Mystics of the sayyid Lodi period (1414 AD. To 1526 AD. )- A.Halim
An essay on holy men and mystics can hardly be separated from one on cultural history, because mystics and holy men were most often scholars and torch-bearers of learning and at the same time scholars were invariably mystics of some sort. It has been observed that much of our knowledge of the cultural movements is gathered from the accounts left of the mystics by their own kith and kin, or by devoted members of their Orders. Here a short biographical account of the mystics will be attempted, and will be followed by an observation regarding the life and condition of their times.
This again will be followed by a section dealing with The mystics, who aimed at propagating the Sufi ideal, through love-stories, based on an Indian background and Hindu mythology. I start with a short account of the main mystical Orders with which one comes in contact in course of the political narrative of the period under review. But it has to be remembered that the discipline of Chishtia and Suharwardia orders had slackened. The Chishtia order failed to produce a saint of great stature after the death of Shaikh Naseer al-din Mahmood, Chiragh-i Dehli. Their heads did still avoid contacts with kings, refused to visit them or receive them in their monasteries except under duress. They refused to accept office, emoluments, gifts from kings, and noblemen. If they accepted gifts they did it most reluctantly and promptly distributed them among the poor leaving the barest minimum for subsistence. They depended on the produce of wastelands to escape from the control of government tax-collectors, but they legalized the acceptance of shughal or occupation for maintenance as far as their disciples were concerned. The Chishtia Order according to one opinion was founded by Khwaja Abu Ishaq Shami Chishti, from Chishti in Khurasan’ the place of his settlement after his migration from Asia Minor but according to others the founder of this order was Khwajah Muin al-din Chishti, of Sijz in Sijistan (born 1142 A.D.) who later settled in Ajmer and died there in 1236 A.D. He received instruction from Khwaja “Uthman Chishti. He attended lectures at Lahore from Shaikh Husain Zanjani ( Data Ganj-Bakhsh). The devotees of this Order practice Chilla (from Chihlah), that is praying for 40 days and nights confined in a cell or corner of a mosque, They believe in communion through the visits of the tombs of holy men, who never die according to the mystics but depart from one abode to another ; and consider, like the Suharwardias, sama or mystic music as a necessary means for inducing spiritual ecstasy.
The Suharwardia mystics accept as their leader Shaikh Shihab-al-din Abu Hafs ‘Umar bin ‘Abd Allah, a sufi theologian born in 1145 A.D., in Suharward a province of Jabal in Persia, He is a representative of orthodox Sufism, best known from his book ‘Awarif-al-Maarif (Knowers of Secrets).! He was put to death by Sultan Salih al-din in 1234-35 A.D. According to another version, its founder was Shaikh Ziya al-din Abu Najb ‘Abd al-Qahir (d. 1167-68) Suharwardi guide and paternal uncle of Shaikh Shihab al-din Suharwardi, and author of Adab-al-Muridin (Manners of Disciples). Shaikh Baha’ al-din Zakaria Quraishi al-Multani (1182-1286-7 A.D.) was the founder mystic of this order in the Pak-Indian Sub-continent, and lies buried at Multan. He saw no harm in accepting gifts from princes as long as these did not distract a devotee from his spiritual practices. He himself held the office of Shaikh al-Islam under Sultan Shams al-din Iltutmish and would justify acceptance of gifts and positions by saying that poison does not harm anybody as long as he knows the antidote. He was a man of wealth and left a huge fortune and most of his sons and successors followed this line. Saiyyad Baha-al-din Zakariya was keenly fond of sama‘ (mystic music). The saints of the Suharwardia Order were ardent patrons of music, and traditions ascribe to Hazrat Baha’ al-din Zakariya the invention of many Pak-Indian airs including Puriya Dhanasri and Rag Multani which traces its origin from Multan.
The Shattaris accept Shaikh ‘Abd Allah Shattari, a descendant of Shaikh Shihab al-din Suharwardi as founder-mystic, a disciple of Shaikh Muhammad ‘Arif’ who after coming to India first settled in Jaunpur under the patronage of Ibrahim Shah Sharqi, and later on moved to Mandu in Malwa and died there in 1428-9.1 According to Louis Massignon the nomenclature of the Order is rooted in the word shath (plural sha-tahat), probably Syriac in origin, meaning to disturb, to agitate, a technical term in mysticism signifying an ecstatic phase or more exactly a divinely inspired utterance. Adopted by the Sufis it applies to the perturbation of consciousness, into which divine grace suddenly penetrates. The Muslim mystics according to the source are unanimous in seeing in the shath the signs of perfect purification reaching the soul.
According to the Shattari mystics, a man who is a slave should not complain before God about poverty. The Shattaris eat whatever they get, keeping the real gift-giver in view. Therefore the observance of existence is better than tawakkul (absolute dependence). To the Shattaris there is neither a conflict with the nafs (appetetive self, the source of all evil tendencies), nor mujahida (exertion), neither is there a fana (annihilation of self) or fana ul fana (annihilation of annihilation), for fana requires two personalities, one that is annihilated, the other the one in which this one is to be annihilated. This is opposed to tawhid (unity of godhead). The recognition of one’s I-ness precedes the recognition of God’s He-ness, in conformity with the saying attributed to the Prophet : One who understands his self, is the one who understands God (man ‘arafa nafsa hu faqad a‘rafa rabba hu). Therefore they do not believe in ghayr (the other), which has no existence. According to them death to self is life itself: there is no necessity of death. A Shattari Sufi does not practice suluk, and is not in jasbah (ecstasy). He sees himself in all conditions. The Qadariyas follow Shaikh Muhi al-din ‘Abd al-Qadir Jilani (1078-1165) connected with Husain bin ‘Ali. Jil is the name of a village near Baghdad. Some say he was from Jilan. He was supreme in his time in secular and spiritual knowledge.
The Naqshbandiya Order
The Naqshbandiya Order is ascribed to Khwajah Baha’ al-din Naqshband born in Bukhara (death in Bukhara 1389 A.D.) His real naine was Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Bukhari a disciple among others of Khyusup Hamadani, literally Naqshband an embroiderer, a painter on cloths. Naqshband may refer to the Khwajah’s ancestral profession. According to Rose, quoting a Muslim writer they are called so because they polish the exterior of their mind and intellect with pictures of the divine science, which are not imperceptible. But the better explanation seems to be that its members are instructed to form a picture in their mind with the word Allah written in Arabic characters. It is difficult to say who introduced this Order in India. According to some it was Baqi Billah, seventh in line from Khwajah Baha’ al-din who came to India under the instructions of his pir and settled in Delhi, where he died three years later. As Naqshbandi saints did not bring their creed to the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent till late in the reign of Akbar the philosophy of its creed and practices have not been discussed.
