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Khwaja Gharib Nawaz

Khwaja Gharib Nawaz


Prelude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaYcFn9akTo “The Hajjis walked around the Ka‘ba, but the ‘arifs circumambulated the heart.” Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti The Chistiyya The founder of this particular order was a Syrian called Abu Ishaq Shami. He is believed to have been sent to Chisht, a town near Herat in modem day Afghanistan, by his own master, Khwaja Mimshad ‘Ali Dinawari of Baghdad during the latter part of the ninth century, C.E. Shaykh Abu Ishaq came from a line of recognized spiritual masters, who traced their descent back to the Prophet Muhammad, through Imam ‘Ali. Khawaja Uthman Harooni Before introducing you to Khwaja Moineddin Chisti, let me say a few words about his teacher. Khawaja Uthman Harooni ‘s meeting with a Madzub, (one drunk in Divine absorption) named Chirk was a transformational point in his life. After being with Chirk for a time the world lost its charm and Khawaja Uthman Harooni felt a call to seek out a deeper and more spiritual mode of life. He travelled far and wide to find someone who could guide him in this. This he found in Hazrat Hajji Sharif Zindani, an eminent teacher in the Chisti Order. Upon offering Uthman Harooni bayat, Hazrat Hajji Sharif Zindani told him that this investiture implied the following four things: First is the renunciation of the world. Second is the renunciation of the world hereafter. Third is the renunciation of the desires of the self. Fourth is renunciation of everything other than God. Khawaja Uthman Harooni lived in Hazrat Hajji Sharif Zindani’s company for over thirty years. During this time he was engaged in ascetic practices and in prayer. Time rolled on and his spiritual realization deepened greatly. After the thirty years Hazrat Hajji Sharif Zindani allowed him to go and preach the gospel of truth. He undertook tours and travels and visited many countries and cities: Bukhara, Baghdad, Falooja, Damascus, Mecca and Medina, and India. After staying for a long while in Delhi, offering teaching and blessings upon the nobles, the merchants, and the poor, he left Delhi to live in quiet contemplation until his passage into the next world in the year 617 A.H. (1220 A.D.) His tomb in Mecca is an object of adoration and pace of prayer to thousands of people. Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Introduction In 2000 our friend and fellow class participant Kalimi and I, while offering salutations to Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at his dargah, had the good fortune of meeting Pir Inam Hasan Gudri Shah V, Sajjadanashin, of the Gudri Shahi Order, (a Qadiriyya-Chistiyya branch), the Chilla of Hazrat Moinuddin Chisti on Sharif Hill, overlooking the Ana Sagar Lake and in 1993 founder, along with his sister, of The Sufi Saint School, located nearby the Chillah. While visiting him, Pir Inam took us into his meditation room and placed in my hands a green book, that had be laying on an altar by itself, written by his beloved deceased father Dr. Zahurul Hassan Sharib, Gudri. A great deal of the material that follows is transmitted by Hazrat Dr. Zahurul Hassan Sharib, Gudri. from his book “ The Meditations of Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chisti”. I also drew material from “Daleel-ul Arifeen”, sayings of his teacher compiled by Khwaja Qutuddin Bakhtiar Kaki and from “The Chistis, A Living Light” by Muneera Haeri. Gharib Nawaz Helper of the Poor Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, affectionately called Gharib Nawaz because of his care of the poor, was a serious and studious child and like so many other masters we have studied, orphaned before he reached maturity. His father died when Gharib Nawaz was in his teens – leaving him an orchard and a grinding mill. One day a madzub called Ibrahim Qanduzi visited him there. Gharib Nawaz brought his guest some grapes that he had grown. Ibrahim Qanduzi responded to this gesture by handing his host a piece of oil-cake, which he had himself previously chewed. Legend intimates that through this oil-cake the dervish transmitted to Gharib Nawaz the desire for enlightenment. As a quick aside, the passing of baraka through an offering of predigested food from the hand of a holy person also occurred in the life of Hazrat Inayat Khan. In his own words “I came to Hyderabad, a young musician without any letter of recommendation, without any help to go to the Nizam of Hyderabad. And I had a great difficulty, even such a difficulty that I could not speak about it to anyone. They thought, what a presumption for a young man who has not yet made his name and built his reputation to even imagine such a thing. And since then I gave up seeing people and asking them for help. But the motive