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Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 30


By Anna Suvrova


1 It is possible that the notion about dust (khak) as the main sacred thing of the tombs goes back to ‘primordial dust’ (al-haba’), the element of initial creation. Ibn ‘Arabi used this term as a synonym for the term hay ¯la¯, ‘the dark substance, which filled the emptiness in which Allah revealed the images of the universe’ (Knysh 1995: 234). Miraculous properties were ascribed to the dust from saints’ tombs, as a result of which, with the passage of time, it started being used in magical and occult rituals and also in alchemist practice. Compare the inscription on the tomb of Miyan Mir in Lahore: ki khak-i darash rashk-i iksır shud

The dust of whose portals is envied by the stone of alchemist

 (Goulding 1925: 67)

2 The word zindıq, often translated as ‘heretic’, in Muslim literature basically denoted ‘dualists’ - Manicheans, Mazdakites, etc. Wide usage of this term has a political rather than a religious connotation. Those who posed a threat to state power were declared to be zindqs, although in the process they were formally accused of religious delusion. Faqıhs equated ‘heresy’ (zandaqa) with defamation of the Prophet, which attracted capital punishment.

3 A special and important group consists of the saints, whose wilayat was initially established within the limits of a particular silsila or ţarıqa.

Shaikhs’ lives were included in collections (tadhkira, ţabaq t al-awliy) or other hagiographic literature of the ţarıqa, thereby undergoing a eculiar ‘internal canonization’.

4 Veneration of the imprint of a saint (deity or religious preceptor’s) foot or palm is typical for all South Asian religions. Thus, for example, the depression on Adam’s peak (Sri Lanka) was venerated by Muslims as the footprint of Prophet Adam (Qadam-i Bba) and by Hindus and uddhists as the footsteps of, respectively, Shiva and Buddha. In ardwar, a town holy for Hindus, one of the most venerable sacred objects is the rock with a dent, which is considered to be the footprint of Hari (Vishnu). In the mountainous regions of Punjab Sikhs venerate imprints of Guru Nanak’s palm (Panja S ¯heb).


5 The profusion of relics in Indian Islam is to a great extent explained by the developed pre-Islamic cult of relics, particularly Buddhist ones, with which Islam had to compete. The cult of stu¯pa as that of a tomb or monument, or veneration of relics like Buddha’s tooth had their analogies in the cult of tombs and relics among Muslims. Goldziher observes that Buddhist relics could directly turn into Shi‘a relics (Goldziher 1967-71, 2: 93).  

6 The post of Shaikh ul-Islam in the Delhi Sultanate was not permanent, as was, let us say, the post of șadr as-șudr, supervising wqaf property and charity. The title Shaikh ul-Islam was honorary, but carried with it a handsome salary and landed estates. Many Sufis used this title in respect of outstanding members of their fraternity. Thus, in Chishtiyya hagiography Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki and Baba Farid are called Shaikh ul-Islm.

7 Early Sufi authors disassociate themselves from karmat, although they agree that saints show the capability to work a miracle as a gift of God. Al-Qushayri, author of the treatise Ar-Risa¯lat al-Qushairiyya, wrote that even if prophets needed miracles, confirming the legitimacy of their mission, saints on the contrary had to conceal everything which they involuntarily performed (al-Hujwiri 1926: 311).

8  Schimmel  makes  use  of  another,  more  traditional  and pleasant-sounding, story of the origin of ritual crocodiles from the flower, which the incensed saint threw in the pond and cursed (Schimmel 1980: 129) 9 Shams Tabrizi is a typical example of an amalgamation of different Muslim saints. Buried in Multan, Pir Shams Tabrizi was most probably an Isma‘ili missionary, but the tradition popular in Punjab mixed up his name with the name of the famous Shamsuddin Muhammad Tabrizi, friend and murshid of Jalaluddin Rumi. This wandering mystic, whose name Rumi used in his Dıwan-i Shams Tabrızıwas killed in 1247 and presumably buried in Konya. But the Indian tradition affirms that he managed to save himself from the hands of the assassins and flee to India.