It is commonly known that the Madaris are the disciples .of Badi‘ al-din Shah Madar, and not of Sayyid Salar Masood Ghazi, who is supposed to have met with a tragic death on his wedding day and lies buried in Bahraich, a district headquarter of the same name in eastern U.P. Shah Madar, is figure about whom not much is known with exactitude though his disciples, have prepared the Mir’at-i Madari concerning his life, a copy of which exists in the Dacca University Library. He is almost a legendary figure, his biographical information is not trustworthy. He was a Syed descendant of prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)
He came to India, after long travels, necessary for mystics, visited the tomb of Khwajah Mu‘in al-din Chishti at Ajmer, then settled at Makanpur near Kanpur where he died in 1485 during the reign of Bahlul Lodi. He is supposed to be a disciple of Shaikh Muhammad Taifuri Bistami.. He never wore rich garments and held aloof from the people who thronged at his monastery to collect dates each Monday when he related a story through which those who sought his advice received their answers. Qadi Shiheb al-din Khan Umar Daulatabadi was his contemporary and lived in bad terms with him. His tomb at Makanpur is the scene of an annual fair (urs), from which women are excluded under the belief that those who go there are seized with a violent pain, Feats of fireworks are performed by faqirs who to the accompaniment of drums jump in the path of fire shouting, dam madar (by the breath of Madar.) Shah Madar is said to have been a contemporary of Qadi Shihab al-din ‘Umar Daulatabadi of Jaunpur, and the latter exchanged letters with Shah Madar.
The Qalandaria Order.
The name applies to an Order of faqirs and begging monks, who roam about performing feats with bears and monkeys which they keep. In North India and West Pakistan such performers with animals without any mystic connection are still called Qalandars. Others again give a more honorable account of its members depicting them as pious people, who travel about mostly without shoes and practice the severest acts of austerity, and sometimes live in a state of ecstasy. Members of this Order are distinguished by their shaven heads, shaven mustaches and beards. According to accounts prevalent in India, the Order was founded by Sayyid Khizr Rumi, disciple of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Makki who visited India and met Shaikh Qutb al-din Bakhtyar Kaki. The Indian section of the Qalandaria Order was established by Sayyid Najm al din Ghauth al-Dahr Qalandar.The date of his death cannot be fixed with certainty. According to John A. Sobhan he died in 1432,2 and lies buried in Mandu, near the palace of Sultan Muhammad Ghauri. But we find references of this order during the Khilji period. One of the great mystics to this order was Shaikh Sharaf al din Qalandar Panipati said to have been attached to Hadrat Qutb-al-din Bakhtyar Kaki. His memoirs on the topic of mystic love, and his Hukm Namah intended for his common disciples have been referred to in Akhbar al-Akhyar and extracts from the former have also been quoted. Another holy man who was a leader of this order was Shai Abu Bakr Tusi. He was a contemporary of Shaikh Jamal al-din Hanswi, Nizam al-din Aulia and of Jamal al-din Inderpati. Sidi Maula, a mystic who maintained an extremely rich khanqah frequented by princes and grandees most of whom were his disciples, was suspected by Sultan Jalal al din Khilji (1290 to 1296) of a political design. He was accused of heresy which could not be proved, and the ‘ulama refused to take action. Upon this the Sultan turned towards Shaikh Abu Bakr Tusi Haidari the head of the Qalandarias and requested the Shaikh, to rescue him ‘from a tyrant’. At the order of the Shaikh, a Qalandar of the name of Bahri inflicted on Sidi Maula several wounds and then Sidi Maula was tied to the feet of an elephant by Arkali Khan (son of the king) and dragged him to death.
In the following pages an attempt will be made to present an account of the Sufis and holy men silsilah-wise, that is according to the Orders to which they belonged as far as practicable.
Shaikh Husam al-din Chishti Manikpuri
One of the earliest mystics of the Chishtiya order connected with this period was Shaikh Husam al-din of Manikpur, son of Maulana Jalal al-din Khwajah bin Maulana a learned and well-known mystic and a mufti of Delhi. After finishing his literary education, he went according to his malfuzat (memoirs) to Pandua where he became disciple of Hazrat Nur Qutb-i–Alam, the great mystic saint of Bengal. He came back from there after an eleven months’ stay to become a pupil of Shaikh Nasir al-din Manikpuri a disciple of the Qutb-i-‘Alam and turned a great appreciator of Shaikh ‘Abd Allah Shattari, the founder of of the Shattari Order, during the latter’s visit to Manikpur.
It is a well-known fact that he received the mantle and the certificate of succession from Hazrat Nur Qutb-i-‘Alam d. 1456 A.D.
Maulana Sharf-al-din Lahori
Maulana Sharfal-din Lahori is described by Khair al-din as the noblest of the noble, the most learned of the learned, and the comprehender of all spiritual excellence. He was invited by Khwajah-i Jahan, to come to Jaunpur and on his arrival, a monastery and a madrasa were built for him near the principal mosque. Among his compositions were Sharh-i-Kafiyah-I Nahu, a glossary on the Sharh-i Azoodi and a hashiah on Tafsir-I Baidawi.
Although he taught his disciples the merit of tawakkul (absolute dependence), he was never against the acquisition of the bare things necessary for a modest subsistence and he always advised his pupils to adopt a profession (shughl) as a means of livelihood. According to him living in the world for a moment is better than living one thousand years in the next.
He was, like Hazrat Nizam al-din, against retaliation for any injury. Asked how God could be omniscient, he replied like a pure monist ‘like a sun which gets reflected in so many forms in a bowl.
After the transfer of the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad by Muhammad Tughlaq, Delhi loses its position as the headquarters of the great saints of the Chishti Silsilah. The high ideal of tawakkul, that is absolute dependence on God and non-co-operation with kings and people in authority put the Chishtiyah Khanqahs in a disadvantageous position compared to those maintained by the Suharwardiyas and the Shattaris. The principle of avoidance of contact with kings and entering their service had to be abandoned when Shaikh Nasir al din Chiragh-i Dihli was forced to accompany Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq on his campaigns in Gujarat and Sindh. Thereafter, the invasion of Taimur and the sack of Delhi, completely finished the parent branch of the silsliah at Delhi so that its history loses coherence and connection and its members are scattered in Bayanah, Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Jaunpur, Kalpi, Mubammadabad, and the the Deccan. Nasir al-din Chiragh is the last of the great Chishti saints, for after him the Order seems to have suffered an eclipse, and few of them had the courage to express their resentment at the prospect of meeting kings.
I have tried to collect the history of the Chishti saints of Northern India, excluding generally, Bengal, the Deccan and Gujarat which were far from the areas controlled by the Saiyyads and the Lodis. The hagiological connection of the more important Chishti Sufis mentioned in the histories of the period will stand as follows :
Maulana Khwajagi Ahmad Kashani was a disciple of Hazrat Nasir al din Chiragh and had left Delhi on the eve of Taimur’s invasion (along with Shaikh Mir Muhammad Gesu Daraz) and had fixed up his residence at Kalpi where he died. He also received instruction from Maulana Muinuddin Imrani (Akhbar al-Akhyar, p. 140) being a contemporary of Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq. He was entrusted with a mission by the Sultan to invite Qadi ‘Add to his kingdom promising him great honour.
