6 Rajab Urs Hazrat Haji Sharif Zandani, Qunooh, Syria, 612AH/1215CE

Hadrat Shaykh Khawaja Haji al-Shareef al-Zandani [ d.612 H / 1215 CE] ‘alayhi al-rahmah wa’l-ridwan

Khawaja Haji Shareef al-Zandani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh was a great Sufi of his time. He was born in the city of Zandanah, Iraq. He was a mureed [disciple] of KHAWAJA QUTB AL-DIN AL-MAWDUD CHISTI [Maudood] al-Chishti [d. 527 Hijri] Rahmatullahi ‘alayh. When he was bestowed with the ”khirqa” [sufi cloak) of khilafat a divine voice is said to have called out;

”O Haji Shareef! We congratulate you upon receiving the khirqa of the dervishes. We have accepted you and made you a beloved in our court.”

Khawaja Haji Shareef al-Zandani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh was a master in the field of the undertaking of mujaheda and riyazat. He used to perform his salaah with great love and used to get so engrossed in it, that even if someone tried to disturb or harm him he would be totally unaware of it. The people questioned him as to the reason for his engrossment to such a level, to which he replied;

”A lover should be such that when he takes the name of his beloved nothing else should remain. I swear by Allah, when taking the name of the beloved (ALLAH), I become so intoxicated in my love for Him that even if the entire world was changed into wine and I were to drink it, it would not intoxicate me to that level.”

He used to often cry and fall unconscious in the fear of his creator. Upon regaining consciousness the mureeds used to ask him as to the reason for this excessive crying. He used to reply by saying;

“When I remember the verse of the Qur’an where Allah says that:

He has created Jinn and Man only so that they may Worship Him,

… and this means that we should be worshipping Him day and night. Look what we are doing! I do not know what my condition will be on the day of Qiyamat. Outwardly I have adorned the garment of the dervishes, I fear that Allah, on the day of Qiyamat must not make me feel ashamed of myself in front of the dervishes and one of the dervishes must not say that Hajee Shareef WAS a friend of Allah. This type of love and friendship in our path is not correct but an act of shirk. This is the reason why everyone is not allowed to wear the apparel of the dervishes. Only those dervishes in whose heart lies nothing but the love of Allah and his Rasool (Salallahu alaihi wasallam) are permitted to wear it.”

Whenever the poor and needy visited Khawaja Haji Shareef al-Zandani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh he showed them so much of love and respect that the people present would be left surprised. So much was his love towards them that he used to take the dust from their feet and place it on his eyes and while in this act he used to say,

”O Allah! Haji Shareef is at the service of the poor and keep my love for them firm.”

He never associated with the rich and wealthy. Like all the grand masters he adopted the path of faqr, [contemplation] which is generally translated to mean poverty but according to tasawwuf it is to be outwardly poor but spiritually being rich with Allah. When he was asked by the people about this he used to say:

“This insignificant Haji Shareef is so ashamed that even if every hair on my body were turned into a tongue to make Allah’s zikr and if I were to perform the salaah equal to all of AllahÂ’s creation still I would not be able to thank Allah enough for this one day. It is my good fortune that Allah remembers me among the poor and needy. When there is extreme poverty in my house it is not such a great calamity because I am worthy of it just like all the Prophets and Saints of Allah and I make dua to Allah to give me death amongst the poor and raise me on the day of Qiyamat amongst the poor.”

Hazrat Khawaja Haji Shareef al-Zandani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh passed away on 6 Rajab 612 H, at the grand age of 120 years. He bestowed the Khilafat of the Chishtiya order upon his beloved mureed Hadrat Khawaja Uthman al-Harooni Rahmatullahi ‘alayh.


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