10 The term Sama‘(‘hearing’, ‘the thing heard’) ‘specifically refers to sacred and religious music. Sama ‘is found in Indo-Persian texts in the Sufi context, either when the licitness of music is discussed or in writings on the rules of conduct (dab) for listening to music, or in more escriptive accounts of Sufi musical assemblies, in hagiographical (tadhkira) and ‘discourse based’ ( literature’ (Delvoye 1994: 93-4).

11 In the Baluchi and Pashto languages the word ziyarat means the saint’s tomb proper. The name of the city Ziyarat in Baluchistan is derived from the venerated tomb of saint Baba Kharwari.

12 In Trimingham’s words, ‘there is an essential distinction between the way in which the genuine Sufi approached a saint’s tomb and the practice of the people. The mystic carries out a ziyara for the purpose of mura¯qaba (spiritual communion) with the saint, finding in the material symbol an aid to meditation. But the popular belief is that the saint’s soul lingers about his tomb and places (maqams) specially associated with him whilst he was on earth or at which he had manifested himself. At such places his intercession can be sought’ (Trimingham 1971: 26).


13 Muraqaba (‘spiritual communion’, ‘meditation’) is the concentration of thoughts for the purpose of spiritual communion with God, a saint or preceptor; it is a psycho-technical method by means of which a Sufi conceived the image of a saint or his murshid. Muraqaba could take place both during the lifetime of a saint and after his death; celebrated mystic unions of Jalaluddin Rumi with Shams Tabrizi, of Shaikh Farid with Nizamuddin Awliya, Dara Shikoh with Miyan Mir, Shah Husain with Madho Lal etc., come under the category of muraqaba. On a shaikh’s death his disciples sought muraqaba near his tomb, which facilitated the state of contemplation and meditation.

 14 Distribution of consecrated food is an integral element of a wider concept tabarruk (from baraka), including the distribution of offerings made to a saint among his relatives and descendants and also the passing on of blessings through material objects, consecrated by contact with a saint.

15 Another tomb ascribed to ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani happens to be in Kallar Kahar of Punjab. In Qalat a Shi‘a missionary of the eleventh century actually bearing this name is buried and in Punjab there is similarly a Turkestani saint of the thirteenth century.

16 Ibaha (Arabic ‘giving freedom, permission’) is mentioned in early Sufi texts, in particular, by al-Hujwiri, in respect of the mystics, considering them selves to be free from social and ethical limitations. Amir Khusrow and Barani in their chronicles relate the term iba¯hat¯ to Isma‘ilis and ‘people of incest’. Therefore, the attempts to trace the etymology of this word to ‘spoiled transmission’ of the word bhakti are erroneous as is also the notion about ibahat as an esoteric Hindu sect, in which ‘elements of early medieval age tantrism had survived’ (Ashrafyan 1963: 133).

17 At the same time the graves of British colonial officials occasionally became objects of ritual veneration. An example is perhaps the grave of ohn Jacob, who was at the head of British administration in Khangher (now Jacobabad) of Sind in the middle of the last century. The memorial to Jacob in the local Christian cemetery is venerated by the Sindhis as a shrine: they decorate it with flower garlands, and on Thursdays they kindle votive lamps in front of it.

18 Mithankot is a small town on the bank of the Indus, built around the tomb of Khwaja Ghulam Farid (1815-1910), a saint famous for his popular poetry in Siraiki.

19Compare, for example, the bait (couplet) of Abu SA‘id bin Abulhair Mayhani: Hsham Na muwsiqn-o khshan burdandn kajkulhn-i mparıshan burdandI lost my reason not due to relatives and supporters, Those with cocked hat and dishevelled hair plundered it. (‘Afifi 1997: 2024)



1The dust, which is a rising point of lights -the stars are ashamed of the particles of that dust, the dust by which is covered one who knew the mysteries.    (Quot. from Schimmel 1980: 91)  

2 Mihr ‘Ali Shah was j mi‘as-salasil. His father’s maternal uncle first initiated him into his ancestral Qadiriyya silsila. Later, for further spiritual elevation, he sought induction into Chishtiyya Nizamiyya order. Some years later he was admitted to, and permitted to initiate people into, Chishtiyya Sabiriyya (Fadil Kha¯n 1989: 25).