Mauléna Ahmad Thaneswari a disciple of Shaikh Nasir al-din Chiragh preferring to stay at Delhi till the coming of the Sahib-Qiran (lord of the two conjunctions, here Timur), was captured with his family during the sack and carnage at Delhi. He was brought to Timur who introduced him to his own Shaikh-al-Islam, who was the grandson of Maulana Burhan al-din Imran! The author of the Hidayah. Maulana Ahmad pointed out certain mistakes committed in the Hidayah, whereupon Timur fearing loss of prestige turned to other persons. On his release, he left for Kalpi with his family and was reconciled to Maulana Khwajagi Ahmad (on account of a rivalry that existed between the sons of Maulana Ahmad and Qazi Shihab al-din ‘Umar Daulatabadi, whose cause was supported by his guide Maulans Khwajagi Ahmad). The tomb of Maulana Ahmad is within the Kalpi fort. He was a writer of qastdah’s in chaste Persian. According to Ghauthi and Maulana ‘Abd al-Haq he was a brother to Maulana Khwajagi Ahmad.
Qazi Shihab al din ‘Umar Daulatabadi
Daulatabadi was a disciple of Maulana Khwajagi Ahmad in whose suit he travelled while fleeing from Timur’s hordes from Delhi. He came over to Jaunpur and received warm patronage from Sultan Ibrahim. He was the leader of the learned guide of the wise, a mine of wisdom, a treasury of traditions, the prop of the erudite in India, and the renowned one in Arabia and Persia. Ibrahim Shah (1402-1436 A.D.) apart from enlisting him Qazi built for him a mosque and a madrasa. He once complained to his guide Maulana Khwajagi, of the troubles he had with the sons of Maulana Shaikh Ahmad Thaneswari upon which the revered Maulana sent him a quotation of two couplets of Shaikh Sa‘di, hinting at the virtue of silence and forbearance.
He also had quarrels with Sadr-i-Jahan Shaikh Ajmal of Jaunpur when he pleaded for the superiority of an ‘Alim. Qazi Shihab wrote the Manaqib al-Sadat in repentant mood extolling the members of the Prophet’s family and claiming for them a privileged position.
Sayyid Raji Hamid Shah was a disciple of Shaikh Husam al-din Manikpuri (a disciple of Shaikh Nasir al-din Chiragh-I Dihli ). He was well-connected being a Sayyid and master of ecstatic bliss. It is said that his ancestor, settled in Bayana during Sultan Iltutmish’s time. He was a soldier by profession.
Pressed by famine, he came over to Kalpi to accept the discipleship of Shiakh Husam al-din. He is believed to have attained miraculous powers.
Raji Sayyid Nur was the son of Raji hamid Shah of Manikpur, and was like his father capable of working miracles. He donned the dress of a woman to hide his identity. He died in Manikpur.
Sayyid Ashraf Jahangir Simnani, a contemporary of Qadi Shihab al-din ‘Umar Daulatabadi was a holy man who is reputed to have reached a stage of perfection in his spiritual practices and is said to have attained miraculous powers. He was a companion of Mir Sayyid ‘Ali Hamadani in his travels, and had ultimately come to India, and become a disciple of Shaikh ‘Ala al-din ‘Ala al-Haq of Bengal. From the Lagaif-i Ashrafi it is proved that he came to Zafarabad during Ibrahim Shah Sharqi’s reign. Qadi Shihab al-din ‘Umar benefitted from his discourses on Kitab-al-Fusus (tne Book of Sorrows) on the Faith of Pharoa and wrote letters to him. His tomb is in Muhalla Kaichhochha of the city of Jaunpur. His memoirs were collected by one of his disciples. There is a copy of the same in the Subhanullah Section of the Aligarh Muslim University Library. Extracts from his memoirs have been quoted by the author of Akhbar-al-Akhyar on pp. 156-57. He has to his credit many books in Arabic and Persian of high scholarly merit. According to the author of the Akhbar al-Akhyar his name was well-known in Jaunpur and was still invoked in exorcising evil spirits. He also appealed to Sultan Ibrahim Sharqi to chastise Raja Kans the usurping Hindu chief of Bengal, who apart from oppressing Muslims had imprisoned the son and grandsons of his spiritual guide Shaikh ‘Ala al-Haq.
Shaikh Hasan Tahir son of Shaikh Tahir came from Multan to Bihar. Shaikh Hasan was a disciple of Shaikh Raji Nur, son of Raji Hamid Shah of Kalpi, and came to Agra after the downfall of the Sharqi dynasty. He was the spiritual guide of Prince Fath Khan, a younger brother of Sultan Sikandar Lodi.
It so happened that some of the nobles being dissatisfied with the harsh treatment accorded by the Sultan to the nobility as a class, plotted to remove him and place prince Fath Khan on the throne.’ The prince on the advice of his spiritual guide divulged the secret, with the consequence that the conspirators were severely punished. Sikandar Lodi developed a great respect for Shaikh Hasan, and at the request of the sultan, the Shaikh took up his residence at Agra. Later, he left for Vijaymandal palace abandoned by the royalty at Delhi where he died in 909/1503 A.D. It is narrated ( Akhbar al-Alhyar, pp. 84-85) that he and Maulana Ilahdad were fellow students both having Raji Hamid Shah as their teacher and guide: there existed great friendship between the two.
Shaikh Muhammad (bin Hasan Tahir) was the eldest son of Shaikh Hasan Tahir and was a gnostic of his time, an embodiment of learning and ecstatic lore, so that whoever looked at him came to an attitude of devotion and respect. He was a chishtiya with considerable leaning towards the Qadariya tariqat which he imbibed during his travels in Yaman. He was born at Jaunpur and lived at Agra. His tomb is at the Vijaymandal enclosure by the side of his father’s. It is said that he waited for the night impatiently and shut himself in his cell praying.
He wrote in the morning but cut down his writings with scissors, A few of his writings including some verses which he wrote were assembled by his disciples. Some of his disciples called him a whimsical ( khiyali ) saint.
He had many disciples including his uncle Shaikh Fazl Allah, alias Shaikh Manjhu, the collector of his memoirs. Shaikh Muhammad Hasan died on 7th Rajab, 944/11th Dec. 1537.
Specimens of his writings are quoted in Akhbar al-Akhyar pp. 124 to 126.
