Text and pictures from the Aulia e Hind website.
His Shrine His mazar (shrine) is the pride of Pakpattan. Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia constructed his tomb. The mazar has two doors, named Noori darwaza and Bahishti darwaza. Bahishti darwaza opens once a year and during the fair thousands of people pass through it. It (door) is made of silver and floral designs are laid in gold sheet. Thousands of devotees come to visit the shrine daily from within the country and from abroad. His death anniversary is celebrated every year on the 5th of Muharram.
His Masters He was the spiritual disciple and Khalifa (spiritual successor) of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki who was the disciple and Khalifa of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti who was the disciple and Khalifa of Sheikh Usmaan Haruni.
His Students He was the spiritual master of Nizamuddin Auliya who was the Master of Amir Khusro and Nasiruddin Chirag-e-Delhi
His descendants His descendants, also known as Fareedies, mostly carry the name Farooqi. They are all over South Asia and can also be found all over the world. However those still looking after his shrine are better known as Diwans.
His place in Sikhism His verses have been collected in Guru Granth Sahib under the chapter Farid’s Sayings by Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Hazrat Baba Faridudeen Gang Shakar is one of the most influential and pivotal figures in the Chishtiyya silsila, and is widely renowned for his intensely rigorous mujahedas in Allah’s path. After the premature death of Khwaja Qutubuddin Kaki only a year after the demise of Khwaja Moinudeen Chishti the bulk of the work begun by the latter fell upon his shoulders. It was he who, in his 37 years as head of the silsila, ensured the propagation of Islam throughout India and the lands beyond.
Miraculous events surrounded Baba Faridudeen’s birth.. He was born on the 29th Shabaan in 569 AH, the son of a pious alim and a waliah (female saint). As the night was cloudy, people did not know whether Ramadaan had begun or not. But a dervish told them that a wali had been born who would be the Qutb (spiritual monarch) of his time, and that they must look to the child for their answer. Sure enough, the one-day old Baba Faridudeen did not touch his mother’s milk after sehri, indicating to all that Ramadaan had in fact begun. Baba Faridudeen was a direct descendent of Hazrat Umar Farooq At the age of 7 he memorised the Qur’an and later became an alim. When Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki visited the city of Multan, where he was studying, he was so impressed by the child’s spiritual prowess that he immediately accepted him as a mureed.
After his education finished, Baba Faridudeen was ordered by his Pir-o-murshid to begin a tour of all the Islamic countries in order to meet the leading mystics of his time. On this journey, he came into contact with many great sufis. Whilst in Madinah performing Hajj, he was spiritually directed by the Holy Prophet to go to Baghdad. Doing so, he was welcomed by the son of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani and given khilafah in the Qadriyya silsila, as well as receiving from him various sacred relics such as a turban and wooden food bowl of Rasulallah After eighteen years of travelling, he returned to Delhi and his Pir-o-murshid, and was given khilafah by Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki in the presence of many great sufis.
Baba Faridudeen was then ordered to go to Hansi and begin preaching Islam there. But before he had even settled down, he received the sad news of Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki’s death, and rushed back to Delhi arriving, as Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki had prophesied, three days after his death. There he was given the khilafa-e-azam of Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki and decided, because of the political upheavals occuring in Dehli, to move the Chishtiyya headquarters to Ajodhan, the city renamed Pak Pattan in honour of him. Ajodhan was a small, isolated town surrounded by jungles and wild animals, but with the spiritual blessings of Baba Faridudeen it soon became a bustling centre of Islam. Scholars and sufis flocked from all over India and the lands around to study under the great wali, who built up a veritable university of Islamic education along with a great khanqah. From Ajodhan would leave many missionaries who spread out over the whole of India to propagate Islam and Sufism. His great popularity aroused the ire and jealousy of Ajodhan’s qadhi, who out of his envy wrote a letter to the leading ulema of the time complaining about Baba Faridudeen’s love of Sama. But the ulema rebuffed him, saying,
“Baba Farid is the Qutb of our time, and the highest authority on Shariah among all of us. If he says Sama is permissible, then it is.”
The above incident bears ample testimony to the universal awe in which Hazrat Baba Faridudeen was held. His mujahedas were of such rigour that few in the history of sufism have managed to surpass them. Once he was ordered by Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki to perform a forty night seclusion whilst suspended upside down in a well, being pulled up only for salaah and to perform more ordinary devotions. On another occasion, he was so exhausted by his mujahedas that he could not stand up to greet Khwaja Moinudeen Chisti when he came to visit. At that, Khwaja Moinudeen Chisti remarked to Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki
“You have captured a hawk whose nest is no lower than the 7th heaven”, and a divine voice proclaimed, “We have accepted Farid.”
Baba Faridudeen’s grace and graciousness; kindness and forbearance were legendary. Once a soldier came with the intention of killing him, but the great saint merely told him, “Dear brother, I have done you no harm. Why would you kill a dervish and earn the curse of God?” When the man relented, he immediately embraced and forgave him. He was the most humble of men; despite all the vast knowledge he had at his disposal, he would refrain from even correcting those who came to him arrogantly for fear of puncturing their egos. Baba Faridudeen enjoined the strict adherence to Shari’ah and the necessity of renouncing the pleasures of the world as pre-requisites for embarking on the journey towards Allah. His love for the Prophet was so intense that he would sometimes break down and cry whilst lecturing on him, realizing his own worthlessness as compared to that of our beloved Prophet As with all the great sufis, the object of his life was devotion to Allah and service of mankind. His miracles or karamaat are too numerous to mention, but the greatest stretched over years before they came to fulfilment. One of his descendants, Hazrat Ibrahim Farid Saani was visited and held in awe by Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh religion.
Hazrat Baba Faridudeen left 14 khulafa behind him, principal of whom were Hazrat Sabir Paak the founder of the Sabriyya silsila and Hazrat Nizamudeen Auliya Mehboobe Elahi founder of the Nizamiyya order. Hazrat Nizamudeen was his principal khilafa, and was located in Dehli. Under him, the Chishtiyya silsila achieved the zenith of its glory and influence. He collected the gathered teachings of his master as Baba Farid had collected those of his murshid Khwaja Qutbudeen Kaki
Death comes to all, even the greatest of saints, but the manner in which we receive it is not the same for all. As Baba Faridudeen was born in a state of devotion, so too he died in that state. For days before his death he maintained complete silence within his cell, only speaking for salaat and to recite the Holy Qur’an. Eventually, his illness grew so severe that after Isha salaat he became unconscious. Upon waking, he decided to perform his Isha again, but once more he passed out. In sajdah on his third Isha salaat, he breathed his last. His last words were, “Ya Hayyo ya Qayyum.” Upon his death, a divine voice was heard by those gathered to say,
“FRIEND HAS MERGED INTO THE UNITY OF FRIEND.”
My restlessness has reached such a level – I spend morning and evening in your love.
Look upon me now with a merciful eye! Salutations to you, do now make my heart pleased, O Faridudeen Ganji Shakar!
Yaa Baba Faridudeen Gangi Shakar