3 Judging by Faw’id al-Fu’ad, the question as to who becomes a saint was discussed by the great Shaikhs of the Chishtiyya fraternity in connection with the teaching about the covert, latent sainthood, in which the awliya¯ abide till God reveals them to their people. Thus, Hamiduddin Suwali Nagori was asked: ‘How is it that after their death some of the saints are never remembered by name while in the case of others, their posthumous fame spreads to the end of the earth? What causes this disparity in the state of saints?’ Hamid ad-din answered: ‘He who strives to become famous during his lifetime - after he dies his name will be forgotten, while he who conceals his identity during his lifetime - after he dies his name will resound throughout the world’ (Amir Hasan 1992: 82).

4 Tradition ascribes illiteracy to many a saint, including the mystic poets, which is undoubtedly bound up with the anti-intellectualism of popular religion. Typical is the story from Shah ‘Abdul Latif’s life, who in his childhood during his first visit to the school learnt only the first letter of the Arabic alphabet alif and refused to learn any more, justifying his refusal by the words: ‘Alif - This is Allah, and I need not learn anything else’ (Mayne 1956: 147). This is reminiscent of the Punjabi mystic Bullhe Shah: ‘ilmoñ bas kareñ o yr ikko alif tere darkrLet us put a stop to knowledge, o friend, only one alif is required for salvation.(Tariq Rahman 1995: 23)

5Complete title of al-Hujwiri’s book is ‘Kashf al-mahjb li-arbab al-qulb’.

6 Through Shaikh al-Khuttali al-Hujwiri’s spiritual genealogy in the fourth generation goes back to Junaid (Junaid - Abu Bakr ash-Shibli -Abul Hasan al-Husri - Abul Fazl al-Khuttali - al-Hujwiri).

7  Abu Hanifa (690-767) - theologian, founder and eponym of Hanafi madhab, to which al-Hujwiri belonged.

8In the original halw-yi șbunı, sweet dish of almonds and honey, prepared with sesame oil, in various colours.

9 Ahl as-șuffa (‘the people of the veranda’) - Prophet Muhammad’s poor associates, without a home of their own and living under the awning of a mosque in Medina. Al-Hujwiri and subsequent authors depict them as he earliest Sufis. Certain medieval authors traced the etymology of the word șufıto șuffa. Al-Hujwiri lists various versions of the origin of the word așawwuf, but does not consider any of them absolutely convincing (al-Hujwiri 1926: 30).


10 Al-Hujwiri’s main predecessors are considered to be Abu Nasr as-Sarraj, the author of Kitab al-luma‘, ‘Abdur Rahman as-Sulami, the author of Ţabaqt as-șu fiyya, and Abul Qasim al-Qushairi, the author of Ar-Risalaf ‘ilm at-tașawwuf. '

11 Ahl-i hadıth - ‘People of the tradition’, bearers of the traditional ideology of Islam. Among them there were many Muslim scholars or muhaddith, engaged in the collection and critique of hadths. In this episode, apparently, the reference is to one of these scholars.

 12 An example of this attitude towards the mystics, his contemporaries, isgiven by Dara Shikoh in Majma‘ul-Bahrain: ‘The divines of our days invite disciples to a “pure beholding” of God, but none of those disciples ever attains the stage of an ‘rif, nor is he benefited by their discourses and, dying on the way of Suluk (journey) and Ţarikat (Path) never reaches God’ (Dara Shikuh 1990: 55).

13 Lahawur or Lohawar - the name of Lahore used is Muslim literature, including in al-Biruni’s Kit b al-Hind. The word awar, signifying a fort in the language of the Rajputs, forms a part of many South Asian toponyms (compare Peshawar, Kathiawar, Sonawar, etc.). The form ‘Lahanur’ is also to be found in Amir Khusrow Dehlevi’s works. In medieval Rajput sources the city was called Lavkot (Lava’s Fort) as Lava, one of Lord Rama’s sons, was considered to be the legendary founder of Lahore.