was there. And then I happened to come in a place where a woman lived under the shade of a tree. They say she was in age more than a hundred years, some said she was three hundred years of age, but I do not know. And she never spoke with people; she just sat there. And a friend brought me to see this woman, and I at once felt that there was something wonderful about her. And at that time she had an earthen bowl in her hand, and she was eating from it, and as I went near her to greet, in answer to my greeting she took a little food with the same hand she was eating and gave me. She had no fork. She held it before me. I first looked here and there, and my friend said, "Take it," so I at once stretched my hand and took what she gave. And the same week I was called at the court, I was presented at the court, and had what I desired at that time.” After receiving this prasad Gharib Nawaz then sold his inheritance, distributed the proceeds to the poor, and set off towards the university towns of Balkh and then Samarkand. He was to study in both of these cities the sciences of knowledge of Qur’an, Hadith, and Fiqh (law). In his early twenties Gharib Nawaz went in search of a spiritual teacher. While travelling to Iraq, he encountered in the district of Nishapur the famous Sunni saint and mystic Khawaja Uthman Harooni and became his disciple. It is said that Gharib Nawaz stayed with his teacher for over twenty years. He is reported as having told his own pupils that during this period he did not give himself any rest from service of his master and even carried his nightclothes during his journeys. Much of that time was spent in travel, visiting Sufi masters, fellow dervishes, and keeping from settling into the nafs from comfortable and predictable situations. It is said that in Bagdad he met Hazrat ‘Abd al- Qadir Jilani, who founded the Qadari School of Sufism. There is an apocryphal story that both were present at a gathering of sama. During this gathering Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir remained seated while Gharib Nawaz was an active participant. An onlooker asked the former why he was not joining in. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir, who had a withered leg, due to the excessive spiritual penances of his youth, and was thus physically unable to undertake such arduous activity replied that he was staying with both his feet firmly on the ground in order to prevent the world from exploding with Gharib Nawaz’s ecstasy. In his late forties his teacher suggested it was time for Gharib Nawaz to teach. This was when both were journeying to Mecca and Medina. Gharib Nawaz prayed at the tomb of the prophet in Medina offering his salutations as well as a request for guidance as to where he should teach. It was after this that he received a fiat through a dream where the Prophet asked him to teach in Hindustan, a fiat confirmed by his teacher Khawaja Uthman Harooni. For a time after this Gharib Nawaz travelled about on his own. It was on his independent wanderings that he encountered many of the most notable Sunni mystics of the era, including Najmuddin Kubra, ‘Abdal-Kahir Suhrwardi, ‘Abd al-Wahid Ghaznawi, all of whom were destined to become some of the most highly venerated saints in the Sunni tradition. Due to Gharib Nawaz’z subsequent visits to "nearly all the great centers of Muslim culture in those days," including Bukhara, Samarkand, Nishapur, Bagdad, Tabirz, Isfahan, Balkh, Ghazni, and Astarabad the preacher and mystic eventually acquainted himself with almost every important trend in Muslim religious life in the middle ages. Then as he progressed toward India. Gharib Nawaz stopped by the tomb of Hazrat ‘Ali al-Hujwiri and did a forty day retreat there to receive his blessings to continue on his mission to assist others on their spiritual journey as he himself had been assisted by his teacher. When he first came to India he found that the Hindus used many musical instruments while singing verses glorifying God. The sound of their instruments and ecstatic singing was so loud that anything else was suppressed under the noise. Whenever Gharib Nawaz tried to give a discourse in the streets he could not be heard due to the noise. Chishti legend claims that Gharib Nawaz prayed to the Prophet Muhammad for permission to use musical instruments and verse in his teaching. He then composed verses of praise to Allah and His Prophet in the language of the local Hindus, setting them to music – and the local Hindus were attracted to this. Gharib Nawaz not only used music in his teaching. He also adapted certain yogic meditative practices, in particular the art of controlling breathing that we find today within Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teaching of Pasi Anfas, The Elemental Breaths, Qasab and Shagal. But it was Ghraib Nawaz’s sacred