Muslim Sufi ideology had been spread by the saints who came from various Islamic countries. The cultural and religious atmosphere of India was very favorable for Sufism which has a power to move the minds towards humanity and philanthropy. Quran teaches us that we must love God and the effect of which produces love for his creations. Sufis in their effort followed the commands of Almighty. They tried to come near all sorts of human beings and understood their agonies and yearnings. They had the power to absorb the sadness of others in them and infuse a spirit of joy so that a congenial society may be formed. The spiritual orders in which people enter through someone who has the capability of evoking conscience. They not only make men by nature human but they try to inculcate a spirit among all which they obtained from the teachings of Islam. They had been closely following the religion which was then prevailing over the society. They adopted the good aspects of other religions and amalgamated such views with their own ideology such kind of noble scheme brought the mankind near to each other. This became the basis of integration and communal harmony.
Shah Mohammad Kazim Qalander established a shrine at Kakori about two hundred years ago to spread the message of humanity and to find out the solution of the problems of human beings around. It has captured the hearts so much so that even today the place is famous as a Solace where people gather and find the balm for their wounds and cure of their diseases which had penetrated not only body but the souls as well. Shah Kazim Qalander lit a candle which spread light of learning and kindled the inner self of those who came to him in quest of real knowledge. Shah Kazim Qalander made his eldest son as his spiritual heir and thus he acquired the holy seat of his father.
Shah Turab Ali Qalander eldest son of Shah Qazim Qalander excelled in all spheres of Sufi system. He diffused the knowledge that he attained from his spiritual guide and from his father for a long time from this holy place and became famous almost throughout the world. Shah Turab Ali Qalander excelled in every aspect of the Sufi ideology his father so long established for which a separate article is needed. Then came Shah Haider Ali Qalander who was born in 1791 was a guide of the knowledge of the ultimate reality. Internally he was a reformer who showed the right path to the believers. No desire to be famous he sat in the corner as son fixed in the definite sphere and scatter splendor upon known and unknown universes. He attained tranquility of soul due to the satisfaction after getting knowledge of God. After his father he lived for a short time of about 9 years but before his becoming the head of the Khanqah he accomplished so many by his light of learning. During the period of his headship his younger brother Shah Taqi Ali Qalander shouldered his responsibilities and imparted knowledge to those who had a desire to know the secrets of the universe and nature. He was a consummate scholar of mysticism. Shah Ali Akbar Qalander was the 3rd head of the system after Shah Mohammad Kazim Qalander who founded the monastery. Shah Ali Akbar Qalander due to attributes of universal appeal that he had attracted a large number of people and maintained the spiritual traditions up rightly. Following the Islamic law he brought into practice the mystic way into practice and blended it so happily that it became appealing to all. Shah Ali Anwar Qalander was succeeded by his father Shah Ali Akbar Qalander who headed the Khanqah for 30 years. He started educating the devotees of Khanqah even during the period of his father and achieved fame as a great Sufi and a scholar. He wrote number of books which became reference volumes as far as mysticism is concerned. No one had written so much and so valuable before him. His eminence even reached to the abroad and established the reputation of Khanqah-e-Kazimya.
Shah Habeeb Haider Qalander, 7th sajjadanashin of the Khanqah. The period of Shah Habeeb Haider Qalander can be called the Renaissance of the shine. He had all those qualities which a Sufi must possess such as humbleness, humanity, forbearance, mercy, love and concord. He was a glaring example of a perfect human being who devoted his whole life to the service of humanity. He was a picture of self denial. Shah Habeeb Haider Qalander was a very charming person as far as his physical appearance is concerned. People came closer to the system in large number after casting glance upon his enchanting face and became his follower. He lived for 54 years and remained the head of the shrine for 30 years during which he toiled hard to maintain the traditions and promote the spiritual system. Shah Habeeb Haider Qalander had no son to succeed him. He had a daughter but since a male member could only succeed the pious seat so after his demise his younger brother next to him Shah Taqi Haider Qalander had succeed his elder brother. The custom was for the time being changed as his own elder son was under age and just started the prescribed syllabus of the shrine. Shah Taqi Haider Qalander was so knowledgeable that he was titled as ocean of knowledge. He compiled, authored and modified so many books of high order on Sufi ideology despite his prolonged illness and so many physical problems. He gave his valuable time to only learning and gaining spiritual perfection and educating people the mystic practices which were hard to follow but he made it comprehensive for a common man. After five years of his tenure he also left for his heavenly abode. Still his son had to complete his studies and still his age was less than required. So Shah Ali Haider Qalander the youngest brother of Shah Habeeb Haider Qalander became Sajjadanashin and educated his nephews. Shah Ali Haider Qalander was an expert of Genealogy and his book “Tazkira-e-mashaheer-e-Kakori” earned fame for him. He was a great admirer of the family of Prophet and wrote volumes on Hazrat Ali [the cousin, companion and son in law of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H.] with authentic references from the history of Islam. Shah Ali Haider Qalander left a will in which he restored the custom that the eldest son will be the head of spiritual system and ‘Mutawalli’ to manage the affairs of Khanqah. According to that will Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander followed the commands of his uncle and became Sajjadanasheen. He continued to be the same for 56 years. He left the world in October 2003. During his lifetime his eldest son Shah Ain ul Haider alias Zia Mian finished the prescribed course and learnt well the spiritual practices. Seeing his abilities his father in 1971 declared him as his spiritual heir and proclaimed him as his great vicegerent. He also had clad him in holy dress belonged to his sacred predecessors. This was told by Dr. Abrar Ahmed of Kanpur who was witness and present there at that point of time. Zia Mian inherited the endurance from him father and it was put to test after he became the head of the spiritual establishment. Patience and total dependence on God is that opulence which can be ascertained by those who do not have it and who do not have inner satisfaction. Despite having enough wealth to live, people are not satisfied for they are not internally peaceful. They do not get tranquility which satisfaction of soul provides. Reverse to this situation, some godly persons due to their self-denial, true worship to God, philanthropy, truthfulness, virtues, get the power to not only attain that intrinsic pleasure, but they are competent enough to infuse this spirit into the within of others. Moreover, because of which they have large crowd around them. However, sometimes they live in wilderness yet people come to them and that wilderness becomes an abode of such people. They are called Sufis and their heart throbs just to serve humanity. The more they render their services to humanity the more they rise high spiritually.