14 Precisely the fact that al-Hujwiri did not have the books from his library at his disposal, in V.Zhukovsky’s and R.Nicholson’s opinion, ccounts for the arbitrariness with which he quotes works of some of his predecessors.

15 Even before its conquest of Lahore by Ghaznavids the teaching of the Sufis were being preached there by a certain Shaikh Muhammad Isma‘il al-Bukhari (who died in 1056), whom probably al-Hujwiri did not find alive. The Islamization of Punjabi Hindus is ascribed to the Sultan Sakhi Sarwar, one of Mahmud Ghaznavi’s military leaders, whose tomb is to be found in the Old Fort. The name of a caste of Punjabi Muslims - Sulţanı- can be traced back to this soldier-saint.

 16 Depiction of similar imaginary meetings of the saints of different epochs was a favourite motif of the Muslim poetry as well as miniature painting (for example the miniature of the seventeenth century from the collection of the state Hermitage, depicting the meeting of the great Chishtiyya shaikhs with Abdul Qadir Jilani and Bu ‘Ali Qalandar). Sothat here Iqbal follows a particular tradition.

17 This is proved by yet another passage of the poem The Secrets of the Self, where Iqbal eulogizes Miyan Mir, as much ‘moderate’, conservative and universal as even Data Saheb: The holy Sheikh Miyan Mir Wali, By the light of whose soul every hidden thing was revealed, His feet were firmly planted on the path of Mohammed, He was a flute for the impassioned music of love. His tomb keeps our city safe from harm And causes the beams of true religion to shine on us. Heaven stooped his brow to his threshold. (Iqbal 1977: 118)


18 Apart from inscriptions of eulogy, addressed to Data Sahib himself, these are typical formulas of Sunni piety: AbBakr ham ch         Ka‘ba ‘Umar dar ţawf-i ‘Uthmn ab-i Zamzam ‘Alıhajj-i akbar ast Abu Bakr is like Ka’ba, ‘Umar is circumambulating it, ‘Uthman is the water of the Zamzam, ‘Ali is the Great Hajj.


1 Amir Khurd in Siyar al-awliya lists the names of Mu‘inuddin Sijzi’s predecessors in the silsila: Abu Ishaq ash-Shami, Khwaja Abu Ahmad Abdal Chishti, Abu Muhammad Chishti, Khwaja Yusuf Chishti, Khwaja Maudud Chishti, Khwaja Ahmad Chishti, Khwaja Haji Sharif, Khwaja ‘Uthman Harwani.With the last named, whowas Mu‘inuddin’s spiritual preceptor, the progress of the silsila on the territory of Khurasan comes to an end (Amir Khurd 1978: 94).

2 Mu‘izzuddin Ghori is more often referred to in Muslim historical literature as Muhammad Ghori; in Indian literary tradition, particularly in the famous poem P¸ithvıraj Raso by Chand Bardai, he bears the name Shihabuddin.

3 Amir Khurd’s assertion that Mu‘inuddin spent about twenty years with his preceptor Khwaja ‘Uthman Harwani, does not conform to the hagiographic story of his meeting with ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani in Baghdad. The latter passed away in 1166 and that is why Mu‘inuddin could visit him at quite a young age. The same applies to his meeting with Najibuddin Suhrawardi (who died in 1168).

4 Such is, for example, the hagiographic story of conversion of the Shi‘a vicegerent of Sabzwar town Muhammad Yadgar to Sunni Islam. He conducted himself with such animosity towards Sunnis who victimized people only for the fact that they bore the names Abu Bakr, ‘Umar or ‘Uthman (i.e. the names of the first three Caliphs, not recognised by Shi‘a). The effect of only one glance of Khwaja Mu‘inuddin was to make him repent of his delusions and became a pious Sunni (Rizvi 1986: 120-1). Amir Khurd narrates another symmetric story of the conversion of orthodox theologian Maulana Ziyauddin Hakim to the path of Sufism. The Khwaja visited the Maulana’s madrasa in Balkh, where he was implanting anti-Sufi sentiments. The Khwaja invited the Maulana to share a meal with him, during which all of a sudden the profundity of mystic teaching dawned on him. Later Maulana Ziyauddin became the Khwaja’s disciple and his khalıfa in Balkh (Amir Khurd 1978: 209). 5 Abu’l Fazl, in particular, writes: ‘In the same year that Mu‘izu’d-Din


