The following short address and invocation of the blessings of the great Sufi saint Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti was delivered on the
5th Rajab (September 12th 2002) at the Dar-ul Uloom Mosque in Southampton, England. The event was sponsored by Jamiluddin Morris
Zahuri to celebrate the 'Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Saheb. Up to a hundred men were present in the mosque and there was a live phone link to
a nearby community centre where many ladies attended. Following Maghrib Namaz stirring addresses where delivered by the respected
Imam of the mosque (in English and Urdu) and by a much respected Hafiz of Southampton (in Urdu). The event concluded with Isha
Namaz and Langar was distributed to those present.
Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti of Sanjar and Ajmer
(God's blessings upon him).
Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, Sultan ul-Hind, Khawaja Saheb, Deputy of the Holy Prophet in India,
Crown of the Enlightened, - by these and many other epithets is he known and invoked. Here we
may add that it has been clearly shown that Khawaja Saheb was related on his mother's and his
father's side to the great Saint Ghaus-ul Azam (pbuh) and that the two met.
Like Ghaus Pak his fame has spread far and wide - why is that? Let us briefly trace his history.
At birth he was named as Muinuddin Hasan. He was born in Isfahan but he was brought up in
Sanjar hence he is sometimes called Muinuddin Hasan Sanjari or Sanjari Wali. Even in
childhood it was clear he was marked out by destiny for something unusual. He surprised his
revered mother, Bibi Mah Nur, by many examples of generosity to other children. One time on
the way to the Eidgarh in his new clothes he met a poor blind child and gave him his own new
clothes and took him to the prayers.
His father Khawaja Giyasuddin was gifted with a charitable disposition but he passed away
when Khawaja Saheb was barely fifteen. Thus orphaned, he was left alone in the world with a
garden and grinding stone as his inheritance.
He was alone in the cruel world. Then occurred a chance meeting that changed his life. In to his
small garden came a wandering dervish - Hazrat Ibrahim Qandoozi - he was much pleased with
the courtesy shown him by the boy and he chewed something in his own mouth and gave it to
him. Upon eating it a transformation came over him - he became displeased with the ways of
the world - he sold his garden and grinding stone and distributed the proceeds amongst the poor
and needy - then he set off on his travels in search of truth.
In the year 1220 AD his search was rewarded, as he became the disciple of Khawaja Uthman
Harooni, a great saint of the Chishti Order. Under his influence he soon became aware that
Sufism was in fact just another name for love and service to mankind.
For 22 years he served his spiritual master as they travelled across the Middle East. He carried
his master's tiffin box and bedding on his head. I am sure of this, if you were to ask the long
deceased inhabitants of those places he visited and if you were able to hear the answer you
would hear them say ' the memory is still green'.
Eventually his revered master, being well pleased with his service, appointed him as
Sajjadanashin - and thus his destiny to carry the torch of the Chishti Order to spread the
message of love and of service to mankind was fulfilled.
My own Shaykh Dr Zahurul Hasan Gudri Shahi Baba (May God bless his soul) puts it this way
"To him living without love was a contradiction in terms. It cannot be living. It may be
existing - like brutes. God in fact created us to love."
The time came when he visited Mecca and Medina and the choice of the holy Prophet
Muhammed fell upon him. The holy Prophet in a dream showed him the place of Ajmer in the
Indian subcontinent, and he was instructed to carry the light of truth to the suffering humanity
there. He was given a gift of a pomegranate from heaven.
Eventually his travels brought him to the desert town of Ajmer. There he had to overcome many
difficulties - the ruler, becoming afraid of his influence on the people, ordered him to leave -
following the divine mandate to serve God and obey the ruler, he left. He warned that he would
soon return and it so happened that an army came to Ajmer and deposed that ruler. The will of
Allah is not to be thwarted.
In Ajmer the cave where he performed a spiritual retreat for forty days and nights, his chilla, is
still treated as a place of great reverence and is visited by the pilgrims. The tomb of the founder
of my own order, the Gudri Shahi Order, stands just adjacent to it on a hill overlooking the
beautiful Anna Sagar lake.
In Ajmer he was a foreigner in a strange land, not even knowing the language or the customs,
but soon the power of his personality and simple philosophy impressed all that met him. His
fame was to be carried across the sub-continent.