Khwajah Muhammad ‘Isa‘ of Jaunpur was a contemporary of Sultan Mahmud of the Khizr Kbani dynasty and Sultan Husain shah Sharqi- He was a disciple of Shaikh Fazl Allah Awadhi who was one of those forced to leave Delhi for Jaunpur due to troubles. He was 7/8 years old at that time. He was initiated into the gnostic secrets by Qazi Shihab al-din ‘Umar Daulatabadi, and even at the early age of fourteen mastered the temporal and spiritual sciences. In the presence of his father Shaikh Ahmad ‘Isa’ he taught his (father’s) students, and solved abstruse questions, (Akhbar al-Akhyar, p. 168). After the death of his father he turned his back up to the world. He was always in the habit of sitting in meditation; the bones of his shoulder protruded above his head, and his chin hanging down to the breast, so that people thought of him as being headless, whenever he appeared on the road. For forty years he did not come out of his cell except on Fridays and did not look to the right or left. For twelve years he did not put his back on the ground nor look towards the sky- His visitors had great difficulty in finding access to his cell. In spite of his weakness he kept up his habit of going to the mosque in which the king prayed. At last Mahmud Shah built a mosque near his khanqah which was completed by his son Husain Shah. He prophesied victory for Husain Shah in his fight against Bahlul which however did not come true according to him due to Husain Shah opening the war aggressively. It is said that Qadi Shihab al-din Daulatabadi who was his teacher in the beginning became his pupil. He had the courage to refuse a heavy cash gift from Hosain Shah Sharqi. He was so oblivious of his environment that he did not notice the presence of a tree near his cell till its leaves fell upon him. His son Shaikh Habib Allah who was a holy man and respected by Husain Shah’ died in 869/1464, and lies buried behind the Jami‘ Mosque at Jaunpur.
Shaikh Baha al-din of Jaunpur was a disciple of Shaikh Muhammad ‘Isa’. According to Akhbar al-Akhyar he was conspicuous for his spirit of renunciation, truthfulness and piety. Husain Shah built for him a monastery, which became a rendezvous of the students and the needy. He is said to have been invested with the mantle of spirituality by Sayyid Raji Hamid Shah who came for this purpose to Jaunpur.’ Part of his early life seems to have been spent in Gujarat. His son Shaikh Adhan Jaunpuri (Akhbar al-Akhyar, p. 218) was a great holy man of his time and was held in great respect. He attained an age of more than one hundred years. He needed two men to make him stand up but ten men were not enough to hold him when he was overpowered by ecstatic bliss at listening to mystic music. He died in 976/1568.
Maulana Safi’ Jaunpuri was a disciple of Qazi Shihab al-din ‘Umar Daulatabadi, and was a tutor to the sons of Sultan Ibrahim Shah Sharqi. He wrote a commentary on the Kafiya (book on syntax) for the princes. He accompanied Husain Shah Sharqi on his campaigns but was captured by Bahlol Lodi who treated him with respect. He remained attached for some time to Bahlol. He was courageous enough to protest against Sikandar Lodi’s intention to blow off the Sharqi mosques by gunpowder. At the request of Sikandar Lodi he agreed to stay in Agra where he died and lies buried there. In addition to his marginal notes on Kafiya, he wrote marginal notes on the Hidayah and Baidawi which are still extant.‘
Maulana ‘Aziz Allah, grandson of Shaikh Muhammad was attached to Junaid Barlas, Babur’s general, who became his devoted follower. He used to spend all the money given to him by his patron in the interest of his students and needy common people. His patron built for him a khanqah and a madrasah. A market and a road linking the same with a high road was also constructed and the quarter given the name of Azizullahpur.
Maulana ‘Abd Allah alias Maulana Ilahdad was a disciple of Raji Hamid Shah of Manikpur (a disciple of Shaikh Makbhdum Husam al-din Manikpuri). He was a deep scholar and prolific writer whom any country could be proud of, and also a mystic. Shaikh Adhan, maternal grandfather of Maulana ‘Abd al Haq the muhaddith, was his disciple. According to Sayyid Ghulam Azad Bilgrami ( M’athir al-Kiram), he received one hundred thousand tankas as reward from Husain Shah Sharqi, for his marginal note on the commentary of Hidayah (Jurisprudence) which ran to several volumes, and the Baidawi and he spent the entire amount on his students and the needy. According to the same source, he was a disciple of Khwajah Muhammad ‘Isa (disciple of Qazi Shihab al-din ‘Umar Daulatabadi, and a follower of Raji Hamid Shah), A list of works penned by him has already been given in the chapter on the history of Persian literature. Though there is no direct evidence, Khwaja Hasan Nagauri Suharwardi was a descendant of Khwaja ( Qazi) Hamid al-din Nagauri (Nagaur in Jodhpur State) a great Suharwardiya mystic, and seems to have been a mystic of the Chishtiya Order, He was a contemporary of Sultan Bahlal Lodi,and Sultan Ghayas al din Khilji of Malwa. Khwajah Hasan visited Mandu at the request of the Sultsn of Malwa driving his own ox-cart. He was received with great respect by the king who himself went to receive him at the outskirts of Mandu. He was with great difficulty persuaded to accept some cash gifts out of which he erected a solid structure over the tomb of his ancestor Khwajah Mu‘in al-din Chishti of Ajmer. He also raised a gate over the tomb of his great grandfather Qazi Hamid al din of Nagaur. He was the author of a Tafsir (commentary on the Qur’an) entitled the ‘Nur al-nabi, in 30 separate volumes, a commentary on the Miftah in addition to letters and memoirs. He was a disciple of Shaikh Kabir of Gujarat where he spent some years at the feet of his teacher learning the services. On return, he spent many years as an attendant at the dargah of Khwajah Muin al-din Chishti.
Shaikh, Amjad of Delhi a contemporary of Sultan Bahlul Lodi was a frequent visitor to the shrine of Khwaja Qutb al-din Bakhtiyar Kaki. During the later years of his life, he confined himself to his cell and never stepped out.
Qazi ‘Abd al Muqtadir Sharihi was a teacher of Qazi Shihab al din ‘Umar. He is described as being the comprehender of all spiritual and material excellences, the chief of the learned and the guide of saints. He started for Jaunpur from Delhi, at the invitation of Sultan Ibrahim Sharqi. The Sultan came to escort him and rode in the rear of the holy man’s suite, and helped him dismount from his horse. Afterwards, he made the holy man sit on the throne while he stood up along with his nobles. He held weekly devotional meetings in his house, and is said to have converted a large number of Hindus at each of these prayer meetings.‘
He stayed in Jaunpur for one complete year. Before he left Jaunpur for Delhi, he left his son, Shaikh ‘Abd al Wahid with the king. It is stated on the testimony of Raji Shah, one of his disciples, that so absolute was his dependence on tawakkul that he once refused a huge store of eatables sent as a present, though he and his family had been starving for three days (Akhbar al Akhyar, p. 164).
Shaikh ‘Abd al Samad (Akhbar al-Akhyar, p. 140), was one of the many men who came to Delhi after the overthrow of the Sharqi dynasty. He was a grandson of Qazi Abd al Muqtadir Sharihi and after his return to Delhi reared a splendid structure over the tomb of his father. Sultan Sikandar Lodi was one of his disciples. He was a learned scholar of Arabic which is evidenced from his authorship of Qaasid al-Lamiyah.