Hazrat Shah Mohammad Kazim Qalander who after attaining perfection from his spiritual guide settled in a graveyard at Kakori district Lucknow, and started spreading the message of humanity, the place is now called Takiya Sharif Kazmia, Kakori.All Sufis firmly believe and preach Quranic verses in which God instructs Prophet to declare that let them be on their faith and believers should stick to their faith, which clearly means Islam allows no clash based on faith. Since Sufis are broad-minded and loving therefore the people of different beliefs come to them. In Kakori Hindus visit in large number due to the loving and humanitarian approach and all embracing ideology. This Khanqah is a pride of a democratic and secular nation. All heads of this pious institution presented the real picture of Islam, which is a religion of love, concord and kindness, and never allows oppressing the faith of others. The divine favors are for everyone, for Allah is a creator and preserver of the world known and unknown. This ideology of integration has been successfully practices and implemented by Sufis, who conjoin all with one thread of love. Maharaja Tikait Rai a disciple of Shah Kazim Qalander, was a minister in the court of Nawab Asif-ud-daula of Awadh, laid the foundation stone of this monastery and below the ground level of this Khanqah (monastery) intense devotion of a Hindu eternally found place.
The founder of Kakori khanqah Shah Kazim Qalander and his son Shah Turab Ali Qalander composed marvels in poetry, in praise of Lord Krishna. Aesthetic perfection of his personality stands revealed in their words. Krishna who playfully showered the colors of ultimate reality through his flute and through his lovable actions with his mates and implied the justification of the pleasant union with the loved one and at the same time separation with the object lie deep in the heart. He is a symbol of selflessness and perfection of love. While in Bhagwad Gita we see the flowers of philosophy blooming with all grace and depth and on the other side we find glimpses of truth in the mirror of beauty and music. These traits of Lord Krishna captured the fancy of Shah Kazim Qalander and his son Shah Turab Ali Qalander. In addition, the poetry thus captured the hearts of those who searched to find the consummation of self. The love juice of Shri Krishna ran in the spirits of these Muslim Saints. The process of communal harmony goes on in this khanqah, not only Maharaja Tikait Rai But several Hindus have been benefited here. Lala Beniram was a local resident who absorbed the love of Shah Kazim Qalander in him so much so that when after his death his body was put upon the pyre his heart remained untouched by the fire, and it was not turned into ashes so it was buried in the premises of the khanqah.
This memorable anecdote was narrated by one of his descendent who lights up still the inaugural candle of annual Urs(death anniversary of Shah Kazim Qalander). Centuries have passed but this custom has been maintained by the descendants of Lala Beniram.
About a century ago Babu Awadh Behari Lal became the devotee of Hafiz Shah Ali Anwar Qalander- the 5th head of this monastery. Babuji urged to see Lord Krishna in reality and placed his longing before Shah Ali Anwar Qalander and the desire was fulfilled. He saw Lord Krishna in different adorable facets through his very physical eyes. Babuji lived his whole life in this surrounding and ended his journey here as well. In the present scenario Sachin Khare, visited this shrine. He became the devotee of Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander. Being enamoured by the charm of this Sachin says that he sought an Ideal and he is luckily to found it. The thick curtains and veils of materialism have been removed. The bright self-stands revealed. He says that he has developed telepathy with them, which is better than any joy that a man can possess.After Shah Kazim Qalander, eight spiritually superior descendant scattered odor of humanity all around. In Oct 2003, eighth head of this shrine Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander left for his heavenly abode. For 56 years, he gracefully occupied the sacred seat of his predecessors and served humanity by praying for those who were suffering either physically or internally. He lived with sustained labor to earn his living. He endeavored to get gold out of clay. Besides, worship to God, he himself worked with laborers in his fields. He had the habit to make the barren lands fertile. He harmonized Shariyat (principles of Islam) and Tariqat (mystic way of life). He gave his days and nights to grief stricken people and never cared of his own comforts, he did not liked lethargic people who remained work-less. He was always particular to maintain all the traditions of this sacred monastery. He simplified the logic and mysticism and made it understandable to common person with his short but eloquent sentences. Hardly delivered sermons but influenced always the minds. His words had always been valuable, because he uttered things quietly but forcefully. As far as his intimate knowledge of self is concerned, he excelled high and revealed wide variety of moods and methods to bring about moral renovation in the loosening souls so that absolute sincerity may become part and parcel of life. When we followed his suggestions a refinement appear in the inner self, which inspired us to suppress physical urges and came out of the net of elusiveness of the mundane glamour around us. He himself had trodden the path of devotion to the Providence and made others tread on it aiming the object which could elevate our soul and which could make life harmonious. He had the extraordinary power to overwhelm his pupil with the perpetual joy, which he attained after surrendering his whole being before the wishes of the Creator. Especially in his musical assemblies, he transferred the very spirit of rapture to those who long for it with the gentle movement of his eyes. I experienced that he had always been ready to pour the pious wine of heavens into the spirit of his followers so that infatuation may reach to such an extent that all ego, all self care may merge into Real Being whose love should be first and last priority of human life. The divine beauty, light and its color inspired Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander. He himself got the ecstasy and he had exposed secrets of the world hidden to human eyes. He lavishly showered bounties in shape of soft and resonant waves upon the love-laden souls in such a way that worldly logic was dumb founded. Assembly called Mehfil-e-sama is special to Sufi sect in which hymns, Naats (poetry in praise of prophet) and Bhajans (poetry based on Hindu philosophy) are being sung there. These assemblies are held just to form a habit to concentrate to divinity and for abstention from sins and wrong. Those who join these meetings feel that a current of alacrity starts flowing into the veins within. Ecstasy makes mind forgetful of cares and miseries of life and this forgetfulness is the first step to the awakening of super conscience, such state of mind due to exhilaration comes when effulgence seems to force the way to the realm of soul.
In such Mehfils, Hazrat Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander remained always a source of inspiration. Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander ascended the seat of his ancestors with mind brilliant, soul purified, sight brightened by wisdom and action inspired by learning. He was the youngest head of his monastery. Before that, he was a shikari, whose aim was always correct. In the darkness even on hearing the sound of the prey, he could hit the target successfully. He said that if a target comes in his range, it was bound to be hit. The same thing continued throughout his life. He left a benign and everlasting impact on large number of people and always endeavored to make the human life devoid of selfishness and full of love. The altruism in him urged him to always have concerned for the well-being of others. Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander had always been emphatic about the basic principles of Islam and with the same emphasis; he promulgated the idea of unity in diversity. He had always been particular about Namaaz (congregation) and Roza (fast). He was a first head who went for pilgrimage to Mecca and Madina. He said that one must comply in every situation the orders of his Master above. In spite of all this, he tried to raise the level of morality by turning behaviors onto tenderness, affection, sincerity and modesty.
