Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Naqshbandi Sufis of Delhi in the first half of the Eighteenth Century (PDF)

The Naqshbandi Sufis of Delhi in the first half of the Eighteenth Century


The Naqshbandi1 silsila is one of the major spiritual orders of Sufism. The order is over one thousand three hundred years old and was the only Sufi order that traced its direct spiritual lineage to Prophet Muhammad through Abu Bakr al-Sadiq (d.634). The Naqshbandi order, also known as Silsila-i-khwajgan2 or Tariqa-i-Khwajagan3 was established in Central Asia. The Silsila-i-khwajgan was founded by Ya'qub Yu'suf alHamadani (d.1140) who belonged to Baghdad and lived in Herat but finally he settled in Marv. 4 Later, it was reorganized by Khwaja Bahau'd-Din Naqshband (1318- 1389) after whom the silsila came to be called the Naqshbandi or Tariqa-i-Naqshbandiyya. His disciples and followers established a network of Naqshbandiyya
1 The word Naqshband literally means an embroiderer. H.A. Rose expressed the meaning of Naqshband, is painter in his book entitled The Darvishes (page- 142). 2 S.A.A. Rizvi, A History of Sufism in India, Vol-I, New Delhi, 1978, this Edition 2003, p-95-97 3 J.A. Subhan, Sufism : Its Saints and Shrines, Cosmo Publication Company, New Delhi, 1999, p-190 4 S.A.A. Rizvi, A History of Sufism in India, Vol-1, New Delhi, 1978, this edition, 2003, p-95 
centers throughout Central Asia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and India. The Indian Naqshbandi Sufi saints traced their spiritual descent from Khwaja Nasiru'd-Din Ubaidu'l-lah Ahrar (1404-1490).1 The Naqshbandi order made rapid progress in the subcontinent after the foundation of Mughal Empire in the early sixteenth century. Because Zahiru’d-Din Babur (r.1526-1530), founder of Mughal Empire, and his amirs had great faith in the Naqshbandi order and the Emperor himself had respect for Khwaja Khwajat and Khwaja Kalan, who were the spiritual successors of Shaikh Nasiru'd-din Ubaidu'l-lah Ahrar (1404-1489).2 After its advent in India, the Naqshbandi order spread rapidly and several centers of Naqshbandi order were established in the northern India. Many Naqshbandi Sufis migrated from Transoxiana and enriched the Naqshbandi tradition here. The Naqshbandi order gradually gained popularity among the members of the royal family, nobles and common Muslims
1 H.A. Rose, The Darvishes, 1927, Oxford University Press, p-438 2 Zahiru’d-Din Muhammad Babur, Babur-Nama, English tr by. A.S. Beveridge, Leiden and London, 1921, reprint, Delhi, 1972, p-631
In India, Khwaja Muhammad Baki Billah Berang (1563-1603) introduced the Naqshbandi tradition at a very broad level. He migrated from Kabul1 and started propagating Naqshbandi teachings in Delhi.2 His premier khalifa Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi ‘Mujaddid Alif Sani’ (d.1624) was an outstanding jurist, philosopher, theologian and Sufi of Naqshbandi order. He traced his descent from the second Caliph of Islam, Umar Faruq.3 Sirhind was the centre of his spiritual and religious activities. He believed in traditions of Islam and opposed superstitions and other practices which he thought were at variance with the real spirit of religion. His growing influence coupled with his views on religion and mysticism brought about a storm of opposition. He dedicated himself to uphold the dignity of the orthodoxy and orthodox view points.4 As a Sufi he had spread the Naqshbandi tradition but also succeeded in reconciling controversial Sufi doctrines with formal framework of Islam