Sam seized Delhi, he (the Khwaja) arrived in that city and, in order to lead a life of seclusion, he withdrew to Ajmer’ (Abu’l Fazl 1978: 178). 6 According to Faw’id al-fu’ad, Shaikh Husain Zanjani died earlier than al-Hujwiri, in which case Khwaja Mu‘inuddin could not have met him in Lahore. ‘Husayn Zanjani had lived in Lahore for a long time when their common pir said to Khwaja ‘Ali Hujwiri, ‘Go settle in Lahore’. ‘Ali Hujwiri protested: ‘But Shaykh Husayn Zanjani lives there’. ‘Go!’ said the pir, repeating his injunction. ‘Ali Hujwiri dutifully left and preceded to Lahore. He arrived there in the evening. The next morning he heard them reading the funeral prayer for Shaykh Husayn’ (Amir Hasan 1992: 119).

7 Bibi Hafiz Jamal’s name is given to the area to the west of Taragarh fortress, where the spring Chashma-i Hafiz Jamal was situated, by the side of which, on emperor Jahangir’s orders, in 1614 the country palace Chashma-i nur was erected and a regular park with reservoirs and fountains was laid out. The ambassador Thomas Roe left a detailed description of the palace and the garden (Foster 1965: 123-6).

8 Muqţa‘was in the Muslim medieval East the holder of an iqţa ‘, i.e. a fief, granted by the ruler to a private person on condition of performing a particular, most often, military service. The collection of taxes on the territory of iqţa‘was part of his responsibilities. In the Delhi Sultanate muqţa‘performed the role of administrative vicegerents of conquered territories.

9 Apparently, in view of the hazard of the journey to Ajmer, Mu‘inuddin’s great successors Nizamuddin Awliya and Nasiruddin Chiragh-i Dihli did not perform pilgrimage to his tomb, but limited themselves to the ziyarat of the tomb of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.

10 The cauldron has not survived, only the chronogram of the date of its installation remains, written by Mir ‘Atauddaula Kami Qazwini, one of the poets of Akbar’s court: The faith-cherished king, enthroned like Jamshid, The Khusraw of the age, Muhammad Akbar Made, without doubt, for the conquest of Chittor, A mortar-brazen-bodied and dragon-faced.  (Tirmizi 1968: 17)

11 A well-known anecdote is peculiar for Aurangzeb’s attitude towards music. After he had removed all the musicians from his court, the latter went past the emperor’s chambers with a funeral procession. On being questioned whom they were going to bury the musicians replied that music  had  died  and  they  were  going  to  bury  it. ‘Fine’,replied Aurangzeb, ‘bury it deeper, so that no sound is heard from the grave.’

12 Wet-nurses and nannies wielded great influence in the court of the Great Mughals and often donated ritual buildings, the most well-known of which was the mosque of Dai Anga, wet-nurse of Shah Jahan, in Lahore.  



1 The dates of life of these ‘founders’ are not indicative of even the lower time limit of the formation of literary norms in the modern Indian vernacular. In the majority of cases this time limit coincides with the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century, i.e. with the period of disintegration of the Great Mughals empire, is accompanied by the final loss of status of Persian language and the giving up of iglossia between Persian and Indian vernaculars.

2 kafı- strophic form with repeated refrain, of lyrical-mystic content; in the area of prevalence of Siraiki, Punjabi and Sindhi languages it was used for rendition during qawwlı.  

3He follows Ibn al-‘Arabi’s example, i.e. his faith and religion are determined by the Sufi teaching of wahdat al-wujd.

4 Hu - from the Arabic huwa - He; He is; it is used for the invocation of God at the time of dhikr. All the verses of Sultan Bahu end with this pious exclamation; it also became a part of his name.

