Hazrat Moulana Fakhr al-Din(ra) (also spelled Fakhrudeen) was one of the most brilliant of Islamic scholars in India, as well as being one of the most popular of the Chishtia saints. Indeed, this noble personality’s influence is so great that it is said that after Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti (rahmatullahi alaihi) and his immediate successors (the Big Five), Moulana Fakhr al-Din(ra) is regarded as being the most influential figure in the spread of the Chishtia order. All contemporary branches of the order are directly linked to the great Moulana, and his services and dedication to Islam have rarely been equalled.
Moulana Shah Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) was born in Aurangabad, India in 1715CE (1126AH). He was the son of the famous saint of Aurangabad, Khwaja Nizamudeen Aurangabadi (rahmatullahi alaihi), as well as being a descendant of Sayyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (rahmatullahi alaihi) from his paternal side and the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) from his maternal side. When word of his birth reached Hazrat Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) of Delhi, he personally named the child “Fakhrudeen” and gave him a piece of his own kharqa (patched frock). Hazrat Shah Kalimullah (rahmatullahi alaihi) also imparted the title “Moulana” to the newborn, and foretold that he would be a great scholar and saint. When Shah Nizamudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) was on his deathbed, he held his son close to him, reading the qur’anic verse,”…I have breathed into him of my own spirit…”
Thereafter, he named his sixteen year old son as his khalifa. For the next three years Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) worked hard at completing his religious and literary education, and the following eight years were spent in ascetic exercises, mujahedas and meditation. On occasion his admirers were awed to find Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) in a state of ecstasy, uttering remarks similar to the mystically intoxicated sufis of legend. By joining the military service of Nawab Nizamud-daula, he sought to be free of his growing reputation, but his fame soon began to be spoken of in the very camp, and he had to resign. Word of his sainthood began to spread, and due to increasing demands from his disciples, he moved from Aurangabad to Delhi in the hope of escaping the attention. On his journey to Delhi, a blind Hindu woman approached the caravan in which Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) was travelling. Giving a perfect description of him, she related that her goddess, Bhavani, had told him that this man would restore her sight. The great Moulana assured her that he was a common soldier, and could not perform miracles; but some time before the caravan departed, he prayed for her, and Allah restored her eyesight.
In Delhi, at the now famous Ajmer Gate, Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) opened a great university where he began conducting classes in various Islamic disciplines. He later opened a khanqah (spiritual centre) where he trained seekers on the path to Allah. The focus of his teachings was primarily directed towards Qur’an and hadith. He was an ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon him), hence the appellation “Muhibbun Nabi”. He was scrupulous in his imitation of the sunnah out of love for Huzoor Paak (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and continuously stressed the importance of this to his mureeds. Such was his devotion that just prior to his demise, he was unable to trim his bread due to weakness. At this he expressed great sorrow and lamented that it had grown beyond the required length as portrayed in the practice of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). This love for Allah and his prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) he imparted to his disciples and devotees.
Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi)’s demeanour and personality was like a magnet that attracted people so greatly that even those initially opposed him and expressed their hatred of him eventually became his faithful followers. Once an afghan who entered his university with the intention of murder happened to sit in a gathering Moulana was addressing; by the end of the lecture, he repented and became Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi)’s disciple.
Hazrat Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) was pivotally involved in the reformation of Muslim society and actively campaigned for the correct implementation and practice of the Holy Qur’an and the sacred traditions of Rasulallah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). His reformations did not stop at the masses, however. Emperors such as Ghaziuddeen Khan, his son and Emperor Shah Alam his mureeds. Another famous emperor of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was a great lover of Moulana Fakhrudeen (rahmatullahi alaihi) and devoted many of his poems to the great saint. In one poem the emperor says,
“I am a devotee of Qutbudeen
And dust at the feet of Fakhrudeen.
A king I may be
But a lowly servant of Fakhrudeen I seem.” Thousands of students and disciples achieved great benefit at the hand of this great servant of Islam, and the knowledge that he imparted still bears its fruit today. Hazrat Moulana Fakhrudeen Muhibbun Nabi Delhawi (rahmatullahi alaihi) passed away on the 27th Jamaad-us-Saani in 1199AH at the age of 73 years, but his legacy lives on and will Insha-allah continue till the day of Qiyaamat.
The beloved sleeps, covering her face with the beautiful locks of her hair.
Khusro, go home! The darkness of evening has engulfed the whole world.