Universally recognized journalist D.F. Karraka of Mumbai, remained his devotee for the whole life, which he mentioned in his books Then came Hazrat Ali. Maulana Sayed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi- a great scholar of Islamic theology had great deal of respect for Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander. The spiritual order of the family of Ali Mian has been saved and preserved here in this khanqah, as his one of his ancestors authorized Shah Kazim Qalander to use it while admitting a disciple in the fold. That authority remains with every head of this monastery. Maulana Shah Zaid Abul Hasan Farooqui of dargah Abul khair Delhi, Khwaja Hasan Sani Nizami of dargah Nizamuddin Aulia, Deewan Sayed Zainul Abidin of dargah Ajmer Shareef and so many Sufis of high order cherished reverence for the outstanding character and life of the head of this shrine. Wise, far-sighted, large hearted, with deep insight into human nature Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander always showed his disciples the right direction and suggested them to remain away from hatred, revenge, envy, ruthlessness and idleness. On every occasion when he admitted anyone in his spiritual order, he would ask him not to hurt your fellow beings by your hand or by your tongue. He was always compassionate and courteous to even those who were not true to him. He never disappointed the people come for getting his favor which they thought could solve their problems. Once very pathetically, he described his physical inabilities persisting pain due to arthritis and heart ailment. Regardless of all, he would hear others and supplied the wants considering that by doing this he might get good wishes and prayers which might please his Lord above who may pardon him and life after death may become beautiful. For 56 years, he served the khanqah and commanded respect from all sorts of people. Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander in the pious assembly provided elixir to the souls of the people who came to discover the reality of Providence and provided it with the effect of music and songs full of devotion and love which produce hilarity in him and he soared high and reached to the world of fancy as a result of which he got hints that a divine light might force its way in the realm of his vision. That excites joy in him which diffused grace all around and at that moment an infatuation for Unseen Beauty Strengthened faith and tranquility of mind prevails over the self of seekers. Such occasions occurred so many times but once it was special for me. The annual Urs was going on and sacred assembly was at its best. I reached near him while the following couplets of Hasrat Mohani were being sung:
Khirad kaa name junoon pad gaya junoon ka khirad,
Jo chahe apka husn-e-karishma-saaz kare
(Sagacity assumed the name of frenzy and frenzy of sagacity, Bravo! thy beauty of miracle can make anything possible.)
His eyes and lips smiled and he took hold of my hands. Yes! There was nobody who shared this boundary with me. It is beyond explanation for explanation will destroy its charm. On this favor I offered the prayer of gratefulness and that was the only time when I did so.
There was another instance which reflects the similarity of Zia Mian with his father I composed the following poem and read it to Zia Mian he asked me to write the same on his diary. There was no reaction from him about the ghazal. Years passed and I thought that the ghazal could not impress him. It was in 1998 that he came to my place and told to me that the poem is sounding in his being. The ghazal goes as under:
Duroon-e- Mahfil-e-yaran wafa shaar biya,
Ba Soo-e-sahne chaman shahid-e-bahar biya.
Khusha bahar-e-junoon marhaba sitamgar-e-mun,
Bubin ke halat-e-daman-e-taar- taar biya
Tamam jalwa-e-husnat nisar-e-jalwaye to,
Biya biya ke tu-e-shan-e-kirdagar biya.
(Unto the assembly of friends oh! faithful come, to the lawn of heart O! witness of season of flowering come. Hail! The spring of the madness of love and sweet oppressor, Look at the torn skirt of my garment. The whole system of beauty is in full vigor to sacrifice itself on thy grace. Come- come- thou art the grandeur of the Lord Above.)
Late Junaid khairabadi sang it. Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander received the effect so quickly that he was drowned in the ocean of rapture and great tones. His younger brother Shah Mujtaba Haider Qalander was all appreciation so much so that afterwards he explained the couplets in his own style very terse and very elegant, but unfortunately in my absence. Those present there described it to me. The mystic meanings onrush of his delight made hidden conspicuous. When the ghazal was being sung Maulana Jalal-ud-din Abdul Mateen danced in ecstasy the whole crowd stood up to pay regards to his spiritually brisk state. It was a very pleasant sight. The whole atmosphere was fulgurated.
I cannot forget that night when all of a sudden Zia Mian appeared. That time I was hearing my own ghazal in the voice of famous ghazal singer Ashok Verma on tape recorder. His resonant voice matched with the tenderness of ghazal. I switched off recorder but he showed interest to hear it.
The two couplets which go as under made the situation startling:
“Lakiren mere hathon ki yakayak Jagmagati hain,
Mere hathon me jis lamha Tumhara haath ata hai.
Bawakte khaas mujhko munkashif karta hai woh mujhpar,
Woh apni shan-e- yaktai ka jalwa yon dikhata hai.”
(All at once the lines of my hands brightened up, It is the time when thou place thy hand upon that of mine. At a fairly particular time He reveals me upon myself, that way he exhibits the shining pride of his oneness.)
Hearing the above couplets he kept on asking me to rewind the tape. Gradually he the effect gave wings to his thoughts. He transcended the limitations. He was physically present before me but the direction of his flight was not known to me. I tried to bring him back to the world of senses but all was in vain. He responded not as I delicately called him. I was confounded. I found no way out. Suddenly power was cut. His senses which dared not before lovingly touched him. He opened his eyes and I found the spiritual radiance therein. He ordered- Bring a glass of water, read those couplets blow it with breath on the water drink it and make me drink. I followed his commands. At another time he imparted upon me that first couplet is the reflection of a verse of Quran. The second is the clear translation of a Hadith. At the time of the victory over Mecca people accepted the faith and put their hands upon the hands of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) in order to show their loyalty to him. At that juncture God declared in Surah Fateh that those who put their hand on your hand God’s hand was upon it because your hand was the hand of God. The Hadith describes a condition of Prophet when he was lost in the remembrance of God and could not recognize anybody around and that state was changed. He described that condition in which he had such links with creator that even the nearest angels and any messenger of God could come in between him and his Lord above. Here one can understand as to why he bade-adieu his senses for the time being. Zia Mian always followed the commands of his father. Shah Mujtaba Haider Qalander the younger brother of Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander taught him all prescribed course of this monastery consists of Islamic Sharia and imparted intimate knowledge of God as well. The present head Zia Mian thus turned out to be an erudite of the subject and became the picture of humility and modesty, which is the first prerequisite to become a real Sufi. However, he never studied in schools yet privately learned Hindi and English to the level of graduation.Shah Mujtaba Haider Qalander at the time of making him the head of the monastery uttered an Arabic phrase, which meant adherence to goodness is better than any miracle. This adherence demands on every difficult situation a new and fresh conception to erase those problems and to cross with success always blocks and voids created by circumstances. One has to be careless of his life and make things set for righteousness at any cost. Zia Mian has these attributes in abundance. He has always served this monastery humbly and ego never touched him.
