Shaykh Ahmad al-Farooqi Sirhindi
son of Makhdoom Sheikh Abdul Ahad, scholar as
well an activist of the Farouqi Chistia Order, decedent of Umar Farouqi, Second
Caliph, with twenty eight links in the chain, was born on the day of 'Ashura,
the 10th of Muharram in the year 971 H., in the village of Sirhind near the city
of Lahore in present-day India. Sirhindi's shrine is located in Sirhind, India
and is referred to as "Rauza Sharif".. It is
said that the territory of Sirhind was a dense forest abound with lions so named
as Sher-e-Hind which when mutilated became Sirhind.
He received his knowledge and
education through his father and through many shaikhs in his time. He made
progress in three tariqats: Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya, and Chistiyya. He was
given permission to train followers in all three tariqats at the age of 17
years. He was busy in spreading the teachings of these tariqats and in guiding
his followers, yet he felt that something was missing in himself and he was
continuously searching for it. He felt an interest in the Naqshbandi Sufi Order,
because he could see by means of the secrets of the other three tariqats that it
was the best and highest. His spiritual progress eventually brought him to the
presence of the Ghawth and Qutb of his time, ash-Shaikh Muhammad al-Baqi, who
had been sent from Samarqand to India by the order of his shaikh, Muhammad al-Amkanaki.
He took the Naqshbandi Order from the shaikh and stayed with him for two months
and some days, until Sayyidina Muhammad al-Baqi opened to his heart the secret
of this tariqat and gave him authorization to train his murids in the Order.
With the intention of proceeding on the Haj pilgrimage, he set out from Sirhind
to Delhi and stayed with Maulana Hasan Kashmiri and from him heard of the
virtues of Khawaja Baqi Billah. This aroused in him an intense wish to see him.
When he saw, he was delighted, gave up the idea of the pilgrimage and engaged in
spiritual training under the guidance of Khawaja Baqi Billah for three months.
Hazrat Khawaja Baqi - Billah was so much impressed with the spiritual powers of
the Mujaddid that he also awarded him the robe of his heir.
On his return from Delhi to Sirhind he drew a detailed and extensive programme
for the moral and spiritual awakening of the people along with introduced
teaching and sermonizing. Not much time had elapsed that he was again called to
Delhi and received two letters one after the other at short intervals. He went
there. Hazrat Khawaja made him guardian of his children. This was their last
meeting. After this the Mujaddid returned to Sirhind. Hazrat Baqi-Billah passed
away in the meantime. The Mujaddid was in Lahore. When news reached him, he set
out to Delhi immediately, paid homage to him at his grave and stayed for a short
period of time.
During the reign of Akbar, in the tenth century Hijri, Islam was passing through
a lean period; was under seige of blasphemy, atheism, and irreligious. Akbar was
providing state patronage to Deen-e-Ilahi and was practicing un-Islamic rites.
Fire, trees, and water were worshipped. At this juncture. Islam needed a
fearless believer to defend it against the onslaught. He did not permit the
opportunist scholars and the misguided emperor to garner strength and kept the
torch of truth burning in such trying times.
Sirhindi's World view
Sirhindi's worldview focused on
the idea that ontologically, the prophethood is far greater than closeness with
God. He believed that Sufi ideas which centered around spiritual growth beyond
the material world, while exhibiting key concepts, fell short of encompassing
Islam as a whole. Sirhindi, still accepting and using these ideas of walayat,
or closeness with God, focused on a much more human understanding and reality by
focusing on following the sunnah of Muhammad (SAWS) and his companions. His
influence went so far as implementing jurisprudence in the Islamic world by
emphasizing the Shariah and fiqh, integrating both into Indian Muslim government
and society. This was accomplished through his 536 letters collectively entitled
Collected Letters or Maktubat, to the Mughal rulers conveying his
Abu Dawud related an authentic
hadith that the Prophet, upon whom be God's peace and blessings, said, 'Allah
will send at the beginning of every century someone by whom the religion will be
revived,' but there is a difference between the Reviver of the Century and the
Reviver of the Millennium. It is like the difference between one hundred and one
thousand." In a vision, the Prophet gave me good tidings: 'You are going to be a
spiritual inheritor and Allah is going to give you the authority to intercede on
behalf of hundreds of thousands on the Day of Judgment.' He bestowed on me with
his holy hand the authority to guide people, and he said to me, 'Never before
have I given that authority to guide people.' Allah unveiled to me the Secrets
of the Unique Oneness and He poured into my heart all kinds of Spiritual
Knowledge and its refinement. He unveiled to me the Secrets of the ayats of
Qur'an so that I found beneath every letter of the Qur'an an ocean of knowledge
all pointing to the High Essence of Allah Almighty and Exalted. If I were to
reveal one word of the meaning of it they would cut off my head, as they did to
Hallaj and to Ibn 'Arabi. This is the meaning of the hadith of the Prophet , in
Bukhari, narrated by Abu Huraira (r), "The Prophet poured into my heart two
kinds of knowledge, one of which I have revealed and another which if I were to
reveal they would cut my throat.
His works are his letters written
to many of his contemporaries known as Maktubaat.
"Moving to Allah is a vertical
movement from the lower stations to the higher stations; until the movement
surpasses time and space and all the states dissolve into what is called the
Necessary Knowledge (cilm ul-wajib) of Allah. This is also called Annihilation (fana').
"Moving in Allah is the stage in
which the seeker moves from the station of Names and Attributes to a state which
neither word nor sign can describe. This is the State of Existence in Allah
"Moving from Allah is the stage in
which the seeker returns from the heavenly world to the world of cause and
effect, descending from the highest station of knowledge to the lowest. Here he
forgets Allah by Allah, and he knows Allah with Allah, and he returns from Allah
to Allah. This is called the State of the Farthest and the Nearest.
"Moving in things is a movement
within creation. This involves knowing intimately all elements and states in
this world after having vanished in Annihilation. Here the seeker can achieve
the State of Guidance, which is the state of the prophets and the people
following the footsteps of the Prophet . It brings the Divine Knowledge into the
world of creation in order to establish Guidance.
Hazrat Mujaddid Alif Sa'ani was a great writer but his letter proved more
popular than his books. These letters translated in Urdu, not only express his
opinion on various issues but are also fine pieces of language and style.
Besides them following are some of the titles of his books:
- Sharah Rubaeyat-e-Hazrat Khawaja Baqi-Billah.
- Risala Isbat-ul-Nabuwwat.
- Risala Basilsila-e-Aha'dis.
One day a man told him that his relative was grievously ill and requested to
pray for him. He hesitated a little and said it was not proper to pray for
health to the deceased. Hearing this he went out crying and when he reached his
village he found his relative dead and the people were crying.
He died on 9 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1079 Hijri.