Shaikh Nimat Allah Chishti Husaini was a great holy man of Bayanah. Sikandar Lodi visited Bayanah soon after his conquest of the local Jilwani chiefs and paid his respects to Shaikh Ni‘mat Allah Husaini, one of the many holy men for whose miracles and scholarship Bayanah was famed (Akhbar al-Akhyar, p. 220). The Sultsn became his disciple and succeeded in inducing the saint to change his residence to Agra, where he breathed his last and lies buried there.
Shaikh Muhammad Maladah (Akhbar al-Akhyar, pp. 168-69) was a disciple of Shaikh Ahmad Rawati and afterwards of Shaikh Jalal of Gujarat. He was the father of Maulana ‘Abd al-Haq Haqqi of Delhi. According to Maulans ‘Abd al-Haq he presented to Sultan Sikandar a shawl full of consecrated seed grain, out of whose miraculous effects, bumper crops were harvested by people during Sikandar’s reign. Shaikh ‘Abd al-Ghani Jaunpuri) was a qazi and a spiritual guide of Sultan Husain Shah Sharqi, and was one of the personages who disapproved of Husain Shah’s unprovoked attack on Bahlul Lodi, which eventually resulted in his defeat.
Though residing at Jaunpur after the fall of the Sharqi dynasty, he was in the habit of paying occasional visits to Sultan Sikandar Lodi at Agra. His first visit occurred during the hot weather, and he was ‘served with six jars of sharbat (cold drink). When he repeated his visit in winter, he protested against being served with cold drink. He was politely ‘told by the attendants that once an allotment had been fixed by the Sultan, no change was possible.
Shaikh Burhan of Kalpi was the guide of Qutban Shaikh and an adept at spiritual discipline, master of supernatural powers, and manifestor of secrets. Many Hindi dohas composed by him are still extant. According to some he was inclined towards the Mahdawi creed. He is buried at Kalpi. He is identified by Muhammad Ghauthi Manduvi as Shaikh Burhan Ansar who adds that he was a scholar of Persian poetry as well.
Qazi Nasir al-din Gumbadi was the best and the most perfect man of his times. He passed his days in perfect seclusion and absolute’ reliance on God, and did not. Possess any worldly things. He had no concern with kings and nobles and did not receive any gift from them (the Chishti saints avoided presents from kings on the ground that their money had been obtained usually by torture and illegal means). It is mentioned that most of his disciples, on account of physical weakness due to continued starvation used to keep themselves standing with the help of chains which they carried with them to the monastery, to prevent their falling to the ground.’ On his being presented with a copy of the Kafiyah-i-Nahv (book on syntax), by Qazi Shihab al-din ‘Umar, he remarked that lectures on syntax were no longer necessary (since the book itself would serve the purpose). He dwelt in one of the domes (gumbad, dome), outside the city, and lies buried there, Mushffiya-i-Sarf is from his pen.
Shaikh Abul Fath Jaunpari was a grandson of Qazi ‘Abd al Muqtadir, He was learned, intelligent and pious, He did not accept any gift from people in authority, and lived in absolute tawakkul, (reliance on God). The reigning king Sultan Ibrahim was one of his devoted followers. Though people who assembled in his hermitage had excellent dishes, he contented himself with dry bread only. His tomb lies in the Sipah Muhallah of Jaunpur.
He was a disciple of Qadi ‘Abd al-Muqtadir his own grandfather and was like him fine, learned and accomplished. He left Jaunpur on the eve of Timur’s attack along with Qazi Shihab al-din ‘Umar. He was born on the 4th Muharram 772/29th August, 1370 and died on 23 Rabi I, 858/23 March, 1454. He had theological debates with Qazi Shihab al-din ‘Umar Daulatabadi, once over the urine of the civet cat. The Shaikh branded it as impure (najas) and the Qazi considered it pure ( tahaarat. ) Some of his utterances on this issue were collected by his disciples. He used to lose control over his temper when a personal reference to him was made by an opponent. It is said that he collected the memoirs of his grandfather Qazi ‘Abd al Muqtadir Sharihi ( Akhbar al-Akhyar, p. 164 ).
Shaikh Khanu (Akhbar al-Akhyar, p. 220) of Gwalior was a holy man of his times and a disciple of Khwajah Husain Nagauri, and got his mantle from Shaikh Isma‘il, son of Shaikh Husain Sarmast who was at Chanderi. He was spiritually inclined towards Khwajah Mu‘in al-din Chishti. Shaikh Nizam Narnoli was his disciple.
Shaikh Nur al-din Ajodhani, a descendant of Shaikh Farid Shakar-ganj, was a man of laudable character, an embodiment of patience, generosity and clemency. He was known among his contemporaries as Shaikh Farid -2. He was born about 872/1467 and died in 938/1531. He was inclined spiritually towards Khwajah Qutb al-din Bakhtiyar Kaki. Shaikh Sulaiman son of Shaikh ‘Affan al-Manduvi al-Dehlavi was celebrated holy man noted for his initiations and utterance of God’s name, Shaikh “Abd al-Quddus Gangohi was for a long time a disciple at his khanqah, He died in 944/1537, and was buried in the compound of Khwajah Qutb al-din Bakhtiyar.
The rich khanqahs of the Suharwardi Order of Multan, Uchh, and Talamba were pillaged during the successive waves of Mongol invasion. The destruction of the western part of Sultanate of Delhi during the invasion of Timur with consequential loss of human lives, and the continued invasion of the same region under the leadership of Sayurghatimsh, the Mughal governor of Kabul, practically inflicted a mortal blow upon the Suharwardia Silsilah situated as it was in the affected regions.
Being subjected to torture and ignominy, the scholars and mystics, fled for fear of their lives, to the east. The Silsilah gets dispersed, and loses its cohesion and the mystics are noticed here and there, flourishing subsequently under the patronage of the Lodi and the Sharqi Sultans. The Silsilah itself got split up into the Makhdumi and the Jalali sections, as the following table will show.
But soon after the hagiological link is lost and writers indulge in an amazing mess of conjectures and fabricate facts to prove the piety of a holy man or his link with a great holy man of the past.
From a close study of the Chiragh-i-Nur by Maulavi Nur-al-din, Jadu Press, Jaunpur, 1932, which purports to be an account of the mystics and holy men who lie buried in Zafarabad, Jaunpur and their vicinity it is proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the eastern areas of the Sultanate or to be more precise, the eastern part of the United Provinces of Agra and Audh, was visited by a large number of Suharwardiya mystics, who abandoned Multan to settle in Kara, Zafarabad and Jaunpur. The earliest of the notable comers were Sayyid (Makhdum) Asad al-din Aftaab-i Hind, and Sayyid (Makhdum) Sadr al-din Chiragh-i-Hind, both disciples of Sayyid Rukn al-din Rukn-i-‘Alam of Multan, They with their band of mujahids, rescued Zafarabad from the control of rebellious zamindars, led by Sakat Singh Rathor who oppressed the Muslims of the locality and openly defied Muslim rule and clashed with their army in Kanauj in 79H/1391′ and by “the affairs of the Iqta’’, provinces of Hindustan had become weak and invested on account of the predominance of the Hindus. It may be remembered that Khwajah-i-Jahan Malik-al-Sharq’s appointment as the governor of a vast area from Kanauj to the frontiers and Bengal was made (1593 A.D.) to stop the resurgence of the Hindus who had utilized every opportunity of shaking off Muslim rule.” How precarious was Muslim rule in Northern Eastern-India may be guessed by the revolt of the Bachgoti Rajputs under Juga who had seized Jaunpur, soon after the accession of Sultan Sikandar Lodi to the throne of Northern India. An account will be attempted in the following pages of the Suharwardiya mystics found during the period under study. In fact the second phase of the Suharwardiya Silsilah, perhaps the last one starts during this period.’