The noted spiritually rich personalities of the Kakori shrine are called Qalanders. This title is given to those who after renunciation of the world and its comforts reach to the highest point of perfection they get mystic power to rise high to the divinity and whenever wish come down to the humanity. They sometimes live in trance but awareness of around always remain awakened in them. They are dedicated to the welfare of the best creation of God and to the worship of God and that comes to such an extent that they forget their own self- self which is often burden on them. Decidedly, God lives in them with all His names, and meanings of that name.
Qalander is that great man who is a reflection of Allah, a pearl of the ocean of love, effulgence of the candle of creator, a drop of the river of love, an atom of the desert of love, knower of labyrinths of nature, out of all greed’s and desires. A divine shelter, careless of faith and infidelity, knowledge and trust. Beyond time and above confinement. He understands that everything in him is fancy which the fancy of omnipotent self is. He with the help of his absorbability in Reality ruins his fancies of his attributed actions moreover his self- which is nothing but imagination. He gets insight full of faith before which objects stand revealed with their objectives and he considers all this as the degree of existences and aspires therein to the extent that he steps into a realm beyond imagination and reaches to the position of oneness with God. Being engrossed he under stands in the details of oneness the brief of oneness. From this position of oneness all at once he is lost in the harmony of unity. People deem it that they are round and bend but that is not so. They are lost in the love of God. Zia Mian has a very kind and helping heart and has no sense of superiority as a head of a great khanqah. Mr Yogendra Singh advocate has close relations with Zia Mian. He told me that his wife a patient of Cancer was admitted in S.G.P.G.I hospital, Lucknow. She was then on the last legs of her journey of life. Zia Mian just by chance visited there. That was the time she was needing blood and it was not available Zia Mian offered his blood to be transfused Yogendra was little hesitant but he said that perhaps you don’t want Muslim blood to be transfused in the body of your wife. This worked and Yogendra had no option but to surrender. This act of benevolence will always remain fresh in the heart of Yogendra as a famous saying friend in need is friend indeed has a practical meaning in the act of Zia Mian. My father late Mr. Moinuddin Hasan Kakorvi was his uncle and teacher. Throughout his life he got affection and respect from Zia Mian whom he called Bhaiya. My father was a patient of asthma and at his old age he became very weak. Often Zia Mian came and brought essential items and eatables for him from market which my father was supposed to bring for him and for my mother who has cataract in her eyes and could not cook food. Doing all this he never thought that he belonged to a great shrine and never gave way to reverence the people possessed for him which may become stumbling block in his way to serve humanity. That shows his loyalty to his Sufi customs based upon love for making life ideal. Inspired by the noble traits of his ancestors is up to serve and help anyone be it his own servants work in his fields or in his monastery if they are indisposed or in trouble. I cannot forget the evening when my father was at the verge of his life. Zia Mian entered then and sat beside him took his face upon the hands my father loved and respected throughout his life. Perhaps he breathed last with inner satisfaction as feeling the very being of Zia Mian near him was penetrating and meaningful for one who adored him. His presence uprooted from my heart the sadness which a son suffers when he is deprived of a loving father. I would have drowned in the darkness of gloom but Zia Mian brought soothing rays which drifted apart the sorrow that was hanging upon me and could have been very depressing as except mother nobody left with me at home very personal not to the common comprehension I felt that my sorrows were dissolved in his wit and benign self absorbed therein the vexing heat intended to overpower my mind. If you want tender words which may inspire your heart go to him. If you need agitated exaltation in your soul find him in overwhelming trance like state, If you are afflicted by the wrong of others never bother learn lesson from his forbearance. If adversity perturbs you invoke his favors. If fear grips your heart imagine alone lion in forest and fancy him alone spending dark nights in his abode learn fearlessness from him. See his attitude towards downtrodden and destitute and follow how he helps them. Late Mr. Ali Ahmed was a devotee of his grandfather. He lived in the premises of Takia Sharif for his whole life out of devotion. At his old age he was seriously ill and confined to bed. He could not go even for natural calls. Zia Mian had taken up the responsibility of his nursing. He used to clean his body and sores. He kept his mind always the time to give him medicines and to his best rendered services out of which he was getting only the prayers of an ailing person and that is enough for sure. From the horizon of Arab a ray emerged in shape of Mohammad last prophet of Allah which turned the grass and thorns of darkness into red flowers of fire. His eyes were cleaned by the stream of the water of life. Revealed was the book of sagacity upon his heart Angels encircled him. Stars have drunk the wine of his grace. The one good news about him was given in anticipation by Jesus upon him manifest the verses of the last and perfect book possessing the words of Almighty and he heard all that even in the blowing of gentle wind. Since his childhood he was conspicuously unusual, careless of his self and looked askance at the luster of life and so called worldly charms around. The desert of Arab was full of vices. It was a world of terrifying mirage- an ocean of red particle and wilderness of scorching heat. It was a place where humanity was lamenting- a time when values were crying. The Arab’s had neither worldly knowledge nor light within out of the population there were burning rocks and inside thundering and crashing voices of bows. But Peace be Upon the prophet who turned over a new leaf in the life of people around with his noble manners and sublime way of life. Being a enamored by his lovely personality people accepted the faith that he disclosed before them. He was a reliable reporter of God, whose message provided the tranquility of mind. His kindness made him a picture of mercy and he preached the unity of God. He considered the poverty as his pride. His path was the path of righteousness and he was assigned the duty of purifying the sprit and the soul of human beings. He urged the people to love God Vehemently, he emphasized upon the truth, humility, forbearance, abstention from wrong, fight for goodness, and control over self and meditation which may find link with the God. All such qualities became the basis of the Sufi ideology. Mohammad (PBUH) was born as posthumous child who found all six directions of support absolutely blocked but he became the strongest prop for humanity. His grandfather named ‘Abdul Muttalib’ was the chief of Quresh a respectable tribe of Mecca. His father ‘Abdullah’ died while he was on business tour. His mother ‘Amna’ also left this world when he was only two and a half years old. But nature with all its compassion and with all its grace encircled a being that had been selected for the accomplishment of Gods message. Born enlightened it is believed the Almighty had created the light which was infused in Mohammad (PBUH) thousands years before any creation and so fell in love upon the splendor which shone on the forehead of the body which was made of clay and angels were ordered to bow heads down in reverence before the same effigy of Adam. All obeyed but Satan who was cursed and thrown out of paradise just because it was insult of the light shining on the forehead of Adam the light that would kindle the universe. It is pertinent to mention here the couplets of Ghalib who praised Mohammad (PBUH) in his Persian Naat which goes as under:
God in shape of truth stands revealed in the speech of Mohammad (PBUH).The discourse of Lord comes through the lips of Mohammad(PBUH).See halved he the full moon in two parts. The great miracle was of the pious finger nod of Mohammad(PBUH).