1 Qabul or Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan. 2 Z.H. Sharib, The Sufi Saints of the Indian Subcontinent, New Delhi, 2006, p-180, J.A. Subhan, Sufism ; Its Saints and Shrines, Cosmo Publication Company, New Delhi, 1999, p-286 3 I.H. Ansari and H.A. Qureshi, Sufis of Naqshbandia Mujaddidiya Order, English tr of Maulvi Muhammad Hasan Naqshbandi Mujaddadi’s, Masha’ikh Naqshbania Mujaddidya, Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli, Delhi, 2010, p-140 4 Ibid, p-141-145
Shah Waliu'l-lah of Delhi - Islam was facing sectarian conflicts, poor understanding of the Islamic jurisprudence, low moral tone of society and general ignorance of the teachings of Islam in the first half of the eighteenth century. In these circumstances Shah Waliu'l-lah Dehlawi started his reform movement and worked hard to save the Islam, its traditions and the Muslim society at large.(Read rest in PDF Link)
Mirza Mazhar Jan-i-Janan - Another prominent Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiya of the eighteenth century was Mirza Mazhar Jan-i-Janan. He was born on 11 Ramadan 1110/13 March 1699.3 His father Mirza Jaan was an imperial noble. When he was in Deccan in 1698-1699, Mirza Mazhar Jan-i-Janan was born in the imperial camp route to the north India and
1 Z.H. Sharib, The Sufi Saints of the Indian Subcontinent, New Delhi, p-260, 2 M.Y.M. Sidiqui, Shah Waliullah Dehlavi - An Introductio of His Personality and Achievements, Institute of Islamic Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 2001, p18 3 S.A.A. Rizvi, Shah Wali-Allah and His Times, Canberra, Australia, p-318
Emperor Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707) named the boy Jan-iJanan.1 Later he became famous as Mirza Mazhar Jan-iJanan in the Indian Sufi circle. His forefathers had migrated from Taif of Turkistan in 800/1398 AD2 and belonged to the Qaqshal tribe of Turkestan. In 1555, Emperor Humayun brought along with him two brothers Majnun Khan and Baba Khan. They both belonged to Qaqshal tribe. Mirza Jaan, the father of Mirza Mazhar Jan-i-Janam, belonged to the fourth generation of Indian Qaqshal and served in imperial army. 3 After resigning from government service, he left Deccan for Agra. Mirza Mazhar Jan-i-Janan acquired formal, military and religious education during his father's lifetime. Haji Mohammad Afzal of Sialkot taught him hadiths and Haji Abdu'r Rasool of Delhi taught him the holy Quran.
 4 1 S.A.A. Rizvi, Shah Wali-Allah and His Times, Canberra, Australia, 1980, p-318 2 Z.H. Sharib, The Sufi Saints of Indian Subcontinent, New Delhi, 2006, p-245 3 S.A.A. Rizvi, Shah Wali-Allah and His Times, Canberra, Ma’rifat Publishing House, Australia, 1980, p-318, Thomas Dahnhardt, Change and Continuity in Indian Sufism, D.K. Printworld Ltd, New Delhi, 2002, p-15 4 Z.H. Sharib, The Sufi Saints of Indian Subcontinent, New Delhi, 2006, p-246
(Read rest in PDF link)
Shah Ghulam Ali - Shah Ghulam Ali succeeded Mirza Mazhar Jan-iJanan at Delhi. His real name was Shah Abdu'l-lah. He was born in 1156 or 1158/1743 or 1745 in Batala, Punjab6. At the age of thirteen, he came to Delhi with his parents and after completing his education he became the disciple of Mirza Mazhar jan-i-Janan, in 1180/1767, who initiated him into Naqshbandi order.
