Hazrat Shāh Ahmad Saeed Mujaddidi Fārūqi Dehlavi then Madani (1802-1860), may Allah sanctify his soul, was one of the most popular Naqshbandi shaykhs of India, and the spiritual heir of Hazrat Shah Ghulām Ali Dehlavi.
He was born in 1217 AH (1802 CE) in Rāmpur, India. He is the elder son of Hazrat Shah Abū Saeed Mujaddidi Dehlavi who was the first spiritual successor to Hazrat Shah Ghulām Ali Dehlavi.
His father was first a disciple of Hazrat Shah Dargāhi, a famous shaykh at that time, and would often bring his little son to the shaykh’s company. When Shah Abu Saeed went to Hazrat Shah Ghulam Ali Dehlavi for seeking advanced stages of Wilāyah (sainthood), Shah Ahmed Saeed also accompanied him. Thus he entered the service of Shah Ghulam Ali from his young age.
He was young and was still seeking Islamic education. Hazrat Shah Ghulam Ali advised him that one should combine the Haal (spirituality) with Qaal (literary education), so you should learn the external knowledge from the scholars and join the Halqa when free. Thus he advanced his external education and internal/spiritual training together. He would learn the Islamic knowledge, specially the science of Hadith from his father’s uncle Shah Sirāj Ahmed Mujaddidi and other scholars. Meanwhile he would also continue seeking his spiritual training from Shah Ghulam Ali who trained him in all the prevalent Sufi methods of the time.
Finally, when he completed the spiritual training and reached the highest stages of Wilāyah, his shaykh gave him authority in seven Sufi orders, mainly the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi tarīqa. He was just 22 years old when his shaykh departed from this world on 22 Safar 1240 AH (October 1824). His father Shah Abū Saeed had been appointed by the shaykh as his ultimate heir who succeeded the spiritual movement and the noble khānqāh Mazhariya. After striving to train thousands of disciples for about ten years, his father left for Hajj and passed away in the return journey, in the night of 1st Shawwal 1250 AH (31 January 1835). His body was brought to Delhi and finally laid to rest in this sublime khanqah. Hazrat Shah Ahmed Saeed became the next successor to his shaykh after the demise of his father, and inherited the khanqah and all the followers.
Migration to Madinah
During his life, most of India was captured by the British who had reached close to Delhi where he lived. The Muslim scholars declared India as Dar al-Harb (legally, in state of war) and allowed for Jihad against the British. The uprising of 1857 was a key event in the history of India, in which the capital Delhi was taken over by the British and the long rule of Muslim kings over India came to an end. This uprising was supported by a fatwa (legal ruling) of the Islamic scholars, and one of them was Shah Ahmed Saeed himself. Indeed, he was the first to affirm it and sign it.
This fatwa made the British rulers his foes, and he had to flee from Delhi in order to evade the oppression and injustice of the new rulers who wanted to persecute him. He decided to migrate to the holy city of Madinah. During the journey, he stayed for 18 days at khanqah Mūsā Zaī Sharīf, established by his chief khalifa Hājī Dost Muhammad Qandahari in district Derā Ismāīl Khān (presently in Pakistan). There he declared Haji Dost Muhammad his successor and made him the custodian of khānqah Mazhariya in Delhi and commanded him to either reside there himself or send a khalifa to take control of it. Haji Dost Muhammad decided to stay at Musa Zai and presented his khalifa Mawlana Rahīm Bakhsh Ajmeri to his shaykh for residing at the Delhi khanqah.
Finally, from Musa Zai Sharif he left for Makkah and performed Hajj there in 1274 AH (1858). In Rabi al-Awwal 1275 AH (October 1858) he reached Madinah, the city of light.
During the journey, numerous people did bay’ah with him including scholars, and his fame reached far and wide. He lived in Madinah for about two years. Thousands of people there did bayah with him. His biographer says that if he had lived there for few more years, number of his murids would have reached hundreds of thousands.