O! preacher the shade of the tree of heaven, do not mention to me.Speak nothing else but the agile cypress like pace of Mohammad (PHUH).
As moon is the reflection of light of great Sun undoubtedly the radiance and the glory of God, shine bright in Mohammad (PBUH)
Oh! Ghalib- Let God applaud my apostle of love,That Omnipotent Being knows the heights of Mohammad (PBUH)
All companions of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) remained faithfull to him and faced hardships for the prosperity of Islam‘Hazrat Abubakr Siddique’ became the first caliph of Islam and tried to sustain the commands of Quran and followed sincerely the sayings of the Prophet on different aspects of life. ‘Hazrat Umar Farooqui’ was second caliph of Islam. His justice is still fresh in the minds of the followers of Islam. The third caliph was ‘Hazrat Uthman’ remained famous for his generocity. Fourth caliph ‘Hazrat Ali’ not only attained the worldly attributes of Prophet but he was inspired by the spiritual knowledge that was perfect in Prophet. Almost all Sufi orders had been started through ‘Hazrat Ali’. He had disclosed the secrets of the other worlds and imported the different aspects of the existence of WISHED FOR BUT NOT FOUND. Hazrat Ali had become the historical figure who posses in one hand the pen as strongly as sword in the other hand. He was a poet of high order, philosopher, metaphor of prudence, a controlled warrior challenging whose strength was fatal to his opponent. The Prophet had given the charge of spirit purifying to him and taught himself denial so that he may get mystical union with God. Infused in him his on spirit and transferred his powers, reflected the images upon his heart which he receive while he met Creator of Heaven and Earth at the night of ascent (Shab-e-Meraj) and thus heralded Ali as his spiritual successor by saying that for whom I am sustainer Ali is as well. Further he declared that I and Ali are made of one and the same divine light. Hazrat Ali was very near to Prophet to the extent that when he was departing from ‘Mecca’ in precarious circumstances to ‘Madina’ in a terrible night he ordered Ali to lie down on his bed. The place was surrounded by enemies who were prepared to kill Prophet. There was no hesitation in Ali. He gladly accepted what was ordered. His inner self was so pacified that he slept and in the morning he showed his unawareness about the Prophet and direction towards which he preceded this reflects the favor of the Prophet towards ‘Ali’ and a declaration that he is among the aid-de-camp of Islam. All the plans of infidelity vanished and brilliance of ‘Hazrat Ali’ defeated the darkness of wrong. The way he uprooted the gate of ‘Khaibar’ he tried to uproot the vices from the human life. We have so many instances which disclose that Prophet had given hints of recognizing the extraordinary qualities of ‘Hazrat Ali’. During the battle of ‘Khaibar’ once Prophet declared that he will hand over the flag to one who loves God and who is loved by God. The very person will bring victory. Everyone around was curious to know that who is that fortunate man. At last the flag was given to ‘Hazrat Ali’ who by his hands uprooted the huge the gate of the folt of ‘Khaibar’. The battle was won and velour of Hazrat Ali reflected the inspired divine strength which was transfused by Prophet in him. Keeping in view such merits the spiritual heir ship was confirmed to him. He became the running fountain and heavenly intelligence has been developed in him. Holding his hands Prophet transferred the spiritual powers to him. We must clearly understand that climax point of prophet hood is the point of beginning of spiritualism. All spiritual orders reach to Hazrat Ali and through him to Prophet Mohammad to be blest by his splendor and never ending grace. The fixed fast color of the excellent qualities of Prophet had become the essence of the personality of Hazrat Ali who was tinged by all shades of those colors. He was the taught by Prophet the lessons of humanity, love, concord, justice, Intellect, Majesty, high mindedness and all noble manners which may refine the human society. The same lessons were learnt by the Sufis one by one they spread that message among the human beings crossed the border lines of the countries. Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti came to India. Settled here showed to the people the real sprit of Islam. The soil of India was very fertile for the prosperity of message of the Sufis and there way of raising soul high. We are concerned with the particular mystic way in the light of which we discover a knower of God called Qalander.
So till Zia Mian following is the order which has to be kept in mind: Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H)-Hazrat Ali (Fourth caliph of Islam, cousin and son in law of Prophet)-Sheikh Abdul Aziz Makki Qalander-Hazrat Syed Khizr Rumi Qalander-Hazrat Nejmuddin Ghausudahar Qalander-Hazrat Qutubuddin Beenadil Qalander-Hazrat Shah abdussalam Qalander-Hazrat Shah Abdur Rahman Janbaz Qalander-Hazrat Shah Abdul Quddus Qalander-Hazrat Shah Maja Qalander-Hazrat Shah Fateh Qalander-Hazrat Shah AL- Hadiya Ahmad Qalander-Hazrat Shah Basit Ali Qalander-Hazrat Shah Mohammad Kazim Qalander-Hazrat Shah Turab Ali Qalander-Hazrat Shah Haider Ali Qalander-Hazrat Shah Ali Akbar Qalander-Hazrat Shah Ali Anwar Qalander-Hazrat Shah Habeeb Haider Qalander-Hazrat Shah Taqi Haider Qalander-Hazrat Shah Ali Haider Qalander-Hazrat Shah Mustafa Haider Qalander-Hazrat Shah Ainul Haider Qalander.
Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Azeez Makki is considered to be the first obtained the title of Qalander. He was among the progeny of Gods messenger Saleh and a companion of Abraham as well. He lived so long that he waited for the time of the Prophet hood of Mohammad Sallala-ho-alaih-e-wasallam. He accepted Islam and joined the group of those companions of Prophet who were known as Ashabe-e-Suffa. Sufi had been drawn from this Arabic word hungry for days together (companions lived a life of hardships and self restraint renunciation of worldly pleasures). He was educated and instructed by Prophet and his cousin Hazrat Ali. He lived for one thousand years after Prophet. He came to India and lived here, benefitted spiritually so many saints of high order of different times. On the instance of ‘Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’ of Ajmer, ‘Baba Fareeduddin Ganjshakar’ and ‘Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria Multani’ with certain riddles wanting solution went to the cave in which he was confined being cut off from material word. He came out ascertained the answers and entered into the grotto with a hint to come out at the time near doomsday when Imam Mehendi will appear with Hazrat Maseeh. The cover of the grotto was placed according to his commands. It is believed that Sheikh Abdul Azeez Makki is still alive and through Qalander’s the order is still in progress and persisting in the shrine known as Khanqah-e-Kazmiya, Kakori.
