Nizamuddin Auliya

Nizamuddin AuliyaFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sultan-ul-Mashaikh, Mehboob-e-Ilahi, Hazrat Shaikh Khwaja Syed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya (1238 - 3 April 1325) (Urduحضرت شیخ خواجہ سیّد محمد نظام الدّین اولیاء), also known as Hazrat Nizamuddin, was a famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order in the Indian Subcontinent, an order that believed in drawing close to God through renunciation of the world and service to humanity. He is one of the great saints of the Chishti order in India.[1] His predecessors wereMoinuddin ChishtiBakhtiyar Kaki and Fariduddin Ganjshakar. In that sequence, they constitute the initial spiritual chain or silsila of the Chisti order, which is widely prevalent in India and Pakistan.
Nizamuddin Auliya, like his predecessors, stressed upon the element of love as a means of realisation of God. For him his love of God implied a love of humanity. His vision of the world was marked by a highly evolved sense of secularity and kindness.[2] It is claimed by the 14th century historiographer Ziauddin Barani that his influence on the Muslims of Delhi was such that a paradigm shift was effected in their outlook towards worldly matters. People began to be inclined towards mysticism and prayers and remaining aloof from the world.[3]


Nizamuddin Auliya was born in BadayunUttar Pradesh (east of Delhi). At the age of five, after the death of his father, Ahmad Badayuni, he came to Delhi with his mother, Bibi Zulekha.[4] His biography finds mention in Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th century document written by Mughal Emperor Akbar’s vizierAbu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak.[5]
At the age of twenty, Nizāmuddīn went to Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan Sharif in Pakistan) and became a disciple of the Sufi saintFariduddin Ganj-i-Shakkar, commonly known as Baba Farid. Nizāmuddīn did not take up residence in Ajodhan but continued with his theological studies in Delhi while simultaneously starting the Sufi devotional practices and the prescribed litanies. He visited Ajodhan each year to spend the month of Ramadan in the presence of Baba Farid. It was on his third visit to Ajodhan that Baba Farid made him his successor. Shortly after that, when Nizāmuddīn returned to Delhi, he received news that Baba Farid had expired.Nizāmuddīn lived at various places in Delhi, before finally settling down in Ghiyaspur, a neighborhood in Delhi undisturbed by the noise and hustle of city life. He built his Khanqah here, a place where people from all walks of life were fed, where he imparted spiritual education to others and he had his own quarters. Before long, the khanqah became a place thronged with all kinds of people, rich and poor alike.
Many of his disciples achieved spiritual height, including Shaikh Nasiruddin Muhammad Chirag-e-Delhi,[6] and Amir Khusro,[5] noted scholar/musician, and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate.
He died on the morning of 3 April 1325. His shrine, the Nizāmuddīn Dergāh is located in Delhi,[7]and the present structure was built in 1562. The shrine is visited by people of all faiths, through the year, though it becomes a place for special congregation during the death anniversaries, or 'Urs, of Nizāmuddīn Auliyā' and Amīr Khusro,[4] who is also buried at the Nizāmuddīn Dargāh.

[edit]Key beliefs

Besides believing in the traditional Sufi ideas of embracing God within this life (as opposed to the idea that such partial merger with God is possible only after death), by destroying the ego and cleansing the soul, and that this is possible through considerable efforts involving Sufi practices, Nizamuddin also expanded and practised the unique features introduced by past saints of the Chisti Sufi order in India. These included:
  • Emphasis on renunciation and having complete trust in God.
  • The unity of mankind and shunning distinctions based on social, economic, religious status.
  • Helping the needy, feeding the hungry and being sympathetic to the oppressed.
  • Strong disapproval of mixing with the Sultans, the princes and the nobles.
  • Exhortation in making close contact with the poor and the downtrodden
  • Adopting an uncompromising attitude towards all forms of political and social oppression.
  • A bold stance in favour of Sema, which some considered unislamic. Perhaps this was with the view that this was in consonance with the role of music in some modes of Hindu worship, could serve as a basis of contact with local people and would facilitate mutual adjustments between the two communities.[8] In fact Qawwali, a form of devotional music, was originally created by one his most cherished disciples: Amir Khusro.
Nizamuddin did not much bother about the theoretical aspects of Sufism, believing rather that it were the practical aspects that counted, as it was anyway not possible to describe the diversified mystical experiences called spiritual states or stations which a practicing Sufi encountered. He discouraged the demonstration of Keramat and emphasized that it was obligatory for the Auliya (which roughly means the friends of God) to hide the ability of Keramat from the commoners. He also was quite generous in accepting disciples. Usually whoever came to him saying that he wanted to become a disciple was granted that favour. This resulted in him being always surrounded by people from all strata of society.

[edit]Ancestral history

The eldest son of 'Alī al-Naqī was Ḥasan al-'Askarī and the other son was Ja'far Bukhārī. After the death of 'Ali al-Naqi, Hasan al-Askari became the accepted Imām of both Shī'ah and Sunnī Muslims. Ḥasan al-'Askarī was killed at the age of 28. He had one son, Muḥammad al-Mahdī, who, at the age of five after the death of his father, disappeared from public view. That was in the time of the 'Abbāsid Caliphs. Knowing about the killings of all the Imāms and family members of the descendants of Muḥammad, Ja'far Bukhārī migrated to Bukhara inUzbekistan[citation needed]. After a few generations, one of his descendants called 'Alī, known as Dāniyāl, the grandfather of Nizāmuddīn Auliyā', migrated to the city of Badāyūn in Uttar Pradesh, India.

[edit]Ancestral lineage

  1. Muḥammad
  2. 'Alī bin Abī Ṭālib
  3. Husayn bin 'Alī
  4. 'Alī bin al-Husayn Zayn-ul'Ābidīn
  5. Muḥammad al-Bāqir
  6. Ja'far al-Ṣādiq
  7. Mūsā al-Kāḍhim
  8. 'Alī al-Riḍā
  9. Muḥammad al-Taqī
  10. 'Alī al-Naqī
  11. Ja'far Bukhārī
  12. 'Alī Aṣghar Bukhārī
  13. Abī 'Abdullāh Bukhārī
  14. Aḥmad Bukhārī
  15. 'Alī Bukhārī
  16. Husayn Bukhārī
  17. 'Abdullāh Bukhārī
  18. 'Alī , known as Dāniyāl
  19. Aḥmad Badāyūnī
  20. Nizāmuddīn Auliyā'