Hazrat Shah Ahmed Saeed had four sons and one daughter:
- Hazrat Shah Abdur-Rasheed Mujaddidi
- Hazrat Shah Abdul-Hameed Mujaddidi
- Hazrat Shah Muhammad Umar Mujaddidi
- Hazrat Shah Muhammad Mazhar Mujaddidi
- His daughter Roshan-Ãrā, may Allah be pleased with them all.
Eighty names from his deputies are reported by his son Shah Muhammad Mazhar in the book Manāqib-e-Ahmadiya. Those blessed names are listed below.
- Hazrat Shaykh Hājī Dost Muhammad Qandahārī, his chief deputy and spiritual successor, died 22 Shawwāl 1284 AH (February 1868)
- Hazrat Shāh Abd al-Ghanī Fārūqī Mujaddidī (born 4 Sha’bān 1234 AH, died 7 Muharram 1296 AH / 3 December 1878), his younger brother
- Hazrat Shāh Abd al-Mughnī Fārūqī Mujaddidī, his youngest brother
- Hazrat Shāh Abd ar-Rashīd Fārūqī Mujaddidī, his eldest son
- Hazrat Shāh Muhammad Umar Fārūqī Mujaddidī, his son
- Hazrat Shāh Muhammad Mazhar Fārūqī Mujaddidī, his son. He was Shaykh of Mawlānā Murād al-Manzilvī al-Makkī who translated the letters of Imām Rabbānī Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindī into Arabic.
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muftī Muhammad Irshād Husain Mujaddidī Rāmpurī (1248-1311 AH)
- Hazrat Mawlānā Waliy an-Nabī Mujaddidī Rāmpurī
- Hazrat Nawāb Mustafā Khān Dihlawī
- Hazrat Shaykh Ahmad Jān Dihlawī
- Hazrat Shāh Abd al-Wahīd Fārūqī Mujaddidī
- Hazrat Shaykh Khurshīd Ahmad Fārūqī Mujaddidī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Habīb-Allāh Multānī, who accompanied him in Hajj
- Hazrat Mawlānā Husain Alī Bājorī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Qurbān Bukhārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Yūsuf Arganjī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Hājī Abd al-Karīm Kūlābī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Husām ad-Dīn Bājorī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Tāj Muhammad Qandahārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Safar Darwāzī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Pīr Muhammad Qandahārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Yūsuf Kūlābī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Sharīf Kūlābī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Nūr Muhammad Kūlābī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Iskandar Bukhārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Faiz Muhammad Ghaznavī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Sharf ad-Dīn Ghaznavī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Faiz Ahmad Qandahārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Jān Qandahārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Zahīr ad-Dīn Bājorī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Jawās
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Kabīr Qandahārī Shaheed
- Hazrat Mir Abdullāh Pishāwarī, buried in Madīnah
- Hazrat Hāji Mīr Mazhar Kābulī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Sayyid Bashīr Alī Amrohī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Sayyid Abd as-Salām Hasvī, son of Sayyid Abul-Qāsim Hasvī
- Hazrat Shāh Abd al-Hakīm Punjābī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Ghawth Naqshbandī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Sālim Qandahārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Abd al-Latīf Qandahārī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Chandan Khān
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Nawāb
- Hazrat Shaykh Abūbakr Rūmī Diyārbakrī Shāfi’ī
- Hazrat Shaykh Muhsin Basrī Hanbalī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Ghulām Muhammad Ghaznavī
- Hazrat Hājī Gul Muhammad Rūmī
- Hazrat Shaykh Sayyid Mahmūd Husainī Afandī Makkī (1233-1304 AH)
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Shāh Lakhnavī
- Hazrat Sayyid Qamr ad-Dīn Ahmad Lakhnavī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Abul-Hasan Lakhnavī Makkī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Murād Jalālābādī
- Hazrat Shaykh Rahīm ad-Dīn Dihlawī
- Hazrat Shaykh Hasan Afandī Rūmī
- Hazrat Hājī Alī Razā Afandī
- Hazrat Sayyid Ibrāhīm Kurdī
- Hazrat Muftī Hāfiz Razā Alī Fārūqī Hanafī Banārasī (1240-1312 AH)
- Hazrat Mawlānā Rahmat-Allāh Bukhārī
- Hazrat Hājī Ahmad Afandī Azmīrī
- Hazrat Munshī Razā Alī Hyderābādī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Muhammad Husain Hyderābādī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Abd ar-Rahīm Chīnī, Malībār, India
- Hazrat Akhund Hamza Bājorī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Abd al-Quddūs Kashmīrī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Bādshāh Mīr
- Hazrat Mawlānā Yūnus Yārkandī
- Hazrat Sayyid Uthmān Nasafī Qureshī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Hasan Ghaznavī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Nādir
- Hazrat Mawlānā Sālār
- Hazrat Mawlānā Nazar Muhammad Khūqandī
- Hazrat Mawlānā Abd al-Hakīm Charkhī
- Hazrat Shaykh Ahmad Bakhsh Kurdī
He passed away on 2nd Rabi al-Awwal 1277 AH (18/19 September 1860) in Madinah and was buried in the graveyard Jannat-ul-Baqi alongside the sacred tomb of Sayyidina Usmān Ghani, may Allah be pleased with him. His Janazah prayer (funeral) was attended by a huge crowd, and the people of Madinah said we have never witnessed this many people attending a funeral before.
