spiritual successor to Shāh Ahmad Saeed Mujaddidi Faruqi (d. 1860), and lived in the 19th century in areas currently in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He was born to Khwājā Mullā Alī of Durrānī family in 1216 AH (1801/1802 C.E) near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Starting his early education in his parental village, he later moved to Kabul to seek further education in Islamic sciences.
While studying, he also developed a strong love and passion for the way of Sufism and the love of Awliya. Once he went to the shrine of Baba Wali along with other students. On the way there, they met a Majzūb (a saint) who told something for everyone. When his turn came, the majzūb said: “This student will be a man of perfection and among the saints, and will become a perfected walī (saint), as the signs of Marifah are evident in his forehead.”
Later, he went to the Haramain (the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah) and stayed there for many years. There, he would perform the Hajj and afterwards go to the illuminated city of Madinah and study there. He had heard about the great saint and shaykh of that time Shah Abdullah alias Ghulam Ali Dehlavi Naqshbandi who lived in Delhi. Thus he left for Delhi, traveling through Kandahar, Ghazni and Kabul. When he reached Peshawar, he heard about the demise of the shaykh. This news saddened his heart and he turned back from there to Kandahar and Kabul to seek further education.
During this time, his heart had been alighted in the love of Allah and he would often cry and weep for long times. Sometimes, he would fall unconscious for many days. His heart was burning and his soul was restless. To extinguish his spiritual thirst, he went to Baghdad to the holy shrine of Ghaus al-Azam Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani, may Allah be pleased with him. Later he went to Herat in the presence of Shaykh Abdullah Herati, a khalifa of Mawlānā Khālid Baghdādī Kurdī who was one of the most important deputies of Shah Abdullah Dehlavi. After spending there three months, he came back to Baghdad and stayed in the company of Shaykh Muhammad Jadeed, another khalifa of Mawlana Khalid. But considering that his spiritual restless could not be calmed down anywhere, he finally set out for the company of Shah Abu Saeed Dehlavi, the chief khalifa and successor of Shah Abdullah Dehlavi.
He reached in Mumbai in 1834 and met the shaykh who was waiting for the ship to leave for the pilgrimage of Hajj. The shaykh advised him to go to his son Hazrat Shah Ahmad Saeed Faruqi Mujaddidi (who was also a khalifa of Shah Abdullah Delhavi) and receive spiritual training and Fayd from him. Thus he journeyed to his final destination Delhi and came to the presence of Shah Ahmad Saeed, the leading shaykh of the Naqshbandi tariqa there. When he looked at the shining face of his shaykh for the first time, all his restlessness and burning of heart was extinguished and all his worries came to an end.
He received Fayd and blessings and Sufi training from his master and shaykh Shah Ahmad Saeed and was awarded absolute khilāfah after 14 months (in 1836). He was trained and perfected in the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi tariqa, the golden Sufi order, but also received authority of seven other Sufi orders, namely Qadri, Chishti, Suhrawardi, Qalandari, Kubravi, Maddari and Shattari tariqas.
The complete chains of these orders are listed in biographical works of the masters of this tariqa. The golden chain of the Naqshbandi order up to Imam Rabbāni Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi is presented here:
- 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
His shaykh sent him back to Afghanistan to teach the Mujaddidi tariqa to the people. He soon got famous and thousands of people turned to him for spiritual guidance, including the scholars and Sufi shaykhs. He established three permanent khanqahs where he would stay in different parts of the year. His final khanqah which also became his burial place was at Mūsā Zaī Sharif, in district Derā Ismāīl Khān, present-day Pakistan.
His shaykh once said that Hājī Dost Muhammad is to me as Mawlana Khalid Baghdadi was to my shaykh. He had hundreds of deputies even within the life of his shaykh who spread the tariqa to many areas in Afghanistan and present-day Pakistan. His chief khalifa and spiritual heir was Hazrat Khwāja Muhammad Usmān Dāmāni (d. 1897).
A few names among his prominent khulafa are:
- Hazrat Khwāja Muhammad Usmān Dāmāni (d. 1897)
- Hazrat Mawlana Amān-Allah Herāti
- Hazrat Mawlana Muhammad Ãdil, Zhob, Balochistan
- Hazrat Mawlana Rahīm Bakhsh Ajmeri
- Hazrat Mawlana Ghulam Hasan, Derā Ismāīl Khān
- Hazrat Mawlana Sher Muhammad, Kulāchi
- Hazrat Shaikh Mulla Qitār Akhundzādā (d.1300 AH)
- Pīr Sayyid Muhammad Shāh Jīlānī, a descendant of Shaykh Abdul-Qādir Jīlānī quddisa sirruhū
He passed away on 22 Shawwal 1284 AH (16/17 February 1868) and was buried in Mūsā Zaī sharīf, the noble khānqāh established by him , in district Derā Ismāīl Khān, now in Pakistan.
His letters (Maktūbāt), written in Persian, have been published, and their Urdu translation is also available with the name Tuhfa-e-Ibraheemiya.
The next in the Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Tāhirī spiritual golden chain is Shaykh Muhammad Usmān Dāmānī.
- Jalwa Gāh-e-Dost, by Hazrat Khwājā Muhammad Tāhir Bakhshi Naqshbandi
- Mawāhib-e-Rahmāniā, volume 1 named Tajalliyat ad-Dostiyya, by Khwaja Muhammad Ismaeel Sirāji Mujaddidi of Musa Zai Sharif.
- Tuhfā Ibrāheemiya, Urdu translation of the letters of Hāji Dost Muhammad Qandahari.