In a world that was governed by the base instincts to survive at all costs and to kill or be killed,
he brought the message of caring for the downtrodden, of being kind to the orphan and the
destitute, of serving others selflessly, of tireless labour on behalf of those in need, of helping
the sick in body or mind, of kindness to animals, of common brotherhood and common
humanity. These things and much more are required of us by Allah, so that when we meet Him,
'He can be pleased with us and we with Him' as it is said in the holy Qur'an.
Khawaja Saheb taught that such service, when selfless, was an important kind of prayer. He
taught that people were enslaved to the love of this passing life, to greed, to selfish ambition, to
lust, to anger, to greed and to gold. Like Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi in the Masnavi, he taught
'why be a slave to silver and gold, break the chains O son, and be free'. To help free people
from this slavery was for him a prayer - and as you know prayer is of the utmost importance.
The place where Khawaja Sahib lived in a humble tenement became a place of pilgrimage for a
myriad of people. Mighty Emperors proceeded on foot to visit it, as did the millions of the
humble and poor. As we speak, in Ajmer, a half million devoted persons, business men, peons,
chai wallahs, clerks, teachers, doctors, craftsmen, housewives, beggars, industrialists, shop
keepers, actors - seek the pleasure of Khawaja Saheb. Hoping that the pleasure Allah had in
him will bring benefits to them.
Nor did he exclude the people of different religions and faiths, even today he is revered by
Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and so on for his love, and the
breadth of his humanity. We have to ask, if he had refused the people of different faiths and
beliefs how many of the Muslims here would be calling themselves as Muslims today. We
should bear in mind his example in our own dealings with the people we meet in our daily
lives. His message was like this - 'Come - and be helped'. The spiritual Baraka that he carried
gave hope to those without hope, light to those in darkness, relief to the oppressed, enthusiasm
to the depressed, clarity to the confused, calmness to the agitated, knowledge to the ignorant -
and love to all.
Now the question arises as to what was that Baraka? From whence did it come? The answer is
simple - it came, and it comes, from Allah alone - to Him be all praise. It came through the holy
Prophet Muhammed (upon whom be peace and blessings of God and on his family and his
followers). From the holy Prophet the Baraka was passed to his son-in law and beloved
companion Hazrat Ali Murtadha (upon him be peace).
From him it passed to Hazrat Khawaja Hasan Basri (pbuh),
then to Khawaja Wahid Zaid (pbuh),
Then to Khawaja Fuzail (pbuh),
and then to Khawaja Ibrahim bin Adhem (pbuh).
From him it passed to Khawaja Sadeeduddin (pbuh),
then Khawaja Abee Hubera (pbuh),
and then Khawaja Mumshad Alu Denoori (pbuh).
Then it came to the Founder and fountainhead of the Chishti Order, Hazrat Khawaja Abu Ishaq
Chishti (pbuh) , - the order came to be named from the town of Chisht (in what today would be
His Sajjadanashin was named as Khawaja Abu Ahmed Chishti (pbuh).
He was followed by Khawaja Abu Mohammed Chishti (pbuh).
In his turn came Khawaja Abu Yusuf Chishti (pbuh),
Then Khawaja Moudood Chishti (pbuh).
His successor was Khawaja Haji Sharif Zindani (pbuh),
Who passed on his blessings to Khawaja Uthman Harooni (pbuh),
Who was the beloved guide of Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti (pbuh).
Ya Khawaja Khawajagan. Ya Khawaja Khawajagan. Ya Khawaja Khawajagan.
This was the progression in history but Allah surrounds and encompasses time and history.
Thus we may say in answer to the question - from where comes the grace and bountiful
blessings - the baraka of the saints? - it comes from Him alone and all praise belongs to Him.
When Khawaja Saheb passed on from this world 789 years ago, it is said that some words
appeared mysteriously on his forehead
He was beloved of God and died in the love of God.
So now in Southampton, England, today, we ask simply that our remembrance of the dear friend
of Allah may cause His pleasure to fall on us. That in this time of anxiety and stress, of hostility
and narrow-mindedness, of polarised views, of war and talk of war, of conflict and discord,
the simple philosophy of 'live and let live' may be realised in the hearts, and in the minds, and
in the actions, of all our community.
Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri (Southampton Sep 12th 2002.)
Published by The Zahuri Sufi Web Site September 2002