Hadhrat Mirzā Mazhar Jān-e-Jānān Shahīd, may Allah sanctify his secret, was born on Friday 11th Ramadān 1111 AH. He was an Alawi by descent, from the descendants of Sayyidina Imam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him.
The great Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who was also a follower of the Naqshbandi tariqah, suggested Jān-e-Jān as his name which later turned into Jān-e-Jānān.
At the age of 18, he entered the servitude and spiritual studentship of Hadhrat Sayyid Nūr Muhammad Badāyūnī (1135 AH), a great Naqshbandi shaykh and a khalifah of Khwaja Saifuddīn Fārūqī Sirhindī (1096 AH). After four years, he received khilafah from his shaykh in the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi tariqah. When his shaykh passed away, he used to receive Fayd and spiritual training from the grave of his shaykh for about six years.
At last, his shaykh commanded him to seek a living Sufi master to strengthen the Nisbah and seek further spiritual stages in this path. Thus he went to different masters of the Naqshbandi tariqah, and spent most of his years with three Sufi masters:
- Hājī Muhammad Afzal Siyālkotī (d. 1146 AH) who received Nisbah from Khwājā Muhammad Naqshband Sirhindī and Shaykh Abdul Ahad Wahdat Sirhindī. Mirzā Mazhar received the Ijāzā of Hadith from him.
- Hāfiz Sa’adullāh (d. 11 Shawwāl 1152 AH), khalifah of Shaykh Muhammad Siddīq Sirhindī who was a son and khalifah of Khwājā Muhammad Masūm Sirhindī
- Shaykh Muhammad Ābid Sunnāmī (d. 18 Ramadān 1160 AH), khalifah of Shaykh Abdul Ahad Wahdat Sirhindī
Among his famous pupils is the great Mufassir of the Holy Quran Allamah Qādī Thanāullāh Pānīpatī (1225 AH) who wrote many books in the sciences of Fiqh, Tafsīr, Tasawwuf, among them the Tafsir al-Mazhari.
A list of his khulafa is available here.
He was martyred by a Rafidhī who shot him with a gun on 7th Muharram 1195 AH, and he passed away to the eternal world in the night of Saturday 10th Muharram 1195 AH. He was buried in his khānqāh in Delhi, India.
The next in the Naqshbandī Mujaddidī Tāhirī spiritual golden chain is Shāh Abd-Allāh Ghulām-Alī Dihlawī.
- Maqāmāt-i Mazharī (Persian), by Shāh Ghulām Alī Dahlawī Mujaddidī
- Mīrzā Mazhar Jān-i-Jānān Aor Un Kā Urdū Kalām (Urdu), by Abdur-Razzāq Qureshī, Mumbai, 1961 (link for online reading)
- Mirzā Mazhar Jān-i-Jānān: Un Kā Uhd Aor Urdū Shāirī (Urdu), by Dr. Syed Tabārak Alī Naqshbandī, New Delhi, 1988 (link for online reading)
- Makātīb-i Mīrzā Mazhar (Persian), by Abdur-Razzāq Qureshī, Mumbai, 1966 (link for online reading)
- Maktūbāt Mirzā Mazhar Jān-i-Jānān Shahīd, Urdu translation by Khalīq Anjum, Lahore 1997 (link)
- Tārīkh wa Tazkirah Khānqāh-i Mazhariya Dehlī (Urdu), by Muhammad Nazīr Rānjhā, Lahore, 2010 (link)
- Dīwān Mirzā Mazhar Jān-i-Jānān wa Kharīta-i Jawāhir (Persian), Hyderabad Pakistan, 1988 (link)
- Maʻmūlāt-i Mazhariya, by Mawlānā Naīmullāh Behrāichī, Urdu translation by Muhammad Altāf Nervī, 2009 (link)
- Lawāih Khānqāh-i Mazharia (Persian), by Dr. Ghulām Mustafā Khān, 1972 (link)