In the Qadiri lineage. Hazrat Daata Sahib was a loving and gentle saint who lived in India in the earlier part of the 20th Century. His real name was Hazrat Muzaffar Ali Al-Hanafi RA. The saint was lovingly called Daata Sahib (the one who gives freely) by the people of Bundi for his exceedingly generous nature. Daata Sahib was the spiritual master of our murshid’s Sufi Master (Peerzada Mawlana Chaman Qadri). He passed away to the perpetual realm at the age of 107. His life was spent in spiritual exercises and guiding people.
Daata Sahib was the spiritual guide of the King of Bundi, a pious and just ruler. Every month, the king sent 12,000 silver coins to the saint as a gift offering. It was well known that the gentle saint did not touch any of the silver coins with his own hands! As soon as the silver coins came to his Zawiya, he asked his attendants to get a pair of tongs for him. On getting the tongs, he distributed a few coins to his needy disciples. He then asked his attendants to distribute the rest of the coins among the poor, needy, and the widows.
It was Daata Sahib’s practice to fast every day. He broke his fast with a piece of wheat roti with some lentil soup. This wheat used to come from his personal land. An attendant used to harvest the wheat, clean it, and then grind it. This wheat was then stored and used for the rest of the year. Apart from this wheat and lentils that grew on his land, Daata Sahib refused to eat any grains from any other source!
Daata Sahib used to have a langar (soup kitchen) which was operated every day. Needy people who wanted food, would congregate in hisbageechi (garden) and his attendants used to serve them hot food. This soup kitchen was personally supervised by the gentle saint. He would often be seen walking up and down the bageechi, encouraging the people to eat their fill.
SPIRITUAL PLURALISM STORY FROM H. DAATA SAHIB’S LIFE:
Daata Sahib used to enthusiastically preach and practice spiritual tolerance and pluralism. Thus, he assiduously followed the example of our beloved Prophet (May God’s peace be on him), who had written the Achtiname as a proof of his spiritual pluralism for the monks of Saint Catherine’s Monastry. In terms of spiritual tolerance, Daata Sahib also followed in the pious footsteps of other Qadriya Sufi saints like Hazrat Mian Mir RA. Mian Mir, a very strict Qadriya saint – established the foundation stone of the beautiful Golden Temple of the Sikhs. His disciple, our beloved master – Hazrat Dara Shikoh had translated the Upanishads from Sanskrit. Due to Daata Sahib’s gentle spiritual pluralism, people of all faith practices flocked to his bageechi.
Daata Sahib had disciples all over India. These disciples followed different spiritual paths, but they treasured their spiritual master. For spiritual retreats and spiritual celebrations, disciples used to travel for many miles to be with their beloved master. When these disciples reached Bundi, they stayed outside the city in Daata Sahib’s bageechi. This bageechi had been gifted by the King of Bundi to the saint. When the time to eat lunch arrived, the Hindu disciples were served vegetarian food by the gentle saint, who was also a vegetarian. The Muslim disciples were given non-vegetarian meals with specific instructions to bury the meat bones in the ground after their meal.
The reason the Muslim disciples were asked to bury the meat bones in the ground was due to Daata Sahib’s love for his neighbor and his tolerance of his neighbor’s spiritual path. Daata Sahib’s neighbor was a vegetarian who practiced the serene path of Jainism. Jainism is a spiritual path that advocates non-violence towards all beings. Daata Sahib knew about the Jain way of life and wanted to make sure that the birds in his garden did not take the meat bones from the meals and drop them on his neighbor’s property. He was deeply concerned that this would offend his gentle neighbor. By asking his Muslim disciples to bury their meat bones, he was teaching them a lifelong lesson in compassion and tolerance.