GUIDANCE : In quest of a spiritual preceptor
In any case, after equipping himself with all the best available education
(moral and religious) which he could obtain,Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan
Chishty(R.A) now diverted his attention to the spiritual side of his training.
He now needed a 'spiritual preceptor' and decided to leave Samarqand in
quest of such a master, starting on a journey in the southern parts of
the country towards Baghdad. On this journey, he came to the town of Harwan
or Haroon where one of the greatest Sufi dervishes of that time, Hazrat
Khwaja Usman Harooni(R.A), lived - (Born 510 A-H., died 617 A.H. and buried
at Mecca). This great saint had a resounding fame, which attracted scores
of persons from far and near for their spiritual enlightenment and religious
and moral training under him.
the Peer-o- Murshid:
One day Gharib Nawaz decided to present himself before this great saint.
When he approached the saint, he kissed the ground with all due reverence
and pleaded: "Sir, may I request you to enlist me as one of your
humble and devoted 'mureeds' (disciples)" ? Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni(R.A)
at once perceived by his intuitive powers that Gharib Nawaz was the fittest
candidate to join the circle of his disciples and granted his request
Khwaja Sahab says, in his own words, about his spiritual initiation (which
took place sometime in 561-562 A.H) by Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni. Khwaja
Gharib Nawaz(R.A) says:- "I had the honour of appearing (before Hazrat
Usman) when many other spiritual luminaries were also present. I bowed
my head in solemn reverence Hazrat Usman asked me to offer 2 "rakaat'
of Namaaz (prayers). I did it. He then directed me to sit facing the Kaaba
(Mecca). I did it. He then asked me to recite Surah Baqar (a Quranic verse).
I did it. He told me to repeat Darud Sharif (praise and blessings for
the holy prophet and his family) 21 times and to say 'Subhan Allah' (God
be praised) 60 times. I did it. After that he stood up, took my hand in
his own and looked towards the heaven saying: "Let me present you
to God". After that he asked me to sit down. He then asked me to
repeat 'Surah Ikhlas' (a Quranic verse) one thousand times. I did it.
He then said, "among our followers there is only one day and one
night's Mujaheda (probation), hence go and do it today." Accordingly
I spent one day and one night in prayers and re-appeared before him. He
asked me to sit down and repeat; "Surah Ikhlas' again one thousand
times. I did so. "Look towards the heaven" he then asked me.
When I raised my eyes towards the heaven, he enquired "how far do
you see" ? I said, upto Arsh-e-Moalla (zenith). He then asked me
"look below". I did so. He enquired again "how far do you
see". I said, upto Tahtus-Sara (abyss). He then asked me to sit down
and repeat 'Surah Ikhlas' one thousand times and I did it. He then asked
me "look towards the heaven". When I did so, he enquired "how
far do you see now?" I said upto Hijaab-e-Azmat (dazzlement of God's
glory). He then asked me "close your eyes". I did so, and, after
a moment, he told me "open your eyes". I did so. Then he showed
me his two fingers and enquired "what do you see through them"?
I said, I see 18,000 Aalam (worlds). When he heard this, he said, "now
your work is over". Then he looked towards a brick lying nearby and
asked me to pick it up. When I did so, I found some "deenars' (gold
coins) under it. He asked me to go and distribute them among the poor
and the needy which I did. I was then instructed to remain with him for
Mecca and Medina:
Khwaja sahab says he was taken to Kaaba (Mecca) in 562 A..H from Baghdad
by his Murshid, Khwaja Usman, where the master prayed for his disciple's
success and salvation. His prayer was answered by a Nida (heavenly voice)
declaring: "0 Usman. We have accepted Moinuddin as one of our beloved
devotees". (Hazrat Sheikh Shahabuddin Suhrawardy says he was himself
present in Mecca when Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty's attendance took
place.) Khwaja Usman then took Khwaja Moinuddin to Medina and asked him
to offer his homage and salutations at the shrine of the Holy Prophet
Mohammed. In this connection, Khwaja Moinuddin says : " I did so,
and heard a Nida in response, declaring:' Wa-alaikum-as-Salaam Ya Qutbul
Mashaikh-e-bahr-o-bar' (Peace be on you also, 0 spiritual leader of all
the saints on earth). Upon this Hazrat Khwaja Usman(R.A) informed his
disciple that he had now reached the stage of perfection as a dervish.
SUCCESSION AS KHALIFA & GOOD WISHES FROM MECCA AND MEDINA
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz(R.A), after 20 years' attendance on and travels with
his spiritual preceptor or Pir-o-Murshid, Hazrat Khwaja Usman, was awarded
the 'Khirqa-e-Khilajas' (robes conferred on succession upon a Khalifa)
in 582 AH or 1186 AD. at Baghdad before parting with his 'Murshid'. He
thus became the recognised 'Khalifa' (successor) of his spiritual master
and received the 'Mustafawi Tabarrukaat' (sacred relics coming down from
the Holy Prophet) traditionally handed down by Sufi dervishes of the 'Chishtia
silsila' (chishtia order) to their successors from generation to generation.