presence and deeply compassionate behavior toward the local population, particularly those in need, that won the hearts of those who met him, Hindus as well as Moslems. Before Gharib Nawaz passed to the next world in 1142 C.E., he entrusted his long-time student Bakhtiar Kaki with the Chisti spiritual regalia entrusted to him by Khawaja Uthman Harooni and appointed him as his spiritual successor. Bakhtiar Kaki worked at spreading the Chishtiyya in Deklhi while Gharib Nawaz’s son Fakhr al-Dīn is said to have further spread the order's teachings in Ajmer, and another of the his major disciples, Ḥamīd al-Dīn Ṣūfī Nāgawrī (d. 1274), preached in Nagor. Intermission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAM5d0dVCnY Teaching and Commentary Thirty five years ago, after paying my respects to Hazrat Selim Chisti at his dargah in Fatehpur Sikri, I encountered a group of young Chistiyya Sufis who where quite excited to meet me - exclaiming with great enthusiasm: “How propitious that we meet today! We have been saving for an entire year for this evening when we shall feed the poor.” I met them in their little marble carving shop. As we talked I realized that they would have been considered very poor by western standards and I silently marveled at how thrilled and proud they were to have saved this money and to be feeding those even more impoverished than they. I mention this, as this is a clear demonstration that after 900 years the essence of Gharib Nawaz’s teaching and manner is still very much alive. “The Hajjis walked around the Ka‘ba, but the ‘arifs circumambulated the heart.” Khwaja Gharib Nawaz “Cast away from your face the mask of selfishness And watch the spiritual beauty in all forms. Ay! That You shine at every moment in a different manifestation In the Sinai of the heart. And there is every time another Moses wishing for Your appearance. How can I explain that I cannot tell anything And that in the matters of the heart all reasoning has failed. Last night my heart expressed too many things, And I heard too many things that I have never told before Neither heard before.” Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (Malfuzat of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz compiled by Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki) “Mulfuzat” is a word used in Indian-Pakistani Sufism to denote sayings written at the time a teacher presented a session (Majlis), much in the manner that Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings were written by students from his classes and then were published as the 12 saffron volumes. Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a devoted disciple and spiritual successor of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz, handed these down in his book: Daleel-ul Arifeen.” In the first lesson below Gharib Nawaz teaches of humility and the lover’s resignation to the wishes of the Beloved. His warning against seeking to invoke miracles reminds me of the story of when Hazrat Inayati Khan met Henry Ford. Mr. Ford asked Murshid if he could with his psychic power lift a pen off his desk and Murshid replied: “I would rather use my energy to lift the consciousness of humanity.” Gharib Nawaz points out that as God will give according to the station and need of the Salek there is no need to ask any favors of God and then notes that when the heart burns with divine love all else is obliterated within it. THE WAY OF MA’REFAT (GNOSIS) “I had the privilege of touching the feet of Khwaja when Sheikh Ohad Kirmani, Sheikh Wahid Burhan Ghaznvi, Khwaja Suleiman Abdul Rahman, and some Dervishes were present in his audience. The discourse started about Initiation (Suluk). He said that some Masha'ekh (learned sheikhs) have established one hundred stages and ranks of initiation in which the seventeenth stage is that of manifestation and miracles. One, who reveals himself at this stage, cannot clear and pass the rest of the eighty three stages. Therefore, a mystic pilgrim (Salik) must not reveal himself (i.e. show miracles) till the time he has cleared all the hundred stages. He said that in Chishti school of thought, some Chishti Khwajgan (spiritual guides) have set fifteen stages of initiation in which fifth stage is that of manifestation of miracles. Our Khwajgan have advised that one should not reveal himself till the time he has cleared all the fifteen stages. Only then he will be considered to be accomplished. He said that in the context of initiation, it is written that once Khwaja Junaid Baghdad was asked as to why he does not wish to see divine witnessing of Allah though he can get it if he wished. He replied that he does not want one thing that Musa A.S. wished but did not get, but Rasulallah got without asking. So a believing bondsman has nothing to do with a wish. If he himself is so much