Shah ‘Abd Allah Qureshi son of Shaikh (Sayyid) Yusuf Qureshi, ex-king of Multan, was a lineal descendant of the great Shaikh Sayyid Baha’ al-din Zakariya Multani Qureshi and a son-in-law of Sultan Bahlul Lodi. Shaikh Yusuf who was elected to the throne of Multan in 854/1450 was deposed and imprisoned by Rai Sihar his father-in-law, the chief of the Langah Rajputs, who later on usurped the throne and took the title of Sultan Qutb al-din.
Langah, Shaikh Yusuf managed to escape from prison and seeking asylum with Bahlul Lodi at Delhi. Though the latter repeatedly failed to restore Shaikh Yusuf on the throne of Multan, he gave his own daughter in marriage to Shaikh ‘Abd- Allah, Shaikh Yusuf’s son, and allowed the latter to retain the empty title of Badshah, a title which was transmitted to his son after. According to Sir Sayyid Ahmad, Shaikh ‘Abd Allah died in 903/1497, and lies buried in Delhi. He subsisted till death upon a handsome jagir., granted by Sultan Bahlul Lodi. Shaikh Rukn al-din Qureshi, son of Badshah ‘Abd Allah, bin Shaikh Yusuf Qureshi, is mentioned by Muhammad Ghauthi Manduvi, as a pious man who was appointed Shaikh al-Islam of Delhi during Sultan Sikandar Lodi’s reign. Shaikh Hasan, a younger son of Badshah ‘Abd Allah Qureshi, was a disciple of Shaikh Burhan Ansar,’ possibly of Shaikh Burhan Chishti of Kalpi and seems to have been a contemporary of Sultan Sikandar and Ibrahim. He was a scholar of Persian poetry and well-versed in other sciences as well. He is buried at Kalpi (Muhammadabad).
One of the great Suharwardi mystics of the early Lodi period, seeking refuge from the hordes of the Timurids, was Maulana Makhdum Shaikh Ishaq of Delhi son of Maulana Fakhr al-din Multani and elder brother of Maulans Sama al-din Kamboh. He settled in Delhi and Bahlul Lodi became his devoted follower. He did not unlike the early Suharwardiya mystics, attached much importance to worldly wealth, and adopted the creed of Tawakkul al-Allah with consegential starvation. He was a much travelled man. He died in 909/1503 in Sikandar Lodi’s reign of ecstatic emotion when minstrels sang in a neighbour’s house to celebrate the birth of a son, 909/1505. Faiz Ahmad Faiz, author of Al-Mashahir (Nami Press, Meerut, 1900, p. 50) calls him a Chishti saint and claims descent from him.
Maulana Sama al-din Kamboh was a younger son of Maulana Fakhr-al-din Multani, described earlier and a disciple of Shaikh Sadr al-din Muhammad Multani, Alias Raju Qattal. (Al-Mashahir, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, 26-51). A detailed description of the life of Maulana Sama al-din Kamboh is to be found in the Siyar al- ‘Arifin of Maulana Jamali which I happened to consult at Aligarh Muslim University Library (Subhania Collection), Maulana Sama al-din had to leave Multan, his homeland on the eve of Timur’s invasion. He went to Jaunpur and afterwards settled and died in Delhi after travelling extensively in central India. He was a famous scholar of his times in fiqh (jurisprudence), traditions (hadith), tafsir (commentary on the Qur’an) and wasool ( fundamentals, general laws). He was also a teacher and guide to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Shakur and Shaikh ‘Abd al-Ghafur, sons of his murshid entrusted to his care. He was a man of great piety and devotion and even of gnosticism. The Maulana attained to a ripe old age and lost the faculty of hearing in the latter part of his life. He was held in great respect by Bahlol and his son Sikandar Lodi. He stayed for 13 years in Bayana and possibly in Jaunpur before he settled in Delhi. He died in 909/1505 and lies buried in Delhi. The epitaph on his tomb was composed by his disciple and son-in-law Maulana Jamali.
At the time of the bathing of his dead body such eminent mystics as Haji ‘Abd Allah al-Bukhari, Maulana ‘Abd Allah(llahdad), Shaikh Nasir al-din Makhdum were present. He is buried near Hauz-i-Shamsi in the vicinity of Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki’s tomb ; his commentary on the Miftah al-Asrar, a tract on mysticism, is still extant.
Shaikh ‘Abd Allah Biyabani (d 1529 a,p.)was the eldest son of Maulana Sama al-din Kamboh. He was a poet and mystic, and stayed in Delhi for a long time, praying at the shrine of Khwaja Nizam al-din at Delhi. It is said that he left Delhi in protest against its reigning king who did not release a few captive Sayyids at his intercession, and withdrew himself beyond the pale of human habitation, and roamed in the wilderness subsisting on wild fruits and green leaves. It is said about him that he bathed himself before every prayer, and as a mark of self-effacement never uttered the word I, and always identified himself in the third person. At the time of his father’s death he was staying near Mandu. His father wrote an impassioned letter for his return and gave it to his son-in-law Maulana Jamali who had just returned from Middle-Eastern tour. The couplet quoted in A-Mashahir (p. 43) is as follows ;
Translation :— I have not the strength of patience in this vast ocean (May also mean the Tawil metre). Draw your feet hastily towards this sick old man.
A second son of Maulana Sama al-din, Shaikh Nasir al-din Dehlavi was preeminent in Shari‘at (canon Law) and Tariqat (Mystic path). He was the Shaikh al-Islam of Delhi during the reign of Sultan Sikandar Lodi, Ibrahim Lodi and Babur.
Mufti Jamal Khan of Delhi, son of Shaikh Nasir al-din, son of Makhdoom Sama al-din was thirty years old at the time of Sultan Sikandar Lodi’s death, and served subsequently Ibrahim Lodi, Babur, Humayun, the Suri kings and Emperor Akbar. Maulana Badayuni identifies him as one of the profound scholars of canon Law and adds that in the knowledge of Arabic and Quranic commentary none was his equal. He never called at the door of the nobles and numerous were his disciples.
