Archive for October, 2016

29th Muharram Urs Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah, New Delhi 1176AH/1762CE

Monday, October 31st, 2016
Mazar of Shah Wali Ullah (RA)

Mazar of Shah Wali Ullah (RA)

Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi was an Islamic scholar and reformer. He worked for the revival of Muslim rule and intellectual learning in South Asia, during a time of waning Muslim power.He despised the divisions and deviations within Islam and its practice in India and hoped to “purify” the religion and unify all Indian Muslims under the “banner of truth”. He is also thought to have anticipated a number of progressive, social, economic, and political ideas of the modern era such as social reform, equal rights, labour protection, welfare entitlement of all to food, clothing, housing, etc.

Shah Waliullah is a descendent of the Quraish tribe of Arabia and his genealogy can be traced to the second khalifa of Islam, Umar on his paternal side. His father, Shah Abdur Rahim, named his son ‘Qutbuddin Ahmad’. He was dubbed as ‘Shah Waliullah’ because waliullah means “friend of God” and he was a pious individual. He was from the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah and was an adherent of Hanafi jurisprudence. His complete name was Shah Waliullah Qutbuddin Ahmad and he was born in Phulat, a town in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India on February 21, 1703.

Shah Waliullah received his education at Madrasa Rahimiyya. His father was his teacher and source of spiritual guidance. He commenced his studies at the tender age of five and completed the recitation and memorization of the Qur’an by the age of seven. Thereafter, he commenced primary lessons in Persian and Arabic, which were completed in a year. Then, he studied the grammar and syntax of Persian and Arabic. He completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the age of fifteen and then commenced his studies in mantiq, fiqh, hadith, tibb, algebra, mathematics, kalaam, spirituality, mysticism, oratory and metaphysics under his father. Thereafter, he was inducted into the tradition of bay’at by his father and, by the age of seventeen, he was permitted to provide spiritual guidance to and reform his fellow Muslims.

On the death of his father when he was hardly seventeen years old, he became a mudarris (teacher) at Madrasa Rahimiyya. He held this position for twelve years. Then, in 1731, Shah Waliullah performed Hajj. He reached Makkah on May 21 and performed Hajj, after which he proceeded to Medina. There, he attended Shaikh Abu Tahir Muhammad bin Ibrahim Kurdi Madani’s discourses on hadith. Shah Waliullah studied Sihah Sitta, Mu’atta Imam Malik, Masnad Da’armi, and Imam Muhammad’s Al A’saar under him. Thereafter, he returned to Makkah, performed another Hajj, studied Mu’atta Imam Malik for a second time under Shaikh Wafadullah Maliki Makki, and attended the discourses of Shaikh Tajuddin Hanafi Qala’i Makki on Sihah Sitta. Then, he was permitted to teach all of the kitabs of hadith by Shaikh Tajuddin.

Thereafter, Shah Waliullah returned to India. His journey back to India lasted six months and he reached Delhi on January 1, 1733.

During his sojourn in Makkah, Shah Waliullah had a dream in which Muhammad(S.A.W) commanded him to reform the organization and emancipation of Muslims in India. Thus, after he returned to Delhi, he started his work in earnest. This was in a period when Muslims in India were passing through the most critical phase of their history and their entire social, political, economic and spiritual fabric was torn to pieces. On his arrival in Delhi, he started to train his pupils in diverse branches of Islam and entrusted them with the mission of enlightening people with the true nature of Islam. He embarked upon the task of authoring standard works on Islam and was able to complete a number of works on Islam.

Shah Waliullah rose to be an eminent scholar of Islamic studies. He was a prominent intellectual figure whose mission was to reform the Muslims he saw as misguided. His activities were not confined to spiritual and intellectual spheres only. He lived in troubled times and witnessed a number of rulers occupying the throne of Delhi. With his keen political insight, he observed the deterioration of Muslim rule in India and wrote to a number of political dignitaries to attempt to bolster the political life of Muslims in India. He established several branches of Madrasa Rahimiyya in Delhi in order to effectively disseminate his knowledge.

Shah Waliullah was a prolific writer as well. In the realm of Islam, he produced a number of memorable literary works and, within a period of thirty years, he wrote a total of fifty-one works of merit, twenty-eight in Arabic and twenty-three in Persian. Some of these are still unsurpassed in the domain of Islamic literature. His most valuable service to Islam was that he codified the vast store of Islam under separate heads. Both in thought and prediction, his works occupy an outstanding position.