On this occasion, Khwaja Usman addressed his beloved successor as follows
:- "0 Moinuddin, I have done all this work for your perfection. It
is now absolutely necessary for you to act upto and carry on our traditions
and your duties diligently. A spiritual son is one who conscientiously
follows the commandments of his 'Peer' (master), includes them in his
'shijra' (genealogy) and discharges his duties faithfully so that shame
may not befall us on the Day-of-Judgment (qayamat)." After this brief
sermon, Hazrat Usman handed over his 'Asa-e-mubarak' (sacred staff), 'Khirqa'
(sacred robe), wooden sandals and 'Musalla' (the small carpet used for
prayers by all Muslims) and said:" These Tabarrukaat (sacred relics)
are mementos of our 'Piraan-e-Tariqat' (holy spiritual leader's) and have
come down to us from the Holy Prophet himself in succession, which we
have now bestowed upon you. Keep them with you with the same reverence
as we have kept them with us. They should be handed down as our mementos
only to those who prove themselves strictly worthy of the same. You should
perfect yourself in renunciation, stay away from the common people and
should never demand or expect anything from anybody". Then Hazrat
Usman embraced Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty(R.A) affectionately, kissed
his forehead and said : "I entrust you to God." The Khwaja Saheb
then departed with a heavy heart on his own travels.
Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty(R.A) having obtained the robes of Khilafat,
started on a tour (582 A.H.) of his own now. During his journeys on the
way, he used to stay in grave-yards, away from inhabitations and whenever
news about his presence got by the people, he used to leave the place
Meeting with Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin:
During this tour, when he visited the famous city of Asfahan, he met Sheikh
Mohammed Asfahani. The 14-year old Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Awashi
(born 569 AH.) was in search of a Murshid' (Master) in those days and
was thinking of approaching Sheikh Mohammed in this matter but, in the
meantime, he came across Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty(R.A) who read
in him a very promising spiritual career and accepted him as a 'mureed'.Hazrat
Khwaja Qutubuddin(R.A) accompanied him on his tour in 583 AH. and, later
on, was initiated as Khwaja Saheb's Khalifa in 586 AH. as the result of
the 'Basharat' (prophesy in dream) from the Holy Prophet Mohammed(S.A.W)
at the early age of 17.Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin (R.A) was a born saint
in as much as he had learnt half of the Holy Quran by God's grace while
he was still in his mother's womb and used to recite it.
to Mecca & Madina:
During this tour (583-585 A.H.), Khwaja sahab visited several other places
including Mecca, performed Haj and offered incessant prayers for sometime
there. One day, he heard a 'Nida' declaring : "0 Moinuddin, We are
pleased with you ; you may ask anything you like". The Khwaja Saheb
replied : "0 Almighty God, I only pray for the grace of your pardon
to Moinuddin's silsila of mureeds". The 'Nida' answered : "0
Moinuddin, you are Our beloved devotee; We shall pardon your 'mureeds'
and also others who become so in your 'silsila' upto Qayamat" (the
Prophetic direction to go to Ajmer:
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty(R.A) then went to Medina. There also he remained
in devotion for a long time. One night he had a 'Basharat' (prophetic
dream) from the Holy Prophet who said ; "0 Moinuddin, you are the
promoter of our religion. We give India under your charge where darkness
prevails. Go to Ajmer with your presence, the darkness shall disappear
and Islam shall shine. Allah will help you,"Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin
Chishty(R.A) was much pleased at this 'Basharat' but wondered about the
geographical situation of Ajmer. In another spiritual communion with the
Holy Prophet, he was however shown a map with the exact position of Ajmer
with its surrounding hills and the fort.
Resuming his journey, the Khwaja Saheb visited Khirqan and Sheikh Abul
Hasan Khirqani and then Astrabad where he met Shiekh 'Naasiruddin Astrabadi.
He then left for Herat where lie stayed at the tomb of Hazrat Abdulla
Ansari for some time.
From Batakh, Khwaja Sahab is reported to have gone to Ghazni at a time
when none could have dared to enter that city due to the terrible turmoil
and disturbances that prevailed there consequent upon the fall of Sultan
Mahmud's power and the rise of that of the Ghauris. The city was dangerously
ablaze and life was unsafe on account of the general massacre, arson and
loot. But Khwaja sahab was too big to be afraid of such dangers. If he
was afraid of anything on earth, he was afraid of the Almighty God alone.
In Ghazni he met Hazrat Shamsul-Aarifin Sheikh Abdul Waahid and remained
with him for some time. In the tone and temper of this horrible time in
Ghazni, the Khwaja Saheb applied his heating balm of spiritualism to the
wounds of the afflicted which was the supreme need of the hour.