Hazrat Shah Ahmed Saeed was an author and wrote the following books:
- Sa’eed al-Bayān Fī Mawlid Sayyid al-Ins wal-Jān (سعيد البيان في مولد الانس والجان), Urdu, about the Mawlid-un-Nabi (Mīlād in Urdu).
- Az-Zikr al-sharīf Fī Athbāt al-Mawlid al-Munīb (الذكر الشريف في اثبات المولد المنيب), Persian, also about the Mawlid
- Athbāt al-Mawlid wal-Qiyām (اثبات المولد والقيام), Arabic, about Mawlid, written in refutation of a book written by Molvi Mahboob Ali Ja’fri
- Al-Fawāid az-Zābita Fī Athbāt ar-Rābita (الفوائد الضابطه في اثبات الرابطه), Persian
- Al-Anhār al-Arba’ā Dar Bayān Salāsil-e-Arba’ā (الانهار الاربعه در بيان سلاسل اربعه), Persian, describing the spiritual lessons of four Sufi orders: Naqshbandi, Mujaddidi, Qādri and Chishti.
- Al-Haqq al-Mubīn Fī al-Radd Alā al-Wahhābiyyīn (الحق المبين في الرد على الوهابيين), written in refutation of the Wahhābi sect, a newly emerged cult in the Arabia whose influence had reached India at that time.
- 137 of his letters collected by his chief khalifa Hājī Dost Muhammad Qandahāri, and recently published under the name Tuhfā Zawwāriyā. Many other letters have also survived but are not included in this collection.
The next in the Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Tāhirī spiritual golden chain is Hājī Dost Muhammad Qandahārī.
- Maqāmāt Mazharī, Urdu Translation by Muhammad Iqbal Mujaddidi, Urdu Science Board Lahore, Second edition, 2001
- Tazkirat al-Sulahā, Urdu, by Maulana Muhammad Hasan Jan Sirhindi
- Biography in Urdu by Mukhtar Ahmed Khokhar, published in Attahir
- Shah Ahmad Saeed Mujaddidi and the Indian Wahhabism (a discussion of the response of Shah Ahmad Saeed to the then newly emerged Wahhabism in India)
- Al-Mu’tamad wa al-Muntaqad by Allama Fazl Rasool Qadri (Arabic), containing a foreword written by Shah Ahmad Saeed Mujaddidi (page 6)
- Saif-ul-Jabbār by Maulana Fazal Rasool Qadri, 1973, containg an article by Maulana Raza Ali Naqshbandi Banārasi, a murid of Shah Ahmad Saeed, about the conflict between Sunni scholars (including his shaykh) and the Wahhabi scholars (page 211)
- Tuhfā Zawwāriyā, letters of Shah Ahmad Saeed Mujaddidi, Urdu translation
- Arba’ Anhār by Shah Ahmad Saeed Mujaddidi (Persian)
- Tahqeeq-ul-Haqq-ul Mubeen Fi Ajwibat Masail Arbaeen (Persian and Urdu)