His works can be classified into six categories. The first deals with the Qur’an. It includes his translation of the Qur’an into Persian. According to him, the object of studying the Qur’an is to reform human nature and correct wrong beliefs and injurious actions. The second category deals with hadith, in which he has left behind several works such as commentaries on Mu’atta Imam Malik in both Arabic and Persian. Shah Waliullah also wrote a number of works and pamphlets on hadith. The third category deals with fiqh or Islamic jurisprudence, which includes lnsaaf fi Bayaan-e-Sahoobul Ikhtilaf, a brief yet informative history of Islamic jurisprudence over the five centuries before his life. The fourth category deals with mysticism. The fifth category pertains to his works on Muslim philosophy and kalaam. He also wrote a pamphlet on the principles of ijtihad (independent interpretation) and taqlid (conformity). In his principles of ijtihad, he clarifies whether it is obligatory for a Muslim to adhere to one of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence or whether he can exercise his own judgment. Shah Waliullah’s greatest work is Hujjatullahil Baligha, which deals with such aspects of Islam that are common among all of the Muslim countries. The sixth category deals with his works on the problems between Shias and Sunnis. His theories pertaining to economics and socialism are of revolutionary nature. The miserable condition of Indian Muslims inspired him to improve their character, raise their morale, and inculcate a feeling of selflessness and love for their fellows in them. He overhauled the educational system and separated faith from unlawful invented traditions and unnecessary and unwanted suspicions regarding Islam. He presented what he considered pure and pristine Islam to people.

Shah Waliullah had a son, Shaikh Muhammad, and a daughter, Ammatul Aziz, from his first wife. His second wife bore him four sons: Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddis Dehlvi, Shah Rafiuddin, Shah Abdul Qadir, and Shah Abdul Ghani.

On August 20, 1762CE (19 Muharram 1176AH) Shah Waliullah died and was buried in the graveyard of Munhadian, beside his father.


27th Muharram Urs Ashraf Jahangir Samnani, Kachocha Sharif, UP 808AH

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Dargha of Ashraf Jahangir

Hazrat Khawaja Syed Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Semnani Noor Bakhshi (Urdu and Persian:سیداشرف جهانگیر سمنانی) was a legendary Sufi saint of Persian origin who was affiliated with fourteen different Sufi orders. He made a notable contribution to the advancement of the Chishti silsilah in particular.

He left his home at early age and travelled extensively through many prominent places witihin the Islamic world. During his travels he met many illustrious personalities of his time before settling in Kichhauchha Sharif where his Khanqah became the focal point for those on the spiritual path. He was an ardent supporter of Hazrat Ibn Arabi’s theory of Wadhat ul-wujud (Unity of Existence).

Hazrat Makhdoom Ashraf was blessed with immense ingenuity, intelligence and knowledge. He commenced his religious education at the age of 4 and a half with the memorisation of the Quran. 2 years and 8 months later, by the age of 7, he had memorised the entire Quran as well as each of the seven forms of qirat and particularly excelled in the study of tafsir (Quranic exegesis), hadith, fiqah (Islamic jurisprudence) etc. By the age of 14 years old, he had mastered all the subjects including theology and philosophy maturing into an extremely accomplished and proficient scholar. Hazrat Makhdoom Ashraf had astounded even the greatest scholars and theologians from as far afield as Baghdad with his remarkable talent, which was noted in the form of a couplet in the famous Persian book Lataif-e-Ashrafi:

Chuna Mashhoor Ghasht Az Darse Talim,
ke Pas Ahle Funun Kardand Taslim
His popularity excelled in his early education,
that the learned men acknowledged his ability 


After completing his education, Hazrat Makhdoom Ashraf spent much of his time teaching. Amongst his pupils was his nephew Hazrat Abdul Razzaq Noor al-Ayn – the 11th direct descendant of the Great al-Ghawth al-A’zam, Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.

According to Khanzinat’l Asfiya, at the beginning of Muharram in 808 AH, Hazrat Makhdoom Ashraf’s health began to deteriorate. Prior to his demise, he instructed his closest of mureeds to prepare his grave and construct his dargah (shrine). On 28 Muharram 808 AH, between Zuhr and Asr prayers, Hazrat Makhdoom Ashraf left this world.