5 Mir Dard poetically explained why there was no difference between the places of worship on the mystical level: Dair Th Ka‘ba thy but khnath Hum to sab mhmn the vn thıș. Ib-i khna Th In monastery, at Ka‘ba or in temple we all are guests; only Thee are the Master of the house. (Asad ‘Ali 1979: 156)

6The authorship of apocryphal of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, Faw’id as-salakın, is ascribed to Shaikh Farid himself. The fantastic legends about Shaikh Farid are collected in the malfat ascribed to him, Rhat al-qulub, supposedly compiled by Nizamuddin Awliya.The latter denied his authorship. According to Nasiruddin Chiragh-I Dihli’s reliable evidence ‘neither Shaikh ul-Isla¯m Fariduddin nor Shaikhul-Islam Nizamuddin, nor for that matter any of the Chishti saintsor preceding shaikhs of my silsila ever wrote any books’ (Hamid Qalandar 1959: 52)

7 The saint’s grandfather Qadi Shu‘aib was a Muslim judge.  His illustrious lineage and relations with the ruling dynasty are most likely just a legend.  Muhammad Ghauthi Shattari traces Baba Farid’s genealogy in the fifteenth generation to Caliph ‘Umar.

8 Jawahir-i farıdı, not a trustworthy source, narrates a typical story how Qarsum Bibi used to leave Farid alone in the forest for a long time, inculcating into him the aptitude for complete solitude and fasting. When after yet another prolonged absence he returned home, his mother started combing his hair. Farid could not control himself and cried out for pain. ‘You have wasted your time and have achieved nothing’, his mother said when she found him sensitive to pain (Nizami 1955: 24).

9 The following discourse of Baba Farid is quoted by Amir Khurd: ‘The dervishes prefer to die of hunger, rather than to borrow for the purpose of satisfying their own desires. Debt and relinquishment of the world are two opposite poles and they cannot be brought together’ (Amir Khurd 1978: 66).


10 Shaykh Abu SA‘id Abu’l-Khayr - may God have mercy upon him - use to say: “Whatever I have been told about prayers of the Prophet uhammad - peace and blessings be upon him - I have observed ... When I heard that the Prophet - peace and blessings be upon him -once erformed the inverted prayer (namaz-i ma‘kus), I went and, tying       a rope around my feet, suspended myself upside down inside a well and performed my prayers in this posture” ’ (Amir Hasan 1992: 86-7).

 11 These regalia were passed on from Shaikh Farid to Nizamuddin Awliya, and from him to Nasiruddin Chiragh-i Dihli. The latter did not consider any of his khalıfas to be capable of controlling the entire fraternity in a centralized manner and stipulated in his will that the regalia of the shaikhs should be buried together with him.

 12 The attitude to Maulana Nur-i Turk was always contradictory: in Ţabaqt-i Nașirı by Minhaj as-Siraj Juzjani, the authoritative medieval historian, he was called the leader of heretics (the Mulahid). Shaikh Nizamuddin Awliya, on the contrary, praised him and said that he was more pure than the rainwater (Amir Hasan 1992: 301-32).

 13 By a strange coincidence fate brought Baba Farid together with yet another famous medieval insurgent Sidi Maula (Sayyidi Muwallih), belonging to the sect of wandering mystics, the Muwallihs. He was for some time a disciple of the saint in Ajodhan, and having disregarded his warning about the peril of participation in political intrigues, he turned out to be involved in the conspiracy of the old Turkish aristocracy, which was dissatisfied with the accession of the Afghan clan of Khalji to power. In 1290 the conspiracy was unveiled, Sidi Maula was accused of couraging an attempt upon the life of Sultan Jalaluddin Khalji and was publicly executed. The Muslim historians interpreted the subse-quent hurricane and the famine, which broke out after his execution, as a proof of his innocence.

14 Baba Farid intended on a number of occasions to go for Hajj, but having recollected that his murshid Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki had never been to Mecca, he out of humility decided to abandon his plans (Amir Khurd 1978: 134).

15 Conversion of Hindus to Islam was not the main task of the hishtiyya silsila, and that is why the hagiographic literature of this fraternity does not highlight the proselytizing practice of their awliya. However, the folklore of many South Asian tribes and ethnic groups has preserved traditions about their conversion to Islam by some Muslim mystic or saint. The Punjab Gazetteer of 1913 recorded that the Siyals, the Khokars and the Dhudis, descendants of Rajput clans, as also the Tobes and the Jalhoras (castes of fishermen), claimed that they adopted Islam under the influence of Baba Farid’s preaching.