capable (achieved accomplishment), Allah will lift the veils and the divine witnessing will be bestowed upon him. Therefore, there is no need to have a wish of such a thing. After that, the discussion was held about divine love (Ish'q-e llahi). He said, "The heart of a divine lover is like a raging-fire; whatever (any non-divine thing) enters into it, is totally burnt to ashes and is completely obliterated because there is no fire more intense than the fire of divine love". He said that once Khwaja Bayazeed Bastami was in the ecstasy of divine closeness. He heard the divine voice asking him, "O, Bayazeed I To day, it is time for you to ask for anything and it is the moment for Us to grant you whatever you ask. We will give you whatever you wish'. Khwaja R.A. went into prostration and begged that he had nothing to do with having a wish. I will be happy with whatever my Lord will bestow upon me. The divine voice said, "We granted you the Hereafter" Khwaja R.A. begged that the Hereafter is the prison for Your friends. The divine voice said, "We gifted you Paradise, Empyrean, our Throne and whatever belongs to Us". Khwaja Bayazeed still did not agree. The divine voice again asked him whatever he desires will be granted to him. Khwaja Bayazeed replied, "You are aware of it what I need". The voice said, "We know that you desire Us only and if We desire you, what will you do?" Khwaja said, "I swear by Your greatness and dignity, if You desire me, then on the Day of Judgment, I would come out and would stand in front of the Hell and put out its fire and annihilate it with my only one sigh-blowing because the fire of Hell is no match to the fire of the divine love. When Khwaja swore this, divine voice said, "O, Bayazeed! You got what you wanted". In this context, he narrated that once Hazrat Rabia Basri in her passionate divine love was exclaiming Al-Hareeq! Al-Hareeq! (Fire! Fire!). Residents of Basra came out to extinguish the fire, but they did not see any fire. One of them was a pious person. He said, "How ignorant these people are who have come to put out Rabia's fire of divine lovewhich she has with her friend (Allah) and is raging in her heart. When she is unable to tolerate the fire, she exclaims Al-Hareeq! Al-Hareeq! (Fire! Fire!). It would not be extinguished by any means except by her union with her friend". He then said that once people asked Mansoor Hallaj as to what the apex of the love with a friend is. He said that it is when the beloved, by His wisdom, wants to crucify the lover; the lover should not grumble and should not utter a faint cry. He should feel contented and get ready to gain the pleasure of his beloved. He should remain engrossed in the contemplation of the beloved to such an extent that he does not even feel of his confinement and his being crucified. Then Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin weepingly recited this couplet: (Khoobruyan Choon Banda-e Geerond Ashiqan Pesh-e Shan Chuneen Meerand) Translation: When the beautiful show their coquetry, the lovers simply sacrifice themselves. Above Khwaja Gharib Nawaz suggested there are fifteen stages on the path and that once the Salek has traversed all fifteen then the making of miracles are permitted. Each stage is linked to the Risalat (the dispensation of the prophets), spanning from the Prophet Adam to the Prophet Mohammad. – each stage being linked to the signature of the soul of that prophet. There are perspectives and teachings on such prophetic stages of spiritual maturation presented by Sufi teachers of other lineages. These are the ones Khawja Gharib Nawaz underscores and we can thank him for simplifying eighty-three stages given above to fifteen. That being the case, he adds: “If the dervish by the guidance of his spiritual guide is not aware of the stations, then he is still a beginner; indeed.” Rather than concerning yourself with each prophet it would be enough to be aware of each station. I have translated the fifteen stations in a language that may (or may not) be easier to understand: remorse and penitence, humility, obedience, patience, satisfaction, contentment, purity, consideration and bewilderment, defeat, representation, certainty, sincerity, insight, gratitude, and love. (From “The Meditations of Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan Chisti”, transmitted by Hazrat Dr. Zahural Hassan Sharib) XC “Our Shuyukh, (lineage of teachers) belonging to the Chishti Order have adopted fifteen stations, and have treated them as their modus operandi, their rule and their regulation, their manual and code. 
 • The first station is of the penitents, which points towards Prophet Adam. 
 • The second is of the pious, the station of Enoch. 
 • The third is of the virtuous, which points to Prophet Moses. 
 • The fourth is of the patient, which pertains to Prophet Job. 
