Khwaja Garib Nawaz

Ajmer Sharif Dargah

Khawaja Garib Nawaz R.A.

Parentage :
Born in a town. Sariar, in the province of Siestan in the year 527 Hijri of Husain Sayed family and draws his lineage to Zain-ul-Abedein through 14 of his ancestors.
His father, Syed Ghayasuddin, was a rich merchant and, therefore, he led his childhood in comfort. He was 15 when his father passed away but his mother did not let him feel the demise and brought him up to her best capacity but soon she passed away leaving him alone in this wide world.
The demise of his parents effected his economic condition adversely. There was no income from the business. He subsisted on the income from the orchard he received in inheritance. He worked on his orchard. Once a Muslim mendicant Ibrahim Qandoozi happened to come to the orchard. The Khawaja offered a bunch of freshly picked ripe grapes to him but he drew a piece of oil cake from his bag and started chewing it. He gave the chewed piece to him who par took it. This had an instant effect on him and made him renounce the world and diverted him to spiritual activities. He sold away the orchard and other things, gave away the money to the poor and the needy, and set out in the direction of Samarkand, and Bukhara in search of knowledge.

Mazar of Khwaja Garib Nawaz


Knowledge :
The Khawaja received knowledge and higher education, at the great centers of leanings, Samarkand and Bukhara, under the tutelage of renowned teachers of his time. He learnt the Qu'Oran by heart and then the Tradition, Commentary, Jurisprudence, and other outer subjects. He then went in search of a perfect spiritual teacher at several places till he reached Harun, a town in Neshapur, failing on the high way to Iraq. There he met Saint Khawaja Usman whose presence comforted his disturbed soul. Khawaja Usman admitted him as his disciple. Khawaja Usman traced his spiritual relation to Khawaja Ishaq Shami Chisti and therefore Khawaja Moin-uddin suffixed the word Chisti after his name.

The Haj and the Travels :
Having received permission and the status of spiritual deputy of his teacher, Khawaja Moin-uddin Chisti served him for 20 years and gained spiritual insight. In the company of his teacher, he traveled over many Islamic countries; met many saints and drew intrinsic knowledge; went on pilgrimage; performed the Haj; visited the holy tomb of the Prophet.

Visit to the tomb and order to go to India :
He meditated at the tomb for several days. During this time he received orders from the Prophet to proceed to India.
"0, Moin-uddin! You are the helper of the Faith. We have granted you the kingdom of India. Go there and stay, at Ajmer. Your stay there will remove Faithlessness and glorify Islam.
This pleased him greatly but it worried him where Ajmer was in India. He dozed of in the state, and saw the prophet. He was shown the world and the mountain near Ajmer. He was awarded the title of the Chief of the holy-men (Qutub-ul-Mashaekh)
He set out on his journey, reached Baghdad where he met Shahab-uddin Umar Suharawardy and Davood Kirmani. There from he went to Hamadan then to Tabrez and proceeded to Isphan. Here he met Khawaja Bakhtiyar kaki that was enlisted as his disciple. During his stay at Isphan, one day he stayed to rest in a beautiful garden of the ruler of the city. The place he sat was meant for the ruler of the city, Yadgar Mohammad. His servants asked the Khawaja to move away but he refused to do so. In the meantime Yadgar Mohammad came there. He saw the Khawaja, grew furious, lost temper, and called names. The Khawaja looked at him angrily, this tremble him and he fell unconscious. The Khawaja took some water and sprinkled on his face. He came to his senses, and was drawn towards him. He offered all his wealth but he declined and ordered him to return all such money as he had acquired unjustly. He compiled the orders. He freed his slaves and slave-girls and became his follower. When he had completed his outward and inner education, the Khawaja granted him the office of his deputy. From Isphan he went to Kharkan, and then to Astrabad and saw the local saint Sheikh Nasir-Uddin Astrabadi. From Astrabad he traveled via Harat; Subzwar, Hissar, to Balakh and stayed in the monastery of Sheikh Ahmad Khazroya. Here lived one Hakim Zia-uddin who was taken over by Philosophy and Rationalism and who disbelieved certain fundamentals of Islam. One day the Khawaja hunted a deer, and roasted meat on fire, the Hakim chanced to pass there. The Khawaja gave him a piece to eat. This changed his condition, fell on his feet, and threw away the books on philosophy and medicine into the river and trudged the path of divinity.
From Balakh he proceeded to Ghazni where he impressed the importance of Jihad upon the people. Then he entered India and reached Multan where he learnt Sanskrit and Pali languages. He meditated at the tomb of Data Ganj Bux Hajveri for some time in Lahore. He arrived at Ajmer via Delhi on the 10th Moharram 561 Hijri.

Garib Nawaz ki Dargah
Condition of India :
On his arrival in India, the country was in a state of depression. On her northwestern border the kingdom of the Ghaznavite was fighting her civil strife. Foreign invasions weakened her and the previous Islamic domination on India was on the decline, Social condition in India was deteriorating. Every man was at war with the other. Un touchability was rampant. Good things of life were reserved for the elite's. People suffered. The author of 'Seair-ul-Auliya' says "The darkness of Ir. religion had overcast the eastern part of India and idolatry was common. People worshipped stone, trees, houses, cow, and dung. People were thrown deep into the pits of irreligious. "

Old Dargah Khawaja Garib Nawaz

Arrival at Ajmer :
Khawaja Moin-uddin Chisti arrived at Ajmer in 1165 AD. There were no Muslims in Ajmer still Khawaja Sahib selected it center for his activities. In the initial stages of his stay some incidents so occurred as made him well known.