अल्लामा शिब्ली नोमानी, राहुल सांकृत्यायन, अयोध्या सिंह उपाध्याय हरिऔध की इस धरती पर एक ऐसे भी शख्स ने जन्म लिया जिसका नाम भारतीय इतिहास के पन्नों में भले ही दबकर रह गया हो लेकिन इस्लामिक जगत में आज भी यह नाम बड़े अदब से लिया जाता है। इनकी पुस्तकें अरबी, उर्दू, फारसी विश्वविद्यालय के पाठ्यक्रम में शामिल हैं। यही नहीं इन्होंने गुलामी के समय अंग्रेज हुक्मरान वाय सराय लार्ड कर्जन को अरब देशों में राजनीतिक सम्बन्ध बनाने के लिए दौरा कराया था। पूरे दौरे के दौरान कर्जन के दुभाषिए के रूप में साथ रहे। रिश्ते में वह अल्लामा शिब्ली नोमानी के ममेरे भाई थे। दोनों बचपन में खेले और खेलकर बड़े हुए। शिक्षा के लिए इन्होंने अपनी तमाम जमीन भी दान कर दी।
हम बात कर रहे हैं फरिहां गांव के रहने वाले मौलाना हमीदुद्दीन फराही की। इनका जन्म 18 नवम्बर वर्ष 1863 को फरिहां गांव में हुआ था। इनके पिता अब्दुल करीम आजमगढ़ के बड़े जमींदार व अधिवक्ता थे। इनकी प्रारम्भिक शिक्षा गांव में हुई। सबसे पहले इन्होंने हाफिजा किया। उसके बाद फारसी की शिक्षा मौलवी मेंहदी हसन साहब से हासिल की। इसके बाद अरबी और फारसी की उच्च शिक्षा अपने फुफेरे भाई प्रख्यात इतिहासकार अल्लामा शिब्ली नोमानी और प्रसिद्ध #अरबिक_आलिम_फारुख_चिरैयाकोट से ली। इसके बाद अंग्रेजी शिक्षा ग्रहण करने के लिए इलाहाबाद के कर्नलगंज कालेज में प्रवेश लिया। हाईस्कूल, इण्टर की परीक्षा उत्तीर्ण करने के बाद एएमओ कालेज अलीगढ़ में दाखिला लिया। वर्ष 1894 में इलाहाबाद विश्वविद्यालय से बीए की डिग्री हासिल की। वर्ष 1895 में अरबी से एमए करना चाहा लेकिन नहीं कर सके। वर्ष 1897 में मदरस्तुल इस्लाम कराची में शिक्षक हो गये। वर्ष 1906 तक यहां अध्यापन का कार्य किया।
इसी दौरान भारत के वायसराय लार्ड कर्जन ने राजनीतिक सम्बन्ध मजबूत बनाने के लिए अरब देशों के दौरे की योजना बनाई। उसे ऐसे शख्स की जरूरत थी जो अरबी एवं अंग्रेजी दोनों भाषाओं का जानकार हो और दुभाषिए की भूमिका निभा सके। काफी खोजबीन के बाद मौलाना हमीदुद्दीन फराही का नाम आया। अंग्रेज हुक्मरान ने उनसे बात की लेकिन वे लार्ड कर्जन के साथ अरब जाने से इनकार कर दिये। बाद में फुफेरे भाई अल्लामा शिब्ली नोमानी के दबाव में वे करजन के साथ विदेश जाने को तैयार हो गये। पूरे दौरे के दौरान उन्होंने दुभाषिए का काम किया। लौटने के बाद वर्ष 1907 में उनकी नियुक्ति अलीगढ़ एएमओ कालेज में बतौर अरबी प्रोफेसर के रूप में हुई। कुछ समय बाद वे इलाहाबाद विश्वविद्यालय में अरबी प्रोफेसर के पद पर कार्यरत हुए।
इनकी सेवा आन्ध्र प्रदेश के हैदराबाद निजाम ने दारुल उलूम हैदराबाद के प्रधानाचार्य पद के लिए हासिल किया। हैदराबाद में रहते हुए उनके दिमाग मेें एक ऐसे विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना का विचार आया जिसमें पुरानी और नयी उर्दू की शिक्षा दी जाये। उन्होंने इसके लिए प्रस्ताव तैयार कर सरकार के सामने रखा जिसका किसी ने विरोध नहीं किया और हैदराबाद में #उस्मानियां_विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना हो गयी। 1919 तक वे हैदराबाद में रहे और उसके बाद वहां से त्यागपत्र देकर अपने पैतृक गांव फरिहां आ गये। उसके बाद अपने गृह क्षेत्र में मदरसुल इस्लाह सरायमीर को एक उच्च शिक्षा संस्थान के रूप में विकसित करने का काम किया। अपना पूरा जीवन मदरसे के प्रचार-प्रसार व देखरेख में समर्पित कर दिया।
अपने जीवन में उन्होंने अस्सी के आसपास पुस्तकों का लेखन किया। इसमें 54 पुुस्तकों का प्रकाशन हो चुका है। शेष पुस्तकों के प्रकाशन के पूर्व उनके पौत्र अरबी विश्वविद्यालय लखनऊ के प्रोफेसर उबैद फराही उसका अध्ययन कर रहे हैं। निजामुल कुरआन इनकी सबसे प्रसिद्ध पुस्तक मानी जाती है। इसके अतिरिक्त जमहरतुल बलागह, अकसामुल कुरआन, मफरेदातुल कुरआन, दलाऐल निजाम, असालिबुल कुरआन, दीवाने हमीद, असबाकन्ह नौह, दीवाने फैज आदि पुस्तकें भी विश्व स्तर पर प्रसिद्ध हैं। मौलाना फराही की लिखी पुस्तकें अरबी, उर्दू, फारसी विश्वविद्यालयों में पढ़ायी जा रही हैं। उनकी ज्यादातर पुस्तकेें अरबी भाषा में लिखी गयी हैं। इस कारण अरब देशों में हमीदुद्दीन फराही काफी प्रसिद्ध हैं। जीवन के अन्तिम समय में वे बीमारी से परेशान रहे। सिर में दर्द आदि से गम्भीर रूप से ग्रसित होने दौरान 11 नवम्बर 1930 को मौलाना फराही का इन्तकाल हो गया। इन्हें मथुरा के कब्रिस्तान में में दफन किया गया। अपने जीवन काल में वे शिब्ली एकेडमी और मुस्लिम एजुकेशन सोसायटी के सक्रिय सदस्य रहे।
الجمهورية الإسلامية الموريتانية
अल-जम्हूरिया अल-इस्लामिया अल-मॉरीतानिया
इस्लामी गणराज्य मॉरीतानिया