Maulana Jamali: Jamali’s real name was Abmad Fazl Allah and his poetic name was Jalali which was changed into Jamali in deference to the wishes of his spiritual guide, Maulana Sama al-din Kamboh. He has been accepted as a rare product of his age by his contemporaries. He was a Sufi among the Sufis, ‘Aalim’ among the ‘ulama, and an accomplished poet in the company of poets. He was so advanced in esoteric sciences and possessed such a facile tongue, that even learned men did not dare open their mouth in his presence. Losing his father at a tender age, he entered the discipleship of Shaikh Sama al-din Kamboh, and was assigned the duty of helping the Shaikh perform ablutions, and keeping the custody of his hand-kerchief and scarf. The Shaikh loved him and made him his son-in-law, While describing the life and activities of Shaikh Sayyid Raju Qattal, Maulana Jamali writes that the friendship that existed between him and Sultan Sikandar terminated with the latter’s death and Ibrahim Lodi, his son and successor did not treat him well, it appears, at the instigation of his wazir. He gave expression to his feelings of despair and grief at the loss of his patron in a marsiyah (elegiac verses) (quoted on p. 206 of Al-Mashahir), the first couplet running as follows :—
Tr.- O thou Solomon of the times, alas ! where are you now ? (Tell me) so that I may lay before you an appeal against the intrigue of the diwan.
While returning from his middle-eastern tours Jamali came via Multan where he met a mystic named Shaikh Kamal al-din Uchhi a great dervish of renunciation, of the Suharwardiya order, who having confined himself in his cells was studying laboriously the Shya-ul-‘Uloom (literally resuscitation of religious bearing meaning here Ghazali’s ‘Ahya-al-‘Ulam al-Din) and coming out only at prayer times, and who knew by heart the utterances of many mystics. His (Jamali’s) tomb is one of the finest architectural monuments built of stone and mortar, which looks dazzling on account of the use made of the Chinese tiles. It looks as fresh as a structure built yesterday. Maulana Jamali belonged to the Kamboh community. He died in 946/1539 in the reign of Humayun and his remains were intered at Ladosarai near the tomb of Khawaja Qutb al-din Bakhtyar. Maulana Jamali is the author of the Siyar-al–Arifin, a book on the life of saints beginning from Hadrat Mu‘in al-din Chishti of Ajmer upto his father-in-law and spiritual guide, Maulana Sama al-din Kamboh.
It is said that though he cultivated good relations with the princes and kings, his heart was with the Sufis. He had a special fascination for the company of the mystics. He was a musician too and set to music his own compositions (see ref. about Maulana Jami in the article on the History of Persian Literature during Sayyid-Lodi period. Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, Dec. 1953). It is said that his two sons, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Hai (932 to 995 H), and Shaikh ‘Abd al-Samad (Shaikh Gazi) were as brilliant as his ‘Mihr wa Mah.’ The first was a master of expression and became a very popular poet, Hayati being his pen-nam. The second rose to become the Sadr-i Sudoor of Akbar.
Maulana Haji ‘Abd al-Wahhab Bukhari was a descendant of Sayyid Jalal Bukhari of Uchh. He was an inhabitant of Multan and came to Delhi during Sultan Sikandar Lodi’s time, after touring the middle-eastern territories. He once admonished Sultan Sikandar Lodi for his shaven chins, and for his failure to observe the obligatory prayers and fasts and for his indulgence in prohibited drinks. The Sultan promised to abide by his instructions, and atone for his past lapses. But the Sultan got annoyed at the boldness and importunity of one divine at finding fault with him. Before he could retaliate, he fell ill of throat cancer which proved fatal. The Maulana died in 932/1526. His tomb according to Muhammad Ghauthi lies near the tomb of ‘Abd Allah Qureshi in Delhi.
Shaikh Muhammad ‘Isa’ of Delhi (Muhammad Sana Allah pp. 26-27), is described as a practical savant, a perfect gnostic. He was the son-in-law of Sayyid Jalal Bukhari 2. He left Delhi and settled in Jaunpur under the patronage of Khwajah-i-Jahin Malik al-Sharq who built for him a monastery in which he passed his days in contemplation. He died in 794/1391. At his dying request his tomb was erected at the spot where students kept their shoes, at the courtyard of his madrasah. His tomb exists at the north- west corner of Husain Shah Sharqi’s tomb.
Shaikh Adhan Dehlavi, son of Shaikh Baha’ al-din Jaunpuri was a disciple of Maulana Sama al-din Kamboh and Shaikh ‘Abd Allah of Talamba. He was the grandfather of Maulana “Abd al-Haq Dehlavi’’. His real name was Zain al-‘Abedin, alias Shaikh Danishmand. He had the courage to decline the offer of a post from Sultan Ibrahim Shah Lodi, His tomb lies to the west of Hauz-i Shamsi.
Shaikh Raju Bukhari. To identify Shaikh Raju Bukhari with Sayyid Sadr al-din Raju Qattal son of Shaikh Ahmad Kabir and brother of Sayyid Jalal Bukhari 2 as has been the case with some medieval historians is to make him a contemporary of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Shaikh Raju Bukhari is mentioned as being contemporaneous with Sultan Sikandar and Sultan Ibrahim, and was instrumental in bringing about peace and reconciliation between Ibrahim Lodi and the confederacy of nobles on the verge of a bloody battle in Awadh. Shaikh Raju is described as a great saint of his time. Nothing more is available about him except a reference in Fuhrer’s Archaeological Survey, pp. 80-81. On the strength of local traditions, and a partly mutilated inscription scholars make him the builder of the mausoleum over the tomb of his brother, the Makhdum-i-Jahaniyan at Kanauj who died in 881/1476. Maulavi Nur al-din in his Chiragh-i Nur, Mentions one Raju Qattal, identifying him as a great grandson of Makhdoom Shaikh Sadr al-din Chiragh-i- Hind, who settled in Zafarabad after freeing the place from a Hindu Raja who oppressed the Muslims. He is buried in the Chiragh-i Hind Compound under a dome in Zafarabad, The date of his death is unknown; I am inclined to think that Shaikh Raju also identified as Bukhari was the same as the grandson of Shaikh Sadr al-din Chiragh-i-Hind, Be that as it may the fact remains that Shaikh Raju Bukhari was a historical figure, and belonged most probably to the Suharwadiya Order.
The majority of the mystics noticed in Central-India from the eruption of the Mongols till the invasion of Timur belonged to the Suharwardiya Order, quite a lot of them fleeing from Iraq, Balkh and Central Asia. This illustrates the magnitude of the impact of the Mongol invasions and the variety of people who sought asylum in this sub-continent from the affected land. We have a tolerably good account of the saints and mystics settled in Zafarabad, and its vicinity from the Chiragh-i Nur. The following is an account of the chelas of the Aftab-i Hind. Shaikh Asad al-din Husain and Shaikh Sadr al-din both of whom came from Multan with a large number of followers in the heart of the present Uttar Pradesh of India.
The following are mentioned as having been the disciples of Shaikh Asad al-din Aftab-i Hind.