Wondrous Powers :
Raja Rai Pithora of the Chohan dynasty of Ajmer ruled over the place. He stayed at a place where Raja's camels were stabled. The camel drivers returned with the camels from the grazing grounds in the evening and objected to his stay and the Royal sepoys removed him from the place forcibly. Khawaja Sahib moved away to another place saying "Now, the camels shall sit here." The other day when the camel drivers tried to raise the camels they failed to do so. They realized of their misbehavior to a holy man, beseeched of his pardon, which he readily granted. He asked them that whoever made the camel sit would raise them. When the camel drivers returned they saw the camels moving about. The news of this strange anecdote reached the ears of the Raja and the people flocked to him in droves.

The non-Muslims grew angry with him because he was staying by the side of Ana-Sagar especially because he and his followers made their ablution on the its bank. The conservative Brahmins believed that the Muslims were impure and their touch had turned the tank dirty so they put restrictions with regard to their use of it for ablution. His followers complained to the saint of the unjustified behavior of the Brahmins. The Saint asked them to bring water from the tank in a bowl. As soon as the bowl was full, water in the tank began to recede and in a short time it dried up.

The Raja was not happy with his stay in Ajmer and started harassing him one way or the other. When nothing worked, he put the yogis after him. Jiapal, the Chief priest of the temple, came to face him along with his disciples. Holy man's presence cowed him with fear. The saint gave him some water to drink, as soon as he drank it, his condition changed and was. Drawn towards Islam.

Many of the royal servants embraced Islam because of the saint. Raja's daughter too became a Muslim whose Muslim name is Bibi Jamal and is buried near the saint's grave. The events made the Raja all the angrier and he threatened him to evict from Ajmer. In reply to the threats he said:

" We turned him out and entrusted him". The holy man's words proved prophetic. Shahab-uddin Mohammad Ghouri was directed by him in dream to invade India. He succeeded in his attacks.

Khawaja Garib Nawaj Dargah Sharif

Propagation of Islam :
From the land of atheism i.e. Ajmer he started the spiritual movement of the propagation of Islam. His efforts bore fruit and within a short period of sixteen years the condition of Ajmer changed. It became the nerve center of moral and spiritual leadership in India, leveled the way for a grand religious and social revolution, and provided opportunity to countless people to lead a life of equality and honor. The mission continued for about 50 to 60 years and brought seven lakh people into the folds of Islam. He spent most of his life in ushering the social and spiritual change and in the service of Islam.

Character :
Love of the Prophet: The saint bore deep love for God and His Prophet. He mentions the Prophet with intense love in his writing. Usually he cried when read the Tradition and instructed his followers to follow them.

Hard Life :
He spent most of his time in prayer and meditation; slept little, said his morning prayers with the ablution of the late night prayers; recited the whole of the Qu'oran during the night and one during the day.

Kind and Forgiving: He was kind and forgiving. Once a man came to him with the intention of murder. He read his intention he treated him very kindly and asked him, to do what he had intended. The man was ashamed and requests him to punish him. The saint replied, " The mendicant's habit is: whoever does evil to them, they treat him well." He forgave the man who became his follower.

Loved his Followers: He loved his followers and treated them kindly. He prayed in the Kaaba for the continuance of the Chistia order, till the Day of Resurrection. The order for the reason still survives and peoples flock to it irrespective of caste and creed. Saints of the Order are also found everywhere in India.

Ajmer Sharif - Khawaja Garib Nawaz

Magnanimity and Generosity :
In spite of his renunciation of worldly things and frugality his monastery was famous for his generosity and magnanimity. So much food was cooked in his kitchen that a poor, a beggar, or needy never went hungry from his gate. One who demanded got. He is so called the Gharib - Nawaz (One who endears the poor). A large Kitchen even today serves the hungry and the poor from the campus of his monastery. His tomb is one of the holiest places in India where pilgrims come from every corner of the subcontinent to pay their homage of love and respect.

Books :
The Saint did not leave a regular book but several books have been brought after editing his numerous articles. One such book is Dallil-ul-Arfeen edited by Khawaja Bakhtiyar Ka'aki.

Death :
Sier-ul-Aqtab (Biographies of the Saints) mentions that he closed the door of his room after saying the late evening prayer. People sitting out of the room heard as if some one was stamping his feet. They thought that the Saint was deep in trance. Towards the end of the night the stamping noise ceased. There was no response from inside when knocked at the time of early Morning Prayer. The door was broke opened, people saw that the Saint had already passed away. The date was 6, Rajab-ul-Marjab 633 Hijri.

Khwaja Garib Nawaz

Golden Words of Khwaja Garib Nawaz R.A.

His Sayings :
    * One who forsakes the Namaz or the Shairah is a disbeliever.
    * Charity is better than saying prayer a hundred times.
    * To abuse a believer is like raping his own sister or mother. The prayer of such a man is unacceptable.
    * Crying in distress, saying elegies, tearing of clothes, is equal to shedding of the blood of 70 Muslims.
    * The faithful keeps three things friendly Renunciation, Illness, and Death.
    * Three persons will not smell the parodies, one is the liar, two is a miser, and three is a cheat.
    * Four are great sins in the spiritual conduct: (i) laughter in the grave-yard, (ii) eating and drinking in the grave-yard, (iii) teasing the people, (iv) not to tremble at the mention of the name of God

Dargah Sharif