Although this is commonly attributed as the date of his death, Hazrat Makhdoom Ashraf’s letters seem to suggest that he lived at least upto 1415 AD and beyond.

His Urs (death anniversary) is held each year between 26 and 29 Muharram. His shrine in Kichhauchha Sharif is famous for being very effective in helping those affected by Jinn and his name is still invoked for this.

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26th Muharram Urs Taj Uddin Baba ( Nagpur)

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Hazrat Tajuddin Baba Dargha in Nagpur

Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur was born on the 21st of January in the year 1861 at a place called Kamptee situated near Nagpur in the state of Maharastra. He was one of the Five Perfect Masters of Meher Baba.

Tajuddin Baba was born as a unusual child. It is said that he did not cry as a baby and physical torture was done to him by his parents in order to make the child cry. Baba wore the marks of these tortures on his body until last.

Like Narayan Maharaj, Tajuddin Baba also lost his parents at a very tender age. His maternal grandmother and uncle Abdul Rahman looked after his needs. While studying as a child in a Madarasa or a School  in Kampti, near Nagpur, he came in contact with a spiritual master Hazrat Abdulla Shah, who immediately recognized the spiritual potential  in the child and initiated him to the path, by giving him a dry fruit to eat. Baba was given the instruction to “Eat less, sleep less and speak less. Read Quran”, by Hazrat Abdulla Shah.  With this contact Tajuddin Baba lost all his material consciousness and started enjoying oneness of “Adwaita“. His personal experience of the oneness made him isolate from the world and he remained in personal seclusion, away from the world.

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25th Muharram Urs Imam Zain ul Abideen, Madina 95 H

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Grave of Imam Zain ul Abideen (as) in Jannatul Baqi in Medina

The 4th Imam after Imam Hussain(a.s.) was his son Imam Ali Zain-al-Abideen(a.s.). His mother was Bibi Shahar Bano who was a princess from Persia, the daughter of the King Yazd Gard II. She was brought as a prisoner of war during the caliphate period of mam Ali(a.s.) during 31 A.H. and Imam Ali(a.s.) got her freed and married her to Imam Hussain(a.s.). Imam Zain-al-Abideen was born from this wedlock. She, however, died within 10 days of the birth of Imam Sajjad(a.s.).

His title Zain-al-Abideen was granted to him by the Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) himself who mentioned that on the day of judgement a call for Zain-al-Abideen will be made and my son Ali bin al-Hussain(a.s.) will responde to the call saying “Labbaik”. His other Title, Syed-us-Sajideen, was given because of his devotion to prayers. He would pray for long durations specially during the nights and would pray a lot of prayers of gratitude – Namaz-e-Shukrana.

…The calm and peaceful life of the Imam was not to be tolerated by the Ummayad’s cruel regime. They realized that the Imam was succeeding in his mission of spreading the message of his father Hussain(as) The Syrian monarch Walid Ibn Abdul Malik had him poisoned. He died in Medina on the 25th of Muharram 95 Hijri. His eldest son Muhammad Ibn Ali al Baqir arranged the burial and laid him to rest in the grave yard of Jannatul Baqii beside his uncle Imam Hasan.(AS)


17th Muharram Urs Ghulam Qutb al-Din, Lahore, Pakistan,1210CE

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Mausoleum in Lahore

Qutb-ud-din Aibak (Arabic: قطب الدين أيبك‎, Persian: قطب الدین ایبک‎; lit. “Axis of the Faith”) was a Turkic king of Northwest India who ruled from his capital in Delhi where he built the Qutub Minar and the Quwwat Al Islam mosque. He was of Turkic descent from central Asia(modern day Aybak, Samangan, Afghanistan), the first Sultan of Delhi and founder of the Ghulam dynasty (Mamluk Sultanate) of India. He ruled for only four years. He died while playing polo in Lahore.

He was a lover of literature and art. Qutb-ud-din Aibak ruled for four years until he had a fatal accident while playing chaugan (polo). His horse fell and he was impaled on the pommel of his saddle. His early death prevented him completing his plans for organizing his kingdom and establishing a sound administration. He built the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in Delhi and the dhai-din-ka-Jhonpra mosque in Ajmer. He started the construction of Qutb Minar in Delhi, which is dedicated to a famous Sufi Saint of the time, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. After he died, the minar was completed by his successor, Iltutmish. He is also remembered as lakhbaksh or giver of lakhs, because of his generosity.