: 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.
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 without hesitation.
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
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.
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 quietly.
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.
Visits 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 Day-of- Reckoning).
Prophetic direction to go to Ajmer:
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