7 1 Shahjahanpur is a district of Uttar Pradesh, India. 2 Rampur is a district of Uttar Pradesh, India. 3 Theneshwar is situated in Kurushetra district of Haryana, India. 4 M. Umar, Islam in Northern India During the Eighteenth Century, New Delhi, 1993, p-81-83 5 I.H. Ansari and H.A. Qureshi, Sufis of Naqshbandia Mujaddidya order,English translation of Maulvi Muhammad Hasan Naqshbandi Mujaddadi, Masha’ikh Naqshbandia Mujaddidya, Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Dilli, Delhi, 2010, p-305 6 Ibid, p-305, Thomas Danhardt, Change and Continuity of Indian Sufism, D.K. Printworld Ltd, New Delhi, 2002, p-107 7 S.A.A. Rizvi, A History of Sufism in India, Vol-II, New Delhi, this edition, 2002, p-248
(Read rest in PDF link)
Khwaja Muhammad Nasir Andalib - Khwaja Muhammad Nasir ‘Andalib’4 was a prominent Sufi saint of the first half of the eighteenth century. He was the disciple of Shaikh Muhammad Zubair
 (d.1740).5 Khwaja Muhammad Nasir was born on 1 I.H. Ansari and H.A. Qureshi, Sufis of Naqshbandia Mujaddidya Order, English translation of Maulvi Muhammad Hasan Naqshbandi Mujaddadi, Masha’ikh Naqshbandia Mujaddidya, Idarah-I Adabiyat-I Dilli, Delhi, 2010, p-329 2 Ibid, p-329 3 Ibid, p-332 4 Literally Andalib means nightingale. 5 Shaikh Muhammad Zubair (d.1740) the fourth qayyum was the grandson of Shaikh Muhammad Hujjatu’l-lah (d.1703) the third qayyum of the Naqshbandiyya Mujaddidiyya branch. The second qayyum was his father Shaikh Muhammad Ma’sum (d.1668) and the first qayyum was Shaikh Ma’sum’s father Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi “Mujaddid Alif Sani” (d.1624).
25 Shaban 1105/20 April 1694.1 His forefathers had migrated to India from Transoxiana in the seventeenth century. After completing his religious and secular education, he was strongly attracted to Sufism and was initiated into Naqshbandi order by Shaikh Muhammad Zubair (d.1740) who belonged to the NaqshbanddiyaMujaddidiya branch. He was also closely associated with Shah Gulshan, who was a great poet of his days. As a Sufi saint, Khwaja Muhammad Nasir strictly followed the Naqshbandiyya tradition. He was totally dedicated to the Sharia and Sunna. In the eighteenth century the moral tone of Muslim society was very low. Under these circumstances Khwaja Muhammad Nasir took the responsibility to reform the customs of the Muslim society. Khwaja Muhammad Nasir introduced a new branch within the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiya path, named tariqa-i-Muhammadiyya
(Read rest in PDF Link)
Khwaja Mir Dard - Khwaja Mir Dard was a gem amongst the Sufi saints of the Indian Subcontinent. He was born on 19 Dhu'l-qa'da 1133/11 September 1721 in Delhi.5 Like 1 M. Umar, Islam in Northern India During the Eighteenth Century, New Delhi, 1993, p-245. 2 Literally Nala-i-Andalib means Lament of the nightingale. 3 In Risala-I Hush Afza, Khwaja Muhammad Nasir thoroughly disapproved the chess and alcohol and tried his best to divert the interest of Muslims.
 4 S.A.A. Rizvi, A History of Sufism in India, Vol-2, New Delhi, this edition, 2007, p-245 5 Ibid, p-245
other youth of his age, Khwaja Mir ‘Dard’ 1 also completed his military training but he was not interested in government services. He started his spiritual journey in right earnest and composed poetry. He tried to popularize a mystic stream which was termed as tariqa-i-Muhammadiyya which had already been introduced by his father Khawja Muhammad Nasir (d. 1759). The objective of tariqa-i-Muhammadiyya was to follow only the Prophet Muhammad besides God.2 A Muslim should be dedicated to the holy Quran and should adopt only the traditions of Islam. In his book Ilmu’l-Kitab, he explained that tariqa-i-Muhammadiyya that it was not a new sect but was a new form of Mujaddid's teachings.

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