राष्ट्रगान: नशीद वतनिया मॉरीतानिया
राजधानी और सबसे बडा़ नगर – नुआकशोत
राजभाषा(एँ) – अरबी, पुलार, सोनिन्के, वोलोफ़
– कुल १०,३०,००० वर्ग किलोमीटर
३,९७,६८५ वर्ग मील
– २०१५ जनगणना ४०,६७,५६४
मॉरीतानिया (Mauritania) उत्तर अफ़्रीका के पश्चिमी भाग में स्थित एक देश है, जो मग़रेब क्षेत्र का हिस्सा माना जाता है। यह एक भूतपूर्व फ़्रांसीसी उपनिवेश हुआ करता था। मॉरीतानिया का लगभग ९०% क्षेत्रफल सहारा रेगिस्तान का भाग है और इस कारणवश इस देश की अधिकतर आबादी देश के दक्षिणी भाग में बसी हुई है जहाँ थोड़ी-बहुत वर्षा होती है। सन् २०१३ में देश की ३५ लाख की कुल जनसंख्या में से १० लाख लोग मॉरीतानिया की राजधानी और सबसे बड़े शहर नुआकशोत (Nouakchott) में रहते थे।
Nouakchott / نواكشوط
मॉरीतानिया में स्थिति
प्रांत व देश : मॉरीतानिया
जनसंख्या (२०१३) : ९,५८,३९९
मुख्य भाषा(एँ) : अरबी
निर्देशांक: 18°6′N 15°57′W
नुआकशोत या नवाक्शूत (फ़्रांसीसी: Nouakchott, अरबी: نواكشوط) पश्चिमी अफ़्रीका के मॉरीतानिया देश की राजधानी व सबसे बड़ा शहर है। सन् २०१३ में मॉरीतानिया की ३५ लाख की कुल जनसंख्या में से १० लाख लोग नुआकशोत में बसे हुए थे। यह अटलांटिक महासागर के किनारे देश के दक्षिणी भाग में स्थित है और सहारा रेगिस्तान के सबसे बड़े शहरों में से एक गिना जाता है। १९५८ तक यह एक छोटा सा गाँव था। उस वर्ष यह मॉरीतानिया की राजधानी चुना गया और यहा १५,००० लोगों के बसने की व्यवस्था की गई। १९७० के बाद मॉरीतानिया के कई इलाकों में सूखा पड़ता रहा है और उन क्षेत्रों से विस्थापित लोग अक्सर नुआकशोत आ जाते हैं जिस से यहाँ भीड़ और धरों की कमी दोनों बढ़ी हैं। यह एक महत्वपूर्ण बंदरगाह है और नुआकशोत विश्वविद्यालय भी यहीं स्थित है।
नुआकशोत बर्बर भाषाओं के ‘नवाकशूत’ शब्द से लिया गया है जिसका अर्थ है ‘हवाओं वाली जगह’
Scale: 1:4,400,000 (precision: 1,100 m)
Equirectangular projection, WGS84 datum
Central meridian: 010° 57′ W
Standard parallel: 21° N
Geographic limits of the map:
Top: 27° 51′ N
Bottom: 14° 09′ N
Left: 017° 45′ W
Right: 004° 09′ W
इस्लामी शरीयत और फ़िक़्ही नियमानुसार हक़-ए-मेहर चीज़ ही की शकल में अदा किया जाता है मगर अफ़्रीकी देश मॉरीतानिया में इन दिनों एक अनोखे मेहर की चर्चा है जिस की गूँज सात समुद्र पार से सुनाई दे रही है।
अल अरबिया डॉट नेट के अनुसार मॉरीतानिया के एक नागरिक ने अपनी बेटी के अकद निकाह के बदले पैसा, सोना, चांदी, भूमि या संपत्ति नहीं मांगी बल्कि दूल्हे से नबी सल्लल्लाहु अलैहि व सल्लम पर एक लाख दरूद शरीफ भेजने की मांग की। दूल्हे ने यह अनोखा हक़-ए- मेहर अदा कर दिया जबकि दूल्हे के पिता का कहना है कि हक़-एमेहर (एक मिलियन दरूद पाक पढ़ने को) निकाह फार्म में दर्ज किया जाए।
गौरतलब है कि दूल्हा एक उच्च शिक्षित युवा है लेकिन उच्च शिक्षा होने के बावजूद वह बेरोजगार है। इस पर होने वाले ससुर ने उससे चीज़ के रूप में सही मेहर प्राप्त करने के बजाय दस लाख दरूद पाक पढ़ने की मांग की। दस लाख दरूद पाक पढ़ने के बदले में पिता अपनी बेटी के मेहर से दस्तबरदार हो गया।
यह घटना मॉरीतानिया के स्थान नवाकशो्त की अलतरहील कॉलोनी में हाल ही में हुई। मेहर में ‘दरूद शरीफ़’ की खबर ने सोशल मीडिया पर एक तूफान मचा दिया है। लोग बढ़चढ़ कर इस घटना पर अपनी खुद की शैली और विचारों के अनुसार टिप्पणियां कर रहे हैं। जहां इस कदम की प्रशंसा की गई है वहीं उसके विरोधियों की भी कोई कमी नहीं है। विरोध करने वाले सज्जन उसे इस्लाम में ‘बिदअत’ करार दे रहे हैं कि सामाजिक स्तर पर इस का समर्थन करने वालों का कहना है कि यह कदम शादी की बाधाओं को दूर करने में मददगार हो सकता है। क्योंकि कई युवा आर्थिक रूप पर सक्षम न होने के कारण समय पर शादी नहीं कर पाते और उनकी शादी की उम्र बीत जाती है। सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं ने निकाह और मेहर के इस अद्वितीय दृष्टिकोण को अपनाने का भी मांग की है।
The old poem that most American school children recognize begins “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” Indeed, in the year 1492, Christopher Columbus (whose real name in Italian was Cristoforo Colombo) sailed across the Atlantic in the name of the Spanish crown and landed in the Caribbean part of North America. For hundreds of years, it has simply been accepted that Columbus was the first explorer to valiantly sail across the sea and “discover” the Americas. However, this theory no longer stands up to modern scholarship.
