The company of Great Sufis imbued masses with excellent humanitarian ideals and generated in them an earnest solicitude for humanity and to render whatever service they could to fellowmen without regard to their race or creed. They believed in and fashioned their conduct on the Prophet’s advice that “God’s creatures are His family, and among His slaves He loves him most who serves His family with the greatest devotion.”
Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia is reported to have said about himself that “when a person comes to me and rclafes his troubles I feel twice as much distressed as him”.1 Another of his favourite dictums was : “On the Day of Judgement, nothing will carry greater weight than the desire to serve and to please.”2
Many soul-weary and broken-hearted persons would find refuge in the Khanqahs of the saints. The arms of the revered Sufis were ever open to welcome those whom fate had jilted or who had been forsaken by their kinsmen or the society. The dejected, the anguished and the outcast would come to them and find shelter, food, love and recognition. They would find the balm for their broken hearts and wounded spirits.
When the spiritual guide and mentor of Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia was sending him off finally to settle in Delhi, he had bestowed this blessing upon him : “You will be like a huge, shady tree under which God’s creatures will find comfort.”3 History bears witness to the fact that for full seventy years people came from far and near to find shelter and protection under his benevolent shadow. Thanks to the Sufi ascetics, there existed at hundreds of places in India such ‘huge, shady trees’ under whose merciful shade broken-down travellers used to find new life and freedom.
2. Siar-ul-Aulia, p. 28