 • The fifth is of the satisfied, which points to Prophet Jesus. 
 • The sixth is of the contented, which points to Prophet Jacob. 
 • The seventh is of the ascetics, which refers to Prophet Jonah. 
 • The eighth is of thoughtful, the uneasy, and the perplexed which pertains to Prophet Joseph. 
 • The ninth is of the defeated and routed which points to Prophet Jethro. 
 • The tenth station is of the instructors and the spiritual teachers, which refers to Prophet Seth. 
 • The eleventh is of the virtuous and the righteous, which points to Prophet Noah.
 • The twelfth is of the sincere, which points to Prophet David. 
 • The thirteenth is of the enlightened ones, which refers to Prophet Khidr. 
 • The fourteenth station is of the grateful, which points to Prophet Abraham. 
 • The fifteenth station is of the lovers which, refers to Prophet Muhammad. If the dervish by the guidance of his spiritual guide is not aware of the stations, then he is still a beginner; indeed. 
 In this next passage we hear a lesson on the cultivation of one’s personality - leading to acting in a divine manner (Akhlak Allah) that could have been given by Hazrat Inayat Khan or Pir Vilayat and is reminiscent of Rumi’s saying: “The candles are many, the light is One.” LVII 0, my dear! The pinnacle of love is this, that you may see your own personality as the personality of the Beloved. As seeing one candle in a thousand mirrors, a thousand candles are seen, but in fact there is one candle in all the mirrors. Likewise there is the manifestation of one light in the two eyes. The lover and the Beloved are two names. The station of the lover is talwin (change) and the station of the Beloved is majesty, dignity, authority and power. When the lover does not see himself in-between, then his own personality appears to him as that of the Beloved, and when he does not see the personality of the Beloved in-between, then his own personality appears to him as that of the lover. This station is of the utmost unity of love. In this station Mansur said: ’I am the Truth' and Abu Yazid uttered the words: 'Glory to My Majesty!' So the enlightened one sees himself from himself, talks himself to himself, hears himself from himself, and seeks himself from himself. When a seeker covers the station of “There is none except God” with love, then there remains nothing except the Absolute self. But the one who professes love and may see himself in-between, he is an infidel amongst those treading the path of enlightenment. Know this that the heart is the window of the path of love, and that it is in-between the two fingers of Allah. .Allah created Adam and showed His manifestation in him. In the existence of Allah there is nothing beside Allah, i.e. in one existence there are not two existing, but there is only one existence and that is the existence of Allah This next story is for me the signature of the Chistiyya – as kindled by Gharib Nawaz. XIV There was a God-illumined dervish who used to distribute whatever he got amongst the dervishes. He used to live in his hut and let no one go deprived. It so happened once that two dervishes, who had attained perfection, came to him and asked for water. The dervish went into his hut and came out with two loaves of barley bread and a cup of water. The two visiting dervishes were hungry. They took the bread and drank the water. Afterwards the two dervishes looked at each other. One said to the other, This dervish has done his part well indeed. Now we should do something for him. Let us give him this world.’ The other dervish replied ’If he is given this world he will indulge in sin’. The first dervish then remarked, ’The dervishes are generous by disposition. He is given this world to earn the world hereafter.’ They prayed for their host and left. The dervish who had entertained them achieved such a high spiritual position, that he used to distribute a large quantity of food daily to the indigent and the poor. In the next, and last lesson, (for now) it is pointed out that remembrance (zkir) represents duality. If the Friend is “closer to us than our jugular veins” the gnostic rests in the arms of the Beloved without needing to call His name. Of course, that is the gnostic’s treasure – which the rest of us are still carrying our pick axes into the mine to find. XV$ The one who attains the gnosis of Allah, the Almighty, does not go about saying 'Allah!, Allah!’ The one who does so has not in fact attained gnosis. It has been said that: 'The one who has attained the gnosis of his Creator and Cherisher becomes dumb and lame.’ The condition of the perfect enlightened one exceeds the station of remembrance, because remembrance is also a kind of separation and according to the enlightened one’s separation is a defect. It is given in the holy Qur’an: ‘Where you are Allah is with you. Finale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soPrtBs50HU

updated: 3 weeks ago