It goes without saying that the first people to truly discover America were the ancestors of the Native Americans, who probably crossed into North America through Russia and Alaska about 12,000 years ago. Discussion of the “discovery” of the Americas by Europeans, Africans, or Asians is an insult to the history of it’s indigenous peoples. That said, the first daring souls to cross the Atlantic ocean by boat are important to know, and the theory of Columbus does no justice to their story.
While the common knowledge about Columbus is that he lived in a time where everyone assumed the world was flat, this is clearly not the case. Ancient Greek scholars such as Aristotle and Pythagoras suggested that the earth was in fact, round. It was during the Muslim Golden Ages (c. 750-1100s) that advanced scholarship into the shape and size of the earth began. Contrary to what most people may believe, in those years, it was common understanding that the earth was not flat. The debate, instead, was about exactly how large the earth was. In the early 800s, the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma’mun assembled the brightest minds of the day (including al-Khawarizmi) in Baghdad who calculated the earth’s circumference and were off by only 4% of it’s actual size.
Knowing that the earth was round, and knowing its size to a very good degree of accuracy (without the modern technology we have today), some intrepid Muslims must have attempted to go around the world, hundreds of years before Columbus. The proof of these voyages is in front of us, in black and white.
The great Muslim historian and geographer, Abu al-Hasan al-Masudi wrote in 956 of a voyage in 889 from al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). The voyage left from the port of Delba (the same place Columbus’ voyage would begin) and sailed for months westward. They eventually found a large landmass across the ocean where they traded with the natives, and then returned to Europe. Al-Masudi records this land across the ocean in his famous map and refers to it as “the unknown land”.
Two more voyages from Muslim Spain to the Americas are recorded in history. One was in 999 and was led by Ibn Farrukh, from Granada. The other is recorded by the genius mind of the geographer al-Idrisi, who worked in the multi-cultural and religiously tolerant Sicily of King Roger II in the 1100s. He wrote of a group of Muslims who sailed west from Lisbon for 31 days and landed on an island in the Caribbean. They were taken prisoner by the Native Americans on that island for a few days. Eventually, they were freed when a translator who lived among the natives that spoke Arabic arranged for their release. They eventually sailed back to al-Andalus and told their tale. The important part of this account is the existence of an Arabic speaker among the natives, indicating that there must have been more unrecorded contact between the Arab world and the Americas.
There is another part of the Muslim world that had contact with the Americas before Columbus. In West Africa in the 1300s, a powerful and incredibly wealthy empire called Mali existed. The most famous leader of this empire was Mansa (king) Musa. The most memorable event of his reign was his epic hajj journey in 1324. The caravan of over 60,000 people made an impression everywhere they went, including Egypt, where Mansa Musa told the story of how he came to power. His brother, Abu Bakr was the Mansa before he was. During his reign, Abu Bakr sent a fleet of 400 ships to explore the Atlantic Ocean. Only 1 ship returned, but reported that they found a land across the ocean. Mansa Abu Bakr then outfitted a fleet of 2000 ships, which he sailed with personally, that sailed west into the ocean. They were never heard from again.
While there is no record in Mali of the result of that voyage, there is evidence of their arrival in the Americas. There are numerous archaeological sites in North and South America that attest to that Malian presence. Early Spanish explorers and pirates recorded abandoned cities in Brazil that had inscriptions identical to the language of the Mandinka (the people of Mali). More inscriptions in the Mandinka language were found in the United States as well. Near the Mississippi River, many inscriptions exist that recorded their exploration of the Americas. In Arizona, an inscription was found that reads “The elephants are sick and angry. At present there are many sick elephants”. This inscription also includes a rough sketch of an elephant. Elephants are not native to the Americas. They were brought by the Mandinka to the Americas, and the inscriptions are proof of Mansa Abu Bakr’s successful journey over 100 years before Columbus.
The Ottoman Empire
In 1929, an amazing discovery was made in Istanbul, Turkey. A map drawn in the year 1513 by the Ottoman cartographer, Piri Reis was found. Reis wrote that his map was based on earlier sources, including ancient Greek and Arabic maps, including maps by Christopher Columbus, who had sailed only 21 years earlier. What is remarkable about this map is the level of detail of the map, which forced historians to re-evaluate the Columbus theory of exploration.
The map clearly shows the eastern coast of South America, which is in the correct position with regards to Africa. The coast of Brazil is shown in incredible detail, with many rivers accurately placed on the map. Although Reis used Columbus’s maps as a source, Columbus never went to South America, so Reis must have gotten that from earlier Muslim maps that he used as sources. Furthermore, Reis’s map includes the Andes Mountains, which were not even explored by Europeans until the 1520s, a full decade after the drawing of Reis’s map!
Piri Reis based his map on earlier sources, which clearly had a very good understanding of the Americas and had explored the area well before the first Europeans. The map is perhaps the strongest physical evidence of Muslim exploration of the Americas before Columbus
What Did Columbus Say?
With all of this evidence of Muslim exploration before Columbus’s voyage in 1492, is it possible that Columbus himself knew he was not the first? It’s more than likely to be the case. Columbus sailed from Spain in the same year the last Muslim dynasty of Iberia was destroyed in the Reconquista. Many of the people of Iberia were still Muslims, and carried with them the knowledge of the Muslim Golden Ages. Numerous people on Columbus’s voyage were Moriscos, Muslims who were forced to convert to Catholicism or die. Columbus could have heard from Spain’s Muslims of the New World and was thus inspired to go exploring.
Once he got to the Americas, Columbus records numerous examples of Muslims already present. He commented on the gold that the natives had, which was made the same way, in the same alloy, as the Muslims of West Africa did. Furthermore, Columbus records that the native word in that area for gold is guanin, which is very similar to the Mandinka word for gold, ghanin, which probably comes from the Arabic word for wealth, ghina’.
In 1498, Columbus recorded seeing a ship loaded with goods, heading towards America, filled with Africans who were probably on their way to trade with Native Americans. Columbus also records in his journal that Native Americans told him of black Africans who came regularly to trade with them.
Even Columbus knew that he was not the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
Clearly, the theory that Columbus discovered America is nothing but an old tale that has not stood the test of time. There is no doubt that the Columbian Era was a pivotal time in world history that changed the way of life in the Americas and Europe forever. However, he was not the first to make the crossing to the Americas. Evidence exists from the Arabs, West Africans, and Ottomans of Muslim voyages to the Americas well before Columbus and Christian Europe. For whatever reason, the textbooks continue to extoll the voyage of Columbus and the courage of his crew, the “first” to make it across the Atlantic. This idea clearly needs to be re-examined in light of evidence from earlier Muslim explorations, to bring their contributions to the general public.