16 Nizamuddin Awliya recollected: ‘Once when I was present in the assembly of Shaykh al-Islam Farid ad-din, I saw a curl fall from his beard and alight on his chest. I said: “If the Shaykh permits, I have a request to make”. “What is it?” he asked. “A curl has fallen from your beard,” I replied. “If you permit, I want to keep it as an amulet.” “It is yours,” he replied from that time on whoever experienced grief or despair and would come to me asking for an amulet, I would give them that curl. They would take it with them and keep it till they were relieved of their affliction’ (Amir Hasan 1992: 153).


17 Hamid Qalandar cites in Khair al-majalis the only instance when Baba Farid lost his patience. A persistent dervish asked him for an old comb promising instead ‘a lot of blessings’. ‘Get out’, blew up Shaikh Farid in anger, considering the request to be foolish, ‘otherwise I will throw you and your blessings in the river’. On the way back from the cloister the dervish fell in the Sutlej and drowned (Hamid Qalandar 1959: 202).

18 According to Amir Khurd, Farid had seven khalıfas: Najibuddin Mutawakkil (the saint’s own brother), Badruddin Ishaq (the saint’s son-in-law), Jamaluddin Hansawi, Nizamuddin Awliya, Shaikh ‘Arif, Shaikh ‘Ala’uddin ‘Ali Sabir (founder of a derivative branch of the fraternity, Sabiriyya) and Fakhruddin Safahani. Early hagiographic sources give quite scanty information about Shaikh ‘Arif and ‘Ali Sabir and it is reasonable to assume that they were not close to the saint in his lifetime. Fakhruddin Safahani, who lived in Bilgram and had never been to Ajodhan, was given the khilfat-nama in absentia on Nizamuddin Awliya’s request.

19According to Jami in Nafahat al-uns, Nizamuddin took the final decision to go to Ajodhan under the impression of the yat of Qur’n heard by him at the time of prayers: ‘Has not the time come for thosewho have come to believe, so that their hearts submit while praying to Allah’ (57: 16).

20 The only instance when Nizamuddin provoked displeasure of his murshid is linked with the arrogance of learning. Shaikh Farid was studying with him ‘Awrif al-ma‘arif in quite an imperfect manuscript, correcting the copyist’s mistakes in the course of reading. Nizamuddin, tired of the breaks which were interrupting the studies, reminded his preceptor that a better and corrected copy was available with Shaikh Najibuddin Mutawakkil and that was the one which should have been used. The saint was indignant and sent him away with the words ‘Has the dervish no power to correct a defective manuscript?’ (Amir Hasan 1992: 109). In the seemingly inoffensive remark of the disciple the sainthad discerned a lack of humility and the impatience of presumption.

 21 The example of speculative inclusion of Baba Farid in the history of the Punjabi literature is the poem ‘Saif ul-muluk’ by Miyan Muhammad (1855) in Punjabi, where the author wrote: Many are the wise poets of the land of the Panjab, Whose kfıs, br-mhs, or baits and dohras shine. First stands Shaikh Fard, the saintly Shakarganj,Each word he uttered guides us on the righteous way.Then came Sulţn Bhu, a special man of God,Whose holy dohras are so glorious in both worlds,Bullhe Shah swam in the sea of Unity,His kafıs from the heart remove all unbelief. (Shackle 1993: 289)

Other Parts of the Book, Muslim Saints of South Asia:


Muslim Saints of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries --- Part 1

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries - Part 2

Muslim Saints of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part - 3

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 4

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 5

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 6

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 7

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 8

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 9

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 10

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 11

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 12

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 13

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 14

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 15

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 16

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 17

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 18

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 19

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 20

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 21

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 22

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 23

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 24

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 25

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 26

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part - 27

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 28

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 29

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 30

Muslim Saints Of South Asia: The Eleventh To Fifteenth Centuries Part – 31