1. Shah Muhammad was one of the successors to the mantle of his guide. He is described as one having been given to piety and he seldom came out of his prayer cell. It is further said that the Aftab-i-Hind used to send his disciples to Shah Muhammad for preliminary training before their initiation. He is said to have died in 817/1434 in Zafarabad to which place he came in his pir’s suite and was buried in the Aftab-i-Hind grave compound. He died a celibate.
2. Maulana Rukn al-din Yaklakhi Sawar one of Aftab-i-Hind’s successor was unique in his time in spiritual and temporal sciences. He was extremely fond of Mathematics (riyazi). He is said to have died in Zafarabad, in 820/1417, and was buried by the side of the grave of Shah Muhammad in Zafarabad.
3, Shaikh Chand Suharwardi, a disciple of the Aftab-i Hind, and most probably of Indian birth, came in the train of his mentor as a mujahid. He died in 811/1408 and was buried in Zafaribad by the side of Maulana Yaklakhi’s grave.
4. Maulana Nizam al-din Suharwardi, a disciple of the Aftab-i Hind, is described as a constant suppressor of self, and proficient in the study of fiqh (jurisprudence ), usool (fundamental sciences), tafsir (commentary of the Qur’an) hadith (traditions of the Prophet), kalaam (logic), esoterics and exoterics. He had accepted the discipleship of Hazrat Nizam al-din of Delhi as well, He died in 835/1431.
5. Shah ‘Alam Suharwardi who came with the Aftab-i Hind died in 838/1434 and lies buried in Sayyid-wada Muhallah, Zafarabéd.
6. Miran Shah Suharwardi is supposed to have been an inhabitant of Syria who joined the Shaikh in Multan and came to Zafarabad. He is supposed to have died in 850/1445 and lies buried by the side of Shah Nizam al-din’s grave.”
7. Miran Shah Qalandar, another companion of the Aftab-i Hind was a very able-bodied man who lived a life of 130 years and was always found in ecstatic conditions. He died in 854/1450.
8. Maultni Bahram Suharwardi another disciple was the Imam (leader of prayers) of the Jami mosque (cathedral mosque) of Zafarabad, He died in 829/1425.
9. Qazi Taj al-din Nasihi literally advice-giver, so-called it is said from Prince Mahmood, a younger son of Ibrahim bin Adham of Balkh, the former a prince of great worldly wisdom and sagacity advising his father to change his decision to abdicate the throne. Members of the ruling family have since then been known as Nasihi, the givers of nasihat, good counsel. He claimed descent from Ibrahim bin Adham, king of Balkh. He is said to have attained the highest spiritual bliss (vilayat), a true knower of the esoteric path, a hafiz of the Quran, and a sweet elocutionist. He was made the Qazi of the place’ He died about 830/1426.
Sons and disciples of Makhdum Shaikh Sadr al-din Chiragh-i-Hind
Shaikh Rukn al-din entitled Ghulam-i-Rukn-i-Alam, son of Makhdim Chirsgh-i Hind was named so in memory of Shaikh Rukn al-din Multani maternal cousin and guide of the father, Chiragh-i Hind. He died young in 795/1392.
Shaikh Baha al-din Ahangir (the blacksmith), was apparently a Sufi of the Suharwardiya Order who lived in Zafarabad, Jaunpur upto 914/1508. He is described as a Sufi of excellent eminence who earned a lawful living by his trade at the smithy. He used to be in ecstatic bliss almost all the time.
Shaikh Taj al-din Ibrahim Nasihi was the real ancestor of the Nasihi mystics of Zafarabad, to which place he had accompanied his guide. He was appointed a Qazi of the locality.
Shaikh Abd al Fath Suharwardi was supposed to be a grandson of Shaikh Sadr al-din Chiragh-i Hind of Zafarabad. He is described as being connected with the Ghauthi Order. He was a man of piety, of ecstatic emotions, a true Sufi and the best knower of the Sufi path. He practised such austerities that only bones remained in his body. According to his disciples and admirers he reached the stage of the Ghauth.
Makhdam Shaikh Sadr al-din Chiragh-i-Hind, was a disciple of Shaikh Rukn al-din Rukn-i-‘Alam, son of Shaikh Sadr al-din ‘Arif bin Hazrat Shaikh Baha al-din Zakaria Multani Qureshi. He traces his descent from the second khlifah of Islam and Shaikh Hasan al-Basri. His grandfather Shaikh Kamal al-din Ali of Basra, migrated to Multan, where he was born in 690/1291 and died in 1376, He was initiated into the mystic science by his cousin Shaikh Rukn al-din Multani, who invested him with the title of the Chirgh-i-Hind (The lamp of India), and deputed him to spread Islam in the eastern regions round about Delhi causing dislocation of administration and necessitating concentration of the attention of the rulers towards the western regions. He was a saint of great fame, a man of awesome disposition (jalali).
Six of his disciples always attended on him. One of his two wives is said to have been a daughter of Sultan Ghayas al-din Tughlaq. It is said that like Shaikh Sadr al-din ‘Arif’, he distributed to the poor the vast wealth he inherited from his father.
Makhdoom Sayyid Asad-al-din, Aftab-i Hind, the Sun of India, came from Wasit in Iraq according to one view ; according to another he was a descendant of Ibrahim Adham, the recluse king of Balkh. He was born in 661/1262, and died in 793/1390. He came to Delhi first with his relatives, and settled in Manjhanpur town-ship in Kara-Manikpur Sarkar. He had received his early education including initiation to the esoteric sciences from his maternal grandfather, Makhdoom Ziya al-din of Kara, and afterwards went to Multan to become the disciple of Shaikh Rukn al-din Rukn-i-Alam of Multan. With his pir’s permission he left Multan, stayed for a short time in Delhi during the reign of Sultan Fakhr al-din Mubarak Shah and received great appreciation and honor. He is also reported to have received instruction from Shaikh Nizam al-din of Delhi. He had subsequently two interviews with Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq at Zafarabad, in 760/1358 and 7166/1364, and accepted the madad-i-mash (maintenence allowance), but returned the cash, and settled in Zafarabad. He married the daughter of his maternal uncle Shaikh Shihab al-din, son of Zia al-din Zahid of Kara.’ He is described as a profound scholar of tafsir (commentary of the Quran) hadith (traditions of the Prophet) fiqh (jurisprudence), usool (the fundametal sciences), knew the Qur’an by heart, and penned a small treatise on spiritualism. He was a poet in Persian too. He lies buried in Muhallah Sayyid-Wada in Zafarabad, and the inscription on a stone slab over his tomb was composed by one Nizam al-din Allami, It is said that his pir invested him with the title of Afiab-i-Hind before his departure from Multan, because his face beamed with spiritual luster to such a degree that none dared to look at it.
Note- This article was published in Asiatic Society of Pakistan Journal in 1963, VOLUME-3. For our readers we are re publishing this articles with few edits on our blog.
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